Kathryn Erbe has come close to stardom, or at least B-list stardom. I suppose the apex of her career was a good 1999 supernatural movie called "Stir of Echoes," which might have been a hit if it had come out two months sooner. It came out in early September of 1999, about a month after The Sixth Sense, which was a box office phenomenon, and a very similar movie. Stir of Echoes not only came out while The Sixth Sense was still kicking box office ass, but it happened to be released the very same weak as Stigmata, another supernatural thriller.

Stigmata took the #1 spot that week with about $18 million, barely ousting The Sixth Sense from the spot it had held for more than a month. The Sixth Sense was still a strong second with $16 million. Stir of Echoes did manage to finish third, but far behind with only $6 million. It dropped only 32% in its second week, which was a sign that it had some good word of mouth, but it has simply started too slow and the field was too crowded, so it finished with a mere $21 million.

If Stir of Echoes had come out in July of that year, Kathryn Erbe might now be a household name. It didn't, and she isn't. So it goes.

Here's a video clip (zipped .wmv) of her frontal flash in Oz.

Here's a preview collage



Mr and Mrs Smith (2005)

I usually write these summaries long after the film has come and gone from the theaters, and that chronology affects my perspective significantly. If I had reviewed this when it came out, the summary might have concluded, "It's been a very dry summer, and this is about the only thing that might entertain you this week, especially if you're looking for popcorn entertainment." The story is different now. Watching the movie, then looking back on its impressive box-office performance, one must conclude that the proper focus for the article is, "How in the world did this average movie become such a monster hit?"

The answer is that all the planets had to align perfectly, and they did.

1. Jolie and Pitt are just about the biggest stars in the biz, and they are just about the ultimate in potential couples, if the sole criterion is that portion of DNA which controls physical appearance. It would be difficult to name a more beautiful couple, even given a completely blank slate, unrestricted by whether the two people really are a couple. Paul Walker and Jessica Alba? Maybe, but they seem like callow kids, while Pitt and Jolie also have all this talent, all this ... presence. And then the ultimate potential couple seemed to become a couple for real. Not only that, but they never came out and admitted it, and the whole thing happened in the high media glare which was already upon the Pitt-Aniston relationship.

2. The summer line-ups just seemed to work out perfectly for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The new releases in the previous week were Cinderella Man (a good picture which bombed), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and the Lords of Dogtown. The new releases opening directly against Mr. and Mrs. Smith were The Honeymooners, High Tension, and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl. No popcorn. No humor. Nothing for guys. Nothing even close to a hit. That was a summer weekend, with plenty of movie-going dollars to spread around, but if you were looking for some light summer entertainment that weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Smith was just about your only choice from among the movies of the two most recent weeks. The following week brought Batman Returns, an excellent but deadly earnest film which still left all the comedy dollars on the table for the Smiths.

Everything had to work together. Summer. The Competition. The Stars. The Gossip. Take away any of those elements, and this film loses much of its appeal. Take them all away, and it goes nowhere. Make the same movie with Walker and Alba, have those two remain faithful to their previous lovers, release the film in February against a good comedy ... nothin'.

I suppose every successful movie has a touch of genius and a lot of luck, and this was no exception. It obviously had the luck, and the genius was there as well, although it was not filmmaking genius, but marketing genius.

The basic premise of the film? A deadly assassin has married just to have a cover. Unbeknownst to him, his wife is also a successful assassin who has done the same thing. Neither is aware of the other's true career. One day they both happen to be assigned to the same hit and ... well, you get the idea. Their cover blown, they are soon assigned to kill one another, and then they end up working together, blah blah.

The entire film is essentially a deadpan comedy. There is not one moment when their situations can be viewed as credible. They each have surreptitiously assembled massive stashes of documents, money and ammunition in their home - behind paintings, beneath the tool shed, and in the stove, for example - yet neither of them has ever accidentally stumbled upon the other's secrets in their six years of marriage. Thing about that - a brilliant secret agent looking for the best place in the house to hide something never things of the same places as the other brilliant secret agent living in the same house. They both work for agencies that basically could not exist, let alone compete with one another. They are apparently both immortal, and virtually invulnerable to harm. They employ technology which does not exist. And so forth. I am not objecting to any of those things, which are all perfectly acceptable in a comedy. I'm simply reciting the litany to identify to you that the film is not meant to exist on any other level besides humor. It's a goof. A $110 million gamble of a goof - and it paid off.

