"Dream with the Fishes"

Dream with the Fishes (1997) is a buddy/road trip/dying man film that manages to avoid becoming a melodrama. As a matter of fact, it manages to move constantly in unexpected directions. Terry (David Arquette) is a loner, withdrawn from society, and a voyeur. He spends his off time watching neighbors through binoculars. Nick and Liz (Brad Hunt and Kathryn Erbe) live across the street, and have a very different problem. Nick is dying. Nick runs into Terry in a liquor store and follows him to a bridge, which Terry is planning on jumping from, but convinces him that sleeping pills are a much better answer, as some people survive the jump. When Terry changes his mind at the last minute, and goes to the hospital, he discovers Nick has given him vitamins. Furious, he confronts Nick, and they arrive at a bargain. Nick wants to live a few fantasies before he dies, and Terry has the money to afford them.

Terry will fund the road trip, and Nick will kill him before he dies in return. So here we have the set-up. A man who is dying and wants to live, and a man who wants to die. Among the fantasies is nude bowling with hookers, played by Kristina Robbins and Katherine Copenhaver. I don't want to write a spoiler, but the film manages to stay fresh and interesting, and all characters find some sort of redemption in the end. While neither lead is very likeable, we still somehow empathize with them.

Erbe shows breasts in two voyeur scenes, and Robbins and Copenhaver show breasts and buns in the bowling alley. IMDB readers have this at 6.3 of 10. Ebert and Berardinelli both award three stars, calling it flawed, but a very good first effort from freshman director Finn Taylor. The film was shot to be very grainy, probably to set the mood, but better cinematography would not have weakened the story for me. I detest dying man films, but enjoyed this one, which was far more interesting, as it focuses on the problems of living, rather than those of dying. C+

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  • Katherine Copenhaver (1, 2, 3)
  • Kathryn Erbe (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Kristina Robbins (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Things Behind the Sun (2001)

    Things Behind the Sun is a movie so intensely personal that it is uncomfortable to watch. Writer/Director Alison Anders was raped when she was 12 years old, then brutally manhandled by a stepfather until she ran away from home at 17. This period in her life left her damaged in many ways, and she has probably struggled to cope with and understand the damage to this very day. She took all of the outrage and sadness about her interrupted childhood and put it into this movie.

    Kim Dickens plays the character who serves as Anders's alter ego. She's the lead singer of a garage band which has started to attract some notice on the college radio stations because of a cult hit which is really about the rape incident. A writer from a magazine like Rolling Stone realizes that he knew this woman when they were children, and endeavors to write an article about her burgeoning career. In reality, he was her best friend in childhood, and he is also one of the boys who raped her. His big brother engineered the rape, and forced the younger brother to participate after the older boys were finished. The brutal incident affected him as much as it affected Dickens. He has never been able to make love to a woman. She has spent her adult life getting drunk and re-enacting the rape with multiple strangers.

    When he arrives to begin the interviews, he realizes that Dickens doesn't remember anything about their childhood friendship, and has repressed all memories of the rape itself. Dickens thinks at first that his real agenda is her music, and her attitude toward him keeps shifting as more and more is revealed.

    This film has a very economical script and a gritty feeling of reality to it. The first half doesn't establish much emotional connection to the characters, but the second half is intense, involving, and sad, leaving a bit of room for hope at the end.

    I really found myself being impressed and drawn in by the stark honesty of the script, but I have to caution you that the film has some limitations:

    • Anders couldn't get the funding to shoot it on 35mm, so the entire project went to DV. The cinematography is quite competent, but it definitely looks cheap and homemade.
    • It is a movie about a band with limited talent. The film shows them playing their music far more than I thought was necessary, including full-length numbers. The way I see it, if the film is about Mozart or Elvis or the Beatles, load up on the music, but if it is about a garage band ... well, there's only so much bad music I can handle. Show me a little bad music if you must, so I can get the points that need to be made, but don't drag it out.

    Although the DV quality kinda stinks (the DVD is probably worse video quality than an average VHS), I spent time on it and captured many similar frames. It is not often that a mainstream actress like Kim Dickens does open-leg shots. In fact, Dickens hasn't really done all that much nudity at all outside of this film - a dark topless scene in Truth or Consequences, and a single breast in Hollow Man - so this is really the Holy Grail of nudity for her fans.

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  • Kim Dickens (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

  • Allison Folland (1, 2)

    Other crap:

    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 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.

  • Strange Pic o' the Day
    I know John Stamos hasn't had a decent job since "Full House" went off the air, but did you know he became a toothless beggar? At least that's what he looks like these days!

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Today we pay a return visit to the television series "Son of the Beach".

    We feature my favorite Kim Oja, the first 2 scenes should be titled puppy love, check those out it's hilarious.

    Then the beautiful Kim has her top torn open.

    And then she becomes a "Babe in Bondage" in her bra and panties.

    The final scenes she cons her captor into releasing her, he thinks to have sex, but she lowers the boom on him.

    Charlie Spradling
    (1, 2, 3)

    Full dorsal nudity and breast exposure in scenes from 1990's "Mirror, Mirror".

    Cynda Williams
    (1, 2)

    Breast exposure in a love scene from "Fallen Angels".

    Linda Kozlowski Mrs. Crocodile Dundee topless in a very sweaty sex scene from the 1994 movie "Backstreet Justice".

    Patricia Skeriotis The Greek-American actress showing breasts and bum, also in scenes from "Backstreet Justice".

    Mr. Nude Celeb
    Mr. Nude Celeb takes a loot at the big screen adaptaion of the Anne Rice novel, "Interview with the Vampire".

    Here's my quick review...

    There were way too many bad wigs and Tom Cruise must have spent some serious time preparing for his role by taking a "Learn to Act like Shatner" class, But at least there was some nice cleavage and nudity.

    • Indra Ové the "New Orleans Whore" showing impressive cleavage. (1, 2)

    • Jeanette Kontomitras, credited as the "Woman in Square, topless and full frontal nudity. (1, 2)

    • Laure Marsac, the "Mortal Woman on Stage" being stripped down to reveal very nice frontal nudity. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    (1, 2)

    The singer/songwriter showing some very nice cleavage in #1, and wearing a see-thru top revealing a black bra in #2.

    Paz Vega
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    The Spanish babe shows all 3 B's and can be seen handling her co-stars fully loaded weapon in scenes from "Lucía y el sexo" (2001).

    Julie Strain
    (1, 2)

    The tall, busty B-movie mega-star bares her robo-bigguns and shows us a thong view in scenes from "Heavenly Hooters".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    How Weasely! - A man walking across a field in Suffolk, England, was stunned to stumble over two advance copies of the super-secret upcoming book, "Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix." He gave them to the Sun tabloid, which returned them to the publisher, saying they wouldn't reveal the contents and spoil it for kids. But there's at least one other in circulation: someone called the Sun and offered them the first three chapters for a "suitcase full of cash," which they refused.

  • They'd just used their last suitcase full of cash to buy pictures of Posh Spice without makeup.
  • They didn't want to have an evil spell put on them.
  • A tabloid turns down a scoop because it would be unethical?! Wow, Harry Potter CAN work magic!

    "Stayin' Awake" - According to the Hollywood Reporter, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John agreed to co-star in a "Grease 3." They will play the same characters going to a 1970s high school reunion, with kids who are into the disco scene.

  • Disco combined with doo-wop?! Just TRY to keep me away!
  • Special cameo appearance by Farrah Fawcett as "Drunk Girl."
  • It ends with them all being busted by the Fashion Police.
  • They had to agree, the way fans demanded more after "Grease 2."