Sitting Ducks (1980) is an ultra low budget indie from director Henry Jaglom, hailed as a genius of independent film makers. I saw this several years ago on vhs, and was not impressed. In fact, I had forgotten what the film was when I ordered it, or I probably wouldn't have bothered. This time through, I enjoyed it, mainly because I liked the characters. Don't get me wrong ... this is not a masterpiece of film making, but it is an entertaining movie. Michael Emil is a Woody-Allen-esque character but more neurotic who works as an accountant for the mob in New York. He and Zack Norman steal a days take from bookmaking, and head for Florida in a limo, where they intend to disappear to Costa Rica with their $750 grand.
They are not suspicious when they gain a chauffeur at a rest stop, or two women at a Holiday Inn, but thinks they are getting away clean. The mob realized what they were up to before the crime, but wanted to see who was in on it with them, and didn't know where they hid the money. So Norman and Emil are sitting ducks, and don't even realize it.
Patrice Townsend, as one of the two women that joins them, shows breasts and buns in two sex scenes. IMDB readers have this at 5.8 of 10. I liked Patrice Townsend, who, unfortunately, only appeared in one other film. By the time the film was over, I was routing for Norman and Emil, the two dumb schmucks who thought it would be easy to rip off the mob. This is a C-, a good enough comedy if you are in the right mood.
"Salon Kitty" revisited
Jr. here, offering a very humble apology to all the Tinto Brass fans. Yesterday I made a really stupid mistake and deleted a few files. So here they are, along with the complete collection of thumbnails to help you enjoy all of Tuna's 'caps from this movie.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Les Biches (1968):
Les Biches is another stylish, static
film from Claude Chabrol, a man often called the French Hitchcock,
for reasons usually indecipherable to me.
Chabrol's wife, Stephane Audran,
plays a bored rich woman from St Tropez who seems to spend her
entire life trying to pick up sexual partners of both sexes. On a
trip to Paris, she picks up a female street artist and brings her
back to the St. Tropez estate. During their stay in the South, both
women become interested in an architect, who sleeps first with the
young street artist, then the older woman. When the younger woman
realizes that both of her lovers, male and female, have abandoned
her to make love to one another, she sits outside their bedroom door
and listens to their coupling. She is later horrified to find that
the two of them have fled to Paris and left her behind in the St
She follows the couple to Paris, and
Well, I guess that's the suspenseful part of the
film, so I can't reveal the denouement.
The most amusing thing about this film is not the
film itself, but the praise lavished on it by those who defend it,
which surely must contend with the defenses of "L'Avventura" and
"Picnic at Hanging Rock" for the honor of being the most strained
justification in film history. (According to its defenders, Picnic
Rock is brilliant because nothing ever happens, yet you keep
expecting something to happen, so you assume that certain details
are important, although they turn out to be routine coincidences.
L'Avventura is brilliant because it completely drops the entire main
storyline about 2/3 of the way through the film, thus providing a
masterful criticism of those shallow filmmakers who feel a need for
sane, coherent thought, while showing how unimportant is a single
person's story in the unending cosmos.)
The logic behind the defenses of Les Biches is
Since virtually nothing happens in
Les Biches, some critics view it as a masterful subversion of
those callow, bourgeois filmmakers who feel a need to have stuff
Another critic offered the observation that
the fact that nothing happens for the first 93 minutes makes it that
much more exciting when something does happen in the last minute.
The suspense builds like pre-orgasmic sexual tension as we keep wondering if anything will ever
One reviewer gave it four stars out
of four, with these comments:
Les Biches is incredibly ambiguous,
doesn't have much plot or even dialogue, and creeps along. The film
has a lot of moods and styles, but you can't figure it out or
classify it. You almost don't realize what is happening because it
sweeps you along without telling you where you are going or what is
important. It's not a long film, and most of what we see and hear
seems inconsequential. Much of what makes it interesting is
wanting to crack the film, to know what it's really about and if
there's a reason behind the inclusion of the seemingly unimportant
and the exclusion of all the pertinent details.
