Gang, here's an update on Tuna's condition. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is tuna@scoopy.com

My Condition...

It was the extreme shortness of breath that got my attention. I was admitted to the hospital in atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of 180. They rather quickly drained 1.4 liters of bloody fluid from my right lung. They have subjected me to dozens of tests, and ruled out many possible causes of this, but they still don't know what went wrong. I am still in atrial fibrillation, but with a heart rate under control using 3 drugs. I am home waiting for some of my medication to reach the proper level in my system, then I may have another hospital stay to try and convert my heart to normal rhythm.

I am able to spend some time at the computer, and am again reading my Email.


Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

One From the Heart (1982):

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair ...

Charles Dickens ... A Tale of Two Cities

Ol' Chuck Dickens wasn't just whistlin' Dixie there, was he? I think the lad was onto something. What is truly astounding about that quote is that he was talking about the 1770s, and not the 1970s. In both of those springs of hope, the smell of revolution was in the air. There were no guillotines in the 1970s, but that epoch was a time of cultural revolution which changed the world almost as dramatically as the American Revolution. During the first counter-cultural stirrings in the Summer of Love in 1967, nobody could have predicted that within a few short months the student protests would drive the most powerful man in the world to announce he would not seek a second term in office, nor could anyone in that early euphoric hippie haze have foreseen the movement's final, triumphal moment when a muttering, drunken, half-crazed Richard Nixon was shooed from the White House as unceremoniously as if he had been a dog who pissed on the floor of the Oval Office.

The movie business underwent its own parallel revolution in the sixties and seventies. The greedy studio system crumbled, the restrictive Hays Code was repealed, and the lone wolf auteur became the romantic hero of the hour, with the freedom to do as he pleased. In the old studio system, directors had been virtually anonymous. Did you ever hear of Michael Curtiz? Well, in the old studio days, up until 1961, he directed sixty five films, including some of the best ever made. You've probably heard of Casablanca, Robin Hood, Mildred Pierce, The Sea Wolf, Captain Blood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Elizabeth and Essex, and The Charge of the Light Brigade. Curtiz directed them all, and many others as familiar, all while working as a salaried employee of Warner Brothers. If he had been born twenty years later, he would have been a household name. Within a few years after Curtiz ended his career, by the time the 1970s rolled around, directors had become familiar even to the average Joe Six Pack, who could probably identify at least Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Scorsese, and Woody Allen. Those guys were stars, even though all their great movies added together may not equal the career of the anonymous Michael Curtiz.

With the newly established stardom of directors came independence, and with that freedom came a high level of risk for the major studios. The studios, stripped of artistic control and reduced basically to the banking function, were not especially pleased to have an additional tier of stars. It was difficult enough to deal with egomaniacal actors, but the combination of acting stars and directing stars was enough to drive any studio head to retirement, and enough to drive studios to bankruptcy. After all, a perfectionist actor could only cause so many problems, but a perfectionist director could blow costs sky-high and delay films by months, or even years. Perfectionists, once they have been declared geniuses by the general consensus of their peers or by the overwhelming approval of audiences, stand above criticism. They are infallible until proven otherwise.

The mystique of the infallible revolutionary seems to be an inevitable part of the process of revolution. Dickens's subjects, the French of the 1770s, had been inspired by, and had contributed much to, an America which had declared itself independent in order to establish rights which were "self-evident." There is something in that hyphenated word which says a great deal about both of those hopeful springs two centuries apart - there is a presumption of infallibility, a cavalierly pre-emptive dismissal of any opposing argument as being so obviously wrong that discussion cannot even be entertained. Why? It's "self-evident." The need to do things his way was as self-evident to Michael Cimino in the 1970s as it was to Thomas Jefferson in the 1770s. And so were born deals for vaguely defined projects, and directors with the right of "final cut." These notions were conceived with the noble purpose of sheltering the high-minded genius auteur from the meddling of artless studio accountants and shysters. These same notions, conceived in the spring of hope, would ultimately bring the studios to the winter of despair.

Once a man has been lifted upon the pedestal of genius, given a blank check and final cut, the only thing that can knock him off his pedestal is a reversal of the successes and approvals that originally anointed his genius. Steven Spielberg (1941, made in 1979), Frances Ford Coppola (One From the Heart, 1982), and Michael Cimino (Heaven's Gate, 1980) were three of the superstar directors who eventually used their complete freedom to prove just how fallible they were. It all came tumbling down for the studios, appropriately enough, just as the seventies ended. Clio, the Muse of History, can not normally provide the convenience of ending epochs on a timetable consistent with calendar decades, but in this case everything worked itself out quite neatly to separate "a seventies film" and "an eighties film" quite clearly in our minds.

One From the Heart, although dated 1982, was basically vestigial - the last gasp of the seventies. The project actually debuted (and closed) at the very beginning of 1982, and Coppola had been working on it for two years. Coppola had created a new studio, and his original idea was to launch it with a small picture - a sound stage musical with no location shots - no exteriors at all, for that matter. It would be a film in which he would manage every set, every light, every frame to give off the special romantic aura he wanted to create with a minimal investment. At least that was the original intention. Of course, once a genius auteur starts punctilious management of every frame of a film, you just know that things are going to get out of hand. The "small picture" grew into a $26 million dollar Topsy.

