"El otro lado de la cama"

El otro lado de la cama (2002), or The Other Side of the Bed, is a musical romantic comedy made in Spain. I didn't much enjoy the musical/dance aspect, as it was not a style of music I enjoyed and didn't advance the plot, but that wasn't a big enough problem to ruin what was a pretty funny romantic comedy. Guillermo Toledo is told by his girlfriend, Natalia Verbeke, that she is ending their relationship, because she is in love with someone else. He runs to tell his best friend, Ernesto Alterio, and his girlfriend, Paz Vega about it. Then Alterio meets Verbeke for a romp in a hotel room. Toledo wants to figure out who who the other guy is, and Alterio tries to convince him it is a lesbian. As a matter of fact, I think everyone in the film at some point accuses everyone else of being gay.

Verbeke is furious at Alterio for not telling Vega he was leaving her. Eventually, Toledo and Vega do the deed together, equaling everything out. Along the way, there were some very funny moments, full frontal and rear nudity from Verbeke, and breasts from Vega. IMDB readers have this at 7.3 of 10. It was nominated for a Goya for best film, and won for best sound. Ebert was upset by it, awarding 2 stars. I found it a fast watch with some truly funny moments. C.

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  • Natalia Verbeke (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
  • Paz Vega (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)

    "Los peores anos de nuestra vida"

    Los peores anos de nuestra vida (1994), or The Worst Years of Our Lives, is a Spanish romantic comedy again staring Ariadna Gil, who is fast becoming a personal favorite. Gabino Diego lives with his parents in the same room as his popular and attractive brother, Jorge Sanz. Sanz works in a bank, gets pretty much anything he wants, and tells Diego that the world is full of girls. Diego is eccentric looking, an artistic type who talks to much but has a great sense of humor, and no luck with women at all. The both meet Gil, and vie for her affection, after engineering her breakup with the married man she is dating but telling his wife in an anonymous letter.

    Diego has his day, largely because he performs a song and comedy routine at a club that impresses Gil. I will stop with the plot, as it doesn't end the way I expected, and I highly recommend this one. As a small example of the humor, it is traditional to eat grapes exactly at midnight on New Years eve for good luck. The whole family is gathered around the TV, but Diego doesn't think the bells are the right ones to be exactly midnight, and doesn't eat the grapes. While he is bemoaning a whole year of bad luck, the TV MC chokes to death on his grapes. The title comes from a statement by Diego that these (early 20's) are the worst years of their lives, but if you are in love, you don't notice.

    Gil shows breasts in three scenes, as does Carmen Elías as one of the random girlfriends. Ayanta Barilli shows everything as an ex girlfriend. IMDb readers have this at 7.4 of 10. This has a 1.6 chick flick differential, but 7.1 from men is high praise, especially for a chick flick. It won one Goya for Best Sound, and was nominated for three others. It is the third very watchable Spanish romantic comedy in two days for me, and all three were directed by the same man, Emilio Martínez Lázaro. Even watching with subtitles, the humor came through, and I can only imagine how much more enjoyable this film is for a native Spanish speaker. Diego, who was nominated for a Goya for his performance, is truly funny, and Sanz is the perfect straight man for him. Gil lights up the screen in every scene she is in. This is a very high C+, and maybe higher as long as you are a person who doesn't mind sub-titles. The cinematography is up to the usual Spanish cinema excellence.

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  • Ariadna Gil (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Ayanta Barilli (1, 2, 3)
  • Carmen Elias (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Schindler's List (1993):

    Since Steven Spielberg is now an unassailable cinema God, it may be difficult for many of you younger readers to realize that it was not always that way. In fact, that is a comparatively new phenomenon. If you could travel back in time to 1992, you would discover that he was then considered a talented but trivial man, a shamelessly commercial mainstream director whose goal in life was to achieve massive box office results with movies that were sentimental and shallow, albeit technically brilliant.

