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The connection between Mask and Killing Zoe last night, as I am sure most of you guessed, was Eric Stoltz in a leading role in both.

Varietease is one of the three films Betty Page appeared in. All three were burlesque films made by Irving Klaw. This is the second I have worked on, and is the more interesting of the two. It contains more elements of burlesque, including the "talking woman" and the comedians. Betty has a short scene in the beginning, and Lili St. Cyr is the featured exotic dancer. Something Weird Video and Image Entertainment did an amazing job producing a watchable DVD from an obviously bad negative.

  • Thumbnails

  • Betty Page (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Lili St Cyr (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

    "Farinelli: il castrato" (1994)

    Farinelli: il castrato is a multi-national production in most Western European languages, and takes place in the 18th century. It is the story of a famous castrati -- a singer who was castrated to keep his voice from changing. The castrati were the exact equivalent of todays modern rock stars, and in spite of there "shortcomings" were popular with the women. Farinelli had a brother who was a composer, and their father made Farenelli promise to sing only his brothers work. Unfortunately, his brother had little talent. There are many subplots here, in fact too many for the film to do them all justice, but the one that could have been great was the relationship between the two brothers. Clearly close, they share everything, including women. There is also a major plot element between Handel and the two brothers that could have filled a movie. The sex scenes are graphic, and too plentiful for some reviewers. Everyone liked the set, costumes and music, but Farenelli was not a good lip sinker.

    All in all, it is worth watching if you enjoy the music and like period pieces, but it could have been much better with more attention to character development and plot.

  • Thumbnails

  • Elsa Zylberstein (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Marianne Basler (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Johnny Web

    Let me start with a simplified version of the plot (with some sub-plots ignored in the interest of brevity). General Titus Andronicus, a fictional creation based in some non-existent Rome which is based on a hodge-podge of different time periods, is offered the empire upon his emperor's death. He declines, citing his age and unworthiness, and instead supports the orderly passing of power to the emperor's oldest son.

    This is not so good for Rome and won't turn out so good for Titus, either, because the son is a scheming and lustful sybarite in the decadent Roman tradition, whilst the younger son is a noble man in love with Titus' daughter. But ol' Titus does what he conceives to be honorable.

    The new emperor is so thrilled with Titus' loyalty, that he decides to make Titus' daughter (Lavinia) his queen. Of course, this is the same daughter who is in love with the new emperor's younger brother, but Titus is bound by his sworn allegiance to the emperor, so he complies. When his daughter runs away, he swears to bring her back, but all of his own family opposes him, and he ends up killing two of his own sons in the pursuit.

    Not that the emperor cares. He's forgotten Lavinia before she's out the door, and has fallen in love with a captured Goth queen, Tamora, and tells everyone he's had a change of heart, and that SHE will be his new queen.

    This is really bad news for Titus Andronicus, because Titus is the one who captured this queen and three of her sons, and subsequently killed one of the sons as a sacrifice to the gods, while his mother pled in vain. Gotta love those gods. Anyway, she was understandably hacked off about this incident, and swears the most awful revenge, either death or torture or possibly even forcing Titus to eat at Denny's for all eternity. So when the emperor falls in love with her, she gets a chance to kick Titus' ancient butt.

    So poor Titus, offered the throne about ten minutes ago, is now at war with his own sons, and is being hunted down by the emperor's new queen. Tough turn of events for the old boy. Well, Tamora's two remaining sons go about getting an appropriate revenge on Titus for killing their brother, so they rape Titus' daughter, cut out her tongue, and chop off her hands (this part of the story is based on an old Greek myth). She still manages to communicate to her dad, and Titus doesn't take this well at all. He makes his way to the lair of Tamora where he first kills her sons, then roasts them into a pie and feeds them to her.

    I didn't make this stuff up. Shakespeare was not always in flight with the brighter angels of our natures. In an imaginary conversation in "Shakespeare in Love", the boy Webster, a generation younger than Shakespeare, and future master of the Senecan school of body count theater, says that when he grows up he wants to write all his plays like "Titus". He succeeded. So, many generations later, did Quentin Tarantino.

    At any rate, Titus then kills Tamora. Then the emperor in turn kills Titus. Then Titus' son kills the emperor, and declares himself the new Big Cheese. So it goes.

    It isn't one of Shakespeare's great treasures. It was an early work. Shakey was still in his twenties when he wrote it, and he had written none of his great masterpieces. Although not the first written by Big Bill, Titus was the first of his plays ever made available in written form, and was one of his most popular in his own time. Its strong themes and violence had powerful appeal to mass audiences. You might compare Shakespeare to Spielberg in the sense that he made powerful masterpieces (Hamlet and Macbeth are to Amistad and Schindler's List ... ) as well as mass entertainments. You might say Titus was Shakespeare's Jaws, in a sense, although the parallel to Spielberg is weak here, since Titus is more directly comparable to Quentin Tarantino's films. But you get my point.

    It is a good movie. Exceptionally good. And it is exceptionally faithful to the author. It could easily be Oscar material in a better world. I read some of the negative reviews (it scored about 50-50 on the Rotten Tomatoes scale), and I think they just didn't get it. Kudos to those who did. Here are two who, in my opinion, got it right, and stated their cases eloquently.

  • Roger Ebert
  • Harvey S Karten

    The DVD is as good as the movie itself. It's actually two DVD's, with all kinds of commentary, trailers, documentaries, etc. I broke down and bought it.

