Saturday, June 10, 2006


Back in the ole days when MFBB made a real huge sport of not successfully chasing gorgeous broads, he sometimes found solace in movies. Although I’m not a real filmfreak I do consider myself some kind of connoisseur, which means I saw quite some which are not generally considered mainstream. Some were real jewels and scandalously underrated (while a lot of mainstream is scandalously overrated), others just deserved to linger on in Eternal Pelliculoid Limbo. Some 20 years ago I saw one I'd rate between both categories: Rumble Fish (1983), by Francis Ford Coppola. Saw it on VHS, that is. Don’t even know if it first came out in theatres over here. Rumble Fish got some genuine film noir gravitas, but altogether it's more about style than content. The story line is extremely thin, for one thing. Rebel with no cause whatsoever Rusty James (Matt Dillon) tries to live up to the reputation of his older brother “The Motorcycle Boy” (Mickey Rourke), who just returned disillusioned from a meditating trip to California, and doesn’t want to take up the thread where he left it, as a motorized gang leader. There’s a bit of rummaging with hot chicks in a lakehouse here, an awful lot of pseudoexistential babble there, and at the end Rourke gets himself killed by a cop for trying to release a stupid bowlfish in a pond. Big deal. I have no clue how Rumble Fish was ever received in the States, but for some reason, among movie aficionados over here, it acquired cult status, find that silly or not.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

One of the broads in RF was a very young Diane Lane, as Rusty James’ girlfriend Patty. And I provided this intro just to have a starting point for showcasing – tadaa – a remarkable evolution! In Rumble Fish, Lane is just sexy on 17 – not much else, and even then we get to see zilch, since the film is almost exclusively shot in black and white and there’s an awful lot of smoke, fog and shadows. In short, although I noticed her name I was not particularly impressed. Today I’d have called her a non-blonde bimbette. Pretty, but the draught of blotting-paper. Yup, that’s her on the poster. Btw, notice how young Matt Dillon looks? Saw him too in Crash of last year? Well, you have grown that older too. As did Nicholas Cage and Laurence Fishburne, who co-starred in RF. I'm not counting Dennis Hopper. He looked like an old wreck back then already.

Then, in 1992, I watched Knight Moves.

And that was a frikkin disaster. There’s a big chess tournament in a small town on an island somewhere off the coast of Washington. Then a couple of horrendous ritual murders happen. The prime suspect is chess grandmaster Peter Sanderson, played by Christopher Lambert. Lambert, as you may or may not know, is a guy who had one real good movie, Highlander (1986), but after that it was all downhill. Anyway, in Knight Moves it doesn’t help when it comes out he lied about an encounter he had with the first victim. Still, police can’t nail him, and resorts to engaging a psychology student, Kathy Sheppard (Diane Lane, Mrs. Lambert at the time) to try to get into Sanderson’s brain.

I don’t remember anymore how it ended, it was too bad. The one thing that lingers on in MFBB’s mind though is – who’d have thunk it??? – the steamy sex scene between Lambert and Lane in a hotel sauna. For the faithful BlowneastDog readership I include a clip from it to the right, but as you can see I kept the best part(s) for myself, hehe. Anyway, after Knight Moves Mrs. Lane had sunk in my opinion pretty much the way Bush’s approval ratings sank this spring, only, unlike in the latter case, I didn’t think there’d ever be a rebounce. I even thought she looked fuglier than in Rumble Fish. Yeah ladies, I know. Men.

It’s 2000, and MFBB, in the meantime finally having succeeded in chasing down a gorgeous broad nice lil Polish girl, goes to the movies with his newlywed to see The Perfect Storm!

Lo and behold, there’s Diane Lane!!! Hmmmm, there’s wrinkles in her face, and sometimes she looks a lil bit scrawny, but otherwise she don’t look bad… not bad at all. Sure, for some reason she knocks her fiancé Bobby, played by Mark Wahlberg, a blue one during banging time, and MFBB just hates female to male violence (for good measure, vice versa too, absolutely, but a man who gets brushed off by a woman, that’s so… uh… my mind has trouble coping with that, you know… OK, I'm disturbed. I admit). I include the movie poster in German: “Der Sturm” means just “The Storm”, for some reason the perfectionist Germans decided to dispense with the prefix “perfect”. Notice, to the left, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Have you got that too, every once in awhile wondering whatever happened to this or that promising actor/actress?

Anyway, The Perfect Storm, despite the prominent presence of George F*cking Looney, was very good imho. But the curious thing was that I did not remember it just for the real good story, but for Diane Lane as well, who had unexpectedly reappeared on my radar. The still to the right shows her listening to a fisherwoman’s tale as the boat her fiancé is on – the “Andrea Gail” – forever leaves the port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, forward to its inevitable rendezvous with a killer storm.

And recently my wife forced me to watch Must Love Dogs (2005), a Gary Goldberg vehicle about divorced fortysomethings in search of Mr. and/or Mrs. Right. Lane is Sarah Nolan, a preschool teacher whose family does the googling for her. John Cusack is Jake, a sailing aficionado who gets a helping hand from his lawyer. Yawn, but did Lane look goooooooooood!!! More wrinkles than in The Storm, but golly, you'd almost think it's that what makes her sexy! Or else it's the discrete décolletés? Yeah, that'll be it. A good advice from Outlaw ladies: if there's anyone among you on a Seduce and Destroy Mission right now, watch Must Love Dogs. Men Love Décolletés ya know. I'll even go deep... uh, further. DON'T make it sumpin you could park a Humvee in. But offer a tantalizing eyeful and when you see the chap on the other side of the candlelight is getting lost in transpiration assume an attitude as if the subject you're talking about is as far from sex as Ted Kennedy from Mental Sanity. Bingo, you got the bloke in your pocket, a guarantee from MFBB. OK, in the pic to the left Diane has taken that eyeful a bit to the extreme, but you get the picture. I certainly did.

We conclude this series with a final photo of Ms. Lane, who truly understands the art of looking sexey without looking like Spears Britney. Btw, the last two photos come from Ex-Donkey Blog, run by Gary, ex-Democrat who hails from somewhere in New England. Actually, it's Gary's excellent Diane Lane Archives which got me to write this post! Go say howdy to the man!

Now WHO sez women can't round Cape Fearorty and still look DAMN attractive hmmmmmmmm?


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