Whoa! I get it. Wow - masterful. By
making a really sucky film, I could offer the ultimate intellectual
criticism of those empty filmmakers who feel they have to provide
enlightenment or entertainment to make the audience feel justified
spending two hours with them. How shallow those fools are, who think
that they should present a fast-paced story through the important
and relevant details.
The obviously brilliant alternative
is to present a torpid meandering stroll through inconsequential
details. Genius, sheer genius!
The film does have some strengths.
Audran makes her pointless, meandering walks around some of France's most evocative locales in
Vogue's then-chicest line of clothing, so the sights and sounds are
tres elegant. I guess you get a feeling for "anomie", "ennui", and
the other words universally applied to empty, idle European lives.
Ultimately, however, Chabrol fails to rise to the
oldest challenge filmmakers have faced in their craft. If you wish
to make a film about ennui-laden lives of anomie, how do you portray
that on screen without making the film itself aimless and boring?
Like many European filmmakers who have tried, he managed to show us
how pointless and boring their lives are, but how many of you would
like to sit through a couple of hours watching people whose lives
are pointless and boring?
Hands, please? I don't see many hands.
Mine are down as well. C-.
virtually no nudity.
Fear of a Black Hat (1993):
Maybe you've wondered to yourself why This is Spinal
Tap hasn't been imitated, since it was obviously a very effective
format. It fact, it has been imitated, and very well, although the
best clone came and went without much fanfare.
of a Black Hat is almost identical to Spinal Tap in style and
format, with the greatest difference in the two films being the
difference between the two styles of music being lampooned. While
Spinal Tap went after the white boy geek-chic of the heavy metal
culture, Fear of a Black Hat zooms in on the world of rap.
It is actually a mockumentary in the guise of a student
documentarian's chronicle of her life on the road with NWH (Niggaz
Wit Hats), a popular gangsta group featuring Tone Def, Ice Cold, and
Tas-T Taste. The group has a whole hat philosophy going for them.
Imagine, if you will, pictures of America before the Civil War, and
you'll conjure up images of doughy, pasty-faced white men in
gigantic tricorner hats while black men work the fields in the
bright sun, hatless. The black male's current obsession with hats is
a bold rejection of the hatless nature of the culture of
enslavement. Or so the group contends. Their philosophy leads to an
astounding collection of hats, which they wear in their private
lives as well as in concerts: pirate hats, Dr. Seuss hats, sports
caps, military hats, fedoras, yarmulkes, berets, you name it. A hat
for every occasion.
Along the way, we see the rivalry between rap
groups for the most street cred. One group outs a "gangsta" from
another group with his high school pictures, revealing him to have
been editor of the yearbook, and a "rich ass, prep school, coat and
tie, checkered pants wearin' mothafucka". We see two groups of
rappers speak to school kids as members of RAV, "rappers against
violence". They begin the lecture by showing the children a video
entitled "A Gangsta's Life Ain't Fun", which shows the joyless
gangstas enjoying prosperity, fancy clothes and topless women. They
end the lecture with a gun battle between rival rap groups, while
the petrified children and their teacher flee for their lives.
Anti-violent rapper Tas-T Taste has the world's largest private
collection of unregistered weapons, and even owns a bazooka. His
ultimate claim to street cred is that he's the only rapper who can
show a bazooka wound when those other pussies are showing their wimpy
knife and gunshot scars.
There is a also white rapper on the scene. Although
the guy is named Vanilla Sherbet, he is nothing like Vanilla Ice,
but is just about a perfect evocation of Eminem, even though ol Slim
Shady was not yet in the national hip-hop scene when this movie was
made. He's not the only white guy in the film. Their are record
company executives trying desperately to be "def", and NWH also
employs white managers. Many other black people criticize them for
not hiring brothers to be their managers, but since their last six
managers have been shot to death, they view hiring white men to be a
service to the black community.
Although Fear of a
Black Hat never found an audience in its theatrical run, it is now
quite a cult favorite, and NWH, the mock rap group in the film,
even has its
own funny web site.
