Monday

Tuna
"The Erotic Mirror"

The Erotic Mirror (2002) is one of the better Surrender Cinema offerings. It sports some lovely photography, 8 completely naked women, a little plot, and some comedy. At two hours, it is also one of the longer of their films. In the 20 minute nudity free opening sequence, a young couple come back from the city to their home town to vacation in her mother's house, while mom is traveling. The entire sequence is beautifully filmed in warm natural light aided by filters, and a pleasant soft focus. The plot kicks in in earnest when they stop off in an antique store, and she discovers a mirror that makes her horny. Of course she has to buy it. The thing is, the mirror doesn't make her want her husband, but rather herself and other women.

The antique store owner supplies the back story for the mirror, which belonged to the 100 year old plus madame of a local brothel who was trapped in the mirror with her jewels when locals burned her out. The better her orgasm, the more she sees the woman in the mirror, and she starts involving her doctor, old school friends, and finally a fortune teller in the sex to try and release the lady in the mirror. If this sounds like a setup for the usual Seduction Cinema women having the usual Seduction Cinema simulated sex with each other, you have been paying attention to my other reviews.

The good photography and lighting continued after the opening sequence. Night is designated using the standard blue tint, but not nearly as darkly as usual. One of these changes to a daytime shot with the same wonderful, warm, natural light as the opening sequence. In some of the outdoor sex scenes, they even went to the trouble of using a highlight light for the women's hair, just like a standard 5 light portrait studio setup. The film concludes with a 7 girl orgy and then a neat little surprise.

The beautiful Laurie Wallace played the lead, and was in every sex scene, including masturbation, sex with her doctor (A. J. Khan), sex with old school chums Misty Mundae and Esmerelda DellaRoca, another friend of a friend, Laura Renee and the fortune teller, Jade Duboir. The woman in the mirror, Darian Caine, joins in in the final orgy. All gave three B performances, as did Mistress Rheanon, in a comedy appearance as a nurse receptionist. She accentuated her bizarre appearance with boobs bigger than my head (much bigger) by using fish lips lipstick.

IMDb calls this 2.7, despite an actual average of 5.2. The film was to long for the plot and the sex scenes became tedious, but the photography was very nice for a soft-core effort, and 8 completely naked women fondling each other certainly meets genre expectations, making this a C.

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  • A.J. Khan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Darian Caine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Esmerelda DellaRocco aka Ruby Larocca (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Jade Duboir (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Laura Renee (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Laurie Wallace (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Mistress Rhiannon (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Misty Mundae (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    Sideways (2004):

    Today I am wearing the color yellow.

    What the hell am I talking about? Well, if you know your Green Lantern mythology, you'll remember that he has complete control over all time and space, virtually infinite power, except that he has absolutely no power at all over anything yellow. With his magic ring, he can make entire planets vanish without a trace, but he can't pick up a #2 pencil. This probably explains why he got double 200s on his SATs.

    As revealed cryptically by the hideous green DVD box, Alexander Payne, the creator of Sideways, must have hired Green Lantern to cast a spell of infinite power over the critics and the Academy, because by any measure of critical approval, this was one of the ten best films of the year, perhaps even in the top three. It received an average of four stars from the major British reviewers as well as our American super-panel. It is essentially a movie about a critic - not a movie critic, of course, but nonetheless a person whose raison d'etre is pronouncing judgments like "quaffable but not transcendent." Given that there is a natural tendency for critics to identify with the main character, perhaps that explains some of their passion for this movie.

    And passion there was. Here's a more complete look at its standing by various measurements:

     

    IMDb:

     

     

     

    Motion Picture Academy:

    Best Motion Picture of the Year
      Winner:
     
      Other Nominees:
     
  • Aviator, The (2004) -
  • Finding Neverland (2004)
  • Ray (2004/I)
  • Sideways (2004)
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    Rotten Tomatoes:

    1 97% The Incredibles 
    2 97% Maria Full of Grace
    3 96% Sideways

     

     

     

     

    Metacritic:

    The Best-Reviewed Movies of 2004
    1. Sideways 94
    2. Before Sunset 90
    3. Incredibles, The 90
    4. House of Flying Daggers 89
    5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 89

     

     

    The four tables above pretty much say it all. Sideways may have been the best-reviewed film of the year, and it received the Golden Globe for Best Picture, in the Musical or Comedy division. Critics saw it as possessing the heart of Casablanca, the spectacle of Lawrence of Arabia, the wit of Duck Soup, and the cultural significance of Andrej Rublev.

    Green Lantern's powers worked magnificently.

    Except on me. I was wearing yellow when I watched it.

