Web (Uncle Scoopy)
A History of Violence (2005)
Despite its straight-to-vid provenance, A Killer Within
is an interesting murder mystery because the screenwriters gave some
serious thought to what they were doing.
A straight-arrow lawyer
comes home one evening to find his wife murdered and his pre-school son
unconscious. Needless to say, the police consider him to be the #1
suspect, despite the fact that the murder was committed in the manner
of a recently paroled criminal who had a grudge against the lawyer. It
happened just five days after the baddie's parole, and the words "now
we're even" were written on the walls of his house. The police
lieutenant rightly figures that the murder was either committed by
someone who had a grudge against the lawyer, or by someone who wanted
the police to make that assumption, and he's leaning toward the
The wimpy lawyer wants to clear
himself and find out who killed his wife, so he undertakes his own
investigation. He finds that is a lamb who simply cannot do any
research by himself in the haunts of wolves, so he hires an alpha wolf
to help him - an ex-cop named Vargas who originally arrested the new
parolee. Only one problem - Vargas hates the lawyer (who once got him
pulled from the force) about as much as he hates the parolee. Say,
wait a minute - don't all the clues also point to Vargas as well as to
the parolee? I could keep writing those "say, wait a minute" sentences
for quite a while, because many other suspects will later enter into
the circle of suspicion, either because they had a grudge against the
lawyer or because they knew about somebody who did, and could
therefore have rigged up a frame. In addition, there is also the
possibility that the lawyer killed his own wife.
Four weaknesses come to mind in reviewing my notes on this movie:
Well, the first two are likely to be perceived as
weaknesses by most people. The last two didn't bother me at all.
- One plot element really bothered me. The little
boy was going to make a drawing of the person who hurt his mommy,
and the father would not let him do so. Dad kept yammering on and on
about wanting to find out who really killed his wife, and he kept
following all sorts of alternative avenues to prove his own
innocence, so it seems to me that it was simply illogical for him to
forbid the child from making that drawing. He would have and should
have wanted his son to complete the drawing. He did not allow that
to happen simply because he was a movie character rather than a real
person, and if the kid had made the drawing there would have been no
movie. The whole idea was just a cheap trick to run a bunch of red
herrings past us. The kid's drawing would have identified Colonel
Mustard immediately, but the script wanted us to think it was, in
turn, Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett, and Mr Green, before coming
back to Colonel Mustard - maybe. You just have to call "shenanigans" on
that, although I did appreciate the way the plot incorporated the
child's drawing when the boy finally completed it on his own.
- One other complaint from me. The score. It seemed
to me that every frame of the movie was accompanied by some kind of
pseudo-orchestral music, and it just didn't stay in the background, but was
just conspicuous and persistent enough to be irritating.
- Some of you may also complain about the
gratuitous nudity. Sean Young does a full frontal nude scene as she
dives into a pool. It is completely unnecessary to the plot. In
fact, it's a flashback which is not related to the story in any way.
It was there just to provide an additional lure to sell DVDs. Now that's gratuitous! Of course, I consider that a positive.
The trick worked on me. I bought the DVD. In
fact I would have been whining if a film like this had no nudity, so
I consider that scene as having restored the natural order of the
genre universe. Your mileage may vary.
- Finally, there may be too many red herrings for
those not attuned to this type of film, but I accept that as a genre
Having registered those complaints, I'd like to add
that the movie maintains a reasonably high level of tension during all
of the twists and turns, so that I never reached for the fast forward
button while watching the film. The script is not wildly inventive,
but it's thoughtful. In fact, the basic script was good enough
to carry the director through some problems. In addition, the acting
and character development are at least adequate. Giancarlo Esposito
was especially good as the disgraced cop, and his role was
meticulously constructed, right down to the details of his apartment.
Finally the ending of A Killer Within is
kind of cool and original, so it's a very watchable film for lovers of
I think they did an excellent job
with a modest budget.
This film lets you solve the case along with the screen
Do you remember the solution in Brian de Palma's
Body Double? You knew the killer had to be the husband in disguise,
because he was welcomed into the house by the family dog. The identity
of the killer was all right out there in front of you if you were
paying attention. Of course, I missed it, and I don't know anyone who
saw the dog's reaction and figured out its meaning, but everything was
all right there for you mystery buffs to solve.
This film is no Body Double, but it has an element like
that. It will not specifically tell you the identity of the killer,
but it will show you somebody who must have been involved in some way,
and that in turn will lead you in the right direction. If you don't
want the clue, stop reading now.
