Exposure (2002) -- Based on the comments at IMDb, I was expecting a film
shot in South America where they kill several whores, that was either cliche
ridden with a terrible ending, or a good thriller with a great ending
starring Ron Silver, who did his best with the material. Fiction, of course,
is always much more interesting than the truth. This is a mediocre direct to
vid Blockbuster exclusive whodunit with the answer being the "Double Secret
Ron Silver is a freelance photographer in the Portland, Oregon area. His
wife was killed in some South American country while he worked as a war
correspondent. Now, he seems to shoot mostly naked women. He hears a noise
in his boathouse, and finds a naked Susan Pari wrapped in fishnet. Seems she
had a fight with her lawyer boyfriend, and swam ashore nude. Silver gives
her some coffee and loans her some clothes. When she returns them, she sees
some of his photos, and asks if he will shoot her. These come out so well,
she decides she wants to make a living modeling, and Silver lands her (and
himself) a gig shooting a layout, cover and billboard from a new men's
magazine. After the billboards hit the street, she is brutally murdered.
Police suspect Silver, Silver suspects her boyfriend, and we know it is
actually someone else. The killer then takes out the magazine publisher, and
starts going after silver. Silver has several flashback sequences of the
death of his wife.
Susan Pari shows her breasts in multiple scenes, and most of her butt in
the posed billboard, where she is wearing a fishnet. While there was very
little notably good or bad about the film, one element was done perfectly.
For Silver to be working steadily as a fashion photographer, he would have
to be very good, so the modeling scenes had to be special, and they were.
Image one isn't the best from an amount of skin standpoint, but is in the
position of honor because it is an image I wish I had shot. The framing and
balance are perfect, the lighting is also perfect, there are interesting
shadows on the left, and the depth of field has everything in perfect focus.
IMDB readers have this at 4.3 of 10. That might be just a shade low. This
is a low C-, partially because the evil twin reduces the score in any film.
"Tough Guys Don't Dance"
Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987) -- Norman Mailer finished Ancient Evenings, an epic about ancient Egypt, which he had spent years on, and decided to take a year off to recover. After ten months, his publisher, who had been paying him a monthly stipend, ask him where the book he had been working on was. He had two months to write a novel. He chose to set it in Provincetown, as he knew the town like the back of his hands, and cranked out kind of a horror mystery/thriller. He has a fondness for the book, not because it is the equal of his Pulitzer efforts, but because it was so easy to write. While he was cranking it out, it occurred to him that the story was inherently cinematic, and decided to do a screen treatment, which he was finally successful in selling to Golan & Globus. It wasn't that the script was that bad, but he wanted to direct.
The results are interesting. It was a colossal box office failure, only returning $885K against the $5M budget. The awards and nominations at IMDB are worth examining:
Independent spirit nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Feature, Best Supporting Male, and Best Female Lead. Razzie for Worst Director, and nominations for Worst Picture, Screenplay, Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress and New Star. Something clearly doesn't jibe here. I found the film a convoluted thriller with a non-linear time sequence, filled with interesting characters, decent performances, and beautiful photography. It was, however, very uneven, and sometimes confusing. A lengthy making-of with Mailer explains much of this. He cast Ryan O'Neal in this because he had always admired him when they both boxed in the same club. Mailer insisted on keeping a very bad scene in the film, even though everyone told him to lose it. O'Neal was quoted after the film release as saying Mailer was a jerk. Mailer agreed in the featurette that he was, in this case, a jerk.
Mailer goes on to explain casting decisions, which were almost always ones he didn't like at first, explains that the performers brought things to the story that he hadn't even considered, and praises them as perhaps the best ensemble cast of all time.
O'Neal wakes up and hears a noise downstairs. He discovers his father, who is dying of cancer, and whom he hasn't seen in a year, sitting at his kitchen table. We learn that dad, (Laurence Tierney) is a rough and tumble former bartender, and that O'Neal has always felt he didn't measure up to dad's expectations. Dad senses that not all is well with his son, and, in a series of flashbacks, we learn why. O'Neal was living in New York with Isabella Rossellini, hoping to become a writer. He becomes bored, and off they go for a weekend with a "Christian Couple looking for same for a sexy weekend." The man is a minister, and, apparently, hung like a horse, and the woman is a flashy blonde who has managed to turn redneck trash into a sort of class.