You may construe that my making the following comments indicate my having taken the film far too seriously, and I will not dispute that. It is obvious that the filmmakers knew a thing or two about entertaining people because audiences across the world responded very positively with their pocketbooks. The filmmakers and marketers obviously needed no help from me. But for the record, here are my two main thoughts:

  • The only really funny moments in the film are those which involve Vince Vaughn as an assassin who still lives with his mom. I suppose the best jokes are probably Vaughn's ad-libs. I would have liked the film much better if Vaughn had been given a bigger part, and had actually seemed to be part of the movie instead of something tacked on after the fact. If Vaughn had been woven into the main fabric of the film, as Tom Arnold was in True Lies, it could have been funnier than it was.  And certainly funnier than Tom Arnold.
  • The film is more than two hours long, and the running time is extended not by witty dialogue or creative ideas, but by chase scenes and long gun battles. Of course, since the film is no longer in theaters, that point is no longer crucial. DVD allows us to do the editing which the director failed to do. I experimented, and found out that one can watch this film in 90 minutes on DVD without losing anything even remotely entertaining. I didn't skip any sections, but rather watched them in fast-forward. If you are one of those "half-full" guys, you can spin that very positively: "This blockbuster film is even better on DVD than in the theaters, because the DVD allows you to watch only the material that interests you and to devote only the amount of time you wish to devote." In other words, if you fast-forward through the explosions, car chases, and gun battles, it actually is a pretty tight piece of entertainment.

No nudity, but a hint of some visible areola from Jolie, and probably an actual nipple in collage #1. The third one is blurry to begin with, so I don't know what it is, and it's probably a stunt performer anyway.




Other Crap:

Kevin Costner's Hairdresser Nicked His Computer

  • This is shocking! Somebody admitted to being Kevin Costner's hairdresser.
  • In other news, I'm Bill Shatner's voice coach. Tape at 11.

VIDEO: Homer Simpson - Portrait of an Ass grabber ... with Dennis Franz as Homer

Here is the film clip of the firefighter who caught the baby thrown from a burning building

Some preview footage from APOCALYPTO (Directed by Mel Gibson)

Conan_O'Brien looks far, far into the future with Jack Black

The trailer for 'Catch and Release', a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Garner and ... Silent Bob??

Like the FBI, we have our "most wanted" list. Here's our hardened criminal of the day: The sentencing of a Wellington woman who smuggled a hamster into New Zealand has been adjourned after she failed to appear in court.

  • In case you were wondering, and how could you not, the hamster's name is Eric.
  • The maximum fine for hamster smuggling is five years in jail and/or $100,000.
  • In a related story, insert your own joke here about Richard Gere being in New Zealand for Peter Jackson's next movie.

Classic Weekly World News headlines

What else will Yahoo buy?

Janet Jackson has had a massive weight gain since the wardrobe malfunction.

Jon Stewart has a lame conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker

Jennifer Aniston: "I might as well pull my pants down at this point, since they've seen everything else."

Naked in Public

  • Play the "free video preview" and listen to the old lady's classical British under-reaction.

JibJab has posted their latest vid: Bush's year-end round-up

Star Wars in 30 seconds with bunnies (Now with deleted scenes!)

"King Kong Bombing Big Time at Box Office"

  • "Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' - a three-hour, $300 million extravaganza that wowed advance screening audiences - is a catastrophe in the making."

A New York woman threw her one-month-old son from the third floor of a burning building and the baby was caught by an amateur baseball player standing outside

"For the third time in four years, singer Britney Spears is No. 1 -- as far as Internet users are concerned.

  • Spears topped Yahoo's annual list of the most-searched for names on the Internet.

Letterman's "Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear At Your Office Christmas Party"

Teri Hatcher won substantial libel damages on Friday from a British newspaper that alleged she used a camper van outside her home to have sex with a series of men.

  • The Sport's lawyer David Hirst said the paper was sorry for the article "which they fully accept was entirely false."

BBC - The life of Charles Dickens (animation)

The Nigerian Santa Scam

Bad Santa's Favorite Evil Toys

Top Ten Villainous Moments in Comics

Stern Goes Out in (His) Style

Stephen Colbert and Congressman Major Owens swap rap poems.

Some things Stephen Colbert is looking forward to in the coming year.

Daily Show Headlines - Iraq: The Vote

  • It seems like Election Day is the only time things don't blow up in Iraq.

"Until Hell Freezes Dover"

  • The Daily Show's Samantha Bee investigates a wretched town that was an idyllic paradise until they voted God out.


  • PHONINESS -- Putting on a bogus British accent when you merely vacationed in England for two weeks angers the Lord.
  • IGNORANCE -- "It really irks God when someone prays to Him using poor grammar," the Bible scholar says.

