Blaze (1989) is the story of the romance between Earl K. Long, governor of the great state of Louisiana, and Blaze Starr, an exotic dancer, a relationship that cost him the governorship. It is based on a book written by Ms. Starr. Paul Newman was brilliant as Earl Long, and Lolita Davidovich made a very convincing Blaze (see the images of the real Blaze from the Doris Wishman film Blaze Starr Goes Nudist). In truth, he was under some political pressure for a progressive (for the time) position on black voters rights, but the opposition used his relationship with a woman of easy virtue to bring him down. Longs had been in power in Louisiana for many years, starting with his brother Huey, and the ousting was a major deal.

He was elected to US congress in a comeback, but never lived to serve. The movie shows that Blaze was not a woman of easy virtue at all, and that, despite their age difference, they were truly in love. My memories from the press at the time are a little vague, but it was enough of a scandal that I do remember it.

Davidovich shows her breasts in a sex scene with Newman, and we get side views near the beginning of the film. IMDb readers have this at 6.0 of 10. It received a best cinematography Oscar nomination. Ebert awards 3 1/2 stars. This was written and directed by Ron Shelton, who also did one of my personal favorites, Bull Durham. I have no way to judge the accuracy of the film version, but the basic facts are entirely true. Ms. Starr moved to Baltimore, where, at the time the film was made, she was still part of the cultural scene. She was listed as a consultant in the credits. For a biopic to hold my interest, the characters must be interesting, or interesting things must happen to them. In this case, both are true. This is either a biopic, or a romantic comedy, but either way, it transcends the genre, and is hence a B.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails

  • Blaze Starr (1, 2, 3)
  • Lolita Davidovich (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

    "Hello Again"

    Hello Again (1987) is a very weak Shelly Long comedy, but is notable as Shelly shows her butt crack in a hospital gown. She is a klutz of a housewife, living in suburban Long Island, and married to a social climbing plastic surgeon who she fears is outgrowing her. She goes to her rather eccentric psychic sister for advice, and chokes to death on a South Korean chicken ball. A year latter, the sister brings her back to life. Hubby has married her social climbing college best friend and become department head of plastic surgery at a prestigious hospital, and now lives in a posh Manhattan neighborhood. She is an embarrassment to him, and also to the hospital, who pronounced her dead.

    She befriends another doctor, who tests her thoroughly, and discovers that she was, in fact, the woman that died, and has now come back to life. The press catches wind, and she is suddenly a media event. Meanwhile, we learn from her sister, that she must find true love in a month or less, or she will not be allowed to stay alive.

    Much of the humor is supposed to come from Long's pratt falls, but she was not up to the physical comedy, and they should have had some talented comedy writers working on the dialogue. I am a Long fan, but her characteristic "cuteness" was not enough to carry this film. I didn't get a single chuckle, and had trouble staying awake. IMDb readers have this at 4.3 of 10. Ebert awards 2 stars, and I have to agree with everyone. The transfer is a little grainy, but passable, and the film is photographed and edited well, but the story brings it clear down to the D level. Next time I am in the mood for a Shelly Long film, I will rewatch Night Shift, or Outrageous Fortune.

  • Thumbnails

  • Shelley Long (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Ripley's Game (2002):

    If you were ever acquainted with the basic facts about this film, you're probably wondering whatever happened to it.

    It is based on one of the Patricia Highsmith novels about the charming, sophisticated psychopath Tom Ripley, of which there are five The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Boy Who Followed Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley Under Water, and Ripley's Game. The Talented Mr Ripley, a story about the con artist as a young man, was a successful recent film starring Matt Damon, and John Malkovich seemed an appropriate choice to play an older, more jaded Ripley.

    Liliana Cavani was brought in to direct, and see seemed a good choice to portray the Italian life of high style which the mature Ripley chose to live.

    The basic plot is interesting. Ripley overhears his neighbor insulting him, and for that disrespect, our favorite psycho concocts an elaborate scheme of revenge that gets the guy in trouble with the Russian and Ukrainian mobs in Berlin. Then something unexpected happens. Ripley develops a conscience at that very late stage in life, and decides that he has to bail the poor schmuck out of the mess he got him into, so he ends up in Germany battling the mobsters, and eventually forging a bond with the man who had insulted him.

