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"A Map of the World" (1999)

The ideal project, to me, is one that has lots of clearly lit exposure from a major actress, excellent art direction and photography, good performances, a watchable plot, and makes me think. A Map of the World, which was released yesterday, is an ideal project. The actress is Sigourney Weaver, who shows her lovely breasts often and from every angle, and even the top of her bush briefly in one scene. The art direction and photography are amazing, as you can see from the thumbnail examples. (1, 2, 3) Weaver, in my opinion, gives an Oscar caliber performance, and the other major cast members (Julianne Moore, as her neighbor and best friend, and David Strathairn as her husband) also give outstanding performances. The script and direction call for acting rather than dialogue to convey part of the story, and all three are more than up to the challenge. The DVD transfer is top notch, and there is a nice featurette, but I would have liked feature length commentary on this one.

It is impossible to review this film without writing spoilers, so let me give you a quick idea of the type of film it is. It is a "chick-flick" in that it deals with women's feelings and emotions, and the way women react to each other. It is a character driven drama, although there are some moments of action. It deals with a tragedy. It makes you think, both while watching, and after. For me, it represents everything that is good about Indies, and the directing is a very good effort from first time director Scott Elliott. I give it an 8/10, with the negatives being some of the lighting choices, and some slow portions. If this is your kind of film, skip the rest of the review and go directly to the images.

Sigourney plays Alice Goodwin, who has moved to a farm with her new husband, who has two young daughters from a previous marriage. Her best friend and next door neighbor, Theresa Collins, is the perfect housewife and mother. Alice works at the local school as a nurse, and between work, two rebellious daughters that resent her, a house to keep clean and a husband who works day and night to run the dairy farm, she feels inadequate, and resents Alice a little. The two of them often exchange baby sitting.

Theresa leaves her two with Alice, and her youngest sneaks out of the house and drowns in the pond while Alice is pulling pennies out of the mouth of the other girl. They manage to get the girl to breathe for a few days, but brain activity never returns. After the death, Alice blames herself, and falls into a serious depression. Theresa understands that it is a tragic accident, but still can't bear to be around Alice. Alice's husband buries the dead, and gets back to the farm work.

Suddenly, Alice is arrested, charged with molesting one of the children at school. They can't afford the bail, which is unusually high, because the entire farming community has turned against them (partially because of the drowning) as outsiders. Oddly, Alice wants to stay in jail 'til the trial. As she explains to her lawyer, "Didn't you ever want to run away to a desert island?" She is mistreated by her fellow inmates (most inmates are hard on child molesters) and her husband is going mad with worry, and trying to run a farm and take care of the two daughters. Theresa and her husband return from a trip, and Theresa helps David with the girls and the housework. Things could be better between Theresa and her husband, and Theresa and David become increasingly close. They nearly end up having an affair. Eventually, David sells the farm, auctions all of their belongings, rents an apartment, and bails Alice out.

Alice's attorney is the best in the field, and has nearly won the case, when, in a sudden burst of honesty, Alice admits slapping one child who spat medicine back in her face. We never hear the verdict (first time I have ever seen that in a film with courtroom drama), but as the film ends, Alice, David and the girls are living in Chicago. David works at the Zoo running a dairy exhibit. Alice visits Theresa, who is now pregnant, but in voice over, explains that they go through the motions, but the friendship is now over.

Some of the critics feel that there were too many plot elements for one film, and that the material was only covered superficially. I disagree. Some of the material was covered very subtlety. As an example, after the drowning, Alice lives at the hospital waiting to see if the girl will recover. The local priest walks by her, and enters the pediatric ICU. Alice goes to the window to see what is going on. Everyone is in a circle holding hands around the dying girl as the priest gives Last Rights. The father makes eye contact with Alice, and a look of total hatred comes over his face. All of this is done without a single word of dialogue. In an earlier scene, Alice has arrived at Theresa's house to pick up her girls. She checks the mantle for dust, and finds none. It is at this point that you first see the resentment and feelings of inadequacy. Much of the film is like that...subtle clues, then, much later, more solid evidence.

