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.
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-.
|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 film's got
silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies
attacking young men, but now it's got silly."
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.
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
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.
Burt Reynolds 1970-79
Starting Over (1979)
End, The (1978)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Lucky Lady (1975)
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)
At Long Last Love (1975)
Longest Yard, The (1974)
Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, The (1973)
White Lightning (1973)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid
to Ask (1972)
Burt Reynolds 1996-2005
Instant Karma (2005)
Longest Yard, The (2005)
Cloud Nine (2005)
Forget About It (2005)
Without a Paddle (2004)
Librarians, The (2003)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
Time of the Wolf (2002)
Auf Herz und Nieren (2001)
Hollywood Sign, The (2001)
Last Producer, The (2000)
Crew, The (2000)
Hunter's Moon, The (1999)
Mystery, Alaska (1999) .
Big City Blues (1999/I)
Crazy Six (1998)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
Frankenstein and Me (1996)
Mad Dog Time (1996)
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:
- (7.79) -
Player, The (1992)
- (7.79) -
- (7.59) -
Boogie Nights (1997)
- (7.04) -
Longest Yard, The
- (6.83) -
Citizen Ruth (1996)
- (6.68) -
Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
- (6.39) -
- (6.29) -
Smokey and the
- (6.17) -
Silent Movie (1976)
- (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
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
- (5.86) -
Breaking In (1989)
- (5.49) -
All Dogs Go to
- (5.38) -
- (5.11) -
Best Friends (1982)
- (5.01) -
City Heat (1984)
- (4.95) -
- (4.95) -
- (4.88) -
- (4.79) -
- (4.68) -
Man Who Loved Women,
- (4.04) -
- (4.03) -
Stroker Ace (1983)
- (3.83) -
Cannonball Run II
- (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
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,
(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.)
Canadian streaks the world figure skating championship.
Hey, go easy, he's Canadian. To him an ice rink seems like a nude
Scott Reiniger, who appeared in the 1978 version of Dawn of the
Dead, is a prince!. Yup, and I'm the third Earl of
Averill, Duke of Snider, and Count of Basie.
The trailer for Ladder 49 - John Travolta's latest, starring
Joaquin Phoenix as a firefighter.
The trailer for the Director's Cut of Donnie Darko
TV spot for The Chronicles of Riddick
GORE NABBED OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE WITH MEGAPHONE. Calls
On 2,000 Government Functionaries to Resign.
The Day After Tomorrow opens in the #1 spot Friday, barely holding
off Shrek 2.
Ann Coulter: "why isn't he soaring in the polls? He's running
against a nitwit, the war is going magnificently well, the economy
is picking back up, why isn't he at like 80 percent? "
War of the "Passion" DVDs
When Star Trek Was New - 1966 Interviews with Shatner, Nimoy
before the series began. "Fascinating". The Shatner
link works at this page, but the Nimoy link is not working. See
the next link below for the correct link to Nimoy.
Here is the correct link for the Nimoy interview.
Previews of the 2006 cars.
Very funny video about a guy who gets the perfect revenge for
Some suggested new posters for the Diebold corporation
Netscape will introduce version 7.2 this summer.
Jackson trial set for September 13th. Jacko's flight to
Cuba set for September 12th.
Danish company gives free internet porn subscriptions as a company
benefit. The boss hopes that the expense of about five
dollars per person per week will make his staff more relaxed and
more efficient on the job. Personally, I find this a brilliant
idea. All companies should pay for their employees to belong to
Uncle Scoopy's Fun House. Personnel directors, please contact me
for group rates.
Another peep show from the Mouseketeer. As always, the
Sun has cameras nearby. How do they do that?
The Top 10 movie stunts ever
The Golden Trailer Awards - "like the Oscars for the short
The Sun catches April's it-girl Scarlett Johansson and Tara
Greg "Fossilman'' Raymer of Connecticut won the World Series of
Poker tournament Friday, winning a head-to-head
showdown on the final hand worth $5 million.
Astronomy Pic o' the Day: the Cone Nebula Close Up
archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for Other Crap
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.
'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.
Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble
with the codecs for these movies:
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.
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.
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
- Lesli Kay Sterling .wmvs
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.
- Dru Berrymore, another porn babe also showing breasts and bush.
- Julian Wells showing off a nice, natural bod. Once again, breasts and bush.
- 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.
- Renee Rea...topless in all 3, full frontal in links 1 and 2.
Last but not least, scenes from something called "All Nude Peep Show".
|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".
|The Skin-man takes a look at the 1993 direct-to-vid flick "Desert Passion". All the B's make appearances.