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The Bottom Shelf #151

03.13.2008

Hot women using their bodies to get what they want. Hot women using their bodies because there's no other alternative. Hot women and their hot bodies... do I really need to say anymore?

THE LAST SEDUCTION (1994)
Directed by: John Dahl
Starring: Linda Fiorentino, Peter Berg

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Linda Fiorentino is one of the few women that can get me to watch just about any movie. Even if it's not my style, even if it's a plotline that's been done a thousand times over. Even if she's nude, since while it's always nice to see a naked body, it's not like she's winning any gold medals there. (Although she'd definitely would have placed a solid silver back in the day when this film was made.) It's just that Fiorentino can take a movie, make it a theme park and then become the most popular attraction in the entire joint. She'll run you in circles, spin you around, drop you on your ass and right about the time that you're thinking you're going to be shown some mercy, she'll start all over again. The voice, the way she makes it look like a crime that they've outlawed public smoking in so many places, that feeling you get that it's not so much that she's playing a character as she's straight creating a whole new identity... all of it. There really is nothing quite like her in the business.

THE LAST SEDUCTION is a neo-noir film with a smart bitch as the lead character. Fiorentino starts off as Bridget Gregory, a powerful woman married to an "unclean" doctor (Bill Pullman, pulling one of the weakest milquetoast performances that I've ever seen a man pull out of his ass) whom she convinces to steal nearly a million dollars. When she then steals that money from him and goes on the lam, she reinvents herself as Wendy Kory (cleverly a form of New York backwards) and gains employment faster than most people can even get through a check-out line at the grocery store. Approached by good ol' boy Mike Swale (Peter Berg) at a bar, she hastily decides to make him her "Designated F*ck" before realizing that they work for the same company and he can serve the better purpose of finding a way of getting her vengeful husband off her back. Mike has his own secrets, all of which add up to Bridget manipulating the men in her life like the joints in a contortionist's body.

As I stated above, this is a movie that is all about Fiorentino. The male actors are wildly unimpressive in their roles, just more bait for the bigger fish that Linda's Bridget wants to capture. This is a film for those who enjoy a good mystery, a film for fans of hot brunettes and a great film for any woman who is in the middle of a bad break-up with an asshole who would like to watch a movie where a man more than gets his rightful comeuppance by a woman. What chick wouldn't want to live vicariously through a character like Bridget, a woman with all the right moves and a bevy full of men to manipulate like Ken dolls? This film is smart and plays the proper notes of a neo-noir mystery, but I really liked that it did it for once where the female ends up holding the fistful of Aces. We should just start renaming "Girl Power" as "The Fiorentino Effect."

Favorite Scene:

A tie between how Fiorentino gives cookies to the yokel watching her home and manages to put the nails under his tire and when she calls the cops on him to report him for flashing kids in the neighborhood so the cops come and pop him.

Favorite Line:

"I'm trying to figure out whether you're a total f*cking bitch or not."
"I'm a total f*cking bitch."

Trivia Tidbit:

At one point, Bridget gives her name as "Mrs. Neff." This is a reference to DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), a film by Billy Wilder with a similar mystery/murder plotline.

See if you liked:

RED ROCK WEST, BODY HEAT, SEA OF LOVE

THE SLEEPING DICTIONARY (2003)
Directed by: Guy Jenkin
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Jessica Alba

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-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Hey guys! Wanna see Jessica Alba's breasts? I know that there are a great deal of you holding something up right now in agreeance, but unfortunately I can't provide the option for it in this movie. Although there is the suggestion that Alba's breasts are the ones being shown. Sadly, it's also fairly obvious that a body double was being used for these shots. However, on the upside, you will get a unobscured view of actress Emily Mortimer's ta-tas and from a female stand point at least, I will say that hers are quite the set. I was rather proud of her for being willing to go the distance in the film, even though it is her character who is portrayed as the sexually naive one.

A Sleeping Dictionary, as referred to in the movie, is a woman of the local tribe that Englishmen are trying to "civilize" who "perform wifely duties" for the men stationed there, as English law prohibits them from getting married until they've been on the land for at least 3 years. In exchange, the women learn English, the Englishmen learn the native language and customs and everyone ends up all the better. Supposedly. Other than the fact that a native people's customs are being exploited by foreigners who think they know better and that the daughters of Sleeping Dictionaries are doomed to the same fates as their mothers (Alba's father is referred to as being an Englishman, therefore masking her obviously lighter skin for the story line), everything is supposed to work out hunky dory. Except for the fact that Dancy's uptight character, John Truscott, predictably falls in love with Alba and the two are given the alternative between sharing their love and running away, else be caught and possibly murdered.

There are a lot of obvious plot holes and paper thin "secrets" in this movie, but it's still interesting nonetheless. As a romance, I found it lacking. As a historical account for what happened to native people, I found it interesting. I also love that while Dancy and Alba are the young eye candy in the flick, it's also filled with veteran actors who make it worth watching for the acting skill. Bob Hoskins, Brenda Blethyn and Noah Taylor are all wonderful as usual here, prompting me to wonder if it's possible for any of them to suck. This is the perfect chick flick movie for guys to watch with their girlfriends, because even if it's a body double and not really Alba, one can always use their imagination. And Dancy is a wonderful way to get the ladies to cry in their panties. I'm actually shocked that most people haven't heard of (or at least don't talk about) this movie more. It's far from perfect, but it's a helluva lot better than FANTASTIC. Ha.

Favorite Scene:

When Truscott gives the OK for the tribe to be told who was doing the poisoning of their people.

Favorite Line:

"Iban society is based on heavy drinking, violent sport and practical jokes. Just think of it as English public school, without the buggery."

Trivia Tidbit:

This movie was actually filmed almost 2 years prior to its release.

See if you liked:

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, DANGEROUS BEAUTY, KILLING ME SOFTLY

Can you imagine what a threesome with Fiorentino and Alba would be like? Somehow it strikes me as sexy but only in a deeply disturbing kind of way.

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