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"Crime and Punishment in Suburbia" (2000)

Crime and Punishment in Suburbia (2000) is very loosely based on the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel, Crime and Punishment, mostly in the premise that some people are not able to get away with a crime due to their conscience. Most critics hate it, but at least two don't -- myself and Roger Ebert. Monica Keena plays a prototypical "in crowd" teenager, who is a cheerleader and dates a football hero. She keeps up appearances, but can't disguise her pain caused by low self-esteem, a dysfunctional home life, and lack of support from her boyfriend from the nerd who loves her (Vincent Kartheiser). Vincent essentially stalks her, but out of kindness and a true understanding that she is in crisis and will need his help rather than some sick obsession. Her mother (Ellen Barkin) is profoundly unhappy in a marriage to a drunk (Michael Ironside).

Barkin goes to a piano bar with a friend, and begins an affair with the bartender. Her husband suspects, and finds them together at a local yogurt stand. Fisticuffs ensue, and the two are carted off to jail in front of all of Monica's friends. This ruins her reputation at school, as rumors spread that her mother has run off with a "black pimp" (black, yes, pimp, no). Shortly after her mother moves out, her father rapes her. She enlists the aid of her boyfriend, and what she does to her father with an electric carving knife shows the extent of her rage. Barkin is arrested on circumstantial evidence for his murder.

The rest of the plot is at the bottom of the Ebert review if you are curious, but not enough so to rent it. Monica Keena is a definite babelette, well on her way to full-blown babetude, and shows real talent in the role. Although she keeps her clothes on, there are a few pokies and some cleavage. Ellen Barkin wears lots of clothes all the time, but is a very attractive 45 in this film. Another way to think of this film is American Beauty from the cheerleaders standpoint. Indeed, a family dinner scene is reminiscent of the family dinner scene in American Beauty, which was released before, but made after Crime and Punishment in Suburbia. IMDB readers say 5.9/10, Ebert says 3 stars, and I side with Ebert. A very short 5 screen release grossed $26,394. I place this film in the same category as Coming Soon and Jailbait, in that it presents issues from the standpoint of teen girls, and does not attempt to glorify the sex, drugs, violence, etc. Compare this to American Beauty, which is essentially a romp about the joy of being a pedophile and doper, and is currently the #7 film of all time at IMDB.

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  • Monica Keena (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
  • Ellen Barkin


    I assume most of you read Scoops review of Malice (1993) last night. I will try to cover new ground. He mentioned the totally unrelated plot of the campus murders, which was obviously inserted to justify taking a semen sample from Alec Baldwin. The really funny thing is that the semen sample would not have been taken. They take semen samples from rape victims because a certain percentage of men are secreters -- that is, they have blood in trace amounts in their semen. The police collect the sample hoping to get blood type. If they did anything to Baldwin, it would have been a DNA test to match against the rapists semen sample, which would be pretty contaminated after having been inside a dead victim for over 24 hours. At any rate, they would not have discovered that Baldwin's sperm couldn't swim, because they would have used blood.

    The rapist sub-plot (specifically Baldwin's capture of the murderer) was used as a turning point to show Baldwn transform from a wimp to a shrewd tiger. I thought Anne Bancroft's drunken mother/old bunko artist was the highlight of the film. The editing was haphazard. In one scene, the detective is in Baldwin's office, coat pulled together in front, arms rigidly on arms of chair. Quick cut to front close-up, and she starts to take of her coat with her left hand. Quick cut back, and she is back to position 1.

    The whole film felt to me like it was haphazard. It was poorly researched, poorly written and poorly edited. Most performances were ok, and some of the photography was very nice. When Baldwin peeks through Paltrow's screen door, we see a dimly lit interior of her living room, with an out of focus wire mesh superimposed. This attention to detail means that someone, probably the DP, was really trying. Would that the people who did the DVD transfer tried as hard. It is dark, grainy, and devoid of special features. I am really glad I capped this. Now, there is no possible reason to have to watch it again.