    The real reason I am immune to its charms, I suppose, is that director Alexander Payne actually invokes the powers of wine and whine. The film is a long and rhapsodic elegy to the California wine country and its industry, particularly the vintners of Central California. In the film's seemingly infinite length, about half of the dialogue is dedicated to some kind of wine talk: discussions of favorite grapes and vintages, monologues about wine as a symbol for life itself, parallels between the wine sampling of the characters and their intrinsic natures. Snobbery and rhapsody.

    Even when not clad in yellow, I am immune to this appeal. Oh, it's obvious that the film is meant to appeal to middle-aged white people from the professional classes, and I am one of those, but I'm just not interested in wine or anything about it. I don't dislike wine; it is simply not a part of my life. I am virtually a teetotaler. My experience with wine is restricted to nursing the half glass of champagne that the family pours for me so I can partake in Christmas dinner toasts. Sometimes, every few years or so, I drink wine with a restaurant meal if somebody else orders the bottle. I think it is cool if you like wine. God bless ya. You have your thing, and I have mine. You like some Pouilly-Fousse and a good meal, while I like to shoot some top-grade heroin and seduce elderly nuns. Since my peculiarities are less acceptable than yours, I have no right to object to your love of wine, and I have no objection to your snobbery when you are amongst one another. Go for it. But I do have an objection to having to listen to your discussions. To me, this is about as interesting as listening to geeks discuss Dungeons and Dragons. I can't tell Chateau Lafitte from Boone's Farm. I don't know jack about grapes or weather or soil or which years were good, and I don't care to know about these matters, any more than I care to memorize all the different types of orchids or to learn the history of European soccer leagues. Wine talk just bores the living shit out of me. Thus, every time the conversation turns to oenological matters, I zone out and wait for somebody to change the topic. Well, guess what? That's what all the conversations are about in this movie.

    Except for some whining.

    When there is no wine lore on the docket, there is whine lore, from the master of malcontents, the titan of the whiny talk-too-much bitches, the live-action Eeyore himself, Paul Giamatti. Life is just treating his character so unfairly because he's such a great guy and such a genius, but his wife left him, his novels are rejected by the publishers, and he is forced to make a living by teaching A Separate Peace to Eighth Graders. Not only is this activity unrewarding psychologically, but it is so unremunerative that he is forced to steal money from his mother's secret stash. So he mopes his way through life. He would like to think of himself as a connoisseur, but he's really an alcoholic using his wine snobbery as a rationalization to get drunk on wine purchased from the money in momma's coffee can.

    The film is about a one week road trip in which Giamatti's Eeyore is matched with the Tigger of Thomas Hayden Church, a constantly upbeat guy who has neither the time nor the inclination for negativity or even for reflection. He just grabs impulsively for whatever he wants at the moment, like a little child seeking gratification of his immediate desires. As you can no doubt guess, his list of priorities is topped by poontang.

    There's nothing for me here. I'm not interested in wine or whine. Poontang is good, but the only nudity was supplied by two guys and some fat chick. (If you play for the other team, however, the film is practically a wienerfest.)

    Before it popped this in the DVD player, people told me that this was a brilliant movie, so I approached it enthusiastically and was astounded to discover that I seemed to watch it ... and watch it ... and watch it, tapping my fingers and waiting for something interesting or amusing to happen. When I finally surrendered to boredom and put the DVD player on pause, it read 1:22. What the hell! That's just about the length of an entire movie, and nothing much had happened yet.

    I am also astounded that so many award societies felt that this was the best script of the year. It has its pleasures (especially for wine lovers), but it is also filled with some sophomoric mistakes. Some examples: (1) Tigger comes completely out of character when his English teacher friend says that he doesn't want to be the first author to commit suicide before his first work is published. Without missing a beat, the goofy Church cites the example of John Kennedy Toole, who committed suicide before the publication of A Confederacy of Dunces. Sure, a person could know that ... if he was Ken Jennings! In fact, I would even be surprised if the erudite Jennings could have summoned that fact from his encyclopedic mind without at least taking a little time to ponder it, and the Church character was not supposed to be a scholarly, to say the least. (2) The Virginia Madsen character is underwritten and in a couple of instances, miswritten. She is underwritten in that she is basically just an object for Eeyore to pursue. We don't know anything about her except that she's divorced and loves wine. She is miswritten in that we find out about her love of wine from a long, unrealistic monologue which is written with the florid, verbose artifice of a 9th grade girl competing in an Original Oratory competition. Was this pretty speech imagined by the Giamatti character in a drunken delusion about his ultimate fantasy woman, or are we supposed to believe she is a real person who talks about wine in off-the-cuff conversations as if she were delivering JFK's inaugural address?

    "I like to think about the life of wine. How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline." So ask not what Montrachet can do for you ...

