Mean Streets (1973) was written, produced and directed by Martin Scorsese, and is the film that put him on the map. It is semi-autobiographical, created from memories of growing up in Little Italy in New York. Stars include Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. Keitel plays Charlie, who is a small time hood who does collections and other odd jobs for his uncle, who is a local mafia head. He is close friend and protector to Johnny Boy Cervello (De Niro) who is more than a little crazy, and a compulsive gambler in debt up to his ears. Charlie secretly dates Johnny's cousin Teresa (Amy Robinson), but his uncle doesn't approve because Teresa is epileptic (sick in the brain).
Charlie struggles with the contrast between his Catholicism and the way he makes a living, and tries to be everyone's savior. Johhny won't take his debt seriously, and as the film progresses, we sense that it won't end "happily ever after." There is a lengthy nude scene with Robinson, who only acted in 2 films total, but produced 11 more. Critics are pretty much in agreement that this is a 4 star effort. Even though it is a little rough around the edges, partly because of a low budget ($150,000.00), it shows the emergence of a Scorsese style. This is a must see for the serious filmgoer.
IMDb readers have this at 7.5 of 10, and I frankly can't understand why. Ebert theorizes that the film is really all about living in a state of sin, and finds a great deal of symbolism in the color palettes when we are seeing through Charlie's eyes, vs. when we aren't. In a commentary track, Scorsese doesn't talk at all about symbolism, but rather says that it was his effort to bring the subset of Little Italy that he grew up in to the screen. While I admire many things about the film, I have to say that my interest is more academic. It is simply not a very entertaining story, and the characters are not sympathetic at all. The acting was top notch across the board, and several aspects of the film, from the lighting and photography style to the popular music score were ground breaking, but is not an especially pleasant way to spend two hours.
Scorsese thanks Roger Corman for letting him direct Boxcar Bertha, which gave him a real education into the mechanics of making the best film you could on the cheap. Based on the commentary, the film not only launched his career, but was cathartic for him on some deep personal level. Those who love cinema or have an interest in Scorsese will want to see this film, but I doubt that many will feel entertained when it is over. This is a C+.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
After Hours (1985):
If you're a baseball fan, you know that you can
estimate a team's pennant chances by looking at the guy who bats
third. If the best hitter on the team is Albert Pujols, the team is
not automatically a pennant contender, but it could be. On the other
hand, if you have Abraham Nunez batting third, there isn't any
chance that your team will be in the hunt. I mean no disrespect
against Nunez or the Royals, but the point is that he could not be
batting third on a pennant contender. Most pennant contenders have
three or four hitters (or more) better than the Royals' best. The
Cardinals have at least four hitters who are good enough to be
hitting third in the Royals' lineup. When the Yankees were healthy,
their first seven hitters were all guys who would immediately be
hitting in the three hole if traded to the Royals.
This brings us to the subject of Griffin Dunne. If
you are making a film and Griffin Dunne is your peppy utility
infielder, a guy who can bat eighth and lay down a bunt for the big
hitters, then you may field a winner, but if Dunne is the best man
on the field, your go-to guy for everything, then you're in the
film equivalent of the Kansas City Royals. Dunne has been effective in
small doses as the comical sidekick or the zany neighbor or
something, but he really doesn't have the charisma or the range to
carry a movie.
In After Hours, he delivers a flat, monotonous
performance as a contemporary man trapped in a modern version of a
Kafkasque fantasy. His performance is not necessarily unrealistic.
Perhaps it is very realistic. Most of us are monotonous and
predictable, I suppose, and Dunne stands in our shoes as the
"normal" guy in a surreal world. But realistic, repetitious
mannerisms are not necessarily suited for entertainment films.
Although this film has been much ballyhooed by some
film buffs, I have always struggled to stay awake when watching it.
And when I am awake and involved, I find myself irritated by shrill
performances and illogical character motivations, rather than
charmed by its offbeat allure.
Dunne plays a Manhattan working drone, a word
processing specialist in a publishing operation of some kind. He's
the type of faceless man you could work with for ten years without
learning his name. One evening, he decides to escape his bland
existence by following up on a pick-up opportunity. He meets a girl
in a coffee shop and likes her. She offers a phone number. He
debates about making the call, then screws up his courage picks up
the phone, and eventually agrees to meet her at the artists' loft in
which she is currently crashing.
