"Love the Hard Way"

Love the Hard Way (2001) is a German romantic comedy/crime film shot in English in New York. Charlotte Ayanna is a brilliant honor student in Chemistry. Adrien Brody is a petty hustler who lives for the moment, but has a secret sensitive side, which he expresses writing, when nobody can see him. He meets her working in a theater lobby and is impressed. When he sees her again on campus where he has been to collect from a deadbeat who uses him as a bookie, he talks her into a date. She has always been focused and reserved, and his wildness appeals to her.

His main gig involves suckering wealthy out of town businessmen into a hotel room with two of his accomplices, then, with another, they break in dressed as cops, and extort money from the men and "arrest" the girls. The other member of the group is a desk clerk at the hotel. He uses his profits to buy rare books. Police detective Pam Grier is hot on their tails. When the girls are busted, they have to change hotels. Ayanna is madly in love with him by then, and he won't admit to his feelings for her, treating her like dirt.

Will she go over to the dark side? Will Pam Grier nail him? How will it all play out? Ayanna shows breasts in several sex scenes. IMDb readers have this at 6.0 of 10. I didn't much like either character, and the editing was the worst I have seen in some time. The film is full of jarring jump cuts, and the sex scenes are intercut time slices of before. during and after that rob any possibility of heat being generated. It won some European awards for acting and directing. I didn't hit fast forward, but was very glad when it finished. This is a low C, many clearly enjoy it more than I did.

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

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    If you are thinking of buying DVDs from outside your region read this


    American Crime (2004):

    What a surprise! I don't think I've enjoyed a serial murder mystery in years. You know the drill. The omniscient baddie is coming for all or one of us, and we don't know who he is. That whole wacky I Still Know What You Did Last Summer thing. I usually hate those. But I liked this one, even though it was a humble straight-to-vid.

    American Crime is a complicated, multi-layered, multiple murder mystery.

    When a topless dancer's corpse is found by some fishermen, they hope to earn a reward by calling a local TV station instead of the police. As the plot thickens, the producer (Anabella Sciorra), the ambitious female reporter (Rachel Leigh Cook), and a techie intern (Kip Pardue) realize that maintaining an exclusive on the case presents their lifetime career opportunity, so they continue to keep the police in the dark while they uncover a chain of clues. The dead woman's belongings include a video tape of her, and the footage was apparently filmed without her knowledge by a stalker. That might not be so suspicious except that another women is also shown on the tape and that woman is also dead, murdered some time earlier. The investigators conclude that the stalker's m.o. is to tape "stalker footage" of a prospective victim before killing her, followed by sending the tape to his next prospective victim, along with similar "stalker footage" of herself.

    The case gets far more complicated when the next tape seems to identify the female reporter as the next victim. She decides to get the hell out of town and moves several hundred miles away. This turn of events finally does get some national attention, so their small town is visited by a British reporter (an almost unrecognizable Cary Elwes) from a big syndicated U.K. show called "American Crime". The "American Crime" reporter joins the local producer and her intern in the complicated investigation, but he seems to be such a complete putz in every way, so hilariously incompetent that one might reasonably doubt whether he is a reporter at all!

    As the film progresses, their paranoia runs high and each of the investigators realizes that any of the others might actually be the murderer. This situation was managed very effectively so that the writers and director didn't have to provide the customary clumsy "red herrings", but allowed the suspicion to shift back and forth naturally, as each of the primary characters interpreted signs and clues rationally, yet with their reason shrouded sufficiently by the veil of their own paranoia so that anyone could have been seen as a potential murderer.

    You won't have to worry about my spoiling the mystery for you, because I still don't know for sure who the killer is. The film has an ending which shows one person confessing to the crime, then arguing that the confession was extracted under duress, followed by a final incident which seems to prove that the confessed murderer could not have done the crimes.

    American Crime was shot entirely on digital video in a widescreen aspect ratio, and was edited with the slick professionalism of a TV show intro, as befitting the fact that it is at times a TV show within a TV show within a film. ("American Crime" is shown covering the local investigation as a news story it itself, and the local broadcasts are also shown at times.) Some of the direction is gimmicky, bordering on surreal and symbolic, sometimes even crossing those borders. Furthermore, some of the footage is deliberately obfuscated by the director's technique, since it involves, in the most radical case, a guy filming a TV which is playing a tape of a women watching another tape of herself on her own TV.

