"Perfect Strangers"

Perfect Strangers (1984) is a crime thriller written and directed by Larry Cohen. Brad Rijn is a mob hit man, who is seen stabbing a victim to death in an alley by a two year old. The mob wants him to kill the two-year-old, even though the kid doesn't yet talk. Killing kids doesn't seem quite right to him, so he tries to find out if the kid recognizes him. In the process, he becomes intimate with the kids mother, Anne Carlisle. A psycho ex husband and a gay cop are added to the mix, as Rijn gets more and more pressure from the mob to kill the kid.

Carlisle shows her breasts in a dark sex scene shot mostly through blinds. IMDb readers have this at 4.8 of 10. The idea might have some merit, but the pace was nearly as bad as the armature acting. This is an F.

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  • Anne Carlisle (1, 2, 3, 4)

    "Special Effects"

    Special Effects (1984) is a crime thriller by Larry Cohen. This is a film within a film, which I am very tired of, and I had just finished watching another film in the same genre made by the same director in the same year, so I really wanted to hate it. By the time it was over, I realized that I hadn't touched the fast forward once, and had been anxiously waiting to see how it ended. It didn't hurt that Zoë Lund (Bad Lieutenant, Ms. 45) was naked through most of the film, although we only see breasts and buns.

    Famous director Chris Neville has just been fired from his own picture for going over budget. His previous effort was also a total flop, even though he spent millions on special effects. Meanwhile, Lund is posing topless for amateur photographers when her ex husband shows up to take her home. Home in Oklahoma includes her kid that she never wants to see again. He is forcing her to pack, and she escapes through a window and heads to Neville's house. She was looking for a place to hide and possibly her big break into show business. Even though she was aware that he also made porn to meet expenses, she allows him to seduce her, then gets cold feet. He starts getting pushy, as he has a hidden camera rolling, and wants the footage, and she starts berating him about his failures. He strangles her, then comes up with a brilliant plan. He will make a film about a murder just like the one he committed, star her husband, who is the chief suspect, and use the real footage rather than a fake murder done with special effects.

    They manage to find a girl who looks just like the dead woman (also played by Lund). Neville also hires the detective assigned to the case as a subject matter expert. I will leave the rest of the plot twists for you to discover. IMDb readers have it at 5.2 of 10. It is no Body Heat or Body Double, but it is a watchable crime thriller with a serious amount of nudity, and hence a C-.

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  • Zoe Lund (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, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Sidewalks of New York (2001)

    Although the guy has written and directed five of his own films, you probably don't know much about Edward Burns the filmmaker. I'll bet you know his face. He was De Niro's costar in 15 Minutes, he had a part in Saving Private Ryan, and is the co-star of the blond Angelina Jolie in "Life, or Something Like It", taking over a role turned down by Edward Norton. You probably think of him as an actor because very few people have seen his own films.

    But they are pretty good, even if they are largely unknown. His movies are a lot like Woody Allen's. Think of him as the tall, good-looking, Irish-Catholic Woodman.

    • Like Allen, he is interested in the social and romantic interactions of people in New York City, and he himself was born in the outer boroughs to a working class ethnic family. His dad is an Irish NYPD cop - how much more New York can ya be? Like Allen, his characters are obsessive, egocentric, more than a little whiny, and are constantly analyzing themselves to death.
    • There are also plenty of differences. Allen may come from a working class family, but he thinks like a white collar Manhattanite. Burns is a very bright and thoughtful guy with a degree in literature, and is well aware of Manhattan's urban professionals, but he is probably more interested in the lives of the real people who commute from Jersey and the outer boroughs - the people who make New York work. Waitresses, doormen, cabbies, cops, blue collar workers of all types. Woody is gentle and affectionate when he mocks the neurotic and obsessive Manhattanites, but you know Burns is making a "rotten banana face" when he thinks about them. Unfortunately, Burns is not as funny as Woody (who is?) and when he is funny, his humor is not as brilliant or as obviously aloof. While you can always tell that Woody is just being clever, sometimes Burns really digs in with some nasty claws. The Stanley Tucci character in "Sidewalks", a self-rationalizing sexual predator, is a truly detestable character.

