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"Dish Dogs" (1998)

Dish Dogs is a romantic comedy/coming of age/road trip/buddy/surfer/philosophical drama movie. If this sounds to you like way too many genres to mangle into one film, you are clearly brighter than the director. Not only does the film have this severe identity crises, but it also has poor acting from most of the principles. The comedy elements fall flat, it features Brian Dennehy in a spray-on wet suite as a retro hippie guru, and it is full of cliches, such as the stripper who is really a wonderful, wholesome, intelligent girl who just needs the money (Shannon Elizabeth). The final scene featured one of the worst songs ever written, performed as a wedding present by Matthew Lillard, who not only can't sing, but should probably not be allowed to even listen to music.

Two friends have graduated from college with degrees in business, and take jobs as dishwashers (Dish Dogs), not because that is all a BA in business is good for, but because they want to become great philosophers and have their Epiphany. When one of their friends gets married, Morgan (Sean Astin) meets Shannon at the bachelor party and is attracted to her, and Jason (Matthew Lillard) gets back together with his old girlfriend (Maitland Ward) at the reception. Thus the conflict in the film ... philosophy or sex. Guess which wins.

Some of the supporting performances were very good, the production values were there, and there was some good scenery and art direction. To me, the failure was that the director didn't figure out what he was trying to say. The first 12 images come from arguably the best scene, where Shannon drags Morgan into the changing room and makes him help her try on and select bras. Unfortunately, it was cut from the released version. Thank god for deleted scene features. I suspect the scene had to go to avoid the deadly NC-17 rating, and wonder how much other exposure met the same fate. This one is not worth renting.

  • Thumbnails

  • Shannon Elizabeth (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)

    "The Craft" (1996)

    The Craft is another teenaged witch story, but a very good one. It stars Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True as the witches. All four gave top notch performances. It is in the area of art direction, special effects and lighting where this film really shines. Although there is no real exposure, the images were just too nice not to do something with. We have pretty good pokies in the first three.

    A new girl starts her first day at a Catholic High School, and becomes acquainted with three self-styled witches. After a rocky start, they become fast friends, and accept the newcomer into the coven. Their powers suddenly become real. Seems the newcomer is a natural witch, and the daughter of a witch. Soon, the coven begins to split over the question of doing good or evil with the power. It is not a bad watch from a plot and acting standpoint, although probably aimed for a teenaged audience. It is very much eye candy if you do watch it. Maltin liked it, and it has an overall rating of 6/10 at IMDB. Ebert would have preferred more humor and less horror.

  • Thumbnails

  • The Craft (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  • Johnny Web
    "Candyman" (1992)

    Candyman was skillfully adapted into an American Urban Legend, from a short story by Clive Barker which was originally about a superstition held by working class families in Liverpool. Barker himself took the role of executive producer, so the metamorphosis was done with his consent and co-operation.

    It's a good movie, with a lush big-budget "look and feel" and an excellent cast. A-list actors and direction made it a scary movie that is actually scary, for several reasons:

    1. The director makes excellent use of the sudden surprises and jump cuts so popular in this genre. It is common practice to deprecate their use, but I like 'em when they are done well.

    2. The Urban legend itself is scary. Stand in front of a mirror and repeat his name five times. I guarantee if you were a kid or somebody likely to believe in the preternatural, and somebody spun this tale for you as if it were true, and there were real murders in your neighborhood that people attributed to this mythical dude, that you would be scared to do the ritual. Oh, maybe you'd do it, but don't tell me you wouldn't be apprehensive and chilled before saying that fifth "Candyman".

    3. The bogeyman himself is played by a powerful screen presence (Tony Todd) who is simultaneously chilling and romantic, and not at all completely unsympathetic. After all, he is a man who loved honestly and zealously in his lifetime, and who was unfairly tortured and killed for it.

    4. The story leaves open the possibility that the scientific researcher really is the real murderer, and is subconsciously using the Candyman legend to bury the guilt. (Remember we saw her hit someone with a meat-cleaver, and the police caught her, after all, with the cleaver in her hand, about to descend on a woman. Furthermore, the police evidence videotapes never support her versions of the stories.)

    In fact, in a logical world, the world of the police investigators, Helen must have committed the crimes. In her meeting with Candyman, he says that people are starting to doubt him, so he has to do some new killings. Oh, really? Well, if that's the case, why would he make it look like Helen committed the crimes? That would make Candyman seem even less credible, not more credible. If Candydude committed the crimes, he'd want everyone to be very clear on that point. Nobody will be afraid of Candydude if they know Helen really committed the murders and is under secure lock and key.

    Not to mention the baby thing. Helen was in the prison hospital for 30 days while the baby was missing. Of course, the baby thing is a major plot loophole. If Candydude isn't real, then who took care of the baby for 30 days while Madsen was incarcerated? Then Candydude must be real, but during that time, do you expect me to believe that Candydude was changing the baby's diapers and giving him his 4 A.M. feeding? Say what? He pops into an all-night Eckerd's for pampers and formula? We know he couldn't have killed the clerks while Madsen was locked up, because the emergence of the real killer would have exonerated her. So he paid for the stuff. How does he reach into his pocket to get his wallet? How does he earn money? Anyway, he shows this loving kindness toward the baby for a month, but is perfectly willing to let him die in the closing bonfire? Come, now.