Life is full of risks. Taking them often results in
disastrous consequences, which is what makes them "risky" in the
first place. His decision to meet her, down in her world, turns out
to be one of those very bad risks. He soon finds out that he can't
connect with her or anything in her world. He tries to walk out of
her life, with limited success. It's pouring, he loses his last
folding money, and he's stuck in SoHo with no money, amid
drugged-out punks, crazy S&M fetishists, lonely women living in the
past, and a crazy woman who drives an ice cream truck. The
neighborhood is also being terrorized by burglars, and the locals
gradually come to believe that Dunne is the one responsible for the
burglaries. He ends up being pursued by a vigilante mob in an ice
cream truck, their hunt punctuated by the familiar Mr Softee tune.
I guess you can probably figure that it's a dark
comedy, and it is a highly respected one, directed by the great
Martin Scorsese in a departure from his usual gritty urban realism.
The film does manage to incorporate Scorsese's usual intensity into
the comic premise, but lacks any real laughter. It is, as I
mentioned earlier, a comedy only in the sense that Kafka's The Trial
is a comedy.
There is a lot of praise for this film at IMDb and
from the reviewers cited at Rotten Tomatoes. Many found it
hilarious. Roger Ebert gave it
four stars. Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time relating
to this threatening kind of comedy premise, and I have a very
limited tolerance for weirdness created just to test the edges of
weirdness. For me, this film is a long, tedious, and sometimes
irritating watch. The attempts at comedy were generally grating. I guess Scorsese meant to get under my skin. If
so, he succeeded, but I didn't like it.
Gia is the HBO biopic about Gia Carangi, a new-wave model who rose
to the top in the late 70s, then descended into a maelstrom of drug
abuse. Angelina Jolie played the lead, back in the days when she was
less famous (and less toned).
Tuna and I have discussed
this in the past, so the reason for bringing it up again is the
unrated DVD. Until this week, the unrated 125 minute version was
available only on VHS, although there was an R-rated 120 minute
version out on DVD. This situation has now been normalized, and it
is now possible to own the unrated version on DVD.
- Angelina Jolie (1,
- Elizabeth Mitchell (1,
- I don't know anything about this movie except that Natalie
Portman plays a stripper.
Here's a capture of Portman in a stripping costume,
Here is the trailer for Closer.
There is a quick
look at her in her costume. (This is where my capture came from.) The rumor mill says she shot a nude
scene for the movie but was unhappy with it, so director Mike
Nichols agreed to cut it. The pussy.
Tina Fey hired to script new comedy.
The trailer for Infernal Affairs. "Infernal Affairs is
a tightly wound Hong Kong thriller which centers on two police
officers - one a gang mole on the force and the other an
undercover cop in the gang - who share the same objectives and who
find their destinies intertwined in this high-octane police
Will the MTV Awards be toned down to conform to post-Tittygate
Hollywood versus a President: new recruits
- This week's movies:
Suspect Zero - 20% positive reviews. "This absurdly
obvious movie doesn’t deserve Ben Kingsley and it certainly
doesn’t deserve to be seen by any of you."
- Thjis week's movies:
Hero - 94% positive. "Using China’s natural beauty as a
palette, Hero boasts a dazzling array of vibrant colors and action
sequences that are as graceful as they are lightning-fast"
- This week's movies:
The Brown Bunny - 58% positive. This is the movie booed
at Cannes, the same one which created the Ebert/Gallo feud. It is
most famous for including an on-screen BJ. James Berardinelli
said, "It's hard to imagine how anyone could appreciate this
movie, with its inane, repetitious, and pause-filled dialogue;
non-existent plot; and stillborn character definition."
- This week's movies:
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid - 0% positive reviews.
"I suppose it could have been worse: it could have been longer."
Comic Lewis Black discusses the Olympics
Scientists pick Top 10 Science Fiction Movies Blade
Runner comes in at #1. I like these movies, although I think Dark
City is better than some of the winners.
Video game gals take it off for Playboy
John Kerry's appearance on the Daily Show
Funny, home-made political posters.
- Weekly World News:
Linguists and proctologists from around the world are stunned by a
Detroit man's unique gift ... he is able to speak fluent French
out of his bum hole. Poo la la!
Basinger and Baldwin are fighting over a blown-up photo "of
undisclosed content". This leads me to suspect that the
undisclosed content may be somewhere between Kim's thighs.
The rock band Queen, fronted by gay icon Freddie Mercury, has
become the first rock act to receive an official seal of approval
JoBlo's Poster Roaster!
