"Strawberry & Chocolate"

Strawberry & Chocolate (1993) is a Cuban comedy/drama about a young, idealistic university student, a gay man, and his female confident, who is sometimes suicidal. As the film opens, the young student is in a sleazy hotel room with his girlfriend, who has evidently agreed to lose her virginity, but then, after stripping, convince shim with a crying jag to wait for the wedding. He waits, and she marries someone else for wealth and position.

The gay man, free thinker, radical, and patron of the arts hits on the student at a cafe. He tricks the student into his apartment, eventually scaring him off, but the students room mate convinces him that he owes it to the party to get next to the gay man and discover what criminal behavior he is up to. For the rest of the film, the gay man educates the student about things like friendship, open-mindedness and tolerance, and the woman finally introduces him to sex. IN a way, this is also a coming of age film.

Marilyn Solaya, as the first girlfriend, shows breasts in the opening scene, and we see an unknown woman having sex from the front as the student peeps through a hole in the wall at the next room. IMDB readers have this at 7.2 of 10. It was nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film, and won a host of international awards. Critics were enthusiastic. I enjoyed it on so many levels. All of the lead characters were likable. The glimpse into Cuban society, and different ways for the human spirit to survive it was fascinating, and, although the characters were a little larger than life, what happened to them seemed very human. In Spanish with subtitles. B-.

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  • Marilyn Solaya (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Once Upon Time in Mexico (2003):

    In many ways Orson Welles and the French New Wave did a great disservice to film, because they convinced future generations of filmmakers that a director should be an auteur, not a hired hand, and that an auteur should control and even create all aspects of his projects.

    If you think about that, it is entirely illogical. Should Shakespeare have been involved in building sets and writing music and directing his plays, or could he have used his time more wisely by letting other people do that stuff so that he could do what he had a great talent for? You see, very few people have the broad gifts of Michelangelo or Orson Welles - the brilliant mind, the wit, the scholarship, the visual imagination, and so forth. Those guys come around about once ever three centuries. Set your alarm clock. Most of the people who have created the greatest works of mankind were not broad generalists, but specialists. Charles Dickens didn't worry about music and lighting and temperamental actors and set design. He just lived and wrote. The same goes for Tolstoy and Hemingway and thousands of other creative geniuses.

    Which brings us to Robert Rodriguez. In many ways, he is one of the five best directors on the planet today. His movies are virtuoso works of technical wizardry and visual imagination. His ability to bring a story to life is nearly unparalleled. The sights and sounds and stunts in his films are so impressive that they nearly disguise the fact that there is no script at all. A bunch of people kill a bunch of other people in very impressive and athletic and exaggerated ways. The end. Oh, he has some good jokes along the way, and a few interesting situations and a few iconic (if cardboard) characters, but not a storyline. He's not a writer, just a polisher. Take away the over-the-top cartoon pyrotechnics and he doesn't have enough story to fill out an episode of Mannix, and what he does have seems to have been written by a 10th grader in a weekend.

    And not by a tenth grader really into the project, but by one who had to turn a story in for a school assignment due on Monday.

    Because he can come up with some good situations and dialogue, R.R. doesn't need a writer so much as he needs a co-writer, or maybe he needs to buy some source material, like an Elmore Leonard story. Either way, he needs to have something interesting happen in a movie besides "guys shoot and torture other guys in cool ways, repeat if necessary". And when he does attempt plot, it should be coherent in the future.

    Right now his career is trending in the wrong direction.

    1. (6.99) - Mariachi, El (1992)
    2. (6.82) - Bedhead (1991)
    3. (6.70) - From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
    4. (6.70) - Desperado (1995)
    5. (6.40) - Spy Kids (2001)
    6. (6.10) - Faculty, The (1998)
    7. (6.01) - Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
    8. (5.90) - Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
    9. (5.07) - Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

    Note that the first four movies are still the best four, and the two lowest rated films were his last two.