If you do want the clue, here it is:
There will be a dispute between the husband and the
cops about a message which they insist he got, and he insists he
didn't get. The police will accuse the husband of framing the parolee
for the wife's murder, because he was informed telephonically that the
guy had just been released. He, on the other hand, insists that he did
not get that message, and had no idea that the criminal had been
paroled until after his wife's death. The script shows us in many ways
that the lawyer is a scrupulously honest man. The script also shows us
that the cop is similarly straight-laced, because he once turned in
his own partner for planting some evidence. Since the script goes to
great pains to establish the honesty of both men, we must assume that
they are both telling the truth about the phone call.
How can that be? The answer is hidden in the seemingly
idle banter in the movie.
There is an even bigger clue hidden within phone calls. Pay attention.
As I said, this script is quite thoughtful about
those kinds of details. (The head writer is a woman in her fifties or
sixties who has never written a previous screenplay! I gather that she
is a lawyer by trade.)
Sean Young's full frontal. (Film clip -
zipped .wmv. Very
Captures and comments from the Ghost.
Zipped .avis, caps, and comments by ICMS
Today I'll just send in three clips from the
German TV-series Dr. Stefan Frank (1995), a doctor who seems very popular with
- First his daughter, played by
Anette Hellwig, gets
a phone call from him while she is in bed with her lover. That's good news for
us because she has to come out of the bed to answer the phone and we get to
see her topless.
- Christiane Brammer can be seen in the shower,
sometimes blurry, sometimes not.
- Lastly our popular doctor doesn't seem to
appreciate Claudia Wenzel's topless but too obvious attempt to get his
attention. I wonder why.
That's all for today's contribution from the
little land of the bombarded Smurfs.
It is widely known that we Americans are a generous people. If Belgium is now
facing a critical Smurf shortage, please free to take ours for as long as you
Caps and comments by Jack Snow
Today I have some caps from a German movie
called "En garde", starring some young and talented actresses.
|Maria Kwiatkowsky (19) goes full frontal in a shower scene,
flashes her breasts in a changing cubicle and is seen in a wet shirt in
another shower scene.
Pinar Erincin (21) shows her breasts while trying some new clothes
Jytte-Merle Böhrnsen (20) stays dressed, but shows her panties in a major
Caps and comments by Dann
this 2002 flick as wimp horror, because it features bloodless kills.
That's not too bad, though, because the method of execution is actually
pretty cool. Watch the movie to find out.
A group of young people, four
women and three men, all strangers to one another, are sent to an isolated
house to film a reality show. They are not allowed to communicate with the
outside world, and the winner, as determined by the audience, will get one
People start dying, and the survivors panic as they suspect one another
of being the killer.
This has been done before, and what keeps it from being totally bad is a
decent job by the actors, and a script that has some nice small sub-plots
between the contestants. While it isn't groundbreaking cinema, it is fun to
'Caps and comments by Hankster:
Free spirit Rachel Griffiths in Among Giants
The ever-adorable Kiki Dunst, just ... er... hanging out
Another look at Naomi Campbell in that strange star contraption
Classic Kate Moss paparazzi shot
A few miscellaneous looks at Lysette Anthony in Save Me
Natalie Imbruglia fashion accessories - semi-transparent dress and nipple ring
Lesley-Anne Down in The Pink Panther Strikes Again
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 Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
Mise a nu. Great site. Move your cursor over any girl for a nice
What the hell is Rosicrucianism?
A Bond betting favorite has emerged, but the identity of the next
007 officially remains a mystery.
- "Just days ahead of an expected official announcement,
Englishman Daniel Craig was named as the first 'blond Bond' in an
unsourced newspaper report, while British bookmaker William Hill
closed betting on Bond after punters rushed to back him."
- I'm still hoping for Clint Howard.
General Zod - 2008 Presidential Candidate
Did you know that a new automated process allows labs to extract
semen from four boars at a time?
- I know the old ways are sometimes the best, but Pam Anderson
could never do more than two.
- You think you have a shitty job? This guy jerks off a pig all
day. It's like being Jennifer Garner.
Uncensored outtakes from Full House!
David Lee Roth to Succeed Howard Stern
Weekly World News: "ARCHAEOLOGIST FINDS LEPRECHAUN COLONY!"
Letterman's "Top Ten Things Columbus Would Say About America If He
Were Alive Today"
- "I discovered the New World, but who discovered these
- "Hey, my fo'shizzle thing finally caught on"
- "It's humbling to realize that because of me Americans are
getting 20% off on a mattress"
- "It's nice to see Cher is still around"
- "As a fellow man of sea, I join you in mourning the death of
- "I discovered the whole fookin' continent and the only thing
named after me is a city in Ohio?"
