Ragtime (1981) is a period piece from Milos Forman centered in New York, Circa 1910. Coalhouse Walker Jr, is a piano player who finally lands a good job with a band, buys a new Ford, and finds his old girlfriend (who has his son) at the home of a conservative family who took her in. After proposing, he is harassed by a group of Irish volunteer firemen, who trash his car. The rest of the film is his attempt to get justice, then revenge.
While that is the main plot, it takes a while to get there. Elizabeth McGovern plays a former showgirl and model who posed for a nude placed atop Madison Square Gardens. Her conservative husband demands it be taken down, and ends up shooting the man responsible. McGovern taes up with a member of the same family that has taken in Walker's girlfriend and baby. McGovern shows all three Bs. She also has breast exposure in a deleted scene, but it was pixelated -- all but one frame.
The credits are rather impressive, and include names like James Cagney, who was lured out of retirement, Pat O'Brien, Donald O'Connor, Mandy Patinkin, Mary Steenburgen, Norman Mailer and Samual L. Jackson. IMDb readers have this at 7.1 of 10. It was nominated for 8 Oscars and 7 Golden Globes, but didn't win a single one. The score received a Grammy nomination. Ebert gives 4 stars, applauding the choice to simplify the source material, which had many interlocking plots. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 83% positive. I found it a little long, and confusing in the first act, but with many rewards, not the least of which was the great look of the film, and the sound track. This is a C+. Those who like epic period pieces should enjoy this one.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
The Hillside Strangler
If you can imagine it, there were two version of this story made in
2004. This is the version starring C. Thomas Soul Man Ponyboy Howell
as serial killer Kenneth Bianchi
Bianchi was born in my home town (Rochester, New York), and is not
much younger than I. In fact, Bianchi was going to high school in
Rochester while I was teaching high school there! (I think Bianchi
is still alive, in prison somewhere.)
I think I can best describe the film by quoting from
site. The marketers chose to place some quotations from reviews
on the page, which is characteristic of official sites, except that these
quotations are not the typical official choices:
"No amount of ironic posturing can excuse the
exploitative and misogynistic way the camera lingers over a
procession of naked and lifeless bodies."
And that quote comes from the ultra right wing New
York Post, which is not normally known for sensitivity to misogyny and
other such feminist issues! The point, however, is not the source of
the quote, nor even the content, but the fact that the marketers are
proud of it. They think it represents a sentiment that will help to
sell their product. The purveyors of these videos have chosen to cite a review
that says - in essence - this movie sucks, but is filled with naked
bodies. That gives you a very clear idea of the marketing strategy
and the target market.
If you rent this account of the brutal Hillside
Stranglings in the late 1970s, you should not expect to gain any
insight into the characters of the two men who committed the crimes,
nor should you expect to learn what made them what they were. You
should expect to see a lurid, detailed recreation of the pleasure
that they derived from killing their victims, and some graphic
pictorialization of the crimes, including explicit nudity, some
unpleasant violence, and two creepy guys exulting in the feeling of
power they attained from brutalizing and killing women.
The official site also links to the summary page at Metacritic, which
estimates that the average review converts to about 18/100,
a score roughly in the Gigli range. The Metacritic page linked
from the movie's official site includes the following quotes:
- "A good horse kick, or a fistful of Valium, may help you get
through this relentlessly sadistic exercise with your soul more or
- "Relentlessly unpleasant film."
- "Irresponsible, exploitative trash."
- "Here's one for the Sick Voyeurs Club."
... and you should see the bad reviews!
The reviewers are right about the exploitative nature
of the project, as proven by the very fact
that the marketers are so proud of those bad reviews that they quote
them and link to them. This is a pure exploitation film, 1970s style,
right down to the glamorization of the crimes. The real guys killed
a variety of females, the most famous victims having been two little girls from a Catholic
grammar school, aged 14 and 12. In the movie, the two men are
seen killing really sexy prostitutes and pretty girls with great
bodies - in other words, women who look great tied up naked.
Q. Does that mean the movie doesn't work?
A. Not at all. It does work on some level. You can fairly put this
film in the same group as "I Spit on Your Grave": a tawdry, slimy
movie that elicits strong responses from viewers.
The actors in this film are far better than the principals in "I
Spit on Your Grave". The lead performances by Nick Turturro and "Soul
Man" Howell are frightening and powerful, Turturro brutal and
absent of remorse, Howell slimy and dishonest in every way.
By the time the film is half over, seeing these guys will twist your
face into the same involuntary expression it makes when you see a
rotten banana. By the time the film is completely over, you will feel
the urge for a shower. I had to watch a bit of comedy to "cleanse the
palate" and get this film out of my head.
