Nell (1994) -- My copy of this Region 2 DVD finally arrived. I purposely didn't read Scoopy's review before I watched it, and it had been long enough since I saw the VHS version that I watched it start to finish. The film is as least as good as I had remembered, and possibly much better. If you haven't read his review, please do, as it is excellent. The part he doesn't mention is how much the two psychologists learn from Nell. Listen carefully for the last line of the film.

In addition to the full nudity from a very svelte Jodi Foster, Natasha Richardson had good pokies after swimming in her underwear. I adored this film on so many levels. The establishment, left to their own devices, would have institutionalized Nell, become rich and famous studying her case, then left her in a mental facility, thus the film has the kind of anti-establishment message that I always respond to. I couldn't agree more with Scoopy's score of B. This is a wonderful film that nearly everyone should enjoy.

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  • Jodie Foster (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)
  • Natasha Richardson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

    The Cradle of Life is about the scariest box in human myth or history. It is a box so covered in ancient runes and mystic symbols, that mankind has no record of what it used to look like. I am speaking, of course, of Angelina Jolie's tattoed coochie. No, just kidding. If that were true, the movie would have been much more popular at the "box" office.

    According to IMDb, this film was banned in China because it gives "the impression of a country in chaos, with no government and over-run by secret societies". Wow, no wonder so many Chinese people feel at home in California.

    Seriously, the problem with this series is that the people in charge think they are making Indiana Jones movies when they are actually making James Bond movies.

    So what's the damned difference? Don't they both feature spectacle, larger-than-life adventures, and exotic locales as a backdrop for the battle against various evildoers bent on world domination?

    Yes, but the difference is this. Indiana Jones is to James Bond as Spiderman is to Superman. Indiana Jones movies and Spiderman Comics focus on the star, while James Bond movies and Superman comics focus on the sidekicks and baddies. It has to be so, because Indy and Spidey are interesting and vulnerable, while Bond and Superman are too freakin' perfect.

    Indiana Jones acts like a real person. Evil guys scare the hell out of him. Other things frighten him. He's not a great gymnast nor a great fighter. He's a professor. He screws up. You can build on a character like that, because he reacts to most situations the way you and I would.

    James Bond is boring. Two words: Roger Moore. He's always cool, under control, in charge, predictable. He doesn't even sweat. He's the master of every skill known to man from bartending to witty banter to Sudanese Croc Wrestling. Take away the bad guy, and every Bond movie is exactly like every other one. "Bond, James Bond" probably says the exact same words in each one, for all I know. When the requisite naughty Bondbabe says her sexually suggestive name - "I'm Pussy Galore" - doesn't he always say, "of course you are", or does it just seem that way? Like Superman comics, Bond stories need a really good baddie to be in top form: Christopher Lee, Christopher Walken, or the Goldfinger/Oddjob tag team.

    Here's the difference in a nutshell. What would Bond have done when the crazy guy came out in the market twirling his Balinese Shark-Gutting Swords? Showing deference and respect for the thirty years it took the swordsman to master such skills in the Benihana training program, Bond would have taken off his coat, folded it neatly, handed it to a gorgeous onlooker, and then executed the perfect defense to the Multiple Balinese Shark Thrust, parrying the guy's puny attack as easily as Kasparov would beat Dan Quayle at chess. After finishing the match victorious, he would adjust his cufflinks, straighten his bowtie, and take his coat back from the female spectator, but not before arranging an assignation with her that evening. All that would take several minutes of screen time. What did Indiana Jones do? Shot the motherfucker and got on with the treasure hunt. Five seconds.

    All that is important background to understanding the Lara Croft movies because Lara is the same character as James Bond - same silly, invulnerable, know-it-all, only with breasts. She even uses the same gimmicks. No personality at all. Completely boring. In order to be watchable, she needs great baddies and great sidekicks. But her actual sidekicks are just as uppity and omniscient as she is. And the bad guy? Some overweight guy with a gun. What's he gonna do, hide secret codes between his chins?

    The basic adventure concept in Lara Croft 2 is great. The quest is important and intriguing - it turns out that Pandora's Box is real, and some baddies want to use it to destroy the world. That's very similar to the quests for the Ark of the Covenant and The Holy Grail, which made for good Indiana Jones yarns. But Lara Croft is not like Indiana Jones. When she's on camera, the fun ends.

    Except for Roger Ebert, the critics hated Lara Croft 2, but I did not. I liked the sweep, the spectacle, and the locales both real and imaginary. Angelina Jolie is about as good a James Bond as Roger Moore. I didn't think it was a perfect movie, by any means, and I did hit the fast forward button a couple times, but I liked it about as much as I like most Bond movies, which is to say that I won't go to the theater to see them, but I'll watch them if they come on the cable rotation. It's as good as an average Roger Moore James Bond movie. It isn't bad.

    But it isn't good, either, so I'm glad this one lost money. It deserved to lose money. With one hundred million dollars to spend, they could not come up with humor, suspense, clever dialogue, and a bad guy as cunning and brilliant as Lara herself. That is the real tragedy of Lara Croft 2. It could have been Raiders of the Lost Ark or Goldfinger, but it wasn't, because for all the positives, the script just wasn't ready to be filmed.

    No nudity.

    • Angelina Jolie (1, 2, 3, 4)


    Death and the Maiden (1994)

    Death and the Maiden is Roman Polanski's screen adaptation of a taut three-person stage play with very little action, and slow forward movement. It is, in fact, quite a good little political thriller in its own way, but be advised that the mystery and thriller aspects of the film are merely an overlay. It is not an entertainment film. It is a serious drama laced with social activism, in the manner of the great playwrights of the 20s and 30s.

