"The Tracker"

The Tracker (2000) is from the stack of films that I set aside for a rainy day because Scoopy has already done it and there is nothing earth shattering about it. By the time I slipped it in the player today, I had forgotten everything Scoopy wrote, and found myself entertained by a martial arts cops film starring Van Dien. Reasons include a reasonably coherent and involved plot, decent dialogue, some characterization, interesting supporting characters and decent photography, not to mention Lexa Doig's breasts. Re-reading Scoopys review, he also found it surprisingly watchable.

Van Dien is a private investigator in LA working for insurance companies, former NYPD, former best friend of Russell Wong, and former main squeeze of Long's sister, Lexa Doig. Seems Wong and Van Dien studied martial arts together under his father, which supposedly forms a sacred bond. The two parted when Doig left Van Dien, and Van Dien blamed Wong. Van Dien left the NYPD when he blamed himself for his partner being shot.

When Doig husband is killed and she is kidnapped, Wong recruits a reluctant Van Dien to go back to New York and help him find his sister. They meet up with a feisty woman cabby at the airport, then acquire Van Dien's wheel chair ridden ex-partner, and the four Muskateers are off to the crusades against the Chinese and Russian mobs and the NYPD. There are several plot curves and twists along the way, but there are clues from the beginning which could have been used to predict the ending.

There are no major reviews available, and the IMDB rating is down to 5.4 of 10. That is probably just a tad low. While this is not a memorable film, or one I would go out of my way to suggest, it is solid entertainment. C.

  • Thumbnails

  • Lexa Doig (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

    It has been 13 years since the last Re-Animator film, but Dr Herbert West is still as nutty as ever.

    Jeffrey Coombs is back as the unemotional, deadpan scientist who is obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. Except for a few crow's feet, Coombs is right back into the character he created in 1985. The writer even made the time-lapse make sense, because the story takes place 13 years after the last chapter, during which time Dr. West has been in prison, and the little boy who witnessed the end of the last film has grown up to be a doctor himself, deliberately asking for the assignment as prison medic in West's jail.

    In the intervening years, the Mad Doctor has been devising a scheme to add some new features to his formula for reviving the dead, the most important innovation being that the dead should now come back as reasonable people, and not as frenetic flesh-chewing zombies, because West has found a way to re-capture the human soul after it leaves the body.

    Well, of course, that would be no fun, so Dr West has to screw it up somehow, which he does by constantly robbing from Peter to pay Paul in his budget-priced experiments, a process which eventually forces him to use a rat's soul on a human, and ...

     ... and I think you can probably figure out the rest.

    It just keeps getting sillier and sillier.

    This series has always been over-the-top camp, and this one is out there in the same territory. The prison and its warden are in the mode of Dickens-meets-Dr Strangelove, the resuscitated zombies chew more scenery than flesh, limbs are ripped off casually, blood gushes everywhere and the final prison break has the same chaotic energy as the one in Natural Born Killers, except that also it tosses in a few zombies with missing limbs.

    I can't say that splatter comedy is really my thing, but I have to admit I laughed quite a few times in this film, especially at the mock gravitas Coombs imparted to all of his lines. If you want to see a horror movie, take a pass, because this one makes no real attempt to go for any real scares or a dark horror tone. It's strictly for gross laughs, and it does deliver some imaginative nonsense.

    • Rachel Gribler (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Elsa Pataky (1, 2)


    Cold Mountain (2003)

    I 'm really having trouble getting acceptable images of Kidman's nude scenes this year. If you can believe it, these are even worse than the ones last night from The Human Stain. I'll keep looking for a DVD screener. For now, these are only useful to show what we're looking for.



    Scoop, re "A-List actresses baring all"

    Interesting link, and thanks for providing it. It got me to thinking, though. For years now, the sure-fire way for a male actor to be taken seriously was to portray a mentally retarded character, or something similar. Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, for example. And I'm 100% sure that's why Cuba Gooding agreed to star in Radio. After Boat Trip and that dog-sledding movie, he had to do something.