Jokesters now the go-to guys for U.S. candidates - Kerry chats
with Jon Stewart
Top 10 Most Ridiculous Black Metal Pics of All Time
Here's a new behind-the-scenes featurette about Hero, an epic
romance which has been compared to Crouching Tiger.
Here's some pre-production footage from Cameron Crowe's new film,
Elizabethtown. "Hours after a ruinous product debut,
suicidal industrial designer Drew Baylor learns of his father's
sudden death. As the only son, Drew must travel to their small
hometown of Elizabethtown, Kentucky to attend to his father's
memorial. On the flight to Kentucky, Drew meets Claire, a
quick-witted flight attendant, who helps him navigate the rough
waters ahead and proves that amazing things happen when you least
expect them. "
The new TV spot for Oliver Stone's Alexander
Here's an MTV exclusive preview for Team America: World Police
The trailer for Enduring Love: "One man's calm,
organized life is thrown off kilter when he becomes the target of
another man's obsession after they both witness a balloning
Ain't that a kick in the head? Syndicated radio talk
show host Tom Leykis, known for belittling callers, urging women
to bare their breasts and other antics, was kicked in the head and
knocked to the ground over some on-the-air remarks, police say.
William Kennedy Smith, the Kennedy clan member who beat charges of
rape in the early 1990s, is facing allegations of sexual assault
The Donald is planning Trump University, an online business
school. I'll bet I could kick their asses in online
The Daily Show looks at the potential dismantling of the CIA.
The Daily Show looks at the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and
finds them neither swift not truthful.
Senator's Wife Reveals Almost All! "Eager to promote
her career as a Hollywood actress, Laurie Coleman, wife of
Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, has authorized the
publication of photos that show her in glamorous, provocative
Here is the trailer for Closer, the film in which Natalie Portman
plays a stripper. There is a quick look at her in her
costume. The rumor mill says she shot a nude scene for the movie
but was unhappy with it, so director Mike Nichols agreed to cut
it. The pussy.
Here is an R-rated trailer for The Boys from County Claire -
including bare breasts and distant bare buns.
Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for Other Crap
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.
Words from Scoop.
.avi's from Shiloh.
.wmv files made by Scoop from Shiloh's .avi's.
NOTE: because of a unique combination of
circumstances with the Windows media player and some substantial
bandwidth theft, we will have to do all of our movie files in zip
format. Left click on the files as you normally would to view a
you get a choice, click on "save", and put it on your hard drive in
the directory of your choice. UnZIP and play from there.
I know this is not especially convenient, but it
allows the film clips to continue. I can protect .zip files from
hot-linking in the same way I can protect still images. For some
reason, if I protect .avis and .wmvs from hot-linking, they will not
play in the Windows media player, and I can't get a satisfactory
work-around. Perhaps I will find a better solution, but for now this
new policy allows you to continue getting the movie clips you want
to see, which is much preferable to my abandoning the clips
Two more all time nudity classics
Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble
with the codecs for these movies:
FYI when I hypercam vids to make the file size smaller I use
DivX MPEG-4 Fast-Motion for the video compressor, then I use
virtualdub to compress the audio. The properties for the
vids says the video codec: DivX Decoder Filter & audio
codec: Morgan Stream Switcher which I'm not familiar with.
When I compress the audio with virtualdub I use MPEG
Layer-3. A friend of mine told me about compressing the
audio about (6) mos. ago. Like I said previously, only been
capping for a year & a half & I'm no expert. Hopefully this
info will help members with the proper codecs for my vids.
When I cap big brother's I use hypercam mostly & sdp &
asfrecorder if the set up allows me. I stopped using
camtasia cause the file sizes were always too big, could
never figure out the process, over my head lol, plus it cost
too much to buy in my opinion.
A reader says:
You mentioned that some users were
having trouble with the videos on your site. There is a tool
designed to determine what codec is needed for a video.
http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ Hope this is useful to you
or your users.
I made the .wmv versions of each video. The codecs for these: Windows Video V8, Windows Audio 9.
The upside of these is that you know the codecs, and they'll play in
the Windows Media Player. The downside is that they are slightly
larger, and slightly lower quality.
- Chloe Hunter bares all in scenes from "Spun". In fact Hunter spends almost the entire film tied spread-eagle to a bed. In the deleted footage, there is even an open leg shot. By they way, as Scoop mentioned in his review, Chloe is the proud owner of the tummy featured on the cover of "American Beauty".
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.
Some assorted odds n' ends from the Ghost today....
- Linda Fiorentino, the husky voiced star of "Men in Black" going topless in one of her first movies, "Gotcha!" (1985).
