Wednesday

Tuna
"Sexophrenia"

Sexophrenia (1970) pushes the soft core envelope to the limits, including male and female full frontal, gyno shots, and genital fondling. The plot, such as it is, is as follows. A guy is trying to seduce his fiancee. She escapes to the ladies room, he puts Spanish Fly in her wine. The who of them have wild sex, then he brings in another woman for a three way. Still not satisfied, he invites another couple over for a little swap. The fiancee is played by Jane Tsentas, the girl in the three way by Cindy Hopkins, and I was unable to identify the third woman. IMDb claims Rene Bond, but it is neither her head nor her body. IMDb also has the plot summary completely wrong.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this film is the sound track, which consists of elevator music arrangements of such songs as Lazy Bones, Cielito Lindo, Greenleaves of Summer, Theme from a Summer Place, Up a Lazy River and Blackbird. Paying for use of any of these tunes would certainly have cost more than their entire budget. All three women show everything, including gyno views. The genre is plotless soft core, and this one touches all the bases, making it a C.

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  • Cindy Hopkins (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Jane Tsentas (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)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    This may be a first. I'm talking about three movies today, and I liked them all to one degree or another.

    The Jacket (2005):

    Pictures yesterday. Here are my all-too-lengthy comments. I liked it.

     

    The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004):

    I love The Life Aquatic. This is a terrific movie on its own terms, but I need to tell you what it is not, because the marketing campaign was quite misleading. The sample clips on the internet consist of three or four scenes which are quirky-funny in a deadpan way. You'll watch those and get the wrong idea. There are some very funny things in the film, but it ain't filled with yuks, and it ain't filled with gentle whimsy.

    So if it isn't a comedy, you're thinking, what is it?

    I didn't say it isn't a comedy. Maybe it is. There are a lot of funny moments. But if is a comedy, it certainly is a tragic one. And if it is a tragedy, it certainly is a funny one. In short, it's a comedy about sadness, about the death of loved ones, about violence, about forgiveness, about losing what we once were and the dreams we once followed. Those things, as a rule, are not funny matters unless they are addressed by Mel Brooks, but this is not a balls-to-the-wall, soft hearted, "anything for a laugh" Brooksian comedy. Not even close. This is a peculiar and sometimes grotesque movie which finds humor in tragedy. Imagine Hamlet turned into a dark comedy and told from the POV of Hamlet's father's ghost, and you'll start to get the idea.

    The basic storyline is simple. It seems to be the tail end of a declining career for marine researcher and filmmaker Steve Zissou and the crew of the Belafonte. (Get it? Their version of the Calypso is a Calypso singer). The last adventure for the legendary team will be to track down and destroy the gigantic and unknown form of shark that ate Zissou's best friend. What would be the scientific purpose of destroying a one-of-a-kind-creature, he is asked.

     "Revenge."

    The Life Aquatic derives its underlying tone from a bittersweet sense of the odd - treating extraordinary occurrences with an odd mix of understated wonderment and blasť acceptance. A long-lost son? Unimaginable sea creatures? A giant jaguar shark? A boatload of pirates? Pillaging the lab or a competing oceanographer? All in a day's work for Team Zissou, the Bizarro-world version of Team Cousteau. Not only is the film odd, but it is odd in an odd way - almost totally lacking in energy. Several of the key actors (especially Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Huston) deliver lines in a laid-back, world-weary way that makes it seem like they are sleepwalking. Pointing that out is not criticism on my part, just reporting, or possibly even praise, because the blasť tone is a calculated symphony, and the actors' voices are additional instruments in the orchestra. It seems to work just fine.

    Of course, you should not expect a Wes Anderson film to pick a single course and stick to it, any more than you should expect the same from Steve Zissou's Belafonte. During the course of the story, the film plays mind games with the audience by making radical and unexpected turns. It's a comedy. Wait, now I'm watching a thriller. Wait, it's a tragedy. The pirate attack on the Belafonte is a good example. That episode is not played out the way Mel Brooks might do it, by comical corsairs who pull off an operation in such a way that we know nobody will be hurt for real. Not at all. These are real pirates, violent and heavily armed men with nothing to lose. When the Zissou crew is being tied up and threatened, the film switches into the mode of a legitimate thriller, and we fear for the lives of our main characters, as we do in many incidents throughout the movie. Indeed, in the course of the film, Zissou (Bill Murray) loses his best friend and his son.

