"Love Actually"

Love Actually (2003) -- Had a read a plot outline before seeing it, I would have passed completely. The plot outline would read like a smarmy romantic comedy with way too many characters and too many happy endings. Amazingly, what I screened today is one of the best films of last year. For those who haven't seen it, I am not going to reveal much of the plot, other than to say it is the story of several loosely interrelated couples and their romances set in London in the month leading up to Christmas. I can't recall a better piece of ensemble acting than this huge cast displayed, and the pace was perfect, switching from one subplot to another before I tired of it. The net effect was that I was glad every time characters reappeared to advance their subplot further.

Deleted scenes are a must watch for us, as they often have additional nudity, which was the case here, but they are usually work print quality, and it is clear why they were deleted. In this case, the deleted scenes are decent transfers, but, more importantly, are all good enough to have remained in the film. The cuts were strictly for running time, as a film well in excess of three hours would not be commercial. Each deleted scene had extra information, and entire subplots ended up on the cutting room floor. Be sure to watch them.

Scoppy covered this a week ago, and the high scores, numerous awards, critical praise and nude scenes have not changed in a week. I adored this film, which has many plusses, including uniformly good performances, interesting characters, good direction, excellent production value and great pace. I had a smile on my face the entire running time, and there was a belly laugh or two in the mix. This is a solid B, a romantic comedy with high crossover appeal.

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  • Joanne Page (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, 27, 28, 29, 30 31, 32)
  • Laura Linney (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

    "The Big Empty"

    The Big Empty (2003) -- in the olden days, I had to walk 5 miles through .... ooops, wrong story. When I was growing up, there were no cineplexes. Walk-in theaters had a single screen, as did the vast majority of drive-ins. A typical playbill would be a first run film, and a B movie as a second feature. It was not until the late 60's that I saw Watermelon Man in New York as the only film on the bill. Sometimes they would have a triple feature of B movies. Thus, for every first run release, there was at least one B movie in theatrical release if not more. Then, as now, a first run release doesn't always insure a good film, and we sometimes left the theater praising the second (low budget) feature. This would have been one of those films. Second run features now start in the festival circuit, but normally never see a real release, as there is no place left to release it. My hope is that direct to cable and direct to DVD will become big enough markets to keep the indies coming and profitable. A healthy indie industry develops new talent, and provides both variety and much more innovation than the major studios are willing to risk.

    This film set out to be strange, and decidedly accomplished that, but, despite announcing itself as arty and intentionally offbeat, held me glued to the screen beginning to end. Again, Scoopy did this last week, and I agree with everything he said. I would like to add that Daryl Hannah was cast against type as an aging tavern owner, and proved again that she can play characters other than Daryl Hannah.

    The film hooked me from the opening shot before the credits, which was an oversaturated street shot, and the music immediately set the mood of the film. I wish there had been more nudity in the film, but we do get glimpses of breast, and the top of her public hair from Rachel Leigh Cook. IMDb readers have this at 6.1 of 10. This is a solid C+. If you enjoy offbeat films, this one is excellent in every respect.

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  • Rachel Leigh Cook (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

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    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • 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.



    • Sheila Kelley - Dancing at the Blue Iguana. (.avi, .wmv)

    • Victoria Abril in tame (.avi, .wmv). Classic Almodovar flick - very sexy, politically incorrect, beautifully shot.

    • Tracy Lords - Not of this Earth (.avi, .wmv)

    • Valerie McIntosh - The Mambo Kings (.avi, .wmv)




    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.

    Graphic Response
    From the movie "Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love" (1996) Graphic adds the following comment...
    "Two Beautiful Women. One Boring Film "

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Amazing collages by BFD! Each has excellent nudity, and is also a tribute to the actress and her overall beauty in the featured movie.

    • Dina Meyer, topless in the Paul Verhoeven movie "Starship Troopers" (1997).

    • Emmanuelle Seigner, breast and bum views in scenes from Roman Polanski's "Bitter Moon" (1992). (1, 2)

    • Francesca Annis, rear nudity and partial breast views in scenes from another Roman Polanski movie, "The Tragedy of Macbeth" (1971).

    • Helena Bonham Carter, topless in scenes from "The Heart of Me" (2002). (1, 2)

    • Heather Graham topless and rear views in scenes from "Killing Me Softly". #2 is my favorite. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Jeanne Tripplehorn, topless and rear nudity in "Basic Instinct" (1992).

