Tuna, our main contributor and the most energetic video capper ever known to man (as all of you well know) is currently indisposed. He is in intensive care in a hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. It doesn't make sense to send him any well-wishes at this point, since he is not checking his e-mail, and it would not make sense to call him, since ICU is not the place to do that.

I talked to him yesterday, and he said he'd be back on the job by the middle of next week! (Because the 70-75,000 collages he has already made just aren't enough!) We have no way to know if that is optimism or realism, but he sounded chipper.

I think I'll let him tell you about his experiences when he's back to e-mail. In the meantime, we'll keep you posted on when and how to contact him, as soon as that becomes appropriate.

Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

The Dreamers (2003)

"They believe they have the power no only to provoke the world, but to transform it"

- The twins' father in "The Dreamers"

This film takes place in the early months of 1968, when 19 year olds across the world were starting to feel that they were more than merely provocative. On March 31, 1968, the most powerful man on the planet, Lyndon Johnson, capitulated to the reality of the times, and announced he would not run for re-election. It was an astounding victory for grassroots protest. The year of 1968 is more than just the setting for The Dreamers. It is a character.

A young Southern Californian is studying in France at that time, ostensibly to do the perfunctory "year abroad" for language students, but once there he decides to watch as many great films as possible. Night after night, he sits in the front row for the free screenings at the Musée du Cinéma inside the Palais de Chaillot. He and his fellow Cinephiles are mesmerized by everything from silent films to the French New Wave. The world of politics is far from his mind, but politics and the cinema will soon merge into a single issue when De Gaulle's government turned their attention to the movie world.

The creator of the Musée du Cinéma was the legendary Henri Langlois, who had created the Cinémathèque Française in 1936, and in so doing managed to rescue hundreds, perhaps thousands, of films from oblivion. He later managed to preserve France's cinematic heritage through the darkest days of the German occupation. Still later, his dedication to film is credited with a key role in giving birth to the Nouvelle Vague movement which transformed film in every developed country in the 60s and 70s by popularizing the concept of the "auteur" director. For all of his dedication and contributions to the culture of France and the world of cinema in general, Langlois was ousted from his own Cinémathèque in February 1968 by the De Gaulle government. This provoked the cineastes, who took to the streets in protest during a time when student protests were starting to shake the globe. The February Cinémathèque protest turned out to be mere kindling for a later conflagration, but its success, and the Lyndon Johnson resignation a month later, convinced student protestors worldwide that their actions were effective, and those successes emboldened them further, igniting the massive student protests and general strikes that virtually shut Paris down in May of 1968.

In that first tentative demonstration over the Langlois ouster, the innocent American cinephile, the first dreamer in out story, is nearly swept away in a battle between protesting students and riot police, but is rescued by two French siblings. The American quickly befriends both the brother and the sister, so when the twins' parents disappear from Paris on business, the three of them turn the family's Parisian apartment into kind of mini-commune and fill their time with long, stoned discussions about movies and politics and, of course, sex. Those three topics are the real meat of The Dreamers, and it is not by accident that a noteworthy documentary about the making of this film is called "Cinema, Sex, Politics." It is not long before the dreamers' discussions of these three subjects start to transmogrify into practical experience. The first subject to move from the theoretical plane to the pragmatic is sex. Once that is out of the way, political discussions start to turn into reality as the French siblings join the student protests. At this point, the American turns his back on them, and that more or less ends the film.

So what about the third subject? Cinema? Is there no sense of parallelism?

Well, that took a little longer to move to the practical plane. About 35 years. I assume that Bertolucci's film is somewhat autobiographical, and in that sense, the characters' discussions about films did leave the world of theory to become a film. This very film.

It is the most recent in a four decade career which has merited many high honors. He was been nominated for four Oscars, two for direction and two for writing, encompassing three different films. He won in both categories for The Last Emperor. His list of credits is impressive:

  1. (7.69) - The Last Emperor (1987)
  2. (7.65) - Conformista, Il (1970)
  3. (7.48) - 1900 (1976)
  4. (7.09) - The Dreamers (2003)
  5. (6.89) - Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972)
  6. (6.86) - Prima della rivoluzione (1964)
  7. (6.81) - Strategia del ragno, La (1970)
  8. (6.68) - Besieged (1998)
  9. (6.53) - Commare secca, La (1962)
  10. (6.40) - The Sheltering Sky (1990)
  11. (6.31) - Luna, La (1979)
  12. (6.26) - Tragedia di un uomo ridicolo, La (1981)
  13. (6.20) - Stealing Beauty (1996)
  14. (6.03) - Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (2002)
  15. (5.66) - Partner (1968)
  16. (5.62) - Little Buddha (1993)


Despite Bertolucci's genius, I've often been ambivalent about his work, and this film illustrates why. In its best moments, it is marvelous, demonstrating a complete command of camera movement, composition, and lighting to illustrate some fascinating ideas, and to bring the viewer deep inside its world. When it works, it bathes me in its glow. At its worst, it seems tedious, with scenes that either have no point or drag on long after the point has been made.