    Of course, this sort of career path can be altered. The same thing could have been said of Sergio Leone circa 1980, and Leone is the director most comparable to Rodriguez. They are both vastly talented. They both made iconic quickie Westerns. Making adjustments for the epoch in which they were made, Leone's violent "Spaghetti Westerns" are very comparable to Rodriguez's "Tortilla Westerns". Rodriguez's Mariachi character is similar in many ways to Leone's Man With No Name. Both men made films with "Once Upon a Time ... " in the title. 

    The good news is that Leone recovered. In 1980 people were saying, "where is the talent that he demonstrated back in 1964-68?" Then, out of nowhere, a 50ish Leone made one of the greatest films ever assembled, "Once Upon a Time in America".

    Rodriguez also has that kind of talent.

    Critics were generally deferential to this film simply because Rodriguez obviously does have that kind of talent. I generally liked the film as well, because it has a lot of entertaining moments, so I ignored the chaotic thought process behind it and the cardboard characterizations, and really enjoyed a lot of things about it.

    But I can't help but think this:

    On the DVD special features, Rodriguez brags about how fast he can make a movie. This movie is rated 5.9 at IMDb, and it is the third consecutive film Rodriguez has made in that general range or lower. I suppose he can churn movies like that out at the rate of two a year forever, and make a lot of money.

    Yup, he can probably get away with this until he dies, and he'll probably get rich in the process.

    But why is a man with 8.0 talent content to make 5.9 movies?

    • Salma Hayek. The tummy is prosthetic, but the boobs appear to be the real thing.


    French Chicks plus one. Some .wmv clips.

    • Early in her career, Juliette Binoche made a film with some fairly explicit nudity called Rendez-vous. Here are two short .wmv film clips made from VHS. I wish they would get this film to DVD, because it has some mighty sexy scenes. (1, 2)

    • Speaking of early careers. Here's Julie Delpy, still a teenager, in a film with several minutes of frontal nudity. These are also .wmv clips from a VHS copy of one of the darkest, most cynical movies ever made, The Passion of Beatrice.  ((1, 2, 3)

    • Malcolm in the Middle's Jane Kaczmarek is not French, of course, but this is some rare stuff. As far as I know, this is her only screen nudity, from Wildly Available, a movie which isn't available at all. Very hot sounds, even if the visuals are modest.





    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




    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.




    Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble with the codecs for these movies:

    Shiloh says:

    FYI when I hypercam vids to make the file size smaller I use DivX MPEG-4 Fast-Motion for the video compressor, then I use virtualdub to compress the audio. The properties for the vids says the video codec:  DivX Decoder Filter & audio codec:  Morgan Stream Switcher which I'm not familiar with. When I compress the audio with virtualdub I use MPEG Layer-3.  A friend of mine told me about compressing the audio about (6) mos. ago. Like I said previously, only been capping for a year & a half & I'm no expert. Hopefully this info will help members with the proper codecs for my vids.
    When I cap big brother's I use hypercam mostly & sdp & asfrecorder if the set up allows me. I stopped using camtasia cause the file sizes were always too big, could never figure out the process, over my head lol, plus it cost too much to buy in my opinion.

    A reader says:

    You mentioned that some users were having trouble with the videos on your site. There is a tool designed to determine what codec is needed for a video. Hope this is useful to you or your users.

    Scoop says:

    I made the .wmv versions of each video. The codecs for these: Windows Video V8, Windows Audio 9. The upside of these is that you know the codecs, and they'll play in the Windows Media Player. The downside is that they are slightly larger, and slightly lower quality.

    Graphic Response
    First up today...cult favorite Charlotte Rampling and gorgeous, French mega-babe Ludivine Sagnier both looking amazing in nude scenes from "Swimming Pool" (2003).

    Next, Graphic takes a look at the 1984 movie, "Lassiter", starring Magnum PI as a jewel thief in London during the 30's.

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Cerina Vincent Everyone's favorite nude foreign exchange student going topless once again...this time in scenes from "Cabin Fever".

    Salma Hayek Just released on DVD. Salma showing some pokies in scenes from the third installment to "El Mariachi" movies, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico".

    Sue Bowser A busty blonde who appeared in a couple of movies in the early 80's, only to disappear completely soon after. In "Stripes" she played one of the mud wrestlers. In "Doctor Detroit" she played a 'dream girl'. In these 'caps fropm 1985's "Into the Night" she played 'Girl on Boat'. Very nice topless you've gotta love the 80's glasses she's sporting.

