"Watermelon Woman"

Watermelon Woman (1996) is a black lesbian film by a black lesbian film maker about a black lesbian film maker making a film about a fictitious black lesbian actress. As she researches the "Watermelon Woman," she finds out that she had a sexual relationship with a white female director. The film maker also has a sexual relationship with a white woman. There is one sex scene between them, wherein writer/director/star Cheryl Dunye shows breasts and buns, and Guinevere Turner shows one breast.

Dunye works in a video store, and has a side business shooting weddings, etc, with her best friend who also works at the video store. Her dream, however, is to become a film maker, and she is in search of an idea. The two order unusual videos, claiming a customer requested them, dupe them at home, then return them. This is where Dunye learns about the Watermelon Women, and decides then and there that she is the subject of her film.

I suppose the film is full of insights into what being a black lesbian film maker means, but no lights came on for me. I saw the same relationship and friendship problems I see in any reasonably honest film. In short, despite the rather racy characters, the film was far too normal for me. It won some awards in specialty festivals. Berardinelli gave it high praise and awarded 3 stars. He especially liked the way it didn't focus on the bedroom, and also on the excellent recreation of old black and white footage supposedly of the Watermelon Woman's early films. I was left with the impression that Dunye has something to say, but I didn't quite get the message. IMDb readers have it at 6.2 of 10. I will give it a solid C as a gay/lesbian genre film. At least it dared to be different, and the character development of the leads was good.

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  • Cheryl Dunye (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
  • Guinevere Turner (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    "Lurid Tales: The Castle Queen"

    Lurid Tales: The Castle Queen (1996) is a very poor attempt at a Harlequin Romance soft core shot in Romania, with a mostly Rumanian cast, who learned their lines phonetically. The focus is so soft, that it makes Penthouse images look pin sharp. To top it off, the three women who do show breasts cover them with their arms most of the time they are topless. It takes bigger cajones than I have to add lurid to the title of this stinker.

    Shannon Dow Smith is an Econ major. He is hanging out in a pub avoiding working on a term paper, when he is talked into trying a time travel machine. He lands, of course, in the reign of Charles the first, just the era that the paper is supposed to be about. He meets then beds Kim Dawson, the lady of the castle, and then both of her sisters, Betsy Lynn George and Christi Harris. When the puritans decide to confiscate their land, they figure the best way to convince the Puritans that they are great citizens is to turn the castle into a whore house.

    Smith returns to the present when he is hanged in the past. All three women shows breasts, briefly. The transfer is as bad as I have seen. IMDb readers have this at 1.9 of 10. It isn't nearly that good. This is a clear F. Then, deduct a full letter for including "lurid" in the title, and it falls off the bottom of our scoring system.

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  • Betsy Lynn George (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Christi Harris (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Kim Dawson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Japanese Story (2003)

    The basic structure of this film is familiar. It's a tragic romance in the form of a three-act play.

    Act 1: They hate each other. An Aussie woman and a visiting Japanese man are at odds over their cultural differences. She talks too loud. He's too arrogant and patronizing and sexist. Yadda yadda.

    Act 2: They love each other. They end up bonding when they are stuck together in the desert. They form the uneasy beginning of a romantic relationship.

    Act 3: They lose everything. He dies in an accident while they are deep in the outback. She has to go through the very difficult process of carrying him back to their vehicle, driving his corpse back to the nearest town, and seeing how his body is handled in a small town with no doctor, in which the undertaker preserves bodies in an ice house. She spends the rest of the film dealing with grief, and her own guilt about his death, and his widow. (Turns out he was married with two children.) She is sometimes overwhelmed by the sense of having lost someone before getting to know him as well as she wanted to.

    Japanese Story is only about 95 minutes long, but it took me about 8 hours to watch it. I watched 20 minutes, then surfed the web for Other Crap, then watched 10 minutes, then checked the ball scores, then another 20 minutes, then went out to work on my spikes for a while (I play volleyball), and so forth.

    I won't say it isn't good. That would not be fair, but I just couldn't get through this Aussie movie, despite the fact that it won just about every award the Aussie Academy had to offer, and features an excellent performance from character actress Toni Collette, who got to play the romantic lead for a change. Lots of respected critics loved it, Tuna really liked it (see below), but I just couldn't ever get into it.