    If you were to argue that the whole project sounds a bit "over directed", you might have a fair point, but I would respectfully disagree. I would normally be uncomfortable with how the macabre humor and the surrealism destroy the "fourth wall" in a serious murder investigation, and I would normally carp about all the layers of films within films until the entire project seems like a nested Russian puzzle, but in this case I think the entire presentation worked very effectively. It is slick, engaging, creepy, and mysterious. I really enjoyed the nebulous ending as an alternative to the usual spoon-fed and contrived answer. In fact, I was so involved in the puzzle that I watched most of the film a second time to see if I could be certain of the identity of the killer or killers. I think I know, but I'm not certain, and that ambiguity really provided a sense of involvement that I used to get from the best works from Hitchcock and Serling.

    Although American Crime went straight to video, it was a helluva lot more interesting and proficient piece of genre filmmaking than most of the theatrical releases I saw in the past year. This is the most original reworking of the overdone serial murderer formula in a long time, and the director, Dan Mintz, showed a real knack for combining macabre imagination with highly proficient editing to package the creepy thrills. My hat is also off to the proficient editor, Todd Miller, and to the creator of the opening credits, if that was someone other than the director or editor. Those credits are a delightful blend of technology and artistry.

    I almost didn't look at this film because I've been busy and it was one of this week's minor releases, but I'm glad I did. I radically underestimated it. It grabbed my attention right from the "git-go", and never let up. I ended up enjoying it!

    No flesh from Anabella Sciorra or Rachel Leigh Cook, but:

    • There is good exposure from Julie Cialini, who shows her breasts and thonged bum as the topless dancer. Julie was Hef's 1995 Playmate of the Year. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    • There is minimal exposure from Amy Arce. She shows her breasts, but only in a video-within-the-film, and only after she is lying lifeless.
    • I don't know what Anabella Sciorra showed. Maybe nothing. Maybe some nipple or areola. Here it is, anyway.


    Just for fun: Bobby Jo and the Outlaw (1976)

    I suppose the best thing about this zipped .wmv clip is Lynda "Wonder Woman" Carter without her superhero underoos, but there are so many other pleasures:

    • the peyote-induced dialogue

    • the performance of preacher-turned-actor Marjoe Gortner, who was inexplicably overlooked at Oscar time.

    Marjoe's big claim to fame was that he married somebody when he was four years old. No, he wasn't the groom. He was the preacher! Marjoe also had a singing career in the early 70s. You'd think that Bobby Jo and the Outlaw, which is rated below 4 at IMDb, would be the nadir of anyone's career, but for Marjoe it was one of his shining moments. He made six worse movies! I'm not sure what he's doing now, but whatever it is, you can bet he sucks at it.



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    • 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.

    Jr's Polls
    Here are the final results and comments for last week's poll Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.

    This week's poll...
    Who has the best Bum in Hollywood?

    For each nominee I've included a movie or two that features a great, rear nude performance.

    Here are the results of our most recent other polls...
    The Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2004

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 80s

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 90s

    Please Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.

    Crimson Ghost
    NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.

    A very special thanks to the Ghost for these....

    The Ghost first sent in these 'caps and vids of Candice Michelle back in June of last year...long before anyone knew who she was. Now she's a Rasslin' babe, and of course the star of the commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

    Here she is topless, full frontal doing some posing and getting it on in a regular pseudo-sex scene as well as a 3-way scene from an episode of the late night series "Hotel Erotica".

    • Candice Michelle (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Candice Michelle zipped .wmvs (1, 2)

    • Candice Michelle and Tina Leiu. Posing nude in links 1-5, sharing a dude in 5-7. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    • Candice Michelle and Tina Leiu zipped .wmvs. Vids 1-6 feature both ladies posing, vids 7-9 feature them in bed with a dude. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    Deborah Kara Unger Here's the Canadian actress showing a little cleavage and looking good in her undies in scenes from "One Point O" aka "Paranoia 1.0" (2004). This movie made it's debut last year at Sundance and was just released on DVD in January.