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  • Nicole Kidman (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Debrah Farentino (1, 2)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    I finished off "Henry and June", the exquisitely filmed NC-17 saga of Anais Nin and Henry Miller.
    • Maria de Medeiros (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
    • Brigitte Lahaie
    • Various and assorted Spacey-related nudity. Kevin Spacey isn't actually showing anything, but you'll see what I mean when you tune in. (1, 2)

    NEW RELEASE: "A Perfect Fit" (no review) is another one of those Blockbuster exclusives. Michael is a dweeb, a face in the crowd. One day he gets up enough nerve to go up to the sexiest woman in a cool bar and say "I would do anything if you were my girlfriend". As movie luck would have it, she's a complete wacko, and this is music to her ears. She needs a partner for a crime spree that involves running men over with a Nash Metropolitan and stealing their jeans. Most men won't hear of it, even to get into her panties, but Michael sees it as his chance to go from being one of the guys in line to the one that the bouncer escorts in personally. Very dark-toned blacker-than-black comedy with an original musical score. Better than I expected, and far mpore sophisticated than I expected from this zero budget production. In many ways a better movie and funnier than the big-budget American Psycho, although obviously cut from the same cloth .

    Of course, it wasn't that difficult to be better than American Psycho.

    Still, it's a grade b film worth renting for a twisted sense of humor and plenty of nudity. You can view it as a softcore with the best script ever in a softcore, or as a grade-b with a solid sense of humor and plenty of nudity. Either way, it's OK. And you have to love a movie that features Kato Kaelin as himself.

    NEW RELEASE: Divorcing Jack is also a Blockbuster exclusive, but it is such a good movie that I wrote a full page on it anyway.

    How does the world work, that a comedy/thriller this good, with such interesting characters and wonderful performers, ends up as a Blockbuster exclusive, and is never released in the USA in theaters? Well good for Blockbuster. Blockbuster's exclusives have been 90% shite in the past, but this week's were damned good. (Perfect Fit isn't that bad either, for its type.)

    I laughed out loud several times, I enjoyed the crazy plot twists, and I ended the film with my eyes glazed over with tears. Great flick!

    • Laura Fraser. I'm in love. What a beauty! What a smile! She also played Lavinia in Titus, so she's shown some real talent to go with her looks. (1, 2)
    • Rachel Griffiths (not nude - as she once again teased us with the Jumbo Jacks, but never took them out) (1, 2)

    Dubya's corner:

    I was feeling sorry for myself about Clinton's departure - you guys know how much I'm going to miss making fun of the ol' horndog, but I think we have a winner for the next four years. Virtually every sentence out of his mouth is a treasure!

    All these are quotes from yesterday. Mind you, this is only one day's efforts, and an average day at that!

    1. "It's hard to pardon somebody who hasn't been indicted for anything". Not too hard, Dubbie, in fact so simple even Jerry Ford could figure it out (Nixon was never indicted for anything). A person does not have to be indicted or convicted to get a pardon.

    2. "It's time to allow the president to finish his term and become an active participant in the American system". To become one? As opposed to what he is now, which is .......... an inactive commie?

    3. (about the Linda Chavez revelations) "I haven't had a chance to ask the questioners the question they've been questioning"

    4. (about Linda Chavez) "As far as I can tell, from what I read, I think she's certainly qualified to be the president". Well, that makes one person in America. Too bad she wasn't running instead of you and Gore.

    Graphic Response
  • Glenda Jackson, Full frontal nudity from 1971's "The Music Lovers"
  • Brainscan
    Comments by Brainscan
    It was a very good week for celebrity peeks, as two award shows were staged. One was the People's Republic of China Awards. No wait, that was the People'c Choice Awards (the really big celebs go to the People's Prime Awards). The other was the American Music Awards. And the babes turned out.

    Let's start with the hostess of the Music 'wards, Britney Spears. I was disappointed when I first pulled these puppies off the photo news site, but when I did the usual to clean em up, which is triple the pixel density, something popped out. First scan shows Brit in an unusual costume, with a transparent back and a front covered with loose, dangling fringe. So, three things about this pic:

    1) look between Britney's legs. No, lower. See the dancer in the background caught in such a dainty pose?

    2) look at Britney's pants. Could they be any lower on her hips? The teenage guys in my hood wear them way higher than this. So it seems to me, Junior, that the question ain't whose boobs we're gonna see first, but whose pubes we're gonna first.

    3) look at Britney's blouse. What is behind that fringe? Can't tell from this angle, but wait.

    Next pic was shot from the other side and it seems to these aged eyes that there ain't a hell of a lot except loose, dangling fringe between us and Britney's boobs. Mind you, all I did was clean up, brighten and sharpen this image. Didn't put nothing there that wasn't already there.

