|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Night Moves (1975):
On the surface, Night Moves follows all the basic conventions of the
private detective noir genre.
1) The protagonist is a world-weary man of integrity. Harry (Gene
Hackman) works hard for his clients and has a sense of decency, but
never makes much money because he's the world's most honest guy.
Like all his role models from the fiction of the 30s and 40s, he
does exactly what he's hired to do and in return wants only his per
diem plus expenses.
2) The detective starts out with a simple assignment which escalates
into a complex criminal conspiracy. In this case, as in so many,
Harry is hired for a missing persons job and ends up involved in
multiple murders and smuggling.
Harry is called to the swanky house of a former movie starlet. Her
daughter (Melanie Griffith) is missing. Harry follows the trail,
finds out that the daughter is a very lusty young woman who has
proceeded from lover to lover, and each of her beaus has been
somehow involved in the stunt work side of movie making. One is a
mechanic, another a pilot, another a stunt coordinator. The trail is
fairly straightforward, and leads to the home of the missing girl's
stepfather in the Florida Keys. Harry brings her home. When all of
that is resolved, you can look at your DVD player and see that 62
minutes of the film have passed uneventfully. That is all there is
to the first two thirds of the movie. No special mystery, no
dramatic tension, just a character-based missing persons case with
some world-weary dialogue like this:
"I can't hear myself think."
"Nobody, but one side is losing slower than the other."
One strange event did happen during the first sixty minutes, but no
special significance was attached to it. While out on a midnight
swim with the missing daughter, on the night before taking the girl
back to her mother, Harry encountered a submerged place with the
dead pilot still trapped inside. At the moment, that did not seem
related in any way to Harry's case.
While the plot and atmosphere are those of a 1940s detective noir,
everything unfolds in a classic 1970s way, with a lot of kooky
characters, discussions of relationships, and existential angst. In
the background is the fact that Harry catches his wife cheating on
him, and this more or less gives him permission to have a one-night
stand with a woman in the Keys, specifically the pilot of the boat
that finds the submerged wreck.
The last thirty minutes of the film seem to be in a completely
different film. Just a couple of days after Harry returns the
runaway daughter to her mother, the girl is killed the course of a
failed movie stunt - in a car with one of the people he met on
the case, a car which is maintained by another guy (James Woods)
Harry met on the girl's trail. Harry is no longer on the case, of
course. His job is done, and the check is in his pocket. Since he is
the official honest movie detective, however, he naturally resolves
to solve the mystery, because he reasons that the girl would still
be alive if he hadn't brought her back to mom. This is where the
film stops being an existential character sketch and becomes a true
thriller. As Harry retraces his earlier investigation, he finds that
he had misinterpreted almost everything he saw, and had failed to
see the connections between events that were related. Moreover, he
regrets not having realized that many of the mother's and daughter's
ex-lovers all knew each other, having worked together on various
films. Of course, Harry could not have been expected to see all
these things because everything seemed straightforward and simple.
He found the girl and brought her home. He had no reason to expect
any foul play of any type, and yet he feels responsible for the fate
of the girl he "rescued."
The film finally turns the genre on its ear, because Harry manages
to "solve" exactly nothing, and makes nothing better with his
involvement. As he retraces the investigation, bodies continue to
show up. Everyone he suspects of having harmed the daughter soon
turns up as dead as she is, and ol' Harry can do nothing about it.
In the final analysis, he's not an all-knowing 1940s movie
detective, but just a real guy like those of us in the audience. He
generally can't see what's going on any more clearly than we can,
and he ends up just about the same way we would if we were in his
The director of the film is Arthur Penn, a largely forgotten but
once highly respected director. His filmography from the sixties and
seventies is short, but impressive.
Even the lowest-rated film on that list is an interesting failure. I found
Night Moves a rewarding film to watch, although the first 62 minutes can seem
at times to be a very laborious process of character introduction. I think I
like it better when Dr. Evil simply calls his henchmen around the table and
introduces them to one another, thus reducing all character exposition to
about two minutes of monologue. Despite the languid pacing of that first hour,
however, the film doesn't really drag because the dialogue is clever, the
characters are credible, and the film is sexy and sad.
