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"Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) was covered by Scoopy last night. I think I enjoyed the film a little more than he did, probably because I though Cruz convincing as a bright young woman who found herself falling in love with someone who was her enemy. I also liked the Cage character, who was more of a lover than a soldier, and a lover of music. I was unfamiliar with this corner of WWII, so the historical backdrop was interesting as well.

To me, Athens in the sun is shining alabaster, and muted green, and on an overcast day, the entire city is a dull grey. The island used for this film, which is the actual scene of the events in WWII, is far greener than Athens, and with bluer seas, but is still very bright, which makes for a lack of contrast and deep colors. The plot was obvious, and it took a while to get going. A little more cutting might have improved it, and the slaughter by the Germans didn't have the impact it should have because it was just an episode in what is mostly a love story. Several scenes will stick with me. Near the beginning, Cage and his brigade march into town and demand the surrender. The mayor sends out a note in Greek, which Cage is asked to translate. He clears his throat, and announces in a loud voice, "Fuck Off." While nowhere near the film Shakespeare in Love is, I enjoyed it more than the English Patient, and it is one I will watch again. C+.

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  • Penelope Cruz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Sunbathers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)


    Klute (1971) won Jane Fonda Best Actress honors from both the Golden Globes and The Oscars. She plays a bright call girl, who does it for the money, and because she wants meaningless sex in situations she can control, but is seeing a therapist, hoping to get out of the life, and open herself to real relationships. She was beaten by a trick, and becomes the only lead in a search for a missing engineer, who has been sending her sick letters. Donald Sutherland as John Klute is sent to New York to solve the crime.

    I saw this film several times in the early 70s, as it was a frequent offering on cable, and did have brief nudity from Fonda, and was impressed by what, at the time, seemed a gritty and accurate portrayal of prostitution in New York. The film did not hold up well for me. Fonda seemed more like the cliched hooker with a heart of gold, I was able to guess the ending before the midpoint of the film (even though I had forgotten), and the pace was very slow. Viewed through today's eyes, Fonda's performance was not that special either, as there was little dramatic range.

    Fonda very briefly shows most of one breast including the nipple while undressing for a customer. Later, she is being watched by Klute across a street and through a darkened upper story window, as she tells an old man a dirty story and strips for him. No matter what I did, I could pull nothing out of the black in those images. While it is probably Fonda, it could just as easily been a boy with pointed bra. IMDB readers have it at 7.1 of 10, and I can give it no more than a C+, as a technically competent mystery thriller, that is not all that mysterious or thrilling by today's standards.

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  • Jane Fonda (1, 2, 3)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Today's guest star.

    Some people have written in to say that the daily criminal guest star is too obscure. I guess that trying to figure it out is part of the fun, but today's probably is too hard, so I'll tell you it is a very young Al Pacino.



    Maze (new to DVD) is basically a bland  romantic triangle melodrama, but it does have the added spice of some good performers, and the special twist that one of the two guys in the triangle has Tourette Syndrome and is an obsessive-compulsive. I wrote a politically incorrect review in which I make fun of the handicapped, so don't read it if you are a sensitive soul. I'm still pissed off because they get all the good parking places.

    This is a very weak DVD. They really blew it here. No widescreen, not much color, and about 90% of the movie looks out of focus. Pretty sad, because many people thought it was an excellent movie (Ebert 3 stars), and it includes a well-lit full frontal nude scene from an Oscar-caliber actress who had never before done a nude scene. (Without looking, I think you guys voted it the #3 nude scene of the year.)



    • Kylie Bax (1, 2)
    • Donatella Versace. Soo-wee! She makes Tori Spelling look like Jacqueline Bisset. And she has a zillion dollars, so you can imagine what she looked like before all the improvements her money could buy.
    • Parker Posey

    The following 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 I inexplicably determined there might be something of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    First I'll fulfill a reader's request for Émilie Dequenne from "Le Pacte des Loups" ("Brotherhood of the Wolf"). This young Belgian actress shows some pokies in a nightgown in the scene where her brother rapes her. I hadn't noticed this before but thanks to an attentive moviegoer and Fun House reader here they are finally. On Charlie's site there's also a collage of Émilie in which a nipple but no face is visible. Charlie thinks it's hers and after I watched the scene in Brotherhood again I think so too. Even under that fairly thick nightgown you can see how hard her nipples are and so is the nipple in Charlie's caps, so...
    • Émilie Dequenne (1, 2, 3)

    Finally I've located a DVD copy of the Spanish film "Gitano" (2000) which stars Laetitia Casta. It has English subtitles and is available from Spanish on-line retailer (website in Spanish and English). There were caps of this film before on the Fun House but I gave it a try myself. The film however turned out to be a disappointment, like the image quality of the DVD which is grainy and not as sharp as it could have been.