    There are some great scenes. The scene in which Ripley and his neighbor kill three gigantic mobsters, one at a time of course, in the men's room on a German train is both funny and taut. Some of the Italian outdoor locales are absolutely lush, and the interiors are absolutely spectacular. Hats off to the person who came up with the locales, to veteran cinematographer Alfio Contini, and to the legendary screen composer Ennio Morricone.

    Ray Winstone is on hand to play one of his usual roles as an overstuffed small-time mob boss with more depth than normally expected from a screen gangster. Winstone is kind of establishing himself as a Tony Soprano with a working class British accent, and he's pretty damned good at it.

    So with so many solid elements, what went so wrong that this film went straight-to-video in North America, despite having cost $30 million to produce?

    I'm not sure I can answer that question. I thought it was a respectably good movie, but I have read that Cavani seemed to have no understanding of how to make a thriller, and that Malkovich (uncredited) ended up taking over the direction and post-production. When they finally got an theatrical edit together, it bombed royally in European box offices, and I'm guessing that the American distributors figured that a slow-paced, thoughtful, highly visual movie which failed in Europe had absolutely no prayer in America. And, of course, the "hero" of the film has the personality of Hannibal Lecter and the voice of John Malkovich, which doesn't exactly spell summer blockbuster. Finally, it didn't get great reviews in the U.K., so there was no reason to attempt marketing it as a prestige picture.

    That's all just my speculation.

    At any rate, I found the film very satisfactory, and you may do the same if you can handle a thriller with more suggestion than actual action, and some rather complex character development.

    The British Critics awarded about two and a half stars on average. It is rated 6.6 at IMDb, but with many HIGHLY enthusiastic comments. I call it a C+. Top-notch cult film loved by its fans, but lacking in general appeal.

    No nudity, I guess. Maybe. See for yourself.

    • Chiara Caselli (1, 2)


    White Mischief (1988):

    I just love the characterizations in movies about the British ruling class in Africa and India. You have to understand that I don't know how these people actually lived, but I've seen a number of movies which portray them consistently as vainglorious, greedy, shallow, condescending, and racist twits with no respect for the native cultures of their colonies.

    "The diamond is cursed, Sahib/Bwana, if you remove it from the eye of Shiva/n'botu, we all die ... !"

    "I say, Jeeves, bring me another gin and quinine, and do shoot that frightful beggar, if you would."

    This film has all the classic elements. While the people of Africa starved and the people back in England faced German rockets and fought the Battle of Britain, the British expats in Kenya worried about where to get a good drink, who had the best centerpieces at last month's round of parties, whose wife had the most elegant pearls, and who was sleeping with whom.

    The frivolity of the expat colony was interrupted by the murder of one of their own. A middle aged man, Lord Broughton, brought a carefree, gold-digging young bride to the colony, and the gorgeous young Lady Broughton took about an hour to find a studly young lover with a fancy title (the Earl of Erroll). The old husband seemed to accept her inevitable desire to dissolve their marriage, and the old coot even toasted the young lovers with a celebratory dinner ...
     ... after which the young Earl was found pushing up the daisies in the front seat of his car, shot to death.
    These events are based on a true story, and the names have not been changed for the film. In both the film and in reality, the old husband was charged with the murder, but acquitted. The crime remains officially unsolved. The screenplay and the eponymous book both assume Lord Broughton was guilty, and the film reinforces that conclusion with a rather bizarrely incriminating finale.
    Not everyone finds that a reasonable conclusion.
    Here is an historical account of the trial by a lawyer involved peripherally. (He was almost chosen to be the defense counsel). Although another member of the colony, Lady Carberry, claimed to the author of White Mischief that Lord Broughton confessed his guilt to her personally, the author of the historical article linked above poo-poos this revelation. In fact, he says that the government's accusations against the husband were ludicrous, presuming the old boy to have shimmied up and down a drainpipe and to have hiked five miles on foot in order to commit the crime. Furthermore, the prosecutors tried to prove that Lord Broughton's Colt was the murder weapon, a contention that was utterly destroyed by the defense in the trial. The murder weapon was later shown to have been a five groove gun which was never linked to Lord Broughton or any other member of the colony. The lawyer/observer speculates that the crime probably had to have been committed by one or more of the dozens of female lovers of the Earl of Erroll, very possibly by Lady Broughton herself.
    Whatever the true story may be, the case continues to fascinate new generations of Englishmen because it exposed the decadent excesses of people who were living a shallow life of luxury while their countrymen endured the hardships of WW2.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that scripted versions of gripping real-life crimes and trials rarely make for interesting films. If the author stays too close to real-life court procedure, the film gets tedious. If the author strays into symbolism and speculation (ala Nick Roeg's Eureka), he tends to substitute lunatic imaginings for those elements that made the crime interesting in the first place. The aforementioned Eureka, however, for all of its mad faults, is a far more interesting interpretation of a sensational crime than White Mischief, which just slogs along. The Earl's murder must obviously have been a crime of passion, but I had a hard time imagining any of these characters being passionate about anything. Even their sexual couplings were perfunctory, as if they were performing obligatory social rituals, like dancing with one's cousin at a family wedding.

