Lady Jane (1986) is a costumed biopic of Lady Jane Grey, who, in the fascinating battle between Catholics and Protestants that took place with the death of King Edward, was queen of England for 9 days in 1552. She was a reluctant monarch. This is a very accessible insight into 16th century English history, and is largely accurate. The story had everything, war, whipping, beheading, intrigue, philosophical disputes, etc. Everything except a love story, so they added one. In fact Lady Jane hated her husband and he was the jerk that was first shown in the film. However, much of the appeal of the film would have been lost without this change. You are starting with a premise that Lady Jane should be the sympathetic character, possibly the only one, and then killing her off for something she was not responsible in any way for. While that happens to be true, it is not very theatrical.
Helena Bonham Carter, in the title role, shows breasts in two different scenes. This is a story of an absolutely fascinating period in English history, culminating with the reign of Elizabeth the 1st a few years after the portion of the tale in this film. Scoopy has written an excellent review of this film, with far more historical background and links for more information. If you are interested in 16th century English history, chances are you have seen this film. If not, this is a rather painless way to get a feel for the period. Watch the film, then refer to Scoops review and posted links for the few inaccuracies in the film, and voila, painless history. This has huge chick-flick appeal, likely because of the strong woman characters, and the manufactured love story. I will give it a C. It is a rather accessible historic drama, and is, in fact, well made.
Helena Bonham Cater
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Crimson Rivers 2:
A couple of years ago I reviewed
The Crimson Rivers, a very good French genre film
which was directed brilliantly by Mathieu Kassovitz, brilliantly
enough to make a spooky movie from a confusing and rather lackluster
screenplay. Employing no irony, I compared the film to Welles's Touch of Evil. Based
on the original, Crimson
Rivers 2 seemed to be a project with great potential, because the key weakness in
the original had been addressed. The sequel was to be based on a
script by Luc Besson, a master of juvenile fantasy movies, author of
Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita, Taxi,
and The Transporter. Perhaps Besson could bring his touch to
Boy was I wrong.
Focusing on the major issues only, this film has
exactly the same strengths and weaknesses as the original movie. The
director, although not Kassovitz, brought style and imagination in
spades. The script is ... well, I know "dreadful" is probably an
overused word, but it surely fits here. One of the French reviewers
at IMDb summarized it perfectly (I have cleaned up his English,
which was not as perfect as his analysisi:
This movie is a shame. How dare Besson propose
such a silly scenario! The dialogue is all clichés and Besson
simply concatenates various unrelated gimmicks from different
types of fantastic techno thrillers: religious themes focused on
spectacular parts of the Bible, former Nazis who want to conquer
the world, new-age evangelists, secret books from the so-called
Dark Ages, etc. The global story is incoherent, the individual
scenes connect illogically, and the end of the movie is totally
And I thought that reviewer was going easy on the
script! He never even mentioned the fact that there is no character
development of any kind, and you just won't care who lives or dies.
In the main, the direction is fine if a bit too
frenetic. There are also some great stunts, and the team chose
fascinating and spooky locales. If you are a history buff, you know
that the French built The Maginot Line, a chain of fortresses and
artificial waterways, to strengthen their Eastern border against
German attack. The fortresses are linked together by escape and
supply tunnels which employ dedicated subway lines, while the
waterways are controlled by a series of locks and floodgates. It is
very ingenious stuff, and this film makes use of all of those
rusting fortifications for atmosphere, employing secret tunnels,
camouflaged machine gun turrets, passageways filling with water,
doorways which haven't been opened in years, spy towers which appear
to be churches, artificial lakes which can be filled or drained
according to necessity. The filmmaking team had some great
ingredients to work with, and they added some impressive lighting
and art direction as well as some complicated and proficient camera
The film also had Jean Reno as a world-weary cop, and
Christopher Lee as a French-speaking Nazi bad guy. (Lee speaks
excellent French. I wouldn't know that except that the director
points it out in the special features.) The DVD is filled with
featurettes showing how the lighting and other effects were created.
