Dark City (1998) is Science Fiction, and is shot in a dark noire 40's style. I dislike dark films, and am not overly fond of Science Fiction in general. This film would have had to be very good to overcome my prejudices, and it was. Like Matrix, it is a film about a futuristic world, and people who are trying to figure out what the world is and why. Unlike Matrix, we discover the answers to these questions as the characters do, rather than having the story explained in expository dialogue, and the special effects are orders-of-magnitude better in Dark City. The mood is set by art direction, photography and acting, and is consistent from beginning to end. It is impossible to talk much about the plot without writing a spoiler, but this is a physical world inhabited by real people, not a mental cyber-creation as in Matrix. Nearly everyone loved this film including Ebert, Maltin and Berardinelli, and it is rare that those three agree.
An Australian production, it was written and directed by Alex Proyas, who also brought us The Crow. What he achieved here is a complete world that is believable even though some of what happens is improbable. It works because of the attention to consistency and detail. It is more of an experience than a plot, and, although the plot is interesting enough, it is experiencing this world first hand that makes the movie. The exposure is by Melissa George playing a prostitute. We see breasts, buns, and a wisp of bush. If there was one flat note for me, it was the performance by John Hurt as a police detective. Why this film was not given some recognition by the Academy is a total mystery to me. IMDb readers have this at 7.2 of 10. According to IMDb the budget and gross were an identical $27M worldwide. It won a host of awards, mostly at Sci Fi/horror/fantasy festivals. The dvd is excellent, with two complete commentaries, and both a widescreen and a full-negative 4/3 version. The 4/3 version shows more skin than the wide screen one. It boasts two commentary tracks, the first, a scene by scene breakdown by Roger Ebert, the second a running commentary by the main production people, including writer, director, editor and art director. This is a B-. If you haven't seen it, it is a very under-rated film.
Desert Hearts (1985) is a personal favorite. I rented it the day it was released on New Years Eve as one of several movies, and was totally blown away by it. It is the best lesbian film ever made, and has one of, if not the, hottest love scenes every filmed. Donna Deitch, in her directoral debut, got this character driven drama/love story just right.
Helen Shaver plays an East Coast professor in her 30s who comes to a ranch in Reno in 1950 to establish residency for a quickie divorce. She is finally leaving her husband after 17 years of what was a marriage of professional convenience totally devoid of love or passion. A person who likes things orderly, this is the biggest risk she has ever taken. Enter Patricia Charbonneau as the lesbian daughter of the ranch owner. Charbonneau immediately sees that Shaver is what she has been hoping for - someone who matters, and Shaver slowly realizes that it is not that she is asexual, but rather that she was looking to the wrong gender. Each has exactly what the other lacks, which is the reason for their attraction. Shaver admires Charbonneau's spirit, and the way she is open and honest about who and what she is. By the same token, Shaver has intellectual depth, and the ability to commit which Charbonneau lacks.
The story examines with much sensitivity Charbonneau's conquest, and Shaver's struggle to cut loose. When the two finally get together, the sex, although not that explicit, ignites the screen. It is not just what they do to each other, but the way they do it, and the way they look at each other. Beautiful scenery, good cinematography and decent art direction make this one of my favorite films. Interesting to me, the love scene is done with no score. This had the effect of making me focus completely on the two women and the way they were focused on each other.
The DVD is letterboxed to preserve the original aspect ratio, and is a good transfer, with excellent color saturation and contrast. It sports a directors commentary which kind of wanders all over the place, but made some interesting points. Deitch based the film on a semi-autobiographical book. She raised enough to make the film by selling shares to everyone she had access to with money. She was unable to cast Charbonneau's part in LA, and went looking in New York. When she met Charbonneau, she new she had found the right actress, despite the fact that Charbonneau had never been in a film or on television. She brought her back to LA to read with the three women who had made the short list for the other lead, and Shaver and Charbonneau were magic together. Many actresses declined to read for any role in a film about lesbian lovers with a happy ending.