    Anyway, the ambiguity makes the film special, because it leaves the impression that the entire thing could have been a product of her warped mind. After all, none of this happened until the other professor filled in the details of the Candyman legend for her. Only then did she start thinking about the hook and the bees.

    And I never did see why he's the Candyman. Is he named after a Sammy Davis, Jr song? Shouldn't he be the Hookdude, or the Beeguy or something?

    The film was a moderate success, with a $26 million domestic gross generated by a moderate budget. It has generated two sequels so far, the latter of which went straight-to-vid.

    IMDB summary: 6.2 out of 10.

    DVD info from Amazon. The DVD has no special features except the theatrical trailer, but the basics are excellent. The picture quality is excellent, and the disc includes both a standard version and a 1.85-1 widescreen version. There was no cheapie version produced. Both versions are clear and newly mastered from an original print. See the side-by-side comparisons elsewhere on this page.

    Book info from Amazon. This link leads you to a page of information about "The Essential Clive Barker", an analysis of his work assembled by Barker and Armistead Maupin, around thirteen themes including the complete text of "The Forbidden", the story which forms the basis for "Candyman". There are some other complete stories, and excerpts from several more works.

    Additional video info from Amazon. Clive Barker himself directed an earlier (1973) adaptation of "The Forbidden". That short film is included on a video tape which also includes "Salome" (another story), and an interview with Barker.

    Side-by-side version comparisons. The standard version shows about 6% more on the top and 6% more on the bottom than the widescreen. The widescreen version shows about 11% more on the right, and 11% more on the left. These variations did not affect the nudity in any significant way.

  • Virginia Madsen (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Lowery
  • Version Comparison (1, 2)

    Follow up: "Foxfire"

    I promised I'd follow up on this. I wondered how Foxfire ended up to be a movie so good and so bad at the same time.

    I did actually read "Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang" by Joyce Carol Oates. It is an excellent book, except for a short epilogue which lacked credibility. (Years later, someone saw Legs in a newspaper picture of a crowd of Cuban revolutionaries)

    And it makes perfect sense in a perfectly realistic context. Unlike the movie, the girls didn't live in an abandoned house in upstate New York during the school term (b-r-r-r), and Legs didn't emerge out of nowhere like The Man With No Name, and the boys didn't blindly come to the defense of the child molesting teacher, and Legs wasn't released from Juvie because a girl recanted her testimony.

    That was all Hollywoodizing.

    Legs was a girl who grew up with the others, they all lived at home with their mommies and daddies at first. Late in the gang's existence, the girls got their own house, but they made a regular old rental deal, and they paid the bills with criminal activities. Legs got out of the Big House only after she served her time.

    The casting of Hedy Burress and Angelina Jolie was just inspired, and they could have breathed greatness into the original story, if anybody had decided to stick with it. I suppose they decided that the novel's setting was too uncommercial. Shame.

    Oates was born in 1938, and the story begins in 1952, so she used a completely realistic backdrop - she really was a 14 year old girl at the time, and she was writing about an era and a subculture that she knew well. The story takes place in a fictional town near the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. Oates went to college at Syracuse (she was valedictorian), and she knows the upstate area well.

    I don't know if I recommend that you read it. It's a serious literary book - the POV is a grown woman looking back on her teenage diaries, and the actual diaries form the basis of the story.

    So it isn't a light and breezy read, but it is excellent craftsmanship, and comprehension isn't that elusive (there are no confusing devices like non-linear chronology), if you have a more literary bent. I liked it a lot.

    Book info from Amazon. Anyway, here's the link to the paperback version.

    Election Humor

    In his ongoing pursuit of female voters, including the humiliating nadir of an Oprah appearance, Al Gore announced yesterday that he would go the extra mile and actually become a woman.

    His handlers are now scheduling his sex change operation.

    Spokespersons for the Gore camp theorized that Gore would now get more votes from women, and would also be able to convert his new gender into better appeal with male voters as well, since the latter are now suddenly interested in watching all that public affection with Tipper.

  • Brainscan
    Elina Kantza
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Constantina Popi

    Lisa Rogers

    Comments by Brainscan:
    Still no Kate Moss, but I know you will find a way to carry on. We have, instead, a couple of Greek goddesses and a follow up to a Brit babe post. One Athenian is Constantina Popi, former blonde movie star, currently brunette movie star. The scan was from the cover of Max, and here I must protest scanner abuse. You magazine publishers, listen up. Put your damn print wherever you want on the cover EXCEPT on the babe! Got it? Second Greek honey is Elina Kantza, who I am lead to believe is the hostess for an exercise show that is more than the usual fare. Elina is said to be a cross between Kianna Thom and Kathie Lee Gifford. Her scans also came from Max. Up to the first trip to Athens I thought all Greek women looked like Zorba (too many war movies in my youth, I guess) but fellas, let me tell you Athens is crawling with women who look like these two. Another country I couldn't live, or at least work, in.

    The British starlet is Lisa Rogers, in another pic from the same batch I sent in last week.