    The director of the film is Il Postino's Michael Radford, and nobody will ever accuse this guy of getting into a rut. He has only worked on a handful of major projects over the past two decades, and his five major films have virtually nothing in common.

    1. (7.49) - Il Postino (1994)
    2. (6.79) - Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
    3. (6.01) - B. Monkey (1998)
    4. (5.93) - White Mischief (1987)
    5. (5.83) - Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

    I think that all of his films offer splendid sights to behold, including this one, but this is by far the least interesting of the five. Even the improvisational Dancing at the Blue Iguana allows some involvement with the characters, but this one stays aloof from the people who populate it. I suppose that's just as well, because they are not very nice people to begin with. The problem is that I had to spend two hours with them.

    Greta Scacchi was young and gorgeous as Lady Diana Broughton, however. She wore about three dozen designer outfits, and female audiences seemed to find this and other elements of the film somewhat engaging, scoring it a most respectable 7.2 at IMDb. Men, however, score it only 5.8, so it is definitely a certified chick-flick, with 1.4 estrogen points. The IMDb scores also increase with the age of the voters, so it's officially a granny chick-flick, with approximately the same demographic appeal as that favorite of grannies everywhere, Beaches.  If you guys get stuck watching it, don't despair. Greta also showed off her designer chest a lot, so there is plenty of eye candy for you, if little else.

    Fair warning: the film is not entirely a Hugh Grant-free zone, although our hero has only a tiny, albeit suitably floppy-haired part. (See the review at the movie house - linked below)





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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.



    John Sayles is one of the most respected independent filmmakers in history, and this is one of the early films that helped to establish his reputation. It's about a woman in a bad marriage who falls in love with another woman and discovers her true self. Or something like that. (I have not seen it). I guess the point is this: advanced lesbotronics ahead.


    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:

    Vampyres (1974) is a moody, sexy and reasonably entertaining movie. Like all vampire movies that came out between the original Nosferatu and the fictional telling of its making, entitled Shadow of the Vampire (2000)... both us which are great fun to watch... there isn't much to recommend except that the nekkid babes dominate the scenery. Lesbian vampires pick up a guy and bleed him dry, not in the traditional sense of maxing out his credit cards but by tapping into his jugular. The action outside the bedroom or the shower is pretty darn silly but it doesn't get in the way of the babes... and two of the three women who get their kits off are very nice to look at. I sent in caps of former Heffer Anulka Dziubinksa a long while ago. Today's stuff shows Marianne Morris and Sally Faulkner.

    Marianne plays one of the lesbo-vamps... Anulka was the other, so you see her in a couple of collages. She looks terrific. In particular, she has a perfectly sized natural body. She is topless in several long scenes, capped in collages 1-3 & 5-9. You see her bum in #4 and as close as she comes to full frontal in #9. Those were grabbed from the movie, itself. Collages 10-12 are from the extras on this disk, and represent a small number of the many stills taken on the set. Number 11 is the winner, with two frames of Marianne in her full-frontal glory.