Its a really funny movie, and the
DVD is even more fun. Rusty Cundieff, who wrote, directed, and
starred in the film, also does a full-length commentary. There are
14 deleted or expanded scenes and 12 full-length rap videos. There
are outrageous interviews. There are also English-language subtitles
which allow the audience to see all the words of the songs, and to
follow all of the jokes even when they are delivered in heavy
C+. Not for everyone, but this movie is one funny-ass mothafucka.
- Dominique Simone and Alicia Rio (1,
- Rosemarie Jackson (1,
- unknown booties (1,
Catfight! In women's golf? : "Danielle Ammaccapane allegedly
pushed 13-year-old sensation Michelle Wie and later berated her
over a breach of etiquette at the U.S. Women's Open, Wie and her
father said Friday."
a retrocrush collection of some retro celebrities enjoying a
sunny day and hanging out by some cool waves and swimming pools
Livin' XXL in Mexico - new resort caters to plus-sized Yanks.
(The rest of Texas calls them lard-asses. In politically correct
Austin, we say Crisco-Americans)
covers Gay Day in S.F.. That means naked lesbians, and lots
Singer Barry White has finally had enough of your love, babe.
He is dead at 58.
Despite common fears over shark attacks, more people are killed
in the United States each year by vending machines. Steven
Spielberg announces the beginning of production of his new
says, "If It Ever Came Down to War, We'd Kick Your Striped Uncle
Sam lookin' Asses, eh?
The best-known Bushman in the world, N!xau, star of the film The
Gods Must be Crazy, has died
Tips for summertime girl watching
- A shrine to Howard
lap dancing is a fundamental constitutional right. So says
conservative pundit George Will
Exploded Supernova found: Celestial Fireworks in the Universe
Very impressive photo.
Cranky Rates: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
US government plans TV broadcasts to Iran. Laverne and
Shirley is in big demand in Basra, but the more sophisticated
Baghdadders want the new stuff, especially those South Park
episodes which feature Saddam and Satan.
Dustfuckin' in vogue.. Humpin' a geezer like Demi Moore is
the latest hot trend among American youth.
archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
since it's sorta in real time.
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 Lawdog or Junior or C2000 or Realist or ICMS or Mick
Locke, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"The Real Cancun"
If you're expecting a well-produced version of Girls Gone Wild, avoid this 2003 Documentary/Reality movie about spring break in Cancun. You'll get only 5 minutes of GGW flashing/hell-raising scenes, sometimes only two or three frames at a time.
The other 85 minutes is a bunch of spoiled-brat teens and post-teens bitching about relationships, each other, and their superficial views on life in general.
One of the spring breakers said in the film, "I just want to see some boobies." Well, guess what, Dude, you're in the wrong film.
The GGW guys got it right: if you want to show spring break, show the flashing boobs, gratuitous sex, and general hell-raising. These producers got it wrong; it's boring as hell except for that aforementioned 5 minutes, scattered all through the film.
If there was ever a case of the best parts of a film being left on the cutting room floor, this film would probably be a prime example. The reason I had such a problem with the film is that it's really out of context. Most people on spring break do things that they never have and never will do again. By minimizing the partying and trying to make it about relationships, they really failed to show "The Real Cancun".
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
Today we have 2 sexy ladies for you.
First up is veteran B-Movie babe Julie Strain showing off the pseudo-boobs in 1999's "Rowdy Girls". I never get tired off looking
at this great looking lady.
- Julie Strain
Then we have the beautiful Jewel on a recent episode of "Last Call". A really nice short skirt that shows off her great legs and a little cleavage.
Some odds n' ends today...
First up, Rene Russo in a dark, but very sweaty sex scene from the 1999 remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair". Not an easy scene to work with, but I think these came out pretty well.
Next up...a miniscule sample of the nudity from "Emmanuelle: A World of Desire" aka "Emmanuelle in Space" aka "Emmanuelle: Queen of the Galaxy". This DVD is not really a movie, but rather a collection of several of the 'Emmanuelle in Space' episodes that ran on Skinemax. The star of the series of course is Krista Allen...back before she became a "legitimate" actress and stopped taking her clothes off.
|Showing off her robo-hooters in a lesbian scene from her one and only IMDb film credit, "Caress of the Vampire" (1996). 'Caps by Señor Skin.