||This section includes Scoop's site notes, images, vids, web finds, and meandering prattle.
Afraid of the Dark (1991)
WARNING: COMPLETE SPOILERS
It is my opinion that you will enjoy this
psychological drama far more if you do not read my comments in
advance, since it is one of those multi-layered films where the
viewer sees everything afresh as each false layer is peeled away.
If you know all the secrets in advance, you'll lose the emotional
impact created by each of the epiphanies. On the other hand, if
you have no taste for intellectualized, slow-based psychological
dramas, read on ...
If Hitchcock ever decided to make a movie script out of Freud's
"The Interpretation of Dreams," it would be a lot like this. The
first 42 minutes of the film and the final 49 minutes are
essentially two separate movies, but they are connected in the
same sense that Dorothy's Oz is connected to Dorothy's Kansas: one
is the sub-conscious interpretation of the other.
Lucas is about ten years old and lives in a world of blind
people. His mother is blind and teaches at a nearby institution
that provides training and housing for the blind. The people in
that institution are currently living in terror of a mad slasher
who preys on the sightless. Lucas is aware of the slasher's
activities, and is terrified of every unfamiliar face in his
neighborhood. Every person's every act seems to be cast in a
suspicious light through the boy's eyes. Is the mad slasher
actually the local window washer, the locksmith, a local
photographer? Finally, Lucas comes face to face with the slasher
Except he doesn't.
You see, Lucas imagined (or dreamt) the entire scenario in the
first half of the movie. In reality, he is going blind and
requires a delicate operation to have any chance to save his
sight. He fears going blind. He fears the vulnerability of
sightlessness. He fears the surgeon's knife. Lucas also must cope
with the fact that his mother (who is not blind) is pregnant, and
he fears the loss of her love to the new baby. He has stirred all
these fears into a stew of paranoia, using the people and animals
in his real life, as well as the toys in his toy box, as the
characters in his fantasy life, but re-assigning them to different
roles in certain Freudian ways.
I was impressed with the way the film pulled off that ninety
degree turn in the center, and I was impressed with the way the
director created tension in scene after scene, even though the
scenes are not so logically connected, as expected in a
dream-world. After the secret is revealed, however, the film has
to struggle to stay comprehensible. Lucas continues to experience
the delusions, but it is not always apparent which events in the
second half are real and which are additional dreams or delusions.
In the film's final surprise, another critical moment switches
from dream to reality, we see Lucas on the surgeon's table, and we
wonder whether the entire second half has just been another layer
to peel from the onion. Are we finally fully grounded in objective
reality? If so, how much of what we saw in the second half really
happened? Those questions are left for the viewer to puzzle
Is the film maddening? A bit. Frustrating? Yes, somewhat, and
confusing as well. It is also paced very deliberately, and the
scenes don't always follow one from another, but all that is
calculated. I think the great successes of the film lie in the
fact that the atmosphere is creepy, and the tone consistently
menacing. It's an unusual film, not for everyone, but perhaps a
little treasure for the connoisseur of variety.
Owning Mahowny (2003) is a Canadian film based on the book "Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony." which is a true story of a Toronto bank official who embezzled as much as $18M, and still owed $10.2M at the time of his arrest. Why? Ask the world, and you will hear that he was addicted to gambling. Ask him, and he would say that he just ran into a cash flow problem. The real Molony was sentenced to 6 years in prison, and paid back some restitution after he was released and working. He is now employed as a expert fraud consultant, and is married to his then girlfriend, played in the film by Minnie Driver.
Also, look for John Hurt as a casino manager. Mahowny was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in an award winning performance. He, like the real Molony, was an "ice man." The nudity is breast exposure from Sherry Hilliard as a prostitute sent to his suite by the casino -- a perk for a "whale" or high roller.
IMDb readers have this at 7.0, but it was a box office disappointment in the US. Ebert awarded a full 4 stars, whereas Berardinelli gave it a more believable 3. There are fine performances, and it delves into the problems of gambling addiction. Were it not absolutely true, the plot would seem far fetched. This is a strong C+. There is little drama or suspense, as we know going in that Mahowny will get caught, and many will not find him a sympathetic character, but it is very well acted.
"The L Word" Season 2, episodes 5-8
Episode 5, "Labyrinth"
Jenny and Shane gain a roommate, a guy, who decides to make a hot lesbian film of them and their friends, Bette and Tina move a little closer together.
Episode 6, "Lagrimas de Oro"
Tina Leaves Bette and starts becoming involved with Helena, after writing a winning proposal for a Peabody grant. Jenny and Carmen start a thing. Alice and Dana are obviously going to get together.
Leisha Hailey shows breasts in a sex scene with Dana.
Episode 7, "Luminous"
Alice and Dana begin dating. Shane is upset over Jenny and Carmen getting together.
Episode 8, "Loyal"
Bette and Tina decide to forge a new relationship, allowing them both to be in the baby's life, but Tina is seeing Helena, who is trying her best to ruin Bette's life.
Rachel Shelly and Laurel Holliman both show breasts in a swimming pool sex scene.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
"Land of the Dead"
Night of the Living Dead is a classic zombie movie, and creator George Romero had a lot to live up to with the 2005 sequel. He didn't disappoint, especially if you're into gore, because Land of the Dead is one of the goriest movies I've ever seen, and I mean we're talking graphic and explicit gore here, folks.
The movie is set years after the original. By now, the zombies have pretty much infected everyone worldwide, and the few humans that are left have taken refuge in a walled city. The wealthy live in luxurious sealed skyscrapers while the common folk fend for themselves as best they can on the streets.