    I'm not contending that this is a bad movie. Virtually every critic and many other people think it is genius. But like a yellow bad guy battling the Green Lantern Society, I am immune to its powers. I thought it was pretty good, but not as good as its reputation, and certainly not strong enough to be among the five Oscar nominees.

    Let me soften my comments by saying that I did genuinely enjoy the last quarter of this film, during which the boys finally did something besides visit vineyards. There are some amusing moments as they attempt to recover a wallet lost during a disastrous sexual encounter, as they lose their tempers with some golfers playing behind them, and as they stage a false car crash as a cover story to explain to Church's fiancÚe why he looks like he has been beaten up by an angry husband. (Or in this case, by a particularly feisty lover who caught him in some lies.) If you read all of that back to yourself, you'll realize that the final quarter of the film is a fraternity road trip movie, except that the Deltas are now 40 years old instead of 20. I guess I like that kind of movie.


    A few other notes:

    • It amazes me that so many people found Virginia Madsen's awarded performance to be a surprise. She has always been terrific. I think I've enjoyed everything she has ever done. She's always been sexy, credible and unique. The problem has been that she has done those good things in some very small roles or in some very lame movies.

    • Paul Giamatti is one of the great character actors, but completely clueless on the golf course. What a swing! I would be surprised if he could break 200, and I know he couldn't have made that shot back at the trailing foursome.

    • The over-commercialized "Frass Vineyard", the subject of so much oenological contempt in the script, is actually the vineyard of my boyhood idol, the king of the wild frontier himself, Fort Worth's own Fess Parker. Get out your coonskin caps and remember, boomers! Frass, by the way, is a word for insect droppings. The OED defines it as: "The excrement of larvŠ; also, the refuse left behind by boring insects." And perhaps even by interesting insects.

    • The New York Times argued that it was "the most overrated movie of the year." Year, nothing! Maybe the most overrated of all time. Right up there with Bringing Up Baby, Eyes Wide Shut, Titanic, The English Patient, The Piano, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Return of the Jedi, Chariots of Fire, Out of Africa, and The Blair Witch Project. In fact, it is possible to argue that is is more overrated than any of those films, simply because the reviews were so universally positive while those other films all have had prominent detractors. Thinking numerically, I would still have to lean toward Eyes Wide Shut, a 25/100 suckfest that critics promoted into 75/100, as compared to Sideways, a decent 65/100 film elevated by critics to 95/100


    • Missy Doty (1, 2)

     

    A Reason to Believe (1995)

    The urge to create is not limited to the talented. In fact, I'd say it probably strikes uniformly across all talent levels, meaning that for every Orson Welles, with an urge to create matched by overwhelming talent and intelligence, there are a hundred  Ethan Hawkes who really, really, really feel the urge to create something, and churn out nothing better than masturbatory turtleneck art pieces or obvious afterschool specials.

    It is no fun to review the work of those sincere people who really want to make a passionate statement about life or their pet social issues. I'd much rather review the work of guys who view movies as a business, entertainment, or marketing project, because it's easy to crap on films like Pearl Harbor which are made with no greater ambition than making the big bucks.

    A Reason to Believe is one of those sincere, bumbling films that are difficult to review. It deals with a very serious set of subjects like date rape and the objectification of women. A woman goes to party without her boyfriend, is date-raped by boyfriend's frat brother, trouble ensues. The author has his heart in the right place, but has no idea how to approach this weighty subject, so he reveals his opinions by distributing pompous and obvious speeches among the sympathetic characters and/or authority figures. It seems like one of those "educational" films from the 1950s.

    Something like this:

    STONER: Gee, perfesser, women are, like, saying they want sex when they dress sexy, aren't they?

    PROFESSOR: There's where you're wrong, my naive young friend. It is a woman's choice to ... (long obvious speech)

    SINCERE GIRL IN BACK OF CLASS: Yeah, and besides Jimmy, how would YOU know what women want?

    (class giggles)

    PROFESSOR: This is not a matter for laughter!

    The characters are stereotypical. The situations are obvious. The filming is barely above home movie quality. The actors - just hopeless. They are about at the same level as your local TV staff announcers being forced to do dramatic re-enactments in public service announcements. The leading man of the film, the boyfriend of the rape victim who dumps her because he doesn't believe it was rape, is Anthony Quinn's son Danny, who was 31 at the time, but playing a college kid.

    Amazingly enough, this DVD of a forgotten film includes a full length commentary by the author/director, and ten short featurettes about the attempt to make and distribute a small, earnest, socially concerned, inept movie in a heartless freemarket. Of course, they didn't mention the "inept" part. As I have implied, these people are clueless, and really believe that they made something important and of great merit.

    On the other hand, it is one of the top movies ever filmed entirely in Ohio. Maybe THE top one, for all I know.

