Senior editor and chief film critic of Premiere magazine, 1998-2007. Appears as Dick Filth in David Foster Wallace's essay "Big Red Son." Author and Editor. New York Times Writer.
Second Sight: The Talented Mr. Ripley
It occurs to me that even seventeen years after the fact, it might not behoove me to discuss in too much detail the precise state I was in during the creation of this review. Suffice it to say it was not a condition of sobriety, and in the years since, I’ve often wondered: does the movie hold up? Can I actually stand by this review? And now I must face the question head on. Hold on a minute.
Second Sight: American Beauty
Nowadays, when people talk about American Beauty, it’s largely in terms of how overpraised it was despite being superficial and facile and full of it and how lame (sorry for the ableist language) that Wes Bentley plastic bag bit was, and so on. So, some of the yunguns in the audience might be wondering, who WERE these yoyos who thought the movie was so great?
Black Mirror Series Consistently Challenges
“The black mirror is one you’ll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone,” says series creator Brooker, but unlike Jason Reitman’s what-the-Internet-is-doing-to-us flop movie “Men, Women, and Children,” the Black Mirror series challenges the intellect and eschews stark portrayals of teenagers texting and not making eye contact (oh, the poignancy!) and concocts futuristic-scenarios that are only slightly far-fetched, poised on the outer rim of the technology we already have.
Bob Guccione's Abscam American Hustle
American Hustle, the movie starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner, chronicles the misadventures of Bale’s pot-bellied, bad-combover con man in the late 1970s. He’s got issues, this guy, largely with the people in his life: his kooky shut-in wife, his partner-in-crime lover who sports a fake English accent too frequently, an FBI agent who’s caught him dead to rights and is forcing him and his girl to scam for the government, and the Jersey politico he’s supposed to set up, but of whom he’s grown kind of fond. “Some of this actually happened,” a title card announces at the beginning of the movie. That’s one way of putting it. American Hustle is a VERY fictionalized (to the point of pretty much every real name being changed) recounting of the “Abscam” investigations conducted by the Bureau, which themselves were investigated after it became manifestly clear that the Feds had overstepped their bounds in setting up sting operations to trap corrupt politicos. Bob Guccione's Abscam American Hustle, though was no fiction at all.
Penthouse Pet & Author Sheila Kennedy
The lively Sheila Kennedy recounted her life during Penthouse magazine’s Guccione Era: “I was with Bob for ten years back in the 1980’s, and he shot me in Paris, Italy, and all over the world. We were international ambassadors for the Penthouse brand. I think. Bob put me on four separate Penthouse covers, which I think was a record. All that was great and lovely. I lived in the mansion for some time, with Bob, Kathy, and his extended family. We had holidays there and I felt like family too.”
Famous Movie Sex Scenes
Prosthetics, digitization, and other tricks of the trade can make fake sex look realer than real sex. The MPAA and its rating system are eager to put a damper on the Hollywood creatives who present new levels of verisimilitude to multiplex patrons. But most of us understand what the power of suggestion can do. Whether they are realistic or totally over the top, a good sex scene has the power to transform a movie into an Oscar-worthy production. They are not necessarily the most explicit, but the celebrity presence makes them the most powerful.
Sci-Fi Movie Women of the 80s
While auditioning for the role of Ripley in Ridley Scott's Alien, Sigourney Weaver wore thigh-high boots. She wanted to look tall, strong, and imposing. It worked. From this, one of the most hardcore female characters in sci-fi was born. Too often, when we think “women in sci-fi” we think of what used to be called “scream queens,” or actresses who appeared in scores of latter-day B pictures, running from extraterrestrials on Earth or grappling with tentacled creatures on spaceships. In the 1980s the women of science fiction films broke this stereotype. From Star Wars' Carrie Fisher to Re-Animator's Barbara Crampton, these women held their own. Strong, smart, and funny, these women's characters played key roles in the films they were featured in and in shaping the women in the genre for generations to come.
Most Beautiful Porn Stars Ever
It is a universal truth according to The Big Book of Porn, that an effective porn star must be beautiful. The second most important truth is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Hotness and beauty can be mutually exclusive qualities, and that’s almost never more clear than in porn. Late 90s star Melissa Hill, for instance, has admitted that her looks, while more than presentable, are not such that would get her into movies…but her enthusiasm and dexterity as an adult entertainer made her a major star in her era. But what about the women who have both? Those porn stars whose beauty doesn’t say “adult star” but have an actual genuine beauty like Stoya and Faye Reagan. Porn stars' beauty is more transparent than any other entertainment genre's models. The beauty is manifested in the intimate connection between voyeur and subject.