Steal (2002) is an adrenalin rush crime thriller French/English/Canadian co-production. The plot is nearly a throwaway. Here is a quick summary. A gang of four friends has decided to try their hand at a new extreme sport - armed robbery - which will make them rich, and provide no end of excitement during the getaways. Three guys and a girl, all in top shape, use their athletic ability at roller blading, stunt driving, base jumping, free diving, etc, to stage spectacular escapes from high profile robberies. Three elements complicate the plot. First is a corrupt police lieutenant who is pulling their strings, second is a mobster out to recover $20M in bearer bonds they grabbed in an armored car heist, and finally Natasha Henstridge as an ambitious police detective willing to do anything to collar them and advance her career. Truth be told, she has more in common with the crooks than with other cops.
From the look of it, nearly all of the $15M budget was spent on stunts, and this is the best action film I have seen in a long time. Not only are several of the stunts imaginative, but the entire film is more or less a non-stop chase sequence. I was on the edge of my seat the entire running time, and didn't have time to worry about details like plot and character development, except in one scene. In a pivotal scene where Henstridge's character seduces the leader of the gang in a steam room, showing the extremes she would go to to make the career enhancing arrest, they used an obvious double. Not only that, but the editing of this scene was a total mess. Henstridge was good in the role, but I submit that this nude scene was pivotal in the film and in her character arc. If she doesn't want to show her body parts on film, that is her right. However, they should have found an actress who was willing to perform the entire role. Sometimes body doubles can be used subtilely. This was not the case here. The framing and cutting, and the bad wig on the double, screamed double. Further, they could have done a lot dramatically with the scene, showing sex between two young, attractive adrenaline junkies. The double shows hints of breasts and buns. Jennifer Rae Westley, who seems to be finding a niche taking of her clothes, shows breasts in a gratuitous bath scene.
IMDb readers have this at 5.0. Critics all mentioned the excellent stunt/chase material, but many were critical of the plot and character development. I found it to be a delightful bit of non-stop action, and didn't miss the other elements. Call it all pace and no plot. This is probably a C-, as many will want more plot, but you may enjoy the non-stop action as much as I did, and some of the stunt ideas are masterful.
Jennifer Rae Westley
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Amityville II: The Possession (1982):
This was the second of eight, soon to be nine, films about the
"haunted" house at 112 Ocean Avenue. Here are the IMDb
scores and links for the films, listed chronologically.
The original film had been a
major financial success, so a follow-up was inevitable. The only
unanswered question was, "What should it be about?" The first film
had been based on the experiences of the Lutz family, who moved into
a house that had once been the source of six bloody murders. The
found that the house was a source of evil manifestations. In real
life, the Lutz
family escaped uneventfully, and nothing exciting ever happened in
the house after the Lutzes moved out, other than tourists trampling
the begonias. There was no possibility to continue the story
chronologically, so the logical course for the
follow-up film was to go back in time to the only dramatic thing
that had ever actually happened in that house - the 1974 DeFeo family
(Court TV has an excellent story about the DeFeo family
murders, if you
want to catch up on the events which inspired Amityville II.)
film changed the name of the slaughtered family to Mottoli, lost one
of the murderer's brothers, and seems to have time-traveled the
story forward to 1982 based on the cars we see. Apart from that, the
script basically kept
the DeFeo family members as central characters in the film, appropriating
major aspects of their
actual personalities and using events from their lives.
Just as in real life, the oldest son in the movie family ended up killing his parents and
his siblings. The film deviates from the true story in that it
assumes the kid's mental problems were authentic external sources
(demons from the house) rather than delusions generated by an abusive upbringing
and vast quantities of drugs. The actual trial of Ronald DeFeo did
involve a debate over the cause of his mental state, but demons
had nothing to do with it. His guilt actually hinged on whether he
was a deranged psychopath incapable of distinguishing right and
wrong, or simply a calculating and cold-blooded killer. Even the
insanity defense was not predicated on his belief in demons or the
supernatural. That was all added after the fact.
Of course, this script had to introduce the supernatural element to
make the story mesh with the mythology already established by The
Amityville Horror and, for the first two thirds of the film, it
succeeded at least to the extent of presenting marginally watchable
rubbish. The last third of the film, however, diverges completely
from quality as well as reality. I do not just mean the reality of the DeFeo
case, but the greater sense of reality involving the laws which
govern the universe. It's just downright silly. A priest gets
involved with the murderer, breaks the murderer out of jail, and
heads to the house for some serious guy-on-priest exorcism action.
All of that was ludicrous, and none of it had any factual basis
at all. The real Ronald DeFeo
Jr is still incarcerated somewhere, still unexorcised. As for the
house, there were no further paranormal phenomena reported after the
Amityville II is just about as good as you might
expect from its 4.0 at IMDb, which is to say not good at all. I
believe you will consider it a waste of your time. I
suppose you might derive some titillation from
the belief that certain parts of it are based on reality, but the
only titillation I got was seeing Diane Franklin's breast. Ms.
Franklin, you will recall, was the designated 80s "girl next door"
cutie in every commercial ever made and such films as Better off
Dead, The Last American Virgin, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure,
and Second Time Lucky. Miss Franklin is now tentatively returning to the
spotlight after fifteen years as a private citizen. She sang the
National Anthem at a Dodger game last year.
Here is a recent
picture, in which she seems not to have aged a minute since her
adventure with Bill and Ted in the late 80s. Get more info about her
- Diane Franklin (1,
2). She is so-o-o cute. The portrait-shaped picture (#1) is
a composite of three frames, but there is no possibility of a
double. The camera motion is a smooth pan, her hair appears with
the breast, and every single strand of hair matches perfectly.