The last half hour moves at break-neck speed. In addition to the
string of murders which begins with the daughter's death, much of
the final act consists of explaining the things which happened
behind Harry's back in the first part if the film, so the entire 100
minutes of plot and red herrings are packed into that last 38
minutes. The grand finale of the film consists of one of the
greatest action scenes I've ever seen, followed by a curiously
lugubrious and maddeningly indefinite conclusion. Faux-Chinatown.
Very existential. Very 70s.
|Melanie Griffith in her first and still her most explicit
|Movie Clip A
Melanie Griffith's entire nude swimming scene.
Zipped .wmv 13 meg
|Movie Clip B
This has nothing to do with nudity. It's just a great stunt.
Zipped .wmv 6 meg
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
First we keep the Time Machine on 1981 to finish "Body Heat" with Kathleen
Kathleen made a name for herself in this movie with a sultry sexy performance
that is hard to top by any mainstream actress. Did she show a lot? No. But the
woman just oozes sex appeal with gorgeous legs, hot and sweaty small tits with
nipples like pencil erasers and a great ass. Go back and watch this one again,
it has held up well with time.
Today we took the old Time Machine all the way back to 1967 and the pleasure
of seeing one the all time great beauties in cinema history, Catherine Deneuve
in "Belle Du Jour".
For me a big plus is that this oh so attractive and sensual woman actually
wound up as a "Babe in Bondage" in some dream sequences from the movie, being
tied, whipped and having mud thrown on her. The rest are various sexy scenes
of short skirts and lingerie. Sadly, no real nudity,
but I can live with that.
|Comments and caps by Dann:
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. Yes, this 2002 horror film is
B-movie all the way, but even so the acting seemed extra-lame and stilted, and
the story was OK but not great. The up side is there were some attractive
young women doing plenty of topless nudity, and that helped a little.
The story is that in 1969, a hippie cult leader (played by RATT's
Stephen Pearcy) suddenly went nuts and killed a bunch of his followers.
This took place in a remote campsite called Camp Utopia.
Fast forward to the present, and five college students, whose characters
were so annoying that they deserved killing, go to good ole' Camp Utopia for a
camping weekend. Guess what?....they start dying. Big surprise.
You get the picture. Not great, even for a B-movie, but still fun to watch,
and the nudity helped a lot. Picture quality on this thing also stunk, but
there was definitely stuff worth capping.
||Sarah Meghan White
|Lisa Marie Janke in a German stage production
|Nudity Hall of Famer Jennifer Jason Leigh in
Tuna's condition is stable. Nothing new to report. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Anti-Aging Beer. Yeah, that's gotta work, because
heavy drinkers of beer always look so much younger than
'Fantastic Four' Has Few Fans in Fandom. So comic
book geeks hate it even more than the critics do? This
can't be good.
Jack Black teams up with the director of Napoleon
- Jack Black, his friend and "School of Rock" writer
Mike White, and "Napoleon Dynamite" director Jared
Hess ... Black portraying a Mexican priest who
secretly moonlights as a masked wrestler in order to
save an orphanage from closure ... titled "Nacho Libre"
Talk about specialty
Busted is dedicated entirely to surprising Japanese
people while they have sex in cars.
Three trailers for ::VIRUDDH::. (Indian film about
elderly people who must come to grips with the death of
The trailer for God's Sandbox
- "A successful author, Liz, searches for her
daughter, Rachel, in the Sinai Desert. Although her
daughter objects, Liz remains at the beach and meets a
Bedouin storyteller, who relays the unusual love story
of Leila -- a Western tourist -- and the son of a
Bedouin Sheik named Najim. Their relationship is torn
apart when Leila is exposed to a female circumcision
"It's hard to kiss the lips at night that chew your ass
out all day long." Music plus written lyrics.
A cool hack of Google Maps to measure your walking or
War of the Worlds has the 13th best opening week of all
time. (Earlier this year, Revenge of the Sith
reached #2 in this criteria and came within a hair's
breadth of #1.)
Easiest money you ever made.
Pauly Shore will pay you a dollar if you don't laugh at
his new show.
- It's the first-ever money back guarantee for a TV
show. They disclaim that, "Only the first 250,000
requests will be honored," but I can't imagine they
would have to honor that many. How many people would
actually sit through a Pauly Shore show for a measly
- By the way, if they ever make a film of "Godfather
1.5", Pauly has got the role of Fredo locked up. Look
at the picture of Pauly holding the dollar.
