Basic Training (1985) is a titty comedy written by a TV writer (Bernie Kahn) and was the second and last directorial attempt from producer Andrew Sugerman. Ann Dusenberry comes to DC from the midwest hoping to land a job where she can make a difference. She is to room with her old friend, Rhonda Shear. When she arrives, Rhonda is busy in bed with her boss, and is surprised to see Ann. Rhonda has a roommate, Angela Aames (the naked parachute jumper in H.O.T.S.), and the two work at the pentagon. They land Ann a secretarial job there, but Ann soon learns that a secretaries duties include boffing the boss, and nobody does any work. Seeing the vacuum, she decides to fill it. She also finds that the Soviet embassy got their work ethic from the pentagon, single handedly stops the cold war, and becomes Secretary of Defense.
All three women show breasts. Barbara Peckinpaugh and Erika Dockery are seen naked at the start of the film convincing a pentagon official to buy their weapons, and numerous unknowns show anything from breasts to full frontal in several different scenes. The film makers were on solid ground while they were showing naked women, but the plot is lame, the attempts at humor bad sitcom quality, and the acting mostly over the top. IMDB readers have this at 3.5 of 10. At some point in its history, it was known as Up the Military. As a titty flick, I suppose it is a C-, but barely. Take away the exposure, and it would be rated much lower as a comedy.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
(Old School opens in
the USA Friday, February 21st.)
This is a very funny
A decade or two ago, "Slobs against the snobs" was the
favorite theme for R-rated youth-oriented comedies. Caddyshack and all
of Rodney Dangerfield's other films fall under this rubric, along with
Summer Rental, PCU ... the list goes on. The mother of all
anti-snobbery youth films is Animal House, which features John Belushi
against the administration and those proper fraternities filled with
future generals and politicians. In the quarter century since the
Deltas battled Marmalard and Dean Wormer, no film has really managed
to match the originality and anarchic spirit of the original Animal
Old School comes pretty close.
The biggest problem in duplicating the energy of
Animal House has been the Belushi gap. Any number of guys can fill in
for the others in the cast, but how do you replace Belushi? People who
worked with John in his stage days said that everything and everybody
stopped and focused on him when he entered a scene. He commanded the
stage completely, with the energy of a supernova. He had no governor
on his behavior, and no limit on his energy. He could and would do
anything in the world to get a laugh.
But there is one guy in the current comedy universe
who commands similar respect from his peers, and that is Will Ferrell.
Everyone who has worked with Ferrell speaks of him with the same awe
that people once reserved for Belushi. Like the late samurai comedian,
Ferrell is capable of infinite comic improvisations, lets loose
hundreds of crazy characters and impersonations, and seem to have
enough energy for a hundred men. Unlike Belushi, however, Ferrell has
never been able to channel his peer-acknowledged genius into very much
audience or critical respect. Most of Ferrell's over-the-top
performances in the past have simply been over-the-top, as opposed to
funny. Sometimes he has fallen back on the kind of stuff that causes
people to roll their eyes and think "this is dumb" - the whole school
of stupid hair-dos, pratfalls, and flamboyant gay gestures, for
example. Ferrell has been looking for the right vehicle that would
allow him to set free his comic madness while still staying inside a
believable character. He was looking for his Bluto.
He found it.
His performance as Frank the Tank, former fraternity
madman trying to settle into respectable life, is nuanced beautifully.
As opposed to Ferrell's usual energy which seems to exist solely for
the sake of energy, in characters that seem like characters rather
than people, Frank the Tank seems like a real guy. He's crazy, and
can't handle his booze, but he's a real character, not a caricature.
Farrell even brought some genuinely touching moments to Frank's
relationship with his wife. And there is no question that Ferrell will
do absolutely anything for a laugh. One moment he's tongue-kissing
Stifler in a bizarre homage to The Graduate, the next moment he's
running down an urban street stark naked, the next moment he's doing
rhythmic gymnastics to the tune of Chariots of Fire or singing Dust in
the Wind sincerely but ineptly, all of it tapped
for every dyne of comic energy.
He's one crazy mofo.
The premise of the film is as follows. Luke Wilson is a
meek but talented real estate lawyer who comes home early from a
convention to find his girl engaged in kinky sexual activities. He
moves out on his own, scoring a recently deceased professor's home
near a university. His two best friends (Vince Vaughn and Ferrell) see
this as an opportunity to loosen up their friend while reliving the
craziness of their own youth, so they somehow manage to convert
Wilson's home into Party Central for the entire university. The Dean
of the University, an old enemy of theirs, has the land re-zoned
for student housing and community service, so the lads pull some legal
strings and get the house officially declared a frat house. Because of
a technicality in the college by-laws, they are not required to
restrict fraternity membership to existing students, so their roster
includes the three thirty-somethings who star in the film, a few guys
they know from work, some real students, and even an 89 year old
From there, it's the steps you might imagine (1)
uncontrolled mayhem from the fraternity until (2) the dean clamps
down, whereupon (3) they lads must prove they belong or get even with
the dean in some way.