This film asks a lot of questions, and lets us decide what many of the answers are. One of my measures of a film's effectiveness is how long it makes me think afterwards. This one will be with me for awhile. It is not as emotionally jarring as The War Zone or The Sweet Hereafter, but there is more than enough meat to this story.

  • Thumbnails
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  • Sigourney Weaver (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)

    "Psychopath" (1997)

    Psychopath (1997) is not listed at all in IMDB, and I could find no reviews anywhere. The DVD release was August 29th of this year. It is a suspense thriller staring Madchen Amick as a district attorney who is trying to convict a serial killer who murdered her college room mate. One of the jury members has a girlfriend who is threatening to expose the fact that she did the research he is taking credit for, and tell his wife. He manipulates the jury to acquit, then frames the man for murdering his troublesome girlfriend. I am not surprised this film is unheard of. It should probably stay that way. We know who the killer is in the opening scene, where he murders Karen Elkin, then strips her and poses her in the bathtub.

    Karen has a few credits at IMDB, and appears to be French Canadian. This would fit, as all of the backers were Canadian.

  • Thumbnails

  • Karen Elkin (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Johnny Web
    "Face Down"

    An ex-cop is down on his luck. Tossed off the police force, he's forced to work as a private detective and most of his work involves marital infidelity.

    Devoid of respect for himself or his clients, and heedless of his partner's admonitions to treat the business as a business, he's a man headed nowhere. Until a beautiful and complicated blonde walks in his office with an unbelievable story, one that eventually leads to the death of his partner.

    And, imagine your surprise, everyone in the movie lies to everyone else at all times, everyone is suspected of every crime, including the policemen. Nothing is what it seems to be, or what you are led to believe it is.

    Is it a 1930's movie based on a story by Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett? Nope. It may sound like The Maltese Falcon, but it's a 1997 made-for-cable movie about contemporary events.

    Well, forget the anachronism, because that doesn't really matter. The story is sufficiently modernized to work in the here and now, but heed this advice. Read the summary above and ask yourself honestly how high a tolerance you have for cliches. If the answer is "very little", skip this movie unless you really want to see Kelli Maroney naked. If the answer is "I guess cliches are OK. I'd rather watch a half-baked genre flick with a twisty story than some arty stuff with no plot", then you may find this OK. I was able to watch it all the way through, although I can't recommend it with any enthusiasm.

    I like Joe Mantagna as a character actor, but here he seems to be stretched pretty thin as a leading man, even though he's supposed to be kind of a sleazy one. And the film broke Scoopian Unities number Three and Three A, which are as follows:

    Number Three: don't lead me through the entire movie with clues I can't figure out, then resolve it by having the murderer and the threatened victim turn out to be the same person with multiple personality disorder. If you do this, I'll have to give your script and your home address to Hannibal Lecter.

    Number Three A: and don't try any of that Monkey's Paw Loophole baloney, and try to sneak under the radar of Unity Three by using somebody's Multiple Personality Disorder to frame them because the real killer knows about it. In this case, I will not only tell Dr Lecter about you, but I will recommend that he feed your liver to the remaining living members of the Bee Gees.

    Nudity: Kelli Maroney got dressed on camera in bright light, and was stark naked at one point. Later on, she and Mantagna had a nighttime sex scene, and then a bit later Mantagna rescued her, with her drawers already down, from a rape situation in the ladies room of a downtown club.

    Critical opinions were divided on this flick. The consensus of the few people who saw it was about 1.8 stars out of four.

    IMDB members: scored it 6.0 out of 10, which is not so bad - the equivalent of a two and a half star movie. But Apollo Leisure Guide really ripped it. Apollo scored it only 40, and Apollo readers scored it even lower. Here's Apollo's review.

    Video info from Amazon. It is not on DVD, and may never be.

  • Maroney (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Graphic Response
    Comments and images by GR:

    Three new collages from this classic film.

