"His Tale, Her Tale"

His Tale, Her Tale is the fifth episode of the short lived Cinemax series Pleasure Zone. The series is a matchmaking Website run by a woman named Serena, and, based on two episodes, they have a predictable formula. They open with the two leads having sex. Then they take a short break for a plot point or two, and the two leads have sex again. Then the lead guy has sex with someone else, and, finally, the two leads have sex again. Even given the very short amount of screen time given to plot, the require astronomically unlikely coincidences for this one, not once, but twice.

After the opening sex scene, we see Catalina and her boyfriend (Morgan Daniel) having friends over to watch a game. Catalina is telling the woman how the two got together in the kitchen, while Daniel is telling the other guy his version of the same story. Usually, when I hear two sides of a story, I have some idea where the truth lies, but not in this case. At any rate, Daniel was to meet his computer date at a bar, and the only thing he knows about her is that they attended the same Florida college. Although we never learn what sate they are in, we know it isn't Florida. He spies Catalina wearing a Florida Gator hat, assumes she is his date, and they end up together. Meanwhile, his real date shows up with the same Florida Gator hat. So, three people in the same bar at the same time with the same college baseball cap from another state? Anyway, Serena makes a second date for Daniel and Seana Ryan. They are to meet for lunch in a French restaurant. Daniel intends to have the lunch and get rid of her, until he sees ... may I have the envelope please ... Catalina eating in the same restaurant with another guy. He takes Ryan home, and Catalina catches him. Of course, they must get back together for the ending sex scene.

These are almost certainly digital video, and don't use the tricky camera work, lighting, and transition effects that mar many softcore films. In this case, Catalina shows everything, while Ryan only shows breasts and buns. Those who enjoy this stuff, which is kind of couples erotica, aren't really looking for plot anyway, so I suppose this is a C.

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  • Catalina (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, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50)

  • Seana Ryan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Cabin Fever (2002 or 2003)

    Cabin Fever was the hottest property at the Toronto Film festival in 2002. Several studios got into a bidding war, which Lions Gate won with a deal that was said to involve high seven figures for the film rights, plus a commitment to at least low eight figures on the marketing and promotional end.

    It's a horror movie of a fairly traditional kind. Five college kids, consisting of the usual suspects, head out to a remote cabin in the woods to chill out before they have to face life. They have the usual foreboding experiences with the locals, who seem to be leftovers from the cast of Deliverance.

    Things progress quietly until the kids encounter a hermit covered with pustules, obviously the victim of some new and horrible viral disease. The first encounter of the hermit with the entire group of kids gives us our first strong indication that this is not a movie about real people, but about movie characters. In real life, if someone comes to your door and says, "I'm hurt, I need a ride to the doctor", you say, "OK, but you may be infectious, so just don't touch anything here, and climb into the open flatbed of our vehicle. We'll get you to town. These kids don't behave like that because they must know they are in a horror movie. They recoil in horror, close the door on the poor sap, and eventually end up shooting him, beating him, and setting him on fire. The kids do not unanimously agree on this course of action, but that's what they end up doing.

    The infected guy tries to douse the fire by jumping into the reservoir, thus poisoning the water supply. Plague ensues. The locals turn on the kids, the kids turn on one another, things get ugly.

    Critical reaction has been generally favorable, but not without dissents:

    • The critics who love the horror genre have really taken this one to heart, so it must be a C+ on our scale - good fare for genre fans.
    • Mainstream critics most typically said that it's an OK 70s or 80s style horror movie, but nothing special. Ebert said one and a half stars, Gleibermann said C+, no review from James Berardinelli. I had about the same reaction, although I thought it above average in one way: the widescreen cinematography was often very effective.

    Nudity report:

    • Cerina Vincent. She also played the exchange student in Not Another Teen Movie, in which she was constantly naked. She got topless a lot in this movie as well. She looked great. (1, 2, 3)
    • Jordan Ladd: bikini and braless views (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)


    La Curée  (1966)

    La Curée (aka The Game is Over) is one of those shallow Roger Vadim movies from the 60s in which he tries to make his then-new wife (Jane Fonda) act and look like his old wife (Brigitte Bardot).

    The basic story isn't bad at all, although it should be pretty good since it was written by Emile Zola. Vadim took Zola's second Rougon-Macquart volume and transposed the story to the 1960s, weighing it down with a lot of trendy 60s baggage that must have seamed like High Style at the time, but seems like High Camp today. The set design looks like it might have been done by Peter Max, and there is sitar music in the background score. One of the main characters is actually studying Chinese. Ah, the cultural enlightenment of the 60s!