    The film develops much of its irony by having the characters talk to the camera in a sort of documentary within the film. The things they say to the imaginary interviewer and the clichés they spout are sharply contrasted to their real actions.

    This device accomplished what he wanted it to, I guess, but it was extraordinarily artificial, and the tone of voice of too many of the characters was too much indebted to Woody. (Especially Stanley Tucci and Heather Graham, who seemed to be impersonating Woody and Diane Keaton)

    A side note. It is (too) obvious that some of the dialogue in the film was improvised. I don't know how much of Dennis Farina's was ad-libbed, but if it was improvisation, that is one very funny man. His portrayal of a shallow Casanova provided the biggest laughs in the film.

    • Brittany Murphy. I looked at this film a second time because (1) Brittany has come much closer to stardom since I reviewed this the first time, when she was unknown. (2) Somebody else did some caps recently and it looked like she exposed a nipple. It was a false alarm.  It was just the way the beddings knotted behind her. (The illusion is still intact, however, in this collage.)



    Tempted (2001)

    "This film's got silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies attacking young men, but now it's got silly."

    Graham Chapman as "The Colonel", breaking up a Monty Python skit.


    A rich old tough guy (Burt Reynolds) finds out that he's dying. He wonders whether his beautiful young wife (Saffron Burrows) really loves him and deserves to get all of his inheritance. So he hires a handsome young law student (Peter Facinelli) to make a run at his wife: $10,000 to try, $50,000 to succeed. Trouble ensues.

    The problem is that the screenwriter didn't have the courage to stick with this premise.

    In the middle of the film, the young law student's best friend commits a front page murder of the governor's son (a gay thing gone wrong). The law student gets involved in disposing of the body, and therefore gets cops trailing him when the friend tells the police "I was with my law student buddy that night". Meanwhile, the rich guy decides that he doesn't trust either his wife or the guy he hired to seduce his wife, so he also hires a private detective agency to follow the law student and bug his every move.

    You see what I mean? In the midst of a story already on the edge of losing all credibility, the law student gets involved in a completely unrelated murder ... and that murder sub-plot never gets developed in any way.

    Anyway, now we have the kid running around God's half-acre followed by the cops and a private dick, and the story gets even more complicated when the wife finds out that the kid has been paid to seduce her. She gets so pissed off at her husband that she lets the kid succeed in his clumsy seduction, even though she genuinely loved the old geezer and had no intention of cheating on him before she found out about the payment.

    It gets WAY more complicated but the bottom line is - everybody ends up trying to kill and/or blackmail everyone else. The cops, the husband, the private detective, the wife, the gay best friend, the husband's lawyer (who is interested in the young trophy wife), and the husband's beloved bodyguard all end up as separate interests, all packin' heat, all trying to kill pretty much everyone else, all coming together in two atmospheric shoot-outs, first in an above-ground cemetery, and then in the swamp.

    Luckily for them, that's all legal in Louisiana.

    So now you see why I began this review with a Python quote. This film started out with a nice little idea, then got too silly.

    There was the core of a good movie here. The premise was reasonably intriguing, the actors were solid, the N'awlins atmosphere looked and sounded appropriately steamy, and some of the pseudo-noir dialogue and narrative was entertaining. About eight old-time Delta Blues guys played themselves. But the screenwriter needed to let the original premise play out without introducing so many outlandish elements. Somehow, the film managed to migrate from a nice tight little Cajun noir to a concluding scenario so preposterous that it truly needed Colonel Too Silly to break it up.


    Thoughts on Burt Reynolds:

    If you think of Burt Reynolds at all, and I don't know why you would, your thoughts are probably associated with fast cars, Hal Needham, and above all, the 1970s. Burt owned the 70s. He was one of the biggest box office draws of that era (#1 box office performer five years in a row - he and Bing Crosby are the only two men ever to do so), was ubiquitous on talk shows, and frequently won popularity contests like the People's Choice Awards ("most popular all-around movie star" six consecutive years).

    Unless you're a serious movie buff, you probably wonder what he's doing now. "Let's see, he was in Boogie Nights, but that must have been about ten years ago ... "

    Well, guess what? Burt has made more movies in the past ten years (releases from 1996-2005) than he made in the 70s.

    A lot more.