    Summary: Excellent Film Noir, Superbly acted and well directed
    Night Moves is an underrated Film Noir. Directed by Arthur Penn (Bonnie & Clyde) it is an absolutely outstanding genre piece. Gene Hackman plays an L.A. gumshoe who is hired by a well to do ex-actress to find and bring home her runaway daughter (Melanie Griffith in her first role!). What seems to be routine detective work soon turns out to be a complicated case which finally ends in murder and mayhem. There are some remarkable stunt and underwater sequences, well photographed by Bruce Surtees (Director of Photography of many Clint Eastwood action movies). Not only Melanie Griffith but also another of today's stars, James Woods, gave his screen debut in this film. See it, it is worth the while!

  • Jennifer Warren
  • Melanie Griffith
  • Susan Clark
  • Today's Mystery Find
    Christina Ricci Mr. Skin sent this are the details:
    A movie critic in Sweden scanned this topless image of Christina off of a postcard. To quote Mr. Skin "I think it's legit." Neither Mr. Skin nor I have seen this before. It's hard to tell with such a small scan, but I have my doubts. Her first nude scene for the upcoming movie "Prozac Nation" was such big news, that I assume we would have already seen this. But who knows?
    The Real Ricci Update!

    Within a half an hour of posting today's page, the genuine image was found. So Mr. Skin, I guess we have our answer!
    Special thanks to the Fun House viewer who helped us out!

    Shari Shattuck
    (1, 2)
    A very special thanks to Scorpion for responding to my request for 'caps of Shari from "The Spring". Hopefully these will kinda back up what I meant when I was talking about her a few days ago. Too bad this puppy isn't on DVD, (actually I'm not even sure if it's available on VHS anymore).
    Amber Newman and Lina Romay
    (1, 2)
    From director Jesús are scenes from "Lust for Frankenstein"!
    Lisa Langlois More rare are some topless, and nude posterior views from the Steve Guttenberg 'comedy classic' "The Man Who Wasn't There".

    While looking this one up in the IMDb, I cam across some very disturbing news...Guttenberg wrote, produced, directed, and is starring in a new movie coming out sometime next year called "P.S. Your Cat is Dead". Is "cat" some kind of clever euphemism for his career?

    Julie Wolfe A great topless, B&W scan of the Elite model.
    Tons of variety
    Jessica Alba
    (1, 2)
    More of Jessica from the new Maxim. #1 is the cover, and once again...I played with the image myself a little, and this time I think there is something to see through her shirt!
    Muna Hunt
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    Very sexy scans of the beautiful model from Maxim UK. Mostly lingerie in these, but what a body! Plus #2 and #6 have see-thru nipple exposure!
    Monica Bellucci
    (1, 2, 3)
    New to me topless vidcaps of Monica from the 1991 Italian movie "La Riffa". The quality isn't the greatest but Monica still looks fabulous.
    Alba Parietta
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    Stalkerazzi pics. 1-3 are full frontal. #4 topless only.
    Svetlana Khorkina
    (1, 2)
    According to the email, she is a Russian Gymnast. Looks a little tall to be a gymnast, but that's besides the point, what matters is she looks pretty darn good topless.
    Anne Parillaud
    (1, 2, 3)
    Here's a collection of some nude highlights from Anne's film career.
    #1 is a very young Anne from 1980's "Patricia".
    #2 Fast forwards us 12 years to 1992's "Innocent Blood".
    #3 Gets us closer to the millenium with 1998's abysmally poor "Shattered Image".
    How bad was it You ask?...Well, as if a Baldwin wasn't enough, it one of those really cheesy "Psychological Thriller" with Anne living a double life. Or does the other life only exist in her dreams? I'm sure it violates a Scoopism or two. Not worth watching.
    Bianca from Big Brother Comments from email. Images by The Night:
    Big Brother 2 has been going on for 1 week now over here (The Netherlands) and in that 1 week more things happened then last year in 100 days. Bianca deiced to give her boobs some morning exercise when chopping wood, much to enjoy the cameraman.

    Now why can't we have this kind of fun with the American Big Brother? Actually...for all of the reality fans out there, I was recently asked to be a creative consultant and technical advisor for a new reality based show for American TV that will be a lot more like the Euro versions. (Meaning more skin!) The project leader and the producer have a meeting at Fox today, so I guess we'll see!

