Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dan Curtis dead at 77

Television producer/director Dan Curtis has died. He was 77.

Curtis was diagnosed with a brain tumor four months ago and passed away at his home in Brentwood, California on Monday, March 28 - 20 days after his wife Norma Mae Klein's death from heart failure.

The director/producer was best-known for his Emmy Award-winning mini-series War And Remembrance, and horror movies including "The Night Stalker", "Burnt Offerings", "Trilogy of Terror", "Shadow Of Fear" and the hit supernaturally themed soap opera "Dark Shadows".

Curtis leaves behind two daughters, Cathy and Tracy.

(On a personal note, my brief dealings with Curtis and his staff in 1997 were some of the most enjoyable of my career. I'll always be a little sad that the "Dark Shadows Roleplaying Game" never came together.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Isaac Hayes speaks for himself,
says Isaac Hayes spokeswoman

It's official. Isaac Hayes has replaced Tom Cruise as the Biggest Scientology Clown.

In what is probably the last gasp of the 'South Park'/Chef/Isaac Hayes controversy, Mr. Hayes has come out to deny rumours that he is a stroke-ridden vegetable and that he does the bidding of his Scientology overlords in all things and that he speaks for himself.

Actually, he didn't really say that. A spokeswoman did.

Here's a free tip to Mr. Hayes: If you want to show that you make your own decisions and speak for for yourself, don't do it through a "spokeswoman."

"Isaac Hayes Speaks For Himself," Says Isaac Hayes Spokeswoman

Isaac Hayes has denied a report by gossip columnist Roger Friedman that he suffered a stroke in January and that his current condition was the actual reason for his decision to quit the animated series "South Park".

Through a spokeswoman, Hayes also denied that Scientology "handlers" were behind his sudden departure. She declined to comment on the opening episode of the series, which aired last Wednesday, in which his character, Chef, appeared to be killed off.

The spokeswoman acknowledged that Hayes did check into a hospital earlier this year because of high blood pressure and exhaustion but that he is now doing well.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

'Find Me Guilty' is okay, but not great

Find Me Guilty (2006)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver, and Alex Rocco
Director: Sidney Lumet
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

When life-long gangster Jackie Dinorsio (Diesel) is offered a chance to escape a 30-year prison sentence by turning state's evidence against his former Lucchesi Crime Family associates, he refuses to turn on those he considers his friends. Instead, he turns the biggest organized crime trial in American history into a vehicle to express his view of family values within the Family.

I like lawyer/court room movies. I like Vin Diesel, and I really liked him in "The Pacifier". I walked into "Find Me Guilty" really wanting to like the movie alot. Unfortunately, I found it a little lacking.

Some critics have complained that the movie turns morality upside down--the mobsters are basically the good guys here (with one exception--mob boss Nick Calabrese, played by Alex Rocco), while the federal prosecutor is a complete rat bastard--but I really didn't mind this aspect of the film, because the character of Jackie Dinorsio is the point of view from which the story is told, and he is truly convinced that all his criminal associates truly are "good fellas." The weakest point in the movie to my mind was the lead prosecutor was portrayed as so over-the-top that he brought down the rest of the movie. (Why did he have prison guards harass and beat up Dinorsio on the night before the Big Final Trial Witness was to appear in court?) Every other lawyer portrayed seemed believable, but the prosecutor did not. (Being that "Find Me Guilty" is based on the real-life 21-month RICO trial of a dozen or so New Jersey mobsters, perhaps the real-life prosecutor really was such a over-dramatic jerk... but he should have been toned down, because he was out of step with the rest of the performances in the film.)

"Find Me Guilty" is definitely Vin Diesel's show, and he manages to truly get the audience to feel sympathy for the wise-cracking Dinorsio, who, in the face of all the facts around him, continue to cling to his notion that there truly is love and respect shared between mobsters. To the very end, Dinorsio hangs onto this idea and continues to espouse it as he mounts a defense of himself and his buddies as his own attorney. In fact, the only friends that Dinorsio seems to have is the lead mob attorney (expertly played by Peter Dinklage) and the presiding judge (Ron Silver) who seems to develop some affection for Dinorsio as the trail unfolds; but Dinorsio never notices. If he does, he doesn't let it show.

There are plenty of chuckles in "Find Me Guilty", but I would have liked for more belly-laughs in the film. I recommend it if you enjoy mob movies or court-room dramas. I don't think it's a great movie, but I think my time watching it was well-spent.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A history of Gary Glitter,
child-molesting scumbag

NOTE: Back in November, I posted what I thought was the complete tale of pedophile and alleged child rapist Gary Glitter. Turns out, it's an ongoing and unfolding tale.

