"The Thomas Crown Affair"

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) is a remake of the 1968 Norman Jewison film of the same name, staring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. Director John McTiernan made no attempt to conceal that this was a remake, even casting Dunaway in the film as Crown's shrink, and using the Oscar winning Michel Legrand song from the original, Windmills of Your Mind, in the opening sequence. The caper is changed from a bank robbery to an extremely clever heist of a $100m painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Crown (Pierce Brosnan), purely as an exercise to alleviate boredom. Enter Rene Russo as a crackerjack insurance investigator. She figures out early that Crown did it, but proving it is another matter, especially when she starts an affair with him. Three motivations probably contributed to the affair on her part. She wanted to solve the case for her share from the insurance company, she was attracted to him, and he was a challenge. For his part, she was the most worthy opponent he had ever discovered.

All of the details of the painting theft are ingenious and at least plausible, and the plot makes complete sense. For those expecting an actioner (like McTiernan's Die Hard), there isn't any action to speak of. The romance takes place more in the minds of the two than in bed. Both Ebert and Berardinelli like the plot, but see no chemistry between Brosnan and Russo. While the two didn't get weak-needed at the sight of each other, the intellectual battle between them was very intense, and drove their relationship. Both characters needed this to sustain a relationship, as, for them, sex was just sex. Rotten Tomatoes has this at 70% positive, with 75% positive from the top critics. IMDB readers have it at 6.7 of 10, with women of all age groups rating it slightly higher than men in the same group.

Russo shows breasts in two scenes, a dark sex scene, and a very well lit outdoor sunbathing scene, and wears a transparent dress to a dance. The script was very well written, keeping me guessing start to finish, and I believed the relationship between Brosnan and Russo, especially since they were on different sides of the painting theft, and both had trust issues in their lives. This is a very high C+. Anyone who likes a good caper flick will love this one.

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  • Rene Russo (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)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Camilla (1994)

    Camilla is the story of the friendship between an eccentric elderly violinist (Jessica Tandy) and a young woman (Bridget Fonda) who aspires to write music. Tandy looks back upon her yellowed clippings and draws upon her ancient memories as part of the process of imparting her wisdom to the young 'un, so it plays out sort of like Titanic Light. The acting is terrific in this movie, although the movie is kind of an artificial three-hanky chick-flick, and plays out like a TV movie of the week. As an example, Jessica Tandy finds the long-lost-since-girlhood love of her life before the end of the film, and does so almost by accident. And at her age, long-lost is very long indeed.

    The most unusual and perhaps the most memorable element of Camilla is that Jessica Tandy did a nude scene. In fact, it was her only nude scene, and she was 84 or 85 when she did it. She had died by the time the film was released. 

     "Hey, that isn't beautiful or sexy, Scoop"

    No, of course it isn't sexy, but beautiful is another matter.

    She was one of the great stage actresses of the 20th century, a great and gutsy woman who continued to perform as long as she could stand, and continued to do so very well, brilliantly, in fact. Tandy knew she was dying when she made this film. She and her husband of 52 years, Hume Cronyn, appeared together in this movie, for the last of thousands of times they shared the spotlight. (I saw them act together on Broadway on the opening night of A Delicate Balance in September of 1966.)

    During the film, Tandy and Cronyn spoke this line aloud to each other (It's a quote from Sea Fever by John Masefield): "And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over".

    If that isn't beautiful, then what is? 

    • General consensus: two stars. Ebert 2/4, Maltin 2.5/4, Berardinelli 2/4.

    • With their dollars ... it had no mass appeal. Box office: $250,000,

    It's a C (average chick-flick), but film buffs will want to see Tandy's remarkable, gutsy performance, and to savor her farewell to Cronyn.

    • Bridget Fonda (full frontal and rear, but far from the camera) (1, 2, 3)

    • Jessica Tandy

    Other crap:

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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 Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick Locke, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Horny teenager movies are of a genre that deserves more respect. Well, okay, maybe not...but there should be a lot more of them, because they deliver the goods and the goodies.

    "Homework" (1982) is a perfect example.

    The plot? Horny teenagers look to get laid. Duh!

    The exposure? Well, two household names...Joan Collins and Betty Thomas... have parts in the movie but do not give up the goodies. Oh you see Joan in a nice set o' jeans and Betty in a deeply cut blouse, but that's it. (By the by, that's Wings Hauser with Betty. He plays a rock star with the clap. Don't ask.)