Deitch toyed with the idea of a sequel, which she eventually dropped, but she did share what, in her mind, happens to the two characters. Charbonneau moves to New York, and the two are together for a time, but Charbonneau ends up with a woman closer to her own age, but stays in New York and becomes a successful sculptor. Shaver finally has the courage to come out as a gay woman, and faces a lot of prejudice from the faculty at her University.
Maltin is unimpressed at 2 1/2 stars. Ebert agrees. IMDB readers give it 6.5/10. Lesbian sites rank it as the most influential lesbian film of all time. Shot on a budget of $350,000.00, the US gross was a very respectable $2.492m. The genre is gay/lesbian drama, and this simple love story has enough universality to be accessible to anyone. It is the chemistry between the leads, in the end, that make the film. This is a B-. Even if you don't like gay/lesbian themes, you might well enjoy this one.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
- I wrote a very long commentary about Antonia, aka Antonia's Line,
which Tuna reviewed yesterday. Since I have no pictures, the review
can be found
- I also wrote a very long commentary about Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which
has nothing to do with nekkid chicks, so the review
can be found
In many ways, this film is a pedestrian Hollywood thriller like a
thousand before it. The president's daughter is kidnapped, and the
plot starts twisting. How did the secret service miss it? Why was
she kidnapped? Is it possible that the kidnappers do not know who
she is? She seems to be dead? Is it possible that she is not? If the
death was faked, was it done by the kidnappers, the daughter, the
President, some people close to the President. If somebody faked it,
and there is evidence that they did, why so?
The film rises above that level of mediocre plotting
and hackneyed suspense devices because David Mamet (Heist, The
Spanish Prisoner) is a great
screenwriter who simply re-invents the genre with his technique. To
begin with, he doesn't give us any back story. Perhaps you think I
spoiled the film by telling you so much in the previous paragraph.
The problem is that anything I told you at all would have been a
spoiler. My first clause, "the president's daughter is kidnapped",
was already a spoiler because the film begins somewhere in the
middle of an interrogation. We don't know who is interrogating whom,
and we don't know the subject of the interrogation. We don't know if
a crime has been committed, or what it might be. We only know that
some very serious men are very concerned about something big. David Mamet manages
to create an additional mystery for us by forcing us to try to
figure out what the plot is in the first place. In the hands of a
hack, this could have been a disaster. In Mamet's hands, it is as
smooth as silk, continually involving, constantly engaging the minds
of the viewers. That man can write. He has a great knack for
creating a mystery, then solving it while creating another, deeper
Like any Hollywood thriller, this film has a serpentine plot
with more twists than a Chubby Checker retrospective, but Mamet
plots so confidently that he onviously figures out in advance what has
happened, then gets his suspense from HOW the twists are revealed
rather than WHAT is revealed. I found all the plot twists reasonable
in the context of the film, and Mamet's dialogue is as smart as
This won't mean jack to you unless you're from the UK, but if you
are from Britain, you should enjoy an escaped breast from a kiddie
show host. Holly Willoughby falls out of her blouse while dancing
around on her Saturday morning show, The Ministry of Mayhem.
Paris Hilton buys a copy of her own
Here is the teaser-trailer for Blade:
SOLAR POWERED OUTHOUSE
Principal photography on Harry Potter
and the Goblet of Fire is now underway.
Johnny Web looks at Fahrenheit 9/11
Really Useless Baseball Information
Fake or Foto?
Interesting little quiz
How far can you navigate a drunken
You control his balance with your mouse.
News of the World says Britney is
expecting a baby at Christmas time.
They mention that right under the story about Amelia Earhart and
Julio Iglesias singing duets on the planet Uranus.
Weekly World News:
Oil found under White House, and
Cheney has the drilling rights.