    Well, maybe it's his son. Or not.

    What can ya say? The Life Aquatic is truly original. Originality is the ultimate hallmark of genius, the one thing that separates true geniuses from highly competent mortals. Steven Spielberg, for example, is a highly competent director, arguably the greatest ever, but no genius. He blazes no new trails. He simply does things much BETTER than others have done them before. Writer/director Wes Anderson, on the other hand, is a genius. He does things others would never think of. In a world of syncopation, sequels, and copycats, Wes marches to ... I was going to say "to a different drummer", and the drummer part may be right, but Wes doesn't march.

    When the band is playing Sousa, Wes is waltzing to Strauss.

    I think that's a good thing. It may produce good or bad results, but the instinct itself is good. We need these loopy, original guys.

    The Life Aquatic will be one of those film experiences where you'll walk out of the theater unsure whether you liked it. As we say in Texas, the film takes some gettin' used to. In spite of that, it's absolutely worth a watch for those of you who are sick of the usual recycled tripe. Despite the low energy level, and a very slow build, and despite the fact that it the film is ostensibly a comedy, the story even manages to pack a surprisingly strong emotional punch. You won't expect it at all. It's one of those sucker punches that just sneaks up on you when you aren't looking, and doesn't tell you it's coming - like the punches thrown by Steve Zissou himself.

    • Robyn Cohen. (1, 2, 3, 4) She is topless in four different scenes in the movie
    • and one more of Robyn Cohen in the deleted scenes!

     

    The Last Shot (2004):

    Here is Tuna's summary of the film:

    The Last Shot (2004) is a comedy based on the true story of an FBI sting operation in which the Feds pretended to be making a movie in order to incriminate some mob officials.

    The bogus film scheme is concocted by an FBI agent (Alec Baldwin) who has been relegated to assignments leading nowhere in minor field offices. He realizes that by posing as a producer with union problems, he can trap some mobsters into accepting a bribe to "persuade" the union to co-operate, thus committing illegal racketeering. The agency approves his idea but he knows nothing about making a movie, so he travels to Hollywood for consulting advice, and discovers that he will need a script. As luck would have it, he discovers the perfect sucker in an aspiring writer (Matthew Broderick), a naive dreamer who is 40ish but still clinging to his show business aspirations by working as a ticket taker at Grauman's Chinese theater. Broderick has written a script called "Arizona" about a woman who is battling cancer and seeking the holy grounds of the Hopi Indians deep within the Grand Canyon. The writer is thrilled that anyone wants his script, and even more thrilled that the "backers" also want him to direct! In fact, he is so thrilled that he offers only minimal resistance when Baldwin tells him that they have to film in Rhode Island, "the Arizona of the East."

    Toni Collette plays an actress who had a drug problem after her Academy Award nomination, was blackballed, and did a little porn, but is now clean and wants in the movie badly. Her performance is one of the many highlights of the funniest new film I have seen in a very long time. I do not want to spoil any of the jokes by revealing more of the plot. I have to believe this film could have done well if promoted properly, but it could be that understanding the humor requires more knowledge of filmmaking than the typical mall audience has.

    The only disappointment for me was that it was over so quickly.

    Here are my own thoughts:

    "Dear Dad. A funny thing happened to me on my way to a hit movie ... "

    Last summer I saw several comedies in commercial theaters and it seemed to me that almost every film came with a trailer for The Last Shot. It seemed to me that they were building this up as the big comedy hit of the Autumn. The next time I heard anything significant about it, it was being released to DVD this week. In between those two periods, the distributor snuck it into a mere 35 theaters in the entire United States.

    The ironic upshot of the situation was that the director of The Last Shot had an experience similar to that of the director character in his film - a lot of excitement about making his first movie, followed by a lot of disappointment. I guess he did better than the character. At least he got to make the entire film, and it's not bad at all, although I didn't share Tuna's unrestricted enthusiasm. I liked it, but I didn't love it, presumably because I have seen umpteen comedies about the film-making process. The actual making of the film takes up a lot of running time, and is basically a recycling of material seen elsewhere. I'm tired of films about making films, and I didn't see any new ideas here.

