Jaded (1996) is a low budget film about a woman who is "raped" by two other women, and is chiefly known for the nude appearance of Carla Gugino as the victim. The film is not well respected, although it is at 5.2 at IMDB. The most common criticism was that the film ended abruptly without the courtroom battle that everyone expected.People also complain about loose ends, saying that they knew enough to guess what happened, but they were not spoon fed the answers. Call me strange, but I liked both of those things about this film.
This was the first courtroom drama I have ever sen that never went into the courtroom. In a more typical film, you spend a lot of the running time in a single room with most of the characters sitting down, and listen to lawyers and witnesses talk. These scenes would almost be better on radio (anyone who remembers The Shadow knows what I mean). This story has investigating officers, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, questioning, swing of evidence, and surprises, just like a courtroom drama, but they all happen pre-trial.
Gugino is found naked and beaten on the beach. She accuses Pat and Alex of raping her. First surprise, Pat and Alex are women. There is little doubt that what happened to Meg (Gugino) was not something even a masochist would have wanted, but Pat (Rya Kihlstedt) and Alex (Anna Thomson) claim it was consentual sex. We learn a lot about Meg, including information damaging to the prosecution. The final development was finding a video tape of part of the obvious rape. Cut to post trial.
I don't see what everyone was upset about. Given a video tape that clearly showed the two accused women committing the crime, there could only have been one outcome. Showing the trial would have been redundant.
There was some attention paid to the fact that, at the time, only men could commit rape, and the two women had to be charged with felony sodomy. There was also a lesbian character who had been molested by Pat, but knew that a lesbian had no chance of getting her convicted. This is a women's film, directed and written by Caryn Krooth. I would have liked more character development from other characters, as Meg is the only one we know a lot about, but I found the performances strong. Gugino, Thomson, and Kihlstedt all three show everything, although most of the exposure is at night on the beach, and rather hard to see. This is a C-. If you can lose your expectations, you might also enjoy it.
Anna Thomson (Levine)
Dead-End Drive-In (1989) is an Australian Post-Apocalyptic sci-fi thriller. They made a common mistake by giving it absolute dates. Ignoring that, civilization changed do to terrorism, disease, natural disasters, and economic collapse. Jobs are rare, and the auto seems to be the currency. As the film opens, we meet Crabs (Ned Manning), who is out for a jog, when he is harassed by a car full of "cowboys." Then a bunch of sirens sound, and a bunch of tow trucks, and the cowboys rush off. We then meet Crabs' brother, who runs a tow truck, and learn that tow trucks make good money, but have to be first to the scene of an accident, bribe the cops on the scene, and keep the cowboys from stripping the cars.
Next Saturday, Crabs borrows his brothers 56 Chevy, and takes his girlfriend Carmen (Natalie McCurry) to a drive-in. They are doing what a young couple normally does at a secluded drive-in, when their rear wheels are stolen. Crabs follows, and discovers that the police did it. The next morning, they come to realize that they are prisoners in the drive-in, along with hundreds of others, all kept there by the state as a concentration camp for undesirables. Crabs is determined to escape, but Carmen adapts, and becomes part of a pro white anti Asian group.
Carmen shows breasts in the drive-in sex scene, and an unknown shows breasts in the shower. The production design was excellent and I liked the way the apocalypse was set up, but the film didn't have enough pace or plot to hold my interest. C-.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Learning Curve (1998):
There was a time, as late as the
early 70s, when personal advocacy films were an important sub-genre
in Hollywood. There were films that pushed (or pandered to) a
specific political or sociological point of view, to the point where
the position advocated by the film was far more important than the
characterization or plot or artfulness of the film itself. After
coming out of these films, people would grab dinner or coffee and
discuss or argue the issues being treated by the film, pro or con,
as opposed to discussing the movie itself.
These examples come to mind: Joe,
Billy Jack, The Harrad Experiment, The Green Berets, Z, Up the Down
I can't actually name a great
movie or even a very good movie with a provocative advocacy
position, but some of the movies listed above were popular, and all
of them were widely discussed at the time. That type of film was
generally cast out of Hollywood when the era of the blockbuster
arrived in the mid 70s. People did not come out of Jaws discussing
the general issue of water safety. Star Wars is not supposed to
provoke thoughtful discussions about fascism or religion. People
came out of the blockbuster movies talking about the movies - the
music, the visuals, the incidents, the characters. When the great
cultural revolution ended with Nixon's resignation, and our long
national nightmares were over, movies went back to being thrill
rides instead of political arguments.
You see, here's the deal with
advocacy movies. You measure them by how strongly people react. A
really powerful advocacy film stirs up powerful feelings of hatred
as well as admiration. It didn't take the Hollywood studios long to
determine that being greatly hated was not the optimal route to
people's pocketbooks, so Hollywood went back to being The
(Politically Correct) Dream Factory, except for an occasional
aberration like Oliver Stone.