    That was not necessarily an accurate perception of him, but it was a widely held belief. It really had more to do with the movie industry than with Spielberg. Hollywood has gone through many cycles in estimating its self-worth. The people of Hollywood, from the earliest days until now, have always been the best entertainers in the world, but they have not always been consistently guilt-free about that fact. In the 1950s, Hollywood was truly proud of being an entertainment center, and routinely awarded the Best Picture statuettes to entertainment films with razzamatazz, like Gigi, Around the World in 80 Days, and even The Greatest Show on Earth. That didn't last. The cultural revolution of the late 60s and 70s hung some existential guilt on Hollywood. That reached its apex in the 80s, and lingers to this day, perhaps finally expunged by Lord of the Rings. During the late 70s and 80s, even though they continued to make great entertainment films, and to make their fortunes from such films, Hollywood's filmmakers often applauded mediocre message films at award time. In one eleven year span the Best Picture Oscars went to Out of Africa, Ordinary People, Chariots of Fire, Driving Miss Daisy, Gandhi, and Dances with Wolves. It was during this period that Spielberg made his best entertainment pictures, which always seemed to lose to second-rate films with noble intentions. Spielberg made Jaws (#79 of all time at IMDb), E.T. (#241), Last Crusade (#142), Raiders (#16) and Close Encounters (just barely out of the top 250) within a fifteen year span. He became rich, but received not one Oscar for best picture or best director, although the actual winners were often forgettable films, and Spielberg's movies became the universal defining elements of American popular culture.

    Hollywood trivialized him completely by awarding him the Irving Thalberg award when he was only 40. He must have felt like crying out, like a Monty Python character, "I'm not quite dead yet."

    Well, he wasn't even close to being dead.

    With Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan, he simply kicked everybody's asses. He continued to use his own highly refined skills at great storytelling, and his knack for connecting emotionally with audiences, but he also took on the most important themes of the past 200 years: the sacrifices of WW2, the holocaust, and slavery. The results were a way of subtly thumbing his nose at the independents and intellectuals and "message" filmmakers by saying, "Looky here. You can make 'important' movies, but you don't have to sacrifice a great story, or human warmth, to do so." Within a decade, Speilberg had been elevated in status to the Shakespeare of cinema. And you know what? The sumbitch deserved it. Of course he had deserved it all along, but the point is that his recognition finally matched his production. He is a master. Compare Schindler's List, a holocaust movie, to last year's 21 Grams. The latter just consisted of an unparalleled wallow in misery, but Spielberg, who could easily have wallowed in misery in a holocaust film, chose instead to find dozens of real human moments reflecting the light and darkness inherent in the human condition. He dug in and found human truth instead of delivering lectures. For example:

    • The women in the Pleszow forced labor camp argue whether the liquidations at Auschwitz are a myth. They conclude that the stories must not be true, because if they were true, who would be around to tell the story?

    • Stern, the brilliant and efficient Jewish business manager, chastises Schindler, the Nazi business owner, because the factory is not making properly working armaments for the German Wehrmacht! Stern just wants to do his job properly, and knows that Schindler is a chronic screw-up, so he tries to bring his boss in line as he has always done. Of course, this time Schindler isn't screwing up, and Stern somehow fails to see the more important point.

    I think the most beautiful moment in the film is an impromptu one. After the story has ended, there is an epilogue which takes place in the present day. Each of the surviving members of the Schindlerjuden walks hand in hand with the actor who plays him in the movie, and both people place stones on Oskar Schindler's grave in Jerusalem. Nothing so special about that. In fact it all seemed a bit saccharine, until one lady, stooped with age, placed her stone as she had been instructed to do, and then took a second more, looked at the grave, and softly rubbed the side of the stone with a couple of fingers, even though she had to bend over in obvious discomfort to do so.

    It was only a tiny unrehearsed moment in the scope of a monumental epic film, and yet it was the one which made my eyes tear over.

    The film has its bad moments as well. Two come to mind:

    • Oskar Schindler's closing monologue, which was over the top.
    • The clumsy transition used to resolve the Jews' last crisis. Stern walks in to say that they are out of money. They have nothing left for food. They have nothing left to bribe Nazi officials. The crisis seems irresolvable. Then, abruptly, the scene shifts to a radio broadcast from Churchill saying the war was over. Just like that. Introduce a crisis that has no solution, then solve it in a facile manner. That played out like a Popeye cartoon. A very false moment in an otherwise brilliant film.