    Fonda plays a beautiful trophy wife who is living in an elegant Parisian mansion, enjoying her husband's money and her stepson's dick. She thinks that she may be able to swing away with the money and the stepson, thus cutting the old fella out of the picture, but her husband is no fool. He earned his fortune with a brilliant, scheming mind. He deduces Fonda's relationship with his son, and out-guesses her plan. He first cuts her off from her half of their money by making her believe that everything is tied up in his businesses. He offers her a choice - wait a couple years and double or triple her investment, or leave now with nothing. She chooses to leave. Then, by pretending to be on the brink of ruin and in desperate need of his son's help, the father maneuvers his son into an engagement with the daughter of an investor.

    Voila! Fonda is divorced without a penny of her own, and is also cut off from the son's share of the fortune. Game over.

    The morality of the story is actually quite complex. Although the father was a scheming industrialist, he gave Fonda two chances to make amends. When he first discovered her infidelity, he said nothing, but tried to reignite her passion for himself. Fonda slept with him a couple times, but she then asked for a divorce, and never told him the truth, or offered even a shaky pretext for her request. Failing that ploy, the industrialist offered Fonda a chance to triple her money if she'd simply wait a few years before divorcing, all the while being able to continue her elegant life-style. Once again, she refused his offer, thinking she would get the son immediately. Only after offering these two chances, and finding her neither co-operative nor forthcoming, did he destroy her completely. In a sense, she was destroyed by her own lies and greed.

    It might have been a brilliant little movie filled with scathing humor if the project had been placed in the hands of a top filmmaker, but under Vadim's clumsy direction it is nothing more than a bagatelle. Vadim is the French John Derek, a man who seduced many beautiful women, married a bunch of them, and placed them in many films, but never really made anything worth watching. (Vadim had a child by DeNeuve, as well as marriages to Fonda, Bardot, and two others. He had children with at least four different women). In 48 years of filmmaking (1950-97), he was unable to create a single film rated higher than 6.2 at IMDb. Here are the twelve that are remembered by enough people to earn a score in the database:

    Vadim wastes the first half of the film on Fonda's non-nude nude scenes - teasing the viewer with devices like having her pass behind a screen at the exact instant she drops her towel, or having her dance behind a gauze curtain while wrapped in another gauze curtain, this maker her naked on camera with absolutely nothing visible tot the audience. One begins to wonder if Fonda actually had any nipples. Vadim even goes so far as to shoot a sex scene with Fonda and her lover in which the camera is pointed not at the lovers, but at their reflection in a conveniently juxtaposed distorting mirror - the kind used in a carnival fun house. And this is not a fleeting image. The mirror loving is embraced by the camera, turning the lens, hence the viewer's eye, into a kaleidoscope. (Talk about 60s!)

    The second half of the film is better, but that is not because of Vadim's direction, which actually gets worse. Between every scene and the next, he inserts a picture of a shifting liquid image like a lava lamp, backed by sitar music! The reason the second half is watchable is because the story is Zola's, and the photography is Claude Renoir's. The respected cinematographer Renoir is the nephew of the great filmmaker Jean Renoir, and the grandson of THE Renoir, the impressionist painter.

    Based on this description, this is a C-. It is a watchable movie because of an excellent basic story and some beautiful color cinematography. The faddish direction, enslaved to 60s chic, kept it from being a better film.





    For what it's worth, Adrienne Barbeau has a partial nude scene in this week's episode of HBO's "Carnivale." She's about 58, and it's a
    medium-shot, but it's pretty good. And give her balls for doing nudity at her "advanced" age, but if she still looks good, why not?







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    Here 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.

    A New Contributor
    'Caps and comments by The Crimson Ghost:

    In homage to my favorite of the old Republic Pictures serials you can credit me as The Crimson Ghost ("The world shudders before this atomic maniac").

    • Three ladies from two Chuck Norris movies.  

      • Karen Carlson (whom readers may remember from Student Nurses) is protected from ninjas by Mr. Norris in the Octagon (1980). 

      • Toni Kalem canoodles with Mr. Norris in Silent Rage

      • Lillette Zoe Raley taunts Stephen Furst (Flounder from Animal House) in Silent Rage (1982).


    • Some non-nudes of Pamela Hensley from Buck Rogers In The 25th Century. (1, 2)

    Milla Jovovich
    (1, 2, 3)

    Milla shows fantastic rear nudity plus brief breast and bush views in scenes from "The House on Turk Street" aka "No Good Deed". This movie played in very limited release here in the states for about 3 days. But even with Sam Jackson and Milla in leading roles, the movie only brought in about $130,000 at the box office. Oddly enough, the US theatrical release was only after it had been released on DVD in Europe.

