"Net Games"

Net Games (2003) is a straight to vid thriller built around a cyber-sex stalker, and has convinced me that it would not be possible to make a good thriller about cyber-sex. Much of the film is two people sitting at computers, typing to each other, and reading aloud what they are typing. Depending on what is being typed, this might be fun to do, but it is simply not a spectator sport. It is only when the film moves out of cyberspace and into real life stalking that the film picks up any energy at all, but it is too late by then, and that story is rather derivative of films like Play Misty for Me and the hundreds of copycat movies such as Fatal Attraction.

Credit LaLa Sloatman (Moon Unit and Dweezel's cousin) as the stalker, C. Thoms Howell as the successful advertising exec and married man being stalked, and Monique Demers as the wife. As part of the plot, Monique is in therapy trying to get over a rape, and is not comfortable having sex yet, which makes Howell vulnerable.

Demers and Shows breasts near the end of the film, and Sloatman shows breasts and buns. IMDB readers have this at $3.6 of 10, which reflects about what this effort deserves. D-.

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  • LaLa Sloatman (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
  • Monique DeMers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    "Promised Land"

    Promised Land (1987) is being released on DVD, which means we can finally see Meg Ryan's breasts from early in her career. The story is about some High School classmates from a small town in Utah. The film opens with Jason Gedrick winning the basketball conference finals, getting a scholarship, and celebrating in bed with his girlfriend, cheerleader Tracy Pollen. Kieffer Sutherland, kind of a geek known as Senator, stops by, and tells them he is quitting school and moving. Cut to a few years in the future. Gedrik, who couldn't cut it in college basketball, is back in his home town working as a cop. Pollen is home on Christmas break, and is majoring in undecided. The Senator has been in jail, and is pretty much a drifter and alcoholic. He wakes up in bed next to speed freak Meg Ryan, whom he has known for three days, and decides to marry her, and take her home for Christmas.

    I suppose the film has something to say about real life being a little tougher than High School in a small town, and does deal with friendship and loyalty, but I found it mostly depressing, and rather pointless. Meg Ryan, however, was deliciously over the top, and worth the watch. We see her left breast from the side in bed with Sutherland, and her right breast when she is washing her hair in a filling station sink.

    IMDB readers have this at 5.5 of 10. Sundance awarded a jury prize nomination, but then they co-produced. Ryan received a young artist nomination. This is not my kind of film. It focuses on people that are essentially losers, and deeply flawed, and I am not sure any of them arrive at any sort of redemption. It is not a film I will rewatch. C-.

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  • Meg Ryan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Lost in Translation (2003):

    When I was doing market analyses and feasibility studies for Shell and Mobil, I got into a familiar mode of reaction to exotic ports of call in my final years in that job. I'd spend evenings in my hotel room looking out over massive cities, feeling alone, although surrounded by millions of people. I'd see the lights and hear the noises and realize that people were out there having fun and living their lives, but if I got outside the hotel, I wouldn't know where to look for the entertainment, and if I found it, I wouldn't find it very entertaining after all.

    So I did my thing during the day, studied traffic patterns and consumption statistics, interviewed wholesalers and building contractors and lawyers and small business owners, studied whatever retailing statistics might be available, talked to the international businesses already operating in the area, all in an effort to try to figure out how much, if any, of my clients' money should be spent on developing convenience stores in that market. It was a pretty cool job when I was spending weeks at a time in Perth, or Milan, or Paris, but plans for those markets were soon solidified, and that led me to the developing world.

    There were times when the job was completely disorienting. I can remember one trip when I woke up in Austin, did a meeting in London, grabbed a plane to Zurich, grabbed another plane to South Africa, did a meeting in Cape Town, then got on a plane and flew to Buenos Aires to meet with a new client. In the course of that trip, I slept about four hours, none of it before the meeting in Cape Town. My view of London, a spectacular one from Shell's impressive Thames-side HQ, was filled with the realization that just about everyone in that magnificent city was having more fun than I was. Or so it seemed. That feeling would be echoed through the years in Harare, Manila, Singapore, Port Moresby, Hong Kong, San Salvador, Caracas, Djakarta, Johannesburg, Cairo, and a whole lot more places where I felt like a prisoner in a very nice prison. I'd sneak out of the hotel or resort once in a while, but I never seemed to "get it". Either I simply didn't belong on the streets at all, or the activities designed for visiting businessmen (read: booze and hookers) were really not for me.

