Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home (1998)

Coming Home is a multi-part British TV miniseries (about three and a half hours of running time) based on a book by the queen of British romance novels, Rosamunde Pilcher. She's a little old octogenarian from Cornwall who has written approximately a gazillion of these stories under her real name as well as under the pseudonym of Jane Fraser. She started churning them out in 1949. More than fifty years later, she was still on top of the game, receiving acclaim of the "romance novel of the year" variety as recently as 2002.

Coming Home portrays several generations of an extended family during the periods immediately before, during, and immediately after WW2. Handsome men go off to war, where they promptly lose vital bodily functions, or turn up missing in action, or die. Beautiful women stay behind, tend to the home front, and mourn the loss of their men. Some of the love stories lead to tragedy, some to happiness, some to bittersweet conclusions. (Usual stuff. Guy is missing in action, but does finally make it home. Good news? Not entirely, because his girl thought he was dead and married another man. That sort of thing. ) I don't know much about Ms. Pilcher's life, but I reckon that this particular story has some very close parallels to her own experiences. The lead character spends the later war years serving with the Women's Royal Naval Service, as Ms Pilcher did herself.

I popped this in the DVD player assuming it would feature typically melodramatic romances in the stuffy framework of an Aunt Biddy drama. (The Royal and Ancient Broadcast Code requires all multi-generational family sagas to include a dotty Aunt Biddy.) My expectations were not entirely unfounded, but I have to say that the British certainly know how to mount a TV show. The story features Peter O'Toole as the paterfamilias, some fine young actors in support, some handsome production values, and some interesting period detail. A passing point of interest is that the main character was played by both Emily Mortimer (as an adult) and future superstar Keira Knightley (as a teenager.)

The presentation also includes some revealing and frequent nudity from Emily Mortimer and Katie Ryder Richardson, most of it filmed in excellent light with skilled professionals behind the camera. Sweet! I would not suggest that you guys run out and rent this, but if you somehow get stuck watching it, it's not so bad at all. I actually watched the entire program, which is on two disks.

I know what you're thinking. It's all right. I had some testosterone shots after watching it, and then I watched some old tapes of the Ditka-era Bears. I'm almost back to normal now, although I still can't stop saying the word "frappe," which is amazing because I have no idea what it is, whether to spell it with an accent mark over the "e,"  or even how to pronounce it.


Emily Mortimer
Katie Ryder Richardson

Just for a handy reference, it just happens that Johnny Moronic captured another great Emily Mortimer nude scene yesterday, this one from The Sleeping Dictionary:


Best Nude Scene Balloting:

Other Crap:

Vladimir Putin Emoticons

Five clips from The Matador

  • In writer/director Richard Shepard's dark comedy "The Matador," Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan) is a hit man who's very good at what he does, but is losing his taste for the business. Danny is a salesman whose marriage and finances are in trouble. One night, at the hotel bar, these two men meet. Before long, they find themselves having an extremely unique Mexico City experience, one that will change them both forever. Julian the hit man and Danny the ordinary American businessman find that, while they have nothing in common, they both need each other in ways they never knew they would.

2005 Foot-in-Mouth Awards

Recording Industry Association of America sets its sights on protecting intellectual property in Russia.

  • Good luck with that one, lads.

"I want people to have what I have. A whole range of guns made from office supplies."

J.K.Rowling is ready to write the final Potter book

SADDAM CALLS HIS TORTURERS "RANK AMATEURS" ... Fears For the Future of Torture in Post-Saddam Iraq

Judge Tosses Restraining Order Against Letterman

Audiences packed Broadway theaters in 2005

Researchers find Hummer purchaser with average-sized penis, suspect error in the database.

The trailer for Glory Road

  • "'Glory Road' tells the inspiring true story of the underdog Texas Western basketball team, with history's first all African American starting lineup of players, who took the country by storm, surprisingly winning the 1966 NCAA tournament title. Josh Lucas stars as Hall of Famer Don Haskins, the passionately dedicated college basketball coach who changed the history of basketball with his team's victory in this time of innocence."

Larry King's show on the Claus Break-Up

Brad Pitt as Jesse James!