The domestic and international trailers for Freedomland

  • "Based on Richard Price's bestselling novel, which opens as a bruised and bloodied white woman named Brenda Martin stumbles into a Dempsey, New Jersey, emergency room, claiming that a black man stole her car with her four-year-old son in the backseat. Veteran detective Lorenzo Council is assigned to investigate the case, and despite reservations about Brenda's story, he launches an all-out search for the abducted boy. Jesse Haus, an ambitious young reporter for the local newspaper, also suspects that Brenda is hiding something, and she befriends the grief-stricken mother in an attempt to break the biggest story of her career. But as the search for the alleged carjacker intensifies, smoldering racial tensions between the predominantly black city of Dempsey and its mostly white neighbor, Gannon, threaten to explode."

'Desperate Housewives' will be shown in China starting on Monday", where it will be known as "ambitious, yet subservient housewives."

VIDEO: Voted Best Beer Commercial of 2005

  • You have to be patient. It stars out pedestrian, but the last few seconds save the day. Sorta

Looking back from 2105 - the Christmas gadgets of the past century

Yakov Smirnov joke of the day - in Soviet Russia, the monkey spanks you. (Warning: Really, REALLY, not safe for work. Any work. Not even if you work in the Japanese Octopus Porn industry.)

Conan does his own analysis of King Kong

A full 5 Minute Clip from Casanova

The trailer from American Dreamz

  • Bizarre premise for a comedy, but I did laugh a few times during the trailer!
  • Filmmaker Paul Weitz-whose comic explorations have ventured into the synergistic halls of corporate culture ("In Good Company"), the perils of psychological isolationism ("About a Boy") and the vicissitudes of losing one's virginity ("American Pie")-now delivers a comedy yanked from right-now popular culture...where the nation's shrinking attention span is more focused on "what's hot" than on hot-button headlines: American Dreams.

    On the morning of his re-election, the President (Quaid) decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years. This starts him down a slippery slope. He begins reading obsessively, reexamining his black and white view of the world, holing up in his bedroom in his pajamas. Frightened by the President's apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff (Dafoe) pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut (and the President's personal fave), the weekly talent show American Dreamz.

    America can't seem to get enough of American Dreamz, hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed (Grant), ever on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity. His latest crop of hopefuls includes Sally (Moore), a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend (Klein), and Omer, a recent Southern Californian immigrant (who just happens to be a bumbling, show tune singing, would-be terrorist awaiting activation). When both Sally and Omer make it to the final round of Dreamz-where the President will be judging along with Tweed-the stage is set for a show the nation will never forget.

"the biggest decline in movie attendance in 20 years."



Movie Reviews:

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




"Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom"

Terrifying Girls' High School: Lynch Law Classroom (1973) is another in the Japanese Pinky Violence collection of exploitation films. We open in a school for wayward girls, in sailor uniforms, where a group of girls identified as the discipline committee tortures another girl to death. Cut to Miki Sugimoto arriving with two other new girls. We soon learn that the discipline committee was established by the vice principle to torture any students who cause him trouble. He assigns them to orientate the new girls. Although he is engaged to his assistant, Jun Midorikawa, he is clearly having sex with the girls in the discipline team.

It becomes clear that Miki has come to the school to revenge the death of the girl from the opening scene, who was her second in command of her girl gang. To complicate things further, a young paparazzi type journalist is hatching schemes to blackmail local politicians, all of whom are connected to the school. His scheme is chiefly to get photos of them in compromising positions with the school girls.

As the powers that be began their rapid decent, Jun Midorikawa has sex with "The Chairman" to "clean up her husband's mess." She is wearing all white, and he uses a vibrator with a red center on her, making fun of the Japanese flag. I mention this as a key to what these films are all about. Director Norafumi Suzuki is demonstrating that all of the respectability in a formal Japanese society is a thin veneer, and not far below the surface, all of the establishment are perverse perverted. You can imagine how this was received by the young Japanese audiences who saw these films. Suzuki championed the marginalized in society, most especially wayward girls. All of his films contain as much nudity and sex as the Japanese censors would allow, and a liberal dose of BDSM as well. In this one, a girl is forced to drink water, then kept from using the bathroom, until she finally pees all over her school desk in class, and that is mild. They also tie girls up, and connect electricity to their nipples and vagina. As usual, there are plenty of cat fights as well.

Miki Sugimoto shows only breasts this time, but Jun Midorikawa shows breasts and buns. Reiki Iko has a cameo role in this one as a rival gang leader who wants to fight with Miki, but will wait until she has her revenge. IMDb has this rated at 8.2. Clearly, I am not the only fan of these Pinky Violence films. This, again, is a B-. Elements will appeal to many that would usually not be interested in a WIP or reform school girls sort of film.

Jun Midorikawa

Miki Sugimoto



Today from the is Celeste Sheeley gettin' it on in scenes from an episode of "Passion Cove".

Celeste Sheeley

Today we Take the Time Machine back fifteen years to 1990 for the silliest horror movie you could ever lay your eyes on... "Evil Toons". Yes, cartoon characters terrorizing the ladies! It was only an excuse to expose some flesh (so who am I to complain).