    You may be interested to know that there are some historical inaccuracies in the film. In my opinion, Spielberg got to the real truth of the situation, beyond and beneath the facts, but for the sake of accuracy:

    (1) Amon Goeth, the brutal commandant at Pleszow, did not shoot random prisoners from the balcony of his house. His house still stands, and the location of the camp is still known (see details here). The camp is on the other side of a hill, so Goeth could not have shot prisoners from his balcony. Goeth did shoot prisoners at random from the top of the hill, and he did parade around his balcony with a rifle (picture shown on this website), but the incident in the film is an urban legend caused by blending and blurring the two facts. This was not Spielberg's decision. He followed the story as it was told in Thomas Keneally's eponymous book. It was Keneally who accepted verbal reports of the incidents without checking the plausibility of the accounts. It doesn't really matter. The film ultimately portrays Goeth's actions correctly in a moral sense, albeit with some dramatization.


    (2) Goeth was arrested in September of 1944 by the Nazis, in connection with his having stolen the property of the state to enrich himself.  He had used some of the prisoners' private possessions to enrich his own bank accounts. He was also stealing food intended for prisoners and selling it on the black market. An internal SS report confirmed that Goeth and others were guilty of (A)" Individual criminal acts - in these cases having broad implications - included: the assumption of a license to kill by commandants and subordinates concealed through falsification of medical death certificates." (B) "Arbitrary conduct, chicanery, unlawful corporal punishments, acts of brutality and sadism, liquidation of no-longer-convenient accomplices, theft and black-market profiteering." Spielberg left out the account of the internal Nazi housecleaning, since it would have tended to provide some ostensible exculpation to the Nazi higher-ups.

    I should point out here that the Goeth arrest does not really show that the Nazis and SS were more human than normally believed. It would seem so on the surface, but this is actually a complicated issue which requires some depth of study. (1) Goeth was not being arrested simply for taking the property of the prisoners. He was supposed to do that. He was arrested for hurting the war effort by taking that property and keeping the wealth for himself, instead of turning it over to the Nazi Party. (2) He was not supposed to be running a death camp. He was running a forced labor camp for the production of war materials. Therefore, the prisoners under his command were to be kept healthy enough to produce uniforms, and furniture, and whatever else was deemed war-essential. The mistreatment of those prisoners was objectionable to the Nazis, but not on moral grounds. The production of those prisoners was considered essential to winning the war, and those people were the slaves of the state, intended to serve the aims of the state, not the personal aims of Amon Goeth.

    To illustrate this point clearly, the Nazis did not charge Goeth with any wrongdoing in the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto, which resulted in the wholesale slaughter of thousands of people. The investigators were simply concerned that their labor camp "assets" were being improperly used by their commandants for personal gain, contrary to the interests of the state.

    Spielberg did not want to include all the complicated "what ifs" and "on the other hands". Who could blame him, since he already had a three hour movie? Although his film up to that point had been about both Goeth and Schindler, Spielberg simply let Goeth disappear from the story, and shifted the focus entirely to Schindler and his Jews.


    (3) Thomas Keneally, author of the book "Schindler's List", admits that the story about the rescue of the women from Auschwitz may be apocryphal. Nobody seems to be very clear on where those women went, or how they were rescued.


    • Embeth Davidtz - wet t-shirt. (1, 2)
    • two unidentified Schindler mistresses - breasts. (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Magdalena Komornicka - breasts and a brief open crotch shot when her pajama bottoms are pushed aside. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    There is additional prisoner nudity, of course, including male and female full frontal nudity, but it is not the kind of material that belongs on this kind of page.




    The Other Side of the Bed (2002):

    This is a musical comedy from Spain about the relationship between four people - two couples.  Do you want to see it? Well, it's a Bollywood-style musical comedy.  It's in Spanish. The music sucks. That probably tells you right there.

    The rest of the film is OK. It's a fairly charming comedy. There is nothing much wrong with the film, but it's just a piece of trite and superficial fluff, completely predictable, with no special insights. It is less like a Spanish film, and more like those colorful, fluffy musicals from India. For some reason incomprehensible to me, it was nominated for the Best Picture Goya, which probably tells you less about the film than about the lack of depth in the Spanish film industry. I think they really have to struggle to find enough nominees worthy of statuettes.