The script and the rest of the cast is just OK. There is nothing
very original. It is Ferrell alone which lifts it to the level of
The one thing Old School
lacks is the reality base of Animal House and Porky's. When I watch
those two earlier movies, I can recall so many incidents from my
school days that I can get lost in my own mental wanderings and forget
about the films for a bit. They are comedies which gain humor from
exaggeration, so they are not purely reality-driven, but they are very
much grounded in the reality of what it was like to be young and wild
when I was young and wild. Old School doesn't feel real. It is a
completely contrived situation which was concocted by comedy writers
trying to be outrageous rather than an exaggerated situation created
by guys telling embellished anecdotes about their own youth.
That keeps it from being a masterpiece, but doesn't
keep it from being one damned funny movie. Humorless critics will not much care
for these lowbrow hijinks, but I laughed out loud a lot. It's not for
the crowd which worships "The Hours", but it's one funny
movie in which Ferrell finally shows why people consider him a comic
(In addition to the female nudity listed below, Ferrell
does full frontal and rear nudity)
Robert Altman's career path looks a bit like a roller coaster
- (7.79) - MASH
- (7.79) - Player,
- (7.76) - Nashville
- (7.59) - Short Cuts
- (7.49) - Gosford
- (7.45) - McCabe &
Mrs. Miller (1971)
- (7.34) - Long
Goodbye, The (1973)
- (7.28) - 3 Women
- (7.05) - Vincent &
- (6.99) - Cookie's
- (6.93) - Images
- (6.65) - Thieves
Like Us (1974)
- (6.64) - Caine
Mutiny Court-Martial, The (1988) (TV)
- (6.64) - Come Back
to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
- (6.61) - Wedding, A
- (6.42) - Secret
- (6.41) - Streamers
- (6.36) - Brewster
- (6.26) - California
- (6.17) - Countdown
- (5.87) - That Cold
Day in the Park (1969)
- (5.76) - James Dean
Story, The (1957)
- (5.75) - Perfect
Couple, A (1979)
- (5.72) - Kansas
- (5.71) -
Gingerbread Man, The (1998)
- (5.46) - Fool for
- (5.34) - Buffalo
Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)
- (5.24) - HealtH
- (5.20) - Basements
- (5.19) - Aria
- (4.97) - O.C. and
- (4.92) - Dr. T &
the Women (2000)
- (4.82) - Popeye
- (4.82) - Prêt-à-Porter
- (4.61) - Quintet
- (4.49) - Beyond
His top seven films are considered classics. Four of them were made
in his golden age from 1970-1975, the other three in Altman's
1992-2001 comeback. The eighties were not kind to him, to say the
least. Seven of his bottom nine were made in the 1979-1987 period.
The only exceptions were this film (Ready to Wear is also known as
Dr T and the Woman.
Although it is no classic, I don't know if Ready to Wear is all that
bad a film. Its critical reception was negatively affected by
unrealistically high expectations. Altman was coming off two of his
top films and appeared to be back on top. He had savagely,
incisively satirized the movie industry in The Player and he was
expected to do the same to the fashion industry in Ready to Wear.
Instead, he produced a rambling, disjointed kind of film with very
little focus, and almost no bite. It did look beautiful and had some
great technique. For example, some of his scenes involved placing
actors in real, live fashion shows, incorporating the real events as
When Altman did get into the fashion world, the movie was
pretty interesting and colorful, although his satire lacked any
teeth, but the great weakness of the film is that a lot of it has
nothing to do with the fashion world at all. One of the many
sub-plots involves two reporters (Julia Roberts and Tim Robbins) who
get stuck in the same hotel room and end up making love for days.
They could have been in a movie on any subject. In another
peripheral story, Danny Aiello plays the part of a
transvestite buyer. What the hell does that have to do specifically
with the fashion industry? Altman just shoehorned Aiello's character
into the fashion scene by making him a Marshall Fields buyer, but he
didn't interact with any of the fashion people, so he could have
been in town for a completely different purpose.
I do have to admit that Aiello looks awesome in women's clothing,
however, so it was worth it. That man is HOT! That reminds me of a
line delivered at a Jimmy Kimmel roast by his comedienne girlfriend:
"Why does Jimmy have a career? He's fat and ugly and he has no
charisma. Watch your back, Danny Aiello."
The highly touted sub-plot between Mastroianni and Loren was also
cobbled into a fashion context. Their story was generic, and could
have been plugged just as easily into any industry from arms
manufacturing to convenience stores.
I think there was probably a respectable 90 minute movie in that
footage somewhere on the main road, but Altman ended up with kind of
a bloated 133 minute film loaded with many detours, and some scenes
which were too obviously improvisational. It's rated 4.8 at IMDb.
