"No Small Affair"

No Small Affair (1984) is essentially a sappy adolescent romantic comedy. However, that is just the plot. Starting with that, they hired an amazing cast, wrote some brilliant dialogue, used Vilmos Zsigmond as DP, filmed in a very picturesque city, San Francisco, and dubbed the sound track with real musicians. Jon Cryer is a junior in High School. Although he is not completely unaware of girls, his passion is photography. As the film opens, he is shooting on a wharf, and asks a couple to get out of his shot. Seems he doesn't relate much to people and never photographs them.

When he gets home, he finds that he has photographed the woman, and falls in love with her from the picture. He now has two obsessions, saving enough money to move to Milan and become a photographer, and finding this girl. Meanwhile, his brother arrives with a new girl on his arm, and announces that they will be married in two weeks. The couple drag him to North Beach for a night on the town, and he finally gets into one club with a fake ID. The lead singer is the girl he has been looking for, Demi Moore.

A word or two about North Beach is in order here, for those not familiar with it. In the late 60s, it was an entertainment Mecca, with a full range of nightspots, including Carol Doda's Condor club, The Hungry i folk club (with the likes of The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary regularly appearing), The Committee (an improv theater), Casa Madrid (flamenco guitar and dancers, and cheap sangria by the pitcher) and a couple of adult theaters. The area shifted quickly in the 70s to become primarily adult entertainment. By the time this film was made, it was one of the topless/bottomless capitals of the United States. Today, I only notice one remaining strip club -- the Hungry i. All of which shows the economics that club owner George Wendt was facing with an unknown singer in an unknown band. He had to compete with all the strip clubs to sell booze, or he was out of business. It is no wonder that, when the lead guitar player (and Moore's boyfriend) quit the band and accepted a studio musician job in LA, Wendt fired the group. Cryer desperately wants to help Moore, and win her heart. His big move backfires at first, when it doesn't immediately have the intended effect.

I mentioned a great cast, which included, Demi Moore, George Wendt, Jennifer Tilly and Peter Freshette. Here was my favorite bit of dialogue.

He: "What size is your bra?"
She: "Multiply the length of your dick by ten, then add your IQ."
He, using all ten fingers trying to figure it out: "I ask her a simple question, and she gives me a math problem."

We see one of Moore's breasts through a bed frame, and Judy Baldwin shows breasts as a hooker hired for a bachelor party. IMDb readers have this at 5.0 of 10. Were it not for the strengths mentioned at the start of this review, this would be a disaster, but it is more or less watchable, if not especially believable. C-.

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  • Demi Moore (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Judy Baldwin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    "Suburban Nightmare"

    Suburban Nightmare (2004) is a very dark story of a marriage in trouble. What makes it unique is that the couple are serial killers. She is naturally sadistic, he is controlling. She keeps a pet woman in the basement, he uses a recent victim as the meat portion of spaghetti sauce. At one point, he rents her a stripper. When the stripper (Denise Clewis) also attracts the husband, the wife kills her with a knife. The film opens with the wife returning from the supermarket, and the husband arguing with her because she forgot they were having dinner guests. It seems like a normal troubled marriage, until the guests are poisoned for desert.

    Clewis is seen dancing in a thong. There is only one review at IMDb and it is very positive. The only comment at IMDb is also very positive, and 5 of the 7 voters give it a 10. The other two award a 1. IMDb averages this at 7.4. Maybe I am way too suspicious, but the votes and comment look a little like official publicity to me. Debbie Rochon wrote the story, and Rochon was to star, but was injured, so the lead went to Brandy Little. The husband was played by Trent Haaga. This was shot on digital video over a two week period in one house. Most of those involved worked free. You could look at it as a commentary about modern marriage, a horror film, or a dark comedy. The DVD is loaded, with commentary, bloopers, behind the scenes, a music video, etc. I really found it unmatchable, but I suppose it could be me. It is very dark and very talky, with truly demented characters. If this is your sort of film, you might give it a try when it is released on the 29th of this month. I will call it a low C-.

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  • Denise Clewis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Cold Mountain (2003)

    Cold Mountain, according to some critics, is the Homeric tale of The Odyssey relocated to the era of the American Civil War.