That means it has a certain elemental power. People
were horrified by this film, and it is absolutely a putrid example of
exploitation, but it is my contention that the score could not be
less than C- by our system of evaluation, for two reasons.
(1) Despite a small budget, it is not a choppy or amateurish film. It flows
(2) The Hillside Strangler evokes powerful reactions, and bad
movies do not cause people to become so emotionally involved. An
exploitation film which can provoke such outrage must, ipso facto,
be doing what the director intended it to do.
This film was designed to shock, to place the viewer inside of
the killers' mind-sets, and to make the viewer feel guilty and
ashamed for being turned on by watching really hot women get tied
up, just as the killers did. It succeeds on all counts. It is a
slimy and nasty film, but not one that leaves audiences indifferent.
I hated it. I wish I had never seen it. But I can't deny its
The bad news for me: I watched the R-rated version and there is also
an unrated one, so I will have to sit through it again. EEEW!
Suspicious River (2004):
I haven't seen the film. There is an R-rated trailer
on the DVD for The Hillside Strangler, which means that marketing
geniuses think the two films target the same audience.
Whoever that is.
One of the collages is made from the trailer, the
other from Shiloh's film clip
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
I was looking through some files last night in
preparation for archiving, and I noticed that Sean Young did some
nudity in this film (reviewed
Tuna and I both missed it.
Now I have to wonder how Tuna and I both missed
nudity from a well known star in a movie we just watched, so I
reviewed it frame-by-frame and it turns out that
(1) We did really miss it, in the sense that Sean
Young's nipple is on the DVD. At least if you want to be literal.
The nipple is there. No breast. No face. Just a nipple.
(2) You'd never realize it was there or who it
belonged to unless you knew in advance. The nipple is there, but
Sean's face and 95% of her breast are casualties of the widescreen
Do you think Sean got paid extra for doing a love
scene with Crispin Glover? And not just regular Crispin, but
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd say this guy really likes Carmen
Lindsay Lohan has hired a personal trainer and she's really
getting fit and tanned.
More Beyonce see-throughs
Beyonce Knowles caught wearing a see-through top on The View
F-Bomb on the news - with video. "I can't fuckin' talk
Football Players Give Special Boy The Play Of His Life,
but then Ricky Williams had to go back on suspension.
The real-life Doonesbury runs for Congress
Weekly World News claims: "SUPERMARKET LOBSTERS ESCAPE TANK &
THE HISTORY OF TOILET PAPER:
- Now in paperback:
The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies: Films from the Fringes of
Here's the trailer for Aliens of the Deep, James
Cameron's 3-D IMAX project for Disney.
This Friday's Theater Counts. Major new releases this
week: Christmas with the Kranks and Alexander. Expanded: Neverland
from 57 to 800, Sideways from 279 to 491, Kinsey from 36 to 180.
- This week's new releases:
Alexander - 10% positive reviews. Worst week ever?
Alexander, with 10%, was the BETTER of the two new releases.
- "Towards the end of this movie, I wanted to kill Alexander
just to get it over with and go home. Even Rosario Dawson’s
supposedly stunning nudity was over-hyped."
- "A horrendously bad movie, a genuine 40-car pile-up of
literally epic proportions, a three-way head-on collision of bad
writing, bad acting, and bad direction."
- This week's movies:
Christmas with the Kranks - 7% positive reviews.
Brad Pitt is secretly coaching Matt Damon to become the Sexiest
Man Alive. Pitt, Clooney, and Damon are buddies, and
the former two have been chosen for that honor in the past, so
they are giving Damon a rasher of shit about losing out. Pitt is
obviously being facetious with his remarks, but the article
doesn't seem to full grasp that.
156 Parties to Run in Iraq Elections. 37 of them have
already endorsed Nader.
40 things every drunkard should do before he dies.
"The Eight Worst Christmas Gifts of 2004"
The D.C. team has a name, a web site, and a logo - The Washington
Adult content providers to market their brands by sending video
clips, images, ring tones, and applications to cell phones.
Dan Rather To Step Down From Anchorman. Will Ferrell to
step in? Rather said that he will not retire completely, but will
still be bringing his unique brand of insane babble and biased
reporting to many specials, at least until Kenneth tells him the
Google Sued Over Free Peeks at 'Thousands of Nudes'
The Politics of Presidential Spending. Very interesting
article. It raises this question: if you look at government
spending, adjusted for population growth and inflation, which
President(s) have actually done the best and worst job of
controlling government spending?