    Susan Sarandon One of my all time favorite topless scenes. I've never really been a Sarandon fan, but this scerne from "Pretty Baby" (1978) commands my respect.

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Strip 'n Run"
    A " mobs vs. mobs" movie can be a lot of fun, even if kind of predictable and hackneyed. This one could have been too, but unfortunately, L. P. Brown, who has one of the main roles, sleepwalked throughout the movie. He wouldn't know emotion if it bit him in the ass.

    Others in the movie did better, so it wasn't a total loss. In the story, a private investigator already down on his luck (Brown) sees a man get shot and takes a case from him. The case contains money and a computer disk, and now our zombie hero is caught between three mobs hunting for the case. Along the way the PI involves an innocent stripper in the chase, but of course she turns out not to be so innocent.

    This movie never would have been called great, but a little more effort by L. P. Brown would have helped a lot, because Roxana Zal as the stripper and Michael Madsen as a crime boss did a decent enough job.

    Jennifer Conelly
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    A new Vejiita comic featuring her amazint toplessness in scenes from "Waking the Dead" and "The Hot Spot".

    Cristina Garavaglia
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

    Marvin captures Garavaglia showing all the goodies, including many up close and personal gyno-shots and (some with insertion) in scenes from the Tinto Brass movie "L'Uomo che guarda" (1993).

    Cerina Vincent
    (1, 2)

    More of Cerina topless in love scenes from "Cabing Fever".

    Christina Ricci
    (1, 2)

    Wednesday Addams all grown up and going topless in scenes from "Prozac Nation".

    Catherine Bach

    Joanna Cassidy

    Erin Gray
    (1, 2)

    From "Battle of the Network Stars"...What a great idea this was back in the 70's and 80's! Take the hottest celebs on the big 3 networks, put them in skimpy swimsuits/outfits, make them fight it out for bragging rights and find as many ways as possible to get them wet!

    At the time of this version of "BOTNS" (verision 7, 1979), Catherine Bach was of course teasing us as Daisy Duke, Erin Gray was stuffed into skin tight jumpsuits on "Buck Rogers" and honestly I don't remember Cassidy on tv back then, but she was on a show called "240-Robert".

    Thanks to the Skin-man for the this flashback to 70's TV fun.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Big Bad Jerks - Country music legend Jimmy Dean has been dropped as the spokesman for Jimmy Dean Sausage, which he sold to Sara Lee Corp. Dean, 75, said they told him they wanted to attract younger housewives to Jimmy Dean Sausage and didn't think he was the one to do that. He said, "I think it's the dumbest thing, but you know, what do I know?"

  • But NOBODY doesn't like Jimmy Dean!
  • They'll make the sausage longer, and put Tim McGraw's name on it.
  • They'll probably put the name "Atkins" on it, and triple the price.
  • With what they put in sausage, I don't think I'd WANT my name on it.

    Must Be An All-You-Can-Eat Buffet - The Sydney Telegraph reports that four entrepreneurs in Darwin, Australia, are opening a theme restaurant called "Lewinsky's." A spokesman said they think Monica will be "quite flattered." They say the restaurant will be "very funky," and will feature handbags designed by Monica Lewinsky, and of course, they'll sell cigars.

  • What you do with them is up to you.
  • Their slogan: "The best you ever put in your mouth!"
  • If I want to be reminded of Monica Lewinsky while I'm eating, I'll go to Der Wienerschnitzel.
  • The atmosphere is fine, but the food sucks...And the service is great: they'll get down on their knees to please you.

    Moaning Lisas - The New York Post reports that some female jazz musicians who appeared in the "female-empowerment" film "Mona Lisa Smile" are suing Julia Roberts and her production company. They claim they were promised $800 a day but only got $400, then they found out that male musicians in the movie were paid $650 a day.

  • If they want money, why don't they just marry rich husbands?
  • It's set in the 1950s, and Julia wanted it to be very authentic to the period.
  • They would've gotten more, but Julia had to pay herself $20 million.