    The FBI portion of the story, however, is original and excellent, made even juicier by the fact that the core of the story is essentially true. Jeff Nathanson, author of the highly praised Catch Me If You Can, made his directorial debut here, using his own screenplay for The Last Shot, which was inspired by "What's Wrong With This Picture?", an article in the February 1996 issue of Details magazine. In real life, the FBI actually duped a pair of screenwriters named Dan Lewk and Gary Levy into thinking they would make a movie.

    Nathanson said:

    "This is much more of a true story than people realize. The FBI really did do this. The FBI really went to Providence, Rhode Island, with a script that was supposed to be about a road trip through Arizona. The first thing that caught my attention was that they really thought they could nail mobsters by making a movie. And I had lived the Matthew Broderick part, a frustrated wannabe in Los Angeles, for many years. So I had two things I really liked, and I put them together.

    Not only did these guys (Lewk and Levy) think they had it made in Hollywood, they thought they were going to direct other movies. They started scouting locations. They started casting. They had a famous actress who was there, trying to get into their movie. They had production offices. They were building sets. They were doing the whole thing. In fact, they were going to do three movies, all over the country. And then, of course, they had their dreams shattered.

    The FBI agents involved saw it as just another sting operation, and one that happened to fail. They still thought it was a good idea, even though they didn't nail anyone. They never got the movie made, and they never convicted anyone. One mobster died awaiting trial and the other, I think, got off. In the end, our taxpayer dollars went for naught."

    For me, the greatest pleasure of the DVD came not in the film itself, but in a very edgy special feature. When the FBI agent pulled the plug on the bogus film, he simply told the two filmmakers that the investors had backed out. He never informed them that nobody ever intended to make their film, and that the entire project was part of an FBI sting. They did not become aware of it until much later when they were surprised to see the the whole story, including their own names, in a law enforcement article in the newspaper. They never again saw the FBI agent who had duped them into thinking he was a producer ...

    ... until now.

    The director of The Last Shot arranged for the FBI man and the two aspiring auteurs to meet again after all these years, and they talked it all through. They were all encouraged to speak freely, and the G-man was allowed to speak candidly and on the record. They were all polite, but the two suckers were obviously still pissed off. Now THAT was some impressive theater, and a great addition to the already excellent DVD package.

    As for the film, it has lots of pleasures. Broderick and Baldwin are excellent in roles tailor-made for them. (Baldwin is even from Rhode Island!) There are some great performances in small roles. Tuna mentioned Toni Collette, but the one that cracked me up was Joan Cusack as a foul-mouthed producer. There are also some funny cameos from such Hollywood stalwarts as Eric Roberts (naked!) and Mr. Myagi (thankfully not naked!).

    Bottom line: Tuna loved the movie; I was not as enthusiastic about the movie, but loved the DVD features. Either way, we got a lot of pleasure from this package.

     

    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
    Scoop came up with a good idea for our next poll that should stir up some conversation, if not some controversy.

    This week's poll....

    Email Scoopy Jr. if you'd like to add nominees or offer suggestions for future polls.


    Here are the results of our previous 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 Straight Sex Scenes
    Best Lesbian Love Scenes


    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.


    A nice bit of variety today from The Ghost...

    First up, mid-late 90's babe Athena Massey showin off her robo-boobs in several scenes, plus a bit of pubes as well ('caps 5 and 13, video clip #5)


    Next up, a few video clips (zipped .wmvs) from the Rob Lowe/James Spader movie "Bad Influence" (1990). The director of this movie later went on to make a movie or two that you may have heard of, like "L.A. Confidential" and "8 Mile".


    A few more odds n' ends.

    • Here is beautiful, former Bond Babe ("Never Say Never Again") Barbara Carrera topless and baring a bit of bum in scenes from "Embryo" (1976) (zipped .wmvs). (1, 2, 3)

    • The co-star of "Fight Club", "Big Fish" and the upcoming "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", Helena Bonham Carter. Here she is briefly showing a bit of breast and bum in a love scene from "Till Human Voices Wake Us" (2002).