That's probably too low. It isn't that bad, but it isn't all that
There is only some brief nudity in the first 128 minutes. Kasia
Figura flashes her butt under panty hose, Tracey Ullman's butt is
seen in a thong, and Sally Kellerman takes out her breasts in a
But there is a monumental amount of full frontal nudity in the last
five minutes, when more than a dozen gorgeous supermodels walk the
runway in their birthday suits. The bald chick is
the pregnant woman is Ute Lemper, and the tall black woman is
Georgianna Robertson. The rest, I don't know.
Sally Kellerman (1,
(here is a reference pic of Ullman from the archives, just because we rarely see her flesh.
supermodel thumbnails (1,
What're the odds?
According to Intertops, Springsteen is just about a sure thing to
win Best Album
45th Grammy Awards: Album of the
Year Closing Date: Feb 23,
|The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
|The Eminem Show - Eminem
|Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
|Home - Dixie Chicks
|Nellyville - Nelly
45th Grammy Awards: Best Female
Pop Vocal Performance Closing Date: Feb 23, 2003
|Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow
|Complicated - Avril Lavigne
|Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
|Get The Party Started - Pink
|Overprotected - Britney Spears
45th Grammy Awards: Best Male Pop
Vocal Performance Closing Date: Feb 23, 2003
|Fragile - Sting
|Original Sin - Elton John
|October Road - James Taylor
|7 Days - Craig David
|Your Body Is A Wonderland - John Mayer
It looks like another long year for the Texas Rangers. The other
three teams are considered about even.
MLB 2003: To win the AL West.
Closing Date: Sep 27, 2003 06:00
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 Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick
Locke, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
'Caps and comments by Brainscan:
As promised last week, here's the rest of the Demi Moore caps from About Last Night. This was Demi in her natural prime... one the truly shaggable-est women in the history of cinema.
- Demi Moore
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
Today with the weather being bad here we have grounded the
time machine and opted to look at a 2002 straight to video flick
called "Wicked Sins".
A great movie, no but it has that one redeeming quality we all love
in that it has more than it's share of nudity.
The opening scene has a very nice looking blonde named Lorraine
Spaughton who is shown posing for a photographer and then having
sex with him for dessert.Sadly it's her only scene in the movie because
right after the last cap you see, she and the photographer are both
- Lorraine Spaughton
One more (cleaning out the hard drive) of Yasmine Bleeth in a short
white skirt on "Baywatch", I have a thing for ladies in short white skirts.
'Caps and comments by Oz:
First up, a few scans...
Starting with some black and white scans of model Emma Balfour modelling not a lot. Topless nudity in scans 2 and 5.
Some glamour scans of Gwyneth Paltrow. No nudity but there's a lot of underwear.
- Gwyneth Paltrow
Some pokies by model Alek Wek.
Now on to the 'caps...
Some pokies by Stockard Channing in The Fortune, and Jack Nicholson looks amazed at her calisthenics in the first collage.
"Married to It"
Some more of Stockard Channing in Married to it, this time more of her cleavage. No nudity by Cybill Shepherd and Mary Stuart Masterson.
"Erotic Tales: Can I Be Your Bratwurst"
No nudity by Sirena Irwin in an episode of Erotic Tales called Can I Be Your Bratwurst. There are some sexy caps and she has a unique method of giving a full body massage in the second collage.
Not really a lot being shown by Sharon Duce in the sci-fi movie Outland, in which she places a hooker.
Counterforce is an updated version of Clint Eastwood's Magnum Force, but has nowhere near the panache. The nudity comes from some unnamed porn stars who get wiped out as they're being filmed.
"Sugar & Spice"
Lots of underwear shots of the actresses in the teen flick Sugar & Spice. You'd think they'd get teenagers for the roles, some of the women are far too old to be high school cheerleaders. Nice shots of Marley Shelton, Melissa George, Sara Marsh, Mena Suvari, Rachel Blanchard, Alexandra Holden and a group shot.
Some unknown topless women in the mediocre movie Killer Elite. According to the IMDB, one of the party goers is Uschi Digard and I think that's her cleavage in the bottom left of the first collage.
"A Woman's Tale"
Topless shots of Gosia Dobrowolska and Sheila Florence in the Aussie movie A Woman's Tale. Warning - Sheila is well and truly an old age pensioner.
No nudity in the mediocre Stallone film Driven. It seemed to be an excuse for Estella Warren to get back to her roots - synchronised swimming. There's also an upskirt by an unknown woman.
Melanie Griffith is topless in Shining Through but the goodies are difficult to see.
A brief upskirt by Kelly Harrison in the British film Dream.
"To Kill For"
Some good nudity in To Kill For by Laura Johnson and Kim McKamy.
I don't think Cynthia Geary has done open nudity but there are some sexy shots of her in The Awakening.
- Cynthia Geary