    The story begins with Sigourney Weaver alone in a seaside home in a unnamed Latin American country which has just rid itself of a fascist regime. She is stranded in the dark, without power or phones, which have been knocked out by the storm which rages outside. Her home is not within site of any other homes. The only road in sight is not a road at all, but simply a mud path which interrupts the tall grass. The only sign of civilization is a lighthouse in the distance.

    Inside the house, she is setting out a dinner for two people, calmly at first, but becoming increasingly tense because the second person is not there. She goes to her porch, stares down the road, searching. She listens to a report on her battery-operated radio, and this angers her. A car approaches. It is not the person she was expecting. She grabs a gun, hides her body from sight, tense, frightened, vulnerable.

    It turns out that there is no threat. The car in front of her house is not the one she expected, but it is her husband in the passenger seat. He had a flat and was offered a lift by a passer-by.

    Great beginning! Very atmospheric, sets the stage perfectly.

    As a bit of time transpires, the passer-by and her husband talk, and she becomes increasingly agitated as she listens to them. She goes into the bedroom, packs some clothes and a big wad of money, sneaks out of the house, steals the stranger's car, and drives off. Before she does, we see her changing, and when we see her skin, it is obvious that she has been tortured. She takes the car to a cliff, and pushes it down into the tempest-wracked rocks below.

    That's the mystery. What the hell is going on? Why was she so frightened before the men arrived? Why did the presence of the stranger agitate her?

    It seems that she was tortured and raped 15 years earlier, and that her torturer may or may not have been the very stranger now in her house.  The purpose of that torture was to get her to reveal the name of the leader of the underground. She never cracked. The person she never exposed was the young man who is now her husband. She is certain that the stranger was her torturer - by the voice, the smell, the idioms of his speech - but he steadfastly denies it, and has an ironclad alibi. He was in Barcelona, doing his residency.

    She doesn't accept his denials, and she wants revenge, or "justice". She may well be mentally ill and delusional.

    That's the set-up.

    Power shifts between the three people. Our opinions change. The truth eventually surfaces.

    But what is the truth?

    The script is quite tight, Roman Polanski directed the film expertly, and the cast played it out quite well. It's worth a look if it is your kind of material. If you are not in the mood to watch three people discuss political torture for two hours, you need to wander over to the next aisle of the video store.

    • Sigourney Weaver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)




    • Charlie's French Cinema Nudity Site is updated. Check out Monica Bellucci at her absolute prime in 1991's La Riffa




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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.
    • 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.

    Graphic Response
    • Teri Hatcher, topless in scenes from "The Cool Surface" (1994). Amazingly, she looks much better here than her more famous scene in "Heaven's Prisoners" (1996).

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

    Mia Kirshner The Canadian babe and co-star of "Not Another Teen Movie" (2001) all wrapped up in latex and also baring a breast in scenes from "Love & Human Remains" (1993).

    Christina Applegate
    (1, 2, 3)

    Gwyneth Paltrow
    (1, 2)

    From the 'comedy' "View from the Top" (2003). The movie is a real stinker, but Applegate, Paltrow and Kelly Preston all look amazing in their bikinis and swinging stewardess outfits. Great 'cap by DeadLamb.

    Jackie Gayda
    (1, 2)

    Another look at the rasslin' babes's recent nip slip from Monday night's RAW.

    Patty Duke
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    An awesome find by the Skin-man...Patty Duke topless in scenes from the 1982 Canadian movie, "By Design".

    Tina Krause
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

    Misty Mundae
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)

    Señor Skin takes a look at the Seduction Cinema flick "An Erotic Vampire in Paris". Mundae and Krause (aka Mia Copia) bare all and of course do some lesbian lovin'.

    Celeb News
    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    A Hole In Their Logic - The FTC may examine recent TV commercials by KFC, after they were blasted by health advocates and called ludicrous and misleading by Ad Age magazine. The ads attempt to cash in on the low-carb, high-protein Atkins Diet fad, promoting breaded fried chicken as a surprisingly healthy alternative to burgers. One critic said KFC's food may be delicious, but it's not health food, it's more like "chicken-flavored donuts."

  • Mmmmmmmm!...Chicken-flavored donuts!...
  • Fortunately for KFC, I happen to be ON the Chicken-Flavored Donut Diet.
  • It's certainly not healthy for chickens.
  • It's also very high in fiber...if you eat the bucket.

    She'd Get Down On Her Knees And Beg, Or Something - Monica Lewinsky lamented to GQ that her reputation as Bill Clinton's sex toy intern scares away men, that she only goes out on dates occasionally and her romantic relationships have been short-lived.

  • About 10 minutes.
  • She's had no really deep relationships...Some were close, but no cigar.
  • Men figure, "She's been with Bill Clinton. There's no telling WHAT I might catch!"

    Wow! He ISN'T Gay! - PETA is targeting "American Idol" star Clay Aiken for saying on a talk show that he doesn't like cats. Aiken said he likes animals, but he accidentally ran over a cat when he was 16, and he feels like its spirit haunts him. PETA is threatening to run an ad featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog saying, "Get neutered, it didn't hurt Clay Aiken" unless Aiken endorses pet spaying and neutering on his website and gives them an interview. They've been deluged with hate mail from his fans and contacted by his attorneys.

  • His attorneys have NOT been neutered...although they're experts in performing the procedure.
  • If anything is going to be forcibly sterilized, why not start with PETA members?
  • Clay thinks PETA is a very funny group...for him to poop on!
  • If Clay hates the sound of cats screeching, it must've killed him being on "American Idol."
  • Here's a pic of the ad