    Sometimes it was crazy. A client would want me in Singapore a few days after leaving Manila, and they'd be willing to foot all the bills, so I wouldn't even go home, skipping the 40 hours worth of flying and layovers. I'd just hang out a few extra days in a hotel, with no reason to be there. I spent many sleepless nights looking out from hotel rooms into cities, picturing other people's lives, having none of my own except my laptop and HBO, writing reports, always feeling exhausted, but rarely sleeping well.

    When I watched Lost in Translation, I felt that the filmmaker had been looking over my shoulder, so I guess she did a lot correctly. Bill Murray plays me. Actually, he's a fading movie star who is in Tokyo to do a whiskey ad campaign, but the set-up is exactly the same as it would have been if he were playing me. He works all day, then tries to figure out what to do at night. He rattles sleeplessly around his room, watching Italian movies with Japanese subtitles. He wanders down to the hotel bar, where he has to spend most of his time avoiding road warrior assholes. He is disoriented in the streets, and can't relate that well to the locals because of language and cultural barriers. He inevitably ends up back in his room, staring at the city, channel surfing through bizarre local shows. 

    As it happens, he eventually hooks up with a young Yale graduate who is in town with her photographer husband, but who has no agenda of her own, and is thus going through the same thing as Murray. They are two of the three important characters in the film. The third is Tokyo itself: loud, confusing, garish, and so very foreign to the eyes of two weary Americans.

    That is all the film is about: a world-weary older man and a smart young woman who are each too complex and evolved for their own good, and a gigantic, confusing city.

    I found it difficult to get involved in the film at first. The film is paced very slowly, and scenes seem to go on after their point has been made. It takes too long for Murray and the woman to meet and to start hanging out. But then, when they linked up, it hooked me in, and couldn't let go when I realized how completely honest the film was in picturing Murray's and the woman's weariness and alienation in Japan. The script stayed honest, irrespective of whether that led into politically incorrect or culturally insensitive territory (the Japanese seem like shallow, time-wasting morons), because it had to stay in the POV of bewildered foreigners.

    The two of them never became lovers. They exchanged some deep parts of their souls, but never their bodies. The last day, they said good-bye a couple of times, not knowing how to mark the end of a relationship that meant something to them, yet had really been only a few conversations here and there. Should they hug or kiss or something? Finally, Murray went back, determined to mark this important stage in his life with a proper ending. He grabbed her, hugged her, kissed her, whispered something to her that we cannot hear, and walked away. I've been there, too, on those overseas adventures, so involved with another person's life that I couldn't bear to leave her, still really just getting to know her, yet knowing that I had to leave, and that there was no way to fit that woman into my life. Watching Murray say good-bye to Scarlett Johansson, I remembered so clearly saying good-bye to Anita in Hungary when I had to leave and she had to stay. I wanted to say more but didn't know what to say. Like Murray in the movie, I couldn't say I loved her because I didn't know her well enough to love her. I loved as much as I knew. Each of us wished we could have more time together, but we knew we could not. Each of us had lived a brief and blissful life in counter-earth with the other, happy for that chance, but crushed by the imminence of its ending so soon and so absolutely. Each of us wanted to mark the day in some important way, but we didn't know how. I was twenty five years her senior, the same gap that exists in this movie. Was it emotionally irresponsible of me to get so involved in such a doomed relationship? Probably.

     He without sin may cast the first stone.

    When I saw that scene in Lost in Translation, I felt that my privacy had been invaded. I knew that Sofia Coppola, and whomever she collaborated with on this script, had really been in that situation and knew exactly what it was like, and had told it like it was.

    Will the characters see each other again? I doubt it, but that is me speaking, not the movie. The movie lets each of us have his own final word on the matter, because the words whispered by Murray remain a secret between the two screen characters.

