"The Border"

The Border (1982) is much like every other US/Mexican border immigration officer story. Jack Nicholson is married to an ex Texas cheerleader (Valerie Perine), and working in California, but doesn't much like his job, and would rather work for the forest service. She talks him into buying a duplex unit next to her best friend from school in San Antonio. Jack finds that he likes the Texas version of the job even less, as there is more than a little corruption. Most of the immigration officers receive kick-backs from Coyotes who smuggle illegals across and collect from Northern employers.

Jack wants no part of the corruption, until Perine nearly puts them in debtors prison buying things for the house. Jack befriends an unfortunate Mexican girl (Elpidia Carrillo), whose husband was killed in an earthquake in South America when her baby was being baptized, She, Together with her little brother, moved to Mexico hoping to get into the US. Nicholson finally gets in on the take to support his wife in the manner she would like to be accustomed to, but isn't happy about it, especially when he finds that they kill competing coyotes. When a coyote steals Carrillo's baby to sell on the black market, Nicholson has had enough.

Perine shows her buns in a butt-floss type thong. Carrillo show her breasts, thinking Nicholson wants sex in exchange for his kindness. An unidentified stripper shows breasts. IMDb readers have this at 5.9 of 10. Carrillo does a great job in the part, Perine was perfect as the ex cheerleader wife, and the story was fairly interesting, although a little superficial. The problem here was Nicholson's performance, or more correctly, the lack of one. I didn't detect any effort on his part to develop a character. It was more like he was going through the motions for a paycheck. They is especially bad when he is in nearly every scene in the film. This is a low C-.

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  • Elpedia Carrillo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Stripper (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Valerie Perrine (1, 2)

    "Circle of Deceit"

    Circle of Deceit (1981) is a German French co-production from director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum). It is a fictional account of a German journalist in Beirut during the war, and was shot during the war. In fact, many of the film extras filmed by day, and fought at night. The depiction of the war was so real, and accurate, that the extras often panicked when a special effects explosion went off, and the film crew essentially lived like the people in the war torn center of Beirut.

    The story of the journalist, while the main point of the plot, isn't nearly as gripping as the war it is set against. He always seems to cover wars, which has caused a rift between him and his wife, played by Gila von Weitershausen. For some reason that is never explained, he is more at ease in a war zone than living a lie of a marriage at home. He has an old friend in Beirut (Hanna Schygulla), whose Arab husband is dead. She wants to adopt a child, and has an Arab boyfriend, although that doesn't stop her from having a one-nighter with her old friend.

    Gila von Weitershausen has a lengthy full frontal at the start of the film. Hanna Schygulla shows a breast in her prelude to sex scene, and a woman credited only as Jeanne shows breasts when the photographer is showing off his conquest to the journalist. Te DVD includes a making of, narrated by the director. The most interesting revelation to me from this was that he has no idea why some of the events are in the film. After winning his Oscar, he had a choice to make Hollywood movies, or get financing a try something really unique, which is how this film was born. I am afraid I found it alternately sickening and boring, depending on the level of gore and violence being shown. IMDb readers have it at 6. of 10. The cinematography is spectacular, and the special effects crew was in their idea of heaven. They could blow up as many real buildings as they wanted, and didn't even need permits. The center of Beirut was so destroyed that they actually had to do some restoration for the filming, as the story was set several years earlier. This is a C+. It is very well made, but certainly not to everyone's taste, and it is in German with sub-titles, making it even less accessible.

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  • Gila Von Weitershausen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
  • Hanna Schygulla (1, 2)
  • Jeanne (1, 2)

    "Teenage Bride" update

    Teenage Bride (1970) update. Thanks to a reader, unknown three is identified as adult star Cyndee Summers in her second role. She, like Sharon Kelly, moved to hard core and also had a long career.

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  • Cyndee Summers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    In America (2002)

    Nominated for three Oscars, including Best Original Screenplay, In America may have been the single best-reviewed film of last year (RT says 89% positive), so the fact that I disliked it may tell you more about me than the movie. I found it syrupy and completely false in just about every regard, from the adorable little kid singing Desperado over a video montage, to the adorable black artist dying bravely of AIDS, to the adorable magic wishes used by the impoverished family to get out of critical situations, to the adorable impoverished family sending their kids to private schools.