    This is the kind of thing that critics say when they want to impress you with their knowledge of classical literature. Personally, I don't much care for classical literature. When I was studying The Aeneid, I could never get past that part about singing of the arms and the man, because I wanted to know the tune. Should I sing of arms and the man separately, or together, and in which key? I would tell you that I tried to sing of arms and the man to the tune of The Whiffenpoof Song, but I'm afraid that you'd too soon determine that I just like to use the word "whiffenpoof".

    So what does Cold Mountain have to do with The Odyssey? Well, a guy leaves a war to return to his faithful beloved. Along the way he has many distracting adventures, each of which is a separate episode only peripherally related to his trek home, and ...

    Oh, let's face it, the Odyssey thing is just a red herring meant to distract you from the fact that this movie is The English Patient filmed over  again with different costumes. A guy fights against all obstacles to return to his true beloved. In fact, this one is like several English Patients, because Jude Law plays a Confederate soldier who gets wounded at Petersburg, and his wounds keep re-infecting. Therefore, he is tended not by one compassionate nurse, but by several along the way as he meanders home and keeps passing out. Jude feigns more unconsciousness in this one movie than Iron Mike Sharpe did in his entire winless wrestling career. No matter where Jude passes out, women want to nurse him back to health. Contrary to Dr. Kissinger's famous aphorism, it seems that fainting, not power, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

    Important lesson: you might think about a sling and a fake cast the next time you want to get laid.

    Provided you look like Jude Law.

    I did learn one thing from this movie. No matter how hard times got during the Civil War, even when there was money for neither food nor clothing, Nicole Kidman always had enough Confederate money set aside for make-up. She would never be seen without eyeliner and a little rouge. You have to admire that. A gal has to look her best when starving to death and shivering in the cold. Amazingly, Kidman looked perfect in every frame, except maybe for an occasional loose strand of hair which only served to make her seem more relaxed and beautiful. About 11 years pass between the earliest and latest scenes in this film, yet Kidman never ages one day, and actually looks much better after the war than before it. Man, I never guessed that the Civil War was the ultimate beauty treatment. Those guys who do Civil War re-enactments should consider supporting their costs by marketing the hardship as a budget alternative to a spa.

    Like The English Patient, this is a big retro romance which looks great, and goes on far too long. It is the kind of shamelessly corny romantic film that Hollywood made before the cultural revolution in the late 60s. Unfortunately, the male star (Jude Law) has the looks for the job, but is lacking in the energy that old-time Hollywood stars would have brought to the role. Let's face it, Clark Gable simply shows more vitality and personality than Jude Law. And I'm talking now, after a forty year dirt nap, Gable still shows more life than Jude. Of course, I don't know how much life Jude could have shown in this movie when his entire role consisted of short bursts of wakefulness before passing out.

    The best news in this film is that the supporting players are colorful and entertaining. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Renee Zellweger, and others provide some much-need relief from Law's tedious and oblique peregrinations toward Kidman. Even Natalie Portman delivers a competent performance, which is very good news indeed for those of us who had come to believe that her abysmal, wooden performances in those Star Wars pictures represented the true level of her adult acting skills.

    If you liked The English Patient, or if you hated it, you'll feel the same toward this film. Great production values, old-fashioned love story, same writer/director. I'm not inclined to like that kind of film, but I would have enjoyed this one if it had been about 30 minutes shorter.

    It's a pretty impressive DVD - they did it up right.

    DVD info from Amazon

    • Commentary by writer/director Anthony Minghella and editor Walter Murch

    • "Climbing Cold Mountain" - documentary (70 minutes)

    • "A Journey to Cold Mountain" - making-of featurette (28 minutes)

    • 11 deleted scenes - more than 20 minutes of footage (sorry, no additional nudity)

    • "Words & Music of Cold Mountain" Royce Hall Special concert (90 minutes)

    • "Sacred Harp History" - musical influences and roots

    • Storyboard comparisons (3 scenes)

    • Widescreen anamorphic format, two discs

    • Melora Walters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
    • Nicole Kidman   (1, 2, 3, 4)





    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.

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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.

    NOTE: because of a unique combination of circumstances with the Windows media player and some substantial bandwidth theft, we will have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Click on the files as you normally would to play them. When you get a choice, click on "save", and put it on your hard drive in the directory of your choice. UnZIP and play from there.

    I know this is not especially convenient, but it allows the film clips to continue. I can protect .zip files from hot-linking in the same way I can protect still images. For some reason, if I protect .avis and .wmvs from hot-linking, they will not play in the Windows media player, and I can't get a satisfactory work-around. Perhaps I will find a better solution, but for now this new policy allows you to continue getting the movie clips you want to see, which is much preferable to my abandoning the clips altogether.