    • Naturally when you talk about "Basic Instinct", you have to show Sharon Stone. (1, 2, 3)

    • Kathryn Erbe showing some skin in two screen appearances. In link #1 we see her topless in scenes from "Dream with the Fishes" (1997). Link #2 has her showing pubes in scenes from an episode of the HBO series "OZ". (1, 2)

    • Karina Lombard, the beautiful, exotic, Tahitian born actress bares breasts and bum in scenes from "Wide Sargasso Sea" (1993).

    • One more from "Wide Sargasso Sea", Rowena King shows all 3 B's.

    • Lucy Liu, the "Kill Bill" star showing brief toplessness and rear nudity in scenes from "Flypaper" (1997)

    • One more from "Flypaper", Sadie Frost aka the former Mrs. Jude Law, topless in a sex scene.

    • Milla Jovovich, the model and actress shows all 3 B's in scenes from "The House on Turk Street" aka "No Good Deed" (2002). (1, 2)

    • Meg Ryan, looking good nude in her 40's in scenes from the Jane Campion movie "In the Cut" (2003). (1, 2)

    • Paz Vega, the gorgeous Spanish actress bares all in scenes from "Luca y el sexo" (2001). (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Randi Brooks...her film career peaked in the early 80's, but boy did she look good nekkid! Here she is showing breasts and rear views in scenes from two movies. Link #1 is from the Steve Martin movie "The Man with Two Brains" (1983). Link #2 is from the Clint Eastwood movie "Tightrope" (1984). (1, 2)

    • Sarah Miles shows everything in scenes from "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea" (1976). (1, 2)

    Sophia Loren Setting the way-back machine to 1956 for these 'caps of the Italian screen legend showing some cleavage and a whole lot of leg in scenes from "La Fortuna di essere donna" aka "Lucky to Be a Woman" (1956)

    Nikki Fritz The Skinemax babe topless and 'flying solo' in a scene from "Sinful Obsession" (1999).

    Tracy Spaulding A lesser known 'lady of late night'. Here we see here topless in "Stormy Nights" aka "The Widow" (1996).

    Ute Lubosch A side breast view from the German actress in scenes from "Glck im Hinterhaus" (1980).

    Monique Parent One of the busiest of the Skinemax babes. Here she is topless, full frontal and showing partial rear nudity in scenes from "Temptations" (1999).

    Sydne Rome Doing some topless dancing in scenes from the 1981 German movie "Looping".

    Jennifer Garner
    (1, 2, 3)

    The "Alias" looking mega-cute and showing some clevage during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show.

    Francine Prieto
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    aka Anne Marie Falcon. Señor Skin 'caps from the Philippino movie "Liberated" (2003). Prieto is topless in all of these except #6 (in that one she shows rear views).

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Do They Do It On The Floor? - WENN reports that Kim Basinger is planning to shock audiences by doing a fully nude sex scene at age 50 with her teenage co-star Jon Foster in her next movie, "The Door In The Floor." A source said, "She's still got the body of a young woman in her prime."

  • Not really...It's MUCH better than Gwyneth Paltrow's.
  • Lots of 50-year-old Hollywood actresses have young bodies: their breasts are three years old, their faces are two years old...
  • People who run Hollywood studios think it's shocking to suggest that people who are 50 still HAVE sex.

    Damn! - Red-haired wannabe big band crooner John Stevens was finally voted off of "American Idol" after being forced to mutilate R&B and Latin pop songs. Immediately after his ouster, the producers announced next week's theme: big band. Some angry fans on the Internet are demanding he be invited back.

  • So at least he can sing his FAVORITE music badly.
  • I agree, invite him back! There's plenty of room in the audience!
  • He might've been voted off by big band fans who were terrified of what he'd do to THAT.

    It's Not A Documentary? - NBC is hoping its big earthquake miniseries "10.5" will be a ratings bonanza, but critics are already assailing it. TV critics say it's so full of '70s disaster movie cliches and bad dialogue, George Kennedy should be starring in it. And scientists say the premise that California breaks off and floats out to sea is ludicrous. NBC claims it was meant to thrill audiences, not teach viewers about earthquakes, but quake preparedness officials are fuming. They're rushing out statements to try to correct some of the misinformation.

  • Misconception #1: "California does NOT float."
  • They're afraid people will believe it and start buying up oceanfront property in Arizona.
  • It doesn't have George Kennedy, but the earthquake starts when Shelley Winters falls off a balcony.
  • Can't we all just enjoy the fun of imagining California breaking off and floating out to sea?