    • Holly-Marie Combs collages (1, 2). You probably remember her from Charmed. This is her one and only nude scene.
    • Here is a zipped .wmv of Holly's entire nude scene. I left it at full DVD size of 480 lines. This is a must-see, because you are first shocked by the appearance of an erect penis in such a movie, and then your shock turns to laughter as you realize that Combs is placing a condom on a penis-shaped block of wood. If you look closely enough, you might even conclude that the guy's pants are still on!!!

     

    Other Crap:

    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for Other Crap

     

     

    MOVIE REVIEWS:

    Here 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.

    Jr's Polls
    This week's Poll...


    Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.



    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
    The Top 20 Best Sex Scenes


    Spaz
    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    "Chained Heat II" (1993)
    Czechploitation classic finally released to DVD in the UK recently. What many people don't know Lucie Benes is better known in her home country as Lucie Benesova and she's the November 1993 hefmag czechmate for the Czech Republic edition.

    • shower scene: Lucie Benesova and Kimberley Kates both full frontal.


    "Walking Tall: The Rock" (2004)
    Needless remake of the classic and dumbed down to a PG-13 rating.

    • Ashley Scott: fully clothed strip tease then fully clothed sex. Paging Mr. Rock, please move your head. Thank you.
    • various: fully clothed strippers, wet t-shirt contestants, and slot jockey hoes. The waitress in the last frame is April Telek


    "Agent Cody Banks" (2003)
    Dumb spy spoof starring Frank Muniz from Malcom in the Middle. Strictly PG-13 fare.


    "The Pit" (1981) aka Teddy
    A movie so bad it's considered good. Re-released on a fairly decent DVD with Hellgate on the flipside.


    "Hellgate" (1989)
    Grade-Z horror filmed in South Africa and starring Ron Palillo best known as Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter tv series.


    "Too Fast, Too Young" (1995)
    Canadian drama starring Michael Ironside and hefmag polemate Katarzyna Figura who appeared in several Polish hefmag editions.


    "Killer Image" (1992)
    Another Canadian drama starring Michael Ironside. Polish-Canadian model Barbara Gajewskia showed her beaver in a Girls of Canada hefmag spread as Barbara Gajewska but this is her only role.

    Crimson Ghost
    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.


    Some assorted odds n' ends from the Ghost today...

    First up, the beautiful blonde babe showing some brief breast views in scenes from "100 Women" aka "Girl Fever" (2002).


    Next, here are two video clips featuring Oscar winner Charlize Theron making her film as well as film nudity debut in "2 Days in the Valley" (1996). In our recent "Best Nude Debut, the 90's" poll, Charlize came in at #4.

    • Charlize Theron zipped .wmvs (1, 2)


    One more from the Ghost...here is the "Pirates of the Caribbean" flashing her breasts in scenes from the 2001 UK movie, "The Hole".

    DaedLamb
    Pam Anderson Pammy doing the cleavage thing on her new FOX sit-com, "Stacked".

    Kristen Bell The pint-sized star of "Veronica Mars" showing a little skin on Conan.

    Christina Cox The co-star of "The Chronicles of Riddick" showing some wonderbra cleavage on the series premiere of "Eyes". This is the new, private eye series on ABC starring the man who refuses to age, Timothy Daly. So far the buzz is pretty good. ABC may be on the way to claiming a Wednesday night Primetime victory with their "Lost", "Alias" and "Eyes" line up.

    Aya Sumika Here is the co-star of the very short-lived series "Hawaii" looking great in a bikin during a recent guest spot on "The O.C.".

    Oz
    'Caps and comments by Oz:

    "The Wilby Conspiracy"
    The nudity in The Wilby Conspiracy comes from Prunella Gee when her nipple pokes out as she takes a bubble bath.

    • Prunella Gee (1, 2)


    "The Night Before"
    No nudity in The Night Before but "Full House" and "Summerland" star Lori Loughlin is down to her underwear. Not sure why I capped Theresa Saldana as well.


    "A Time for Dancing"
    A Time for Dancing is a TV movie about a girl dying of cancer and it wasn't bad watching. Larisa Oleynik is the girl and she shows some pokies.

    • Larisa Oleynik (1, 2)


    "Madhouse"
    Made in Kirstie Alley's slim period. In Madhouse we see her running around in her underwear. One silhouette is supposed to show her naked breasts but it is obviously not...either that or she is deformed.

    • Kirstie Alley (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)


    "The War of the Roses"
    The barest of nipple exposure by Kathleen Turner in The War of the Roses.

    • Kathleen Turner (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)


    "Consequence"
    The nudity in Consequence comes from a stiff in a morgue and Nadia Kretschmer. Lola Glaudini comes close but is obviously wearing a patch when she takes a shower.

    • Nadia Kretschmer (1, 2)
    • Lola Glaudini (1, 2)

    A quick site note
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