Down to the Bone (2005 - unrated DVD)

  • This is a fictional drug-addiction drama based very closely on a real person whom the director met in the process of filming an earlier documentary. The film and its star received some unexpected attention last week when the L.A. Film Critics by-passed all the famous names to award their Best Actress statuette to the ultimate long shot, the obscure Vera Farmiga.

    Vera who? Yeah, I know. Nobody ever heard of her but, mark my words, she is about to break through into the public consciousness. She will play the female lead in the next film from a little fella you may have heard of, name of Scorsese. Her co-stars in that film are three other guys whose names you may recognize: DiCaprio, Nicholson, Damon. Ms. Farmiga also has a starring role in Minghella's next film, which will undoubtedly have the exact same plot as The English Patient, except during a different war.

  • Here is the entire press kit if you want to read all about Down to the Bone. The reviews have been pretty good - it's a 74 at Metacritic - but the IMDb score is an abysmal 3.9 (which doesn't seem to make sense, because the comments are mostly positive, and some are very positive.)

  • And here's Vera

Crooked Hearts (1991):

One of the comments at IMDb calls this film "a gem amongst Hollywood hogwash."

Well, here's what happens. Dad is in love with the same waitress as his oldest son. Dad loves her so much that he leaves town and moves Out West to avoid ruining his marriage. Flash forward about a decade. The oldest son has sex with and impregnates the true love of the middle son, whose narration reveals that he also had a childhood crush on that same waitress Back East. The younger two sons find out from their mean-spirited brother that dad is still so much in love with that waitress that he couldn't bear to throw away her scores of love letters. In the process of burning dad's letters, the youngest son is run over by a truck. The family would all meet at the family home to commiserate, except that the oldest son had by then burned it down. They do manage to come together briefly after the youngest son's funeral, whereupon the two other sons get into a fist fight. The only daughter, meanwhile, has a psychological sleeping disease, and she nods off whenever there is any tension. In the company of her family that offers her plenty of sack time.

Does that smell to you like a welcome April-fresh breeze amid the stench of Hollywood hogwash, or does it smell like enough wash to feed a herd of swine? You be the judge, because I can't consider myself an adequate judge of April freshness. No matter how hard I try, no matter which products I use, I have never been able to get fresher than Valentine's Day, except that one time, in college, when I got as fresh as St Patrick's Day. Or so my friends told me. I don't remember much about that night. And besides, doesn't everyone experiment with freshness in college? When I was in my thirties I even tried to get as fresh as April 15th, but it was just too taxing.

The film was performed by an excellent cast of established performers and then-rising stars. Noah Wyle, Vince D'Onofrio, Marg Helgenberger, Joshua Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Peter Berg and Juliette Lewis all passed through this turnstile on their way toward the subway to success. Lewis was 17 at the time, Jackson only 11.

I really liked the first half of this film, which seemed to be delivering a drama about a dysfunctional family. Up to a certain point in the script, it was very real and believable, as if the author was telling the true story of people who really exist. Since the performances were also excellent for the most part, I started out quite satisfied with the experience. Then the script just piled tragedy on top of tragedy until the drama turned to melodrama and there were so many meaningful, pause-punctuated conversations that I thought I might be watching "Days of Our Lives." The script lost credibility, and I just lost interest.

Jennifer Jason Leigh shows her breasts, as she so often has, and a woman named Sasha Moisewitsch shows one breast. I would suggest that Sasha might benefit from choosing a more memorable stage name, but I guess that won't be necessary because she seems to have left the business without getting her share of the career riches bestowed on this cast. This movie was made 14 years ago, and Sasha never had another role in which her character had a name. Her only subsequent IMDb credits were two movies in which she played "whore" and "groupie."

Maybe she'd now be bigger than Julia Roberts if she had been named Ashley Moss.

So it goes.

Jennifer Jason Leigh
Sasha Moisewitsch

Other Crap:

Holiday classic update: IT'S A WONDERFUL INTERNET

SNL's Celebrity Mugshot Poker

The Penis Project

WTF??? The William Shatner DVD Club

  • No, thanks. I still haven't recovered from the William Shatner Record Club or the William Shatner Hair Club For Men
  • (By the way, the DVD Club is real, assuming we can enlist Bill Clinton to give us a really slippery definition of "real," not to mention "is.")

VIDEO: The ol' "golf balls in the car" prank

"What was the world's first banner ad?"

