|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
American Psycho (2000)
Nothing to add. This is a pic I forgot yesterday.
The Amateur (1981)
One of the nicest things about the DVD revolution is
that is has encouraged smaller publishers to acquire the rights to
and release some forgotten films. A lot of those have been art films
and grade-B efforts from the drive in and double feature eras, but
every once in a while an old mainstream effort is pulled back from
Such a film is The Amateur, which
was considered a major project and earned some respect in its own
- A Canadian film, it was nominated for 10
Genies (the Canadian equivalent of Oscars), although it went
home from the ceremony 0-for-10.
- The film stars an eclectic international
cast. Canadian Christopher Plummer is one of the leads, but the
star is John Savage. He may not seem like a big star to you
today, but Savage had been elevated very close to the A-list by
a good run in the late seventies with The Deer Hunter, Hair, and
The Onion Field. People wanted to hire him in those days,
although nobody seemed to have a very clear idea about which
roles he was suited for.
- The director was Charles Jarrott, a British
director who had come close to the A-list himself in the late
sixties and early seventies with two Tudor dramas: Anne of the
Thousand Days and Mary, Queen of Scots. His stock dropped
somewhat after the famous uber-bomb Lost Horizon, but by the
time he directed The Amateur in 1982, he was still considered a
respected director. For that matter, he is still
directing, although nearly 80!
- The budget was about $10 million dollars,
which was a healthy amount in 1982. It's up there on screen,
too. There are some outstanding location shots in Vienna and the
surrounding area, and there are a couple of expensive looking
So what happened over the years to doom this film
to obscurity? Well, John Savage did not go on to become a superstar,
as you know, so there was no interest generated there. And the film
is one of those Cold War espionage films which now seem so very
dated. The film wasn't topical enough or good enough to remember for
the right reasons, nor was it bad enough to remember for the wrong
The premise of the film sounds a lot like Gorky
Park. A solitary American goes behind the Iron Curtain on a mission
of personal revenge, and is assisted by a smart, honest Eastern
European cop. The similarity between the two films ends at the
set-up level however. The Amateur is told from the American's point
of view, not the local cop's, and the American is not a tough guy
who speaks the local language, but a wimpy mathematician who seems
to think he can just slip into Soviet-controlled territory and knock
off three hardened terrorists.
The terrorists in question murdered the genius's
girlfriend when she was working on a photographic assignment in
Munich (played by Vienna). It was one of those ugly deals
where the terrorists were going to kill one hostage every fifteen
minutes until they got their way, and she came up first in the
rotation. He works for the CIA as a cipher expert, encoding and
decoding various messages, and goes to his bosses for assistance.
They say they can do nothing, so he devises a plan in which every
secret in the history of the CIA will be revealed to the press
unless they let him go into the Eastern Bloc and take out the
terrorists. After having read the last sentence, you don't think his
plan is plausible, and you realize that he wouldn't have a prayer.
The CIA bigwigs have the same reaction, but since they have no
choice, they send him for agent training in order to buy enough time
to figure out how he has rigged the system.
Once he gets into Czechoslovakia, the CIA manages
to foil his blackmail scheme, at which time they decide to send more CIA
men to Prague (again played by Vienna, only this time with the
German signs papered over), but to kill our hero, not to help him.
Therefore, the terrorists, the communists, and the CIA are all using
professional killers to try to kill him, and he is just "the
amateur." He seems to be doomed, but he gets a break. A scholarly
local policeman (Christopher Plummer) takes an interest in this
whole business of CIA agents shooting at other CIA agents, and
wonders why. When he finally figures out the whole scenario, he ends
up wanting to help our nerdy hero. Why is the Czech so eager to help
our hero, and why is the CIA so eager to kill him? That is the
mystery which forms the real core of the plot.
I liked this film, although it really has a lot of
problems. In fact, I can't imagine how it was ever nominated for
awards. Some of the plot elements are just absurd.
1. When the head terrorist comes out of the
building to kill his first hostage, he stands on the sidewalk and
shoots her in the head, then calmly walks several yards back into
the building without a shield of any kind. Hundreds of
sharpshooters are focused on him, and he is unprotected, but they
2. When Savage is working at his desk, the
film painstakingly demonstrates that he needs to wear his glasses.
When Savage is in training to be an agent, the film painstakingly
establishes that he is the world's worst marksman. Yet when he
comes face-to-face with the terrorist, he is able to kill him with
one very difficult perfect shot, and he is not even wearing his
glasses at the time!
