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-.
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-.
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
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.
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
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
Here's some great stuff about Dittman, who
called Boat Trip "a crazy and daring romantic comedy".
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
Pink's pinkies make a public appearance
. Pink is gradually heading into the territory of Rosie
O'Donnell and Wendy O Williams ugly. She's not there yet. At
this point she's merely in Brigitte Nielsen post-fame territory.
Birthday boy gets a terrifying stripper
Mouseketeer removes her top in three different
night clubs in one night.
I'm more and more convinced that she is confused on her vow to
act like Mickey - it's Mickey MOUSE, girl, not Mickey ROURKE.
Ben Affleck demotes J. Lo to "girlfriend" in
Affleck refers to Matt Damon the same way.
Critics Axe'03 Awards After Screener Ban
The best CNN poll results of all time
Road Warrior Hawk Found Dead at 45
J-LO's big ass game
The 13 weirdest NFL injuries in history.
Actress Pamela Anderson joined an animal rights
campaign against fast-food chain KFC Thursday, urging a consumer
boycott of the franchise until it ensures better treatment of
its birds. Pam is
certainly uniquely qualified on the subject of how to treat a
Singers in sexy clothing. Although I can't figure
out Kelly Osbourne's goth look.
Series tied 1-1. Pettitte owns the Marlins, is
awarded several more "t's" in his last name.
Ain't It Cool News Webmaster Harry Knowles has
signed a deal with Revolution Studios to produce 'Ghost Town,'
an original comedy he pitched. "
Welcome to Iraq, home of the Whopper.
Good afternoon, GI Joe, and welcome to Burger King. My name is
Chemical Ali. May I take your order?
What comes next in society after a $50,000
putter? That's easy. A counterfeit $50K putter.
Dave Barry reflects on the traditions of
Woody Allen Autobiography Not Likely.
According to the story, he never had any passion for it. It was
his agent's idea.
LeBron James is shooting a mere 29.8 percent from
the field, and opposing defenders are already backing off to
double cover someone else.
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
are the latest movie reviews available at scoopy.com.
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- 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.