    I found it a perfect interpretation of the spirit of the original. It also takes place in a Rome of mixed time periods, but it introduces additional time periods past Shakespeare's own. 20th century Fascist Rome also makes an appearance, complete with electric lights, radio broadcasts, art deco parties, saxophones, motorcycles, and tanks. But it's important to realize that Shakespeare intended to convey the mythical nature of the time, and simply mixing the time periods of ancient Rome would not do this for the modern audience. We don't know that the power of the Senate in one scene never co-existed with the Goth invaders in another, or with the senate-emperor relationship that prevails. The filmmaker wanted and needed a more powerful way to speak to us. Done. She was just speaking to us the way Shakespeare would have if we were his audience rather than the Elizabethans. In addition, the various connections to modern times (there are more I haven't summarized in the interest of economy, some a bit forced) also serve to remind us that we were barbarians, and that resides still, inside our natures.

    Of course, if you simply don't get into Shakespeare, it ain't your kinda film no matter how damned good it is. The visuals are splendid, and the acting is great (I was especially moved by the beautiful casting that brought us Colm Feore as Titus' brother, Marcus, and how I can't picture anyone else in this role), but that won't keep you going for 151 minutes. You'll find it slow, oftentimes dotty, and pretentious. Of course, you probably felt the same way about Branagh's "Henry V". If you like the Bard, and don't know that much about this particular play, here's your chance to see it done right.

    Oh, yeah, and to see Jesssica Lang show some goodies, possibly for the last time. A few extras also showed some flesh in the orgy scene.

  • Laura Fraser (1, 2)
  • Jessica Lange (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Various (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
  • Oz
    Johanna Quinero
    (1, 2, 3)

    Kristin Minter

    Bridget Ann White
    (1, 2, 3)

    Comments by Oz:
    In "Michael Angel" Dennis Hopper plays a serial killer. He picks up Johanna Quinero at a sort of Hell Fire club. You see the beginnings of the evening, but he kills her anyway. Kristin Minter is her flat mate and demonstrates some pokey action. The pick of the females is Bridget Ann White who plays an artists' model - so you see her in all her glory. An interesting film but the IMDB isn't a lot of help, so it must have been a very low key film.
    Emily Lloyd
    (1, 2, 3)

    Julie Cox

    Comments by Oz:
    I had trouble working out what "Woundings" was supposed to be about. It appeared to be based on the Falklands war, but it is set in the future. Emily Lloyd and Julie Cox are two of the women who go to an isolated island to provide some companionship for the soldiers based there. Not a film that will go down as one of the greats.
    Giannina Faco
    (1, 2)
    Comments by Oz:
    Giannina is shown in an episode of The Hunger, titled Night Bloomer. As usual, it was an interesting story but there is the usual 'funny' photography.
    Vanessa Marcil If I haven't converted all of the Fun House visitors into Vanessa fans yet...Then try this one!
    Thandie Newton
    (1, 2)
    Excellent scans of the "MI-2" babe. #1 is a topless teaser. #2 is a head shot.
    "Kentucky Fried Movie" Great variety of 'caps today. First up a great collection of naughty bits from a comedy classic!
    Robin Tunney From the Sci-Fi flop "Supernova". Still haven't seen this one yet, but every review I've read seems to answer my question from Wednesday....Sci-Fi is not dead, this movie just stunk!
    Jessica Lange Showing the goods at age 50! Vidcaps from "Titus".
    Charlotte Gainsbourg Topless vidcaps of the British actress from 1993's "The Cement Garden"
    Josie Maran
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    More Josie! A very special thanks to Brainscan for these. link #1 and 2 are both 'new to me' and very hot B&Ws of Josie fully nude! Only breast exposure, but #1 gets pretty close to exposure south of the Mason-Dixon line!
    #3 is a sexy swim suit with pokies
    Britney Spears
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    Britney up on stage shakin' her money maker. Fantastic scans by Stop Motion.
    Stacy Moran
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    Stacy from a lingerie video. As Pichound put it in his email...Basically a bunch of bimbos in underwear show.

    As always, PicHound invites you to pay him a visit. Click here

    Anna from Big Brother UK Well, now that "Survivor" is over...let's have a look at how the Brits do it. It seems they actually show the goods over there!
    Joey Heatherton Johnny Web and Tuna have done their fair share of vidcaps from "Blubeard". Now it's ZonononZor's turn. Both of the Fun House local boys made very positive statements regarding the art direction and use of color and lighting in "Bluebeard". With this collage, I think Zon has provided a brilliant example of what they were refering to. Granted, Zon has added his own artistic touch to these images, but I think he has captured the essence of Tuna and JW's remarks.
    The Funnies
    How to impress a client
    I was in the VIP lounge last week en route to Seattle. Whilst in the lounge, I noticed Bill Gates sitting on the chesterfield enjoying a cognac.I was meeting with a very important client who was also flying to Seattle with me but she was running a bit late.

    Being a forward type Of guy, I approached Mr Gates and introduced myself. I explained to him that I was conducting some very important business and how I would appreciate it if he could throw a quick "Hello Chris" at me when I was with my client. He agreed.

    Ten minutes later while I was conversing with my client, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Bill Gates. I turned around and looked up at him. He said, "Hi Chris, what's happening?" To which I replied "Fuck off Gates, I'm in a meeting"

    The Organs
    All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was in charge.

    "I should be in charge", said the brain, "because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen".
    "I should be in charge", said the blood, "because I circulate oxygen all over, so without me you'd all waste away".
    "I should be in charge", said the stomach, "because I process food and give all of your energy".
    "I should be in charge" said the legs, "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."
    "I should be in charge" said the eyes, "because I allow the body to see where it goes."
    "I should be in charge", said the rectum, "because I'm responsible for waste removal".

    All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.
    Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly the eyes got watery and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.

    The moral of the story?
    You don't have to be important to be in charge... just an asshole

    Click Here!