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.
"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.
Rachel Leigh Cook
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
California Bars a Firm's Voting Machines in November Election.
Not only that, but they are pursuing possible criminal charges
against the manufacturer! I looked at the equipment, and I thought
it was pretty close to ready. I think it will be there as soon as
they add some other choices besides "Republican".
Sportshair.com - The website for those fascinated by sports
hairstyles. All the greats: Beckham, Johnny Damon,
Comparative overview of the blast-affected town of Ryongchon,
Mr Show's book club selection. President Bush's memoir:
E-mail joke derides Democratic convention. It opens
with a flag burning ceremony, and moves on to events like a John
Kerry "fake medal toss" and a "Free Saddam" pep rally. Ted Kennedy
proposes many, many toasts.
- The State Department's complete report:
Patterns of global terrorism - the year 2003 in review.
Playmate gallery for Stacy Fuson, who was the Playmate of the
Month in February, 1999 - Courtesy of PlayboyPlus.com!
Four free short videos from SPICE TV RAW!
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY:: video game. OK, the
game sucks, but it's a good reminder of the newly-restored and
expanded version coming to DVD. Eastwood and Wallach went back to
the studio to re-dub their dialogue into English for the
additional footage. (It existed only in an Italian version)
Mother's Day Approaches - and nothing says "I Love Ya Mom" like
possum fur nipple warmers. Hey, Billy Bob Thornton gave
some to his mom. You mean you love your mom less than BB?
HowWasShe.com - "The internet's little black book at your
- I have to say this must be
the best Owl Shit site on the internet. Not only does
it have several different species, but you can use your mouse as a
virtual tool to dissect the Owl Shit. It even has a teacher's
manual with discussion questions!
Pink channels Janis Joplin in new biopic
- World's most boring job: Norwegian reporter.
Another action-packed day in Norway: cheap beer survives another
week. The Norwegians should hire the Weekly World News
staff to make up exciting stuff.
Aftonbladet catches a Mouseketeer wearing a mini bottom
US forces begin Falluja pullout, turn over power to Iraqi forces.
Unsurprisingly, Sadr says, "It proves the Americans
hate the Iraqi people". Wow, who could have expected that
Former NBA star Jayson Williams was acquitted Friday of aggravated
manslaughter, but was convicted of four lesser charges.
Landover-Baptizon.com: buying info: The Little Jew : Adventures of
Levi, The Dancing Cockroach. Kids will learn that Levi
and his family were turned into insects because they killed Jesus
a long time ago.
"Scooby Doo" Lures Christian Children Into Signing a Contract With
Federal agent shoots himself during gun safety presentation to
Japanese police arrested a 55-year-old man for stealing women's
underwear. He had 4,000 pairs of knickers collected over 30 years.
The World News Map
Xtina calls off USA tour. She has strained her vocal
Airline Pilot Caught Dozing in Flight. I didn't think
that sounded so critical until I read the article - it was a one
hour flight! And he fell asleep twice. It was like me watching
Cats! after a heavy meal.
Record live concerts instantly to .mp3.
Porn Actors Try To Form Union. The reamsters?
Experimental armor uses liquid to make men of steel.
And the best news: if you wear glasses with the armor, everyone
will think you're just a reporter.
How to gain 800 pounds in four months. Woody the Sea
Lion Packs on the Pounds in Alaska
Breaking the Barrier to NC-17
Jacko pleads not guilty to ten different counts in molestation
case, including some surprising ones.
The trailer for the new version of Vanity Fair with Reese
- URL says it all:
DerelictLondon.com. Very interesting and evocative
10 words everyone mispronounces
Teen Band Menudo Being Revived. Presumably not with any
of the original members, who include Hammurabi, Hannibal, and Cher.
The Clinton memoir has reached the No. 1 slot on the B&N
bestseller list based purely on preorders - the first
time a non-fiction book has landed in the top spot 60 days before
publication. Well, actually, the article is only ASSUMING it is
non-fiction. For the record, the only other book to achieve
similar status was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
- Two new TV spots for
May 1 - the first anniversary of "mission accomplished" - sees a
new Iraq - a demi-paradise, another Eden.
George W Bush "picking" his running mate. (Wait for
video to start)
TV's Olsen twins receive Hollywood star. These girls
look anorexic, especially the brunette one. .
- Quote of the Day goes to Jay Leno:
The big question on the top secret joint testimony by the
President and Vice President: did "Bush sit on Cheney's right knee
or left knee?"
Information on a range of women's issues has been stripped from
government Web sites.
Kate Beckinsale says, "That's the nice thing about English girls.
'Someone asks for a crotch in the face, they get a crotch in the
- I know you think I made this up, but this is a real headline:
Cheney Praises Fox News Channel. Vice President Calls
Network 'More Accurate' Than Others. ...
Howard Dean preps for his own talk ... er ... scream ... show.
Prank Call To Castro Leads To FCC Fine Paid With 400,000 Pennies
Christian Bale in the new Batsuit
FCC has officially declared that Oprah Winfrey is free to describe
oral and anal sex acts on air. - but Howard Stern is
not. The reason is that Howard is, per the NY Post's faulty
spell-check program, a "lightening" rod, which is apparently a
long stick which can be used to turn yourself summer blond. Hey!
Come to think of it, that IS Howard.
USA TODAY's summer movie guide.
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.
Sheila Kelley - Dancing at the Blue Iguana. (.avi, .wmv)
Victoria Abril in Átame (.avi, .wmv).
Classic Almodovar flick - very sexy, politically incorrect,
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:
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.
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. www.graphic-barry.com.
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).
- 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).
- Heather Graham topless and rear views in scenes from "Killing Me Softly". #2 is my favorite.
- Jeanne Tripplehorn, topless and rear nudity in "Basic Instinct" (1992).
- Naturally when you talk about "Basic Instinct", you have to show Sharon Stone.
- 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".
- 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).
- Meg Ryan, looking good nude in her 40's in scenes from the Jane Campion movie "In the Cut" (2003).
- Paz Vega, the gorgeous Spanish actress bares all in scenes from "Lucía y el sexo" (2001).
- 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).
- Sarah Miles shows everything in scenes from "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea" (1976).
||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)
||The Skinemax babe topless and 'flying solo' in a scene from "Sinful Obsession" (1999).
||A lesser known 'lady of late night'. Here we see here topless in "Stormy Nights" aka "The Widow" (1996).
||A side breast view from the German actress in scenes from "Glück im Hinterhaus" (1980).
||One of the busiest of the Skinemax babes. Here she is topless, full frontal and showing partial rear nudity in scenes from "Temptations" (1999).
||Doing some topless dancing in scenes from the 1981 German movie "Looping".
|The "Alias" looking mega-cute and showing some clevage during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show.
|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 www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
BASINGER TO STRIP DOWN AT 50
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.
"AMERICAN IDOL" ANGERS JOHN STEVENS FANS
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
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.
NBC EARTHQUAKE MOVIE RIDICULED
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?