- Linda Fiorentino zipped .wmvs
- From a little movie we all know and love called "Wild Things"....Denise Richards and Neve Campbell zipped .wmvs. #1 is the 3 way scene, #2 has Neve and Denise making out in the pool.
- Denise Richards getting felt up and talking dirty with Matt Dillon in a scene from the unrated version.
- Zipped .wmvs of long time Fun House favorite Joan Severance in a scene from "Illicit Behavior" (1992). In #1, she is getting seriously groped. In #2 she gets it from behind.
- Joan Severance in her first topless scene. From the Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder comedy, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" (1989).
- Zipped .wmvs of "American Pie" star Shannon Elizabeth showing her original breasts and some excellent thong views as she strips on stage in scenes from "Dish Dogs" (2000).
*Fair Warning* the sound is really loud on these clips, so be careful if you're goofing off at work :-)
|Charlize Theron and Penélope Cruz
|As mentioned yesterday in Other Crap...looks like these two leading ladies will be enoying each other's company in the upcoming film "Head in the Clouds". No news yet on how much skin they show (if any). Look for it in limited release beginning next month.
|Katie's fantastic one and only topless scene (so far). 'Caps from "The Gift" (2000).
|Señor Skin 'caps of the former Heffer (April 2001) showing off her robo-hooters in scenes from "Dorm Daze". Links 1-7 are from the movie, the others feature nudity found in the special features.
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
"FACTS OF LIFE" STAR ENDORSES CHILD ABUSE
Natalie Drank It By The Case - Former "Facts of Life" star Lisa Whelchel is
now an evangelical Christian author whose new book "Creative Correction"
advocates punishing children by putting a "tiny bit" of Tobasco sauce in
their mouths. She says an effective deterrent "has to hurt a little."
But nothing cruel, like forcing them to watch "Facts Of Life" reruns.
This punishment has no effect in Mexico.
You don't wanna know what Mrs. Garrett used to force-feed her.
After the show was canceled, she did a stint as a guard at Abu Ghraib
NEW REALITY SHOWS: BAD SINGERS AND REAL GILLIGANS
Finding The Next Britney - A new reality/talent show is launching in the UK
with the goal of finding singers who can't sing. "Can't Sing Singers" will
follow 48 wannabes for 12 weeks of training with vocal coaches, and the
final four will compete in a sing-off. A BBC spokesman said they're not
trying to find the worst singers in the country, they're just taking
"people who can't sing and turning them into people who can."
"American Idol" only does the first part of that.
Plus, They Have To Eat Bugs - The reality version of "Gilligan's Island" is
already filming at an undisclosed, tropical location. It will feature a
group of real people to personify the sitcom characters of Gilligan, the
Skipper, the millionaire, etc. They have to work together to get off the
Let's hope they can do it faster than the first cast did.
In the reality version, Gilligan is murdered by week two.
A millionaire at an undisclosed location? Mr. Howell is Dick Cheney!
WILL STUDY FOR DONUTS
Junk Food For Thought - Krispy Kreme donut stores in Palm Beach County,
Florida, are helping promote learning by offering students a free donut for
every A on their report cards. Or students can decorate a poster of donuts
with "success sprinkles" when they meet goals, then turn finished posters
in for donuts. But the program isn't a hit with everyone: school board
member Debra Robinson said Krispy Kremes are not a very healthy reward.
She said, "Can't we find something else? I mean, a donut?!"
Threaten to give them Brussels sprouts for every B or lower.
As if smart kids weren't unpopular enough, now they'll be fat, too!
At least they won't get any A's in P.E., because none of them will be
able to climb the rope.
If you want to get more A's, give your teacher a Krispy Kreme instead of
If they'd had this program 30 years ago, Homer Simpson could've gotten
HOOKERS WON'T SIGN UNION CONTRACT
Plus Time-And-A-Half For Kinky Stuff - German prostitutes had a chance to
sign the first-ever sex worker contract created by union officials. It
requires brothels to provide them the same benefits as any other German
employee, including a five day work week, Christmas bonuses, a pension and
six weeks' vacation per year. But only 100 of Germany's 400,000
prostitutes have joined the union, and the rest rejected the contract,
largely because they're too embarrassed to admit what they do for a living.
Also, their pimps take a smaller cut of their pay than the union bosses
do...Plus they're more honest and less violent.
They figure, "Union or no union, either way the worker gets
They really do hate to be referred to as "scab labor," though.
The pension would be nice: they already have forced early retirement.