    Rolling Thunder

    • Another rare one not available on Region 1 DVD. Cassie Yates strips down for Tommy Lee Jones in this all-but-forgotten 1977 film written by Paul Shrader (who also wrote Taxi and Raging Bull), and co-starring a young Tommie Lee Jones.  (.avi - zip) (.wmv - zip)


    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.

    Graphic Response
    • The beautiful Claire Forlani topless in scenes from her first movie, "Gypsy Eyes" aka "CIA Trackdown" (1992).

    • Kay Lenz, topless and baring a bit of bum in scenes from 1973's "Breezy", directed by Clint Eastwood.

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Crimson Ghost
    The final installment of The Ghost's coverage of the Skinemax flick "Fast Lane to Vegas" (2000).

    NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.

    One one Skinemax babe today, Sasha Peralto. She shows several views of each of the 3 B's in this long scene featuring her stripping, sponge bathing and masturbating.

    .wmvs #3 and #4 are the sponge bathing scenes. .wmvs #5 and #6 featuring her flying solo.

    Eliza Dushku
    (1, 2, 3)

    The "Tru Calling" star showing off some impressive cleavage in scenes from the 2001 movie "Soul Survivors".

    Keira Knightley The "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "King Arthur" star on Leno. Too bad she's a little lacking in the pectoral region.

    Brooke Burns The former "Baywatch" babe, host of the game show "Dog Eat Dog" and currently starring on the new series "North Shore". Here she is showing a whole lotta leg during a recent appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly

    Amanda Righetti "The O.C" star in a bikini from a an episode of "North Shore".

    Phoebe Cates
    (1, 2, 3)

    Pheobe still looking amazing at 40! Here she is at the premiere of husband Kevin Kline's new movie "De-lovely" (link #3) and also showing some great cleavage at the Tony Awards (links 1-2).

    Jessica Alba Alba looking gorgeous in a bikini top in this production still from her upcoming movie "Into the Blue".

    Kristanna Loken A great collage by ZonononZor of the Terminatrix and her very carefully concealed goodies. Scenes from "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines".

    Nikki Arlyn
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the the indie film actress going topless and shows rear nudity in scenes from 1998's "Clay Pigeons".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Say, Isn't Hillary On The Board? - Tuesday, a U.S. District Judge sided with six women who claimed Wal-Mart pays women less than men, passes them over for promotions and hires too few women in management. The ruling could open the door to the biggest class action suit in history if 1.6 million angry female current and past employees join together to sue for discrimination.

  • Wal-Mart insists that it exploits and underpays all its workers equally.
  • They had 1.6 million employees?! So how come when I need to find one, there's never anyone working there?

    It Ended His Streak - British serial streaker Mark Roberts was fined $1,000 by a Texas jury for trespassing at the Super Bowl in a thong. He could've faced up to six months in jail. He's done this 300 times and never been prosecuted anywhere else. But prosecutor Kristin Guiney pushed for jail time, telling the jury of six women, "70,000 -- that's how many people had to see that man's nearly naked butt."

  • Hey, millions of us saw Janet Jackson's breast, and we finally recuperated.
  • If he were Mel Gibson, the women on the jury would've paid HIM.
  • He does this at the Super Bowl and is fined $1,000...But if a radio DJ in Podunk tells a dirty limerick, he's fined $3 million.
  • Too bad: six months in a Texas prison would've cured him of ever prancing around in a thong again.
  • When George W. Bush says, "Don't mess with Texas," this is EXACTLY the type of thing he's talking about.

    Unkindest Cut Of All - The Sun tabloid reports that Colin Farrell's nude scene was cut from his upcoming movie "A Home At The End of the World" because his penis is so big, it distracted the audience. A source said during test-screenings, "all you could hear were gasps"..."The women were over-excited and the men looked really uncomfortable...It was such a sight, it made it difficult to concentrate on the plot, so the decision was made to get rid of it." Farrell was said to be very angry and demanded it be included on the DVD.

  • And that the DVD be in widescreen format.
  • For Colin, showing his penis IS the plot.
  • He should just be grateful they're not digitally shortening it.
  • Actually, the men gasped...All the women had already seen it.
  • No actor likes to hear that his penis will have to be cut out.