The woman, Debra Sandlund, is taken with O'Neal, and tells him she is going to dump the preacher, marry for money, then come looking for O'Neal. He and Rossellini fight on the way home, and have a wreck, where she looses her ability to have children. While she is in the hospital, he is arrested on cocaine charges. He gets out after three years, and Sandlund turns up, rich, and married to an old school chum of O'Neal's, John Bedford Lloyd. Sandlund hires him as a chauffeur, then divorces her husband for the money, and marries O'Neal. They have settled in Provincetown, and Sandlund throws the best parties on the east coast. At one of these, we meet the other major player, Wings Hauser, acting police chief, who knocks on the door in response to a noise complaint. A topless Katrina Marshall answers the door, thinking it is her boyfriend, and gives us a great look at her breasts and buns.
Hauer is married to, of all people, Rossellini, and Sandlund takes off. Women's heads start turning up, and O'Neal and his father have a mystery to solve. Sandlund gives us a brief look at her breasts in an early sex scene, and a much longer look near the end.
IMDb readers have this at 4.9 of 10. Ebert was raight on track at 2 1/2 stars. I suspect the lack of boxoffice was caused more by the amount of thought required to follow the story than anything else. While the film is very badly directed, it is entertaining, and has some very good performances. Provincetown is very photogenic, and the DP took full advantage of that fact. This is a C-, but one you might want to take a look at.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
The Order (2003 - now in theaters)
This film was originally to be called The Sin Eater,
which would have made a lot more sense in two ways:
a. the film is actually about a sin-eater.
b. about two years ago, there was a Jean-Claude
Van Damme movie called The Order.
Unless you are thinking about Jean Claude Van
Damme, in which case you are probably on the wrong web site, I'll
bet you're now thinking, "what the hell is a sin-eater, anyway"?
Fair question. It's another one of those far-fetched "ecclesiastical
horror" concepts based upon some obscure element of dogma or myth.
In this case, the sin-eater premise is about half dogmatic (or
rather it's about misunderstood and misapplied dogma) and half
The Dogma: since the Catholic Church
excommunicates people, and preaches (or has preached in the past)
that eternal salvation is not possible outside the Church, some
people assume that excommunication is equivalent to damnation. If
Catholic teaching is applied correctly and compassionately, that is
not true. While excommunicates are denied salvation and the
sacraments (most importantly the purification rituals of last rites
and confession), there is theoretically no such thing as a state or
place beyond God's forgiveness. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains
it as follows:
Excommunication is not equivalent to
damnation. Excommunications vary in gravity, and in grave
cases readmission may be possible only by action of the Holy
See, but excommunicates are always free to return to the
church on repentance. Excommunication, it must be remembered,
is a medicinal penalty intended, above all, for the correction
of the culprit; therefore his first duty is to solicit pardon
by showing an inclination to obey the orders given him, just
as it is the duty of ecclesiastical authority to receive back
the sinner as soon as he repents and declares himself disposed
to give the required satisfaction.
It is important to remember, however, that dogma
is not always applied correctly. The Catholic Church is an
institution run by men, and those human men make mistakes, sometimes
even commit evil acts of their own. The propensity for abuse was far
greater in the Middle Ages, when the Pope of one all-too-earthly
family might excommunicate a member of a rival family, then
staunchly deny readmission to the Church, no matter what. In such a
case, excommunication would be equivalent to damnation. How, then,
might the excommunicate find a way to heaven, if it could not be
done through the Church, through the sacraments, or even through the
holiest of lives?
Furthermore, the Church has never had an open
policy toward suicide. It is a mortal sin, and it occurs too late
for forgiveness to be applicable, so there doesn't seem to be a way
for a suicide to avoid Hell within the parameters of Catholic
orthodoxy. This sometimes led to desperation among the grieving
family members of one who has committed suicide.
Given these ostensibly redoubtable barriers to
salvation, it stands to reason that folk tales would spring up among
grassroots Catholics about "back doors" to heaven outside the
(Personally, I don't think it would be worth
believing in a God who can be so easily tricked! For all his
unrepentant philandering, Captain Kirk could sneak past such a God
simply by using the Mudd's Robots trick.)