Weekly World News:
Eskimo tribe found on Mars
FCC's New Indecency Target: Dashes in
"In a little-noticed submission to the Federal Register, the FCC
made clear its intention of levying astronomical fines against
publications that use dashes or other characters in place of
letters to print profanity." I think they're kidding. Check that.
I HOPE they're kidding.
THE 50 COOLEST SONG PARTS
"I always get a kick out of cool song parts. The song, and even
the artist, may be mediocre, overplayed, or perhaps even awful,
but there's that special part that's worth stopping whatever
you're doing, telling everyone else around you to shut up, and
just enjoy it."
THE BRILLIANTLY WEIRD CARS FROM THE
1976 LINEUP FROM AMC MOTORS
The ten best parts of Friday the 13th
Part IV: The Final Chapter
Kerry's top reason to vote for him:
"my wife can pay the national debt"
Sprem makes the quarterfinals,
and also will be the name for the NBA expansion team in Raleigh.
Germany is full of elephant shit.
Sex-Laced Mozart Raises Scandal.
The latest scandal in Berlin is an opera featuring rape, torture
and masturbation, a nude bass singing an aria in the shower, and a
cross-dressing hero who rounds off the night by slaughtering a
troupe of semi-naked prostitutes..
The big scandal in Norway is that
police have set up a speed trap on the highway over Strynefjellet.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that
prisoners seized as potential
terrorists and held for more than two years at Gitmo may challenge
their captivity in American courts,
a major defeat for President Bush in one of the first major high
court cases arising from the Sept. 11 attacks. "
U.S. returns sovereignty to Iraq two
President Bush, in response to questions about the meaninglessness
of this gesture, responded "Plenty meaningful. Now watch this
says the new Exorcist trailer is "too scary for all audiences".
Watch Nine of The Most Interesting Cannes Commercials From
Outside the U.S.
BOILED EELS, BASHED SKULLS AND
BEER-SWILLING BALLET DANCERS.
Iranian woman 'gives birth to frog'.
Insert French joke here.
Summer Movie Schedule Remarkably
Martin Lawrence Free.
Other Crap 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.
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. Left click on the files as you normally would to view a
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
Rosanna one more time
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.
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.
Today the Ghost takes a look at the 1976 movie "Swashbuckler" starring Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle, Geneviève Bujold, Beau Bridges and Anjelica Huston.
In today's 'caps and clips we see Geneviève Bujold (or a stunt double) dive off a pirate ship nekkid. Plus we also see some underwater rear nudity.
'Caps and comments by Meaulnes:
Here are a few more 'caps of topless scenes from the 1971 TV Series "Casanova".
Lyn Yeldham, charming here, revealed again in 1972's "Au Pair Girls", then seems to have disappeared. As for Christine Noonan, you may recall seeing her rolling around on a cafe floor with Malcolm McDowell in Lindsay Anderson's "If".
- Lyn Yeldham
- Christine Noonan
|Mr. Nude Celeb
'Caps and comments by Mr. Nude Celeb:
"In the near future, travelling from one place to the next is simplified by the means of transferring your mind into the body of another individual at that location. This new techonology creates a new kind of terrorism. When a powerful CEO is murdered, a police officer must use the technology to track down the killer..."
This sci-fi/action movie is about as good as you can expect considering it stars Stephen Baldwin... I was pleasantly surprised by the nudity however... out of 5 actresses with speaking roles, 4 of them get topless...
Amy Sloan is a cute small breasted redhead with lots of enthusiasm in her sex scene... apparently she played an inmate in "Gothika"... gotta go back and check that shower scene and see if she made an appearance there...
Janet Kidder is the neice of Margot Kidder... and she has more than a passing resemblance to her as well...
I'm been a fan of Pascale Bussieres for a while now and to be honest, she was the only reason i picked up this movie... and i was not disappointed in the closeups of her breasts!