Sharon Stone married a restaurateur over the weekend.
No, you don't understand. That doesn't mean she was the bride. She
was the MINISTER!
Dolphins save human swimmers from shark. The pod of
dolphins saved four humans, but allowed the shark to eat a fifth,
a lawyer. Professional courtesy.
Four free sample vids from Playboy's Amateur Home Videos!
Playmate Gallery - February 1998's staplegirl Julia Schultz -
Courtesy of PlayboyPlus.com!
Madonna has revealed that Guy Ritchie buys her designer shoes to
make up for their fights. She now has them stored in
the Imelda Marcos room.
Ya gotta love the President in a serape.
Beware of e-mails from PayPal
Martha Stewart's Prison Diary
Rosario Dawson talks about her sex scene in Alexander.
The Weekend Update site has now loaded the Update film and the
corresponding web page for the Liam Neeson show on Nov 13th.
Screenshot Archive, for your video game nostalgia.
A Serbian tie maker is launching a new range of penis cravats for
the man who has everything. He claims Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and Jacques Chirac are among his
clients. (For regular NECK ties, presumably. But with those three,
Here is the trailer for Imaginary Heroes, an American
Beauty meets Garden State kind of thing, starring Sigourney
Weaver, Michelle Williams, and Jeff Daniels. (Several formats and
The teaser from Rip Cage: "What could compare to the
torture of a trapped and lost soul? What could compare to the
horror of existing one step closer to complete decay? Welcome to
the next level in death; welcome to the place where reality has
been bent inwards-out - where nothing is as it seems and where
bliss and peace are things of the past. Welcome to the cage! These
seven strangers all share the same wish, the same goal and the
same reasons for being here. In this place, the only thing that
matters is to avoid dying... or perhaps, to avoid staying alive
for too long. When reality goes out and surreal nightmares are
left in it's place, there's only one thing that is certain; pain."
Six new clips from the remake of Flight of the Phoenix.
Two new clips from the new Bill Murray comedy, The Life Aquatic.
Meet the Fockers - a tour of the Focker family home
"Jim Belushi vs. Catwoman: I HATE MY CELEBRITY NEIGHBOR!"
REALITY SHOW CONTESTANTS TO COMPETE FOR FLU SHOT.
Thousands Line Up For Chance at Ultimate Prize
- The stakes in the reality show world just got a little
higher, as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
announced today that it would produce a new television program
in which the winning contestant receives the ultimate prize: a
Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the
since it's sorta in real time.
to submit a URL for 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 Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
Words from Scoop.
.avi's from Shiloh.
.wmv files made by Scoop from Shiloh's .avi's.
NOTE: because of a unique combination of
circumstances with the Windows media player and some substantial
bandwidth theft, we will have to do all of our movie files in zip
format. Left click on the files as you normally would to view a
you get a choice, click on "save", and put it on your hard drive in
the directory of your choice. UnZIP and play from there.
I know this is not especially convenient, but it
allows the film clips to continue. I can protect .zip files from
hot-linking in the same way I can protect still images. For some
reason, if I protect .avis and .wmvs from hot-linking, they will not
play in the Windows media player, and I can't get a satisfactory
work-around. Perhaps I will find a better solution, but for now this
new policy allows you to continue getting the movie clips you want
to see, which is much preferable to my abandoning the clips
Suspicious River (2004)
We interrupt our normal presentation of Single White
Female to present Shiloh's clip from Suspicious River. Makes sense,
since Dann and I just ran into this movie at the same time. From the
clips and Dann's description, this looks and sounds like one
fucked-up movie. (Back to SWF tomorrow)
Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble
with the codecs for these movies:
FYI when I hypercam vids to make the file size smaller I use
DivX MPEG-4 Fast-Motion for the video compressor, then I use
virtualdub to compress the audio. The properties for the
vids says the video codec: DivX Decoder Filter & audio
codec: Morgan Stream Switcher which I'm not familiar with.
When I compress the audio with virtualdub I use MPEG
Layer-3. A friend of mine told me about compressing the
audio about (6) mos. ago. Like I said previously, only been
capping for a year & a half & I'm no expert. Hopefully this
info will help members with the proper codecs for my vids.
When I cap big brother's I use hypercam mostly & sdp &
asfrecorder if the set up allows me. I stopped using
camtasia cause the file sizes were always too big, could
never figure out the process, over my head lol, plus it cost
too much to buy in my opinion.
A reader says:
You mentioned that some users were
having trouble with the videos on your site. There is a tool
designed to determine what codec is needed for a video.
http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ Hope this is useful to you
or your users.
