Midnight Crossing (1988) is a mystery/thriller that puts four people on a sailboat heading for an island near Cuba to recover $1M hidden there when Castro came to power. The four include John Laughlin as the yacht owner and son of a dead Naval Officer who participated in hiding the money, Kim Kattrall as his wife, who is sick of his interest in his charter boat and sick of the mortgage, her boss Daniel J. Travanti, who was the enlisted man who worked with the officer to hide the cash, and his wife Faye Dunaway, who is blind. Dunaway and Travanti are supposedly celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, but it is obvious pretty quickly that Travanti is after the money, and suspects that Laughlin knows the coordinates of the small island it is hidden on. From there we go into almost every combination of double cross you can imagine.
Cattrall has a lengthy wet shirt scene, where her breasts are very much visible through the shirt. Based on the size and shape, I think that two earlier breast shots are also her, even though those two shots could be doubles. IMDB readers have this at 4.5 of 10, and the few comments and reviews abuse it as well, then admit that it is an ok film, just not great. That is my take as well. It met my three most important criteria for a C in the thriller genre. It had identifiable nudity, had no serious logic errors, and did not put me to sleep. Therefor this is a low C. Not a great thriller, but an entertaining enough way to spend 104 minutes.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
An elite U.S. special forces unit undertakes a
disastrous mission in
Panama. Of the seven
men and women in the squad, only two return, and one of them is
fatally wounded. An investigation is initiated. The healthy member
of the team is being interrogated by the base investigator in Panama
(Connie Nielsen), but will not talk unless he can speak with a
fellow Ranger. It so happens that the base commander has a buddy in
Panama who is an ex-Ranger (John Travolta), and that guy agrees to
assist in the investigation.
As Travolta and the local
investigator interview the healthy Ranger, the dying Ranger, and the
local medic (who was involved), they cannot seem to unravel
the complex story of a local drug operation. Everyone who tells the
story repeats a different version of it, ala Roshomon, the stories
are in such dramatic conflict that it is not possible to determine
Basic contains the core of a good
movie, a twisty tale of illusion and reality, a complicated sting in
which almost all the details are hidden from the audience until the
proper time. It has a great cast and crew. In addition to Travolta
and Nielsen, it stars Giovanni Ribisi, Taye Diggs, Samuel L. ) And
how can you go wrong with Samuel L Jackson directed by the guy who
did "Die Hard"? Sounds great. It actually scores a
respectable 6.1 at IMDb, but many critics totally despised it. Roger Ebert
gave it one star, and many others were equally negative. Audiences were indifferent.
The film was only the third highest opener of its own week,
and the total domestic gross was a mediocre $26 million.
The problem with the film, the reason
it irritated so many people, is that it
went way over the top in needless complexity and deception. It became so complex,
in fact, that I couldn't piece together the entire solution
after all the smoke was clear and every mirror was removed. Since
many characters were pretending to be what they were not, and every
person except the local investigator was something other than what
we originally assumed, some of the interrogations assumed so many
levels of artificiality as to be indecipherable. That removed a lot
of the pleasure from the ultimate revelations, because the audience
was left thinking, "What the ... ? But, if ..."
1. At one point John Travolta is
interviewing the healthy surviving Ranger. But Travolta is not who
he seems to be, the healthy Ranger is not who he seems to be, and in
fact they are working together. If so, why are they carrying on the
charade? We presume it must be for the benefit of the local
investigator, who is the only other person in the room. Only one
problem with that theory. Travolta didn't want her in the room in
the first place. She insisted on accompanying him.
2. At one point the dying Ranger
gives the local investigator a sign that the botched operation was a
result of some action by a top secret group called Section 8. Again,
only one problem. Reviewing the movie in retrospect, there is no way
that soldier could have known about the group which Section 8 turned
out to be! He could have known about the drug-dealing group, since
he was part of it, and at that point, the local investigator (and we
in the audience) thinks Section 8 is the drug dealers, so the plot
twist seemed to make sense at that moment. But the fact of the
matter is, that the local investigator was wrong. That soldier could
have known about the group that she incorrectly assumed to have been
Section 8, but not about the group that really was Section 8. (The
good guys who were sent to bust up the drug ring.)
3. Travolta only survives to the end
of the film because Connie Nielsen shoots the drug mastermind.
Travolta had turned his back on the guy, and was walking away. The
drug lord was about to pump ol' Barbarino full of lead when Nielsen
intervened. Again, only one problem. Travolta didn't know that
Nielsen was there. (Remember Nielsen didn't know about either the
secret drug cabal or the secret undercover good guys). Therefore,
Travolta should have died right then and there, and the bad guys
should have won, except for a completely lucky break. Once again, it
seemed reasonable at the time it happened, but proved to be a major
logical flaw when everyone's true nature was revealed.