A clip from The Family Stone.
- "The comedy revolves around the annual holiday gathering of a
Bohemian family that's thrown into turmoil when the fair-haired
son introduces his fiancee, a high strung New York businesswoman
whom the family hates."
The Trailer for The Big White, the latest Robin Williams flick.
- "In the film, a destitute Alaskan travel agent (Robin
Williams) thinks he has found the answer to his financial problems
in the form of a frozen body, which he tries to pass off as his
long-lost brother for the insurance money. The agent's plans are
thwarted by a claims adjuster (Giovanni Ribisi) and two aspiring
hitmen (Earl Brown and Tim Blake Nelson)."
This is the week when top-notch directors fell from grace. The
reviewers call Where the Truth Lies the worst film from Atom Egoyan
in many, many years, possibly the worst ever, and the links below
lead to films which may be the lifetime worst from Cameron Crowe and
This week's movies (NY,LA only):
Where The Truth Lies - 29% positive reviews. If there is any
bigger Atom Egoyan fan than I am, it would be the reviewer James
Berardinelli, and even he
had harsh words for this film, as cited below:
- "Welcome to the lurid world of Atom Egoyan, B-grade schlock
filmmaker. Until seeing Where the Truth Lies, I never would have
considered applying this title to Egoyan, the eclectic filmmaker
of some of the '90s most compelling features (Exotica and The
Sweet Hereafter, to name a pair). But the evidence speaks for
itself. Where the Truth Lies is a potboiler - a whodunnit/whydunnit
filled to the brim with genre clichés. It's compelling in the way
many B-movies are - cheap, sleazy, and lacking the depth we have
come to associate with this director. The difference between a
good potboiler and a bad one comes down to tone, and Egoyan
chooses the wrong approach. Where the Truth Lies is slow and
dreamy when it should be light and self-mocking. This is Brian De
Palma material. The plotline is pure cheese down to the incessant
voiceover and needlessly explicit exposition. To add proverbial
insult to injury, not only is the movie poorly written, but it is
at times boring."
This week's movies (2100 screens):
Domino - 22% positive reviews.
- "A noisy, ugly, chaotic mess ... One of the worst movies of
2005, and the worst film of Tony Scott's career."
This week's movies (2500 screens):
Elizabethtown - 50% positive reviews. The general consensus so
far: a pale Frank Capra imitation. Sigh! I really like Cameron
Crowe's best films, but this one seems to be out of the loop.
- "Can a director survive 3 failures in a row? Elizabethtown is
a pale imitation of zany Capra and Sturges screwballs, marred by
Bloom's weak turn and overlong plotless text"
- "Lacks the narrative drive one finds in the classic comedies
of Preston Sturges, Frank Capra and Billy Wilder, whom Crowe
always seems to try to emulate."
This week's movies (2700 screens):
The Fog - no advance reviews at all. Not one. Nada.
The Weekend Warrior makes his predictions for October 14th. He
thinks Elizabethtown, The Fog, and Domino will take spots 1-2-4, but
expects no barn burner among them.
"BUSH NAMES GUY HE MET AT MALL TO REPLACE GREENSPAN" ...
Attempts to Blunt Charges of Cronyism
- "Davis Logsdon, a political science professor at the
University of Minnesota, has a theory about Mr. Bush’s recent
appointments: “He may be surrounding himself with lousy people in
the hopes that he’ll be graded on a curve.”
Veteran Comic Louis Nye can now say "Hi Ho!" to Steverino again.
2005 NFL Cheerleader Tour - Day 21: Arizona Cardinals
Hi, all. A cross country trip combined with a lot of
tailgating, two football games, and the desert heat, made for a
very tired guy yesterday. Still the weekend adventure was well
worth it! A Panther comeback victory (which the Cards should have
won), family, and friends were great. The women of Arizona? Oh my
God! And that was just the women around town Friday night. The ASU
coeds on Saturday, and the female Cardinal fans on Sunday ... Wow!