    Jim Sheridan and his daughters wrote the story based loosely on their own experiences when they immigrated to NYC in the early 80s. For some reason, instead of telling their own experiences exactly as they happened, they decided to create a fictional family living a blue collar life in Hell's kitchen (Jim was actually directing a theater company), and to fill the screen with Disneyesque adorability and the ever-dreaded magic realism.

    It makes a mawkish Hallmark Card seem as jaded and world-weary as Denis Leary.

    I just don't understand why they didn't simply write about the stuff that really happened to them, without embellishment, which probably would have been a powerful, Oscar-winning movie, and would undoubtedly still have retained plenty of fucking adorability.

    Instead, I felt like I was watching a remake of An American Tail, except with live actors playing the cartoon mice.

    Well, it does have some pretty good nudity for a PG-13 movie. These images give you the idea that the film is blurry and cheesy. Not true. In general, the movie looks excellent. It is only this sex scene, which was filmed to be as inexplicit as possible, which is dark and fuzzy.

    • Samantha Morton (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)



    Paris (2003)

    An entry in the old corrupt cop and callow rookie genre.

    They enter a bar. Corrupt Cop goes in the back room to pick up his payoffs and eat some doughnuts an' shit, while Naive Cop has a beer with bartender Ron Jeremy (!!).

    Gunshots, mix-ups, confusion. Corrupt Cop is on the ground with a bullet in him, and a big bag of money beside him. Naive cop is instructed to tamper with the evidence, take the bag of money, and get it to Bai Ling. Needless to say, Naive Cop becomes embroiled in all kinds of ugly mischief with mobsters, and ends up on the lam with Bail Ling, fleeing from everyone on both sides of the law.

    It's like a Grade Z remake of Training Day shot on DV with Chinese-Americans instead of African-Americans.

    Skip it.

    • Bai Ling (1, 2)



    .wmv files





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

    Click here to submit a URL for 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 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.


    • Ann-Margret in Carnal Knowledge - no sound (.avi, .wmv)

    • Holly Hunter in The Piano  (.avi, .wmv)

    • Patricia Arquette in Lost Highway  (.avi, .wmv)

    • Lesley-Anne Down in Hanover Street  (.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.


    Reviewing Van Helsing is a thankless task, but someone has to do it.

    If you were handed 148 million dollars to make a movie, what kind of movie would you make?  Whatever your effort, wouldn’t you make a film with a story, with some interesting characters, with arresting dialogue and something visually pleasing?  Scratch them all in “Van Helsing”. 

    1) The actor.  The film does have Hugh Jackman, however, the new wunderkind of entertainment.  An Aussie who has played an American cowboy on a London stage to raving world reviews has to get our attention.  He is currently the ebullient and ineluctable Peter Allen in the long running Broadway musical, “The Boy from Oz”.  We also know him from “Kate and Leopold”, “Someone Like You”, and especially “X-Men”.  From Oklahoma’s Curly to Transylvania’s Van Helsing, Jackman can do everything except save his current film.  This computer generated overload is beyond his help or the help of any monster mash.

    2) The CGI.  CGI, good.  Too much CGI, bad.

    The first computer generated image (CGI), as opposed to the more traditional special effects, appeared sometime in the middle seventies, maybe in “Futureworld”. CGIs were used in “Tron”. They were featured prominently in “The Last Starfighter” and they made a serious impact in “Max Headroom”, the first talking CGI.  Next, Max was topped by the first realistic CGI depicted human movements in “Terminator 2”.  And then we watched CGIs have a lot of fun in “Death Becomes Her”. CGIs had arrived and they were partying. 

    But we really found what a CGI could do when Steven Spielberg decided to make computer dinosaurs run through the forest and interact with people in “Jurassic Park”.  It was novel and it was fun.   As quality entertainment it was more turkey than dinosaur, but it was another big step forward. 

    What did we learn from “Jurassic Park”?  Well, we learned not to place the CGI in the same frame as the human actor.  Or, at least, we learned not to have the actor pretend to focus on the CGI in the same frame.  (Was Sam Neill really focusing on the Brontosaurus?  - Or was he looking for his meatball sandwich in a nearby tree?)  The Jurassic Park sequels made many corrections, but none of the films had an adequate story, nor did they have any characters that we could get to know or even become interested in.  The Jurassic sequels only improved the use and technique of CGIs. 

