"Video X"

Video X (2003) purports to be actual footage from a home video camera belonging to Dwayne Foote and Darla Jean Stanton which chronicles their crime spree which included 17 robberies and 11 murders in 6 states. The couple, he 24, she 17, lived in the same Kentucky trailer park. They elected to take a road trip to "Small River," a place where Dwayne had camped as a kid. They were soon out of money, snatched a gun in a hold-up, killed several people in a motor home who stole all their stuff, then picked up an ex con, because he was willing to kick in some gas money.

Dwayne had a real fondness for murder. He was finally able to tape the two of them having sex, and then later got her on tape in the bathroom. The tape was supposedly taped over someone's birthday party, and we see brief snatches of that party in between scenes. Watching it, it seemed like the story flowed too well for the tape to be the real thing, but I was not convinced that it was a total fabrication until I was totally unable to find either name on the Internet, except in ads for the movie. It is a sequel to an earlier film, supposedly about a group of reporters investigation their crime spree, who discovered the existence of Video X, but hadn't found it.

IMDB has yet to hear of either film. Think Blair Witch meets Bonny and Clyde. The video quality made it tough to watch in one sitting, and, in the striving for realism, the were lengthy shots of the floorboard of the car, peoples feet, etc. There were no credits. The film makers obviously didn't want to give away the fact that it was total fiction. The lead actress will have to stay Darla Jean Stanton until someone can learn her real name. She shows breasts in the sex scene, which is very poor quality, and bobbing breasts in good light in the bathtub scene. I must say I believed this more than I did Blair Witch, and the performances were not at all bad. I have given you enough to make up your own mind, but I will call this a C- as a shakey cam mockumentary.

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  • Darla Jean Stanton (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)

    "Wide Sargasso Sea"

    Wide Sargasso Sea (1993) was well covered by Scoopy two days ago. In case anyone missed his review, it is here. I would only like to add that this story could have been a much more enjoyable film had they stressed the lust, magic, etc, rather than deal with peoples emotions. It had two hot women, an exotic locale, magic, and two strong women fighting over the same man.

    To cover the feelings and thoughts and emotions of the two principles, they had to make extensive use of voice-over, which I always find a turn-off. Both Karina Lombard and Rowena King show everything, but in darkly lit scenes. I concur with Scoopy's C-. Great sex, good production values, but the story sucked.

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  • Karina Lombard (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
  • Rowena King (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Freddy vs Jason (2003):

    Man, I dropped a bundle on this match. Kruger was a heavy favorite, but I thought he could cover the spread. Turns out the underdog Jason won a hard-fought contest. My money will still be against Jason in the upcoming Rocky vs Jason, cuz Stallone is gettin' old.

    I suppose that everything you need to know about this movie can be summed up in the Yahoo summary. Critics Grade: C. (Yahoo scores rarely go any lower) . Members score: A- (Yahoo scores rarely go any higher). It is not the kind of movie which Newspaper critics love. A formulaic genre movie with no real attempt at crossover appeal, it is a shallow Hollywood trifle to the more intellectual reviewers. The British reviews were even worse, scathingly harsh, averaging less than one star out of four, according to The Guardian's summary. Audiences don't care about the same things. They go to movies like this to see teenagers get carved up in new and nasty ways by super-villains, and then to see buckets of blood flow when the baddies turn on one another. This puppy took in $82 million at the box office.

    Some of the genre film websites really liked it, citing as reasons:

    • the excitement of the final battle scene
    • buckets of blood and guts
    • the comedy provided by Freddy's wisecracks and a stoner dude. ("Whoa, that goalie dude is pissed") This guy seemed to think he was in Freddy vs Jason Mewes

    Here's the nudity summary. These scenes are in black and white because I viewed a DVD sampler. Since they are B&W and I'm not sure who they were, I just used raw captures instead of collages.