So let's have a look at some of the Scream Queens from that era all with topless scenes.

Suzanne Ager (no nudity)

Suzanne Ager & Stacey Nix, now Suzanne shows the tits.

Michelle Bauer certainly one of the all time Scream Queens.

Monique slouch herself.

Monique Gabrielle with Madison Stone

More Stacey Nix

Porn star Madison Stone

Just one actress in 4 clips today, I'm afraid.

East German-born Anne Kasprik delivers a triple B performance in an episode of Polizeiruf 110-Falscher Jasmin (1990). Anne does so both on dry land and under water but I must warn you that in some clips a nude dude can also be seen briefly.

Anne Kasprik (1, 2, 3, 4)

'Caps and comments by Dann:

"Rated X"
If you've ever seen the porn classics Behind the Green Door or Inside Marilyn Chambers, you can thank the Mitchell Brothers. This 2000 Showtime bio tells the story of the brothers who invented "porn with a story", discovered Marilyn Chambers, introduced live sex shows to San Francisco, took enough dope to kill a large whale, and pissed off the authorities so bad they were constantly in and out of jail.

The brothers entered the porn industry in the early 60's, and decided to do things differently. They made films that looked like Hollywood mainstream films, but with explicit sex. They bought an old theatre in San Francisco to show their films, and eventually turned it into a live sex club. They were constantly high on drugs, and for a while, were arrested every time they premiered a new movie.

Eventually, the drugs lead them on a downward spiral into bankruptcy, and finally the murder of Artie by Jim. Jim served three years of a six year sentence for manslaughter, and returned to running the business when he was released.

An interesting biography, with an excellent performance by real life brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez as the Mitchell Brothers. Also good was Tracy Hutson, who made a very convincing Marilyn Chambers.

Not surprisingly, the film was released with an R rating, but the caps are from the unrated DVD. It contains only a minute more film than the R version, so apparently only a few seconds of the most explicit stuff was cut.

Tracy Hutson Joanne Boland Various

Jessica Biel showing off her amazing bikini body in the action flick "Stealth" (2005).

Adriana Butoi looking very nice topless in a scene from the French film "Dormir avec le diable", aka "To Sleep with the Devil" (2001).

French-Canadian actress Marie-Josée Croze bares all 3 B's (oddly, mostly bush) in scenes from "Maelström" (2000).

Here is "Alien Vs. Predator" co-star Agathe De La Boulaye baring a bit of breast in a dark love scene as well as in a very well lit bath tub scene from "L'Enfant de l'aube" (2004).

Agathe de La Fontaine also topless. Here she is in a couple of scenes from the 1996 mini-series "La Nouvelle tribu", aka "The New Tribe".

Here is French actress/writer/director Agnès Jaoui shows a little bit of breast in a scene from "24 heures de la vie d'une femme" aka "24 Hours in the Life of a Woman" (2002).

Alexandra London goes topless in a couple of scenes from the French comedy, "Les Frères Soeur" (2000).

More toplessness...this time from Belgian actress Alexandra Vandernoot in "Un Savant Bien Tranquille"

Thanks to Squiddy for another view of Rachel McAdams' recent red carpet nip slip.

Pat's comments in yellow...

Rick Perry Has Better Plastic Hair - Texans are seeing some of the most hilariously odd political commercials ever aired: iconoclastic singer/writer Kinky Friedman (of the Texas Jew Boys band) is raising money for an independent run for governor by selling talking action figures of himself. The ads show the plastic Kinky doll holding press conferences and barking Kinkyisms at real reporters, such as "I don't know how many supporters I've got, but they all carry guns;" "I'm gonna de-wussify Texas if I have to do it one wuss at a time," "I'll keep us out of war with Oklahoma," "I can't screw things up any worse than they already are," "Criticize me all you want, but don't circumcise me any more," and his campaign slogan, "Why the hell not?!" (See them at

* Ironically, Kinky is the only politician you can tell apart from a plastic figure.
* A plastic action figure can't become a governor! Except in California and Minnesota!

Looking Up Britney - Yahoo announced that their most searched-for term on the Internet in 2005 was "Britney Spears." She's been #1 for three of the last four years, displaced last year by "American Idol." The rest of the top ten are, in order: 50 Cent, Cartoon Network, Mariah Carey, Green Day, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Eminem, Ciara and Lindsay Lohan. A Yahoo spokesman said it shows "people are fixated on the activities of pop culture icons."

* Or else it shows people are dumb as rocks.
* Most of the searchers were press agents for the people on that list.
* They actually had to SEARCH for information on these people?! I hear about them day and night, no matter how hard I try not to!
* Britney spent most of her time searching for Kevin Federline...Not on the Internet; she was just trying to find the S.O.B.