    Meanwhile other movies with CGIs were cropping up in all parts of the land, all dominated by the new technology and all becoming ever so less entertaining. “Toy Story” was the first completely computer generated film.  And it was a jewel.  It had real characters without real people.  The film had imagination and a story line.  It held our interest.  The critics liked it and the box office said thank you. A wayward thought: If Walt Disney had possessed CGIs, what would “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” have been like?  They certainly wouldn’t have been the pale faced, un-detailed little people we came to love as kids.  As CGIs, they likely would have been less fanciful, with modern names like Biff, Brad or Corey.  Poor Snow White.  Without Bashful, she wouldn’t have had a day off.

    The first film to incorporate outstanding CGIs with story, identifiable people and excitement was “Titanic”.  We saw a CGI ship sink, CGI people falling hundreds of feet into CGI water, ship’s CGI personnel saving CGI children. It looked real and it all was adapted nicely into the larger story. It ably supported the film’s characters and the general ambience of the film.  Computer generated congratulations, James Cameron, you may have earned your seventeen million dollar director’s fee.  But couldn’t you have slimmed Kate Winslet down just a little?


    3) The film.  What about “Van Helsing”?  Viewers are immediately put off in the first scene by a CGI overdose in Dr. Frankenstein’s castle.  We know immediately that director Stephen Sommers has missed the castle bridge and the film is in the moat.  We are then insulted increasingly throughout the seemingly interminable remainder of the footage.  The jerky, silly monsters aren’t even good CGI.  (Can you say “Godzilla”?)  It's two hours and eleven minutes of continuous assaulting boredom before the Transylvania torture is over.

    • There are a couple of grins in the film but Sommers couldn’t decide to go in that direction.  Better if he had. 

    • Kate Beckinsale looks good in lace up boots and waist cincture.  But we don’t see enough of her. 

    • Hugh Jackman, who is in nearly every frame, offers an imposing Van Helsing with his obdurate cape and hat, his striking presence and big voice.  He does all he can.


    4) The decision.  Because of massive abuse of the CGI, “Van Helsing” should be condemned to Prince Vlad’s dungeon forever.  Sorry, Hugh.  Take heart, you’ll rise above it.

    Scoop's notes:

    JK makes a very interesting point. For 148 million dollars, you can afford a lot of good writers. Hell, half of them are probably living under bridges, willing to work for food. If I were going to make a market-oriented film (as opposed to an artistic film from my heart), I would hire a bunch of writers, throw them into a retreat for a few days, and tell them to come back with their ten best ideas about "Subject X". Then I'd choose the two I like best, and commission some of those writers to develop them. Then I would pay some really creative loner like Charlie Kaufman to develop a third script on the same subject. I would tell each team, "don't worry about pleasing audiences. That is my job. Write me a film that you would actually like to watch." You know how much that entire process would cost you? Not much, by Hollywood standards. Maybe ten million dollars, which would leave you $138 million to make a "big" film. You don't need that much. Robert Rodriguez made Once Upon a Time in Mexico for $29 million, including the salaries of two big stars, Banderas and Depp.

    So here's what I would do next. I'd pick one of the three scripts and tell Rodriguez to make the film for $38 million, but cook the books to make it look like he spent $138 million. Then Rodriguez and I would split the remaining hundred million 50-50, with which he could make 32 more crappy sequels to Spy Kids or some other underachieving basura far below his potential, and I could live in a tropical paradise drinking umbrella drinks, surrounded by beautiful women of lax moral standards for the rest of my life, even inviting all of you guys to join me for a week.

    Graphic Response
    • Naomi Watts, looking fantastic topless (especially her very pink nipples) in scenes "21 Grams". Watts was nominated for Best Actress for this role.

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

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:

    Here are a few paparazzi edits of Lindsay Lohan's latest slip o' the nip.

    • Lindsay Lohan, mega-sized edits (about 650-700k each) (1, 2)

    • Lindsay Lohan, normal sized edits (about 235k each) (1, 2)

    Crimson Ghost
    As promised...part two of the Ghost's coverage of "Sizzle Beach USA".