That was a bunch of pretty cool stuff! In fact, it
should have been a cool movie based on the picture shown in our
Crimson Rivers 2. Scoopy Junior's "Reno Rule" says: Reno +
sunglasses = a cool movie. (Reno without the sunglasses ... eh ...
not so much.) Yet this movie is terrible! Did Junior's theorem fail?
Reno only wore the shades in one scene, and they were
not really shades, but simply cool-looking protective goggles. The
theorem holds up.
Unfortunately, the director was saddled with a
preposterous script. The film leads one to believe it will be some
kind of apocalyptic or theological thriller based upon a man who
seems to be the reincarnation of Jesus, and his twelve disciples who
are being murdered one by one, leading inevitably to the end of
days. As it turns out, the plot has nothing to do with the end of
days. It is a bunch of ex-Nazis following some historical mysteries
ala The DaVinci Code, in order to retrieve some stuff secretly
hidden away in the Middle Ages. The Jesus guy has nothing to do with
it, other than the coincidence that he and his disciples saw
something they were not supposed to see, and therefore had to be
killed because they were witnesses. The fact that they were Jesus
and the disciples was ultimately irrelevant. They could have been
The Village People, and the baddies would still have had to kill
them. The Jesus Team thought the entire plot involved the Angels of
the Apocalypse because they seemed to be stalked by faceless
creatures with supernatural powers. It turns out (you are not gonna
believe this, but it is really the explanation, not my exaggeration)
that the creatures were a bunch of ordinary guys wearing monk's
robes and blackface to make their facial features disappear. How did
they get their powers? Just before the end of the war the Nazi
scientists developed ultra-powerful amphetamines. Yup - the secret
Nazi steroids! The same ones that Barry Bonds eventually used to hit
73 homers. Amazingly, the Nazis still managed to lose WW2 despite
the ability to give all their soldiers super powers.
There were some scenes in this that were almost too
irritating to discuss.
At one point, Christopher Lee's henchmen break into a
room where Jean Reno and his partner are hiding. They are carrying
massive WW2 machine guns with bullets about five inches long, and
they use these to strafe the room. Now I think it is safe to
conclude from these thousands of rounds of armor-piercing ammo fired
in Reno's direction, that the Nazis wanted him dead, not captured.
Right? So when the Nazis finally do subdue Reno by throwing sleeping
gas into the room, do they kill him? Hell, no. They tie him up so
they can tell him the plot! (And so he can eventually foil their
evil plans!) It's just like a mid-1950s episode of The Lone Ranger!
Oh, yeah, how did Reno manage to avoid being killed
by the powerful weapons? He turned a table on its side and hid
A bit later, Reno is tied, and is talking in his
normal voice to his collar, where he has a transmitter hidden. In
fact, he is even shouting into it as he gives directions and calls
for back-up, because the officer on the other end is having trouble
hearing him. Reno is also giving escape instructions to his partner,
who is tied up nearby. Amazingly, ol' Christopher Lee does not find
any of this suspicious, or even seem to hear the comments, although
he is standing only a couple of feet away. Reno, however, can hear
every word Lee says to him, even though Lee is speaking in a quieter
voice. As you watch this, you will be thinking, "How can Christopher
Lee not hear that?" While I was watching, I thought at first that
Reno was talking to Lee, until I heard what he was saying and saw
him turning his neck into his collar.
When the main room is flooded, everyone who is free
is drowned, but Reno and his partner were smart enough to be tied
up, so they escape!
Finally, as Reno and his partner plan to escape a
flooding tunnel, they need to turn an old rusted wheel to open a
floodgate. The wheel has not been turned since WW2, and will not
budge. Our heroes seem doomed to die, except ... in an earlier
scene, they remembered to pocket a few bottles of the Secret Nazi
Steroids! Fortunately, they filched the Instant Steroids and not the
inferior time-release kind, so the two men are immediately capable
of getting that wheel to turn faster than Rumplestiltskin's spinning
wheel in a barn fill of straw.
