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Tuna's Spanish film-fest

I am now 5 films into my foray into Spanish cinema, and am enjoying it very much so far. For those who are also enjoying it, let me assure that I will be doing at least 40 films from Spain. For those who miss my other material, here are my plans. I will work with Scoopy to cover all new US releases as soon as they are available, then switch to one Spanish film and one B release until I am out of new US DVDs, then it will be back to two Spanish films a day. Once I have seen more of the Spanish work, I will have some thoughts on Spanish cinema to share, but for now, the most obvious difference between Spanish and US DVDs is the lack of tamper proofing and anti-theft devices on Spanish DVDs. Tear off the shrink wrap, and you are in. Every one I have received is in a keeper case. This certainly beats three strips of tamper proof tape on the edges and a magnetic strip inside (sometimes stuck to the DVD itself).


Fugitivas (2000) is basically a buddy/road movie, but with a thriller twist, and strange traveling companions. Laia Marull, who won a best new actress Goya for this film, her boyfriend, and two other hoods hold up a state lottery sales office. Marull's boyfriend leaves the other two stranded at the scene and goes to his sister's. He is to borrow her car, and take her seven year old daughter, who interferes with her business as a prostitute, to live with the father. The three of them start out, and the two left at the robbery are in pursuit. They stop at a rest stop for the night, and the boyfriend leaves with the cash, stranding Marull and the young girl with no cash and the two ex-partners after them.

Marull wants nothing more than to dump the girl anywhere, but, at the same time, feels a kinship with her do to her own difficult childhood. Marull shows breasts in the first few minutes of the film in two scenes, and Silvia Espigado shows breasts and buns in the course of her job. The film is currently 7.1 of 10 at IMDB, and seems to have had a small festival circuit release in the US. Only slightly flawed by a predictable ending, this was an entertaining enough film with good technical aspects, and Marull is a real screen presence. She gets lots of work (9 credits in 5 years), and should have a huge career. The film has plenty of pace and excitement. High C+.

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  • Laia Marull (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18)
  • Silvia Espigado (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

    "Nadie conoce a nadie"

    Nadie conoce a nadie (1999), which means Nobody Knows Anybody, is a nifty Spanish thriller which takes place in Seville amid the Easter Week celebrations and processions. Someone is killing prominent Catholics, and involves Eduardo Noriega, crossword author for his paper and would-be author in what seems to be some huge game, using the city of Seville as a gaming board, and the people of the city as game pieces. Every time we think we know who is to blame, something happens to change our mind. I liked thsi a lot, and don't want to write a spoiler.

    Natalia Verbeke shows breasts and buns in a brief sex scene with Noriega. IMDB readers have this at 6.4 of 10, but it is a staggering 8.3 among US voters, which begs the question, "Why hasn't this film been released in the US." It is a unique concept, well written, well acted, and beautifully photographed. It won a Goya for special effects. I liked this more than most of the thrillers I see. It had more than enough suspense and dramatic tension, and a believable resolution. B-.

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  • Natalia Verbeke (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    New releases. I looked at six movies from Blockbuster in the past two days. No flesh. Three are worth mentioning.

    Lantana is best described as Magnolia meets Blue Velvet. It is a very serious character study with an ensemble cast, and it also works in a missing persons case. Everyone's lives are intertwined. The overall point is a to look at what happens to close relationships over time. Very good movie, but one in search of a sense of humor. There may be some nudity in the opening sex scene, but I don't think so. I'll have to spent some time on it . I'll tell you tomorrow.

    How High is basically a black stoner version of Bill and Ted. Two slackers smoke some weed grown in soil which has been enriched by the ashes of their genius friend. This gives them his genius, and they get into Harvard. It is silly, but I laughed a lot more than I'd like to admit. When they run out of their magical dope, they need the dead body of another smart guy. Since they are in Boston, they rob the grave of founding father John Adams. Hey, you have to admit it is original! Method Man and Redman are funny in this. Plenty of sex, but no nudity.

    Sidewalks of New York is Edward Burns's attempt to be the Woody Allen of his generation, except taller. It resembled Woody's more serious movies, but Burns's sense of humor is not as goofy, more focused on situation irony, more heavy-handed, and that gives the film an edgier feel than Woody ever tried to achieve. I don't think that Burns has quite found the right formula yet, but his movies keep improving, and this isn't bad at all, if you like talky movies about neurotic New Yorkers who are confused about relationships. No nudity. These people spend more time talking about sex than doing it. When they do it, they stay covered up. This seems to be part of a disturbing new puritanism in films. In the 1980's, a film like this would have been filled with nudity, unless it was actually filmed by Woody.

    Old releases:

    The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea is a strange film. It was based upon a novel about the uniqueness of Japanese culture before it became westernized. So what do they do to make it a film? They took situations and characters unique to pre-Westernized Japan and changed them to modern day Brits and Americans, in which case the whole thing becomes completely incredible. It's a weak movie. The photography is not bad at all, and there is plenty of sex, but the acting is on an amateur level, the characters make no sense in modern-day England, it is morbid, the characters are uniformly detestable (except for Kris Kristofferson who simply plays that part of Kris Kristofferson wearing a sailor hat), and the story drags on forever, filled with techniques that were dated in the 1940's. But there was nudity and masturbation. The film became most famous for the off-screen antics of Kristofferson and Miles, at which Kristofferson's wife was not amused. Kris has said in interviews that he'd like to take this chapter out of his life. Apparently he and Rita Coolidge had a pretty good thing going, and he blew it when he had this public affair with Miles, then regretted it too late.

