"Mean Streets"

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+.

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  • Amy Robinson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43)
  • Jeannie Bell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

  • 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 (1998):

    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. 


    Closer (2004):

    • 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, unfortunately pre-stripped.
    • 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.




    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for 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 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 picture. When 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 altogether.


    Two more all time nudity classics






    Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble with the codecs for these movies:

    Shiloh says:

    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. Hope this is useful to you or your users.

    Scoop says:

    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.

    Graphic Response
    • 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.

    Crimson Ghost
    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). (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Linda Fiorentino zipped .wmvs (1, 2)

    • 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. (1, 2)
    • 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. (1, 2)
    • 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). (1, 2)
      *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
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    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 Holmes
    (1, 2, 3)

    Katie's fantastic one and only topless scene (so far). 'Caps from "The Gift" (2000).

    Katie Lohmann
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)

    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
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    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 prison.

    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."

  • Sort of...
  • "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 island.

  • 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!

    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 an apple.
  • If they'd had this program 30 years ago, Homer Simpson could've gotten into Harvard.

    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 screwed."
  • They really do hate to be referred to as "scab labor," though.
  • The pension would be nice: they already have forced early retirement.