New chapters will be added to the bottom of the post as they appear.

Today's addition (3/15): "Gary Glitter to appeal sentence for molesting two young girls."

Well, I thought the sentencing of Gary Glitter would be the last we'd hear of this piece of human garbage. No such luck. First, he borrowed a page from the "Michael Jackson Playbook for the Pervert Who Wants to Play the Victim" and declared he was set up by sinister conspirators... this after his many "defenses": "I was sleeping with the girls to protect them ghosts! No, wait! I had my tongue down her throat because I was teaching her English!"

Well, the latest chapter sees Ole Hairy Gary filing an appeal to his sentence. I wonder... do judges ever EXTEND sentences when they're appealed? Sure would be nice if a judge would lock Gary up for the maximum amount of time.

And now... "The Saga of Gary Glitter, Child-Molesting Scumbag"

Here's the tale of in internatiional pedophile who may finally be getting what he so richly deserves. Since at least the 1980s, it appears he's been having sex with children.

In 1999, pervert and third-rate ex-popstar Gary Glitter was convicted for possession of child pornography, with extra consideration for being stupid.

From the BBC...

Pop star Gary Glitter has been jailed for four months after admitting to a collection of 4,000 hardcore photographs of children being sexually abused.

Friday, November 12, 1999 Published at 15:35 GMT

The BBC's Stephen Cape reports: "Gary Glitter is tonight behind bars"The admission comes just hours after the rock idol was cleared of eight counts of sexually assaulting a teenage fan nearly 20 years ago.

Solicitor Henri Brandman said Glitter would appeal against the sentence. He will be placed on the sex offenders register.

Reappearing at Bristol Crown Court, Glitter admitted 54 offences of downloading porn from the Internet dating between 3 January 1997 and 18 November 1997.

He replied "guilty" in a strong, clear voice after the first count was put to him and his voice became less clear with each subsequent charge.

The judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, described the pictures in Glitter's vast library as "filthy and revolting" and of the "worst possible type".

Glitter as glam-rock starThe charges came after a member of staff spotted the material on Glitter's computer, in for repair at PC World in Bristol.

Mr John Royce, QC, told the court that a technician tried to correct the fault and in order to see if he was successful had to look into a file. But what he found, said the QC, was "disturbing".

A police sergeant arrested Glitter when he returned to collect his computer.

An initial examination of the computer revealed that it stored "the most appalling images" of very young children engaged in most humiliating sexual acts, said the QC.

The examinations, said Mr Royce, revealed firstly that he had downloaded the material and secondly "that it was carefully, deliberately and enthusiastically done".

More than 4,000 such images, mostly of young girls but many of young boys, were found.

Mr Royce said they showed "very young children, some appeared as young as two, in the main ranging from three, four, five and six up to possibly about nine or 10".

In mitigation the defence said Glitter had downloaded the pictures soley for his own use and was simply in possession of them, but the judge rejected this, saying Glitter had diligently visited sites worldwide.

News of the initial arrest prompted further allegations of assault in a newspaper - dismissed by a jury earlier on Friday.

The singer had always denied four counts of indecently assaulting a girl in the early 1980s when she was under 16.

He also denied four charges of serious sexual assault against the same girl, who is now 34 and married with children.


After the verdict the Press Complaints Commission said it would investigate revelations that a newspaper paid the woman who made the allegations.

The court was told that the woman had taken £10,000 from the News of the World in exchange for her story and would receive £25,000 if the star was convicted.

The judge had branded the pay-out "highly reprehensible". He said: "It is not illegal but it is to be greatly deprecated."

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, has also called for a full report from the judge over the payments.

Gary Glitter, charged under his real name, Paul Gadd, smiled as the not guilty verdict was greeted by cheers in the public gallery. He turned to the jury, put his hands together and said "thank you".

The woman told the News of the World that she had met the artist aged 14 when he invited her on stage and she sang a song with him.

The woman claimed that the friendship, which was encouraged by her parents, developed into a sexual relationship.

The jury was told that during their stormy relationship the star convinced her he was serious about their affair and would threaten suicide if the woman tried to end it.

The woman told the court that she went to the News of the World in 1993 to "get him to leave me alone". She received £10,000 for revealing that he was "bald and a wig-wearer".

