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"Around the Fire"

Around the Fire (1999) is an indie about the rock groupie fan culture, presumably modeled after the Deadheads, and in particular, about one kid, Simon (Devon Sawa). As the film starts, he is arrested at a concert, stoned on acid, and wakes up in court ordered rehab. The film switches frequently between three time frame, the present, where his councilor is trying her best to make sure rehab does him some good, his childhood, where he lost his mother at a young age, and his recent past, leading up to the arrest. It is in the recent past that the film spends most of its time. He has been brought home by the police for shoplifting, just before he is to go to a prep school, because they will keep better track of him than his business tycoon father or lawyer step-mother. Once there, as the new kid, he gets the full attention of the bullies on campus, but is befriended by the resident stoner, who invites him to a concert. He enters a world of tie-dye, topless women selling t-shirts, bra-less women cooking stir fry, and assorted other fans of the un-named band, who become like family to him.

His close circle includes Jennifer (Tara Reid), who lives out of a band, and makes enough to live on selling stir-fry vegetables to other concert goers, Trace (Colman Domingo) acid dealer who takes him under his wing, and Andrew, AIDS victim in a wheelchair. At first, he feels like he has found the home he never thought he had, and becomes intimate with Jennifer. Then, he starts doing lots of acid, and eventually starts dealing, and his personality changes radically. He is arrested on a bad trip, and ends up in rehab.

The film seemed always to be rushing headlong into a cliche, then went somewhere different. There are no villains in the film, and the film is not your typical "drugs suck" film. They show that Simon can't handle them, but that many of the sub-culture are actually recreational drug users and maintain just fine. The love element between Reid and Sawa is very believable. For instance, their first time is in her van, in very cramped quarters, and is full of the awkwardness that cramped quarters and nervousness would cause. Even the conclusion, where we expect the Dad to own up to the terrible things Simon remembers, they go somewhere else. In the final analysis Simon learns that his happiness is, in fact, up to him.

Reid briefly shows a nipple in the sex scene in the van, and an unidentified woman shows a bare chest with body paint selling t-shirts. IMDB voters have this at 5.9 of 10. It enjoyed a small theatrical release before going to DVD. Proponents praise the sound track, which includes Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Phish, The Neville Brothers, Dire Straits and The Meters. The film looked very good, especially for a low budget effort, and didn't follow the normal cliches associated with drug culture films. I also enjoyed the characters, and cared what happened to them. It is a solid genre effort, or C.

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  • Tara Reid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  • Unknown (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    Movies - new to DVD:

    Oh, just in passing, I did a quick review of the "movies of the year" so far. I used four factors to rank the films: IMDb score, Box Office, percentage of critics who liked it, average critical score. The four factors were weighted evenly. I was surprised to see that Spiderman did NOT end up on top. What did? Check it out. The big surprise of the year - a little gem called My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Almost every film starts high, then declines at the box office, but that film debuted small and has gotten better every week on word of mouth alone. And it is still improving every week after 17 weeks in theaters!  Reviews were good, not great, but just about everyone who has seen it has loved it. It has the 3rd best IMDb score of the year!

    We Were Soldiers is a personal account of the battle of Ia Drang, the first significant American battle of the Vietnam War. It was written by the commanding officer and a reporter who was also there. It is generally apolitical, and has some great moments. NO NUDITY.


    Innocents is not a good movie. But the writer/director was smart enough to get Connie Nielsen naked. Link leads to Tuna's review.

    • Connie Nielsen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)


    Nobody's Baby is that offbeat sentimental comedy in which Gary Oldman is completely unrecognizable as a no-account dumb-ass redneck. It's a lot of fun, and a very big hearted movie. It is an excellent illustration of how to combine genres and improve upon each. As a comedy, it's basically a bunch of "dumb and dumber" gags. As a sentimental story of people becoming better people, it's pretty trite. Take away the comedy, it's sappy crap. Take away the sentiment, and it's the Beverly Hillbillies. But combine them, they both become stronger, and the movie is quite effective. Link leads to Tuna's review

    • Robyn Adamson (1, 2)



    The Bill Clinton show

    Bill Clinton is getting close to a deal on his new talk show, tentatively called "Oral Intercourse". A spokesman for the program said that Clinton will espouse no particular political philosophy, but will embrace each in turn, qualifying that statement by saying, "Of course, he didn't write that down, so maybe he meant he would embrace each intern."