Movie Reviews:

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




The Elective Affinities (1996)

The Elective Affinities is an Italian art piece based on the Goethe novel Die Wahlverwandtschaften. While this is considered one of the genuine masterpieces of the 19th century, the film was clearly something less than that. I am unsure whom to blame for the following plot.

Complete Spoilers

A statue is rescued from the bottom of the sea during the opening credits. At a subsequent exhibition of the statue, a woman named Carlotta (Isabelle Huppert) sees former love Edoardo (Jean-Hugues Anglade) for the first time in twenty years . He proposes that very day, and they live happily at his Tuscany estate for a year. Then he decides to invite former school chum and unemployed architect Ottone (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) to live with them. Ottone and Carlotta are immediately attracted to one another, and that biological phenomenon is explained to the others and the audience using a chalk board as a visual aid, as if John Madden were outlining a tricky football play. Carlotta decides to invite her goddaughter Ottilia (Marie Gillain) to live there as well, thus balancing the equation. Everyone performs according to the play book outlined on the chalk board. Carlotta spends most of her time with Ottone, while her hubby devotes his time to Ottilia.

So far, nothing too strange. Carlotta and Edoardo reunite for a night of love, and she gets pregnant. Shortly thereafter, Ottone leaves, and Edoardo leaves for the army, wishing to die, since he can't have Ottilia. When the baby is born, it has Ottone's bright red hair, and a face like Ottilia, so much so that it even has a facial mole like hers. So, people were obviously playing musical beds, right? No. The script specifically emphasizes that Ottilia is still a virgin when Carlotta gives birth. The reason that the baby looks like Ottone and Ottilia is that Carlotta and Edoardo were fantasizing about them when the baby was conceived.

Edoardo is wounded in the military, but recovers with the help of Ottone, and they both return to the villa to see if they can again find happiness. Meanwhile, for some reason, everybody's fate is in the hands of Carlotta, who must agree to a divorce in order for everyone to be properly paired with their true love. She, of course, must refuse, else the film would end there. As the men return, Ottilia accidently drops the baby into a lake for only two seconds, but the baby drowns. This somehow releases Carlotta to consent to the divorce, but now Ottilia doesn't want to play. Carlotta and Edoardo do not divorce.

Ottilia then proposes to return to school, but when it is clear that the others won't let her go, agrees to stay if she can never speak and take all of her meals alone in her room. This is a subterfuge while allows her to commit suicide by starvation. Meanwhile, Edoardo has a heart attack and dies, so Edoardo and Ottilia are buried together.

End Spoilers

If I hadn't watched this, I would not believe it. I wasn't alone in my bewilderment. I was unable to find a positive critical review. There's nothing wrong with the acting, and the dubbing is good enough. My problem here is with the story, especially in the last third of the film. Goethe apparently believed that, much like the currently popular theory of Elective Affinities in physics, people have no choice whom they are attracted to. Applied in the context of this storyline, Goethe postulated that although we can't help being attracted to others, we can honor the commitment of marriage, and that failure to do so results in tragedy.

The only conclusion I drew from the film was that 19th century nobles were incredibly weird.

One reviewer claims that Goethe does not translate well into English, and that explains why the film doesn't work. I have not read the novel, and was not able to find a detailed plot outline of it on the net, but I must assume the film's storyline to be close to the novel. It is hard for me to believe that the English language is the problem here, because the film was made in Italy by mostly French actors and dubbed into Italian. I would sooner believe that either the film makers were not capable of making lucid and entertaining cinema out of the Goethe tale, or that the source material is considered great because of the writing, not the story.

This is a D+, a failure, but I don't know how much of that failure is the fault of the original source material.

151 IMDb readers have this at a respectable 6.1. (??)

We see Huppert's breasts from the side in a very dark blue scene, and Gillain's right nipple in the instant baby drowning scene. (What do you do with a dead baby? Flash him, obviously.)


Isabelle Huppert
Marie Gillain


Youngblood (1986)

Youngblood is a by-the-numbers sports story, of the "underdog youth makes good" variety. Within this framework, the actual sports change from film to film, and sometimes the stories are about a team rather than one individual, but the basic curve of excitement never changes. The newcomer needs to excel because sports are his ticket out of a life of drudgery. The budding star has talent, but is missing some key ingredient which holds him back. After a few initial successes, he is thwarted by an evil entity. Sometimes the obstacle is a player on another team, other times an injury, sometimes the problem lies within himself. In the course of the film he overcomes the problem, defeats the nemesis, gets the girl, and wins the big game in time for the credits to roll over the applause.