The richies have built a huge killer tank called Dead Reckoning to protect themselves from the undead (and the poor people), but when a crewmember revolts and takes over the tank, no one is safe any more.
A gory horror movie with a good plot, at once disgusting and delighting, this is a top-notch zombie movie by the King of zombie movies. Don't miss it, and be sure to get the Unrated Director's Cut, so you don't miss any spilled guts.
||Dawne Furey & the Women of
"Land of the Dead"
Just a light contribution today...
Marie Trintignant, who has her own entry in the encyclopedia, was an actress full of life who wasn't one little bit afraid of taking her clothes off in films. Sadly I have to put this in the past tense since her boyfriend, rock band singer Bertrand Cantat, beat her to death in their hotel room in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2003. He was convicted for this act by a Lithuanian court to 8 years in jail and is still serving his sentence in a French prison.
Let's forget about this horrible deed however and enjoy these two clips of a totally naked Marie in "Betty", a 1992 movie directed by Claude Chabrol. The film seems another one of those cerebral ones that the French have an exclusive patent on.
Our take off with the Time Machine was delayed a bit until the weather cleared. So we started today's trip by taking a peek at "Knots". Now you would think with a title like that we would have a "Babe in Bondage", but NOT so. In fact it's actually a comedy.
What we do have are 2 topless babes in shapes of Paulina Porizkova and Tone Christensen.
The weather got better so we cranked the Time Machine back to 1975 for a visit to "Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman".
About a week ago when we did "The Godson" we lamented the fact that Maria Aronoff hid the "bushie" with a towel. Well Maria is back and this time she has lost her modesty as she reveals all, in fact you can even play the "Spot the Tool" game in this set from this sex filled comedy.
Back tomorrow with more goodies from the "Spacemen"!
|Here is "Desperate Housewives" co-star Felicity Huffman topless while gettin' it on in scenes from the short-lived Showtime series, "Out of Order".
|The Skin-man serves up some 'caps of newcomer Megan Lee Ethridge baring breasts and bum in scenes from the Sci0-Fi flick, "Alien Abduction" (2005).
Oops! Texas Tech finds it much harder to play real teams. Two
minutes into the second half, the Red Raiders found themselves down
38-10 to a powerful Texas team. And it didn't get better.
Hey - the White Sox actually have a bullpen!
The British people have been asked to take inventory of their frogs
"The long-term future of British amphibians is in the balance."
Whatever happened to ... the creator of 'Calvin and Hobbes'
- This guy makes J.D. Salinger seem like a media whore. In a
world of Bill Wattersons, Salinger would be their Paris Hilton
A tribute to the queen of 1970s European soft-core, Edwige Fenech
Letterman's Top Ten Rides At The U.K.'s New Sex Theme Park
Daily Box Office - Friday, October 21, 2005
- As expected, Doom was the #1 film by a wide margin, taking in
as much as the next two films combined.
- The big surprise was that North Country, a serious new drama
which was expected to finish second, performed abysmally,
finishing sixth with less than two million dollars in gross,
despite being on 2500 screens.
- Switching places with North Country was the other major new
release, Dreamer, a family film which was supposed to finish no
higher than fourth, but which muscled its way into second place on
- The fourth new release, Stay, with little publicity and weak
reviews, was expected to bomb and did, finishing in a tie for
The Wall of Hair department:
Prosecutors Want to Use Phil Spector's Admission (that he shot
Ex-aide to Powell blasts Cheney, Rumsfeld. I wouldn't normally
link to this because it has no humor value, but you have to read the
uninhibited remarks this guy made. (Colin himself is not happy with
the decision to take this public.)
Tom Cruise's popularity has plummeted.
- He dropped from the 11th most popular celebrity to 197th.
- He is now on the "five most total douchebags" list with David
Spade, Tom Green, Pauly Shore, and Ashton Kutcher. (Actually the
"five most controversial," but that's not the kind of company he
wants to be in.)
Weekly World News: "HOW TO DATE MUCH YOUNGER WOMEN"
"Top Ten Perks Of Getting Into The World Series"
- "World Series MVP gets to throw switch at Saddam's execution"
And The Latest Sex Tape Scandal Award Goes To - Super Model Carolyn
- It seems to have been stolen from her ex-, and he was none too
sympathetic. "Yes, a video was stolen," he told PAGE SIX. "But let
it be in the public eye. It doesn't really affect my life; it's
Ms. Murphy who has to worry. I'm sick of her bullshit. She barely
lets me see our daughter, Dylan. The most I see Dylan these days
is in the pages of Vogue — something Carolyn promised she'd never
do. Carolyn is as fake as her new tits. She's just about the
The trailer for National Lampoon's Barely Legal
- "Imagine being a teenage boy with only one thing on your mind,
but absolutely no way of getting it. A group of geeky boys band
together to make their own high school porn movie, with hilarious
- A National Lampoon film, and Tom Arnold as well! Plus it stars
Horatio Sanz as a thinly-disguised Ron Jeremy! It's arranged so
that you can get all the suckiness you need in one concentrated
burst. If it has a score by Yoko Ono, it may reach total suckitude.
- The film was made in 2003, never released in the USA, not even
DeLay seeks new judge for conspiracy trial.
- His attorney said Judge Bob Perkins had made contributions to
the Democratic Party and MoveOn.org. The lawyer said MoveOn.org
had been selling T-shirts showing DeLay's mug shot, taken on
Thursday when he formally presented himself to be charged.
- Hey, there is something suspicious about that judge. His name
is Bob without any Billy before it? Doesn't sound like a real
Texan to me.
- By the way, sorry to disappoint you if you're looking for some
schadenfreude at Delay's expense. His pic is the
most flattering mug shot ever.
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.