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"The Scarlet Letter"

The Scarlet Letter (1995), according to the best frame in the film during the opening credits, claims to be "freely adapted from the book by Nathaniel Hawthorn." Normally, that would be good news, as Hawthorn is far from America's most accessible author. I left parochial school for public in 11th grade, which meant that the last two years of High School were pretty much review for me. Because of this, and the fact that, for the first time, I was thrown in with something far more interesting than academics - girls - I concentrated on social development. English curriculum was developed by the district, and was pretty rigid. 11th grade English had to cover The Scarlet Letter, upon which a formal term paper had to be written, and some other novel that I don't recall for reasons that will become clear. To cut down on cheating, half of the classes would do Scarlet Letter first semester, and half second semester. So first semester, I was faced with weeks of discussion on The Scarlet Letter, and the requirement for a formal term paper. The policy was that if you didn't do the term paper, you failed. This didn't really conflict with my personal policy not to do formal term papers, and I learned that summer school dropped the term paper requirement because it was a six week course during the summer.

I had my solution, and to make sure I didn't get any further grief from the teacher, I transferred to a different English class for second semester. Unfortunately for me, second semester was The Scarlet Letter semester in that class. So, I got to sit through several weeks of classes about the Scarlet Letter. Since there were two semesters in summer school, this was still not a problem. However, U. S. History required a formal term paper. So, first semester of summer school, I took English, which did, you guessed it, The Scarlet Letter. Not only that, but it was a district wide class, so I got to hear discussion from students from every school in the district, and was also loaned Cliff Notes and other critical reviews. Unfortunately, I had to take second semester of 11th grade English in my senior year, but the formal term paper had been moved to the other semester. The teacher was in his first year, was rather insecure, and drooled. The class was immediately after lunch, which was my nap time.

Not a problem. After three semesters devoted to The Scarlet Letter, I just plain knew the book, all of the popular interpretations, and many obscure ones. I trained myself, when awakened, to stand and say, "Could you please repeat the question?" I would walk into class, put my head on the desk, and go to sleep. The teacher did his level best to catch me with a question, but the truth was that I knew the book better than he did.

All of this is to show that I know the novel, and there has never been such freedom before as that taken by the folks who adapted this screenplay. Given unlimited artistic license, they could have created a good film. Bottom line, they didn't. The transfer is as bad as the film, and is presented in a bare bones 4/3 ratio transfer that is noisier than a new VHS copy, dark, and over-saturated. Demi Moore, as Hester Prynn, shows a breast, and her buns (covered by her hands) in a bathing scene, and there are topless shots of Indians. The film is universally reviled, and rightly so. D.

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  • Demi Moore (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Indians


    Miranda (1985) is from the master of Italian erotica, Tinto Brass, and stars the buxom Serena Grandi in the title role. According to the in-depth interview with Brass included on the DVD, he chose her because, to him, she embodied the frankly sexual Earth Mother image he was portraying. He organized the film into four seasons, and four different lovers for Miranda. We start in winter near the end of WW II. Her husband is missing in action, and she is seeing an exiled older count, whose gifts help her make ends meet in the inn she is running. Spring has her dating a young delivery man who is full of energy but is going nowhere. Summer concerns her relationship with a Texas oil man who has taken a room at the inn, and the film ends in Autumn, after her husband has been declared dead, when she marries the man who has helped her run the inn.

    As erotica, this film is all about exposure, and we see everything Grandi has to offer, including some gyno shots, as well as male full-frontal. Brass is an ass man, and we get lots of buns and upskirts. The plot is weak, and the film is all about an erotic mood, but much of the desired impact was lost due to problems with the transfer, which was very mushy, over-saturated, lacking contrast, and had soft focus. A crisp transfer might make this as good a film as Emmanuelle, although the story is just as week. IMDB readers say 5.7 of 10. Were the transfer better, the score would be higher, but, as currently released, this film is a D+.

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  • Serena Grandi (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    Yo, dudes, I'm on summer vacation. Will be back to work in a fortnight, but in the meantime, I'll be sending in a movie report now and then about the stuff now in the theaters, and maybe some "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 I inexplicably determined there might be something of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Graphic Response
    • Eva Mendes in her brief frontal and rear nude scene from "Training Day".

    • Heather Graham topless again in the movie "Killing Me Softly". Still no word on a US release date (theater or video).

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


    Today's "Hankster Lite" is Kathleen Kinmont in a 1989 attempt at a slasher flick "Rush Week". Kathleen is posing for a photographer in this set and shortly after meets her demise.

    • Kathleen Kinmont, topless and a nice thong view (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Scorpion's Skinemax
    Dorothy Stratten From the amazingly lame, alleged sci-fi spoof, "Galaxina" (1980). The movie is really only remembered because of Dorothy's cult status as the Hefmate killed in her prime by her psycho husband.

    Wendy Lyon Full frontal and rear nudity in scenes from "Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II" (1987).

    Linnea Quigley
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    The First Lady of Scream Queens and a B-move legend! Here is a very nice assortment of nude and semi-nude Linnea scans.