In this case, Youngblood is a young American hockey player who sees the sport he loves as his only way out of a lifetime of farming or mill work. His older brother had the same dream, but an injury permanently took him out of the sport, and now the younger brother has been given a chance. He must overcome two obstacles: a thug on the other championship contender, and his own dislike of fighting. To make his challenge even tougher, he meets a girl (Cynthia Gibb) right after joining his first professional team, and she turns out to be the coach's only daughter, which doesn't please the coach.

Well, we all know the formula, so the rest of the film is predictable, but I really enjoyed this film. I basically like this formula to begin with, and it helps when the film is about a sport you enjoy and/or know something about. In the end, however, it is not the familiar story, but the unique execution that makes this kind of picture succeed or fail. In this case, the characters are all likeable, the hockey action is believable, and the film even managed a couple of serious themes. Best of all, the film is liberally sprinkled with humor. An easy watch.

Cynthia Gibb






Rachel Elizabeth in "Hollywood Sexcapades"


Dann reports on Xtro:

1983's British Sci-Fi/horror flick Xtro is a weird one, but it's fun for Sci-Fi and horror fans.

Sam disappears suddenly leaving his wife and son Tony. Tony actually saw his dad being sucked up into the sky during a fierce storm, but of course, no one believes him, and it's assumed that Sam has simply abandoned his family.

Three years later, Sam's wife is now living with Joe, but Tony still misses his dad terribly. When what appears to be Sam shows up, Tony welcomes him with open arms, but the wife senses something very different about Sam. Soon, Tony begins to be affected by his Dad in very strange and scary ways.

This film doesn't try to be good; it tries to be scary, gory, and fun to watch. It succeeds pretty well. Fans of this type of flick will love it.

Maryam D'Abo




A very small update today, this old man's bad back has flared up and it is very hard to sit at a computer. We do have Julie Delpy from "An American Werewolf in Paris. Julie shows some tits in a love making scene.

And Julie Bowen appears in a sexy non-nude scene

These two caps I forgot yesterday from "Lucky", Maureen Davis  as a "Babe in Bondage." Small peeks at breasts.



Today we'll take a look at what is going on in episode 8 "Caesarion" of Rome (2005).
Caesar too has finally arrived in Egypt and is not at all pleased when he sees in what way they disposed of Pompey Magnus. He also senses that a civil war in Egypt is imminent between young boy King Ptolemy and his older wife-sister Cleopatra. Since Egypt is Rome's main supplier of grain this has to be avoided at all cost.
Cleopatra (Lyndsey Marshal) is being held in captivity in the south and about to meet her maker when she is rescued by Caesar's envoys Vorenus and Pullo. The initially absent-minded and pot-smoking Cleo turns out to be a shrude and well-informed woman who knows how to get what she wants. And she guesses what Jules wants too, namely a son, something his wife was never able to give him. To be on the safe side she invites Pullo in her tent to...produce clip #1.
Back in Alexandria she swiftly disposes her brother-husband and hits the sack with Caesar to produce Caesarion, as you can see in the other clips (2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Interwoven are images of what is meanwhile going on in Rome in the lesbian relationship between Caesar's ex-mistress Servilia (Lindsay Duncan) and his niece's daughter Octavia (Kerry Condon).
Episode 8 turned out to be one of the better episodes where a lot is happening and without long expositions that slow some episodes down too much. I did find though that casting doubt on who the father is of Caesarion stretching credibility and historical accuracy a bit much. And I wonder if the real Cleopatra had such an unnerving and squeaky voice as pictured here.




It's paparazzi day on the menu at Catch o' the Day. The highlight is a topless Tony Collette on vacation in Italy.


The attention-grabbing Sean Young seems to have that dress painted on!  
More angles on that Sheryl Crow paparazzi shot. (By the way, the bottomless versions of this are fakes.)  
A familiar nipple from that low-profile heiress, Paris Hilton.