Friday

Tuna
"Women in Love"

Women in Love (1969) is a daring for its time portrayal of the D. H. Lawrence novel by the same name. The novel was, in good Lawrence fashion, very shocking for its time, and this film achieved the same shock value in 1969 with unprecedented nudity and on screen sex, including a 15 minute male nude wrestling scene between the two hottest actors in Great Britain. Plot summary is simple. Two middle class sisters, one a teacher and the other a sculptor, land the two most eligible upper class men in their town. One of the relationships stick, the other doesn't.

The film is filled beginning to end with pretentious dialogue and very little action. It is beautifully filmed. Glenda Jackson and Jennie Linden showed breasts more than once. Sharon Gurnay showed buns, and breasts from the side. Scoppy was enthusiastic in his review, both because it was a landmark for nudity in mainstream film, and because he had fond recollections of being allowed to see it in theaters, because it was an art film based on a great work of literature. I didn't see in in 1969 (I think I was on a freighter in the Panema Canal when it was released) and had no such nostalgic link to the film. I found it a very log, slow watch, and didn't really care about a single one of the characters. This is a C. It is well made, and a landmark for film nudity, but, unless it is your sort of film, it is weak in entertainment value. C

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  • Glenda Jackson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
  • Jennie Linden (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Sharon Gurney (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Hollywood North (2003):

    I think it was Mr Cranky who pointed out that filmmakers seem to be obsessed with making films about the filmmaking process, even though nobody really cares about the fucking filmmaking process except other filmmakers.

    Of course, given the number of people in the world who now consider themselves filmmakers, that still leaves a sizeable audience.

    This particular one is about a successful well-educated lawyer who quits his practice, circa 1980, to produce a Canadian film about one of his favorite novels. He is able to obtain substantial financing from some private investors, provided that he can deliver some big-time Hollywood names to lend box-office appeal. He manages to persuade an aging American idol to make the film, but has to make a number of concessions to his big star in order to recruit him. The most important compromise involves throwing out the entire sensitive story, which resembled a Cuban version of To Sir With Love, and replacing it with a ludicrous action plot about an American ambassador single-handedly defending the embassy against revolutionaries in Bogota. Of course, swapping scripts will get the film made, but at the cost of selling out the beloved book, the interpretation of which was the reason our hero got into film production in the first place.

    As always happens in this sort of film, everything goes wrong.

    • The American leading man is nuts, his paranoia further fueled by cocaine. Sadly, this role is played very broadly and very poorly - by the iconic British actor Alan Bates, who was to die shortly after its release. His performance is completely lacking in any subtlety, and he was unable to do the American accent. You should avoid this movie if for no other reason than to honor Bates's memory. Rent Zorba the Greek and watch that instead, and brush a tear from your cheek when Bates deliver one of the great closing lines in film history - "Zorba, teach me to dance".

    • The number two male star wants to do his own stunts, and breaks his leg.

    • The leading lady insists on seducing her co-stars at any expense.

    • The film is being made in Canada, and the snow storms prevent filming outdoor scenes that are supposed to be in Bogota.

    • And so on.

    The comedy is completely predictable, and the farcical plot is curiously and inappropriately mixed with a romantic sub-plot about the producer's inchoate affair with a woman who is filming "The Making Of ..." his movie. The producer and his director girlfriend are played as realistic true-to-life characters who have deep personal discussions, while the supporting roles are farcical caricatures all yukked up for lowbrow laughs. Strange combination, and not really very effective. It's as if Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore played out The End of the Affair in the middle of an episode of Gilligan's Island.

    • Jennifer Tilly is 45 years old now, but is still hauling out her funbags for our amusement. (1, 2)
       

    Alien (1979):

    I have a friend who used to be a pretty big-time Hollywood producer, and he told me that director Ridley Scott is a brilliant director, maybe the greatest of all time, and absolutely capable of mastering any kind of material in a very short time. Despite his admiration for Mr Scott, my friend also said that he'd never work with the guy again under any circumstances.

    It's not so much that Scott is difficult, but that he is brutally honest about everybody and everything - a characteristic which makes him great at his job, but a tough guy to spend months with on a film set.

    Of course, we can leave the negative consequences of Scott's notorious frankness to producers and actors and douchebag journalists who have to deal with him. For us fans, Ridley's honesty, when coupled with his intelligence and outspoken opinionated nature,  is actually a major plus. It's pretty damned nice to have a guy who tells the truth about stuff that happened in the process of making the film, and airs his real opinions instead of the usual  circumspect weaselling and kow-towing.