    • Opening sequence - a nude skinny dipper. (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Shower sequence (1, 2)- clear breast view, but shot from an overhead camera, so neither her face nor her lower body are seen. The actual character is played by Katharine Isabelle, but some sources said that the the shower scene was performed by a body double.
    • Later, there was a brief look at a camper's breasts. This one is in color.



    In the Cut (2003)


    About two or three years ago, I was revved up to the sarcasm red zone when Ingmar Bergman, the octogenarian director of possibly the slowest movies ever made, mused that he was going to do one more movie, and it was going to be a thriller. What, I wondered, would Basic Instinct have been like if it had been directed by Ingmar Bergman.

    I wonder no more. I have seen the movie myself. It is called In the Cut.

    In the Cut as a thriller

    On the thriller level, its most basic engine for forward movement, In the Cut is just another grade-B erotic thriller, filled with absurd coincidences, incredible character motivation, plot holes, and enough red herrings to feed Scandinavia for a decade.

    Let me give you some examples, with a warning that I'm going to spoil the entire film:

    1. Character motivation: Meg Ryan, a literature professor, is in a bar. She sees a woman blowing a man in the bathroom area. She watches. She doesn't see the man's face, but she clearly sees a distinctive tattoo on the man's wrist. It turns out that somebody was killed in the bar later that day. A detective shows up to question Meg about what she saw, if anything. She sees that the detective has the exact same tattoo as the man she saw in the bar the day of the murder, and she figures out that the woman giving the blowjob was the murder victim.  We're not discussing coincidences in this section. I'm willing to buy into this for now. But here's what happens next (a) as Meg discusses the situation with the detective she does NOT say -"I did see something suspicious in the bar that day - a man with the murdered girl - he had a tattoo exactly like yours" (b) when the detective asks her on a date, she accepts, despite the fact that at that point, based on the odd tattoo, he appears to be the serial killer.

    At the very least, Meg would have resolved the tattoo issue to her satisfaction before going out with the guy. Why didn't she? Well, that's obvious to you, isn't it? Because if she had acted like a person instead of like a movie character, there would have been no movie. Either (a) the detective would have had no plausible explanation, in which case Meg would certainly not have gone out with him and would have reported the information to another policeman, or (b) this bit of info would have alerted the detective to the identity of the real murderer. From what we discover later, he would have known exactly who the murderer was, since he knew only two people had that tattoo. Want them to act sensibly? Can't do that. No more movie.

    2. Credibility. At one point in the movie, Meg is mugged. She suspects that the mugger was her detective/lover, and that the mugger may also be the murderer. At another point in the movie, Meg loses something from her charm bracelet. Later on the two events coincide when Meg goes through the detective's coat looking for his handcuff key (after some fantasy sex)  and finds the missing charm. His explanation, "I went to West Broadway and looked around after you were mugged. I found the charm, and I've been meaning to give it back to you." Meg doesn't believe this ridiculous explanation, and leaves him handcuffed. The explanation could not be genuine. He didn't know the exact spot on West Broadway where she was mugged. Even she would not have been able to pin it down closer than a block. There's no way he could have known where to look unless he was the mugger. What are the chances of finding a little charm from a bracelet in a busy street in Soho at night without knowing the exact spot of the assault?

    "OK", you're thinking, "the explanation could not be genuine, and Meg did not believe it. So the plot was actually tight, correct?" Wrong. The cop was NOT the murderer or the mugger. It finally turns out that we and Meg are supposed to believe that story about finding the charm. The complete absurdity of the story was just a plot device to make Meg believe that he was the killer, thus driving her into the hands of the real killer. It's a plot device that worked for the moment, but made no sense after the remaining details were revealed.

    3. Red Herrings. Get this. Meg saw the murderer with the victim in the bar, right? The plot offers us not one, not two, but three red herrings, in an orgy of misdirection, and all three of the faux murderers could be placed in or near that tiny bar on that day!