To make things even more irritating, the DVD box has
an incorrect summary of the plot: "A murder victim has the same DNA
as Christ." Interesting idea, although I don't know how you'd get
Christ's DNA for comparison. Interesting, but unrelated to this
So my counsel to you boils down to this: if the guy
who wrote the DVD box couldn't follow the incoherent plot, what
chance do you have?
Ae Fond Kiss:
Ae Fond Kiss is the latest variant on Romeo and
Juliet, a cross-cultural romance between a young Pakistani man
growing up in Glasgow and a music teacher at a Catholic grammar
school. The film is not romantic fluff, but the kind of hard-edged
social realism that one would expect from old-time director Ken
Loach. Loach is 69 years old now, and virtually unknown in the USA,
but his pointed, politicized films have won him just about every
award that can be given for "highly competent guys with good
intentions and compassion for humanity who make completely
non-commercial films." He makes films that bring social conditions
to the attention of ministers and cause laws to be changed. If
Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair could come back to life and make films, they would be Ken
The script traces a realistic path that such a
relationship would lead, treading along the prejudices of both
Catholicism and Islam, and forcing the lovers into squabbles over
which of them is enduring more bigotry, and which of them is
sacrificing more for the relationship. The film is cast in shades of gray. If it succeeds at
all it is by staying true to life, avoiding contrivance and
stereotypes, and not providing any pat answers to complicated
questions. Unfortunately, the film just seems to meander off into
predictably unsatisfying and unresolved territory, just as life so often does,
proving once again that realism is overrated as a screen device.
The film is, however, beautifully photographed and reasonably well acted,
if that sort of thing sounds like your cup of tea.
- Eva Birthistle (1,
Los Angeles International Airport - actual air traffic control
monitor. I do NOT want to be an air traffic
CBC: the 50 greatest Canadian songs of all time.
Surprisingly, only about 42 of them are by Gordon Lightfoot.
What a game! Michigan State defeats Kentucky in double OT.
You think those Michigan kids might be excited? They have now
defeated Duke and Kentucky, the top two seeds in their region,
back to back.
FilmJerk.com's Early Report for March 27, 2005
RT: The six 2005 movies which have received positive reviews
from fewer than 10% of the critics. The champ? Ewe
Boll's Alone in the Dark with 1%. (One positive review out of
96 - from a source called Eclipse Magazine)
Hear an actual recording of a woman in Los Angeles calling 911
to complain about Burger King not giving her a correct Western
Barbecue Burger order.
- What?? If that isn't an emergency, then what is? Oh,
wait. I know. The dispatcher said that the police wouldn't
send anyone over a cheeseburger. But I'll bet it would have
been an emergency if she wanted a Whopper and she couldn't
have it her way!
- Tinfoil hat site of the day:
Gillette takes a picture of you when you buy their shaving
products. Yeah, I'm sure they have a lot of use for
my picture. They probably have fun photoshopping it on Brad
Pitt's body. Oh, wait. That's what I do with it. Well,
The teaser/trailer for Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
IN RARE PUBLIC APPEARANCE, GOD BLASTS TOM DELAY.
"Enough is Enough," says Almighty.
- In His press conference, The Lord of Hosts responded to
a question by saying, "I’m not prepared to take smiting off
"A suffering Pope John Paul II failed to voice a traditional
Easter Sunday blessing for the first time in his 26-year
Ever wonder why adult bookstores don't display fully-inflated
'realistic' love dolls modeled after porn stars?
America's most stolen vehicles.
International Box Office: : 'Hitch,' and 'Constantine' are
racing to be the first of the year to $100M. Hitch
will take in more in the long run, but Constantine has been an
international hit, doing considerably better internationally
Weekend Box Office: Guess Who is tops with $21 million.