    Two credited women you do get to see are sometime pornstar Babara Peckinpaugh in two collages of boob exposure, and stripper Joy Michael in three boob-filled collages. Joy was chosen for the part of Joan Collins as a teenager because, yep sho nuff, she looks a lot like a young Joan Collins. First two collages show her in the back seat of a '57 Chevy gettin hooter-groped. Ah, to be a teenager again. Third collage is Joy acting as Joan's body double in a mother-I'd-like-to-fuck scene.

    • Babara Peckinpaugh (1, 2)
    • Joy Michael (1, 2, 3)

    Then there are a bunch of uncredited women who give up some serious goodies. The onliest recognizable one is B movie empress, Michelle Bauer. This is Michelle with the original equipment still installed, looking extremely fine as a rock groupie. She's in eight collages worth of real nice, real natural hooter exposure.

    • Michelle Bauer (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Another rock groupie is a blonde who looks very familiar, kinda like former Hefmate Susie Owens. Very nice looking woman, 'specially when the top comes off.

    A third uncredited woman plays a nurse who flashes her jumbo jacks, and fellas, I do mean jumbo. By the look of her, I'd expect she is a professional clothing removal person of some type or other. Two collages of her, the second is a montage of three frames.

    Then you got your obligatory topless babe in the girl's locker room and your obligatory two girls in a hot tub. The latter is notable for providing the only below the equator exposure of the whole movie.

    So the movie is stupid. So it's a teenage boy fantasy. Who cares? The teenager in question has lots and lots of friends... and with friends like these who needs dialogue.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    A little something for Jennifer Love Hewitt fans.

    Jennifer's excellent cleavage from 1997's "I Know What You Did Last Summer".

    Amanda Ooms The Swedish actress topless in scenes from "De Tussentijd" (1993).

    Constanze Engelbrecht Taking a topless swim in scenes from "Der Eindringling" (1990).

    Gesine Cukrowski Close up rear nudity from the Italian movie "L'Uomo che piaceva alle donne - Bel Ami" (2001).

    Julia Jäger Breast exposure in a shower scenes from "Woanders scheint nachts die Sonne" (1997).

    Madonna Showing a whole mess of cleavage in 'caps from German TV.

    Marie Colbin The Austrian actress going full frontal in scenes from "Der Fall Bachmeier - Keine Zeit für Tränen" (1984).

    Pam Grier The Queen of Blacksploitation topless in scenes from "Drum" (1976).

    Margot Kidder Lois Lane looking pretty darn good and showing partial exposure in scenes from "The Amityville Horror" (1979).

    Mariel Hemingway

    Virginia Madsen
    (1, 2)

    Both ladies go topless in scenes from the 1985 movie "Creator".

    Maria Rosaria Omaggio
    (1, 2)

    Very nice breast exposure in love scenes from "Nightmare City".

    Dann takes a look at the Skinemax flick, "Passion and Romance: Scandal" (1997).

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Nothing But Porn, Football And The Three Stooges! - TNN (The National Network) is changing its name to Spike TV and will reposition itself as the first network to air programming specifically targeting men. TNN president Albie Hecht said Spike TV is a good name because "it's unapologetically male; it's active; it's smart and contemporary with a personality that's aggressive and irreverent. This is a first major step in our journey to super-serving men in a way no one has done before."

  • Other than the Mustang Ranch.
  • It's the first channel to specifically target men, other than the Playboy Channel, the Spice Channel, ESPN, ESPN 2...
  • I had a dog named Spike once...He mostly just laid on the couch and scratched himself.
  • It will show nothing but all the other channels flipping by at the rate of three per second.

    More Important Than "Good Morning, Miami"?! - Monday, Dreamworks announced plans for the first all-CGI TV series, with all computer generated characters like those in "Shrek." NBC Entertainment head Jeff Zucker called it "the single most important project" he's been involved with in two and a half years. "Father of the Pride" will be a "cheeky, edgy, and ironic" sitcom about a pride of white lions working for Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas.

  • They must not have THAT much pride.
  • They couldn't find real lions who could play "gay" convincingly.
  • Big deal! Siegfried and Roy have been computer-generated for years!
  • "Cheeky, edgy and ironic?" Translation: "fart jokes."
  • "Ally McBeal" had some CGI, but that was back when they could only do stick figures.

    Baby, You're Already A Rich Man - Paul McCartney says he and wife Heather Mills asked to be contestants on the celebrity edition of the British version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire," but host Chris Tennant rejected them, telling them, "You'd be terrible."

  • He figured any billionaire who wants to be a millionaire must be really stupid.
  • They could just ask questions about the Beatles and Wings, but Heather's too young to know any of that.