3. Savage makes his way into Czechoslovakia on
foot. He has to walk miles and miles in the snow, on difficult
hilly terrain, even sleeping overnight in the process. He knew
this was coming, yet he had slipped over the border wearing only a
short leather jacket, and he never even buttoned it up! He must
really be style-conscious. Not to mention weather-resistant.
4. Speaking of that leather jacket, nobody in
Prague seems to think it looks out of place in the freezing winter
climes, despite the fact that (a) it is inappropriate for the
weather; and (b) it's the only expensive leather jacket in all of
5. There are several instances where Savage
tracks someone down in completely improbable ways that make no
sense either at the time or upon later reflection.
6. All important CIA guys are always within six
feet of the director when news of Savage comes back to them. One
time this happens in the director's office in the middle of the
night, one time it happens while they are attending a gala. This
must be a subset of the basic cheesy film rule which states that
any movie character who turns on a TV will immediately see a news
story that affects him personally.
7. The high level Czech policeman played by
Plummer (who is also a professor) delegates no authority at all.
When the CIA and the Czechs are doing surveillance and
counter-surveillance in the middle of the night, staking out an
apartment where Savage is thought to be taking refuge, ol'
Christopher Plummer is there personally, sitting in one of what
seems to be a fleet of cars parked outside that apartment
building. Do they burst into the apartment to do something
important? No, it's just routine surveillance. No matter where
Savage's traile leads
Despite all these mystifying lapses in common
sense and logic, I got drawn into the mysteries and
counter-mysteries, I found the resolution reasonably satisfying, and
I really enjoyed the European locales, including the poor sections
of Prague (Vienna), and some small towns which time has forgotten.
There is also a great set-piece which involves a shoot-out in a
warehouse filled with mirrors and chandeliers.
Plusses and minuses.
It's a film which has been forgotten and I suppose
you can leave it forgotten if you aren't into the cold war espionage
genre. If you do like those films, however, this is a pretty decent
one that you have probably not seen, and which you have certainly
not seen at this level of quality, because is now available in an
excellent widescreen anamorphic DVD produced by Anchor Bay. There
are no features, but they did a great job at re-mastering and
transferring the film itself.
'Caps and comments by Brainscan:
In a previous incarnation, when I really did scan afew things, my favorite subjects were Brazilian women. Great figures, beautiful cabooses, all natural bods...I miss those days. I have since evolved...some would say mutated...into a capper of obscure movies and things like that. But when my eyes fell upon the title "Emmanuelle in Rio" I could not resist. Instead of scanning them, I could cap Brazilian women and all the world would be a better place for it. Sure enough this edition of the Emmanuelle tradition has her employed as photographer in Rio, commissioned to hire a bunch of gals for a music video. And what you get is Emmanuelle and five other women doing the triple B bosa nova. We are talking full frontals and long, lingering close-ups of some righteous looking fannies. Some near gynocam shots, too. So what if the plot blows chunks? This is not Godfather part IV for heaven's sake; it's an Emmanuelle movie.
A few notes.
Ludmilla Ferraz plays Emmanuelle. She is the only one credited in the disk I rented but CNdb identified the other women, most likely from the TV show that went into the making of this movie. If you trust the kind soul who posted the review to that site... and i do...then the labels on these collages are correct. Ludmilla does not take off her clothes very often in the movie, but her sport-humpin' scene shows us just about every square inch of her surface (collage 3 is the most revealing).
Juliana Batista plays Emmanuelle's sister, who Emmanuelle refers to as a slut. Imagine that. How many guys do you have to pork for Emmanuelle to call you a slut? Reminds me of a saying I used to hear in the Republic of Texas-- it's like being called ugly by a frog.
The only robo-hooters are sported by Simone de Morais; and as luck would have it, Simone is in a half-dozen butt-naked scenes, and her butt, naked, is wonderful. So I grabbed a bunch of frames and picked out the best.
All the gals except Emmanuelle are in this weird-ass scene where some floridly gay guy helps undress them as Emm looks them over. This includes Simone, who she just finished photographing the hell out of, and her frickin's sister. WTF? She has to inspect her sister because she doesn't what she looks like??!! And since all the gals she inspects wind up in the video the only purpose for the scene was a noble one indeed--to give us the best possible view of their cabooses.
Some camera views were easy to cap but a whole bunch had extreme movement chatter, making them impossible to deal with. Too bad, since it limited the number of frames I grabbed to about 2000.
Tatiana de Souza
Anyway, there ya go. This is a movie with a bunch of women who may not have a face to match CZJ but each of whom has a way better body. Way better. i approve.