    Bill Murray is terrific in this film. Essentially, he is playing a guy a lot like Harrison Ford  - the name is Bob Harris -  world-weary, grouchy, sardonic, tight-lipped, a formerly colossal star who stayed married to the same woman for 20+ years. I don't think it is illogical to think that Harrison was the model. The woman Ford stayed with for those two decades was once Sofia Coppola's babysitter. Sofia wrote this screenplay. The connection is there, but the model was loose to begin with, and Bill Murray made it looser. The character isn't really based on Ford, or Murray, or even a combination, but on somebody pulled out from somewhere deep inside of Murray, from a place that nobody knew existed. Except for Ford himself, I can't imagine anyone else who could have assayed this role, and even ol' Indiana Jones would have had trouble conveying the depth of emotions that Murray pulled out of his facial expressions. Without saying a single word, he made my eyes tear up once. Hell, this movie was my life story, or at least a decade of it, and Murray played me better than I could have played myself. This is Bill Murray we're talking about. Whoda thunk it?

    The script made me think of things I once experienced, but had forgotten. It made me remember dreams I had cast away. All I can tell you is they either made this movie just for me, or it must be a helluva good movie to get me to insert myself vicariously into the action. Maybe a big chunk of both.

    I don't know why the rest of you would give a hot damn about my life, but they definitely got all the details right.

    The only nudity is supplied by topless strippers in a Tokyo nightclub. Scarlett Johansson is seen from behind in semi-transparent panties.


    Jesus (1999):

    I haven't seen this movie, but I found this picture elsewhere and couldn't pass it up because it is slightly better than the version in the encyclopedia, and Debra Messing doesn't remove her clothing often.




    Scoop. VERY bad news for Meg Ryan's new thriller "In the Cut". There is only one blurb on the ad, and it comes from Earl Dittman, filmdom's #1 quote whore.


    Scoop replies: LMFAO! LSMFT! (Pretty hip cybertalk, eh?) Here's some great stuff about Dittman, who called Boat Trip "a crazy and daring romantic comedy". More about Dittman. Many people believe that if Dittman's name appears anywhere on an ad or video box, it is an absolutely sure sign that a movie sucks, even more certain than the presence of David Spade. A quote from Dittman means the promoter was unable to find any other positive comments. One more Dittman link: DITTMAN EXPOSED: Film Criticism's Greatest Shame.






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    • 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.
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    Graphic Response
    • Angie Cepeda the Columbian actress gives us some very nice breast and bum views in scenes from "Pantaleón y las visitadoras" (2000).

    Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website.

    Crimson Ghost
    Assorted nudes and non-nudes today...

    Amanda Peet
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Tight jeans and soaking wet in scenes from the John Cusack thriller "Identity" (2003).

    Brick Randall
    (1, 2)

    Robo-hooters and getting it' on in the softcore flick "Deviant Obsession" (2002).

    Emily Procter Wearing a tight tank top on a recent episode of "C.S.I.: Miami".

    Letricia Cruz
    (1, 2)

    More Skinemax lovin'. Scenes from the series "Intimate Sessions", episode "Elena".

    Madeleine Lindley
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    The blonde B-movie actress shows off her robo-boobs in a couple of scenes from "Demon's Kiss" (2002).

    Mira Sorvino
    (1, 2)

    Mira in her undies in scenes from "The Replacement Killers" (1998).

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "The Safety of Objects"
    2001 adaptation of A. M. Homes short stories tells of four neighboring families and how their lives ultimately intertwine.

    Some thoughtful moments spiced with black humor, but the basic bleakness of the character's lives make this movie a downer without many redeeming qualities, much like the characters themselves.

    Sherilyn Fenn
    (1, 2)

    The "Twin Peaks" star is topless in these shower scene 'caps from the Zalman King movie, "Two Moon Junction" (1988).

    Marion Cotillard
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Gorgeous frontal nudity from the French actress in scenes from "Les Jolies choses" aka "Pretty Things" (2001).

    Laura Linney Frontal nudity from the Oscar nominated actress in scenes from 2000 movie "Maze". Written, directed and produced by "Northern Exposure" star Rob Morrow.

    Mariah Carey Thanks to Squiddy for one more look at Mariah barley keeping the goods hidden in that Versace dress.

    Alex Meneses
    (1, 2)

    Baring all 3 B's in a Skinemax style sex scene. Vidcaps by Kitt from the late night series "Hot Line" episode: "Payback" (1994).