    Joaquín Cortés is the husband of Laetitia Casta in this flick and we see him get out of prison after two years for something he didn't do. Turns out that he was framed by his wife. They're all gypsies too, so they apparently have to do some things to save their honor and so on. The film is set completely in the gypsy world where values rule that we're unfamiliar with and that are left unexplained, there's no place for outsiders, the plot is too thin and new elements are introduced to scarcely. All this results in a slow paced film with no cross-over appeal at all. Only worth watching for the beautiful night shots of Granada, Spain, the music and songs and of course the love scene of Laetitia Casta and Joaquín Cortés on the tones of an enjoyable song.

    After Joaquín's release from prison he spends the night with a prostitute, played by Cristina Peña.

    • Laetitia Casta topless and frontal nudity! (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Cristina Peña (1, 2)

    Asia Argento
    (1, 2)

    Asia looking pretty skanky in scenes from "Scarlet Diva" (2000) (She also wrote and directed). American audiences will be formally introduced to the Euro-celeb this summer when she co-stars with Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson in "XXX", directed Rob Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious").

    Link #1...she shows breasts and gets it from behind.

    Link #2...bush.

    Astrid Veillon Very nice toplessness, plus a hint of pubes in scenes from "La Femme du boulanger". If she looks familiar to Yankee eyes, it's because she had a very small part in "Swordfish".

    Géraldine Pailhas A single exposed breast from "Suite 16" (1995).

    Roxane Mesquida
    (1, 2, 3)

    Bush in all three, plus breasts in link #3. Vidcaps from "À ma soeur!" (2001).

    Scoop, today's "Babe in Bondage" is Brittany James, tied up, tormented, and baring her breasts in an outdoor scene from that blockbuster hit "The Coven". I found this one under 3 inches of dust in the grade z rental section of my local video store.

    • Brittany James (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Halle Berry
    (1, 2)

    Her now famous scenes from "Swordfish" by nmd. Topless in #1, sexy black undies in #2.

    Franka Potente Best known as Lola from "Run Lola Run" going topless in "Nach Fünf im Urwald" (1996).

    Britney Spears
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    New to me, mega-cleavage 'caps from one of her videos.

    Pat Reeder The Comedy Wire
    Pam? Make a living by flaunting her body?! I can't BELIEVE it!

    Pam Anderson May Swap TV Role for Stripper Pole

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Baywatch" beauty Pamela Anderson said on Thursday she would like to retire from acting within two years and maybe perform as a stripper on boyfriend Kid Rock's concert tours.

    Anderson, 34, who has been dating the Detroit rocker, 31, since last April, made the comments on syndicated TV news magazine Extra, which will air the two-part interview on Friday and Monday.

    "Within a couple of years, I am just going to bow out," Anderson said. "I have a stripper pole in my bedroom. I was thinking that I would just take pole dancing lessons and go on the road with Kid Rock."

    The Canadian native is currently the star and a producer of the crime drama "V.I.P.," which is in its fourth season. The former Playboy Playmate first shot to international fame as a bodacious lifeguard in "Baywatch."

    Anderson said she would prefer to be a full-time mother to her sons Brandon and Dylan by ex-husband Tommy Lee, the hard-living former drummer with rock band Motley Crue.

    "I crave being with them," Anderson said. "I really want to stop everything and be with my kids. I have had a lot of craziness and it is just time to simplify."

    Anderson said that Kid Rock, whose real name is Bob Ritchie, "is the best person I have ever met. He's got the whole thing. He's the rock star, father, lover, sweetheart."

    Winona News
    Winona Ryder Charged With Felonies

    Below are the good parts of the story. Click here for the full details.


    Here are the actual legal documents filed in California vs Ryder

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Winona Ryder was charged Friday with four felony counts stemming from her shoplifting arrest at a Saks Fifth Avenue store in December.

    The Oscar-nominated actress was charged with theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. Although she is free on $20,000 bond, prosecutors recommended raising the bail to $30,000.

    She is scheduled to be arraigned in Beverly Hills on Feb. 8.

    The 30-year-old actress was arrested Dec. 12 for stealing merchandise worth $4,760 and possessing painkillers without a prescription.

    Beverly Hills police said store security officers saw her remove security tags from the store items, place them in her bag and leave the store.

    Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, contended after the arrest that the ``Girl, Interrupted'' star was merely carrying items between store departments, not trying to steal them. He said she had receipts for other items she bought in the store, and a valid prescription for the painkillers.

    ``We are shocked at what appear to be grossly exaggerated charges,'' Ryder's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said in a statement Friday. ``We look forward to the opportunity to explain and resolve these allegations.''