When Hollywood abandoned advocacy,
independent filmmakers were starting to come into their own, and they
continue to this day to make advocacy films for personal causes. Learning Curve
is the kind of "attitude" film that inspires deep regard and deep
animosity, much like The Green Berets, or Billy Jack. There are a
lot of people who feel that this film says some things that should
be said, and there are people who find it detestable and fascist. It
is the kind of film that starts passionate arguments. I think that
must mean it is pretty good, because people don't get passionate
about mediocre things. Not many people love or hate the bland,
mediocre George H.W Bush, but his predecessor and successor inspire
powerful love and hate from supporters and detractors. I think that
tells you that Reagan and Clinton were both great men, in their own
ways. I reckon that only very great men are both loved and hated so strongly.
If that is true, and if it also true of movies, this movie is loved
and hated strongly.
Tuna felt it was one of the best movies he has seen
lately. Contrast that to
this review, which takes hundreds and
hundreds of words to argue that, "I hated (it) vehemently, not just
because it is moronic, melodramatic, unrealistic, and unfunny, but
because it is evil."
Actually the guy who wrote that
review doesn't know what he's talking about on the "unrealistic"
assertion. For example, he wrote:
Everything that happens to these characters
defies logic, which would be fine, but Andy Anderson is
presenting these situations as if schools really operate this
way. For instance, why would a kid as nice and smart as Joey be
in a detention class with a group of hooligans? Joey explains
that people are always beating up on him, so the administrators
call him a troublemaker and throw him in detention. Ironic
again, but not in a remotely plausible fashion.
Well guess what, dude? Not only is
it plausible, but it is routine business as usual! This movie takes
place in Texas, and that is EXACTLY how it works here in Texas with
our silly "zero tolerance" rules. I know this from experience. We
anguished over our own "Joey". My daughter was the target of a
bully, and did everything she could to avoid her, including
reporting her to the school authorities. When the bully finally hit
her, she fought back, and was sentenced to a special week's
detention, despite the facts that (1) there were forty witnesses who
vouched for her blamelessness, and (2) she had filed written
complaints about the instigator. The school administrators, in their
wisdom, determined that there were two students fighting, and that
there was a zero tolerance policy against fighting, therefore two
students got detention. We told them that we knew the confrontation
was coming, we told our daughter what to do, she did everything that
we and the school told her to do, and the school district not only
failed to protect her, but punished her! That's just about exactly
what happened to Joey in the film.
(If you are wondering, we took her
out of that school and transferred her to another school in the same
district - but we had to drive her there each day for many years,
until she got her own car, in fact.
She has never had another problem of any consequence.)
The guy who wrote that scathing
review then said:
Weatherford High School desperately needs
somebody to instruct a detention class (is detention ever really
The answer is "most certainly".
For her fighting episode, my daughter was assigned to a special area
of the district for a week, and there the students were not allowed
to mingle with the regular student body, getting all their
instruction from special "detention teachers".
Bottom line: the filmmaker knows
EXACTLY what he's talking about, and you can ignore the factual
basis for the other guy's criticism, but you can't ignore his passion.
The depth of his feeling is the very thing which tells me this must be an
effective film. It gets under people's skin, and gets people
passionately involved on both sides of the argument. That's what
advocacy films should do.
Irrespective of its POV, is it
actually a good movie?
It's OK. It is not without problems.
It's a very unsophisticated film. The
production values and performing are ordinary at best. The dialogue
is trite and the jokes are really sophomoric. Sometimes it gets lost
switching between realism and surrealism in its treatment of the
situations, and it also switches back and forth between serious and
darkly comic approaches, keeping one foot in and one foot out of the
It also has rewards. It has a great opening credits sequence. For
a movie with a serious POV, it is remarkably entertaining. It offers
elements of a thriller and a comedy as well as a social advocacy
film. The fact that it kept some interesting plot elements hidden
from view added to the reward of sticking it out to the end.
Overall it is well worth the watch for one reason:
originality. After all, I watch 20 movies a week, so they all blend
together after a while, and they all seem like copies of something
else, but this film is fiendishly different. There's nothing like
it, and I don't think I
will soon forget it.
In addition, it is so blatantly
Politically Incorrect that it will appeal strongly to those of you
with an anti-authoritarian streak.
- Brandy Little (1,
- Susana Gibb (1,
- Rebecca Sanabria (1,
Evolving Beauty - the fine art photography of
Or, to word it another way, "naked chicks".
Yanks lose - Pierre takes control. Dontrelle
works middle relief.
Barry Bonds Among Pro Athletes Subpoened by Grand
Jury in Steroid Case
How many naked girls fit on one picture?