    • Meg's stalker ex-boyfriend. We think he may be the killer because he's an actor who once played a doctor, is still obsessed with the role, is as nutty as a fruitcake, and still wears surgical clothing. All of that is pretty suspicious considering the victims were cut up with surgical precision and an assortment of knives. The stalker guy was right there, somewhere near the murder, because he admitted watching Meg go into that bar with her student that day. (Hey he's a stalker. That's what he does.)
    • The student. We think he may be the serial killer, because he is fascinated with serial killers, and is writing a sympathetic essay on John Wayne Gacy. He turns the essay in covered with dripping blood. (Obvious enough clue?) The student was actually in the bar with Meg that day, and disappeared mysteriously while she was there!
    • The detective. Well, to be technical, he wasn't actually there, but remember somebody with an identical tattoo was there, so we (and Meg) think it was Mr Detective.

    I guess I'm probably belaboring a point which isn't that important in the big picture, so just let me summarize it. As a plot-driven thriller, this movie is at the straight-to-video level.

    But the film is more than that. Much more, actually.

    In the Cut as literature-to-film adaptation.

    On top of the thriller is a very arty veneer of English literary conventions. Frankly, I didn't like this very much in a marriage with a mystery. Foreshadowing can be an effective literary device in some ways, but it's contrived by nature, and in a murder mystery foreshadowing simply adds more and more layers of gooey, unbelievable plot coincidences that stretch the audience's credulity past the breaking point. Some of the mood foreshadowing was effective when it was not directly plot-related, but there were other examples which ended up clumsy and contrived:

    • Much is made of the fact that Meg's dad proposed to her mom within a half hour of meeting her. He just happened to have an engagement ring with him, because his then-fiancee threw it at Meg's dad when she saw her ogling Meg's mom. Meg even dreams repeatedly of her parents' first meeting - it is a special shared family legend. OK, that's possible. Things like that do happen. Most families have such stories. What stretches our credulity is the fact that the serial killer in the plot always offers his victims a wedding ring immediately after meeting them, proposes, then slices them up. The killer who eventually tries to kill Meg, without knowing her family legend, acts out a distorted funhouse-mirror reflection of her own parents' courtship. Oh, how precious.
    • Unfortunately, I'm not finished with this foreshadowing thread. Even more unfortunately, the next example is even more pretentious. Meg is teaching Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse" in her class, and when we see her write the name of the novel on her chalkboard, she has already drawn a chalk lighthouse there. Can you guess where the real killer finally took her? To that little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge - known as Jeffrey Hook's Light - which looks exactly like the drawing she had made on her chalkboard!

    Yes, I know that grand literary works do things like this all the time but, as I said earlier, I'm not sure if this kind of "plot foreshadowing" belongs in a marriage with "mystery". The credibility cup overfloweth.

    In the Cut as lingering, Bergmanesque character study

    Based on what I've written so far, you are going to be very surprised by what I am about to write. I was impressed by this movie, and am glad to have seen it. If I were a real movie reviewer using a system like Ebert's, I'd give it three stars and recommend it to interested audiences, flaws notwithstanding. The mystery engine sputtered, and the literary paint job chipped, but the ride was still a good one. The director, Jane Campion (one of only two women ever to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar) did something quite special with the material she had to work with. As a result, In the Cut is not really a grade-B erotic thriller with literary pretensions. Oh, I guess it is that if you want to be persnickety, but that's not important. What makes the film work is the mood it maintains and the character study inside of it. The director did an excellent job on two things:

    1) Since everyone in the film except Meg was a suspect in the murders, and she was a potential victim, she lived in a state of heightened paranoia. The director handled this beautifully, especially with music and editing. In scene after scene in this film, the movie was able to portray Meg's point-of-view very accurately, and to turn various innocent words and situations into implicit threats which raised the tension levels to nerve-wracking heights.