    And now we learn that female actresses are looking to be taken seriously by appearing nude and in explicit sex scenes. Can I get a Hallelujah that it's not the other way around? We'd have Nicole Kidman portraying a retarded woman and Harvey Keitel revealing his schlong in even more movies than he already does. Sends shivers down me spine, that does.

    Scoop's note: he's referring to this link: Nude awakening: A-list actresses are baring all in the name of art.




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    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    'Caps and movie review by CKRoach:

    This is definitely not the movie to watch before one goes in for a medical procedure. It is however a good adaptation of a very exciting and well-written medical thriller. Dr. Robin Cook wrote this novel in 1976 and it was brought to the screen by another doctor, Michael Crichton in 1978.

    I remember reading this novel while a high school student. While not well versed on medicine back then, it was a story I just couldn't put down. In fact I got into trouble reading it in class.

    When it finally came to the screen it was still great. It did not seem to suffer from what is normally a letdown, when one reads a story before seeing it on screen. Michael Crichton was up to the challenge and did a great job of taking this long story and making a great, less than two hours, movie out of it.

    The movie follows two surgical residents, Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) and her boyfriend Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) as they stumble onto a medical conspiracy so horrible as to be unimaginable.

    A group of physicians are taking patients who have the proper tissue type and making them very brain dead (by substituting carbon monoxide in the oxygen system) during what should have been minor surgeries. These comatose patients are then sent to a long-term care facility which doubles as an illicit organ-harvesting center.

    Wheeler develops an interest in what is happening when her friend becomes brain dead during a surgical procedure. While trying to come to grips with the loss of her friend she begins checking into medical records which soon have her hot on the trail of the murderous doctors.

    The movie climaxes in the last few hair-raising minutes in a last minute save. Again I won't spill the beans and spoil the movie.

    The movie is still good despite some minor flaws. For some inexplicable reason the doctors are wearing short, student white coats. There are also some goofs only discernable to residents of Boston.

    The goofs are more than balanced out by the technical accuracy of the scenes. One almost experiences the thrill of inducing anesthesia and intubating a patient. Perhaps the medical devices are a little old and date the film but this is an easy flaw to overlook.

    The acting by Bujold and Douglas is great. They are very convincing as surgical residents. The film also features Richard Widmark as the chief of surgery. The film also has minor roles featuring Tom Selleck and Ed Harris.

    The movie is available at many stores near the checkouts and can be found for as low $5.99. I found it to be a definite bargain.

    The movie draws an IMDb rating of 6.7/10. The DVD features are minimal and the transfer is acceptable.

    Genevieve Bujold shows some skin behind the glass while showering, a left breast from a distance, and shows some great legs while pulling her pantyhose off to climb a ladder. There is also some boring medical nudity.

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Remaking movies makes sense. Sometimes. Take a flawed enterprise with a promising core... something like Omega Man... give it a modern twist, superior production technique, a consistent plot and there ya go... 28 Days Later.

    And so I suppose, in theory, that a remake of Hardbodies sounded like a good idea. But while in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice there is. Big fucking difference.

    Three late-thirty, early-forty losers lookin' fer some action at what's supposed to be Malibu Beach but is really Venice Beach. One of them is cowboy, a second one is a chubster and the third is a fungus in bipedal form. They are tutored in the arts of hot babe seduction by a cool, surfer dude. The two innocents eventually score with women of their own types... not real hot teenage babes, but attractive enough late 20's honeys. The fungus gets his comeupance.

    Sounds like Hardbodies to me. So how do the producers go about improving the product?

    1) They get Bronson Pinchot to play the fungus. What the fuck #1. He looks so very embarassed to be a part of this, but hunger is a strong motivating force.

    2) The surfer dude comes across as a Spicoli wannabe..or more like the turtle in Finding Nemo. What the fuck #2.

