"The Secret Cellar"
The Secret Cellar (2003) day two. The story concerns Kennedy Johnston, who has inherited a haunted house from her aunt, her boyfriend, another couple (Cecelia Simon and her boyfriend), and another guy, who have come to the house to fix it up to sell. Johnston's boyfriend has promised everyone a party. At this point, I smelled predictability, and was mistaken. Yes, the ghosts do create the horror, and not everyone survives, but people don't die immediately after having sex, no woman screams, trips, then dies, and it takes a while before we realize who is real, who is good and bad, etc. Ananda Saint James and Christina Baby both play sexy ghosts.
It is the rare soft-core that is serious at all about plot, and most of them have way to much footage of boring simulated sex, complete with fancy fades and weird lighting. In this case, though the sex scenes occupied most of the 96 minute running time, they never became boring. There was enough character development among the main characters that I became involved with their struggle. I applaud director Quinn for making what is in my top ten list of soft-core films.
This is one hell of an effort, especially given the time and budget constraints. The physical locations were good, the plot was better than many soft-core efforts, all of the players could deliver lines, The special effects were not terrible and the sex scenes sizzled. For God sake, somebody give this man a real budget and realistic schedule, and let's see what he can do with it. C+
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
"Who now remembers the
--- Adolph Hitler ---
Filmmaker Atom Egoyan is a genuine intellectual, a subtle man who
views all situations thoughtfully, examining the nuances, admitting
multiple viewpoints, viewing truth relatively.
There are times - many times - when those characteristics are
precisely the right ones for a particular challenge. Nobody is
better at Egoyan at looking at the depths and complexities of
emotion in the human heart. He knows that situations are not always
what the thoughtless first imagine them to be, and he knows that the
differences between saints and sinners are differences of degree
rather than absolute certainties. His sensitivity and his elliptical
narrative style have allowed him to create some of the great film
masterpieces of the past decade. In The Sweet Hereafter, he resisted
the temptation to demonize an ambulance-chasing lawyer, showing
instead that he was a man of great depth who possessed a personal
sorrow which made him not very different from the people he intended
to exploit. In Exotica, Egoyan took great pains to pull off the
layers of the onion slowly and subtly enough to allow us to be
manipulated from an early assumption to a contradictory truth. In
the hands of a schlocky director who would have pulled back the
curtain too suddenly, the movie wouldn't have worked at all, but
Egoyan is truly a master of subtlety, and he pulled it off.
There are also times when subtlety can be a liability. Making a
film which gets into the heart of a great and important historical
truth is one of them. This is an instance where subtlety is for
scholars only. A filmmaker needs to paint with a broader brush.
Egoyan wanted to make and long promised to make, a film about the
Armenian Holocaust, a horrible 1915 massacre of all Turkish citizens
of Armenian ethnicity. More than one million people, virtually the
entire Armenian population of Eastern Turkey, including all
non-combatant women and children, were eradicated. The Turkish
government has never admitted its genocidal action, and most of the
Western nations, who are now playing footsie with Turkey, have
failed to issue any official condemnation. (France is an exception.)
Egoyan wanted to tell the true story of a people he considers his
own, so that the world would know for sure.
He used far too much indirection and post-modernism to allow the
emotional impact to take hold.
First of all, instead of just making a movie about the holocaust,
he made a movie about making a movie about the holocaust, in which
many of the key issues were explored through people whose lives
somehow touched that production. (In my opinion, there were too many
connections between characters to be believable.)
Second, the movie within the movie uses it's own distortive
devices, so that we are left wondering if what Egoyan is telling us
is true, or just more distortion. Indeed, the main character is also
telling a related story to a customs inspector, and he too is
distorting the facts to make his point. Are we to believe that all
filmmakers will distort the facts to make a point? Even Atom Egoyan?
