"Erin Brockovich" (2000)

Erin Brockovich is being released next Tuesday, the 15th on VHS and DVD. I think it is safe to say that these are the first caps anywhere from it. First, a quick summary of key points. Even if you don't like Julia Roberts, you will love her in this one. The is the best new movie I have seen this year. While there is no exposure, Julia shows so much cleavage throughout the film that her boobs are the only part of the film Roger Ebert saw and reviewed. (He doesn't seem to like boobs, by the way. Everyone else raves about it.

It is the true story of former Miss Kansas, Erin Brockovich. As the film opens, she has a traffic accident. As she is a single mother of three with two worthless and absent ex husbands, no job, and no money, she decides to sue the other driver. Her attire and language (major potty mouth) in court don't endure her to the jury, and she looses. She decides her lawyer owes her a job, and bullies him into giving her one. He assigns her a boring pro bono real estate purchase dispute to organize the files on, and she discovers a pollution with carcinogens on the part of PG&E that is turning the community into a funeral home. Largely due to her efforts, and her way with the common people who are the victims, this resulted in the largest cash settlement ever awarded in the US -- $333 MegaBucks.

What makes this movie work so well is that director Steven Soderbergh avoided all of the cliches of a courtroom drama, and of a corporate cover-up. There are no tense courtroom scenes, no shadowy figures are tailing Erin, there are no threats on her life. What Soderbergh did was tell his story by presenting complete characters and show all the pressures and balancing acts that determine their conduct. There was not a bad performance in the film, but Roberts steals the show. She is believable as uneducated but intelligent and ambitious law clerk, she is believable as mother, and she is believable as someone who cares deeply about the victims and sticking it to Pacific Gas and Electric.


Julia Roberts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

"Let the Devil Wear Black" (1999)

Let the Devil Wear Black is loosely based on Hamlet. I have to be honest here. It was so dark, and so muddled, I gave up part way through and just grabbed the exposure. The acting I saw was flat, and the plot confusing. Those who read my reviews regularly know how many really bad films I have watched beginning to end, so that should give you an idea about this one. Mary Louise Parker shows her breasts while talking on the phone (she is the Ophelia, who is going insane). There is also an unknown stripper. This one is very forgettable, and, judging by the number of reviews on line, most people just didn't bother seeing it.


Mary Louise Parker (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Stripper (1, 2)


A small correction from yesterday...In the review for "Montenegro" I identified the second actress as Lisbeth Zachrisson based on the Bare Facts listing. Frodo, who is familiar with the actress, tells me it is really Patricia Gélin. Patricia Gelin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Johnny Web
"Holy Smoke"

Warning: spoilers.

Dicaprio made a really bad movie, so I guess his Titanic co-star didn't want to be outdone. About all I have to say is that this is Jane Campion's worst movie. When you consider that The Piano is her best movie, and knock that down a few levels, you'll get the idea.

Winslet plays an intelligent Aussie from a dysfunctional and idiotic family. She goes searching for the meaning of life, and seems to have found it at an Indian Ashram. And you know they are enlightened there, because they sing along with Neil Diamond songs. Well, her Aussie family is worried about her, since they can't imagine her becoming part of any religion whose gods look like multi-headed monkeys. Instead, they want her to come back to a sensible religion whose gods look like stockbrokers. Natural enough.

Mum lures her back to Oz with a cockamamie story about her father dying, and when Winslet gets to the family homestead, they introduce her to a cult deprogrammer (Harvey Keitel) who intends to "exit" her from the clutches of the Upanishads.

Keitel starts out as a thorough professional, and he knows his material. His grasp of religion and psychology, and his extensive experience with other women who have followed the same path, are capable of swamping Winslet, as she soon realizes. But she doesn't want to be swamped, so she does the only thing you can do when you can't win a game you want to win - she changes the rules.

Locked away with Keitel for three days, she changes the Jeopardy category from "knowledge of religion", which Keitel dominates, to seduction, and this one she wins easily. She is a lush-bodied young woman, and Keitel is a geezer with dyed hair, tons of sexual insecurity and some not-so-suppressed misogyny. She seduces him, humiliates him about his age and his technique and his dick size and anything else she can dig up, and then deliberately leads him into ever more degrading activities, then finally discards him when he becomes emotionally dependent on her. He ends up broken, crawling through the outback in a dress and lipstick, begging her not to walk away.

In an epilogue, Winslet has not only returned to India, but has taken her mum with her! Keitel, on the other hand, has gone back to his girlfriend and they have had twins. But Winslet and Keitel admit to each other in postcards that there really was some special deep connection between them.

Holy smoke, was this a bad movie. Oh, bad, bad, bad. It is meant to be satire, I suppose. I guess it is supposed to be ironic that her idiotic and unhappy family would actually think happiness in an ashram could somehow be worse than what they have. It is supposed to be ironic that this woman who outsmarts the brilliant cult deprogrammer is suckered in by a moronicly simplistic guru. It is supposed to be ironic that the controller loses all control and ends up whimpering in the desert. I think all of this is supposed to have some humor, or social satire, or something. Unfortunately, the Campion sisters (director/writer) have somewhat of a handicap in producing satire: they have no sense of humor. Now you know how in a comedy people will do things they would not normally do in life. When a bank teller gets a hold-up note in a comedy, he will correct the grammar. This is strange behavior, but we enjoy the absurdity because it is funny. Now take away the sense of humor and strange behavior is just strange and irrational. Have Harvey Keitel crawling through the desert in a dress, holding on to Kate Winslet's sizeable leg, crying and begging. This is supposed to be funny, since he was supposed to have complete control in the relationship, and he was reduced to nothingness. But, of course, it isn't funny, so we are simply left with Harvey Keitel in a dress, whimpering.