    Third pic is the charm. Shot from the original side. Take a look, why don't you guys, at what is above Britney's left hand. That is either one kick-ass optical illusion or it is one kick-ass breast. I vote for the latter. Any objections?

    Fourth thing is a collage of the usual: Britney strips out of her clothes and thinks deep thoughts. Ho, ho, that's rich.

    Then we got Cindy Margolis, noted singer and song-writer, called upon to present an award at the Music show. And you guys thought she was just a pair of boobs and an ego, both over-inflated. Sorry, Junior, but this will raise Cindy's hit number, but she'll never catch Jennifer.

    Got some Faith Hill for y'all (1, 2). The first of these scans shows Faith with her hubbie, Tim McGraw. And with that I finally get the joke of the commercial I've seen on the telly, the one with the Human Slider, Tug McGraw and his son. I know the joke is that the cop doesn't know what Tug's son does but fellas, I didn't know what Tug's son does. That's him on the left, correct? He's a country & western singer, yes? Married to Faith Hill? Funny thing is I didn't realize they were first cousins.

    Switching 'ward shows for a moment, we have Jennifer Aniston with her friends. Wish someone had dropped a quarter for Jennifer to pick up. (1, 2)

    Jessica Alba was at some other thing, wearing the latest in neckline plunging attire. These pics should be subtitled: Jessica meets the Wonder Bra. Put a lump of coal between those two boobs and by the end of the night the pressure would have turned it into a diamond. You know I figure all these years we have misunderstood Napoleon's lament. What he really said was, "Able was I ere I saw ALBA." 'Course then it wouldn't be a palindrome.

    Last two collages are of this year's contestants in Who Has the Bigger Bottom. First off, the reigning champion, Jennifer Lopez. Only her tum is revealed. And next the challenger, Jessica Simpson. Left scan has her in the finals of the contest, showing off the goods. Right scans shows her reaction when the winner was announced: Jennifer by a nose. Jessica thought it unfair since she wore white whereas Jennifer chose the more slimming black attire, AND because we never really got a good look at Jen's bottom. But honey child, some things you just have to take on faith alone, and the proportion of Jennifer's hiney is one of those things.

    Now boys, repeat after me: More Awards Shows.

    Comments by ICMS
    Did you mention Belgium in today's column? Who told you we were better off during the war? Please don't say this too often, our neighboring countries could become jealous :-)

    Today I bought the January issue of Italian Max and found some interesting pictures in it. Three topless pics of Liz Hurley although they're not the greatest quality. Max is printed on low quality paper and to top it off the photos were grainy and a bit blurry but I don't remember seeing them on the Fun House before. (1, 2, 3)

    I've also included a picture of Monica Bellucci that I thought worthy of scanning. At least it wasn't grainy and blurry.

    Finally I did my first vidcap since quite a while now and I must say I enjoyed it. The subject of my attention was German actress Nina Petri in "Verzweiflung", a 70 min. black and white TV-movie that was even boring in fast forward. She also played a part in the German film "Lola rennt" but it's in this flick that skinny Nina shows the goodies.

    And to end to this small contribution let's take another look at the little house on the prairie, shall we? Here's another form of injustice "Little Joe" can fight. Hehe

    Aurelie Meriel Excellent topless scenes from "The Delivery".

    Elizabeth Singer
    (1, 2)

    From the lame 80's movie "Student Confidential". #1 has a hint of nip, #2 has the goodies exposed.

    Francesca Neri
    (1, 2)

    Fantastic breast exposure from the Italian actress from the 1997 movie "Live Flesh".

    Paula Sorensen
    (1, 2)

    From "Student Confidential"...Full frontal exposure in #1, much less to see in #2.

    Susie Scott Full frontal nudity from the former bunnybabe in "Student Confidential".
    and ...
    Madonna A great find by Watty...A nip slip from the video for "Pappa Don't Preach".

    Julie Benz
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Excellent vidcaps of Julie topless in scenes from the straight-to-video sci-fi movie "Darkdrive", by Art 5.

    Amelie Villeneuve
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Sexy, non nude scans of the French gymnast (rhythmic and sportive gymnastic), by Pushe.

    Amy Dumas "Lita"
    (1, 2)

    Rasslin' coverage by Crow. #1 is Lita in the ring. #2 is Lita caught in the locker room showers wearing only a thing from WWF Raw!

    Nia Long
    (1, 2)

    Pokies from "Love Jones", by Don Juan.

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