    3) Replace the form-perfect Teal Roberts with the incredibly scrawny Gabrielle Anwar. Hadn't realized just how emaciated was Ms. Anwar until I looked at this movie. I saw her and felt like feeding her, not boffing her. What the fuck #3.

    4) Hire preternaturally nekkid babes like Traci Dali, Linda O'Neill and Avalon Anders...women who can't act but do take off their clothes if asked politely....and get only one of them nekkid. What the fuck #4.

    5) More to the point, get girls to get their kits off, including Victoria Silvstedt... the only good move in the movie...enough of em so that you earn an R rating, but then do little more with dozens of others... oh a little tease here, with a nipslip there, a brief flash, a T-back... old Macdonald made a movie, eieio. In other words, remake Hardbodies with LESS nudity than the original. What the fuck #'s 5 through 35.

    Nothing about the pacing, the attempts at humor, the pathos of watching aged ugly mofos trying to hit on young babes makes thie worth watching in the absence of wall-to-wall nudity. What a frigging waste.

    Never I thought I would write these words, but if you want to see a more entertaining, superior movie, watch Hardbodies. There I said it. Sort of like saying that any one of the hundreds of wretched vampire movies made between the two Nosferatus is better than all the others.

    Okay, exposure. Major babes (by some definitions) first:

    Traci Bingham, cleavage and stuff in some skimpy clothes and some bum in a pair of Daisy Dukes.

    • Traci Bingham (1, 2, 3)

    Gabrielle Anwar, a one-frame nip peak in the shower, and an ain't-nuthin-showing scene because two tiny little flowers are hiding her two tinier little hooties. Make those hootlets.

    • Gabrielle Anwar (1, 2, 3)

    Loretta Swit... cleavage in a bra... twenty years too late.

    A bunch of well-identified minor babes gave up some goodies.

    • Portia Dawson lets something very attractive slip out from under her arms in a topless, rising from the water scene. Portia looks real good in this movie...wished we'd seen a lot more of her. (1, 2)

    • Betsy Monroe....cleavage only. A word about this scene. The asian woman interviewing her is Chinese, speaks Mandarin into the microphone and then, in flawless, unaccented English, asks Betsy to say something to the 1 billion folks back in China. But, in the credits, this woman is identified as a JAPANESE reporter. What the fuck #50. Didn't the dimwits who wrote the credits watch the movie? Or do all Asian women look the same to them?

    • Sara Melson....pokies

    • and wonder of wonders, a real topless babe. Kat Davison.

    Barely credited and uncredited babes include...

    That's it. The sum total of the exposure. A plethora of nekkid babes is the only thing that would have helped this effort. In fact, since plethora properly means an overabundance and you can never have an overabundance of nekkid women unless you are at an old folks home or Rosie O'Donnell's house, only a super-abundance of nekkid babes could have helped. And there was no such number to be found.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Well today we take the old time machine back to 1968 and a visit to "The Blood of Fu Manchu".

    This one gives me one of my favorite things, a topless babe in bondage who winds up getting a kiss from a snake. Sadly her name is unknown.

    Hope Everyone had a Safe and Happy New Year!

    Tiffany Shepis
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    The Troma regular topless, full frontal and gettin' it on in scenes from "Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp" (2003).

    Milla Jovovich

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "No Good Deed" aka "The House on Turk Street"
    This 2002 crime thriller had everything going for it good story based on a short story by Dashiell Hammett, and a great cast. Unfortunately, the movie fell short.

    Even so, ignore the sometimes slow pace and the sometimes stiff acting, and you're left with an interesting story about a cop trying to find a missing teen, who stumbles into a band of bank embezzelers about to score 10 million dollars. When the cop and the gang's bad girl fall in love, things don't end up as you'd expect.

    Meg Ryan
    (1, 2, 3)

    Señor Skin 'caps of Ryan showing a bit of nipple in scenes from the 1987 movie "Promised Land".