    Why? Well, most important, it is one of those movies that only shows a very few scenes, but virtually shows them in real time. People gather to talk, one woman walks out of the room silently. The camera follows her every footstep. She changes her mind and walks back in to say something. The camera follows her every footstep. I guess it's just me, but I really prefer some compression in my movie scripts. As I see it, fealty to Aristotle's unity of time makes for mighty boring viewing. That sort of direction makes my life difficult enough when it involves city scenes, but this film also used that technique in the desert. Car driving, driving, driving, driving, driving .... I got the goddamned point. Car keeps driving through nowhere. Great vast, dirty, red expanses of nowhere. Point delivered. Move on.

    If this sort of pacing doesn't bother you (it didn't seem to bother many critics), then the film may be your cup of tea more than it was mine.

    There was a second reason that it was irritating. It has a bizarre, patronizing view of Japanese culture. It assumes (as I guess many Westerners do) that because the Japanese come from a fairly rigid culture, that they cannot really ever leave Japan, because they expect the rest of the world to adapt to their ways when they arrive on foreign soil. You know, I find this completely illogical, as well as contrary to my own experiences. Japanese businessmen have been successful throughout the world, both in forging local relationships and in devising solid business systems. Of course they have their own ways of doing things, and they adhere to those ways when they are among one another, just as we adhere to our ways when we are the only ones in the room, but Japanese businessmen are educated very well in general. Now when we are going through school, we learn that other people have different ways of looking at life, and that other cultures have different signs of respect and disrespect, and arrange their priorities in different orders. We learn that our ability to adapt to other cultures affects our likelihood to make a sale in their country. Why do we assume that the Japanese are not privy to this same wisdom? Why do we assume that Japanese people do not also take those same courses in Sociology and World Geography and Marketing, and learn the same things we learn. I just have to assume that the Japanese out of Japan are not generally the cloistered and inflexible buffoons pictured in movies.

    We have one Japanese man visiting Australia by himself in this film. Is he going to assume that all Australian women are his inferiors and that he should let them carry his baggage for him? Is he going to do all the traditional Japanese bowing and handing the business card with two hands, and acting like a Japanese caricature from a 1930s movie? Are intelligent Japanese people incapable of functioning outside their own culture? I don't think so. He hasn't been living in a monastery, for heaven's sake. I think he is aware that Australia is not a part of Japan, and he would therefore make an effort to adapt to Aussie customs, probably reading up on local customs in advance, just as an American, Brit, or German would do if he called on someone in Indonesia, for example. I reckon he would realize that Australian women can be CEOs and scientists. If he were stuck in the desert with his life in peril, I don't think he would refuse to use his cell phone to call for help, because of the shame of getting stuck out there. Hey, the Japanese may have a rigid and tradition-oriented culture, but that doesn't mean they are stupid and want to die for no good reason.

    At one point, the Japanese guy turns to his Aussie companion and says, "your country is so big, and there are so few people." You mean that just dawned on him after a week or so in Western Australia? He wasn't aware of the size and population of Australia from his studies back in Kyoto? He wasn't aware that just about all of non-coastal Australia, especially the mining area, is a vast expanse of mostly uninhabited outback? Give me a break. We would never believe that a Dutchman or a Swede would be this naive. Why would we accept it from a Japanese character?

    Furthermore, a really savvy Japanese businessman would never say something like this in Australia to an Australian, because it plays right into the Xenophobic belief of some Australians that the Japanese want to buy up Australia because they are running out of room in their own country. The Japanese know that this flaming paranoia exists, and they would not deliberately fan that flame.

    Frankly, I found this whole portrayal to be a well-meaning but subtle, patronizing racism.

    I had two other, more minor, objections to this film.

    1. The scene transitions drove me crazy. I mentioned before that there are very few scenes, but each one is explored deliberately. That technique means that there are sometimes very large storyline gaps between scenes - too large, in my opinion. One example: after the two mismatched companions escape the desert, they head back toward civilization. The two of them have never kissed or held hands. They stop driving when it gets dark. CUT. New scene begins - the Japanese guy is lying in bed on his back, shirtless, and the Aussie woman is playing with his nipples. She gets undressed, then puts on his pants, then mounts him. No talk, no kissing, no handholding. Straight to the chase.  I guess I should probably praise them for an innovative approach which avoided all the clichés, but I felt uncomfortable. I looked away in embarrassment as if I felt they shouldn't have been there together, and I wondered how they got to that point. Seemed very ungainly to me.