    Nele Mueller-Stöfen
    (1, 2)
    Lots of German celebs today...First here are topless 'caps from two German movies. In #1 I believe I hear Austin Powers screaming "It's a man, baby!" in the background.
    Maria Furtwengler
    Ina Weisse Topless scenes from "Liebestod"
    Aglaia Szyszkowitz Showing off her gravity defying breasts in these 'caps from "Buddies - Leben auf der Überholspur".
    Anja Nejarri Very nice topless images.
    Christiane Paul Topless scenes from "Workaholic"
    Jessica Schwarz Yup, you guessed it, another German babe going topless. My only complaint is that I have no idea who any of these ladies are. But that shouldn't stop you from taking a peek.
    Amanda Peet

    Drew Barrymore

    Jessica Alba

    Leelee Sobieski

    Svetlana Khorkina
    (1, 2)

    Comments By Snowblind:
    Well, I gotta mixed bag of nuts for ya today. First of is a cap of Amanda Peet in "The Whole Nine Yards". Funny thing is I have never seen the movie heh. But I got a buddy who caps a lot of stuff for a different reason, he goes by the name Jeweller, I have posted out combined efforts a few times on the board. He sends me all his raw caps, I still have 100's of mb's to dig through, but this one I went at right away, more out of boredom than anything. Next of is Barrymore, Alba, and Sobieski from Never Been Kissed, I was amazed that it wasn't more widely capped, these come from my first viewing of the movie, there are a lot of tight clothes shots in it. So I figured I'd give it a go. Next up is Svetlana Khorkina, I have had some what of a fetish for her, for a long time, don't ask me why, I just do heh. The first scan is from a local TV Guide kinda thing, I was pretty blown away by the nice wedgy shot they ran heh. Second are some pokies from the Olympic coverage this morning. I was scanning through the channels and heard a blurb about the Russian Gymnastics qualifying up next and had to hold up real quick and see if I could grab a few caps of her. I have a lot more from the scene, but these are the only ones I have bothered with yet. You may remember her as the Russian Gold Medallist who posed in Russian Bunny Mag (I actually paid almost $50 for that issue a couple months ago). It was sort of a big scandal around the sports world, but the Russian Government was fully behind her, I remember reading that the Big Dog at the time (I don't remember which one, I think it was Gorby's replacement) said that he was very proud of her and that, that type of thing was the kick in the ass the world needed from the Russians (I guess to try to portray that they aren't sticks in the mud or something).
    Drew Barrymore These first 17 are part two of Blackshine's latest B&W collection of images. Not a lot of nudity, but all of Blackshine's usual superb quality.
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Kristen McMenamy
    Linda Evangelista
    Linda Evangelista
    Lola Schnabel
    Magdelena Wrobel
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    Naomi Campbell
    Renata Maciel
    Renata Maciel
    Shirley Mallmann
    Stella and Lola Schnabel
    Stella Schnabel
    Susan Sarandon
    Talisa Soto
    Vivien Solari
    Linda Nyvltova
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    Franziska Knuppe
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    and ...
    Heidi Lenhart
    (1, 2, 3)
    From "Red Meat". I have no info on this movie at all. It's listed in the IMDb, but no reviews that I could find. As for Heidi...from the looks of her filmography, let's just say that she doesn't need to worry about an acceptance speech any time soon. Moving on to the important stuff...just about everything is visible in these 'caps except for pubes.
    Anna Karin Nice topless images of Anna from "Red Meat". So far, Anna's biggest role to date was playing the "Snapple Girl" in "EDtv".
    Jennifer Grey Also from "Red Meat". No nudity from the Dirty Dancing star, but there are some excellent pokies and underwear images.
    Lara Belmont
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    More images from "The War Zone". Tuna was absolutely moved by this movie, look for his review and more images in the 9/16 edition.
    Aisling O'Sullivan One more from "The War Zone"
    Rachel Leigh Cook
    (1, 2, 3)
    Three fashion scans of the young actress by StopMotion. Personally I don't see why she's popular. Sure, the "Brain on Drugs" commercial was ok, but none of her other work has impressed me. I guess I'll have to wait and see how she does in the upcoming "Josie and the Pussycats" movie!
    Caroline Key Johnson
    (1, 2)
    One of the many ladies of late night cable. These nudes scenes from "Sexual Matrix".
    Leah Remini Presenting at the Latin Grammy Awards. Proving once and for all that there is an awards show on TV every 3 days! My favorite awards show by far is the "Homage Awards". A creation from "Mr. Show with Bob and David". The Homage Awards recognize excellence in music. More specifically, music by white guys who act like they're straight outta da hood. Such as Vanilla Ice and of course the legendary Three Times One Minus One. Thanks to Raja for the 'caps.
    Neve Campbell Comments by Raja:
    Neve from the movie Panic. Never heard of it before I saw it on Cinemax yesterday. One of those movies that SHOULD have plenty of nudity but doesn't.
    When Neve takes off her shirt to flash someone....Nothing.
    When she lies down to have sex with someone....Cut to new scene. Still, it was an interesting movie. Just would've been better if we had seen some more of Neve!

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