After the observations over the weekend, and reviews the squads
from years gone by, I had high expectations for the Cardinal
girls. Perhaps I set them a bit too high. The girls did look great
in person, preformed well, and even had a uniform change at the
half. But a closer look at
the web site confirms what I saw. The girls are incredible,
just not as incredible as those in Philly, Tampa, or San Diego (to
name a few). Veterans and fan favorites
Tiffany lead some fine rookies in 19 year old
Jen. The bios are OK, I would like to see a few more pictures
though. The photo galleries have a good series of photos from this
season, and last season, but the cheerleaders are not always
credited. It looks like an alumnus gathering may be in store, but
no other appearances are mentioned. There are a few pictures of
the show team that raised my eyebrows. I would like to see more of
them. There is no mention of any audition photos, or of any kind
of calendar. This team slipped a bit from last year. I hope they
rebound in time for the
new stadium to be opened next season.
Rating 8.0 out of 10.
Hey! Is That Jessica Alba's Nipple? We ran these in the Fun
House a few days ago, along with the film clip. They are really from
the movie, and they are really Alba - but I have no idea what we are
actually looking at!
The Shitty Tipper Database has really gotten quite massive since the
last time we checked it.
Newslady makes a blooper:
Unsurprisingly, your energy company has a plan to jack off. I
can understand that. It produces energy ... but I'm not sure how
they harness it.
Pat Reeder - www.comedy-wire.com
NEW ORLEANS COPS BEAT MAN FOR NO APPARENT REASON
Cops Gone Wild - Retired elementary school teacher Robert Davis, who was
videotaped being punched by New Orleans cops, says he's baffled as to why.
Police originally claimed he was drunk and disorderly, but he says he hasn't had
a drink in 25 years and put up no resistance. He's black and the cops were
white, but the police deny race was a factor. Davis said he'd returned to the
city to check on his property and was just looking to buy cigarettes when the
cops stopped him, beat him and arrested him.
* Buying cigarettes?! Oh, then he had it coming!
* It was for his own good: cigarettes are bad for your health.
* Maybe the New Orleans cops just beat up a black guy to keep in practice.
* He's a retired elementary school teacher, so at least he's used to unprovoked
TOP TEN UBERSEXUALS
You Know: "Pussies" - The author of a new book called "The Future of Men"
released a list of the Top Ten Ubersexuals: men who embrace the positive aspects
of masculinity ("M-ness"), such as confidence, leadership and compassion,
without the negatives, such as disrespecting women, emotional coldness, or
knowing nothing cultural besides sports or beer. And unlike metrosexuals, they
"spend more time more time grooming their minds than their hair." Counting down
from #10: Jon Stewart, Guy Ritchie, Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Barack Obama,
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, George Clooney, and the #1
* I don't know about their minds, but Bono, Donald Trump and Ewan McGregor
definitely spend no time grooming their hair.
* This book was written by a woman, but I don't need to tell you that.
CHINA LAUNCHES ASTRONAUTS
Space Wok - Wednesday, China launched two astronauts into orbit for a five-day
"glorious and sacred" mission, to demonstrate China's confidence and ability at
space travel. They allowed the launch to be shown on TV for the first time, and
made a point to note that while the capsule, space suits and life-support
technology were bought from Russia, they'd been modified by China and all the
equipment launched into orbit is Chinese-made.
* For instance, the rocket was launched by lighting the fuse on a giant
* And every one of the booster rockets was pointed at Taiwan.
* The space suits were sewn by 10-year-olds and cost just $2.99 apiece,
* This is the first step in getting volunteers to live on the moon: insuring
there will be authentic Chinese takeout available.
DOG SNIFFS OUT HIS CAT BURGLAR MASTER
"BAD Dog!" - Police in Hanover, Germany, came to a man's house to arrest him for
burglary, but he ran out the back door and hid. So they used a dog to sniff him
out. Not a police dog: his own dog. He'd left behind his American
Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Lumpi. The cops released Lumpi into the yard, and
he immediately trotted to the garden next door and with tail wagging, ran up to
where his owner was hiding in the bushes.
* He must be part Rat Terrier.
* The suspect was arrested, and Lumpi was put in the Witness Protection
* He should've gotten a cat...A cat would NEVER do that.
CEMENT MADE FROM DOG POOP
It's A Dung Deal - Berlin scientist Friedrich Lentze has applied for a patent on
a new kind of cement made from dog poop. He said dung has been used as building
material for centuries, and that tons of dog poo have be cleaned off the streets
anyway. He said it makes "a great mortar with fantastic insulating properties,"
so he'd developed a process that combines it with modern materials to make it
into a new type of odorless, insulating cement.
* One huge problem: Dogs can still smell it.
* He expects it to become the #2 insulator on the market.
* A really appropriate use: sidewalks.
* If your dog's poop can be used as cement, maybe you should change his diet.