    • Sylvia Wright, showing all 3 B's. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    • Sylvia Wright .wmv

    • Terry Congie, she's a cure brunette with very nice breasts...too bad the scenes are dark and the original video quality is so poor.
      (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
    • Terry Congie, topless .wmvs (1, 2)

    • Victoria Taft, robo-hooters, full frontal nudity and a bare bum view in #20.
      (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24)
    • Victoria Taft .wmvs (1, 2, 3)

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    2000 French drama is yet another version of the life of the Marquis de Sade telling of his confinement in a detention center, his writing, etc. It has exactly the same theme as Quills, although I personally thought Quills was better.

    The movie is well done and decently acted, and even with sub-titles is interesting to watch, but it does plod sometimes, and doesn't really bring anything new to the story. It's also extremely tame considering the subject matter, with just a little nudity to spice things up.

    Angelina Jolie
    (1, 2, 3)

    Young, topless and in the shower. 'Nuff said! Thanks to Flautista for this look at the early Jolie film "Mojave Moon" (1996)

    Jamie Lee Curtis
    (1, 2)

    'Caps and comments by PAL:
    Scoops, I was going through the Encyclopedia and found two images I had previously made of Curtis topless in "The Tailor of Panama". Back when I made those 'caps, it seems I misspelled "tailor" as "taylor". To quote Homer Simpson..."D'oh!". Here are they are again with the correct spelling.

    Emmanuelle Béart
    (1, 2)
    Sophie Séfériadès

    Many thanks to LC for this first look at the French film "Nathalie..." (2003). Currently this movie is playing in theaters around Europe and will be opening in Canada next month. No US release dates of any kind so far.

    Emmanuelle Béart looks lovely as always as she dances in lingerie in #1 and goes topless in #2. Sophie Séfériadès also has a topless scene.

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

    Señor Skin 'caps of the Moore topless in a couple of love scenes from "The End of the Affair" (1999). Moore earned a Best Actress nomination for this role, but Hilary Swank took home the Oscar that year for "Boys Don't Cry".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    And They Actually Check The Names! - Having failed by a wide gap to reach the 64,076 signatures on a petition needed to get on the Texas ballot, Ralph Nader filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state's election laws. Nader said, "Democracy is under assault in Texas," and that unconstitutional laws are denying choices to Texas voters.

  • Because you KNOW Texans would elect Ralph Nader president, if only they could!
  • Say, didn't Texas voters have a choice of whether or not to sign his petition?
  • Signatures he needed: 64,076...Signatures he got: three.
  • A side note from Jr....I was recently asked to sign the petition myself, and think part of Nader's ballot problem was his approach. Here in Austin, he had musicians who had not bathed in days standing outside of bars on the weekends trying to get people to sign. Yup, if you want to be president, you really have to go after that "2 dollar Cuervo shot" demographic.

    They'll Also Sue Any Hogs With Warts - For a hospital charity fundraising show by a ballet school in Worthing, England, some three-year-old ballerinas were going do a 10 minute dance as Harry Potter and his friends. To make sure there were no objections, school owner Valerie Le Serve wrote to "Potter" creator J.K. Rowling for permission. She was stunned to receive a letter from Rowling's lawyers, barring the act under threat of lawsuit because Warners holds all performance rights until 2007. Le Serve said, "I am flattered that they consider us to be such a great threat to their plans in 2007."

  • Man! The "Harry Potter" movie scheduled for 2007 must REALLY suck!
  • As long as there are lawyers, Lord Voldemort will not be the most evil being on Earth.
  • Harry Potter's nickname is "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Without The Express Written Permission of Warner Brothers Inc."
  • So now, they're doing Disney characters.

    The Fashion Of The Christ - The hit movie "The Passion of the Christ" has inspired a fashion fad in Hollywood, with images of Jesus appearing on everything from belts and purses to T-shirts. A Los Angeles company called Teenage Millionaire is making shirts that read "Jesus Is My Homeboy" and "Mary Is My Homegirl." Pamela Anderson, Lara Flynn Boyle and Madonna have been seen wearing them.

  • Madonna wears them to Kabbalah classes...She's not sure, but she thinks Jesus might've been Jewish, too.
  • Madonna even goes around calling herself "Madonna."
  • If they think this will get them into Heaven, think again.
  • Pam thought her chest wasn't getting enough attention, so she decided to put Jesus on it.
  • Typical of Hollywood: Jesus has been around for ages, but nobody paid any attention to Him until He had a hit movie, and now everyone claims to know Him!