    Jordan Ladd Sadly "Club Dread" is still her only nudity, but at least she does show some cleavage as she strips down to her bra in these scenes from "Madhouse" (2004).

    Leslie Ryan The 80's and 90's direct-to-video actress and sometimes TV guest star baring breasts and bum in scenes from "Terror in Paradise" (1990).

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "The Life"
    This 2004 drama from Spain with many titles (The Life, You puta, Whore), is not a drama at all, but rather a documentary with a fictional drama woven around about an hour of interviews with prostitutes. The producers claim: "This film does not use any actors for the interview portions of the film." That's the majority of the movie, and almost all the women in the collage.

    In the drama part, a wannabe actress (Daryl Hannah) makes a living as a prostitute while trying to land acting gigs. Her neighbor (Denise Richards) is a graduate student desperately needing money, so the actress introduces her to the world of prostitution.

    The drama part is fairly lame and predictable given the rest of the movie, and actually makes up a very small portion of the movie. They could have/should have left it out, but the interviews with the prostitutes are interesting.

    Many will not enjoy this movie, but I felt it did a good job of de-glamorizing the world's oldest profession. It also includes quite a bit on porn actresses, which the filmmakers seem to consider as just another type of prostitute. Given that the dictionary definition of prostitute is "One who solicits and accepts payment for sex acts", and given that is exactly what a porn actress does, it's kind of difficult to argue otherwise.

    Suzanna Love
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Kitt 'caps of the Dupont heiress and grade Z actress/writer/financier going baring all 3 B's in scenes from "Olivia" (1983).

    Valerie Hartman
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

    Señor Skin 'caps from the 1988 direct-to-vid slasher flick, "Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers". Hartman shows off some nice toplessness in several scenes.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    It'd Be Absolutely Fabulous If They'd Stop This - A panel of beauty experts assembled by the UK edition of Good Housekeeping magazine chose Kylie Minogue as the sexiest thirtysomething, over Kate Beckinsale and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The sexiest woman in her forties was Elle Macpherson; Joanna Lumley of "Absolutely Fabulous" was the sexiest fiftysomething; Catherine Deneuve topped the sixties category; and the sexiest seventysomething was Honor Blackman, who played Pussy Galore in "Dr. No."

  • Even in her 70's, her Pussy remains world-famous.
  • And Joan Rivers won in the "100-plus" category.
  • Elle Macpherson must be relieved to hear she still looks great for her age.

    Get Charla From "The Amazing Race" - James Schottel Jr., a quadriplegic lawyer from St. Louis, is suing the producers of Donald Trump's NBC TV show, "The Apprentice," for requiring that all contestants be in excellent physical health. Schottel says he's never tried out himself and is seeking no monetary damages, but he wants to establish that Americans with Disabilities Act protections should extend to TV.

  • It does: Donald Trump himself has a hair deformity...I mean, if that hairstyle isn't a handicap, what is?
  • Contestants have to be able to get down on their knees and kiss Trump's ass.
  • All the women contestants have got to have legs, and know how to use them.
  • Never mind the disabled, how about some affirmative action for Americans Who Aren't Smokin' Hot?
  • Laws requiring you to hire the mentally disabled already extend to TV programming executives.

    Barbara Walters?! - Two UK dating agencies analyzed 23,000 matches to determine what sort of person the average single professional thinks would be the perfect partner. Women want a man with authority, earning power and life-saving skills, and their ideal mate's profession is surgeon. Men want an attractive woman who makes good money; is quick thinking, intelligent and feminine; and cares about the human condition. Their ideal mate is a TV news woman. The researchers said it didn't seem to strike men as a major drawback that the typical TV infobabe gets up at 3 a.m., goes to work at 6 a.m. and goes to bed at 9 p.m.

  • So does the typical surgeon, so they only marry each other.
  • They've also never touched an infobabe's hair...A man could break his nose on one of those helmets.
  • So they think when a man fantasizes about an orgy, he pictures the women of "The View"?
  • They're wrong: the ideal mate for most men is a female TV sportscaster.
  • These days, most women's ideal man is a plastic surgeon.