    The critics generally savaged it - the average was about one and a half stars on a four star scale  (42/100 at Metacritic, two from Roger Ebert, two out of five from TV Guide), but it was a big popular hit in Spain, perhaps because of the novelty value of a production musical in Castillian Spanish.

    All four are friends, but it seems that one of the men and one of the women are fooling around - with each other. They resolve to tell their partners. The woman breaks up with her boyfriend, but the man does not break up with his girlfriend. The resulting story is a chronicle of how they mix and match, pair up and then pair up again in different combinations.

    It is strictly for fans of musicals, and let me warn you that you may not like it even if you like musicals

    1. It's in Spanish, with subtitles

    2. The music isn't much good. The melodies are bland. The women sing fairly well, but compared to the men in this film, Lee Marvin sings like Pavarotti. The one guy just talks through his songs, and the other guy makes nothing resembling a musical sound.


    • Paz Vega (1, 2, 3)
    • Natalia Verbeke (1, 2, 3, 4)







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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.


    Words from Scoop.

    .avi's from Shiloh.

    .wmv files made by Scoop from Shiloh's .avi's.




    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.

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Speedway Junkie (1999) starts out like Showgirls. Take one young person drifting toward Las Vegas, add one rip-off artist who makes off with all the belongings and you have a person, desperate for money, turn to the sex industry for something vaguely resembling gainful employment.

    Because the young person in Speedway is male and 18-yrs-old there is no fall-back on the clothing removal arts. Hooking is all there is. And so this little film is nittier and grittier than Showgirls, but not nearly so nasty in its protrayal of its practioners. It was just okay, interesting enough with characters sufficiently well-written and well-played to make it worth watching once.

    Jesse Bradford did a bang-up good job playing the boy-drifter-turned-prostitute. Jonathon Taylor Thomas plays a much more hard-bitten boy hooker, who will do anything and anyone if the price is right. And to complete a trio, Jordan Brower plays a ill-starred gay boy in love with Jesse's character.

    The people who made this movie were serious about it and worked hard to avoid any whiff of exploitation. Unforunately that translates into a skin vacuum. Lots of girls, most of them famous, none of them naked.

    Tiffani Thiesen plays a recently and regretfully wed young woman who takes our hero back to her room and proceeds to seduce him. Takes off her shirt and everything. So you get to see Tiff in a bra and that isn't anything to sneeze at.

    As the story goes, Tiff's hubster... a marine... comes back to find the couple shirtless in bed. One of the few, the proud, the Marines proceeds to beat the snot out of the poor boy. Which got me to thinking...a woman who looks like Tiff comes on to you. Do you take her up on the offer knowing her husband, the Marine, may return at any minute? Is it worth the risk? Well, is it punk?

    Daryl Hannah plays the friend of the gay boy's late mother. The boys hang out with her a lot and she does our hero the favor of showing him how to properly entertain his female clients. An act of true nobility. one to be celebrated in song and story.

    Former Hefmates Angela Little and Jaime Bergman play a couple of hotties who cruise the streets looking for someone to join them in wild sex. They pay him, too. Now, this happens to you guys all the time, I'm sure. Beautiful women offer you money to screw them because they can't get anyone else any other way. Quite the tragedy, but quite the opportunity. It is the only scene I did not like. Not only because it is just too stupid for words, but also because the former Heffers keep their clothes on. This is not a trend I wish to encourage.

    Although there is quiet desperation everywhere you look and one character comes to a tragic end, the movie concludes on a happy note. Isn't that sweet? It smacks of a cop-out, a sappy end to a hard-bitten story. So I'm wondering if the makers were going to do something to muck with their enterprise why could it not have an exploitative level of nekkidness. Woulda been a whole lot popular decision in many quarters.