    Burt Reynolds 1970-79

    1. Starting Over (1979)
    2. Hooper (1978)
    3. End, The (1978)
    4. Semi-Tough (1977)
    5. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
    6. Nickelodeon (1976)
    7. Gator (1976)
    8. Hustle (1975)
    9. Lucky Lady (1975)
    10. W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)
    11. At Long Last Love (1975)
    12. Longest Yard, The (1974)
    13. Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, The (1973)
    14. White Lightning (1973)
    15. Shamus (1973)
    16. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
    17. Deliverance (1972)
    18. Fuzz (1972)
    19. Skullduggery (1970)

    Burt Reynolds 1996-2005

    1. Instant Karma (2005)
    2. Longest Yard, The (2005)
    3. Delgo (2005)
    4. Cloud Nine (2005)
    5. Forget About It (2005)
    6. Without a Paddle (2004)
    7. Librarians, The (2003)
    8. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
    9. Time of the Wolf (2002)
    10. Snapshots (2002/I)
    11. Auf Herz und Nieren (2001)
    12. Hollywood Sign, The (2001)
    13. Hotel (2001)
    14. Tempted (2001)
    15. Driven (2001)
    16. Last Producer, The (2000)
    17. Crew, The (2000)
    18. Hunter's Moon, The (1999)
    19. Waterproof (1999)
    20. Mystery, Alaska (1999) .
    21. Stringer (1999)
    22. Big City Blues (1999/I)
    23. Pups (1999)
    24. Crazy Six (1998)
    25. Boogie Nights (1997)
    26. Bean (1997)
    27. Raven (1997)
    28. Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
    29. Frankenstein and Me (1996)
    30. Mad Dog Time (1996)
    31. Striptease (1996)
    32. Citizen Ruth (1996)

    Your first reaction is probably, "yeah, but look at the quality of the projects".

    That was my thought.

    Until I looked it up.

    There was no significant difference in the IMDb ratings in the two decades. Burt made a lot of movies in the 1970s, and some of them were highly popular, but they weren't any good. His best movie in the 1970s was Deliverance, which was good, but he was in two movies just as good as that in the 1990s, directed by two top guys, Robert Altman and P.T. Anderson. His current movies are more obscure than the ones he made in the 70s, but the movies are not really significantly worse.

    Here's his personal top 10 list:

    1. (7.79) - Player, The (1992)
    2. (7.79) - Deliverance (1972)
    3. (7.59) - Boogie Nights (1997)
    4. (7.04) - Longest Yard, The (1974)
    5. (6.83) - Citizen Ruth (1996)
    6. (6.68) - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
    7. (6.39) - Mystery, Alaska (1999)
    8. (6.29) - Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
    9. (6.17) - Silent Movie (1976)
    10. (6.05) - Starting Over (1979)

    The real differences between 70s Burt and the Burt of today are: (1) He's not an above-the-title box office draw any more. People don't look at the newspaper on Friday to see when "the new Burt Reynolds movie" is playing. He acts in a lot of small, independent projects. (2) If you figured out his average amount of screen time per film, you'll see that the films are not focused on him they way they used to be. (3) After some ugly break-ups with women who seemed to be very nice people (Sally Field and Loni Anderson, for example), in circumstances which seemed to portray Burt as the bad guy (whether true or not), his image as a lovable ol' boy was shattered. You'll notice he doesn't usually get the lovable ol' boy roles now, the roles he should be getting based on his 70s persona having aged thirty years.

    All of the above factors explain a lot about why people don't seem to be aware of him much any more. The rest of the explanation resides in the fact that his career really did come close to flatlining in the period in between the 70s and now. The popular "70s Burt" dragged into the 80s for about 2-3 years, with Cannonball Run, Sharky's Machine and Best Little Whorehouse, then he hit bottom. Look at his career between Best Whorehouse and The Player:

    1. (5.86) - Breaking In (1989)
    2. (5.49) - All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
    3. (5.38) - Switching Channels (1988)
    4. (5.11) - Best Friends (1982)
    5. (5.01) - City Heat (1984)
    6. (4.95) - Physical Evidence (1989)
    7. (4.95) - Malone (1987)
    8. (4.88) - Stick (1985)
    9. (4.79) - Heat (1986)
    10. (4.68) - Man Who Loved Women, The (1983)
    11. (4.04) - Rent-a-Cop (1988)
    12. (4.03) - Stroker Ace (1983)
    13. (3.83) - Cannonball Run II (1984)
    14. (2.81) - Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)

    Whoa! I think the best way to summarize those years is as follows. I don't remember whether I have seen most of those movies, and I can't recall any details about the ones I do remember seeing.