Sin City (2005):
Separated at birth?
- Virus alert:
"Security experts have warned of a new worm which lures with
promises of steamy pictures of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie."
Blackadder set to return from the war grave This is the
best idea I've heard in months, for two reasons (1) Blackadder was
a great program (2) If Rowan is kept busy with this, he won't have
time to do any more of Mr Fookin' Bean.
Six of the eighteen most repressive governments in the world are
members of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights,
including those famous human rights experts from Sudan!
Many scenes in Ice Princess involve Trachtenberg's head "shopped"
on the bodies of four different stunt skaters.
Devil Rays OF Sanchez suspended for steroid use. To
quote Tina Fey's line, he obviously wasn't using the kind that
make you good at baseball. He has four lifetime homers. Imagine if
he weren't all bulked up.
NYPD says: Big Pussy hits gal pal, dumps her in street
Saint's Prophecy: Only Two Popes Remain
FilmJerk.com - The Early Report for April 3, 2005
Romance Novels that SHOULD exist, but don't
Sin City is #1 at the Weekend Box Office April 1-3. The
numbers, however, were not spectacular, at $28 million. Beauty
Shop and Guess Who finished in a virtual tie for second in the
thirteen million range.
The Watley Review: "Jules Verne Blamed for North Korea's WMD
The iconoclastic Christopher Hitchens pulls a Hunter Thompson and
writes a negative column about the beloved JPII.
TV theme songs from the USA and UK
NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 275,000
images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the
collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated
manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and
photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
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.
Here are the official results for last week's poll.
The Top 20 Best Sex Scenes
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.
AWESOME finds by LC!
New in theaters! Carla Gugino and Jaime King in "Sin City"!
In theaters now! "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Keira Knightley briefly baring a breast in "The Jacket".
Coming to DVD May 10th! Robyn Cohen topless in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou".
New on DVD! The mega-lo budget indie flick "Remedy" (2005).
- Candice Coke, topless while riding a dude.
- Krie Alden showing some side breast exposure and a serious thong view.
'Caps and comments by Spaz:
"The Girl In Blue" (1971) aka U-Turn
Find of the week. A rare French-Canadian movie starring
an early Maud Adams and Gay Rowan from the Canadian
cult sci-fi tv series Starlost.
"The Intruder Within" (1981)
Turkey of the week and blatant ripoff of Alien.
"Club Life" (1983)
Somewhat dated movie about the hollywood disco scene starring Tony Curtis.
Turn-o-the-century Quebec drama.
Marie Eve Bertrand goes full out in her first role.
Cold Squad: episode C'mon I Tip Waitresses
Latest episode from season seven..
11th Hour: episode Bumpy Cover
Final episode of season three.
"En pleine forme avec Mitsou" (1993)
Quebec exercise video starring Canada's
favorite coquette Mitsou Gelinas. Lots of bendover
shots but no obligatory shower scene at the end.
- Mitsou: (1,
6) cleavage and hamstercam.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"National Lampoon's Gold Diggers"
There was a time when the National Lampoon name in a movie was almost a guarantee that you were going to see a funny, well-done comedy. Unfortunately, 2003's National Lampoon's Gold Diggers, also known as National Lampoon's Lady Killers, is an example of the more recent stuff coming from this franchise, which doesn't live up to the successes of the past.
Two young men, bumbling losers who can't seem to do anything right, concoct a scheme to marry two rich old sisters, so they can kill them and inherit their fortune. What they don't know is that the women's nutso uncle controls their trust, and has stolen all their money and placed it in his safe. They need someone to help them kill the uncle and steal their money back.
There are indeed laughs in this movie, but basically I found it mostly boring and more dumb than funny. Nikki Schieler Ziering's brief appearances weren't bad, but that leaves you with 86 minutes of an 87 minute movie that are basically a waste of time. Actually, if you watch "Nikki Nude Outtakes" in the Special Features section of the unrated DVD, you can just skip the movie entirely. Probably a good plan.
'Caps and comments by Oz:
"So Graham Norton"
So Graham Norton is a British talk show which would be a bit too risque for many countries. Morgan Fairchild is displaying what money can buy and there is a bit of the anorexic Geri Halliwell's nipple showing through under the studio lights.
Laila Robins is buried alive in Oxygen and she is in her underwear.
"How to Deal"
It's similar in How to Deal where see more of Mandy Moore and Alexandra Holden. Moore actually shows a decent amount of breast in a side view (#2).
"The Four Seasons"
It's butts all round in The Four Seasons from Bess Armstrong and Rita Moreno.
Fatherland is a strange 'what if' movie, starring Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson, based on the novel of the same name by Robert Harris. In the film we see what might have happened if America had stayed out of WW2 and Germany had won. There's frontal nudity by a woman who was dead.
"Dracula - Dead and Loving It"
Dracula - Dead and Loving It is another of those Leslie Nielson comedies that raises the occasional smile. No nudity, just lots of cleavage by Lysette Anthony, Amy Yasbeck, Karen Roe and Darla Haun.
"Batman & Robin"
It's just sex appeal by Uma Thurman and Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin.
- Uma Thurman
- Alicia Silverstone
It's more sex appeal in Tank Girl by Lori Petty and some unknown girls.
- Lori Petty
"Along Came Polly"
It's the same again in Along Came Polly, but this time the women are Debra Messing and Jennifer Aniston.
- Jennifer Aniston
- Debra Messing
Julie Cialini is topless in American Crime and Cyia Batten gets felt up.
|A quick site note
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