    2. The finale of the movie consists of his voice reading a letter he wrote her, a note which she was supposed to read after he boarded a plane back to Kyoto. He did end up on that plane, of course, but he was in a pine box at the time. The sad Japanese music plays. It sounds like all the notes are made with different cowbells. Based on this movie, I have concluded that  Christopher Walken would love Japan because he would never need more cowbell. As the voice-over speaks the words of the letter in pidgin English ... well, I don't really have to tell you what it said. If I had been directing this movie, I would have nuked the "letter from the dead" in a New York Minute. Now that the 1930s are over, this technique should be restricted only to Mariah Carey movies.

    (In case that reference was too obscure, they used the same cliché in Mariah's "Glitter")

    It would be unfair for me to say that the movie is not good. Too many people liked it, and I take away many great memories of it. The spectacular redness and rugged emptiness of Western Australia. His death in the billabong. The small-town part-time coroner who stores bodies like cases of beer.

    The iconography was memorable.

    The movie, however, good as it may be (and I'm not convinced it is that good), has a very tiny but very appreciative audience. I tried to like it because it is just so earnest, but I couldn't.

    • Toni Collette (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)



    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 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.

    Sherrie Rose

    • In Me and Will (.avi, .wmv). Sherrie wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this film. I haven't seen it, but it scored a respectable 5.6 at IMDb, and drew a few decent comments.

    • In Me and Will (.avi, .wmv)

    • In Devil in the Flesh. (.avi, .wmv)

    The Shout

    • Susannah York in The Shout. This is, frankly, one of the most fucked-up movies I've ever seen. And I'm not even sure if it's "kinda cool fucked up", like Donnie Darko, or just plain fucked-up, like Glam. (avi, .wmv) .

    • York. (.avi, .wmv)

    • York. (.avi, .wmv)

    • York. (.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. http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ 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
    • Toni Collette, going topless and showing rear nudity in scenes from the Aussie film "Japanese Story" (2003). Collette's performance was praised by the critics (both Ebert and Berardinelli gave it 3 1/2 stars), and the Australian Film Institute honored her the Best Actress in a Leading Role award. The film won 8 AFI awards total including Best Direction and Best Picture.

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.

    'Caps and comments by Brainscan:


    It's Cleavage Day. Not to be confused with a celebration of Ward and June's family.

    Angie Harmon looking mahvelous. I wouldn't mind embarassing myself in the Super Bowl if I could home to her.

    Ashley Williams. Haven't a clue who she is, other than the sister of "Father of Bride" babe Kimberly Williams.

    Michelle Trachtenberg. Okay, cleavage AND pokies.

    And Lindsay Lohan in the latest pics of her in that top meant to leave nothing covered. Girl knows how to get in the public's eye and stay there.

    • Lindsay Lohan (1, 2, 3)

    Scorpion's Skinemax
    Today Scorpion takes a look at "Hot Club California" (1999).
    • Amanda Prentice topless (non-implants) and a hint of pubes in some pseudo-sex scenes. (1, 2)

    • Angela Davies (aka Adult actress Avalon) showing all 3 B's. (1, 2)

    • Katie Lohmann, the former Heffer (April '01) gets it on and also shows breasts and pubes (there' even a hint of a gyno-view).

    • Mia Zottoli (aka Ava Lake). Showing all.

    • Tracy Ryan, Katie Lohmann and Jamie Lynn plenty of boobs, bums and some even a little bush.

    • Tracy Ryan, Mia Zottoli, Katie Lohmann and Jamie Lynn. Looks a like another standard Skinemax moment where a bikini contest becomes 4 girls pawing at each other. Complete with quick edits and 4 minutes of music. (1, 2)

    Crimson Ghost
    Part one of the Ghost's extreme coverage of the Skinemax flick "Timegate: Tales of the Saddle Tramps" (1999).

    • Amy Lindsay shows plenty of breast and bum views (plus pubes in links 10 and 11) in a couple of pseudo-sex scenes. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
    • Amy Lindsay .wmvs (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    • Michelle Bauer, the 20+ year B-movie vereran topless and baring her bum. (1, 2, 3)
    • Michelle Bauer .wmv

    • Amber Newman and Shannon Malone get it on in a 3-way. Both ladies bare breasts and Malone shows a bit of pubes in links 18 and 25. (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)
    • Amber Newman and Shannon Malone .wmvs (1, 2, 3)

    Mayte Navales
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

    Vejiita 'caps of the Spanish actress going topless in scenes (sadly they are dark scenes) from the movie "Una de zombis" (2003).

    Jessica Simpson
    (1, 2, 3)

    The 'not exactly a member of Mensa' pop-starlet showing some cleavage and a hint of nipple while in concert.