I love sting movies, and I really
enjoy the Roshomon premise in which varying accounts of an incident
have to be reconciled, so I enjoyed this film in a guilty pleasure
way. On the other hand, it
is really my kind of movie, and I was willing to ignore the details
that didn't add up because of the overall pleasure I derive from a
really complicated sting. Your mileage will probably vary. I think
most of you will find this too damned complicated and contrived. The
ending of the film had not one surprise twist, but about four or
five within a few minutes, when all the layers of the sting were
revealed. At that point, I think most people were thinking "enough
Bartleby the Scrivener is a story by
Herman Melville which is often studied in literature classes. It
tells of a meek man who obtains a job as a clerk, then gradually
causes havoc in the office by simply saying "I would prefer not to",
to more and more requests from his superior. He continues to do some
work very efficiently, but takes it upon himself to decide when he will
work and which tasks he will perform. Needless to say, this
frustrates his boss, who narrates the story. The story is meticulous
in establishing that the other employees in Bartleby's position are
incompetent shirkers, but they avoid word in socially acceptable
ways. They don't refuse to work. They simply agree amenably to all
tasks assigned to them, then show a complete lack of enthusiasm for
those tasks, and so as little work as it is possible to do without
getting fired. Even though Bartleby
probably does just as much work as the others in the office, he
breaks the rules of society by determining that he is the one to
decide what to do.
Literary critics find this story
quite profound. After all, 90% of our adult working lives are
basically spent doing things we would prefer not to do, so if we all
followed Bartleby's example, society as we know it would come to a
stand-still. The industrial revolution created a concept of people
as cogs in a giant labor machine, and needed that concept to hold in
order to function properly. Bartleby was causing the labor machine
to break down.
The boss/narrator is torn between
compassion for his peculiar employee, a secret sense of
identification with Bartleby's defiance, and a pragmatic need to fire him in
order to maintain some discipline among the ranks. After all, he
cannot afford to start the precedent of allowing employees to tell
him what they will or won't do. Firing Bartleby proves ineffective,
since he "prefers not to" leave, and he also lives in the office at
night. The only way the office can get rid of him is to move. When
they move to their new headquarters, the new occupants of their
former building cast Bartleby out into the streets, homeless.
Bartleby the movie brings this story very effectively
into the 20th century, in kind of an alternate universe which is an
exaggerated version of our own, featuring the suitably odd and
suitably meek Crispin Glover as Bartleby.
Melville's words make it seem like he
could have had psychic powers, seeing Crispin Glover across the
"I can see that figure now pallidly
neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn".
functions very well as black comedy, and does fairly well with farce
and slapstick, but perhaps functions less effectively at
the end, when Bartleby comes to a tragic ending and his former boss
develops an intimate sense of identification with his mildly
rebellious former charge.
Here is the complete story of
Bartleby the Scrivener
At last, the truth can be told. Joe Piscopo and
Jean-Claude Van Damme are the same person.
to see a picture of Piscopo in Bartleby.
Midnight Mass (2002):
I had mixed feelings about this vampire/armageddon
movie with a "punk" feel. I didn't like it, but the visuals were
often composed and photographed beautifully. The script is basically
the same old stuff, but there was kind of a nice twist in that an
atheist was facing a real internal crisis because the most effective
defenses against vampires include religious symbols like crosses and
Holy Water and consecrated wine, this implying that there is some
"truth" to religious mythology.
So what's the problem
with the film? Well, the editing is quite clumsy, and the vamps look
kinda silly, but the main reason I didn't like the film is that the
acting is so bad as to defy all audience involvement. It's really
hard to get into a story when every character is either shamelessly
overacting or delivering lines like a local used car dealer reading
from cue cards. Sitting in the audience, you never get to crossover
into their world because you're always aware they are "acting".
I don't know if I still would have hated the film if it had been
made with real actors. Probably not. The story is pretty cheesy. It
starts out by informing us that the whole world is being taken over
by vampires, but focuses in on only one town on the New Jersey
shore, and the battle of the locals to protect themselves. The local
rogue vampire/priest there keeps assuring his enemies that "the
world is mine". I guess that means he's the Big Kahuna of vampires
world-wide. You'd think that with the entire world to choose from,
Vampires would set up their HQ in Vienna or someplace, not in Asbury
Maybe it's best to say that the director shows
some promise for future projects.
Updated volumes: Jenny Agutter, Cameron Diaz
New volumes: Angel Boris, Kathy Bates, Carroll
Baker, Hsu Chi (the girl in The Transporter), Susan Featherly,
SPIKE LEE SUED BY SARA LEE
Beyonce Knowles reportedly walked out of a photo shoot in London
for The Face magazine when the photographer asked her to drop trou
and be filmed in the buff covered in honey. Beyonce, a
church-going Methodist, said God would never approve of her posing
Lucy Liu says Charlie's Angels co-star Cameron Diaz is a 'genetic
freak' for staying so slim despite the fact she never stops
GOODWAY picks Linda Lusardi as his favourite Page 3 girl of all
Saddam's Secret Diaries Found: he is "a secret admirer of
President George W. Bush, a cannibal who feasted on human flesh --
and a closet transvestite who, in his heart of hearts, preferred
silk panties, cocktail dresses and feather boas to the Army greens
he forced himself to wear in public. ". So says Weekly World News
very wrong :: Ron Jeremy as Mario
Free Slurpees at 7-Eleven on 7-11 (Friday)
Actor Robert Wagner has sued Sony Pictures Entertainment claiming
he is entitled to half the profits from the two 'Charlie's Angels'
movies for his role in developing the 1970s television series on
which the films were based.