She then approached the newspaper again after hearing of his arrest.

So, what does a harmless guy who just had some misconstrued art photos on his computer do after spending time in in the pokey for possession of childporn do? He immigrates to Cambodia, childporn capital of the world and choice vacation spot for pedophiles everywhere!

And what does this perfectly upstanding gentleman do once he's in the Far East? Fast-forward to 2003...

Gary Glitter deported from Cambodia, entered Thailand

Former pop star Gary Glitter has now entered Thailand after beeing deported from Cambodia for paedophilia.

Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was detained there on 26 and 27 December and was deported on December 28, the Foreign Office said.

He is understood to have been deported to Thailand.

Glitter's lawyers are understood to be challenging the deportation. After he was detained, the decision to deport him was taken by the Cambodian authorities.

British officials had no involvement in the decision, the Foreign Office said.

Foreign Office officials were unable to say exactly why Glitter had been detained and then deported. He was convicted in Britain in 1999 of downloading child pornography from the Internet and served half of a four-month sentence before being released.

More than a year ago he moved to Phnom Penh, which has gained a reputation as a centre for paedophilia, and Cambodian police have had him under surveillance.

The country's Minister for Women's Affairs, Mu Sochua, last year called for him to be expelled because of his conviction in England but the government said that would not happen unless he broke Cambodian law.

So... even the Child Pornography Capitol of the World couldn't tolerate this guy, this shining example of humanity. (Okay. Let's drop the sarcasm... this stupid scumbag.) I can't help but wonder what laws he broke, after moving to the center of pedophelia in the primary tourist spot for child molesters?

Of course we don't know WHAT lawys he broke to get himself deported, but it probably wasn't jaywalking or removing the tags from his matress.

But there's more. Glitter continues to be man of singular idiocy and uncontrolled urges.


Glitter may face firing squad death


Disgraced Seventies rock star Gary Glitter could face death by firing squad after he was accused of having sex with a girl aged just 12, police said.

Sexual intercourse with a 12-year old regardless of whether there is consent is still considered rape under Vietnamese law, with a maximum penalty of death before a firing squad, according to the police.

The revelations come after two girls, aged 12 and 18 years old, told the police they had sex with the former singer - real name Paul Francis Gadd - at his rented home in the southern resort of Vung Tau in Vietnam.

There were conflicting reports that the second girl had not yet turned 18. Under Vietnamese law, sexual contact with a minor carries varying degrees of penalties, depending on the charge.

"Obscene acts with a child" can lead to up to 12 years in prison while child rape carries the maximum penalty of death before a firing squad.

"Having sex with a 12-year-old girl, regardless of whether he had her consent, is still considered child rape under Vietnamese law," a police officer said.

The 61-year-old former singer was arrested on Saturday at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City as he tried to flee the country. He left his rented home in Vung Tau a week ago amid allegations about his relationships with two teenage girls. The police had been searching for him since.

Glitter has been taken back to Vung Tau for further investigation by the police. He has not been charged with any crime but remains in custody at a jail outside the coastal city, police said.

Vung Tau police said they were continuing to investigate the case and will be questioning him further. The case has been highly publicised in the state-controlled media, which had reported that Glitter was seen in Vung Tau with several teenage girls, whom he invited to his home, since moving to the area in March.

Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper reported today that the two girls were invited to Glitter's home, where he paid them for sex. The 12-year-old told police she had sex three times with Glitter, who paid her £5.50 each time, the paper said.

Continuing to solidify his image as a pervert and an idiot, Glitter cooks up the lamest defense ever... "I was not diddling little children, I defending them from ghosts!"

From the AP...

Gary Glitter's Ghost Story Defense
Mon Dec 12, 4:00 AM

Gary Glitter is pulling out the ghostbuster card.

The "Do You Wanna Touch" singer, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, has confessed to Vietnamese authorities that he let an 11-year-old girl sleep in his bed. Ah, but there's a twist: According to his lawyer, Glitter claims that he shared his bed with the girl not so he could molest her, but because she was afraid of ghosts.

According to published reports, Glitter, a convicted sex offender, offered up the spooky tale during police questioning.

"[Glitter] answered that when this girl [and her aunt] came to his house, he put them in the guest room. But in the middle of the night, they said they were very afraid of ghosts and they cannot sleep. So they came to his room and slept there," Glitter's Vietnam-based attorney, Le Thankh Kinh, told the Associated Press.

