Thursday

Tuna
"Wetherby"

Wetherby (1985) sports a stellar cast including Vanessa Redgrave and Judy Dench. The plot is simple enough. A stranger invites himself to a small dinner party at the home of spinster teacher Redgrave. The next day, he visits her, and blows his brains all over her wall. The rest of the film examines the question, "Why did he do it?" An assortment of characters, including Regrave's lifelong friend, Dench, and her husband, a police investigator, and a rather strange female acquaintance of the deceased all wonder why he did it.

Not that the question struck me as particularly interesting to begin with, especially as I didn't know the character, but I didn't feel like I was any closer to an answer by the time the film ended. So, if the film didn't answer the question, "Why did he do it?", what question did the film answer? It wasn't until I started thinking about how on earth to review this that I found the real question, and point of the film. Either of two questions will get you there.

Why did these characters want to know why he did it?

Why were these characters included in the story?

The answer is the same in both cases. All of them are living unhappy lives, although they appear outwardly content with life. So the real question of the film isn't "Why did he do it?" but rather, "Why don't we do it?" Unfortunately, the film doesn't really answer that either. What is the value in this? Possibly, the film makers are asking us to look inside ourselves, and decide if we are or aren't happy, and figure out what keeps us going.

I feel a little better now that I see a reason for the film to exist, and it is now clear why I didn't relate to it at all. The basic assumption is that most of us are profoundly unhappy just under the surface. At least in my case, that is a totally false assumption.

Joely Richardson, as a young Redgrave, shows a breast, and Suzanna Hamilton, as the trouble young woman, is seen in a t-shirt and panties. IMDb readers have this at 6.7. Dench received a BAFTA nomination for supporting actress. Many critics were enthusiastic. The film is technically competent, but, at least for me, doesn't justify the expenditure of time. C-.

  • Thumbnails

  • Joely Richardson
  • Suzanna Hamilton (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    King David (1985):

    I was really disappointed by this movie.

    I know what you're thinking. I should know better. After all, I write about movies every day, and I should have realistic expectations about a movie which stars Richard Gere as Israel's greatest king.

    You got it all wrong, ya mug.

    I wasn't disappointed in the sense that it was much worse than I expected. On the contrary, I was disappointed because it was better than I expected.

    You see, I love really bad movies. I have watched Road House five times and loved it every time. Plan 9? A classic! Manos, the Hands of Fate? Genius! Some of my favorite recent movies include Hell Comes to Frogtown and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. What could be more fun than a truly inspired bad movie? When I read about Richard Gere as King David, I was stoked. Before the film arrived, I was already composing articles in my head. "I have to write about the worst casting of all time. Gotta do the research." Thinking for days about John Wayne as Genghis Khan. Mickey Rourke as Francis of Assisi. Hugh Grant as Lord Byron. Kevin Costner as Robin Hood.

    Pipe dreams. All pipe dreams.

    This was going to be my Thanksgiving turkey for all of you, and it let me down.

    Gere doesn't give an outrageously bad performance. He just gives his usual Richard Gere performance, creating a King David who is breathtakingly handsome and as devoid of personality as the next door neighbors on Ozzie and Harriet. Gere even managed some kind of heightened articulation so that, while he didn't sound classical or Shakespearian, neither did he sound like his usual Philly Guy self, which is what I was hoping for.

    I really thought it was going to be a Tony Curtis kind of thing. ("Yonda lies da cassel of my brudda!").

    I was already dreaming up the punch lines.

    • It's the only production in which King David is referred to as 'Dave'.

    • Dave finds out that the Philistines aren't really from Philadelphia, and refuses to stay with them any longer because he can't get a decent cheesesteak sandwich in all of Gath.

    No luck. Not a good movie, but not laughably bad. It's bad, just not bad enough to be consistently funny.

    It's just your basic garden-variety boring biblical thing. Although it lacks flair, it was directed with competence by Bruce Beresford, who has churned out a whole career full of similarly competent but uninspired movies like Driving Miss Daisy and Bride of the Wind. Of course, King Dave is down there near the bottom of Beresford's credits at IMDb, but with him at the helm the film is obviously not the complete hack-job I was hoping for. Damn!

    1. (7.86) - 'Breaker' Morant (1980)
    2. (7.35) - Tender Mercies (1983)
    3. (7.29) - Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    4. (7.05) - Black Robe (1991)
    5. (7.05) - Evelyn (2002)
    6. (6.61) - Don's Party (1976)
    7. (6.57) - Paradise Road (1997)
    8. (6.44) - And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003) (TV)
    9. (6.37) - Crimes of the Heart (1986)
    10. (6.32) - Mister Johnson (1990)
    11. (6.25) - Getting of Wisdom, The (1977)
    12. (6.14) - Fringe Dwellers, The (1986)
    13. (5.94) - Club, The (1980)
    14. (5.90) - Double Jeopardy (1999)
    15. (5.85) - Rich in Love (1993)
    16. (5.72) - Last Dance (1996)
    17. (5.54) - Silent Fall (1994)
    18. (5.46) - Bride of the Wind (2001)
    19. (5.36) - Aria (1987)
    20. (5.32) - Adventures of Barry McKenzie, The (1972)
    21. (5.23) - Her Alibi (1989)
    22. (5.23) - Puberty Blues (1981)
    23. (4.92) - King David (1985)
    24. (4.84) - Good Man in Africa, A (1994)

    The seemingly interminable story follows King David from his youth until his death at age seven or eight thousand. Well it seemed that long. Dave starts out as a humble shepherd boy who writes some songs and sings them to the sheep. Hey, even Sinatra started small. Besides, sheep rarely heckle, so they're good for working out new material. Dave gradually starts singing for smarter animals, then starts playing a few big rooms, and is eventually singing his Psalms around all the swankiest hangouts in ancient Israel. As shown here, he's kind of a biblical crooner with some snappy Catskills patter.

    "I accompany my songs with a lyre. I really enjoy a lyre. That's why Saul is my favorite king. (rim-shot) But I kid. You've been a lovely audience. I'll be here all week, and don't forget to tip your waiter."

    Yup. Turns out Dave was the Sinatra of his day. In fact the parallel to Ol' Blue Eyes is shown quite clearly in Dave's oft-neglected 214th Psalm:

    My kind of God

    Oh, Yahweh is ...

    My kind of God

    Oh, Yahweh is ...

    My kind of de-i-ty

    I know he

    Has chosen me

    ... and each time I roam

    that Yahweh is

    calling me home


    Eventually Dave the Poet becomes The Lord's Anointed, which really ticks off ol' Saul the King, played by The Equalizer, who likes to think of himself as the Big Cheese in Zion. The Equalizer does manage at least some degree of tolerance for the young whelp since Dave the shepherd-poet turns out to be a helluva warrior as well, and the kid teams up with The Lord of Hosts to do some serious smiting of Israel's enemies. They smite the living shit out of a whole bunch of pagans with tribal names ending in "_ites", like the Hittites, Amalekites, Kenites, Jerahmeelites Jezreelites, Carmelites, and Plebiscites. In fact, for about a decade there, Dave and The Lord turned the entire Middle East into a massive smite-fest, filled with constant war and turbulence. Come to think of it, things haven't changed much since then.

    In the interest of accuracy, I should note that Dave didn't really need to smite the Plebiscites. He just hung out with them and got them to hold a direct vote on whether to surrender to Israel.

    OK, that's a stretch. I'm really digging deep into the vault of obscurity to dream up something funny about this movie.

    In truth, there are only two really silly things in the film:

    • This film probably holds the record for the most outlandish use of "swooshing" noises. It even tops those Hong Kong karate films. During the classic Biblical one-on-one confrontation, Goliath draws one seriously big-ass sword, so big that even the gigantic guy playing Goliath can barely wield it. Yet when he swings it slowly and laboriously through the air, obviously struggling with its heft, the film's sound guy adds some swooshing noises that make it sound like Goliath is getting more clubhead speed than John Daly rearing back for a little extra on the 16th tee at Firestone..

    • Richard Gere disco dances into Jerusalem wearing nothing but his Depends. Now that I look back on it, my mental picture of Richard Gere doing the Tony Manero moves in his diapers does make me smile, but I guess by that point in the film I was not receptive to the foolishness, since my much anticipated cheesefest had turned out to be just another long, boring biblical epic.

    Based on this description, this is a D. It is competent, but I just can't imagine any reason to watch this film except the frontal nudity from Alice Krige. If you're really interested in the Bible, this interpretation will offer no new inspiration, and you'll be ticked off by the liberties taken with the story. If you're not interested in the Bible, it's a boring two hour voice-over recitation of unfamiliar names. "And then did he smite Menoch, and Bizzbat, and the Sodomites, and the Mennonites" ... and so forth.

    • The Borg Queen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    • Cherie Lungi (1, 2)

     

    Miami Blues (1990):

    The basic idea is simple. Sociopath gets out of prison. Steals a badge. Poses as a cop. Steals from crooks. Gets caught.

    The bitch is in the tone. Miami Blues is an offbeat, quirky, hipper-than-thou crime thriller with macabre elements. This film sort of played the John the Baptist role for Pulp Fiction. It wasn't the coming of Tarantino, but it showed what might be ahead if everyday life were to be juxtaposed with situations that include darkly comic and graphic violence.

    At one point the sociopath is mangled and bleeding after a major altercation in a convenience store, but before he leaves he asks the clerk, "Where's the whipping cream?"

    That c-store incident will serve to give you a good idea of the world inhabited by this film, so I'll expand it a bit. A loser holds up the store with a gun. The sociopath just happens to be in the store as a customer, sees the robbery about to happen, and threatens the gunman by menacingly brandishing a jar of spaghetti sauce. (??!!) The clerk is armed as well. Bullets start flying everywhere. Windows are shattering. Sauce is splattering. The would-be robber flees, gets in his pick-up and the situation seems to be resolved - until the robber comes back by driving his pick-up through the store's front door, pinning the sociopath under the shattered glass and metal.

    The most interesting complications along the way are:

    • The sociopath falls in love, at least to the degree that he is capable. He picks up a simple-minded underage hooker (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and ends up setting up house with her. She is so happy with the turn of events that she won't or can't see the worst elements of his personality.

    • Fred Ward plays the cop who is tracking down the sociopath. He is not at all stupid on the investigative side, but is only marginally capable of the mental toughness necessary for police work, and he is generally incompetent in every other element of life. Sloppy and unathletic, he's like a low-rent bachelor version of Inspector Colombo. Since he works with real criminals instead of genteel rich folks, this version of Colombo gets beaten up pretty regularly.

    Alec Baldwin plays the sociopath. This role is pretty much his specialty now, but he was just testing it out back in 1990. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the vulnerable naf, and that's her own specialty. This is just her character from Ridgemont High, minus a few more IQ points. Fred Ward checks in as the cynical, unsightly slob of a cop who can solve crimes, but can't seem to bring his suspects in.

    • Jennifer Jason Leigh (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

     

    Other Crap:

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

    Click here to submit a URL for Other Crap

     

     

    MOVIE REVIEWS:

    Here 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.

    Shiloh

    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 picture. When 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 altogether.

     

    Single White Female (2004) - part 3

    Tuna and I have discussed this before.

    Lots o' nudity from JJL and Bridget Fonda. Here's the third installment. See the JJL clips in Monday's and Tuesday's edition.

     

    Perhaps these tips will help if you have trouble with the codecs for these movies:

    Shiloh says:

    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.

    Scoop says:

    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.

    ICMS

    Words, pictures, and vids from ICMS
     

    1984 - (1984 - when else?) - part 1

    Hello Scoopy !
     
    Bush lovers will most likely find these clips a treat.

    I'm not talking politics here but am referring to the film "1984" starring John Hurt and Suzanna Hamilton. The film is of course an adaptation of George Orwell's grim but surprisingly accurate vision of the future written back in 1948, and I must say that the film is even more depressing than the book. Suzanna Hamilton plays the female lead role and back in 1984 audiences raised their eyebrows when she showed her pubes and, by doing so, managed to get her name noticed. See, it was a gigantic bush even by the standards of those days, so how must this look to some of today's people who adhere to the no pubes rule aka. the little girls look?

    Anyway, here are five out of ten clips. The next five will follow tomorrow.

     
    Yours faithfully,
     
    ICMS

     

    Crimson Ghost
    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.


    First up from the Ghost today...

    A few 'clips from the late night flick "Virtual Girl" (1998).

    Charlie Curtis is the 'Virtual girl' and is topless in a couple of very slow moving love scenes. There are a few quick glimpses of partial rear views, but mostly the camera keeps everything below the waist just out of sight. Some trivia...according to the IMDb, Curtis was the stunt babe and stand-in for Liv Tyler in "Armageddon" (1998).

    • Charlie Curtis zipped .wmvs. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Being a "Virtual Girl" allows her to change bodies during the same love scene. So what does that mean for us? 3 more girls all riding the same dude.

    • Assorted other virtual girls (zipped .wmvs) (1, 2)

    Miche Straube is a real world girl, and we see her topless in a shower scene. Oddly enough, in her only other IMDb credit, "Meatballs 4", she is listed as "Shower Girl".


    Next up from the Ghost....

    Maurine Logan briefly bares breasts and pubes in scenes from the 1989 movie "Blood Red", starring Eric Roberts, Dennis Hopper and Michael Madsen.

    Dann
    'Caps and comments by Dann:


    The second half of my effort to add Jennifer Lopez's nude films to my collection (and she's done only two, to my knowledge), is Oliver Stone's 1997 weirdo crime thriller U Turn, arguably better than her 1995 effort in Money Train because she showed more, but more importantly the role was much better, and personally I think her performance was too.

    A guy gets stuck in a desert town (frequently called a shithole in the movie for obvious reasons) when his radiator hose breaks. He's on the run from some bad guys to whom he owes a lot of money.

    Things get crazy when he gets involved with a beautiful young woman who wants to get away from her older husband, who was also her stepfather before mommy died. Things get nuttier still when the husband decides the stranger might be a good prospect to kill his cheating young wife for the insurance money. Throw in a wacky and crooked mechanic who keeps raising the repair price daily, a local lawman looking for trouble, and other assorted weirdos, and you've got a really cool, never boring, twists-at-every-turn flick.

    Not one of Stone's best, the critics claim, but a damned good movie nevertheless. I really enjoyed it.

    UC99
    Anja Nejarri The German actress showing off a rather large breast in a scene featuring a side/rear view from a recent episode of "Alarm fr Cobra 11".

    Barbara Auer We see breasts and a hint of pubes as well behind a mostly see-thru shower curtain. Scenes from the German movie "Nikolaikirche" (1995).

    Carole Laure The French-Canadian actress bares a breast in a scene from 1984's "Heartbreakers".

    Franziska Walser Full frontal nudity in an early 80's German TV production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

    Ingrid Steeger Full frontal nudity in "Moabiter Venus: Ingrid Steeger" (1971).

    Variety
    Scarlett Johansson Here's a sneak peek at the "Lost in Translation" star showing partial breast exposure in a scene from the upcoming Travolta movie, "A Love Song for Bobby Long".

    The exposure...A side view with Scarlett partially wrapped in a sheet while covering a breast with her hand.

    The movie...all I know is it's played a few film festivals, and it will be in NY and LA late in December. I guess they think they have a chance for some Oscar nominations. There is a website for the film, but it doesn't offer any more info.

    Sara Rue
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Rue bares her extra-larer big'uns in a scene from "Gypsy 83" (2001). You may recognize Rue from her current show on ABC, "Less Than Perfect". By the way, "Less Than Perfect" has one of, if no the most unusual cast on television. It stars Andy Dick, Will Sasso (from "Mad TV"), Patrick Warburton (Puddy from "Seinfeld") and Fun House hero Eric Roberts!

    Phoebe Cates
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Jennifer Jason Leigh
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Mr. Nude Celeb takes a look at the 80's classic "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982). Cates' nude scene is still one of the most famous in nude cinema history. But let's not forget that Leigh was also young and nekkid.

    Nicki Micheaux
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the "Soul Food" co-star topless and making out with Jessica Collins in scenes from the made for Showtime movie "The Ranch".

    Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    BRUCE WILLIS SUES OVER FILM INJURY
    Tears Of The Crybaby - Bruce Willis is suing the makers of his movie "Tears of the Sun," claiming a simulated spray of bullets caused a projectile to scratch his forehead. He's seeking unspecified damages, claiming he was exposed to "ultrahazardous activity" and experienced "extreme mental, physical and emotional pain and suffering." So did the producers: the movie cost $110 million and grossed only $86 million worldwide.

  • Maybe they should call it even.
  • When they saw the receipts, a bullet in the forehead sounded pretty good to them.
  • How did a tiny forehead scratch cause such extensive brain damage?
  • Perhaps the next "Die Hard" movie should be called "Cry Hard."


    POSH SPICE GIVES UP ON SINGING
    Something New To Give Thanks For - After several flop tries at a solo career, Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham announced that she'll concentrate on fashion design and give up singing. She said, "The industry is not what it used to be," and "I know I could never become the best singer in the world."

  • Really?! Oh, come now!
  • Or, for that matter, any kind of singer.
  • Or become 10 years younger.
  • At least she had a record contract, and the best singer in the world probably couldn't get one of those.


    "CHRIST" MAKES OSCAR VOTERS CROSS
    The Word "Christ" Was Heard Repeatedly - Mel Gibson will offer free screenings and DVDs of "The Passion of the Christ" for Oscar voters, but he won't launch an expensive ad campaign. He said that's not what the film is about; it should be judged on artistic merits; and he'll rely on faith. He may need it: a spy at GoldDerby.com reports that at one screening for Hollywood insiders, the film prompted "the angriest audience response I've ever seen," and "the most filthy cussing and swearing that's ever been heard at an Academy Awards screening."

  • But that's only because they knew Bush voters loved it.
  • They figure that's what Jesus would do, if He were them.
  • That's all right...Mel forgives them.
  • They hadn't sat through so much cinematic torture since "Gigli."
  • But without an ad in Variety, how will people in Hollywood ever learn who "Jesus" is?