The emotional impact of the film would be far greater without
hedging every bet. Just tell the damned story. If you made up any
details for literary purposes, simply tell us what they were in the
extra features, but don't try to weave your own self-doubts into the
Third, the film included way too many sub-plots and they were not
thought through well enough. The young man who is going through
customs may be carrying heroin or he may be carrying film. The
customs inspector never asks him the most important question -
"after you get these four cans into the country, who are you
supposed to give them to?" The object of smuggling drugs is to get
them TO someone, so that someone can make a profit. If the kid was
just being used as a mule, he still had to get the drugs to someone,
right? Yet the customs inspector does not seem to be aware of that
fact. Not very likely, is it? There is another sub-plot about the
customs inspector's relationship with his gay son, whose lover
happens to be in the film-within-a-film. They two men are raising
the customs man's grandson together, and grandpa obviously
disapproves. There is yet another sub-plot about the main
character's affair with his step-sister, and the prickly
relationship between their mother/stepmother and their respective
fathers. I can't see any good reason for those sub-plots to exist in
such detail. The constant meandering between half-developed stories
seemed to detract from the central theme. The step-sister and all
the plot elements involving her could easily have been written out
of the film entirely. The little kid could easily have been written
out as well.
Fourth, Egoyan wanted to weave the story of the Armenian painter
Arshille Gorky into the narrative, since Gorky made a painting after
the holocaust which was based on a photograph of himself and his
mother taken before the holocaust. Gorky worked on that painting -
agonized on that painting - for ten years, and it is now in the
National Gallery in Washington. Unfortunately, Egoyan placed that
story in the film-within-the-film, and weakened it by showing how
much of that biography was completely fictional. Thank God Egoyan
had the good sense to delete a scene which takes place in 2002 in
which a modern character has a long conversation with the real Gorky
(who died in 1948), in which the character complains about becoming
a distorted fictional character in the film-within-a-film. Egoyan
has never been one to be aware when his illusion/reality devices
have become heavy-handed, so the fact that he removed this scene
tells you a lot.
Fifth, Egoyan got so deep into the arguments and
counter-arguments that he actually had a Turkish guy defending the
actions, not denying the actions, but mitigating them by claiming
that the Armenians within Turkey's borders were traitors who sided
with Turkey's enemies. (Which may or may not have been true, but
certainly didn't justify genocide.)
Sixth, this film does WAY too much teaching by lecturing. Egoyan
typically makes a point by having the customs inspector, for
example, ask "oh, and then what happened?", thus allowing the young
Armenian man to make a lengthy speech. In other scenes, we listen to
a professor's lectures This happens several times with different
combinations of characters. In general, speeches are good for
professors, but bad for filmmakers.
Atom is a great writer, a great director, and a brilliant man,
and the movie is an earnest, intelligent, and honest statement about
matters close to his heart. Unfortunately, he didn't use enough of
that big heart, and too much of that big brain. All the sub-plots,
"on the other hand"s, and "not really"s eventually prove to be too
much baggage to add to the heavy emotional load that the film hopes
to carry. I came away thinking, "well, Atom says everyone lies in
order to make their point. I suppose that means Atom is lying to
make his point ... um, except he says he's not. But then
everyone says that, don't they? Hmmm. Maybe I better read historical
accounts of this painter Gorky and the Armenian holocaust, and find
out what really happened"
Obviously, Atom is an honest man, willing to show exactly how
distortions can creep into a fictional narrative when history is
transformed into art. That is a perfectly scholarly way to approach
So see his film if you want to encounter a work of scholarship.
Otherwise, maybe you might want to check out "Dude, Where's My Car"
- Marie-Josee Croze (1,
- note: there is also quite a bit of atrocity nudity, but it
doesn't seem appropriate on this kind of page
Contradictory to my own point about not being too scholarly
about emotional truths, I feel obligated to say that there is
some debate about whether Hitler ever made this remark at all.
He was supposed to have said this in justification of Draconic
instructions to his generals about Jews, Gypsies, and the Slavic
intelligentsia. It does have some of the earmarks of an urban
legend. Everybody seems to agree that he said it, everybody
feels free to quote it, but nobody seems to know exactly when or
where Hitler made this remark, and I couldn't find any specific
historical evidence to corroborate it. Some sources say 1936,
some say 1939, for example.
Toys from the 80s back in style
The teenage ninja turtles are back!
After all the talk of a blossoming romance between
Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, the latest rumour sweeping the US is
that the 37-year-old star is set to marry rocker Lenny Kravitz.