The Myth: among the Celtic peoples, there was a
long-standing custom involving sin-eaters. Nobody knows exactly how
it all started, but the gist of it is that the sin-eater would
attend the final ceremony for the recently deceased, and eat food
that had been touching the dead body. In such a way, the sin-eater
would ceremonially cleanse the last sins from the departed, allowing
his or her soul to proceed directly to heaven. I have read that
the custom still
persists among some of the descendants of Celtic peoples who settled
in the Appalachian Mountains.
You may have heard of it, the custom of sin eating? An old
Celtic tradition that may still happen back in these mountains
... Somebody dies, and a huge meal is laid out, with an extra
portion placed directly on the coffin. The real purists put
the food right on the dead person’s skin and make sure water
and salt are part of the meal. There’s feasting all ‘round,
but all stops when the Sin Eater arrives. He, she, is usually
a person not quite whole in body or in mind, but there’s a job
to be done and a ritual to be consummated. He goes to the
coffin . . . mumbles a prayer . . . and eats. The Sin Eater
symbolically consumes the sins of the dead person, so the
spirit can rest in peace. When he leaves the house of
mourning, there’s one more thing to be done. The Sin Eater
goes to a body of preferably salt water and with all his
energy (her energy) makes a throwing gesture toward the shore:
By the Stones, by the Wind, by the Fire, by the Tree,
From the dead man's sins set me free, set me free!
You gotta do this or the dead person’s sins will stick . .
. to you!
Interestingly, many reference sources say that a virtually
identical ritual was practiced in parts of India, so there is
nothing uniquely Christian about the belief. It's just one of those
instances of folklore becoming custom.
This movie combines the dogma and the myth. The premise is that
the unforgiveable, those who cannot receive salvation through the
Church, must turn to the mythical sin-eaters. In this particular
reworking of the myth, the sin-eater does not necessarily wait until
death. He is called for by the unforgiveable person, usually from
the person's deathbed.
I suppose you can guess that eating all those sins has to have an
impact on the eater as well.
- For one thing, it makes them thirsty. I mean, if you can go
through six beers just from eating some bar peanuts, imagine how
many you could go through if you spent all day eating sins. Not to
mention a box of Ritz Crackers off the bodies of dying guys.
Apparently sin is channeled through the Ritz Crackers, because as
soon as the cracker is lifted from the person's chest, all sorts
of mystical looking strands of spaghetti come pouring from the
soul of the dying man, until they congeal into the form of a
transparent squid. In a pinch, the sin-eater may substitute Andes
Mints, which possess excellent sin-absorbing power, and also do a
good job of killing the taste of the sin. You can always identify
a sin-eater because they're the only ones who take actually their
change in mints at the cash register.
- For another thing, and probably more important, it makes them
immortal unless (1) they can be killed by a special consecrated
knife, or (2) they can find a way to pass their eternal sin-eating
responsibilities on to the first runner up.
The movie begins as Heath Ledger, playing a young priest from a
truly obscure order - they only have three members - finds out that
his mentor has died. Oops. Make that two members. So the two
remaining "Carolingians", Heath Ledger and the fat guy from The Full
Monty, meet in Rome to investigate the death of their beloved
leader. The fat guy is really not any help in this investigation,
since he spends the entire film skulking around, holding a cross in
front of him, mumbling in Aramaic, and constantly spinning around to
make sure that no demons sneak up behind him.
So Heath is sort of on his own.
Heath finds out that the old fella used a sin-eater, presumably
because Carolingians are considered heretics, have thus been
excommunicated, and will not repent because ... well, because
they're right, dammit, and the Church is wrong! How does Heath know
about the sin-eater? They leave behind tell-tale signs, like cracker
crumbs, and silver candy wrappers, and empty cans of that spray-on
Blah ... blah ... yadda ... yadda.
Skip through the set-up , and it all turns out to be a three-way
power struggle among Heath, the immortal sin-eater, and Robocop.