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
Today we return to "Shadows Run Black".
Here's a whole bunch of caps of Barbara Peckinpaugh from this would be slasher flick which really focused on getting as many women naked as they could (not a bad thing). Barbara had no problem with that as she gives us all three B's. Of course she also made adult films using the name Barbara Britton so this would have been a piece of cake for her.
Then we have a "Babe in Bondage", Elizabeth Trosper tied up and gagged while wearing only a night gown. Why is it that so many times the top billed female is the only one that doesn't get naked in these films?
We wrap it up with Rochelle Brodley showing tits only. I guess she had some modesty.
|In theaters now! Scarlett Johansson looking pretty darn good in scenes from "The Island".
|Another great batch of 'razzi pics featuring Elizabeth Hurley doing some topless sunbathing.
|Hollywood Party Girl Tara Reid caught looking a tad intoxicated as she hangs out with Paris Hilton.
|Paparazzi 'caps of marginally sane songstress Mariah Carey.
|More 'razzi pics. This time it's "Desperate Housewives" co-star Nicollette Sheridan showing off abs and pokies.
|Marvin 'caps of Maria Schneider beautifully baring all 3 B's in scenes from "Last Tango in Paris" (1972).
Here 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.
Urban Legends Reference Pages. "Claim: Photograph
shows golfers fleeing from the approach of a grizzly
bear. Status: True."
Latino Review offers a first peek at Darren Aronofsky's
new sci-fi movie, The Fountain. ("The journey of one
man in the present as well as both 500 years in the past
and into the future. Among the issues it tackles are
love, death and immortality.")
FilmJerk's Early Report for July 31
Wedding Crashers officially moves up to #1
- The two films from two weeks ago (Wedding Crashers
and Wonka) held on to the top two spots for the third
- Last week's releases all but dropped off the map.
Each of the four dropped more than expected. Each of
the four dropped at least 50%. The Devil's Rejects
suffered the worst fate by following a disappointing
opening with a precipitous 62% fall-off
- This week's releases were mediocre, opening in the
3-4-5 slots. Sky High was probably the most positive
surprise among the new releases, in that it was
predicted to finish last among the three, but actually
finished as the best of the three. That was not the
kind of news to prompt a general V-E day level of
rejoicing, however, since it was still within 20% of
the prediction, and could muster no better than a
tepid third place.
- The penguin movie again did quite well. It stayed
in the number ten slot despite losing to the three new
releases, because it managed to pass three other films
which beat it last week! Overall, the penguin film was
#2 in revenues per screen, losing only to Wedding
- The massive failure of big budgeters like Stealth
and The Island will have to force Hollywood to look
past "explosion films" for their summer line-ups.
That's OK by me. I'd rather see them make twenty films
for seven million each than one for 140 mill. Maybe
there will be five interesting films in that bunch
instead of a single mega-bomb. I do think that the
studios have to think about the possibility that their
future revenue equation may include an ever lower
percentage of earnings from theatrical revenues and
constantly greater dependence on DVD sales and
rentals. If they lock on to that equation, they should
start making better choices about how to spend their
Stephanopoulos interviews Rick Santorum (Video and
Pogue's Song Spoofs about the world of computers.
Dated, but still entertaining.
"The entire acclaimed BBC episode 'Eye on the
A subtle obscene joke on The Family Guy (Apparently
the censor didn't "get it")
First look at Jennifer Aniston in Rumor Has It
First look at Charlize Theron in North Country
Yet another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers,
this time starring Nicole Kidman
The trailer for a Greek film, Hard Goodbyes: My Father
- "Hard Goodbyes: My Father tells the story of a
lonely boy named Elias who makes a pact with his
father to watch the moon landing of astronauts on
television in 1969. Father and son love to recite the
stories of Jules Verne, the man who had envisioned the
'shot to the moon' a century earlier. Elias and his
dad are adventurers and explorers who spend their time
together spinning tales of the imagination that take
them far away from their home in Athens, Greece and
off to their imagined refuges on islands and in space.
They even name the blue family car 'Birbilo' and turn
it into their own spaceship. Elias worships his father
who is often away on business trips. One day, his
father doesn't come back. That promise of watching the
moon landing will go unkept and Elias must rely on
their shared love of storytelling to transcend the
Hustle and Flow, as reviewed by the master of all media
except the important ones, The Filthy Critic
URL says it all:
Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links above, since it's sorta in real time.
here to submit a URL for Other Crap
Currently on disability. If you'd like to get in touch with him, his email address is email@example.com
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