    The Highlights:

  • Topless only...Links 2 and 9
  • Topless and rear nudity...Links 3,4,8
  • See-thru...Link #5

  • Variety
    Heather Graham
    (1, 2, 3)

    Another great batch of toplessness from "Killing Me Softly", by The Goose. Link #2 also shows some brief bum exposure, and in link #3 there might even be a very quick bit of bush (possibly just a shadow).

    Rachel Hunter
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    The UK tabloids strike again! From the News of the World, Rachel caught topless by the paparazzi making out with and being groped by pop star Robbie Williams.

    Patricia Arquette
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Helvete continues his salute to younger Arquette sister with these 'caps featuring plenty of well lit rear nudity and breast views. Scenes from the David Lynch movie "Lost Highway".

    DVD Stuff
    A reader sent in an email posing a very good question..."What are the best places/websites to buy Region 1 DVD's in Europe?"

    The flip side to that...what are the best places for Yanks to buy region 2 DVDs?

    If anyone has suggestions, please let us know!

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    >From IMDB News...

    Hollywood beauty Kate Hudson won't be winning prizes for patriotism anytime soon - she's sick of Americans. After three months filming Le Divorce in France, Kate admits she has developed a dislike for her countryfolk after running into Americans in Paris and London. She explains, "Sometimes I'll be walking down the street and I'll hear some American and I'll just go, 'Of course they hate us, of course they can't stand us. We're the most annoying, boisterous creatures in the world.' I mean we come in and we eat mounds of food, and we're like, 'Where's the ketchup for our French fries.' I'm like, 'Shut up.'"

    (Know what's most annoying about Americans? The way the really stupid ones keep saying, "I'm like" instead of "I said" or "I was thinking." Then again, if Kate said, "I was thinking," who'd believe her?)

    Celeb News and Gossip
    Sexy supermodel HEIDI KLUM has a pastime which will set men's pulses racing - she loves showing off her breasts. The German stunner admits she's very comfortable with her assets. She says, "Not that I think about it too much, but I do kind of show off my breasts. "If it's not too busy at the beach I'll go topless." But the beauty, who married her hairdresser RIC PIPINO in 1997, insists there's a practical reason for her penchant for undressing: "I want my breasts to be as nice and tan as the rest of my body."

    Actress SHANNON ELIZABETH wants to revamp her image - she's refusing to star in any more teen comedies. The curvaceous brunette, who shot to fame as foreign exchange student NADIA in the hit AMERICAN PIE movies, also featured in 2000 comedy SCARY MOVIE. But the recently-married screen star insists that, at the age of 28, she's now far too old to appear in teen-flicks and wants to push for more mature roles. She says, "I'm looking at things that are different from what I've done in the past; it's time to move on. I'm not a teenager any more and there's so much more that I want to do." And Shannon, who has yet to decide exactly what her next acting move will be, know which actors she'd love to emulate. She continues, "I'm a really huge GARY OLDMAN fan. I also love MICHELLE PFEIFFER. I'd love for my career to follow either of their paths, but you can never guess where things are gonna go. "I'd like to do a little bit of everything - I really don't want to limit myself."

    Pop icon MICHAEL JACKSON made a bunch of big-star demands when he appeared in the movie MEN IN BLACK II - even though he only had a bit part. According to film sources, once the THRILLER star, 43, was informed that he was cast in the WILL SMITH and TOMMY LEE JONES-fronted flick, he wasted no time in flexing his celebrity muscles. One source tells American magazine US WEEKLY that he immediately began asking director BARRY SONNENFIELD, "Is this a recurring role? Will I be in a lot of scenes?" The singer's requests were refused, according to sources, who add that even though he only had a cameo, he still "wanted his picture on the poster". That request was also stumped. But WACKO JACKO did get his way as far as costume was concerned - he got to dress like Smith and Jones after asking, "Can I wear the suit?"

    British actress RACHEL WEISZ's secret 'Sophisticated American' boyfriend has been exposed as cult film-maker DARREN ARONOFSKY. Last month (MAY02) the ABOUT A BOY star said she had fallen in love with an American, and was moving to New York to be with him - having kept the relationship a secret for a whole 12 months. Rachel gushes, "We've been together for a year. We agreed it would be good to keep things quiet for as long as possible. "In the past I haven't always managed not to talk about my private life. I am planning to live in New York though I will keep my place in Primrose Hill (London)." REQUIEM FOR A DREAM director Aronofsky isn't the first movie helmer Weisz has dated, she romanced AMERICAN BEAUTY film-maker SAM MENDES for a year.

    Mail Bag
    Hey Scoops,

    I'm afraid that I disagree with Brainscan's identification of Judi Evans as "Holly" in The Party Animal. I do, however, think he may have unearthed a find for us soap fans. I think Judi is the unidentified brunette at the bottom right of the "other women" collage. A head shot of this same actress is included at the bottom left of the "Holly" montage. Notice the different hair length and the square jaw as opposed to the more angular jaw of the other actress (Holly?). I would be interested to hear what others might think (especially Celebrity Sleuth).