Robocop is now Robocardinal, an evil chain-smoking heretic who seems
likely to become the next Pope - "the warrior pope" as he calls
himself, or Robopope for short. After some evil minions of Robopope
kill the Full Monty guy, Heath's only ally is a woman he once
exorcised, who has only recently been released from a mental
institution. Long gone are the days when people were released from
institutions with a baggy suit and twenty bucks, because this woman
has apparently been released with a designer wardrobe that would
make Jackie Kennedy envious. In fact, she looks so good that Heath
screws her socks off, and we begin to see why those Carolingians are
considered to be heretics by the mainstream Catholics.
The final complication is that the sin-eater is actually not that
bad a guy, is really pretty darned sick of sin-eating, and would
like it very much if Heath would take over his responsibilities for
a few centuries. He tells a few zany anecdotes about the good times
with Caravaggio to illustrate how great immortality can be, but
Heath is not easily persuaded, so all parties must proceed to their
destinies through more circuitous routes.
Based on this description, this is a D. It is boring, windy, and not scary.
When it isn't boring, it is illogical. When neither, it is unintentionally funny. The corporeal
"sins" are the worst CGI ever. The dialogue is cornier than the
Kellogg's factory. The film does, however, sometimes have a
chilling atmosphere and and a special baroque look to it. If you
can give up scary for creepy, you might not find it so bad, but
I just can't recommend it to anybody.
Swimming Pool (2003)
Animal House (1978)
- I updated the
Animal House movie page with some additional comments on the
deleted footage which is NOT on the DVD. Chris Miller's paperback
is called, "The novel from the hit movie", so I assume the extra
material in that book probably matches up pretty closely to the 66
minutes of footage which were deleted between the first screening
and the theatrical release. In three cases, there are stills from
the film which represent scenes or camera angles not seen in the
- one of Belushi holding his dick as he pisses on Flounder's
shoes (too dark to tell what he's actually holding in his right
- one of D-Day reciting "Alas poor Yorick" to a skull
- one of Belushi outsmarting a cafeteria worker (played
by director John Landis)
chatting about The Boost (1988)
Heaven has no rage like love to
Nor hell a fury like a woman
- William Congreve,
"The Mourning Bride"
Tuna talked about this film a couple of days ago. It's the
"drugs suck" movie with Sean Young naked in the swimming pool.
I have no images, and I've never even seen The Boost, which came and went virtually
unnoticed in its theatrical run. Based on Tuna's comments, I have no
plans to see it, but I have certainly read enough
about it, and wanted to note a couple of interesting sidebars.
1. The lawsuit filed against Sean Young by
While the movie itself may not have made a significant
contribution to the history of cinema, its filming was a landmark in
the world of celebrity gossip. James Woods alleged that Sean Young
harassed him after the pair starred in this movie. On the set,
rumors flew of an affair between Woods and Young. That may have
happened, probably did happen, but they both denied it at the time -
Woods was then sharing a home with Sarah Owen. (They have since
married and divorced.) The post-filming plot turns were truly
bizarre. Young pestered Sarah Owen with late night phone calls and
she was said to have arranged for a disfigured baby doll to be left
on the doorstep of the home of Woods and Owen.
You have to think Woods and Young might have been lying about not having an
affair. Young's actions would represent some remarkably psychopathic
behavior if they had never been lovers. In fact, even if she was his jilted
lover, she still had more fury than society, Hell, or even William
Congreve would have expected from a woman scorned. The situation
deteriorated to the point where Woods actually ended up filing a
civil action against Young.
The tabloids competed vigorously to print the charges and
counter-charges between the two stars. In popular mythology, the
1988 Young/Woods situation was compared to the relationship in
'Fatal Attraction', Adrian Lyne's much discussed 1987 film about a
woman who exhibits extreme behavior when cast adrift after an
For years after this film, based upon the Woods affair, her
notoriously difficult behavior on the set of Wall Street, and her
provocative and frank guest appearances on talk shows, Young was
generally considered an unstable pariah by the Hollywood community.
OK, I'm being uncharacteristically circumspect. Most people thought
she was as nutty as a fruitcake, an image which she battles to this
2. Ben Stein
The movie is based on a novel called
"Ludes: A Ballad of the Drug and the Dream".