Suicide Shuts Down "The Daily Show"

The trailer for Poseidon, the remake of the Poseidon Adventure.

  • Very attractive trailer, but is it legal to make a sinking ship movie without Billy Zane?

NBC Cuts Pamela Anderson Pole Dance Video.

  • Damn! That was my favorite part of Meet the Press.

The Weekend Warrior's Box Office predictions for December 16-18

  • He thinks Kong will open at $67m, with Narnia falling to half that, and The Family Stone logging in with a sleepy $9m.

Key West Fantasy Fest 2005 - photos (nudity!)

Here is the complete list of Golden Globe nominations

Critics Are Savaging 'GEISHA' . . .An Oscar Hopeful Gone Horribly Wrong ?

Ugueth Urbina: awaiting trial in Venezuela.

"Car Buried in 1957 to Be Unearthed in '07"

VIDEO: What Santa Does With Your Letters

Indiana Bart (Simpsons parody of Raiders)

Don Markstein's Toonopedia

  • " ... the world's first hypertext encyclopedia of toons which will soon, I hope, come to be regarded as the Internet's most comprehensive source of information about the U.S. toon scene.

40 Year-Old Virgin DVD launches with chest-waxing contest

Weenie Babies - The Christmas package with a package

Three clips from Jim Carrey's Fun With Dick and Jane

Yo, Adrian ... Rocky Balboa has a blog?

The trailer for Confetti

  • "A sharp and affectionate comedy featuring an ensemble of UK comedic talents, "Confetti" follows three couples as they duke it out to win a bridal magazine contest for "Most Original Wedding of the Year." The talented cast -- which includes Martin Freeman ("The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Love Actually," "The Office"), Jessica Stevenson ("Shaun of the Dead," "Spaced," "The Royle Family," Stephen Mangan ("Green Wing"), Felicity Montagu ("I'm Alan Partridge"), award-winning comedian Jimmy Carr in his first screen performance and Alison Steadman ("Topsy-Turvy," "Life is Sweet") -- was afforded total creative freedom within the confines of a carefully crafted story frame. To prepare, the cast took part in weeks of intense workshops where they began the process of developing and inhabiting their unique roles."

"ANISTON, KONG TO WED" ... Friends Star, Giant Ape Are Hollywood's Latest Power Couple

  • "The two stars came into each other’s lives at the perfect time, the friend said, with Ms. Aniston nursing her wounds from her breakup with actor Brad Pitt and Mr. Kong nursing his wounds from being shot down from the top of the Empire State Building."

2006 Brings Many 'Da Vinci'-Esque Books

Brokeback Mountain tops Golden Globe nominations.

"San Jose officials are still wondering how a miniature golf course landed on a federal list of the most attractive terrorist targets. "

  • Osama is not forgiving when those little windmills trap his ball.

Letterman's "Top Ten Perks Of Winning The Heisman Trophy"

A script review of Jason Stratham's Crank.

This week's movies (3500 screens): King Kong - 95% positive reviews. Pretty much universal raves for this film, which is also expected to kick some serious ass at the box office.

This week's movies (2250 screens): The Family Stone - 86% positive reviews.

  • This retro holiday movie has been compared to the films of Frank Capra and Doug Sirk. I guess you better bring handkerchiefs.

Conan O'Brien - quotables for the week of December 6-9

  • "It's been reported that Justin Timberlake has been turned down for a role in a movie because his voice is too high. Which is weird, since Timberlake was auditioning for the role of 'Frightened Little Girl No. 3.'"
  • "Earlier this week, President Bush lit the candles on the White House Menorah. There was an awkward moment because when Bush saw the Menorah he said, 'Cool, a flaming rake.'"
  • "The New York Mets announced that they are pursuing first baseman Julio Franco who is 47 years old. Franco will be back-up for the Mets' current first baseman, Morley Safer."

The trailer for The Other Side

  • "Award-winning writer and director Gregg Bishop delivers a fast-paced supernatural thriller about Samuel North (Nathan Mobley), who has just been murdered and sent to Hell. There, in "the Pit", two other damned souls on the run help Samuel escape back to the world of the living to be reunited with the girl he loves. But now, Samuel has Hell to pay: the Netherworld has sent 3 Reapers (invincible bounty hunters from Hades) to hunt and kill each of the escaped men. Samuel must solve his own murder and fight for his soul's redemption in order to escape The Other Side."