    2) The one truly brilliant thing about the film is the portrayal of the battle raging inside of Meg between her desire for the detective (abetted by her loneliness) and her fear that he may really be a bad guy. Although the film may have taken her risk-taking to unrealistic levels, the actors and the director did an excellent job of portraying Meg's inner conflict, and the risks she was willing to take because of her hunger and her hypnotic sexual and romantic attraction to the cop. In fact those risks may actually have increased her desire, thus inducing her into a somnambulant walk into more risks. Each of us has done similarly foolish things when driven by lust or loneliness or both, then stood back from the circumstances later, in shock that we ever did such a thing.

    These last two factors led me to make my original observation that this could well be Ingmar Bergman's concept of a thriller. It even had distorted, black-and-white dream sequences! (Sorry, not one dwarf!)

    Actually, given the dark and grimy feel of the entire film, it feels like a thriller made in collaboration between Bergman and David Fincher.

    • No more pics at this time. Meg showed more than in these three pics we have already seen, (1, 2, 3),  but I saw it in a theater, not on a DVD screener. As soon as we have more, you'll see 'em. Meg also showed her buns in kind of a close-up from the side-rear, I think Meg showed her pubes in one of the sex scenes, but it's one of those deals where we won't know until we can pause, capture, and brighten with photo editing software. Maybe, maybe not.


    LOVE, ACTUALLY (2003)

    I have not seen this film, which is the one where Hugh Grant plays the prime minister. Elya went to see a sneak preview and I refused to accompany her, because she is the only woman in Texas who is not armed, and therefore could not force me.

    There is quite a bit of nudity, which means I will eventually have to see this movie, probably much sooner than I would care to. Elya really liked it, but women are apparently missing the important part of the brain necessary to evaluate Hugh Grant accurately.

    I'll keep my eyes open for a screener.

    • Joanna Page plays a porn star. She takes off her clothes several times, and simulates sex in various positions.
    • Laura Linney exposed her breasts. (Once she got her clothes off, she resolved never to put them on again)
    • Heike Makatsch and Lucia Moniz appear in lingerie.
    • Guest stars like Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richard stay clothed.


    L'IDOLE (2002)

    It's entirely in French without subtitles, and my comprehension of spoken French is almost as poor as President Bush's comprehension of English, so let's get to the pictures. The movie page, with VERY brief remarks, is here.

    Leelee Sobieski (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)




  • Other crap archives. May also include newer material than the ones above, since it's sorta in real time.

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    Here are the latest movie reviews available at

    • 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.

  • Graphic Response
    • Lara Flynn Boyle, the ultra-thin actress and co-star of the hit series "The Practice" going topless in scenes from the 1997 movie "Afterglow".

    • Priscilla Barnes, topless in the Jack Nicholson movie "The Crossing Guard" (1995).

    • Anne Coesens, full frontal nudity from the French movie "Le Secret" (2000).

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

    Joan Chen Brief breast views in scenes from the Christopher Lambert movie "The Hunted" (1995).

    Ruth Dubuisson
    Angela Jackson

    Louisette Geiss

    All 3 ladies are topless in scenes from the straight-to-vid movie "Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell" (2001).

    Eleonora Giorgi Full frontal nudity in scenes from the 1973 Italian movie "Storia di una monaca di clausura" aka "Diary of a Cloistered Nun" aka "Der Nonnenspiegel" (the German title is my favorite since it's just plain fun to say)

    Valerie Perrine
    (1, 2)

    Topless in scenes from "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1972).

    Katherine Heigl
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

    No nudity, but Heigl fans will appreciate the bikini tops, tight shirts and cleavage in these 'caps by C2000 from "Wuthering Heights".

    Vanessa Marcil My personal all-time favorite sexy celeb looking gorgeous in a bikini in scenes from the new NBC series "Las Vegas".

    Béatrice Dalle
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)

    Monsieur Skin 'caps of the French actress going topless in a sex scene from the the 1997 moive "The Blackout", starring Matthew Modine, Claudia Schiffer and Dennis Hopper.