In one scene, we are symbolically showed the emptiness of the family's life in Australia because everyone lives in nearly-identical houses. Funny stuff, eh? And plenty original.

The film did less than $2 million in domestic box in the States.

The DVD is very dark, although I assume that is not because of the transfer, but because of the original film. There are no extras.

The good news: plenty of naked Winslet. In more ways than one. Plenty of Winslet images, and plenty of Winslet per image.

Winslet (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

"Reindeer Games" (1999), from Johnny Web

One of those noir films where everyone double-crosses everyone else, and you aren't supposed to guess who's really in control. Well, I didn't guess the final surprise, so I guess that wasn't so bad. It isn't a good movie, but I enjoyed it in the category of a leisurely watch which is worth a quick look when you can't sleep, especially if you already paid for the cable channel.

Here is the Rotten Tomatoes summary. Very few reviewers liked it. 26% positive reviews overall, and even a lower percentage from the top reviewers. Most people though the plot twists came out of left field, and several thought Ben Affleck and Charlize lacked credibility as hardened criminals.

The one thing I thought was dumb was the old James Bond cliche of "well, since you're going to die, I may as well tell you the whole plot, so I'll hold this gun to your head while you hear the exposition along with the audience". That one is hard to take even once per film, but they must have used it seven or eight hundred times, to explain every aspect of the plot, like a voice-over. Like Affleck would hold a gun to a little kid's head, and say "OK, I don't have five cents for that lemonade, but this roscoe says I'm headin' to citrus city, and by the way I'm going to pretend to that girl over there that I'm my late cellmate". Then he'd spare the kid's life, but drive a car over the lemonade stand.

Charlize (1, 2, 3, 4)

WhyScan's Page Three Report
If Page Three is unfamiliar to you, this link describes the Page Three tradition.
Today's Page 3 girl....Katie, 22, from Manchester. To be honest I think the page 3 standards are slipping. I shouldn't be able to look at a page 3 girl and know I've dated better!
(1, 2, 3, 4)

Bonus news
Anyone got more on this from today's Sun?

Britney Spears became an instant member of the celebrity nipple club, following in the bra-straps of Billie Piper, Nicole Appleton and Posh Spice by having too little dress.
A male aide rushed to help and one guest said: "He pushed her boob back in and pulled it around so it didn't happen again." Tough job, but someone's got to do it...

Britney popping out. Not a whole lot, but it's a start! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Bonus Pics More nip slips...this time Posh Spice, Victoria Adams (1, 2)

Paparazzi pics of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson topless at the beach. (1, 2, 3)

Nikki Cox from "Unhappily..."
(1, 2, 3)

Terri Runnels from WWF

Liz Hurley
(1, 2, 3, 4)
Yeah Baby! Vidcaps from "Austin Powers". #1 and 2 are mostly head shots. #3 features her very clever, and busty tourist disguise. #4 is Liz in the leather suit.

As far as my question from yesterday about the highest paycheck per reader suggested Holly Hunter in "The Piano". Although I'm not sure if that counts since she played a mute. That's kind of like winning by default. (In Homer's opinon, the two greatest words in the English fault.) But I still think Liz gets the gold for highest paid, 2 minute screen performance!

Fabiana Udenio
(1, 2)
The hot tub scene from "Austin Powers". I've always been a little diapointed that Fabiana didn't do more nudity over the course of her career. You win some and lose some I guess.
Michelle Ferrera
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
More from Blackshine's Fashion series. These all come from the German Vouge.
Britney Spears More from the Teen Choice is a little better view of Britney's nip slip, almost a boob slip actually! FR 'capped these from German TV and mentioned in his email that it was very difficult to get decent images. Regardless, I'm telling you official Scoopy Jr prediction is that she will get nekkid sooner or later. Actually, back in March one of my friends even went so far as to predict that she'll be doing porn within 5 years. That might be a bit extreme, but hey it is showbiz! Anything is possible. But I think I'll put my money on a Bunnymag shoot with 2 years.
Tyra Banks A lot of high quality cleavage with these next three, but no real exposure unfortunatley. Here is Tyra in a bikini top from "The Apartment Complex"
Tia Carrere In an M&M's Ad
Lisa Del Bo No clue at all who she is! The best I could find online is that she represnted Belgium in the 1996 Eurovision song contest. For me, that info is worth slighty less than a diagram of the chemical composition of a Twinkie. No really...what are those things made of? and how come they have a half life instead of a shelf life?
Stop Motion
Ali Landry
(1, 2, 3)
If only all of the women who ate Doritos really looked like this! I believe that would be a cheese flavored heaven! All three of these scans from Maxim UK are as sexy as can be, despite the lack of nudity.
and ...
Eva Habermann
(1, 2, 3, 4)
More great vidcaps from "Lexx", by Meg@bit. No nudity today unfortunately.
Charlize Theron Charlize going topless from "Reindeer Games", by Hugo
Juliet Lewis Vidcaps by Hugo from "The 4th Floor".
The Funnies by Number 6
'Net humor The ultimate summer job
Absolut Parody #1 Absolut Parody #2
Absolut Parody #3 Absolut Parody #4

Click Here!