And I feel that way despite the fact that I was there. These are my memories he's stirring. I am exactly the same age as the film's three characters, I was caught in the turmoil of student activism and the cultural revolution, and I was also a film buff. If this film does not grab me and hold me completely, it may be far less compelling for you because The Dreamers immerses itself so deeply into the arcana of 1968 and the mystique of pre-1968 movies that it virtually excludes anyone who wasn't there and doesn't care a fig for Godard or the Keaton-Chaplin debate.

I've reacted with a feeling of unfulfilled love to a Bertolucci film before: Last Tango in Paris. I've watched that film several times because there are some things in it that I really enjoy seeing again and again, and I don't just mean the female flesh. It has some brilliant moments that linger in the memory, that draw me back to the film. Yet when the film is over, I never feel that great satisfaction that comes from having watched a great, well-loved movie. Similarly, I believe that I will probably return to The Dreamers at least once more. I will watch how Bertolucci uses his cinephile characters to recreate scenes from older movies made by Godard and others. I will wonder how he got the camera to move in a certain way, and admire his lighting effects. I will enjoy Eva Green's flesh and the freshness that the three kids brought to the lead roles. I will admire Bertolucci's daring and share his nostalgia for 1968.

And I believe that I will feel unrewarded when it is over.

The Dreamers is like good sex without a climax. Mind you, good sex without a climax is still better than just about any other human activity, but after all that teasing, all that delicious foreplay, all that wild pumping, one feels owed a climax, and Bertolucci couldn't deliver the goods.


Other Crap:

  • So a rabbi walks into a bar with a talking mongoose on his shoulder ... The New York Times writes an obituary for "The Joke". No, seriously. Very seriously. All kidding aside.
    • By the way, the punchline is ... "and at these prices, you won't get many more."
  • Young Dictators in Love. Not many people realize this, but young messrs. Hitler and Mussolini once shared a swinging bachelor pad.
  • Young Dictators in Love, part two. This episode explains why Hitler hated Jews, and also why he had such a silly little moustache.
  • Washington Post Feature: Watergate and the Two Lives of Mark Felt
  • FilmJerk's Early Report for June 19
  • "The complete soundtrack to Super Mario World, covered by one man using dozens of instruments. Roughly in game order, faithful to the originals, with some bizarre artistic license thrown around. A private hobby made public."
  • Here's the trailer for Dorian Blues, a film about a gay guy "coming out."
  • The Caped Crusader couldn't save Hollywood, so they have to turn to the box office magic of Jane Austen. Here's the trailer for the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice. Setting aside my cynicism for a minute, I have to say that the photography is impressive, and Keira looks adorable. The release date is late September.
  • George Bushisms linked from a flash animation. Some were new to me. I loved number 21, in which the President says he can improve the economy by removing the terriers! I always knew those little rascals were communist infiltrators, especially those Jack Russell Terriers. Jack Russell, my ass. Ivan Russki is more like it!
  • Experimentation with photorealistic painting. It is virtually indistinguishable from photography. In fact, the two are indistinguishable unless the painter tells you about the areas he needs to work on, as this guy did.
  • The Sexual Kung-Fu Institute
  • New Quantum model 'permits time travel'.
    • They may be scientists, but I'm afraid these lads are missing a few decimal points on their calculators.
  • Here is a useful tool: Strip and view images from any open directory or image board.
    • That link goes to a sample of what it does, using the images directory of the French naturism site listed below. The actual URL for the tool itself is here.
  • Retro nudism galleries from France. Some of the pictures in "humor" are pretty darned entertaining.
  • Check out this ad: Durex condoms say "Happy Father's Day"
    • "Elsewhere, a new poll shows that less than half of all Americans approve of the way Dick Cheney is handling President Bush’s job."
  • Miss America Pageant: no date, no TV contract. Is it just a stumbling block, or the end of an era?
  • Weekend Box Office - June 17-19, 2005 - Batman Begins Weakly.
    • Despite Hollywood's best hopes to the contrary, moviegoers treated the new Caped Crusader movie as just another good flick, not an event. It did less than Brangelina did last weekend. Despite many good reviews and some outright encomiums, its five day total was about equal to the three day prediction. Warrior's prediction may have been too optimistic, but in fact, Batman Began about the same as Madagascar and The Longest Yard. Yikes!
    • Batman Began with the lowest per screen revenues in the history of the franchise. Batman Begins averaged $12.2k per screen; Batman $18.5; Batman Returns $17.3; Batman Forever $18.6; and even the much-reviled Batman and Robin, $14.6.
    • The other new release, The Perfect Man, limped into seventh place with box office performance to match its poor reviews.
    • None of the holdovers really picked up the slack, although Star Wars was two million above the Warrior's estimate. The lame performance of the new entries left the top ten group an alarming 15% below the prediction.
    • The weekend was below last year for the 17th straight week (tying the all-time record slump), and ticket sales for the year are 9% below last year.