    Crimson Ghost
    The Ghost takes a look at the 1998 Skinemax flick "Life of a Gigolo"

    • Leslie Harter aka Leslie Harter Zemeckis, yup as in wife of Director Robert Zemeckis. Here she is showing breasts, bum and bush. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

    • Nancy O'Brien aka Nancy O'Neil...topless and rear views in a pseudo sex scene. (1, 2, 3)

    • Taimie Hannum, topless and gettin' it on while blindfolded. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    • Tara Deffenderfer (I wonder if she's a fan of the Steve Martin character 'Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr' from "The Man With Two Brains") Robo-hooters and bare bum views. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Here are a few .wms from "Life of a Gigolo"

    • Brande Roderick, the former Heffer (April 2000) in a pseudo-sex scene. (1, 2)

    • Gwen Somers, topless.

    • Leslie Harter, vids of her sex scene 'capped above. (1, 2, 3

    • Nancy O'Brien, vids of her sex scene 'capped above. (1, 2, 3)

    • Taimie Hannum, vids of her sex scene 'capped above. (1, 2)

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Pieces of April"

    This film has been classified as a comedy/drama, but there's very little comedy in it, although there are a few funny parts. Instead, what we really have is a family tragedy, as a young woman estranged from her family tries to reconcile.

    April lives alone and has little contact with her family. Her mother, dying of cancer, has few good thoughts of her daughter. Instead she remembers only the strife caused by April's rebellious teen years. When April tries to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the family as a way to reconcile, everything goes wrong.

    To me, this was a very sad movie about a bunch of selfish and superfluous people (the family) who were so self-centered they could only focus on April's shortcomings. I found it a giant downer, but I suspect many others enjoyed it. The ending, at least, was upbeat. Katie Holmes did a very good job as the struggling April, but it appears this was shot directly on video, and the quality is pretty bleak.

    Debi Mazar
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Topless in a love scene from "Money for Nothing" (1993). The movie has a great cast including: John Cusack, Michael Madsen, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rapaport, James Gandolfini and Philip Seymour Hoffman. But even with that much talent, I think a total of 8 people have actually seen the movie.

    Maria de Medeiros
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    She's best known as Bruce Willis' girlfriend in "Pulp Fiction" (1994). Here she is baring breasts and bum in love scenes from "Henry & June" (1990). 'Caps by the Skin-man.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Erik REALLY Needed The Money - Wednesday, a man and woman in Ft. Worth, Texas, burst into a car lot owned by Vietnamese immigrants who couldn't speak English well. They claimed to be FBI agents and held the owner in his office for four hours demanding money and a car, while flashing badges identifying them as agents Erik Estrada and Julia Stiles. The owner finally got a message in Vietnamese to an employee, who called the cops to arrest them. The owner said it went from scary to funny when he learned the names were two American movie stars.

  • Well, one movie star and Erik Estrada.
  • Actually, the man WAS Erik Estrada...
  • Couldn't they have at least used fake badges with real FBI agent names, like Mulder and Scully?

    Kiss The Bride - Amid the rush of gay "marriages," Elton John denied a rumor that he was planning to marry his boyfriend of 11 years, David Furnish; although he said he'd "like to" marry Furnish, and "I already have in my mind anyway." Elton was married once before, to female singer Renate Blauel, but it lasted only four years.

  • That's as long as she could go without sex.
  • By then, he'd worn all her clothes.
  • The wedding industry is PRAYING that Elton will get married; that one ceremony could double their yearly profits.

    Top Speed: 45 mph - Tuesday in Switzerland, Volvo unveiled the YCC (Your Concept Car), the first car designed entirely by women. Volvo says women wanted what men want - a roomy, 215-horsepower car - but with more. It's a low-emission gas-electric hybrid, with gull-wing doors to make it easy to unload things, lots of storage, easy-open gas cap, dirt-repellent paint and exchangeable seat covers. It's low maintenance, needing an oil change only every 31,000 miles, and it automatically calls a service center that alerts the owner when it needs work. And it has sensors that guide the driver when she has to parallel park.

  • Oh, her husband in the passenger seat will do that.
  • Price: $200,000.
  • It even senses when a traffic light turns green, and Oprah's voice comes out of the dashboard and says, "You go, girl!"
  • The best part is the lighted, three-way, full-length rear view mirror with makeup tray.
  • Men want a car that just shuts up and leaves you alone.