Miss Congeniality 2, The Ring 2, and Robots were in a virtual
tie for second place, all hovering around $13-$14 million.
Carmen Electra poses for "Maxim en Espanol"
Jacko declares innocence, says he's victim of conspiracy.
Wisconsin really made a game of it. It was 74-73 with two and
a half minutes to play, but UNC finally took charge.
Father Guido Sarducci's Easter sermon
Happy Easter: Find Hundreds of 'Easter Eggs' Hidden Away in
All Your Favorite Games and Programs, and Even DVDs
The wit and wisdom of Mikey Scars, mob informant.
How Stallone, Mickey Rourke, and the Knicks' Anthony Mason
interfaced with the mob.
"Wally the Wiener, a 25-foot penis, is not an appropriate
teaching tool." I suppose that depends on what you
are teaching, and to whom.
Aussie pre-school teachers are acting as lunchbox police to
help prevent childhood obesity. And with "Lunchbox
Police", the WB fall line-up is complete.
The sensitive, politically correct Jason Rivera casts his hat
into the Terri Schiavo controversy.
Bill Fillmaff's Secret System - You're Playing Poker. He's
Playing Poker Right. I guess I should point out
that fillmmaf is an anagram for flim-flam.
Angelina and Maddox - check out the kid's hand
Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for Other Crap
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.
This week's poll is another look at a poll from a few years ago...
Best Sex Scene in a Mainstream Movie
For this poll it's A-list only. No skinemax or adult stuff. You'll also notice a lack of lesbian lovin'....I'm saving that for another poll.
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
Best Nudity in an Oscar-winning performance.
Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.
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.
Today from the Ghost...A softcore flick featuring several hardcore babes. 'Caps and clips from "Model Lust" (2003).
- Diana Espen aka April Flowers. Breasts, bush and some pseudo-sex. By the way, the dude in this scene should be a poster boy for the "Men should not wear thongs" society.
- Diana Espen zipped .wmvs
- Juliana Kinkaid also bares breasts n' bush, plus the occasional rear view while gettin' it on in several scenes.
- Juliana Kinkaid zipped .wmvs. Clips 1-3 match 'caps 1-3. Clips 4-6 go with 'caps 4-6. Clips 7-8 match up with 'caps 7-10. Clips 9-13 go with 'caps 11-14.
- Diana Espen, Mary Carey and Holly Hollywood (aka Stacey Leigh Mobley) in a 3-way lesbo scene.
- Diana Espen, Mary Carey and Holly Hollywood zipped .wmvs
'Caps and comments by Spaz:
"The Real Blonde (1997)
Comedy about struggling actors, actresses and models.
Very little nudity which could have passed for a
Superbowl Halftime Special at the time.
A glaring continuity error is Bridgette Wilson
is clearly topless in the opening photo but
wore breasts shields for the actual photoshoot
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"Face of Terror"
No real surprises in this 2003 action/thriller, but plenty of action, some beautiful women, and a cool car chase make it worthwhile nonetheless.
An L.A. cop goes to Spain to search for his sister after not hearing from her for three months. She's there to do modeling, but normally keeps in touch.
No one knows the girl's whereabouts, but as he digs deeper, the cop steps into a world of drug deals, and then stumbles onto a terrorist who has the interesting technique of seducing young women, then having them "deliver" a briefcase which, unknown to them, is loaded with C-4 explosives. It's a one-way trip.
Again, no new ground broken, but plenty of action, and fun to watch.
|Johnny Moronic 'caps of the indie and B-movie actress topless in scenes from "The Summer of My Deflowering" (2000). Some folks may recognize her from season 4 of the MTV series "Undressed". Riesgraf and "Mallrats" star Jason Lee have a child with a name that may take the grand prize for silly celebrity children's names. Their son is named Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf-Lee.
|Topless in bed and in the back seat of a car in scenes from her one and only IMDb credit, "Ghost Lake" (2004). 'Caps by the Skin-man.
|A quick site note
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