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.
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.
|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
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.
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
"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
Not everyone finds that a reasonable conclusion.
Here is an historical account of the trial by a lawyer involved
(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
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.
- (7.49) -
Il Postino (1994)
- (6.79) -
- (6.01) -
B. Monkey (1998)
- (5.93) -
- (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)
- Greta Scacchi (1,
- Jacqueline Pearce
Cinema Confidential News: The new James Bond has been chosen
The Hobbit will be made into a movie in New Zealand. Ian McKellan
will star as Gandalf, but Peter Jackson will not direct.
- Here's the trailer for
De-Lovely: "De-Lovely is an original musical portrait of
American composer Cole Porter, filled with his unforgettable
songs. In the film, Porter is looking back on his life as if it
was one of his spectacular stage shows, with the people and events
of his life becoming the actors and action onstage. Through
elaborate production numbers and legendary hits like 'Anything
Goes,' 'It's De-Lovely,' and 'Night and Day,' Porter's elegant,
excessive past comes to light - including his deeply complicated
relationship with his wife and muse, Linda Lee Porter." Stars
Ashley Judd and Kevin Kline.
Google Copernicus Center is hiring people willing to relocate - to
the moon, Alice.
Russia's version of the 10 funniest media jokes on April Fools day.
Oh, that Stalin. He just loved a genocidal April Fool's prank. Who
can forget April 1, 1941 when he told people he was just kidding
about flooding seventy towns and villages, then flooded them
anyway. "No, I really wasn't kidding, komrades. April Fool!"
Burma Shave Presents: The Uncle Melon 50th Anniversary Special.
His 50 years on the internet have flown by so fast ...
The Molvania Tourists Rarely Get to See. Intrepid travelers
with no corner of the globe left to conquer could try an adventure
holiday in Eastern Europe's hidden jewel -- Molvania. A new guide
to 'the land untouched by modern dentistry,' published in Britain
on Thursday, lists some of Molvania's highlights, including its
nuclear reactor with genuine 1950s-era cracks, and a magnificent
zoo with 1,000 animals, all crammed in one cage. Eating out in
Molvania -- spiritual home of the polka and whooping cough -- is
cheap, but you may have to pay extra for a waiter with a mustache,
the guide advises.
- They are the tiniest and most
tragic victims of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia:
Innocent babies born addicted to human blood. Known as the Vampire
Babies of the Balkans, an estimated 13,000 such tykes lead
dismal existences in orphanages in Bosnia and Herzegovina or are
shuttled from one foster home to another.
- I don't understand why they don't look for foster homes in
Romania with nice vampire couples.
- The big news in Norway today:
man shoplifts tarantula from pet store by stuffing it in his
pocket, with predictable results.
Norwegian police use The Passion of the Christ to torture
The excuse generator
Shit-garglin' scientists create cocksuckin' cure for fuckin'
Tourette's. Thank motherfuckin' heaven. I've been waiting.
Lynne Cheney's lesbotronic sex novel to be republished!
"'Sisters", Lynne Cheney's 1981 novel about feminism in the Old
West -- complete with condoms, prostitution and lesbian love -- is
being republished for those who missed it the first time around.
Sen. Jim Bunning's re-election campaign apologized Wednesday for
what it said was 'a joke' the veteran lawmaker made about his
likely opponent this fall, Democrat Daniel Mongiardo, at a
Republican dinner last month in Florence. Democrats charged last
week that Bunning had told the crowd at the Republican Party's 4th
District Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner that Mongiardo looked like
Saddam Hussein's sons 'before they were dead.' Democrats pointed
out that of the two sons, Mongiardo only looks like Uday, and he
looks much more like him after death.
Star Wars Trilogy DVD leaks - six scenes with commentary.
Brett Favre spends all day chasing beavers
The Filthy Critic reviews Mel Gibson's Reservoir Gods, and Club
Bush Speaks, Boy Yawns, Letterman And CNN Get Things Confused.
Remember the story Letterman vs The White House? Turns out that
the White House said nothing at all. CNN just plain misreported
the story. "According to this," he said during the show, referring
to an index card in his grasp, "CNN has just phoned and ... the
anchorwoman misspoke. They never got a comment from the White
House. It was a CNN mistake."
The times they are a changin'. Bob Dylan for Victoria's Secret,
because even on Desolation Row, you have to look your sexiest.
- You thought his show was
finished. You've been punk'd.
Fool me twice: Ashton Kutcher to return to MTV with new 'Punk'd'.
Or maybe it is an April Fool's Gag. A punking about a show that
does punking on the National Punking Day. I feel like one of
Stern Shocks Listeners with April Fool's Hoax
- This week's movies:
Home on the Range - a Disney animated effort with 36% positive
- This week's movies:
The Prince & Me - 33% positive reviews. "There’s only one way
The Prince and Me could be any worse — it could have starred Kate
- The big critical winner in this
Shaolin Soccer - 88% positive reviews.
- This week's movies:
Walking Tall - 38% positive reviews.
- This week's movies:
Hellboy - 71% positive reviews
Jon Stewart interviews Dick Clarke - and I don't mean the
The Daily Show looks at the way candidates pander to the youth
- A completely new trailer for
Troy. (Trailer B is the new one)
The ever wacky FCC has taken the first step toward investigating
Oprah Winfrey after receiving 'more than a few complaints' about
her show. Yeah. Forget about terrorism. I won't really feel
safe until those steel bars close behind Oprah. With both Oprah
and Tommy Chong locked away, our streets will be safe for children
Bush Administration official leaves talking points at Starbucks.
Now available for download.
Johnny Depp seeks 300 naked people.
MELANCHOLY SADDAM LONGS TO SHUT DOWN A NEWSPAPER Former
Dictator in "Deep Funk", French Lawyer Says
Prince William, the son of the heir to the British throne, is said
to be irritated at the publication of photos of him with a fellow
student reported to be his first girlfriend. No problem. He
can have complete privacy if he changes jobs with me. I'll take
the royal life, and the fookin' photographers can snap away.
The cheerleaders for the Hawaiian Islanders
Listen to the Soundtrack: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
- URL says it all:
Cool quiz - the senses challenge.
A Woman's Guide on How to Pee Standing Up
A stretch limo made from a 1981 Honda Accord? Is this an April
Girl Next Door - who is the hottest female athlete?
d'oh - Simpsons' stars in work stoppage
Early review of Kill Bill, Vol 2
More of The Mouseketeer doing her Madonna impersonation on stage.
Pranks for the Memories (April Fool's Pranks)
Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes Of All Time
Captain Kirk to make an appearance on Enterprise? Let's hope
it's a musical episode.
archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
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.
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:
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.
http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ Hope this is useful to you
or your users.
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
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+
- Marianne Morris
- Sally Faulkner
....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.
|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
|Showing breasts and bum views in scenes from her one and only IMDb credit, the 2002 Spanish movie "Mucha sangre".
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.
|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.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the "Spy Kids" star topless and showing some rear nudity in scenes from the 1996 movie "Jaded".
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
SCHWARZENEGGER NEWS CORNER
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
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.
...to 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.
"AMERICAN IDOL" RECAP
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!
TODDLERS LIVING ON JUNK FOOD
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."
MAYO SIMILAR TO BULLETPROOF VESTS
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
If the mayo on your sandwich is thick enough to stop a bullet, you must be
They were working with a research team from the Mayo Clinic.
We finally know what the secret ingredient in "Secret Sauce" is: Kevlar!