    • Susanne Benton bares all in scenes from the 1975 sci-fi flick "A Boy and His Dog" (1975).

    • Linda Dona takes off her dress to reveal breasts and bum in a scene from the 1991 Denzel Washington movie, "Ricochet".

    Dann
    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Devil's Harvest"
    In the spirit of giving you more for your money, this British 2003 effort is a horror/thriller that also threw in a lover's triangle just to make things interesting.

    A struggling young artist Daniel is invited by his childhood friend Natasha to return to the village where they grew up, and stay in a house she has recently acquired. He happily accepts, bringing not only his painting materials but also his finance, Laura.

    As Daniel leaves Laura in the house to catch up on old times with Natasha, Laura finds the house spooky, unexplainably cold, and full of scary noises. In addition, she's majorly pissed about Daniel spending a lot of time with Natasha without her around.

    While all this plays out, Daniel hears local legends about a demon that lives in the sea just off of the house preying on people who have hidden guilt about past events. Naturally, Daniel does.

    Typically British, this is a low-key horror flick that is not at all bad to watch, with blood and gore (although present) kept to a minimum. The last minute of the movie will provide the shocker for most people.

    Variety
    Barbara Steele
    and
    Lynn Lowry


    Both ladies show see-thru wet t-shirt-ness in scenes from the early David Cronenberg "Shivers" aka "They Came from Within". 'Caps by DeVo.


    Lana Clarkson
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

    Gail Harris
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)


    Señor Skin takes a look at the 1990 direct-to-vid flick "The Haunting of Morella". The late Lana Clarkson is topless in the tub and gets wet in another scene as well. Magazine publisher and former Page 3 babe Gail Harris also shows her big'uns, plus a bit of bum.


    Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    SEXOLOGISTS' CONVENTION
    Confused PETA Members Walked Out - Over the weekend, dozens of top sexologists gathered in San Francisco for a conference on "Unstudied, Understudied and Underserved Sexual Communities." The seminar topics ranged from autoerotic asphyxiation (or "breath play") and transgender dating to animal lovers ("zoophiles") and teenagers with underwear fetishes. One doctor leading a seminar on "specialized" gay sexual behavior said, "Let me tell you, it was not easy finding these pictures."

  • It took nearly 20 minutes of searching the Internet.
  • What cute name do they have for 45-year-old men with fetishes for Underoos?
  • Isn't the entire city of San Francisco a study in transgender dating?
  • If you survive the Autoerotic Asphyxiation seminar, you get an "A."


    RAF TRAINS SOLDIER TO POLE DANCE
    Best Defense Is A Good Offense - Britain's Ministry of Defense is defending paying $4,000 (US) to train a former Royal Air Force flier to be a pole dancer. Stephanie Hulme, 23, completed five years' service, which qualified her for a program that retrains departing military people for civilian jobs. She wanted to become a pole dancer, but she was surprised that it was approved. A Defense spokesman said what they choose to do is up to them, as long as it's legal. The ex-senior aircraft woman now dances under the name Kitty at the "For Your Eyes Only" club in Mayfair.

  • And she makes more money than any other former veteran.
  • I figured she'd end up at some club called "The Cockpit."
  • She's the only dancer who knows 35 ways to kill a man with the pole.
  • It's just like the air force: she goes out on the runway, then takes off.


    ROBERT BLAKE TRANSCRIPTS REVEAL WEIRDNESS
    Is It Too Late To Change Our Verdict? - Newly-released jailhouse transcripts from Robert Blake's murder trial show that he suggested a PR strategy of getting other '70s TV stars, like Gavin McLeod of "The Love Boat" and Lindsay "Bionic Woman" Wagner, to rally support for him. He also told a visitor that people who end up on juries usually have an I.Q. of about 85, and they "dig" defenses like "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" because "they're the people that go bowling."

  • And who watch a lot of '70s TV shows, which explains their low I.Q.'s.
  • They obviously weren't swayed by "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
  • An I.Q. of 85, huh? Well, he can't say he didn't get a jury of his peers.


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