    In this case, he completely blew the lid off Twentieth Century Fox's plans to market this DVD. Fox wanted a "director's cut", so they could sell it as a new product. They asked Ridley to go back and add the deleted footage, and making it an uncut longer version. He did that. He restored several scenes, cut back in some scenes deleted at the last minute, and got a new version. Only one problem. It completely sucked. The movie was deliberately paced to begin with, and Scott felt that the balance between build-up and delivery was correct in the original theatrical cut. When he added in more "tension building" scenes, he ended up with too much building and too little payoff. Eventually, he compromised. He added in some of the scenes, but left others out, to be exiled to the "deleted footage" ghetto. (He was right. The deleted footage is unbearably dull to watch.) He also agreed to allow Fox to call the compromised version a "director's cut", but under two conditions: (1) he got to tell his story about how the real director's cut was the theatrical version (2) the studio included the original theatrical version in the DVD set, because it was still the best version, in Ridley's opinion.

    His notes are called "a director's cut redefined", and an excerpt follows:

    Upon viewing the proposed expanded version of the film, I felt that the cut was simply too long and the pacing completely thrown off. I cut those extra scenes for a reason back in 1979. However, in the interest of giving the fans a new experience with ALIEN, I figured there had to be an appropriate middle ground. I chose to go in and recut the proposed long version into a more streamlined and polished alternate version of the film. For marketing purposes, this version is being called "The Director's Cut". (Stress added)

    To film purists everywhere, rest easy. The original 1979 version isn't going anywhere. It remains my version of choice, and is presented fully restored and remastered under my personal supervision alongside the new Director's Cut in this DVD set.

    In other words, the DVD marketing is not really a lie. The director's cut is on the disks - but it's the old version, not the new!!

    ....

    Alien is often given as the answer to a film buff discussion question: "Are there any films where the sequel is actually better than the original?" Many people prefer James Cameron's Aliens to Ridley Scott's Alien. (Including Tuna, if I remember right.) I don't think either one is a better film than the other, but they are very different films. Although they are both S/F classics, Alien is basically a deliberate, slowly-building horror movie set in space, heavy on atmosphere and set design. Aliens is a kick-ass Hollywood action movie, with firepower and comic relief, basically a Bruce Willis movie without Bruce Willis. Which one you prefer depends on which genre you prefer.

    Although Alien does not actually have any nudity, I find the final confrontation, between Sigourney and the alien, to be both arousing and terrifying. In its own way, it is one of the sexiest scenes ever filmed.

    • Sigourney Weaver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

     

    MAILBOX:

    Scoop:

    Re: The Sixteenth Annual Awards for the Years Worst Reporting

    Noticeably absent---Mr. Novak's exposure of a CIA operative in his column --- oh but wait -- he was a judge  for this.

    Well, we don't talk about politics too seriously on this site, but I think I've pointed out my modest proposal to the CIA outing problem. Novak won't talk because of his rights as an American and as a journalist. It seems to me that because he outed the woman, whose secret identity was undoubtedly crucial to the war on terror, Novak should therefore be declared an enemy combatant. Ship that guy to Gitmo without his so-called "rights", and I believe that sucker will be singing like Pavarotti as soon as they attach the electrodes to his old withered 'nads.
     

     

    OTHER CRAP:

    You might want to look at this one first (hint-hint):

    • Fourth Annual Weblog Awards Nominate your favorite weblogs for the Bloggie awards to be presented at SXSW Interactive. You could nominate, for example, Other Crap (OtherCrap.com), in five or ten categories, and/or you could nominate sites that actually deserve to win.

    We now return to our broadcast:

     

     

    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for inclusion in Other Crap

     

     

    MOVIE REVIEWS:

    Here are the latest movie reviews available at scoopy.com.

    • 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.

    Brainscan
    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Talk sex (2001) could have been another Skinemax, DTV special in which the usual suspects are rounded up from the SAG B list and thrown on screen to emote and undress and sport hump. The usual suspects are there: a woman who would become a Hefmate (Katie Lohmann), a former Pet (Devinn Lane), three crossover pornabees (Diana Espen, Jezebelle Bond and Nikki Fairchild.... that's one over the quota, but I'm told Ms. Bond does other women only, so I guess she doesn't really count) and a couple of B movie bims (Jacy Andrews and Rene Rea). And there you go... the makings of the same old same-old.

    Except for one thing. That would be Kelli McCarty. Ms. McCarty is a former Miss USA (1991), with elegant facial features and an attractive, economical form. We be talking shaggable. And the woman can act! I mean, who would have thunk, but she plays the part of one talk-show sex therapist who has personal and professional conflicts with a second on-air therapist AND when she's supposed to be catty or pissed off, she really acts the full range of catty or pissed off, depending on the situation.

    Normally that shit doesn't work. Take Elizabeth Berkely in Showgirls... please. All of her many personal conflicts looked and felt staged. No subtlety or range in her anger. It was binary... on or off. Same thing with her other scenes. No matter the emotion, it was either all the way on or absent altogether.

    That is not Ms. McCarty in Talk Sex, and as a result I got interested in the character. Doesn't hurt any that said character is intelligent and witty, with an ironic sense of humor and a recreational view of matters sexual. Sounds like the perfect woman to me. Plus she has that face and those.... eyes.