Coming Soon has links to four clips from Hostel, Eli Roth's new horror flick. (He did Cabin Fever)

A new featurette about Spielberg's Munich

Here's a clip from The New World, Terrence Malick's new film.

There's no Wikipedia entry for 'moral responsibility'! (There is now! I guess somebody read the article.)

The internet has really arrived. Newsweek looks at search engine optimization.


Movie Reviews:

Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.




The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

40 Year Old Virgin (2005) is a comedy/romance staring Steve Carell as a virginal 40-year-old employee in a mall stereo store. When his co-workers find out he has never had sex, they alternate between heckling him, and trying to get him laid. He develops an interest on his own in Catherine Keener, a sexy grandma who owns and operates a Sell Your Stuff on EBay store across from the stereo shop. His attempts at dating are, of course, a disaster with a number of women from hell.

The unrated DVD has breasts from Laura Bottrell as a college sweetheart, Stormy Daniels in a fantasy, Jamie Elle Mann as a weather girl and Kimberly Page at a dating seminar. The special features include additional nudity from all four, including a full frontal from Stormy Daniels, plus a possible nipple slip from Catherine Keener.

IMDb readers have this at 7.5, and it earned $112M worldwide against a $21.4M budget. Franky, I can't imagine why. I honestly fell asleep 5 times, and had to back up to get through the whole thing once. Carell's character was pathetic, and his friends were a bunch of losers as well. I did enjoy Keener's character, but that was not enough to carry the film for me. Ebert awarded 3.5 stars. Berardinell was also enthusiastic at 3.5 stars, calling it better than American Pie and There's Something About Mary. Maybe I am just comedy impaired. This is clearly a C+, based on its box office popularity and reviews, but left me snoring.

Stormy Daniels
Catherine Keener
Jamie Elle Mann
Laura Botrell
Kimberly Page


Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess (1971)

Since I love exploitation in general, women in prison films in particular, and films that give me a glimpse into another culture, I am excited to find the "Pinky Violence" genre of Japanese exploitation films from the 1970's. At that time, the big screen staple was Yakuza films, but they had begun to run out of new plot ideas. Enter these films, as the B feature. Most start as "women in prison" films to set up the characters, then jump ahead into the story. In this case, Reiko Oshida, who starred in all four Delinquent Girl Boss films, is a loveable reform school girl. Upon her release, she starts meeting friends from school, most of whom work as bar girls. When she stops at the business of a former classmate to return something to her, she finds that the classmate is living with a no good gambler and Yakuza, and that the Yakuza are trying to put her father out of business using gambling debts run up by the husband.

The father offers Reiko a job and a place to stay. The former classmates become closer, and then decide to help on the old man, and try to reunite him with his wayward daughter, Yumiko Katayama. This means going after the Yakuza as well.

Reiko Oshida never got naked that I can discover, but is seen here in a bra and panties. Yumiko Katayama shows breasts in a shower and buns in a hot bath.

IMDb lists a handful of these films, but nothing from this series. A genre unto itself, these pinky violence films feature nudity, violence, often S & M, and show women who are much smarter than, and get the best of, Yakuza, which is contrary to recognized Japanese culture at the time. This was from a set of four such films, all of which I will cover. Each of the films includes a commentary track, and rather nice subtitles, which make some effort to not only translate the dialogue, but provide the same connotation in English as the original Japanese. These are hurriedly and cheaply produced exploitation films, but are all shot on 35 mm and presented in Wide Screen. In some ways, these are to Japanese women what blacksploitation was to blacks. The women are empowered in these films. As a pinky violence film, this is a C+ as one of the better ones. However, if you classify it as a crime story, I would give it a B-, as it will appeal to some who do not usually enjoy Asian martial arts films.

Yumiko Katayama
Reiko Oshida




Allison Dawn in "Hollywood Sexcapades."




Today the old Time Machine goes back thirty years for "The Sensuous Nurse" starring Ursula Andress.

Ursula - what can you say? She gets my vote for one of the most sensual women of all time. So here she is, showing off all her charms and even looking hot in a nurse's uniform.