    Sally Faulkner was topless in couple of scenes. She plays a young wife who, with her hubster, had the bad sense to camp on the grounds of the Vampolesbians. She pays for it at the end of the movie. I grabbed frames from a dark stripping-to-sporthumping scene and made collage 1. In the second scene, Sally's character has discovered the true nature of her friends and is appropriately scared witless. Since there is nothing at all attractive about a frightened woman, I grabbed only the still from this scene to make collage 2.

    I can recommend this DVD for the usual prurient reasons and also for the DVD extras that include recent interviews with Marianne and Anulka, intercut with short clips from the movie. A C- movie, a B+ disk.

    • Marianne Morris (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    • Sally Faulkner (1, 2)

    ....and while I was at it.

    I'm clearing the hard drive of frames I capped a long time ago and didn't put together for one reason or another. To that end here is a collage of what I consider the #1 nude scene of all time. Sherilyn Fenn in the stripping scene of Two Moon Junction. What I can't believe is the movie's age and, by extension, the cappers age.

    Cerina Vincent
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    We know and love her as the nude foreign exchange student from "Not Another Teen Movie", now here she is topless again in scenes from "Cabin Fever".

    Isabel del Toro
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Showing breasts and bum views in scenes from her one and only IMDb credit, the 2002 Spanish movie "Mucha sangre".

    Vejiita adds:
    The Spanish movie "Mucha Sangre" (Lots of Blood), is a great Horror-Comedy movie about some aliens that are trying to take over the world living inside men and only men, they get new hosts by anal sex, and they eat women after killing them and wait until the putrefaction of their bodies. Is in the style of the Evil Dead movies.

    Allesandra Ambrosio
    (1, 2)

    As mentioned yesterday in the Mailbox...She has been identified as the babe in the Hummer H2 commercial with Regis. #2 has see-thru breast views.

    Carla Gugino
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the "Spy Kids" star topless and showing some rear nudity in scenes from the 1996 movie "Jaded".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Maria Made Him - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told an interviewer that shortly after taking office, he voluntarily participated in a sexual harassment prevention course with his staffers. The course is optional for governors, and before the election, his aides said he hadn't decided yet whether to take it.

  • But then he found out the instructor had humongous gazongas.

    He Took Their Heads Off - Under pressure from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Portland Brewing agreed to stop making Governator Beer. Collectors are already paying $20 a bottle on eBay.

  • Arnold: he snapped it all up at $2 a bottle.
  • Turning the California governorship into a vulgar pun on a movie title is something that only Arnold is allowed to do.

    Last night, "American Idol" proved that Americans have become so obese, our ear canals are stuffed with fat. How else to explain why the people who should have been in the bottom three (and weren't) were so obvious that the camera kept cutting to close-ups of them looking ashamed of themselves for remaining. Meanwhile, in what has become an honored tradition on this show, they quickly ejected the pink-haired, slightly chubby girl with a big voice and a sense of humor (this time, Amy Adams in the role of Vanessa Oliverez), leaving the cute guys who couldn't carry a tune in a Samsonite bag and the underaged girl whose vibrato sounds like someone buggering a billy goat. There, you're now up to speed, and the show is right on schedule!

    Toddle Off To Burger King - A survey of British parents by Mother & Baby magazine found that the quality of toddlers' diets in the UK is "horrifying." 92 percent are allowed to eat junk food. More than half don't get the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. And their favorite food is chocolate, followed by white bread, cookies, french fries, fish sticks, chips and cake. But only 20 percent of parents blame themselves in any way. They say their toddlers are fussy eaters.

  • Do they drive themselves to McDonald's?
  • When they were babies, their moms had to dip their boobs in caramel to get them to breast-feed.
  • My god! They're raising their kids to be...AMERICANS!
  • They're no longer "toddlers," they're "waddlers."

    Bring Out The Helman's And Bring Out The Vest - Scientists at Rice University in Texas have discovered that mayonnaise and salad dressing contain a little-understood tensile force known as "negative first normal stress difference." This phenomenon was previously thought to be found only in types of super-tough plastics used to make Kevlar bulletproof vests.

  • If they'd start filling breast implants with mayonnaise, this could save lives!
  • If the mayo on your sandwich is thick enough to stop a bullet, you must be extremely white.
  • They were working with a research team from the Mayo Clinic.
  • We finally know what the secret ingredient in "Secret Sauce" is: Kevlar!