I made the .wmv versions of each video. The codecs for these: Windows Video V8, Windows Audio 9.
The upside of these is that you know the codecs, and they'll play in
the Windows Media Player. The downside is that they are slightly
larger, and slightly lower quality.
Words, pictures, and vids from
Gazon maudit - (1995) - part 2
Hi Scoopy !
This time we'll continue our look at the French
comedy "Gazon maudit" (1995), starring Victoria Abril. As usual
Victoria isn't very shy about her body (check the huge volume in
the Encyclopedia), so there are ten clips in all. Today I'm
sending along the last five.
(Scoop's note: Some of these clips contain no Abril nudity, but
are included for the entertainment value and/or to maintain the
continuity between scenes.)
NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.
Today from the Ghost...a couple of video clips from the new made for Showtime series "Huff" (2004).
- Paget Brewster zipped .wmv. Pushing the limits of showing skin without actually revealing anything in a love scene with Hank Azaria.
- Two zipped .wmvs of Nichole Robinson clearly topless. No teasing here.
'Caps and comments by Dann:
It wouldn't be unfair to say this 2000 drama is depressing from start to finish, and part of that may be that star Molly Parker's pained expression doesn't change much throughout the whole film.
A married woman (apparently unhappy in her marriage, although that is only vaguely hinted at in the film) prostitutes herself on the side while clerking at a local motel. She becomes drawn to one of her customers, who the first time is abusive and hits her, then apologizes and on subsequent visits becomes loving and affectionate.
It's only after becoming involved with this guy that she discovers he has something darker in mind, leading to gang-rape and beating, and a very down ending. And no, the pictures on the bottom part of the collage do NOT show her dead body. She simply laid like a statue, refusing to respond as they raped and beat her.
I'm still trying to figure out the point of this movie. I can't say I liked it, but I can't say it's bad either. This is the kind of movie where every viewer will come away with a different opinion. Just plan to be depressed.
|Mr. Nude Celeb
A few quick frames sharing the theme of "brief nipple sighting".
- Ione Skye see-thru/pokies from the Cameron Crow film "Say Anything..." (1989).
- Janine Turner...the former "Northern Exposure" star with a partially open shirt in a scene from "A Secret Affair" (1999).
- Parker Posey, a side breast view of the Queen of Indies in a scene from "Party Girl" (1995).
- Winona Ryder showing a paritial nipple view as her hand covers most of her breast in a scene from "Autumn in New York" (2000).
|The beautiful Spanish actress bares breasts, bum and a whole lot of leg in scenes from "Zapping" (1999). On December 17, American audiences can catch her on the big screen in the upcoming Adam Sandler movie "Spanglish" (2004).
|Cleavage, pokies, legs, partial rear nudity, see-thru breast exposure and toplessness! Scenes from the 1994 movie "Rules of Obsession" aka "A Passion to Kill". All of Field's love scenes are with co-star Scott Bakula. They ended up getting married in real life two years after this movie was made.
|Paparazzi pics of the young Canadian singer wearing a bikini top during a day at the beach.
|Both ladies are topless in scenes from the 1997 movie "The Blood Oranges".
|Jennifer Love Hewitt
|Señor Skin 'caps of Hewitt in her undies. Plenty of cleavage in scenes from the movie "If Only (2004). Links #4 features a nice partial breast view as she makes out with a dude.
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
MODEL SAYS SHE'LL WEAR BIKINIS WHEN SHE'S 80
She'll Wear An Orthopedic Thong - Mick Jagger's ex, model Jerry Hall, told
the UK Mirror that she'll keep modeling as long as they pay her. She said
she's had to tone down her outfits a bit with age, "but I've still got
fabulous legs and wear mini-skirts. I'll keep wearing bikinis till I'm
80." Hall said she intends to "grow old gracefully in public, and
disgracefully in private."
Unlike Mick, who will be old and disgraceful in public and in private.
She'll be appearing in this year's "Modern Maturity" swimsuit issue.
There's nothing wrong with wearing bikinis until you're 80, as long as
you wear a LOT of clothes over them.
McCARTNEY TO STAR AT SUPER BOWL
I Wanna Hold Your Gland - The NFL signed 62-year-old Paul McCartney to
provide the halftime show at this year's Super Bowl. McCartney said he's
"looked at all facets of the show, including talent selection, song
selection and costume selection, to ensure we wouldn't have a repeat of
what happened last year."
Yeah, nobody wants to see Paul McCartney's man-boob.
He will not, at any time, be sharing the stage with Justin Timberlake.
He knows the FCC will fine him for obscenity if he sings "Come Together."