    • Sarah Miles (VHS caps. Movie not yet on DVD) (1, 2, 3)


    Other crap:

    1. The trailer (French version) for Brian de Palma's Femme Fatale. Plenty of nudity, including full frontal.


    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 I inexplicably determined there might be something of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Babe of the Day, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
    The hoopla for the day...our first look at the gorgeous tall blonde in the upcoming Brian De Palma movie "Femme Fatale". Oh, did I mention she plays a lesbian?
    • Rebecca looking very hot in skimpy black outfits. (1, 2, 3)

    • Ok, here is some full frontal nudity also from "Femme Fatale". Is it Rebecca? We're not sure. The 'capper says yes, and there seem to be some physical similarities, but we just don't know.

    Other info: It's already playing in France, and the few votes that have already registered at the IMDb have it at 7.1.
    Here's a link to a review of the film. Worth it just to see the photo gallery with some sexy Rebecca pics.

    The official site. Not a whole lot of info, but more decent pics.

    Today's flick..."The Delivery" (1999)

    A pretty darn good Euro-indie-action flick!

    The weakest part of this production by far was the story and some of the dialogue. Yet the script was rounded enough to have some character development and some decent, "real life" but not dull banter between the principals (not too preachy, not too predictable). In particular I was impressed that most of the main characters had little quirks that they came back to every so often. Not the the kind of thing you would normally see in an indie action flick. Now let your mind go, and what you end up with is very great cinematography, good acting, and almost non-stop action.

    The Plot:
    Two guys take a job delivering $20 million in extacy from Amsterdam to somehwere in Spain. They have four days to do it, and must follow a strict route and time table in order reach check points where the bad guy will call and make sure the stash in on it's way. As collateral, the bad guy keeps one guy's wife. If they make to each check point, she'll be fine. If they miss one, she gets hurt.

    Of course, in typical movie fashion, a billion and one things go wrong, and along the way our heroes meet up with a hot chick that kicks some ass, a psycho terrorist that wants them dead, and a looney Interpol agent that's "taking the case too personal". However it's still a fun ride.

    The big surprise for me was when I learned that that this indie film was shot in 35 days in 3 countries and made for only $2 million! Granted, the plot is a little light, but I challenge Hollywood to make more movies that look this nice and have competent acting! The only thing that I think really keeps this from being more of a cult favorite like "Lock Stock" is the editing. There are a few slow parts, and a few Ritchie-esque cuts here and there could have upped the pace to the point were we would be even more forgiving of the predictable story.

    The 'Caps:
    Just a few quickies. Aurélie looks great, especially in links 1-3.


    Daneen Boone once again in "Crazy Love" as she strips off her clothes in exchange for a free train ticket.

    • Daneen Boone topless (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

    Next up...more delicious "Babes in Bondage or Peril" from those long ago 70's Detective Magazine covers.

    • Detective Covers (1, 2, 3)

    The Funnies

    10. Supervised Southern Florida election process, 2000 - 2001.
    9. Graduated in top 95% of high school class.
    8. Designed and implemented company-wide plastic silverware recycling program.
    7. Promoted to assistant groundskeeper after just 8 years.
    6. Hobbies/interests: Puppetry, Star Trek.
    5. Published in Penthouse Forum, April 1980, August 1981.
    4. Professional affiliations: American Bar Association, Former Inmates of America.
    3. Created Herbal Essence "orgasmic" shampoo commercials.
    2. Skills include: Reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic.
    1. Invented the Internet.

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...


    >From the NY Daily News. That's not Denise Richards' ass on her upcoming movie poster, it's a computer! Okay, which computer store sells those?...

    Shape Your Booty

    The outdoor advertising gremlins in Hollywood have struck again. First they gave Gwyneth Paltrow an enormous bustline in the poster for "Shallow Hal." Now Denise Richards is astonished to see her booty amplified to Jennifer Lopez proportions in the promotional shots for "Undercover Brother."

    "I slammed on the brakes when I saw it," said Richards about her digitally enhanced behind. "I saw it at a bus stop and I thought, 'What the hell did they do to my a**?' Plus I got all these phone calls from my girlfriends saying, 'What did they do to you? You look ridiculous.'"

    Richards, who is engaged to Charlie Sheen, said she has no idea where the picture came from, because the one she approved was different.

    "They twist the art around," she said. "I didn't approve that. That's not my a**, to be honest with you. It's a computer."

    Celeb News and Gossip


    Actress JULIETTE LEWIS spends her spare time poring over softcore porn movies in a bid to master bad acting.

    The NATURAL BORN KILLERS star and skateboarder husband STEPHEN BERRA love to watch bad sex films together - but she insists it has nothing to do with erotica.

    She says, "One day I'd like to teach acting and we like to analyze and watch the bad acting. To teach people good acting I wanna bring in some clips and say, 'Look at this, this is bad.'

    "My husband and I also think you have to sign a contract where you can't use tongues because there's this weird kissing thing they do, and there's no contact."