    Equal time

    Dick Cheney and Generalissimo Franco are no longer dead. According to White House spokesmen, a team of Haitians has revived them, using the craft of their naive land. They aren't "alive", but technically "undead". Zombie activists saw this as a sign that zombism, a maligned and forgotten medical condition, will now be covered by HMO's and will be eligible for various benefits awarded to victims of medical conditions. Jean-Jacques Duvalier, president of RAZE ("rights and zombie equality"), declared "the handicapped parking spaces are especially important to us because we walk so slowly, with locked knees and arms outstretched, which can result in a mighty long trip to K-Mart if we're in the back of the lot".

    Cheney and Franco were said to be recovering nicely, and dining on brains, in an undisclosed location.


    Other crap



    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • 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.

    Graphic Response
    • Daryl Hannah in fantastic shape at age 40, showing off topless and thong views as she plays a stripper in scenes from "Dancing at the Blue Iguana".

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Three babes today, all from Midnight Temptation. First batch is the last three Wendy Hamilton collages, showing bum in #1, hooters in #2 and both bum and hooters in #3.

    A second Hefmate, Ava Fabian plays the bitchie rival. Long sport-humpin scene in which very little is seen because it's all dark and smokey for no reason whatsoever. I mean nothing is on fire so far as I could tell and ain't no one lighting up a cigarette. Seems that unlike most people, who smoke after sex, Ava smokes during. These are the best of the frames... boobs only.

    Tiny Casey Mitchell plays a cop who does the nasty with her male-type partner. Casey does not have the standard equipment for a B movie bim and she is not drop-dead gorgeous, but I think her bod is just fine and dandy. Again, hooters only.

    You know the Joe Bob Briggs rule? In murder mysteries, guys kill nude models, whereas women kill strippers. Seems an addendum is necessary: when a fashion designer is killed, everyone thinks its a gal who did him in, but in the end it's a guy dressed in drag. Or something like that.

    • Ava Fabian (1, 2, 3)
    • Casey Mitchell (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Wendy Hamilton (1, 2, 3)

    Kylie Bax A beautiful B&W of the goreous Kiwi model/actress posing about 98% frontally nude.

    Béatrice Dalle
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Full frontal nudity from the French film "37°2 le matin" aka "Betty Blue" (1986)

    Jessica Biel Liquored up and dancing around in her bra in scenes from "The Rules of Attraction". Due out in theaters on October 11.

    Tera Patrick
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    The model, Pet, adult star and internet talk show host posing nude for Front Magazine. Great scans by Famex.

    Britney Spears
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    A few new scans for her fans. Non-nudes of course.

    Felicia Deel
    (1, 2, 3)

    Natasha Henstridge
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Nancy La Scala
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Raquel Gardner
    (1, 2, 3)

    Sarah Wynter
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    The ladies of "Species II".

    Here's the breakdown:

    Felicia Deel...playing a topless dancer

    Natasha Henstridge...topless

    Nancy La Scala...topless and gettin' it on

    Raquel Gardner...topless in a love scene

    Sarah Wynter...topless (and a little bloody in #3)

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Let's pray this doesn't start a bandwagon that Liz Taylor jumps aboard...

    Jamie Lee Bares All To Declare Her Beauty a Myth
    Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis has stripped off for women's magazine More - to show other ladies that she's not a perfect 43-year-old. The movie star approached mag bosses with a view to righting wrongs about her glamorous image. The ballsy Halloween actress insisted on posing with no make-up, no hairdressing and no touch-ups for the unflattering shot, in which she wears nothing but a sports bra and spandex briefs. She says, "I don't have great thighs, I have big breasts and a soft fatty little tummy. I don't want the unsuspecting 40-year-old to think I've got it going on. It's such a fraud and I'm perpetuating it." In the accompanying article, Curtis admits she had cosmetic surgery 10 years ago to have fat removed from under her eyes, and she has since had liposuction and Botox treatments. She adds, "None of it works."

    Madame Tussaud's denies lengthening Kylie's skirt
    Madame Tussaud's has denied reports it has had to lengthen the skirt on their waxwork of Kylie. It was reported the waxwork has had a new dress fitted because Kylie complained the skirt was too short. But the museum says it has two dresses, one black and one red, so they can be dry cleaned.

    The waxwork, which shows Kylie in a provocative all-fours pose, is still Madame Tussaud's most popular model since it launched last month. A spokeswoman told Ananova: "The skirt may appear shorter in some pictures because photographers have been a bit naughty and have been pushing it up to get a good picture of her bottom.

    "Also the model does have two outfits for cleaning purposes and one is a little longer than the other. But we haven't changed the dresses at all."

    Click here to see the photo: