Angela (1995) is the feature debut from writer/director Rebecca Miller, and was obviously not intended for mass audiences. It is the story of a 10 year old girl, who tries to cope with a mother who is seriously manic-depressive, and is as good as absent for Angela and her 5 year old sister. Angela fills in the holes in her catechism knowledge and figures out that her mother's problems are caused by her and her sister's sins. As the film goes on, she sinks ever more deeply into this fantasy/religion/guilt, and delights in tormenting her little sister with her ideas.
The film does an amazing job of showing life from the POV of the two girls, yet the adult perspective is not lost. Both young actresses were superb. Anna Thomson (her name keeps coming up lately) played the mother, and shows breasts and partial buns having sex with her husband before she is committed. In the end, it is the five year old who becomes the mature survivor.
IMDB readers have this at 7.0 of 10. Berardinelli loved it at three and one half stars. The film won two awards at Sundance, and a couple of other festival awards. The DVD is 4/3, but looks like a full negative of what was supposed to be wide screen, so I took the liberty of cropping the top. The photography is beautiful, the pace slow but lyric, and the perspective of the mind of a 10 year old, and the effects of such things as guilt is tremendous. If this is your kind of film, I highly recommend it. C+.
Serpico (1973) is the true story about the New York police officer who refused to accept graft. All he wanted was to be allowed to do his job fighting crime, and remain honest. Unfortunately, his stand was a threat to most of the force, who felt they couldn't trust him, as he put morals above loyalty to other cops. Al Pacino, fresh off Godfather, absolutely nailed the role. Set in the five burrows of New York, the locations were amazing, creating the correct mood for this film. They had four months from start of principle photography to opening. Director Lumet likes a rapid shooting schedule for several reasons. On his first day of shooting, he shoots lots of easy scenes (like a character entering a doorway) one after another, often in several locations, and, if he and the camera man agree, only do one take. He feels the actors don't have to stretch much for these simple scenes, it announces immediately to the crew that this is not going to be a laid back, take lots of insurance shots experience. It also lets Lumet find weak spots in the crew before they become a problem. This was a culture shock for Pacino after Godfather, but he liked it, as he could stay in character from one scene to the next.
The down side to this schedule may have been the fact that they had to edit as they shot to have the film ready for release. I suspect that the pace, and certainly the transitions from one scene to another would have been better if they could have started editing after they had everything in the can. Lumet was somewhat surprised that they film was a popular success, calling it proof that the viewing public is smarter than the studios assume they are. With the one honest man fights the entire corrupt system theme, Serpico's offbeat but endearing character, and Pacino's amazing performance, the film, even though somewhat dated, is still a cut above most police crime thrillers. The proper score was B in 1973, and is probably still B.
IMDB 7.5 of 10. Critical consensus is 3 1/2 stars, with 100% positive at Rotten Tomatoes. Nominated for two Oscars. Breast exposure from Cornelia Sharpe as Pacino's girlfriend taking a bath with him, and full frontal from an unidentified rape victim.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
I was both shocked and pleasantly surprised by
The Good Girl in
many ways. For one thing, I had no idea that it was such a good
movie, although it may not be for everyone because it maintains a
strange balance between absurdist humor and tragedy. In terms of
tone, think American Beauty, stripped of the pretentiousness, and
with the humor far less gentle, more cynical. I was impressed by the
way the film managed to keep the characters realistic and the
situations intense, despite elements of wild, silly and cynical
The film isn't what surprised me the most. That pleasure was
saved for the Jennifer Aniston sex scene. I'm surprised people
didn't make a bigger deal out of this when it came out. If I had
known the sex scene was this good, I would have gone to see it in
the theaters. Gyllenhall and Aniston are pursuing it vigorously.
Because the scene is dark and I had to manipulate the heck out of
the images, the captures don't look all that impressive, but the
scene really looked hot with all the movement, so there is a movie
version, as well. And that looks very impressive, indeed. Get the
movie. I promise it is worth the trouble. The movie is in Divx 5.02
format, and the file extension is .divx. You experts don't need any
help, but if you don't know what to do about that format, the best
way for a non-technical person to play it is to get the latest free
version of the divx player from their site (www.divx.com/divx/
- it comes bundled with their latest codec). That player also allows
you to play it back with different levels of brightness, contrast,
and saturation ("options" menu). Turn the brightness up, and it will
be the bee's knees. I stripped out the sound to reduce the file
size, so the file is a completely manageable 3 meg - no sweat if you
have broadband (it downloaded in 13 seconds when I tested it earlier
with a browser), but still a big load for a modem connection. But it
is worth it to see Aniston goin' at it, even if it is a bit dark.
Aniston does a very good job in this film as a small-town Texas
girl trapped in a dead-end life which includes a dead end job as a
clerk in a store similar to K-mart.
And I mean very good. I wouldn't whine at all if they
nominated her for awards. If you're like me, you just had no idea
she was capable of a performance like this, so emotionally dead on
the surface, yet so vulnerable and credible.
The DVD should be a winner, but does not come out for about five
or six more weeks. I will definitely own a copy, even if y'all
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.
'Caps and comments by Spaz:
"Van Nuys Blvd." (1979) is a comedy about cruising and girls very much like "The Van" and "Fast Times..." from that era.
Death Wish II...I managed to see a non-bootleg version of the Charles Bronson sequel which aired uncut in Canada recently. The quality over the Greek bootleg version is immense, with the colors intact and the scenes so much brighter. I also managed to get a hold of the cut US version. While the rape of Bronson's maid (Silvana Gallardo) was partially cut, the rape of Bronson's daughter (Robin Sherwood)
was almost entirely removed. I think why the MPAA had fewer objections with the maid's rape scene was that it was so violent, while with the daughter's rape she did not resist (lied submissively like a rag doll). A good review discussing the cut and uncut version can be found at this link.
- Silvana Gallardo: all three B's in rape scene
- Robin Sherwood: topless getting raped, the last pic has her gruesome suicide scene which was also cut.
- Melody Santangelo: topless as tourist hostage.
- Leslie Graves: topless contemplating the MPAA rating system.
BONUS: some early career nudity by Amy Weber (aka "Porcelin Bidet" in the Howard Stern produced "Baywatch" farce, "Son of the Beach") in her only nude role from the softporn classic "Forbidden Games" (1995).
'Caps and comments by Oz:
It's been slim pickings with nudity recently, mainly actresses in their underwear today.
Brigitte Bardot is topless in Shalako but you only get to see her from the back.
"Drive Me Crazy"
Drive Me Crazy is another of the modern teen flicks without the nudity. Melissa Joan Hart is in her bra and Keri Lynn Pratt fills out a bikini nicely.
Some mild pokies by Nicola Stapleton in Lava.
Some pokies by Alexandra Paul in Night Watch, and also a terrific view down her front. Irene Ng also has her top off but no nudity.
"A Cooler Climate"
Some pokies by Sally Field in A Cooler Climate. Carly Pope and Judy Davis are shown in various stages of undress.
"Cradle will Rock"
Cradle will Rock reveals some completely naked and unnamed artist models.
In Holy Matrimony Patricia Arquette is topless but we see nothing. However, I like the young boy's reaction, who is actually her husband in the movie. She also does a Marilyn Monroe impersonation and shows some chunky-looking legs.
- Patricia Arquette
"The Shrink Is In"
I read that this movie was only released in Australia. I don't know why because it isn't the worst movie around by a long chalk. The only nudity comes from Aussie actress Kimberley Davies backside, and that is most likely a body double. Some very nice upskirts of Courtney Cox.
- Kimberley Davies
- Courtney Cox
Some brief topless shots of Daphne Kastner in Spanish Fly.
"A Further Gesture"
In A Further Gesture we have some topless caps of Rosana Paster and an upskirt of Caroline Seymour, who has a brief part as a drug-crazed hooker.
In High Art, a 1991 version, the topless nudity comes from a couple of sleeping hookers. There are some shots of Katia Bronstein and Giulia Gam, both of whom end up dead.
"Carnival of Souls"
No nudity in Carnival of Souls, pokies by Shawnee Smith and Bobbie Phillips is in her underwear.
More underwear by Sally Field in Punchline as she changes her clothes on camera.
Some pokies by Marisa Tomei in The Paper, although it is probably a prosthetic.
"A Twist of Faith"
Concluding the underwear, we have Jane Sowerby in A Twist of Faith who plays a hooker just about to be murdered.
|Very nice breast exposure in scenes from the Italian movie "La Pretora" (1976).
||Stripped to her undies, then going topless in scenes from another Italian movie..."Bruciati da cocente passione" (1976).
|The Funnies by Number 6
Yes = No.
No = Yes.
Maybe = No.
We need = I want.
I'm sorry = You'll be sorry.
We need to talk = I need to complain.
Sure, go ahead = I don't want you to.
Do what you want = You'll pay for this later.
I'm not upset = Of course I'm upset, you moron!
Are you listening to me?? = Too late, you're dead.
You have to learn to communicate = Just agree with me.
Be romantic, turn out the lights = I have flabby thighs.
You're so manly = You need a shave and you sweat a lot.
Do you love me? = I'm going to ask for something expensive.
It's your decision = The correct decision should be obvious by now.
You're certainly attentive tonight = Is sex all you ever think about?
I'll be ready in a minute = Kick off your shoes and find a good game on
How much do you love me? = I did something today that you're really not
going to like.
I'm hungry = I'm hungry.
I'm sleepy = I'm sleepy.
I'm tired = I'm tired.
Nice dress = Nice cleavage!
I love you = Let's have sex now.
I'm bored = Do you want to have sex?
What's wrong? = I guess sex is out of the question.
May I have this dance? = I'd like to have sex with you.
Can I call you sometime? = I'd like to have sex with you.
Do you want to go to a movie? = I'd like to have sex with you.
Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you.
Will you marry me? = I want to make it illegal for you to have sex with other guys.
You look tense, let me give you a massage = I want to have sex with you within the next ten minutes.
Let's talk = I am trying to impress you by showing that I am a deep person and then I'd like to have sex with you.
I don't think those shoes go with that outfit = I'm gay.