SECOND TOUR OF FINLAND -- The Unofficial Drive Shaft
Fansite (Charlie the drummer was "lost" on Oceanic's
Director Peter Jackson loses 70 pounds.
Roger Ebert blasts Fantastic Four back into space.
The official home page of Oceanic Airlines.
Unfortunately, thay have had to discontinue service in
the wake of the Flight 815 tragedy. (It looks like the
No nudity for Ashley Judd in Bug, although the character
will get nekkid
- Liz Smith says: "ASHLEY JUDD gets paid big bucks
to act in movies. Act. No matter the salary, she
refuses to bare all for her art. Shooting 'The
Untitled William Friedkin Project,' in New Orleans,
she stuck to her guns. A call went out for a body
double - 120 pounds, 34B/36A-24-35 frame. The body
receives a mere $1,000 to do it raw for the modest
Ashley-Judd.com :: more details on "Bug," the "unnamed
William Friedkin project" mentioned above.
"Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach are set
to star in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, which
Eastwood is directing and producing with Steven
"Leonardo DiCaprio will produce a film adaptation of
Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle."
58 pages of "separated at birth" celebrities. There
are some very funny ones.
"the annual Spring Ho Festival has something for just
East Street Riders - the rich urban bikers.
- "Unlike biker bars in outlying areas, Crome has a
slate and chrome water fountain and valet parking. A
typical biker bar sells lots of Bud and chips. Crome
will serve martinis and lobster quesadillas."
Ordered anything from Amazon?
George Costanza (or another celeb) may just show up at
your door to hand-deliver it!
How Many Highlanders Can There Be? ... "Highlander
5: The Journey Continues" is on the way, and that deal
includes an option for three more Highlander pictures if
the studio so desires.
Kelly Monaco, who defeated Mr Peterman in the finals
of Dancing With the Stars, was the Playboy Playmate of
Here is her Playboy Plus free gallery.
Fantastic Four - 23% positive reviews - and some very
A Century of Sucking (Insert your own joke about the
Cher Farewell Tour here)
The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die
Pete's New Sex Toy
Judge Declares Mistrial in Notorious B.I.G. Case
G8 LEADERS HOLD CONCERT ATTACKING STING ... Millions
Watch Heads of State Rip Rock Star
- "Elsewhere, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
said that the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan
were forcing the Pentagon to rethink its ability to
lie about two wars at the same time."
The trailer for Underclassman
- "Nick Cannon plays Tracy "Tre" Stokes, a
streetwise LA cop in "Underclassman," which combines
frenetic action with sharp-eared comedy. When a
student at an elite private school gets murdered, the
rough-edged rookie Stokes gets assigned as the
undercover detective to track down the killer. The
resulting culture shock is only one of his
difficulties. The ever-resourceful Stokes resorts to
using his unique blend of sharkish good cheer and
rakish charm to woo his beautiful teacher Karen Lopez
(Sanchez) to help him pass Spanish and his arrogant
athletic prowess to make the school streetball team.
Once Stokes gets "in" with the edgy team captain and
lead suspect Rob Donovan (Ashmore), he discovers that
Donovan is being coerced into participating in a
student car theft operation. Using his talent for
hunches, Stokes wastes no time employing unorthodox
methods of investigation. Although disapproving of
Stokes behavior, Captain Victor Delgado (Marin) is
worried for his safety and assigns two of his
detectives as back up - Detective Lisa Brooks (Hu) and
Richard Gallecki (Gomez) to keep an eye on him."
The trailer for The Great Raid
- "Set in the Philippines in 1945, The Great Raid
tells the true story of the 6th Ranger Battalion,
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci (Bratt)
who undertake a daring rescue mission against all
odds. Traveling thirty miles behind enemy lines, the
6th Ranger Battalion aims to liberate over 500
American prisoners-of-war from the notorious
Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp resulting in the most
audacious rescue ever."
The trailer for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
- "'Corpse Bride' carries on in the dark, romantic
tradition of Tim Burton's classic films 'Edward
Scissorhands' and 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.'
Set in a 19th-century European village, this
stop-motion, animated feature follows the story of
Victor (Johnny Depp), a young man whisked away to the
underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride
(Helena Bonham-Carter), while his real bride, Victoria
(Emily Watson), waits bereft in the land of the
living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to
be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian
upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in
this world, or the next, that can keep him away from
his one true love. It's a tale of optimism, romance
and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Tim
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since it's sorta in real time.
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