Wednesday

Tuna
"Alfie"

Alfie (2004) never had a chance. It is a remake of a film, that, while culturally relevant, was more than a little unpleasant. I watched it a year or so ago when it was released on DVD, and, distanced from the era when it was relevant, it was just plain painful to sit through. I was very concerned about an attempt to remake this film, as I could see no possible reason to do so. After watching both the Widescreen and the pan-and-scan version, I still have no idea why it was made. Jude Law was brilliant in the title role. He didn't try to mimic Michael Caine's star-making performance, but made the character his own. Each of the women from the original was reinvented as a modern woman.

Where the film could have been far better than the original, was going into the bedroom, and showing exactly what it was about Alfie, who treated women like shite, that drew them to him. Instead, we have almost a nipple and partial buns from Jane Krakowski, and breasts and buns from Sienna Miller. The film won awards and nominations for music, and nothing else. It did nothing at the box office in the US. Ebert awards 3 stars, and Berardinelli 2.5.

I had many problems with this version, in addition to the fact that there was no compelling reason to make it. Alfie as a compulsive womanizer just doesn't fit into the reality of modern dating. When the original was made, serial shagging was de riguer for men. The realities of AIDS have ended that mentality. Alfie spends half the film talking directly to the camera. Granted, Law did it very well, but I much prefer to be shown, not told in a "motion picture." They frequently used freeze frame and jump cuts to speed up the pace. Each time it happened, I found it jarring. In a climatic scene with Susan Sarandon, I am convinced that the edited together dozens of takes to create the final scene. It came off very choppy. I would imagine that much of today's audience is not familiar with the original. The question is, does it have any merit not judged against the original. We basically have a hedonist, who, for some reason we never quite know, is irresistible to women, but, in the end, finds himself alone. What it adds up to is a morality tale about romance and commitment with an unsympathetic main character and an unhappy ending. Critics split, IMDb readers have it at 6.0. It is a low C, not impossibly bad, but nothing of merit here.

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  • Jane Krakowski (1, 2, 3)
  • Sienna Miller (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    The Godfather (1972):

    You don't need me to tell you that The Godfather is a part of cinematic folklore and the popular culture. Thirty years later, even casual film fans  understand references to Fredo and Luca Brasi; they know the meaning of toll booths to the family; they know what it means to make an offer one can't refuse. The movie was a mammoth popular success, with a modern-day equivalent of $347 million at the domestic box. It is unanimously praised. It made Coppola a rich and powerful man. 

    So who won Best Director that year at the academy awards? Mr Coppola? Uh, no. The Godfather did win Best Picture, but the award for Best Director of the year went to - Bob Fosse, for Cabaret.

    I know that sounds crazy, but there is some logic behind it. Coppola might have taken home the statuette if he had been the driving force behind the film but, as most people have forgotten, Coppola was not the auteur behind The Godfather. He was a merely a hired gun on a project developed by various others at Paramount Pictures. In fact, Coppola only got the job because several other directors, including Peter Bogdanovich, refused the project when offered it by Robert Evans, the head of Paramount. Coppola himself demurred originally because he wanted to develop his own projects, and because the book was a best seller, and therefore beneath his artistic dignity. When he finally took the job, the actual filming process turned out to be a semi-disastrous experience for him. During the production he was almost fired, then he almost quit. Even after he finished cutting the film, he thought the final product would be a flop - "Well, I guess I failed. I took a popular, pulpy, salacious novel, and turned it into a bunch'a guys sitting around in dark rooms talking".

    I guess we know he was wrong.

    ========

    The Godfather did win several awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Brando). Maybe you remember the award ceremony that year. It was one of the all-time classics. That was the notorious year when Brando's Best Actor statuette was picked up by "Sacheen Littlefeather" (real name Maria Cruz, an actress), who used Brando's acceptance speech to agitate against America's treatment of Native Americans. In case you weren't aware or had forgotten, the award shows in the 70s and 80s were highly politicized. Many performers, on both sides of the political spectrum, used the spotlight to make speeches on behalf of their pet causes.

    Many years later, comic Tim Allen delivered a memorable Oscar-night line regarding this trend. "I thought I'd take this opportunity on worldwide television to promote my personal political causes. Sadly, I have no personal political causes" 

     

     

    The L Word Update:

    Sunday's show featured a dark swimming scene. There is a full-frontal look at an unidentified woman, and topless flashes from Katherine Moenning and Leisha Hailey. (Hailey is the blonde in the blue bikini. The other woman is unknown.)