    Clea Duvall

    Sheeri Rappaport
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Scenes from the 1996 movie "Little Witches". Rappaport shows off her very lovely breasts, and also shows some rear nudity. Duvall shows reveals her bum, and will hopefully spend time in the gym before she does it again.

    Kate Beckinsale The sexy Brit looking great on a Euro-talk show. Somehow, her new movie "Underworld" was the #1 movie at the Box Office this past weekend. My theory...when you spend $20 million on the marketing, and it's the only release of the week, being #1 is easy.

    Vaness Marcil From last night's series premiere of the new NBC show "Las Vegas". Vansessa (my one true celebrity love) looked amazing of course. Now about the show....

    The pluses:

  • A very strong cast (the only weak link is model turned "actress", Molly Sims).
  • Gorgeous women!
  • Las Vegas...a crazy town with endless story possibilies.

    The minues:

  • Almost endless voice overs by the leading young dude.
  • Way too many scenes with characters talking on cell phone calls! Plus, if you've ever been to Vegas, you know that cell phones don't work inside casinos!
  • Uggh...some of the dialogue was the worst crap I have ever heard! Instead of 'Must See TV' it was more like 'don't rent staight-to-vid'.
  • The writing is uneven. Some scenes were decent prime-time TV drama, and others were more like day time soap drama. However it was only the pilot episode so it's bound to get better.
  • The underlying theme of "the behind the scenes lives of a Hotel/Casino security team" might be a limitation. They did send the main young dude out of the hotel, but his access around Vegas is extremely implausible. If this dude really has the juice to get around town this easily, he would have to be a much bigger player than assistant chief of security.

    So far...it's no "C.S.I".

  • Jennifer Garner
    Christina Applegate

    A few more 'caps from Sunday night's Emmys.

    Amanda Donohoe
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

    The English actress bares all 3 B's in the extremely odd Ken Russell movie, "The Lair of the White Worm" (1988). 'Caps by the Skin-man.

    Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Doctor Of Thinkology - A Discovery Channel camera crew got the first-ever footage of a shark attacking a human being. Dr. Erich Ritter had convinced himself that he understood shark body language and that yoga breathing exercises would lower his heart rate and convince sharks that he was not prey. To prove it, he waded bare-legged into a group of sharks as cameras filmed above and under water. He was badly bitten and spent six weeks in the hospital. The film will air next Sunday.

  • On "America's Funniest Home Videos."
  • His heart rate almost got REALLY lowered.
  • The sharks understood his body language to mean, "I'm an idiot! Eat me!"

    And 10,000 Toasters - There are reports that Jennifer Lopez is still hoping Ben Affleck will change his mind and marry her. But other sources say an upcoming meeting is not to discuss reconciling, but to decide how to split up the enormous amount of stuff they own together. For instance, they bought a $27 million mansion in Georgia. Director Kevin Smith gave them a custom "Jen Saves Ben" video arcade game. Ben gave J-Lo a 6.2-carat pink diamond ring, an 18-carat diamond bracelet, a Bentley, a Rolls and a Ferrari. And she gave him a '66 Impala, an Astin-Martin, a $30,000 watch, and nude photos of herself taken by Herb Ritts.

  • That's the only thing they'll be fighting over.
  • Those photos should go into the public domain, to pay us back for "Gigli" and all the other annoying crap we've had to endure.
  • If the economy is picking up, we have Ben and J-Lo to thank.
  • As Ben said when he first saw J-Lo, "That's a lot of booty."
  • And to think: divorce lawyers could've had it all!
  • It's possible Ben might decide to marry her after all...Science has yet to determine just how dumb Ben Affeck is.

    Witchy Woman - Stevie Nicks said Madonna kissing Britney Spears on the MTV Video Awards was "the most obnoxious moment in television history." Nicks said a performer's real sexuality comes from her music and maintaining some mystery, but all the videos on MTV just look like a strip club. She said if Britney, Christina and their ilk want to last, they should put on some clothes and try writing decent songs. She also added that, all else aside, "Madonna is too old to be kissing someone who is 22."

  • It was like watching someone get a kiss from a great aunt who can't keep her tongue in her mouth.
  • Stevie needs to have a talk with Demi Moore, too.
  • But there IS mystery on MTV! Nobody knows exactly how long Christina Aguilera goes without bathing.
  • Say, didn't Stevie let Destiny's Child turn "Edge of Seventeen" into "Bootylicious"?