    Inger Ebeltoft
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Jen Wettlaufer
    (1, 2, 3)

    Maria Cilea

    From "Eve" (2002). 'Caps and comments by A5.
    Neil St. Clair's visionary re-interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve is bound to raise some eyebrows. Diverging from scripture and the masterful elaborations of John Milton, "Eve" follows Eve as she quests throughout Paradise in search of her "Adam", pausing on a regular basis to fantasize about various angels having sex in incredibly photogenic manners. Details such as Eve being created by God before Adam, and Eve dressing herself in a cheap Macy's two-piece bathing suit instead of fig leafs is bound to have biblical scholars and historians up in arms. That is assuming of course, that they survive the shock of seeing Eve give into her carnal desires with Gabriel before she even meets Adam - breaking the unwritten 11th commandment in spectacular fashion.

    As for the cinematography, well, this is probably what it would look like if National Geographic got into softcore pornography. It would appear that tit and ass shape landscapes abound in nature, and the filmmakers use the cliche with devastating effect.

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

    Tankin' Donuts - Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the big Wall Street success story of 2003, has hit a hole. The low-carb diet fad hurt business so much, profit estimates were lowered, which caused stock value to drop by a third. Now, shareholders are suing the company for misleading them. They claim Krispy Kreme managers underestimated the competition from Dunkin' Donuts, told them the low-carb trend would have no effect, and expanded much too fast.

  • Or maybe their customers expanded much too fast.
  • They hope to win $300 million, and take it all in donuts.
  • The managers replied, "You seriously think anyone could've predicted that Americans would stop eating donuts?!"

    Idol Rich - Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports that "American Idol's" voting system is under fire as unfair, unreliable and easy to rig. Many fans say they're so upset, they are turning off the show. While some callers never get through, others vote hundreds of times by text message or computer speed dial. And there's an underhanded reason: bookies are taking bets on the winner, and gamblers stand to win big money by skewing the vote against favorites like LaToya London and giving the prize to a longshot.

  • Then why is John Stevens gone?
  • This is why the judges had to reject William Hung...He might've won.
  • To hear Simon tell it, LaToya was a longshot.
  • The good news: Americans aren't racists...We're just crooked gamblers.

    Sweet! - Some parents are upset with Jessica Simpson for launching a line of 13 edible body creams for lovers, some with "sprinkle-on candy," as part of her "Dessert Beauty" line. Teens are buying them, and parents say the proud "virgin-until-she-was-married" is encouraging their kids to have sex. New York sex therapist Dr. Jane Greer says candy is also the seduction item of choice for perverts. She wants warning labels put on the creams, saying that "dessert," or sex, should only come after "dinner," which means the establishment of a mature relationship.

  • Or lacking that, a marriage like Nick and Jessica's.
  • I've always preferred to have my dessert first...If that's good enough, maybe I'll stick around for dinner.
  • The before-dinner appetizer: Blue Balls on Ice.
  • Also, perverts on a diet are demanding a low-carb version.

    Didn't Only TWO Men Have To Agree? - "Troy" was the #1 movie at the box office, earning $45.6 million, but that's under the $50 million debut expected of a $200 million blockbuster. Some excuses: reviews were mixed, it's R-rated, it's 2 hours and 40 minutes long, historians slammed it for rewriting Homer, and some critics even complained that Helen of Troy wasn't beautiful enough. Slate reports that producers had a hard time casting her because everyone had to agree she was the world's most beautiful woman and worth going to war over. They considered everyone from Victoria's Secret models to pop stars.

  • Britney Spears wasn't "the face that launched a thousand ships," although her records have launched a lot of lunches.
  • Come on, I've seen guys go to war over chicks with tattoos and no teeth.
  • Today, with plastic surgery, liposuction and PhotoShop, NO woman is beautiful enough.
  • They just couldn't find any woman who was prettier than Brad Pitt.
  • The Homer purists stayed home in protest...All three of them.
  • When asked to comment on the movie, Homer replied, "D'oh!"

    You Can See Their Laptops! - "Celebrity Justice" reports that a laptop stolen from the home of a friend of Ashton Kutcher contained raunchy private photos of him and Demi Moore in "compromising positions," and that Moore is now worried they'll appear on the Internet and be bigger than the Paris Hilton sex video. But her spokesman insisted that the "Striptease" star is unaware of any photos or theft.

  • Demi is terribly upset that someone might see her naked!
  • Her real worry is that they'll come out and NOT be bigger than the Paris Hilton video.
  • These pictures show it all: every plastic surgery scar!