Kinh, who sat in on the interrogation, noted that this wasn't the only time they wanted to snuggle up to the one-time hitmaker, famed for the sports-friendly anthem "Rock and Roll Part II."

At another time, when Glitter had told them emphatically that they could not enter his bed, "the girls explained to him that in Vietnamese families, the father, the mother and the children sleep in one bed," the attorney said.

Glitter also admitted to being with several other girls, but denied touching them inappropriately.

"He said he think they are like his grandchildren," Kinh added.

In any case, it looks like "Grandpa" Glitter has a lot more explaining to do. Previously he told officials he was merely tutoring the youth with their English.

Investigators working the case have reportedly spoken six females, ranging in age from 11 to 23, who claim they were intimate with the crooner.

Because officials consider Glitter a flight risk, it's possible he could remain behind bars for at least another month before his request for bail is granted. The entertainer however has been permitted to leave his cell to visit with British consular officials, though it's not known what was discussed.

It seems like the firing squad is almost too good for this piece of trash, but now it looks like The Gary will be dodging the bullet. Maybe we'll be seeing the Ghost Defense become popular elsewhere.

Vietnam Cops Complete Gary Glitter Probe

From Associated Press
December 26, 2005 8:15 AM EST

HANOI, Vietnam - Police in southern Vietnam have completed investigation into former British rocker Gary Glitter's alleged obscene acts with a child, his attorney said Monday.

"It's likely that the findings of the investigation will be handed over to him this week," Glitter's Vietnamese attorney Le Thanh Kinh said in a telephone interview.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, is being held at Phuoc Co prison outside the coastal Vung Tau city on suspicion of engaging obscene acts with a child, an offense punishable up to 12 years in prison.

He was seized while trying to board a flight to Bangkok from Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 19.

Kinh said no additional charge was raised by the police investigators.

Police earlier said they were looking into a child rape charge, an offense punishable by death, after medical tests on the girls including an 11-year-old and 12-year-old showed evidence of intercourse.

The case will be passed to provincial prosecutors for review. It will take a month for prosecutors to decide whether to put Glitter on trial.

Charges have been filed, and the odious Glitter is now in front of a court.

Glitter Molestation Trial Opens in Vietnam

By TINI TRAN (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press

March 02, 2006 7:39 AM EST

VUNG TAU, Vietnam - The trial of former British rocker Gary Glitter opened Thursday on charges that he molested two underaged Vietnamese girls at a seaside rental home in southern Vietnam.

The former glam rocker has been accused of kissing, fondling and committing other obscene acts with a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old at his residence in the southern port city of Vung Tau last year. He has denied the allegations.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, wore black pants, shirt and cap as police escorted him through a scrum of reporters Thursday morning into the yellow concrete courthouse in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

Glitter held up two fingers in a victory sign and said only one word: "Innocent."

The trial is closed to the public but the verdict will be read publicly on Friday. He faces three to seven years in prison if convicted.

The former rocker has said he was teaching the girls English at his home and considered them "like his grandchildren."

Teaching them English while Frenching them....

And now, the final chapter.

March 2, 11:00pm, PST

Gary Glitter jailed for child abuse

A Vietnamese court has convicted former glam rocker Gary Glitter of molesting two under-aged Vietnamese girls and sentenced him to three years in prison.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was found guilty of committing obscene acts with a 10-year-old and 11-year-old girl at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau last year. The judge also said Glitter would be deported from Vietnam after serving his sentence.

The court, in its verdict, cited graphic testimony from the girls that Glitter had fondled and molested on multiple occasions in his rented home and in nearby hotels.

In reading out the verdict, Judge Hoang Thanh Tung condemned Glitter's actions. "Caring for children is to care for our future...but Gary Glitter's acts went against this," the judge said. "He sexually abused and committed obscene acts with children many times in a disgusting and sick manner."

The disgraced British rocker showed no emotion while the verdict was read out, but threw the court into disarray by proclaiming his innocence afterwards.

"I haven't done anything. I'm innocent. It's a conspiracy by you know who," Glitter shouted, apparently referring to British tabloid newspapers that had tracked down his presence in Vietnam.

Reporters and onlookers, allowed into the courthouse in southern Ba Ria-Vung province to hear the verdict following the closed two-day trial, pressed towards Glitter in a scene of pandemonium as police fended them off and escorted him out of the building.

He has 15 days to appeal. His lawyer Le Thanh Kinh said Glitter would be eligible for parole in a year, after he serves one-third of his time.