MUMMY DEAREST: RUSSIANS NOT READY TO BURY LENIN
Weekend At Lenny's XXXVI - Vladimir Putin has suggested that the preserved body
of Lenin, who died in 1924, finally be taken off display in Red Square and
buried. Several senior lawmakers agreed, but some Communist Party members
threatened massive civil disobedience. Now, Mikhail Gorbachev is urging Putin
not to be so hasty, saying the "moment has not come yet" for the nation to be
ready to bury Lenin.
* He's too good for tourism!
* But, come on! What a rotten leader!
* We buried John Lennon 25 years ago, and he was actually worth hanging onto.
MAN ROBS TRAIN WITH BOW AND ARROW
An Arch-ery Criminal - Sunday night, in a robbery straight out of the Old West,
Juventino Vallejo-Camerena allegedly boarded a Union Pacific freight train
stopped in Montclair, California, and took it over by threatening the engineer
and conductor with a bow and arrow. They were the only people on board, and
they escaped and called police. When the cops arrived, Vallejo-Camerena pointed
an arrow at them, and they responded with gunfire. He was treated for shots in
the wrist and forearm, then taken to jail.
* What bad luck...This is just not his century.
* He was stunned that they had those newfangled things called "guns."
* His arrows aren't the only thing with a head made of flint.
NOBEL LITERATURE JUDGE QUITS IN DISGUST
But Her Dust Jacket Photo Was Hot! - The Nobel Prize for Literature is announced
tomorrow, but the Swedish Academy was rocked Tuesday when longtime judge Knut
Ahnlund resigned in disgust over last year's choice, Austrian writer Elfriede
Jelinek. Ahnlund called it a travesty to place her alongside Camus and
Hemingway. He said she's a "lackey to ideology" whose novels and plays are
"engulfed in cliche," "violent pornography" and "a conglomeration of text
shoveled together without even a trace of artistic structure." But he said the
other judges didn't notice because most hadn't read more than a couple of pages
of her work.
* Hey, they tried!...Oh GOD, how they tried!
* Heck, when I was in school and had to write book reports, I'd read at least
* They chose it because it was so representative of modern fiction...Plus, it
was the best thing they looked at.
* If they only gave Nobel Prizes to books they'd read, they'd all go to Harry
LOST CAT FOUND INSIDE PYTHON
Is It Scratchy? - Sunday in Miami, an escaped giant Burmese python was found
with a suspicious bulge in its middle. Andres Rodriguez feared that it was his
family's missing Siamese cat, Frances, and the story made international news.
But his mother still isn't sure. To solve the mystery and set her mind at rest,
fire officials took the python to a vet to be X-rayed to see what the bulge
was. The vet confirmed that it was indeed a cat.
* Of course, it might not be Frances...If we're lucky, it's Garfield.
* The vet had never seen a python with hairballs before.
* It ate a cat for dinner? Must be a Korean python.
* Poor Frances, R.I.P...."Rest In Python."
LIVE AND LET DYE: "BLOND BOND" CHOSEN?
His Hair Has More Highlights Than His Career - An unsourced, unconfirmed Daily
Mail story claimed that the 007 movie producers have picked Daniel Craig to
become the first "blond Bond." Craig is little-known, but the producers think
the series doesn't need a big name, and they want a younger actor for a fresh
start. Craig has said he doubts they'll mess with a winning formula, but he
doesn't like that 007 films are more about gadgets than feelings.
* It makes him cry.
* His first movie will be called "The Spy Who Loved Me For My Personality."
* The producers wanted a big name who was really young and blond, but Dakota
Fanning wouldn't agree to a sex change.
* The source of the story: Daniel Craig's PR agent.
BRITNEY'S NANNY IS HER HUSBAND'S EX
Is He A Hypnotist Or Something? - Tabloids are claiming Britney Spears is not
only friendly with ex-"Moesha" star Shar Jackson, whom Kevin Federline dumped
for Britney when Shar was eight months pregnant with his second child, but
Britney has now hired her as their nanny. They say after Britney gave birth,
Kevin started going out partying and golfing. Since Shar is familiar with his
bad behavior, Britney asked her to move in, thinking that having all his kids
under one roof will make Kevin appreciate the value of family and want to stay
* Hey, it worked on Jude Law.
* Britney may have to buy a double-wide.
* Kevin will learn to appreciate what it was like to have a Mormon family in
* It's pretty drastic letting his ex move in with them, but if Britney lost
him, where would she ever find someone better?
* California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill requiring schools to
offer tests in Spanish, saying that immigrants have to learn English to succeed
...Present company excluded
... At least, we think that's what he said.
|A quick site note
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