    I grabbed a bunch of caps of Kelli in two sport-humping scenes and stuck em together in four collages. Ya know, she did these scenes with different approaches. In the first, she's boffing a guy she just picked up and through it all she acts cold, calculating... what's in it for her. In the second, where she and the other therapist who had been her antagonist bury the hatcher and, with it, the bone, she is warm and smiling. She is quite the gal, this Kelli person.

    • Kelli McCarty (1, 2, 3, 4)


    Most of the rest of the exposure consists of Penthouse letters as shot by a Playboy photographer. The maguffin here is the talk-show format. People call in with their stories and the camera shows you the action behind their words. Whereas the stories are typical of the Guccione publication, the camera angles and focus of attention are much more Hefner. Early Hefner. Translation: you get to see hooters. Lots of pairs of hooters, but not much else.

    Diana Espen, Jezebelle Bond and Julie Edenhurst are the gals in these stories. BTW, IMDb says that Diana, who does adult films under the name of April (Flowers or Summers) has done over 200 such films since 1999. Ye gads, that's about one per week. If you watched them all, you would get to know Ms. Espen's mating habits very well.


    Jacy Andrews shows up as the male protagonist's former main squeeze. She leaves him because he's so stodgy about sex. Seems he did not enjoy the menage a trois with Jacy and Nikki Fairchild, or maybe he just has an alergy to silicone.


    Last up is a woman I've capped before and will probably cap again, unless you stop me. That's Renee Rea. Second best actress in the bunch with the second best body.

    • Renee Rea (1, 2)


    So, this is the best of the Skinemax-type movies I have seen. Honestly didn't mind watching it at something other than 8X fast-forward. And I'm rushing right out to get more Kelli McCarty movies to cap.

    Dann
    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "American Wedding"
    Third in the great American Pie comedy series easily as funny as it's predecessors maybe even the best of the three.

    Just graduated from college, Jim and Michelle get married, and the whole motley crew is there to turn everything into a shambles. Funny, funny, funny.

    Variety
    Jill Ireland
    (1, 2, 3)

    'Caps and comments by LC.
    Scoops, a few 'caps of the late Ms. Ireland in scenes from the 1970 movie "City of Violence". Some nice nudity here, but I have no idea if were looking at Jill or a body-double. LC

    Kari Wuhrer
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

    The long time queen of B-movie thrillers showing of some rear views of her fabulous bum, as well as her now removed robo-boobs. Vidcaps from "Poison" aka "Thy Neighbor's Wife" (2001).

    Susanne Sutchy
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    Señor Skin 'caps of Sutchy topless in scenes from the Canadian sex comedy, "Rub & Tug" (2002).

    Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    MADONNA ASSUMES NEW POSITION
    Clark Wants A Peace - Madonna released an open letter endorsing Wesley Clark for president. She said the greatest risk to America isn't terrorism but the government's "complete lack of consciousness," and that Clark will help promote peace. She added that she'd never endorsed a primary candidate before, but "as an American citizen," she wants her children to grow up with the same opportunities she had, "to travel the world safely."

  • So they can adopt any silly accents they want.
  • Can't her team of bodyguards take care of that?
  • This IS something she's never done before: admit she's American.
  • Madonna's endorsement may help him in Hollywood, but in Middle America, it's the girl-on-girl kiss of death.


    HOMEOWNER SHOOTS NEIGHBOR OVER PARKING SPACE
    Park Your Carcass - Homeowner Baxter Floyd, 68, of Brooklyn, New York, was arrested Monday night after he allegedly pistol-whipped and shot young neighbor Roshawn Battle, who had parked his car in Floyd's driveway. Battle ducked and suffered only a minor graze wound to the head. But Floyd's neighbors are defending him. They say parking is really difficult in that neighborhood, and Battle often parks his car in their driveways, too. They described Floyd as a "nice old man" and a "swell guy" who was pushed too far, and said that anyone might have shot Battle under the circumstances.

  • In fact, in New York, stealing someone's parking space is the only crime that carries the death penalty.
  • Floyd considered just shooting out his tires, but that seemed counterproductive.
  • On the other hand, if Floyd goes to jail, Battle can leave his car in his driveway all the time.


    FIRST CHRISTIAN NUDIST COLONY
    Fig Leaf Optional - David Blood of Tampa, Florida, is planning to open Natura Park, the world's first Christian nudist colony. He said, "The Bible very clearly states that when Adam and Eve were in right with God, they were naked. When people are in right with God, they do not have to fear nudity."

  • Unless Tammy Faye drops by.
  • But Adam was made in God's image, and we're all 1,000th generation copies...It's safe to say, almost everyone these days is "bigger than Jesus."
  • It's hard to keep your thoughts sin-free when you're surrounded by naked women on their knees.
  • At this Christian resort, it will be easy to spot the "Jews for Jesus."
  • What Would Jesus Do? Probably wear clothes.