    Bridget Fonda and Joanne Whalley Kilmer From the movie "Scandal". Excellent 'caps by Dann. For a full review, check out Johnny Web's comments from the 9/13 edition of the Fun House.
    "Whatever it Takes" Not the teenybopper movie that just came out...Nope. In fact this is something much worse! As if any Don "The Dragon" Wilson movie isn't bad enough, someone decided...let's give him the more demanding role of "Depressed cop on the edge", and team him up with Ford Fairlane! That's right folks, Andrew Dice Clay is the comic relief, and the straight man who keeps his "cop on the edge" partner sane as they bust a steroid operation run by the evil Fred Williamson.
    In these scenes by Dann, we have a lot of no name babes running around topless. (To offset the lack of a real story I supposed.)
    Denise Richards A nice non-nude scan.
    Liz Hurley Leather skirt = very shagadelic baby!
    Lisa Faulkner A paparazzi pic of the UK actress topless at the pool.
    Penélope Cruz Topless at the beach.
    Giulianna Ramirez
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
    Fashion by Blackshine. As always, high quality scans and a good looking model. If you're only looking for exposure, try link #3 for some serious pokies.
    The Funnies by Number 6
    18. HOME BUILT AIRPLANES by John Denver
    17. HOW TO GET TO THE SUPER BOWL by Dan Marino
    16. THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton
    15. THINGS I CAN'T AFFORD by Bill Gates
    14. THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY - by Dennis Rodman
    13. THE WILD YEARS - by Al Gore
    6. ALL THE MEN I'VE LOVED BEFORE - by Ellen DeGeneres
    2. MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS - by O. J. Simpson

    And the World's Number One Shortest book..
    MY BOOK OF MORALS - by Bill Clinton

    Rules for Visiting Texas
    RULE 1:
    Don't order a steak at a Waffle House. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know.
    There are two sub-points to this rule.
    a.Always order the animal whose head is on the wall. Big ol' longhorn, order steak. Giant hog, order ribs. Lobster: order shellfish. Etc
    b. In Texas, the name of the restaurant is designed to assist you in this selection: don't order pasta if it says "Steak House". Don't order kielbasa if it says "Crabshack", Don't order the meal sized salad if it says "BBQ"

    RULE 2:
    Don't laugh at folks' names. Merleen, Bodie, Luther Ray, Tommie Jo, Johnny Bob, Mari Beth, Marva, Edna Earl, and Inez have been known to whip a man's ass for less than that.

    RULE 3:
    Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda; this can lead to a beating. Down here you either order a generic "coke" (which translates to either Coke, Pepsi, or whatever) or you specify and order a Dr. Pepper!

    RULE 4:
    Texas women don't fancy the smart mouth Yankees. Just remember, they all have Big brothers and Bigger daddies.

    RULE 5:
    Don't show allegiances to any college football team other than the Longhorns or the Aggies. All the others are a bunch of candy asses who play Wyoming every week.

    RULE 6:
    Don't call us a bunch of hillbillies. First of all...there are no hills. Second, most of us are well educated (and a whole lot nicer to boot). Third, we are not Southerners. We're Texans.

    RULE 7:
    We are not Southerners. We're Texans.

    RULE 8:
    Yes, we know it's hot and the humidity is high; just quit complaining, spend your money, and go home.

    RULE 9:
    No, the state symbol of Texas is not the orange and white highway barrel. This road construction is ticking us off too.

    RULE 10:
    Don't try to talk with our accent if you don't have one, and don't try to use regional idioms you can't possibly understand. Doing so can quickly lead to a boot ending up somewhere it doesn't belong.

    RULE 11:
    Don't be telling everybody how much better it was back home. We're not going to change to make you happy. So if you don't like it here, Delta is ready when you are!

    RULE 12:
    Down here, "Kiss my butt" is a perfectly acceptable way to close an argument. You can't get more closure than that.

    Rule 13:
    Take your hat off when you say the words "Tom Landry."

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