• * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.









The Handmaid's Tale


Natasha Richardson film clips, frame grabs below



Scoop's notes:

In the not-too-distant future, the good old boys have taken over the world and turned it into some kind of right-wing religious-nutbag theocracy, in which women have been relegated to insignificant support roles. Of course, there is one more gimmick. There always is.

Most of the world is infertile.

Because there are so many infertile women, fertile young women of childbearing age are rounded up and placed in re-education camps, where they are brainwashed on the new moral code until they are deemed suitable to bear children for a power couple. This isn't done through in vitro fertilization, but through a religious/sexual ceremony in which husband, wife, and handmaiden say a few prayers and then proceed to have passionless, nearly fully clothed sex, in which the handmaiden lies upon the wife while the husband lifts the surrogate's skirt and climaxes inside of her mechanically. 

Natasha Richardson is chosen to be a handmaiden for the commander of the right-wing army (Robert Duvall). It turns out that the commander is as infertile as his wife, but the wife (Faye Dunaway) needs a child, so she comes up with a secret scheme to get the handmaiden pregnant by one of the subservient men in their household. Meanwhile, the handmaiden and the lover are plotting with the dreaded rebels, and there is an omnipresent civil war causing explosions which don't seem to destroy anything. (It's good to know that weaponry will actually become less potent in the future.)

The movie has a fairly interesting premise, and the development of the plot did have me wondering what would happen, but I wouldn't recommend it to you for a few reasons: (SPOILERS)

  • After two hours of running time, the film had made pretty much no forward progress. Then a bunch of sudden developments were crammed into the last five minutes, followed by one of those tacked-on narrated endings that takes place months after the central events, and is completely unsatisfying.
  • Natasha Richardson has a passive low-energy acting style that didn't seem right for this rebellious role. The part called for somebody angry and fiery, and Natasha did that whole Costner-as-Robin-Hood thing where she didn't seem to care much about anything.
  • There was a sub-plot about a daughter that Natasha was forced to give up. In addition to having the feel of something that didn't really belong in the story, it simply got dropped and was left unresolved. 
  • The politics of the movie are very heavy-handed. In the political-religious re-education camps, for example, women are taught that rape is their own fault. The right-wingers aren't realistic human characters, but one-dimensional cartoons.
  • For a futuristic movie with a big-name director, it sure has a low budget look. I guess it's fair to say it really has no unique look at all. The future looks exactly like the American suburbs of the present, except that all the women have to wear red, white, or blue outfits. 

It isn't an awful movie, but you'd expect better and subtler from Volker Schloendorff, the director of The Tin Drum. 




The Postman


Critics in 1997 thoroughly trashed this Sci-Fi starring and directed by Kevin Costner. I never understood why, because I loved it then and still do. It was recently released on Blu-ray.

The year is 2013. World War was followed by plagues, leaving a devastated country, with the few survivors living in enclaves, and the areas ruled by armed bands of outlaws who formed militias. One particularly nasty group, the Holnists, is led by a merciless killer who calls himself General Bethlehem. He has delusions of ruling what is left of the entire country. A drifter (Kevin Costner) is caught by the Holnists and forced to join and labor for them, but he escapes at the first opportunity.

While on the run, our drifter stumbles upon a battered mail jeep with a skeleton that is wearing a postal uniform. The drifter takes the uniform to stay warm, and also takes the mail sack full of letters that is in the jeep. As he goes from settlement to settlement, the drifter calls himself The Postman, and tells people he represents the rebuilding government's attempts to start delivering the mail. People respond by giving him food and lodging. As he travels, The Postman actually does deliver letters, and the hope that springs from the people convince The Postman that he must do what he can to end The Holnists' reign of terror.

Critics notwithstanding, I found this to be a first-rate apocalyptic tale with good characters and great acting. As I said, it's one of my favorites. The caps are from the Blu-ray version.


Olivia Williams

Paradise Falls

season 3

After a long drought in a desert full of erect cactuses there was finally some female nudity in episode 9 when Kim Poirier finally shows her tata's. (Not my film clip.)



Vicki Blows 2010 calendar


Julia Vandoorne in Gnaw

Pat Astley in Don't Open Till Christmas

Sandra Bullock in The Proposal in HD. I wonder if Sandra was aware of that mirror.

Some nudity:

Other frames:


Film Clips