There were plenty of warning signs along the way. Coppola started referring to himself not as the director, but as the film's "composer." He determined that he would not "compose" from the physical set of the film, but from a high-tech control room where he could view instant rushes through video technology, as if he were Roone Arledge directing the Olympics. This was pretty much of a symbolic declaration that the film was about the technology, and not about the humanity of the story. On a less symbolic level, he declared that the film was actually about "fantasy and reality," and was far ahead of its time. All of that translates from director-speak into English as "I don't have much of a story, and Joe Moviegoer isn't going to get it because it looks kinda like a Fellini thing." To cap off the pretentious presentation of the film, Coppola premiered it at a reserved seat engagement in Radio City Music Hall.

The public reacted the way they always react to a film ahead of its time - by rejecting it in favor of films that belong to their own time. The total gross was $900,000, a mere drop in the budget's bloated bucket, and Coppola voluntarily pulled the film from theaters in short order. If the public was merely indifferent, critics were bilious. They seemed to despise it and everything it stood for. Roger Ebert was reasonably polite in assigning a weak two stars, but Pauline Kael hauled out her heavy verbal artillery for a scathing attack. Here are some of her choice barbs:

A man who can say, with the seriousness of a hypnotist, that the new movie technology is "going to make the Industrial Revolution look like a small, out-of-town tryout" seems to have lost the sense of proportion that's needed for shaping a movie.

This movie isn't from the heart or from the head, either; it's from the lab.

Eventually the audience realizes that there is nothing - literally nothing - happening except pretty images gliding into each other.

When people are frolicking in the street, people in the audience are whispering that it's a Dr Pepper commercial.

It is a musical, in a way, but the characters don't sing the songs. They stare out longingly into the middle distance while Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle sing for them. That might have worked out fine, except that the songs, written by Waits, are so ... unmemorable. I like musicals, and often come out of them singing a couple of the best songs, but I can't remember one damned phrase from any of these. There was also a second problem with the songs. The duets don't work. Waits is an interesting guy and has developed his own signature growling, sliding style which is perfectly appropriate to represent the singing of a blue collar worker, so his imprecise sliding between the notes works out fine for the bluesy solo numbers, but he sounds pretty damned sour when he misses the harmonies in the duets. In addition, their voices are very dissimilar and Gayle simply overpowers him. Even when Waits hits the notes, their duets often sound like he's humming along from the audience while she sings with a microphone. It sounds like Ethel Merman singing a duet with Donovan.

What's the film about? Not much of anything. That's the real problem.

The story centers around the relationship of two average, boring, ordinary people. Frannie works in a travel agency. Hank drives a tow truck. They live and work in Las Vegas, which Coppola re-created on a sound stage because he wanted a fantasy feeling. No, really. Apparently the real Las Vegas is just too real - too mundane and fantasy-free, as gritty as the South Bronx.

Frannie and Hank have been together for five years and each of them has bought a present to mark the occasion. Frannie has bought two tickets to Bora-Bora. Hank has bought the house they've been living in. The presents don't hit the mark. Frannie thinks Hank's present is too earth-bound  and unimaginative, and she doesn't even like the house. Hank thinks Frannie's present is extravagant and impractical. An argument follows the gift exchange, and they break up.

Within 24 hours, they are each getting laid with a sexy new partner, after he is pursued by a beautiful Vegas showgirl, and she does a tango through the streets of Vegas with a professional dancer.

Now that's some gritty South Bronx mean streets realism!

Anyway, here's the big spoiler: the lovers manage to get back together.

I'll give you a little time to recover from the shock and surprise.

Because it was shot entirely on a sound stage with many of the techniques of live theater, One From the Heart seems to be a filmed play, but that isn't really such a bad thing. The artiness might have worked under different circumstances. As I see it, the film didn't fail because of Coppola's grand excesses or clinical aloofness. Deep down, the one thing really wrong with this movie is the same thing that is usually wrong with failed movies - the script. If Coppola had put the same time and effort and wizardry into something witty and engaging, it could have and would have resulted in a worthwhile film. As it stands, all of the pyrotechnics really don't matter, because the script is trite, superficial, insubstantial, pointless, whitebread bland, and sorely lacking in humor. As a result, there is nothing to the film except the technique. People do not pony up their hard-earned cash to watch dazzling technique alone. As Pauline Kael pointed out, it's a long Dr. Pepper commercial, and we don't always watch those, even though they are free.


  • Teri Garr (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

  • Nasty Kinski (1, 2). I am supposed to know about these things but I didn't know that Kinski had a brief topless scene in this film.



Other Crap:



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 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.

'Caps and comments by Hankster:

It's an all 'Hankster Light" day today, first up, we set the Time Machine controls to 1988 for a quick look at Nancy Travis in "Married to the Mob". First there's cleavage, then some boob, and finally some bum -She never looked like this on "Becker"!

