Cadillac Records


It is difficult enough to script a biopic of one famous person because it requires shoehorning a lifetime of notable achievements into two hours. If that were not enough, it also must make that lifetime somehow cinematic, and not just something left over from The History Channel. If one life represents a writing challenge, imagine how difficult it must be to do a half dozen. Now imagine how difficult it would be if those six were musicians, and one's film also had to present a representative sampling of their music, thus eating up half the running time.

So much to do, so little time.

There's not much time left for character development, but despite the inherent limitations defined by the scope of its ambitions, Cadillac Records does a pretty damned good job a looking at each of these musical giants in turn: Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James, Little Walter, and Leonard Chess. Huh? Who's that last dude? He's the white man who built the tiny recording studio which would eventually make the others famous.

Big story. In many ways the obscure Leonard Chess (and his brother Phil, who is still alive, and whose existence was purged from the record for this film) invented Rock 'n Roll. Oh, it would have happened someday anyway, but Leonard is the guy whose machinations got the great black musicians on the air and even got their songs played on white stations. Those songs in turn got covered and stolen by lots of white boys, and those covers were great hits for Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and even The Beach Boys, whose Surfin' USA was an unlicensed note-for-note lift of a Chuck Berry song. OK, maybe Len didn't pay everyone the royalties they had coming, but he made them all famous, and together, to paraphrase Rimbaud, they invented the future.

Given only time for short impersonations and/or characterizations, the main actors all do an excellent job of evoking the singers they play. Every last one of the actors is excellent, and every one of the legends comes to life: the proud and intimidating Howlin' Wolf, the calm Muddy Waters, the effusive Little Walter, the fun-loving Chuck Berry, and the angry Etta James. Considering that those actors had to be good enough singers to impersonate musical legends convincingly, it is downright impressive that they are all such good actors! Of course, we all know that Beyonce can sing, but the one who surprised me the most was Columbus Short as Little Walter. I had never heard of the guy before, but he not only does a great job acting the film's most complex role, but that mofo can flat-out sing, as he proves in a silky smooth rendition of My Babe. I don't suppose that could actually be him playing the harmonica, but he sure as hell faked it convincingly.

Anyway, the reason to see the film is really the music. There are snippets from several songs, and some numbers are even sung from start to finish. (Producer Beyonce made sure that actress Beyonce had plenty of time on screen to do what she does best.) Is that so much music that it gets in the way of the excessively ambitious story? Yes, there is some merit to that argument, but the screenwriter had to ask "What's important here, the depth of characterization or the music that changed the world?" She chose to hit only the highlights of the story and to flesh the film out with the music instead of with the drama of their lives. It's an entertainment picture, with just a tiny hint of education hidden inside of it.

Right choice.

Only one regret. Aretha Franklin also recorded with Chess Records, but for some reason the film consigned her to the wrong side of the ropes. Sorry, Aretha, you're not on the list. No respect.


Although the film is rated R, the only nudity is this brief and dark look at a jumbo-breasted white groupie engaged in some hanky-panky with Chuck Berry (Mos Def) and some other white girls.

Emmanuelle Chriqui did a sex scene with Adrian Brody, but absolutely nothing is visible.

Beyonce may have shown a hint of a wisp of a suggestion of a hint of some areolae. Or not. But here's the scene if you want to see it yourself.


  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.











It's Chinatown, Jake ...

Ultra HD Film clip of Faye Dunaway.

Various samples below.






Notes and collages

Boogie Nights


Julianne Moore







This section will present Defoe's film clips to accompany Charlie's collages, which are found on his own site.

Today's entry:

Muriel Solvay in Ou Avais je la Tete








Screaming Dead


Misty Mundae








Open Window


Open Window is a drama that explores the strain on a relationship after a woman is brutally attacked and sexually assaulted.

Izzy (Robin Tunney) is an aspiring young photographer with prospects of a good career, and her boyfriend is an assistant professor on a tenure track. They are deeply in love and have just become engaged.

Izzy has her studio in their garage, and one day she is attacked and assaulted while working. Although her injuries were minor, Izzy has a real problem recovering from the emotional damage brought on by the attack, and this soon causes problems not only with friends but with her finance, who is also struggling to cope with what happened.

This is not really my type of movie, as it tends to move very slowly and methodically, but it is very well done, and fans of serious theatre should enjoy it.

Robin Tunney








Penelope Cruz film clips. Collages below.

Patricia Clarkson film clips. Collages below.









Olga Kurylenko, who never wore clothing before her appearance as Bond girl.

Aussie singer/model/actress Imogen Bailey

Michelle Brancato in Secrets of the Clown

Susie Grant in Secrets of the Clown

Former Playmate (October 1994) and Pet (June 2-002) of the year, Dr. Victoria Zdrok, up to no good. Doc Zdrok and Lynn Thomas are the only two women who have been both Playmate of the Month and Pet of the Month.

Born in Kiev when it was part of the the former Soviet Union, Zdrok was a university graduate (in the USA) at 18 and subsequently worked toward two doctorates simultaneously: a JD and a PhD. She eventually got her PhD in clinical psychology.

One of the most curious things about her is that her birth name (Victoria Nika Zelenetskaya)
is never mentioned. Zdrok is the name of her ex-husband, Alexander Zdrok.

More details


Jennifer Cubas in Crossroads

Claire Davenport in Lockout

Linda Johnson in Spiker

Ginger Kroll in Spiker

Giselle Rodriguez in Spiker

Krista Allen, from a time when she did naughtier material


Delores Del Rio in Bird of Paradise (1932)

I've mentioned this before, but for the official record: although the Hays Code (involving movie censorship) was passed in 1930, it was voluntary and had no teeth, so was often ignored. It didn't really mean much until the Catholic Legion of Decency was founded in 1934 and forced Hollywood to abide by its own existing rules starting in July 1 of that year. It is therefore possible to find some nudity in Hollywood films dated 1930-34, of which this is one example.

Other examples include: the notorious Fay Wray scenes in King Kong (1933), Claudette Colbert's breasts in The Sign of the Cross (1932), Myrna Loy's bath in The Barbarian (1933), full frontal and rear underwater nudity from Maureen O'Sullivan's body double in Tarzan and his Mate (1934), and Hedy Lamarr's notorious frontal nude scenes and breast close-ups in the Czech-made Ecstasy (1932).

(More details.)


Angelina Jolie in Wanted. Terrific collage!

Anna Faris in The House Bunny, made from an excellent source.

Paulina Porizkova in Thursday

Film Clips

Leslie Ackerman and Season Hubley in Hardcore
The women of The Revolting Dead, with a sample for each. Ashley Novak
The women of The Revolting Dead. Lindsay Lofaso
The women of The Revolting Dead. Shelley DeLayne
The women of The Revolting Dead. Stephanie Medina.
More of the large breasts of Stephanie Medina, this time in something called The Fifth Wheel: Uncensored Naked Dating. If I had a choice of which game show to be on, I'd have to say this beats the piss out of The Price is Right.

Here are a few more caps of random women from The 5th Wheel, just to give you the idea.