SUZANNE Pleshette will join James Garner in '8
Simple Rules'. Are the
Duke boys also available? Warm up the General Lee, cubby, we're
back on the teevee.
the Useless Information Home Page!
Fark.com weighs in on "My dick is so big" jokes.
Some classics: "My dick is so big it won't take Spielberg's
calls", and "My dick is so big, it was once overthrown in a
military coup. It's now known as the Democratic Republic of My
The 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in
Public Service goes to .... Ted Kennedy????
If you thought Huggy Bear was flamboyant on 'Starsky
and Hutch,' wait until you see Snoop Dogg play him in the movie
version of the 1970s cop show.
. That might actually be watching,
just for Snoop.
The Porn Orchestra seeks to radically reinterpret
porn soundtracks by performing live musical accompaniment to
classic sex films projected on the big screen.
Wolverine is Broadway's hottest star!
Giovanni Nova -arty, stark naked, Italian chicks
URL says it all: RateMyPussy.org
I link to this about once a year, and listen to
it more often than that: Marvin Gaye sings the 'National Anthem'
so that it actually sounds like music.
As fara as I know, this is the only time in sports history where
the Anthem singer was asked to sing it again. (He did not. Time
in a bottle, you know.)
Dave Barry writes to Cubs fans
Halloween Babe Gallery
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
- Updated volumes: Nicole Eggert, Amy Lindsay, Debbie Rochon
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.
- Michelle Pfeiffer, toplessness and far off rear and brief pube views in scenes from "Into the Night" (1985).
- Teri Hatcher in the nude scene that ended the fantasy for many men...Here she is topless and kinda showing the other 2 B's as well in scenes from "Heaven's Prisoners" (1996).
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
'Caps and comments by Brainscan:
Seniors (1978) is Road Trip minus the road, or the
trip, or the humor. Or its Van Wilder without the van
or the wilder or the humor. No, its Revenge of the
Nerds.... III... without the revenge or the nerds or
the humor, What is has is a bunch of horny college
guys and a bunch of nekkid college girls. And that
could have saved the whole project except that there
aren't nearly enough nekkid college girls and only one
of them is identified and she isn't nekkid nearly long
enough. What we got then is a movie constructed of a
series of bad decisions.
Who we see in some state of undress is Priscilla
Barnes, perhaps the best known former Penthouse Pet to
make it sorta big in maninstream movies. We get to
see her in a medium-long shot at the top of the stars,
where she waits as the prize for the only nerd in the
movie. Shoulda called it "Reward of the Nerd" I
Saw this scene years ago and, when DVDs came along,
thought it would be the perdect scene to cap since the
much higher quality of digital media promised to bring
out the details of Priscilla's scene. Little did I
figure that whoever made the DVD would use a videotape
as his starting material. And old videotape. With
dust and scratches on the print. Yuk! But, in the
end, it is Priscilla Barnes in her prime.
Then there were a bunch of gals who served as paid
subjects in sexual encounters that were set up as a
quasi-scientific experiment. We got lots of
"subjects", three of whom show some skin, a fourth who
wears a semi-see-thru bra. I could recognize only the
last of them. She is Cathryn Hartt, sister of Morgan
Fairchild. The resemblance is pretty striking.
The others? A hopeless cause. Most of the women
credited were one-timers and there is no matching of
actress with character name, even though one of them
is referred to by name and all of them have speaking
parts. That should be a frigging crime. Babe gives
up the goods AND is given something to say? Well, she
deserves some major league credit.
For today's paparazzi stuff. we have cleavage. In
descending order... which is to say, in the order in
which the neckline plunges... there is Monica
Bellucci, Erika Christensen, Elizabeth Hurley and
Roselyn Sanchez. Roselyn is fast becoming the queen
of tease. And to cap it all there is Jennifer Jason
Leigh in one of these black see-through outfits.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"The Matrix Reloaded"
Once again, special effects and fight scenes are the real stars of this 2003 sequel to 1999's The Matrix.
I liked this one, as I did the original. Yes, it can be hard to follow but most Sci-Fi fanatics like myself are used to that. The coming final installment of this trilogy should provide the tethers that bind the whole thing together. I admit it's a pain to have to see three movies to understand any of them, but that seems to be a growing trend to keep viewers coming back for more.
|Both are topless in "National Lampoon Goes to the Movies" (1981). You may remember the busty Ganzel as a one time resident bimbo for sketches on The Tonight Show back in the Carson days.
|Assorted toplessness in scenes from the German movie "Honolulu" (2001).
||The South African actress topless in scenes from "The Emissary" (1989).
||A larger view of the former "Party of Five" star showing partial side breast views in a bathing scene from "The Scoundrel's Wife" (2002). Thanks to C2000.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the busty B-movie babe topless in scenes from the 1996 straight-to-video flick, "Cheyenne".