I was flabbergasted to see that this book was written by
a certain Benjamin J. Stein. Yes, the Ben Stein, the intelligent and avuncular
guy with the comically phlegmatic voice and matching Buster Keaton
face; the host of "Win Ben Stein's Money".
His flat-voiced and soporific economics lecture in Ferris
Bueller's Day Off, punctuated frequently by "Anyone? Anyone?", and "Bueller?"
is familiar to all cinema buffs. Stein was no stranger to that
material. He got his undergraduate degree in economics from
Columbia, and his father, Herbert Stein, was a noted economist and a
senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Stein himself was valedictorian of his class at Yale Law in 1970,
and has actually written sixteen books, "including - how many novels
... anyone? anyone? - seven novels."
See Tuna's images from The Boost in the Tuna Archives
reader's digest - vote for your fave among The 100+ Funniest Films
Pam Anderson had her first orgasm this one time, at band camp.
Well, volleyball camp. But I'm sure she has room for more than a
Compton Unified School District names a school after Bill Clinton.
"Teacher, I never stole homework from that woman". The
groundbreaking ceremony will be done by smashing an ashtray instead
of a Champagne bottle. It gives a whole new meaning to stayin' late
to clap the erasers, or polishin' the teacher's apple. Their sports
teams will be known as the Fightin' Interns. Their football team
refuses to RUSH. Their volleyball team is not the only group that
needs knee pads. Insert your own lines here.
R. Kelly, who gained fame with songs such as 'I Believe I Can Fly,'
now compares himself to Osama bin Laden. Wow - and they say
MADONNA is a genius at self promotion.
Mike Nichols, legendary director of both stage and screen, has
signed on to helm Spamelot, a Broadway musical adaptation of Monty
Python's wacky 1975 cult film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Brooke Berry Playmate of May 2000, free nude Gallery Courtesy of
Don't expect B-Af and J-Lo to revive their wedding plans anytime
soon, pals say.
This "Star Wars Kid" just won't go away. The web geeks love this guy
- here's "A New Hope" They did a great job on this.
archives. May also include newer material than the ones above,
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for inclusion in Other Crap
days left until International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept 19)
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 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.
- Béatrice Dalle the French actress topless, full frontal and in a couple of sex scenes from "37°2 le matin" aka "Betty Blue" (1986). Graphic mentioned in his email that these 'caps are from a rare DVD out of Australia that has several new scenes that are not on the VHS version.
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
'Caps and comments by Oz:
We see a naked Wendy Crewson in Suddenly Naked, showing boobs and body art.
- Wendy Crewson
Vanessa Redgrave is topless in Isadora, not that she's got much to flaunt.
- Vanessa Redgrave
"Turn it up"
She's supposed to be topless but it is obvious Tamala Jones is covering up the goodies.
It's a similar story in The Brothers. No nudity, just sexy shots of Tamala Jones, Kim Porter, Gabrielle Union, Julie Benz, Angelle Brooks, Redena Bivins, Susan Dahlian, Tatyana Ali and some unidentified bikini women.
"Ghost of Mars"
We see Natasha Henstridge is in her underwear in Ghost of Mars.
"Bye Bye, Love"
It the same with Maria Pitillo in Bye Bye, Love.
Again, no nudity by Rebecca Gayheart in Too Smooth.
The topless shots of Noelle Evans in the blood-thirsty movie 15 minutes have appeared before but there some good shots of Charlize Theron and Arina Gasanova.
"Sands of Time"
Sands of Time is a forgettable mini series set in Spain. The only nudity is a brief topless shot of a nun. There are also some sexy views of a woman who could be Kim Weeks. Elizabeth Gracen goes for a swim and shows some see-through nudity.
- Elizabeth Gracen
I think Corky Romano is a SNL sketch that was fleshed out, and it was about as funny. No nudity just sexy shots of Rena Mero (aka Sable), Jennifer Giminez and Vinessa Shaw.
||Kidman topless and showing off one of the best bums ever filmed in scenes from "Eyes Wide Shut".
|Señor Skin 'caps of the busty, 6 foot tall scream queen playing the demanding role of "Bimbo Student" and going topless in scenes from the Leslie Nielsen spoof of "The Exorcist", "Repossessed" (1990).