Glitter, who looked visibly thinner since his arrest, has been held at Phuoc Co prison outside Vung Tau since November 19, when he was caught at the Ho Chi Minh City airport trying to board a flight for Bangkok. Police confiscated his laptop, which had hundreds of pornographic pictures on it.

His fall from grace began with a conviction in Britain in 1999 for possessing child pornography. He served half of a four-month jail term. He later went to Cambodia and in 2002 was expelled from that country, but Cambodian officials did not specify any crime or file charges.

Like any "man" who can only get off when raping little children, Gary Glitter can't take his punishment like a man.

Child Molsting Rocker to Appeal Conviction

From Associated Press
March 15, 2006 11:39 PM EST

HANOI, Vietnam - British rocker Gary Glitter has decided to appeal his three-year sentence for child molestation, his lawyer said Thursday.

Glitter, 61, whose real name is Paul Francis Gadd, was found guilty of committing obscene acts with a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl at his rented seaside villa in southern Vung Tau last year. He was convicted and sentenced on March 3 at a court in Vung Tau province.

"He told me he was innocent so he has to appeal to clear this matter," attorney Le Thanh Kinh said Thursday.

Kinh said he met with Glitter at Phuoc Co prison on Wednesday and that his client signed the appeal petition, which will be forwarded to the appeals court in Ho Chi Minh City.

One final note... Gary Glitter seems to have taken a well-earned place in popular culture. According to the Wikipedia...

"Gary Glitter" has become a well-known piece of vulgar Cockney rhyming slang. (Gary Glitter = shitter, meaning anus or toilet.) eg. "He takes it up the Gary" or "I'm gonna use the Gary".

Check out the entry at for a summary of all the above.

Friday, March 3, 2006

Dirty cops must silence witness in '16 Blocks'

16 Blocks (2006)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, and David Morse
Director: Richard Donner
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Broken-down, burned-out NYPD detective Jack Mosely (Willis) is given a simple assignment: Escort a prisoner, Eddie Bunker (Def), sixteen blocks from the police station holding-tank to the courthouse so he testify before a Grand Jury. The prisoner has to be there by 10am, because if he isn't, the Grand Jury is dismissed and the prosecutor's case will fall apart. But even in New York traffic, two hours to cover sixteen blocks should be easy, right? Well, not if the witness's testimony is going to expose police corruption reaching from the streets to highest pinnacle of power within the NYPD.

"16 Blocks" is, basically, a lesser version of the story told in the classic movie "The Gauntlet". Here, like in that film, a cop who is just marking time until retirement manages to summon up whatever spark first inspired him to join the police and do the right thing against ever-increasing odds; a major difference between the Eastwood character in "The Gauntlet" and Mosely is that he is aware that other cops are trying to kill his charge from the outset, and that this is what sparks his desire to overcome in the first place. Another difference is that while the witness in "The Gauntlet" was annoying, Sandra Locke's character at least had some likable qualities to her. There is nothing particularly likable about the character played by Mos Def in "16 Blocks"--not even his oft-stated dream to leave crime behind and become a baker, because it never once rings true--and his nonstop babbling and truly obnoxious voice becomes nerve-grating more than once. Finally, there is a difference in intensity... in "The Gauntlet", here's a sense of ever-increasing danger and pressure. That never occurs here... the film reaches a level a few minutes in and stays there, despite the many shoot-outs and close calls between Mosely and his pursuers.

Bruce Willis gives a great performance as a man who is way past his prime and in over his head; there are several times where his facial expressions say more than any lines of dialogue could. Unfortunately, his co-star, Def, is so annoying that I found myself wishing someone would shoot his character now. Willis also has the problem that he's in a movie that doesn't seem to go anywhere. There's a great build-up to the moment when assassins take a shot at Bunker, and it feels like the film will get even tenser when Mosely realizes that his old partner (Morse) and other detectives that seem to come to his aid are actually part of the plot to silence the witness... but instead the momentum seems to stall. The film coasts through the roughly one-and-three-quarter hours of real-time as Mosely struggles to deliver Bunker to the courthouse alive, eventually coming to a sputtering halt at its ending.

"16 Blocks" had a lot of potential, but it never really lives up to its promise; like its hero, it seems to be coasting, but unlike the hero, it never finds its "spark" or redemption. It is a film that any big time Bruce Willis fan should check out--he is quite good in it. The rest of us are probably better off picking up a copy of "The Gauntlet" if we haven't seen it yet.