Lisa Bronwyn Moore has been in a ton of movies with mostly small roles... while she is nothing special in my book, she does show the biggest breasts in this movie (if size matters to you).
|The French-Canadian actress and star of the short-lived series "Wonderfalls" going topless and full frontal in scenes from the Peter Greenaway movie "The Tulse Luper Suitcases: The Moab Story" (2003).
||The singer showing off a surprising amount of cleavage and doing a great job filling out a Hooters shirt for a bit on "Jimmy Kimmel Live".
||The "Tru Calling" star grabbing her boob and making an adjustment at a red carpet event.
|Paris wearing a semi-see-thru shirt on her way into the Ed Sullivan theater before an appearance on Letterman.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the young German actress looking very nice topless in scenes from "Seventeen - Mädchen sind die besseren Jungs" (2003).
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
"FAHRENHEIT 9/11" MAKES $21.8 MIL
Now He's Rewriting BOX OFFICE History! - Michael Moore's anti-Bush movie,
"Fahrenheit 9/11," played to packed houses and long lines in limited
release, becoming the first documentary to top the box office with a $21.8
million weekend take. The movie only cost $6 million, with a $10 million
Plus $3 billion worth of free publicity from the news media.
Now, Michael will have millions more dollars to criticize rich fat cats
These were the same people who spent last week in line to buy Clinton's
To thwart the movie, President Bush ordered all American thermometers to
be switched to Celsius.
WORST GERMS NOT WHERE YOU THINK
Sponsored By Lysol - A phone survey by the University of Arizona found that
people have a false sense of security about germs. 76 percent thought fast
food restaurant toilet seats had more germs than a park picnic table, but
tests show the table is worse. 64 percent thought public bathroom
doorknobs had more germs than an ATM keyboard, but the ATM has more. They
also didn't know home kitchen sinks have more germs than bathroom sinks,
and work telephone receivers have more germs than the office toilet seat.
And yet, the researchers used their office phones to do this survey.
Turns out public bathrooms are so clean, you don't need to bother
washing your hands after you use them.
Cash is covered with germs...That's why I never get sick.
Of course, most park picnic tables haven't been cleaned since they were
FREE CDs FOR SCHOOLS NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE
Who Won This Lawsuit? - The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Oregon
is among the first states to receive free CDs for public schools and
libraries, as part of a record company CD price-fixing lawsuit settlement.
But the labels apparently just dumped their surplus stock. There were lots
of no-name flops, and one school district got 413 copies of the Greatest
Hits of 1971.
The Puget Sound District, which has 35 schools, got 1,355 copies of Whitney
Houston's single of "The Star-Spangled Banner." And another school
district got 387 copies of an explicit CD by the late rapper Big Punisher
and 356 copies of Barry White's heavy-breather, "Staying Power."
Sex Ed class will never be the same.
The kids can play the hits of 1971 in Ancient History class.
At least now, the kids have no excuse for not knowing the words to "The
In a related story, Oregon school districts are adding skeet-shooting
RAPPER DMX ALL WACK
Paging Johnnie Cochran! - Friday at New York's JFK Airport, rapper DMX
(Earl Simmons) was arrested on a range of charges after he allegedly
crashed his SUV through a gate, falsely told the attendant he was a federal
agent, then accused another driver of cutting him off and tried to pull the
man out of his car. Police also found a billy club and some crack in DMX's
vehicle. He may face up to seven years in prison. It apparently all
started with a dispute over a $9 parking fee. DMX had hundreds of dollars
on him when he was arrested.
But he needed that money to gas up his SUV.
The good news: the prison has free parking.
Assault, impersonating a federal agent and possessing crack...The cops
call that "The Rapper's Hat Trick."
OZZY'S "AMERICAN IDOL"
Test Positive Or Go Home - The New York Post's Page Six reports that Ozzy
and Sharon Osbourne are creating a new reality show based on "American
Idol," but for rock bands. The winner gets a slot on the OzzFest heavy
metal tour. There's one basic rule: all bands have to go through rigorous
To see if they need more.
The first 30 minutes of every episode will just be guys
peeing into cups.