    Even serious movie buffs are challenged to spout quotes from Cannonball Run II.

    (After I wrote that, I checked IMDb. They have a long collection of quotes from CRII. For a good laugh, check out the cast from that movie, which starred every single actor in Hollywood, including the entire Rat Pack. The far-reaching IMDb even has a few quotes from the timeless cinema classic, Smokey and the Bandit, Part 3.)

    Anyway, the point is that ol' Burt had quite a slump.

    But he also had a major comeback, and he's now working just as much as ever. Maybe he hasn't aged the way you would have expected, but he's still in demand when directors need certain types of older guys. In fact, he's working more than ever, and he's doing better work. His level of performing has actually improved in its depth as well as its range. Who would have thought back then that shallow, glib 70s Burt would have become one of the dependable, versatile character actors in the indy films of the new millennium.?

    • Saffron Burrows (1, 2) (No face. I guess it could be a double, but if so it is a perfect double in every way, including a perfect imitation of Saffron's distinctive walk.)






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    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.



    'Nuff said. The first three (both formats) are Shiloh's, from the beautifully photographed Pretty Baby. The last two are someone else's, from Bull Durham.


    The Last American Virgin

    Pretty damned cool movie for a no-budget 80s teensploitation movie from fast buck artists Golan and Globus. Runs about average until a gutsy, heartbreaking ending which raises it above the typical genre cliché. Reviews here.




    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.

    Crimson Ghost
    Today the Ghost serves up some 'caps and vids of Daytime Soap star Lesli Kay Sterling.

    Currently she's on "General Hospital", but has also co-starred on "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light".

    Here she is topless, showing a bit of bum, and full frontal in scenes from an episode of the Skinemax series "Hot Line" (from the episode called "The Gardener").

    • Lesli Kay Sterling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    • Lesli Kay Sterling .wmvs (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Scorpion's Skinemax
    First up from Scorpion...'Caps from "Young and Seductive" (2004).
    • Alana Evans, the porn babe who briefly went by the name 'Jenna Talia' making a rare softcore appearance. For this role she showed breasts and bush. (1, 2)

    • Dru Berrymore, another porn babe also showing breasts and bush.

    • Julian Wells showing off a nice, natural bod. Once again, breasts and bush. (1, 2, 3)

    • Susan Hale, toplessness and thong views.

    Next, Scorp takes a look at a whole bunch of porn babes in something called "Voyeur: Inside Out".

    • Ava Vincent, flying solo.

    • Dru Berrymore, also flying solo. Unlike Ava's scene, Dru is completely nekkid.

    • Jessica Drake, even more masturbation. Drake shows all, including some near gyno-views.

    • Monica Mayhem, the Aussie porn babe showing breasts and bum while gettin' it on.

    • Monica Mayhem and Dru Berrymore, we mostly see breasts only here. However, there are some incidental sightings of the other B's. The two have a little lesbo fun, then get into a 3-way.

    • Monique Alexander, one more masturbation scene. She's fully nude, but the only goodies we see are those up top.

    Next up...the Skinemax flick "Watchful Eye" aka "Voyeur Beach" (2002).

    • Julie Cialini, the former Heffer (February '94 and Heffer O' the year '95) goes topless in both, and shows hints of pubes and bum in link #1.
      (1, 2)

    • Renee Rea...topless in all 3, full frontal in links 1 and 2. (1, 2, 3)

    Last but not least, scenes from something called "All Nude Peep Show".

    Kate Hudson
    (1, 2)

    Cameron Diaz

    DeadLamb 'caps from "The Tonight Show". Even better 'caps (HDTV?) of Hudson show off a lot o' leg. Plus Cameron Diaz looking pretty good while plugging "Shrek 2".

    Missy Browning
    (1, 2, 3)

    Carrie Janisse
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Nicole Sassaman

    The Skin-man takes a look at the 1993 direct-to-vid flick "Desert Passion". All the B's make appearances.