CHARLIE'S Angels: Full Throttle' stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron
Diaz and Lucy Liu are ready to throttle co-star Demi Moore for
stealing their thunder. "Drew, Cameron and Lucy were really
angry after the L.A. premiere of the movie when Demi stole the
show from them by arriving at the last minute with Ashton [Kutcher],
Bruce [Willis] and her kids"
words: Naked beach soccer.
Whatever happened to ... Kirstie Alley.
is calling on 'Take Me Out,' Richard Greenberg's Tony
Award-winning Broadway play about a gay baseball player who comes
out of the closet. Ben Affleck is first among several Hollywood
heavyweights who are said to be pursuing the movie rights.
Creates Cold Fusion By Combining Pasta and Anti-Pasta
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LAPDANCING. Stephen Hawking's next book?
America's Most and Least Drivable Cities, 2003
Did Bob Dylan crib lyrics?
Great site - The Museum of Bad Fads
How did Traci Lords manage a porn career before her 18th birthday?
She tells all in this previously unpublished interview. This
is the only known audiotext interview in existence with Traci
Lords while she was an underage porn star
full list of Traci Lords's recalled videos
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.
- Isabelle Adjani. The French actress bares all in scenes from "Diabolique" (1996).
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
Today we begin an extended look at "Killing Me Softly" starring Heather Graham.
The first is a single shot of the most widely seen scene from the movie. The next nine caps are from the first sex scene in the movie where Joseph Fiennes lifts here top and gropes, fondles and kisses her breasts.
|The sexy, brunette B-movie babe in a hot, although much too brief sex scene from the Angie Everhart movie "Bare Witness" (2002).
||nmd 'caps of the pop singer in a bikini top, and showing a hint of her thong behind the scenes at a recent video shoot.
||No skin, but the T3 babe was looking pretty good on Tuesday night's episode of Leno.
|The "Top Gun" co-star topless in a lesbian scene with Susie Porter (who is nearly full frontal in link #4). Vidcaps from "The Monkey's Mask".
|A few production stills from the upcoming "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" (2003). No nudity, but link #1 features her in a skin tight body suit with pokies.
|Lara Flynn Boyle
|"Men in Black II" was a very poor sequel, but at least Boyle showed off a ton of wonderbra cleavage. 'Caps by Watty.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the Canadian actress topless and even being groped by Eliza Dushku in scenes from "Soul Survivors" (2001).
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
McDONALD'S TO OFFER INTERNET ACCESS
World's Greasiest Keyboards! - Tuesday, McDonald's announced that it would
offer wireless Internet access in 75 restaurants around San Francisco.
McDonald's hopes to boost sagging profits by charging $4.95 for two hours
of Internet access while you eat. Some critics scoffed that McDonald's
lacks the upscale customers who would use it, but they plan to offer
special promotions, like free Internet access when you buy a Big Mac and
You can access websites on how to deal with a heart attack.
While you're eating that, you can order a Domino's Pizza online and have
it delivered to your table.
McDonald's will be the only place where you can pick up a Happy Meal and
download porn at the same time!
ELVIS' TOOTH FOR SALE
A Hunka Hunka Elvis' Head - The owner of a hair salon in Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida, is selling an unusual collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia on
eBay. It consists of a gold record for "Love Me Tender," a lock of Elvis'
hair and one of his teeth, which is not officially authenticated. The
seller turned down an offer for the tooth from a European cloning firm. As
of Tuesday, bids were over $200,000, and the reserve hadn't been met yet.
Wow! When I was a kid, all you could get for a loose tooth was a
It must be Elvis' tooth: it's still got peanut butter and banana stuck
Well, we now know that "TCB" didn't stand for "Takin' Care of
BRITNEY NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE!
"W" Stands For "Whatever!" - It's official: Britney Spears is no longer a
virgin. She told W magazine, "I've only slept with one person my whole
life." She said that after two years with Justin Timberlake, she thought
he was "the one;" but they broke up, and he went on Barbara Walter's show
and "sold me out." She says she hasn't had a boy in a long time, and "I'm
really craving...Just a kiss would be nice." Ironically, one year ago, she
told People that the loss of her virginity was "nobody's business," and
"trust me, I'm not going to have a press conference to announce it."
And she didn't: she gave the exclusive to W magazine.
It's such a private and personal matter, she waited over two years to
announce it to the media.
She shouldn't go around announcing that she's damaged goods! What man
would want her now?!
In an equally shocking story, Christina Aguilera announced that she,
too, is no longer a virgin.
Britney is truly the Doris Day of pop music.