Michelle Pfeiffer was actually the the star of the film, but of course she did not get naked. But I threw these in just because she's so darn cute (Legs & bra).

  • Nancy Travis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (1, 2, 3)

Next we return to the lovely Aya Sugimoto in "Flower & Snake", with nude love scenes with her husband.

  • Aya Sugimoto (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

'Caps and comments by Oz:

"Flash Gordon"
No nudity in Flash Gordon (1980) but Melody Anderson and Ornella Muti have a lot of sex appeal in their skimpy outfits.

"Sweet Dreams"
No clear nudity in Sweet Dreams (1996), however there is a possible nip slip by Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Amy Yasbeck must be wearing some sort of covering for nothing to be seen.

  • Tiffani Amber Thiessen (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Amy Yasbeck (1, 2)

"Queen of the Damned"
No nudity in Queen of the Damned (2002), just lots of cleavage and sexy images of Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau and some unknowns.

Various stages of undress by Kelly Vint, Bonnie Dickenson and Tamara LaSeon Bass in Bellyfruit (1999).

A lot of cleavage in Roadie (1980) by Kaki Hunter and Rhonda Bates.

"Texas Rangers"
The same again in Texas Rangers (2001), but this time by Leonor Varelli and Rachel Leigh Cook.

"Come Together"
There's full frontal nudity in Come Together (2001) by Julienne Davis. Lucy Punch, Alexandra J Cameron and Claire Bullus just show some sex appeal.

Brittany Murphy
(1, 2)

Carla Gugino
(1, 2)

Jaime King
(1, 2)

Jessica Alba
(1, 2)

Rosario Dawson
(1, 2)

A very special thanks to Penman for these fantastic collages featuring the ladies (and nudity) of "Sin City"! Look for it on DVD August 16th. In the meantime...enjoy Gugino and King topless, plus several sexy ladies wearing tight clothes and showing some cleavage.

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

Señor Skins 'caps of the one-named actress baring all in scenes from the 1985 Mickey Rourke movie, "Year of the Dragon".

Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...

Take Your Ritalin - Friday, Tom Cruise went into a rant on "The Today Show" when Matt Lauer questioned his Scientology-derived denunciations of psychiatry. Tom declared that most mental problems can be cured with vitamins and exercise, there is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance," and "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do." He made similar claims in a recent Entertainment Weekly article, such as that Carl Jung used to edit Nazi papers and morphine was originally called Adolophine after Hitler, both of which the EW editors found to be urban legends.

  • I wish actors would stop talking about medicine and go back to talking about what they really know: foreign policy.
  • Tom Cruise has a nutritionist and a personal trainer...That's why he's so mentally stable.
  • Look at Tom Cruise and tell me there's no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

    Machine Washable! - The New York Post reports that this week at Neiman Marcus, jeweler Jacob Arabo and SneakerLuxe Inc. unveil a new line of sneakers that push bling to a ridiculous level. The basic models are leather and start at $350. Exotic skins, such as ostrich or crocodile, run $1,395 a pair; and you can get them with 2.5 carats worth of diamonds for $4,000 a pair.

  • They're known as "Million-Air Jordans."
  • Paris Hilton bought two pairs...for her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
  • Gang members kill each other over $200 sneakers...They'll be taking out entire neighborhoods for these.

    $200, With The Butt Pads - Newsweek reports that underwear makers are borrowing designs from the Wonderbra to make briefs with enhancing front pouches that give men a boost in "confidence." Volunteers tested them, with mixed results. One pair was described as "like wearing your mother's underwear" and prone to cause wedgies. One was so tight, the man couldn't wear them for more than an hour. A third had a sling sewn into the pouch for a bra-like "lift and separate" effect which the tester found "damn sexy," but so complicated, he needed directions to put them on. The top-rated, DSquared, were "fairly comfortable" and "filled me out more," but cost $79 at Sak's Fifth Avenue.

  • You know, you can get a cucumber for 49 cents at Kroger.
  • Rosie O'Donnell says they're worth every penny!
  • Just tell women you can afford to shop at Sak's, and it won't matter how big your bulge is.
  • It's like wearing your mom's underwear, if mom was a transsexual.
  • These are like a Wonderbra, as in, "I wonder how you put this thing on?"

    Tinkerbell Prefers Cartier - Jennifer Lopez is expanding her fashion line in a new direction: J-Lo designer jewelry for dogs. An insider said she's always found it frustrating that there are limited accessories available for dogs, so she "just got creative" and extended her range of jewelry to them.

  • You think SHE was frustrated?! Her dog was too embarrassed to leave the house!
  • Her target market is J-Lo fans and dogs...Basically, any creature who's fixated on butts.

    A Year And Seven Months Too Late - Life & Style magazine reports that Britney Spears loves her new pregnant body so much, she's decided to pull a Demi Moore and pose for her first nude photo shoot for Vanity Fair, alongside Kevin Federline, when she's seven months pregnant.

  • Hey, Brit: good timing!
  • It's nothing new for Kevin: he's got naked pictures of all the chicks he's knocked up.
  • By then, Kevin plans to have an enormous beer belly, so they'll match.

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