    Movie Title Warrior Prediction Actual Diff. %

    Batman Begins $69.7 $46.9 -33
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith $26.0 $27.3 +5
    Madagascar $10.5 $11.1 +6
    The Perfect Man $8.3 $5.5 -34
    Star Wars Episode III $7.6 $9.7 +28
    The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl $7.5 $6.6 -12
    The Longest Yard $7.3 $8.0 +10
    Cinderella Man $5.4 $5.2 -4
    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants $3.3 $3.2 -3
    The Honeymooners $2.6 $2.6 0


  • The reviews are finally in for The Perfect Man.
    • As I warned, the lack of pre-screening was a big red flag. This film did not score the coveted 0% at RT, but it fought the good fight and came in at 7%, which may make the year-end "worst of" lists. It may even compete for worst of the war, but that could be tough because Roberto Benigni is working on a new film which may come out this year!
    • Mr. Big earned some decent comments, but mostly in the context of "is this script the best work he can get?"
    • Roger Ebert made no attempt to soften his contempt: "The Perfect Man takes its idiotic plot and uses it as the excuse for scenes of awesome stupidity."
  • Bar of soap sells for $18,000 ... "a bar of soap purportedly made from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's fat, removed during liposuction."
  • Mod Squad chick says: Elvis Presley no King in bed!
  • An internet trailer for War of the Worlds


Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links 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.

'Caps and comments by Hankster:

Another all "Hankster Light" day...

Today we took the old Time Machine all the way back to 1975 for a look at "Black Emanuelle".

This movie featured two very sensual actresses, Laura Gemser and Karin Schubert. We see both showing it all in a variety of scenes including getting it on with men and with each other.

  • Laura Gemser (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Karin Schubert (1, 2, 3)

  • Laura Gemser and Karin Schubert (1, 2, 3, 4)

Next up, a quick bonus 'cap of Christina Applegate showing some bikini cleavage in "View From the Top".

'Caps and comments by Dann:

"Blood Relic"
This 2005 direct-to-video horror flick is B-movie all the way, not played for laughs but still a lot of fun to watch. A solid B-movie with all the elements.

In 1983 at a naval air station, a pilot suddenly goes berserk. He had been wearing a talisman he found in the remote jungles when he suddenly went postal and killed three men. Diagnosed as a nutball, he's sent to a mental institution.

Twenty-two years later, the facility is being turned into an air museum, and a group of young people have been hired to get things ready. During the cleanup, one of them finds the talisman that had been hidden there for twenty-two years. To make things more fun, as bad things start to happen to the cleanup crew, our aviator appears, freshly out of the loony bin.

Everything is here; plenty of nudity, lots of gore, and a spooky and interesting storyline. Good watching for horror/B-movie fans.

'Caps and comments by Spaz:

"Les Boys" (1997)
Accclaimed quebec hockey movie which is one of the few Canadian movies to make money domestically.

Cold Squad: episode No Life Like It
Season seven opener about strippers. No surprise.

"The Bobroom"
Canadian tv sketch series I never heard of until last night.

"Rare Birds" (2001)
Another Canadian movie where either Polly or Molly takes off her blouse.

Eva Green The amazingly gorgeous Eva going topless and full frontal in scenes from Bernardo Bertolucci film, "The Dreamers".

Daphne Zuniga
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

She'll always be Princess Vespa from "Spaceballs" to me. Here she is a few years later teasing the camera with partial exposure in a couple of scenes from "Prey of the Chameleon" (1992). 'Caps by Vejiita.

Stephanie Leighs
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

Señor Skin 'caps of the mega-lo-budget flick "The Stink of Flesh" (2004). Leighs shows off her pierced toplessness and is also seen as a fully frontally nude zombie.

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