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.
Darla Jean Stanton
"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.
|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'
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
- 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,
- 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
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
But the film is more than that. Much more,
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
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
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
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
- No more pics at this time. Meg showed more than in these
three pics we have already seen, (1,
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
- Laura Linney exposed her breasts.
(Once she got her clothes off, she resolved never to put them on
- Heike Makatsch and Lucia Moniz appear in
- Guest stars like Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richard stay clothed.
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,
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.
- 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.
- 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. www.graphic-barry.com.
||Brief breast views in scenes from the Christopher Lambert movie "The Hunted" (1995).
|All 3 ladies are topless in scenes from the straight-to-vid movie "Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell" (2001).
||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)
|Topless in scenes from "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1972).
|No nudity, but Heigl fans will appreciate the bikini tops, tight shirts and cleavage in these 'caps by C2000 from "Wuthering Heights".
||My personal all-time favorite sexy celeb looking gorgeous in a bikini in scenes from the new NBC series "Las Vegas".
|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.