Very impressive trailer for The Matrix Revolutions
Very unimpressive theatrical trailer for The Alamo.
I know they tried to make it historically precise, but I hope it's
more exciting than this trailer.
The Asian theatrical trailer for Return of the King.
Impressive. Should be a helluva movie. Even the trailer is a
powerful emotional experience.
Stifler and The Rock top the Weekend Box Office
A current interview with the most entertaining
wrestling manager/announcer of them all - Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
My favorite Heenan line? He's announcing at the Garden, and it's a
midget match. Heenan says, "Look at him out there. First match in
the Garden. Home town crowd. Chance at the title. Must make him
feel like he's five feet tall."
Todd Helton came to bat in the eighth swingin'
away. The game was meaningless in the standings, and he had to get
a hit to win the NL batting title. A hit, he wins the batting
title, a walk - he loses, an out - he loses.
He lost it the hardest way you can imagine - on an intentional
walk. (cough) blowjob (cough)
Quentin Tarantino reviews The Matrix movies:
"If I'd wanted all that computer game bullshit, I'd have gone home
and stuck my dick in my Nintendo"
The 15 worst athletes-turned-actors
Director-Writer Elia Kazan Dies at 94:
"Director Elia Kazan, whose triumphs included the original
Broadway productions of 'Death of a Salesman' and 'A Streetcar
Named Desire,' and the Academy Award-winning film 'On the
Waterfront,' died Sunday. He was 94. "
The triumphant career and deep personal sadness of
Keanu Reeves. A classic
case of money not buying happiness. Lord knows we've made fun of
him enough, but he's genuinely one of the good guys, and deserves
to be much happier than he actually is.
More about Bubba Ho-Tep,
the Citizen Kane of Elvis vs The Mummy movies
According to polls conducted by CNN.com , it looks
like he's to be The Governator
Tigers win five of last six, avoid 120 losses with
season-ending win over Twins
Cincinnati Bengals - Cheerleaders.
The Bengals have a web site worthy of their record on the field.
URL says it all: AwfulPlasticSurgery.com
"How do I swear in foreign languages?" from
Corinna Ungureanu .mpg - this should get some
interest in the gymnastics events in the next Olympics
The ultimate bikini. The ultimate camel toe.
URL says it all: www.cameltoe.org
Homer Simpson's funny quotes: Funny quotes on love,
death, gays, women, donuts, beer.
"Dear Lord: The gods have been good to me. For the first time in
my life, everything is absolutely perfect just the way it is. So
here's the deal: You freeze everything the way it is, and I won't
ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no
sign. OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of
cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, give me no
sign. Thy will be done."
unexpected accident while the hostess of a shopping
channel tries to sell a ladder
When Office Supplies Attack
50 CENT buys cozy 61 room Tyson mansion.
The purchase price was about four million dollars for a house once
valued at $25 million.
usnews.com: The People's Vote: 100 Documents that
shaped America. Madonna's
"Sex" is notably absent.
Dude, Where's My Country?
Practicing journalism, Dave Barry style
Measuring the speed of light with chocolate and a
Oh, no! Rumors are swirling in the tiny, tony
California seaside hamlet of Carmel that the supposedly split-up
Bennifer have patched things up and will marry in a private
Leisure Time Entertainment Presents...Ron
Jeremy.com ... Ron's list of famous women he wishes he had sex
The Complete Bushisms - Updated frequently. By
Jacob Weisberg, The latest
entry: "I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who
are probably read the news " PROBABLY? I'm reassured that
everything is under control.
North Korea calls Rumsfeld an illiterate psychopath.
It's good to know that even among the bitterest of enemies, we can
all agree on certain things. Everybody sing along with me: "It's a
small world after all ..."
Vey cool idea - font utility!:
"Ever wanted to have a font just like the one used by certain
publications, corporations, or ad campaigns? Well now you can,
using the WhatTheFont font recognition system. Upload a scanned
image of the font and we'll show you the closest matches in our
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
"I have an observation
about film appreciation and “the masses.”