Now that Mr. Bean has informed us how Jesus become the Son of God, we can continue and wrap up our uncoverage of Edwige Fenech in La Pretora (1976). There's 13 clips of Edwige and one short clip of Marina Hedman. Please refer to yesterday's contribution for more information on the movie.   Here is a short resumé of what you can expect in today's clips:  
  • 13-15: Rosa in the Snow White photo shoot, the highlight of the film in my opinion. Marina Hedman joins in as the fairy queen. (13, 14, 15)
  • 17-18: Viola at home with her fiancé. (17, 18) 
  • 19-20: Rosa in the court-room pretending to be Viola. She says to the other magistrate that she feels things must be very HARD ON him, so much so that the desk rises, or not. Furthermore she wants to know if he loves justice. He answers that he venerates it. (19, 20) 
  • 21-25: Viola fooling around with her fiancé, initially pretending to be Rosa. She does so to find out if it is really Viola he wants and not just an easy going woman, before she decides to become more loose in her ways and maybe even marry and give up her job permanently. (21, 22, 23, 24, 25)  
  • Marina Hedman as the fairy queen of Snow White provides a fitting end to today's contribution by brushing her hair. Need I be more specific?


Yes, 2005's Death to the Supermodels is really, really, REALLY bad, and I loved it. I loved the stupid jokes, site gags, goofy slapstick, and general silliness. This one definitely fits the so bad it's good category.

The razor-thin plot is that a group of supermodels gather on a deserted island for a shoot. Someone starts killing them off one by one. Who could it be? Who cares?

There's actually not a lot of nudity in this one, but there's bikinis everywhere. The women look great, even though Marcelle Larice sports a huge fake ass, and Brooke Burns has a big crop of hair hanging from each armpit (eeuch). The only downer is that Jaime Pressly, who plays the production assistant, stays mostly clothed.

Remember, it's really bad, horrible in fact. Then watch it, because you'll laugh your ass off, and enjoy the yummy women.

Eva Derrek Jamie Pressly Marcelle Larice Kimberley Davies
Brooke Burns Sung Hi Lee Maria Arce




Hong Kong actress Christy Chung has made a couple dozen movies and this disk of her photoshoots. Looks like the photos were meant for a book or calendar. Who knows. While posing Christy shows off her shapely bum a lot and gives me a couple of nip slips, but the disk is deadly boring except for the behind-the-scenes stuff. Turns out Christy likes to laugh and does a killer Moon Walk. Yep, great stuff. Uh huh. Oh well, she is pretty and there is some exposure but just about every frame of it is in these caps.






Gorgeous Franziska Petri in Endloser Horizont (2005). This isn't even in IMDb.  Here is the info.  
From deep within the vault of obscurity comes Anne Jousset in Thomas (1974)  


Pat's comments in yellow...


Oh, Bite Me! - In a new benchmark for political correctness, US News columnist John Leo reports that some schools have banned students from bringing red cookies and green cookies to school on the same day during December because the two together are symbolic of Christmas, which is a religious holiday.

* So they can only bring red cookies on SAINT Valentine's Day and green cookies on SAINT Patrick's Day.

* It's also obvious that our schools are run by people with no Christmas balls.



It's Utilitarian, Like A Jeep - The Mark Jason Gallery in London removed a print of a painting of a nude man after more than 30 men complained, saying it was pornographic or would upset women. The gallery owner said he would have stuck to his guns and kept it; but the number of people coming in to complain almost equaled the number who wanted to buy it, and he didn't anticipate how angry and uncomfortable British men would be about male nudity. However, they don't seem to mind female nudity. In fact, the painting was replaced with a female nude.

* The men also complained about all the paintings of women with clothes on.



Fetch The Kryptonite! - The London Sun reports that movie newcomer Brandon Routh's upcoming debut as Superman may require some unexpected special effects. They say studio heads are concerned that the extra-large bulge in the crotch of his skintight costume could prove distracting to audiences. A source claims the director was ordered to use digital effects to shrink Superman's potentially alarming manhood.

* It's the same technology they used in "Star Trek" movies to shrink William Shatner's ass.

* They won't be able to call it "Super-Man" anymore...They might have to call it "Smallville."



Revenue Producer - Manhattan's Ziegfeld Theatre plans to charge a record $12.50 for standard tickets to "The Producers" during its first week, after which prices will drop to $10.75. A theater spokesman said he used to think there was a $10 psychological ceiling on movie prices, but people are now used to paying more for gas and concerts, so compared to other entertainment options, a $12.50 movie ticket is still reasonable. Coincidentally, the stage version of "The Producers" was the first to charge over $100 a ticket.

* That must've been part of their strategy to make a flop that backfired.