    • Leisha Hailey and unknown (1, 2)
    • Katherine Moenning (1, 2)
     

     

    Other Crap:

     

    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for Other Crap

     

     

    MOVIE REVIEWS:

    Here 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 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
    The most recent poll for Best Oscar Winning Nude Performance wasn't even close.

    To put it simply...Halle Berry kicked some ass.

    Here are the official poll results and comments.


    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

    Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.

    Who has the best bum in Hollywood?

    Best All Time Television Comedy

    Email Scoopy Jr. with 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.


    First up from the Ghost...'Caps and clips of Daytime Soap star Gladys Jimenez going topless in two scenes from the direct-to-vid thriller "Blowback" (2000), starring Mario Van Peebles and James Remar.

    • Gladys Jimenez (1, 2, 3)
    • Gladys Jimenez zipped .wmvs (1, 2, 3, 4)


    Next up, a few vids (zipped wmvs) from the 1997 Rutger Hauer flick, "Redline".

    • Yvonne Sci. Toplessness in all of these scenes, plus rear nudity in clips 2 and 3. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    • Szilvia Bizek doing some topless boxing.

    • Anita Neszmenyi baring all 3 B's as she attacks Rutger.

    • Ildik Szcs, topless as she gets out bed and gets dressed.

    Variety
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    (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)

    Flautista 'caps of Paltrow's Oscar-winning toplessness in a couple of scenes from "Shakespeare in Love" (1998).

    Brittany Murphy Here's an excellent down-shirt cleavage view from the upcoming Robert Rogriguez movie "Sin City" (2005). Look for it in theaters on April 1st.

    Sharon Stone Here's another look at Stone's recent topless-at-the-beach paparazzi pics. Thanks to DeadRed.

    Laura Harring
    (1, 2, 3)

    Naomi Watts
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Harring and Watts
    (1, 2, 3, 4)


    Johnny Moronic takes a look at the 2001 David Lynch movie "Mulholland Dr.". Harring and Watts are both topless and make out with each other a little. In Harring #1 we see the much talked about digitally removed bush.


    Rachel Laure
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Fresh meat from Señor Skin. Here are 'caps of new actress in her first and so far only movie. Laure shows off some lovely toplessness in scenes from the direct-to-vid movie "Art Heist" (2004), starring William Baldw ("Sliver") and legendary B-movie tough guy Ed Lauter. If you don't recognize Lauter by name, it's ok, I'm 100% sure you've seen him at some point. He currently has 122 film credits and 55 TV appearance credits in his filmography! He's probably best known from the original version of "The Longest Yard" (he's also in the Adam Sandler remake). The younger Scoopsters know him as best as the football coach in "Not Another Teen Movie".

    Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    BRITNEY ADVISES MICHAEL JACKSON
    Jail Would Work - Britney Spears offered Michael Jackson some advice via Allure magazine. She said if he did the things he's accused of, she feels sorry for him and he needs some help. Britney said, "He needs someone to be like, 'Okay, let's buck you up, let's give you a mustache, let's rough you up, let's go to a bar, let's get drunk and be a man.'" She added that if he isn't guilty, she still feels sorry for him, but either way, "he needs to get into a fight" to toughen up and be more masculine.

  • But he needs to fight someone he can beat...Good luck with that.
  • There must be plenty of dads who'd be happy to fight him.
  • Michael couldn't win a fistfight with Britney Spears.
  • At least if he had a mustache, it would make it easier to figure out where his nose used to be.
  • Now that the music thing is winding down, look for Britney's new syndicated advice column.

    Mr. Wonderful - Britney might have experience in male improvement: her husband Kevin Federline's ex-girlfriend Amy Woody said his "gross" body odor drove her away. She said he wouldn't brush his teeth and would go for days without bathing, "so he'd stink" and "he didn't care."

  • Britney avoids noticing this by never bathing herself.
  • He's lucky he has such an incredibly charming personality.


    HAYEK TO GAIN WEIGHT FOR KILLER ROLE
    Monster Boobs - Salma Hayek hopes to repeat Charlize Theron's deglamorized path to an Oscar by starring as 280-pound real-life serial killer Martha Beck in a thriller called "Lonely Hearts." An insider said Salma won't put on all the weight, but will have some padding. She also probably won't have any nude scenes, since her Catholic upbringing makes her want to kill herself every time she sees her breasts on screen.

  • That makes a lot of other women want to kill themselves, too.
  • Why not let Salma stay the way she is and just cast Kirstie Alley?