I was stunned by
“Wings of Desire.” It had multiple languages spoken and the
characters interacted with seemingly untraceable plot threads –
enough real life to make the fantasy palatable. Similarly, I was
floored by the beauty and realism of
Bertoluci’s “Sheltering Sky”.
My wife (then girlfriend)
opined that she felt the exact same way; only her films were
“Until the End of the World” and Bertoluci’s
“The Last Emperor”. We found an art house video rental place and
swapped movies. What complete shit! She hated my films and I hated
And then I remembered a
drinking buddy from the University of Wisconsin. He studied Art
History and did his thesis on the Vatican’s huge cache of art that
was originally “collected” in order to keep it from the masses. He
called it “Il Papa’s Porn”. I asked him “What did you find the most
And he answered “I don’t
know – but I am sure it was one of the first pieces.”
contempt and while “The Graduate” once blew us away we now know the
story. And every producer in Malibu knew the story – thus we have
enjoyed lots of middle finger films since. The story is so well
known it is a cliché.
Twenty minutes of
flashing lights seems pompous today but Kubrick
did it first and I give him credit for it."
Scoop's note: Well said,
but I don't think the point you are making is true of all films,
just of some (like the ones you mentioned). If being copied were
going to turn any film into a cliché, it would happen to Pulp
Fiction, right? That movie should now seem stale because everyone in
the world has copied it, but it still seems pretty fresh, don't ya
think? At least it does to me. So the deeper question is why is it
that some often-copied films now make us think "seen that, old hat",
and others do not? Why do modern audiences still love Gable's
version of Mutiny on the Bounty, and To Kill a Mockingbird, just as
much as when those films were new, but other films like True Grit
and Coming Home have lost their broad appeal?
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.
- Jordana Brewster, the young soap star turned Hollywood actress in her first nude scene. Vidcaps from the 2001 movie "The Invisible Circus".
- Leonor Watling, the lovely Spanish actress topless in scenes from the Pedro Almodóvar movie "Hable con ella" aka "Talk to Her" (2002).
- Susannah York, full frontal and rear nudity in scenes from "Images" (1972). Additional comments by Graphic....'This is a 31 year old film that looks it's age even on DVD. It gives the maximum exposure of Susannah York but ever so briefly.'
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
|Going back to the 1990 Mike Figgis film, "Internal Affairs". Both ladies have brief topless scenes.
|Breasts and bush from both actresses in scenes from "Time of Her Time" (1999).
||Full frontal nudity from the German actress in scenes from "Das Stundenhotel von St. Pauli" (1970).
||Topless in a shower scene from the 1976 Sean Connery movie "The Next Man". She has an odd IMDb filmography. She had steady work from 1972 until 1982, but then comes a 20 year gap before she returned to the screen with a small part in the Eddie Murphy flop, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash".
||Full frontal nudity in the French movie "Riens du tout" aka "Little Nothings" (1992).
'Caps and comments by Dann:
A cool 1987 thriller about a cartoonist who has an affair with a girl who winds up murdered, and he winds up as the prime suspect.
Well done and exciting, right up to the unexpected ending. While Virginia Madsen did only brief token nudity, Lisa (Mrs Patrick Swayze) Niemi's long full-frontal scene is well known and often-capped.
For those that are interested in such things, the Lisa Niemi collage is my 1000th collage!
||Excellent robo-hooter and thong views from "To Sleep with a Vampire" (1993). A great collage by Scorpion.
|Full frontal nudity from the former Elite model turned actress in scenes from the 1991 Nicolas Cage movie, "Zandalee".
|Awesome collages by Vejiita from the softcore thriller, "Animal Instincts III" aka "Animal Instincts: The Seductress" (1996). Skinemax legend Jaqueline Lovell bares breasts and bum in a lesbian love scene. Wendy Schumacher (aka Alexander Keith) shows off her after market big'uns, and also gives up some bum and bush views (link #9 is especially nice).
|Señor Skin 'caps members of the "Swedish Suntanning Team" in scenes from the Cuba Gooding Jr. movie, "Boat Trip". Both are topless and doing jumping jacks. Many folks will recognize Jami Ferrell as the Heffer of the month for January '97.