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The opening scenes of Volker Schlondorff's juicy film noir, ''Palmetto,'' evoke semitropical rot in southern Florida with such a deliriously sensual appreciation of evil that when the movie eventually runs amok, you can almost forgive it for becoming a shrill, comic self-parody. The film, adapted from a novel by James Hadley Chase, aspires to out-noir every other film noir that has been lumped under that popular term, including ''The Big Sleep'' which it resemblesin plot trickery and steaminess. Like ''The Big Sleep,'' ''Palmetto'' finally gets lost in a haze of increasingly farfetched plot complications.
Florida is the ideal state for film noir. Not the Florida of retirement villas and golf condos, but the Florida of the movies, filled with Spanish moss and decaying mansions, sweaty trophy wives and dog-race gamblers, chain-smoking assistant DAs and alcoholic newspaper reporters. John D.
Shue is currently starring in the Amazon series The Boys. Her mother was a vice president in the private banking division of the Chemical Banking Corporation. Her parents divorced when she was nine. Her younger brother, Andrewis also an actor, best known for his role as Billy Campbell in the Fox series Melrose Place.
Elisabeth Shue is the archetypal girl-next-door beauty with the drop-dead body under her puffy sweater. In Adventures in Babysittingshe was the babysitter trapped in big, bad Chicago with a bunch of troublemaking kids. In CocktailLiz played the sweet rich girl being wooed by blue-collar bartender Tom Cruise against her daddy's will.
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Like the palmetto bugs that the film and its chief location take their name from, reporter Harry Barber Harrelson spends his time skittering around the Florida backwaters, bumping into things and getting stepped on by The Man. As the film opens, Harry's just been sprung from the state pen, where he's spent the last two years on a trumped-up charge. He's a mensch, a schlemiel, a putz whose luck has pretty much run out, leaving him with little choice but to make one final grab for that brass ring in Harry's case it isn't even that -- copper is probably all that he could manage.
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This weekend, Elisabeth Shue returns to the big screen playing Sheriff Julie Forester in Piranha 3Dthe must-see gore- and giggle-fest about prehistoric, carnivorous fishes that are released into Lake Victoria, where they feast on barely clothed coeds during spring break. Speaking of sinking teeth into hot chicks, we wouldn't mind taking a bite out of the beautiful blond, who we've had a thing for ever since The Karate Kid That's why we're taking a look back at Elisabeth Shue's hottest roles.