"To Live and Die in L.A."
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) is a well respected crime story centered around Secret Service agents in L.A. who are after a major counterfeiter. It is by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection), and is best known for a chase scene, going the wrong way on the long beach freeway. Agent Chance (William L. Petersen) and his partner are after counterfeiter Willem Dafoe. When his partner is killed, Peterson tells his new partner that he will get Dafoe, no matter what it takes. To get money that the agency won't authorize for a sting operation against Dafoe, they hold up what they think is a cash courier for a stolen diamond buy, but who is, in reality, an FBI agent working on his own sting.
Petersen's main informant ad sex partner is played by Debra Feuer, and Dafoe's girl friend is played by Darlanne Fluegel. Both women show breasts and buns. IMDB readers have this at 6.8 of 10. Ebert awards a full 4 stars, praising the theme of the loyalty for the agents to their partners. Virtually everyone liked the film. I would have preferred a little more character development, and, other than the chase scene, was never really involved in the plot. From my viewpoint, cops that break the law to catch bad guys for revenge are no better than the bad guys they are trying to catch, thus leaving me with nobody to root for. This is the classic C+, a very well done genre effort.
Alien (1979) is again available on home video, this time as part of a 9 disk set that includes all four films, a special features disk for each of the films, and a ninth bonus disk full of trailers scripts, etc. Alien has been remastered, and is resented in both the original theatrical cut, and in the new directors cut. Someone recently requested caps of Sigourney Weaver in her undershirt and panties from this film, and this new release allowed me to fill that request.
Although this is decidedly not my kind of film, there is no denying its popularity, as it is still the #61 film of all time with an IMDB rating of 8.3. Fans of the series will be pleased with the transfer and special features of this, and the other three films in the series. This is a the rare case where I do not personally enjoy the film, but have to award a B, as I am in the minority on this one.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
Updated volumes: Ludivine Sagnier, Charlotte Rampling, Rebecca Romijn,
Milla Jovovich, Ashley Judd
Helen of Troy (2003)
"Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?"
--- Christopher Marlowe, "Faustus" ---
Helen is Troy is a lavishly produced TV mini-series,
shot on location in Malta by the USA network.
It is an alternate version of the
story. Although it assumes that Homer's version contains the core of truth,
the mini-series views some of the incidents from a completely different
perspective. Many people objected to it for presenting a dumbed-down
alternative to an important epic, or for unwarranted historical
Does that make sense to you? I
doesn't to me.
The Trojan War is one of the most
commemorated events in human history. The greatest painters of every
generation have memorialized it. The greatest authors have lionized
its heroes. Various incidents are immortalized in every form of
iconography from modern advertising logos to linguistic idioms to
ancient pottery. Many people who completely ignorant of real events
in their own times can probably identify a "Trojan horse" or
describe why a certain aliment is called an "Achilles heel", because
of events that happened 3200 years ago.
All of that makes it seem real to us.
But frankly, there are not many
things we know about the Trojan War. We can't even say that
it really happened.
If it did occur, it probably happened
around 1200 B.C. If Homer really existed, he probably composed The
Iliad around 700 B.C. It was probably written down for the first
time around 500 B.C. The only thing we're pretty sure of is that the
version known in 500 B.C. is still virtually identical to one we can
read today if we choose to and are able to do so. It is also likely
that this written version was very close to the original composition
from a couple of centuries earlier, since the work was in a very
complex poetic meter (dactyllic hexameter), which didn't really
allow it to be altered much from telling to retelling. To avoid the
interruption of constant disclaimers, I will assume for the
remainder of this essay that there was a single author named Homer,
and that he composed his works orally in the period between 750 and
650 BC. I will also assume that there was a Troy, and it fell
between 1250 and 1180 B.C. These are not certainties, by any means,
but they are based on the best available evidence. (See notes and
Homer's work is, was, and always will
be great literature. It may be the most important unifying cultural
treasure of European civilization. It was the first great mythical work to be
written down, it is still regarded as complex and beautiful poetry
by Greeks, and its endurance and popularity in other languages speak volumes for the timeless quality of the story. The problem
comes when people want to treat it not as literature, but as
history. At best, it was composed five centuries after the events
which inspired it. The legend therefore grew over five centuries of
embellishment by superstitious, primitive, ignorant, people who took
pride in their heroes and their country, and believed in a pantheon
of ludicrous superhuman dieties. If you could go back with pictures
and a battery-powered TV/VCR and tell these people about Space Ghost,
they would think he was real, and would build a temple to him.
It is not known to what extent Homer
thought his account was true. Did he really believe that everything
happened as he recounted it, including the constant interference of gods
and goddesses, or did he simply use the gods to mythify his story
even though he knew it was a crock? We will never know the
answer to this with any certainty, but presumably the ancients did believe that the gods
intervened directly in their lives, so Homer may have thought all of
it happened as he described it. Clearly there are elements
in the Iliad that give it a gloss of authenticity, like the minute
accounts of the commanders and their ships and the men that sailed
with them. Did Homer simply fabricate these details to overlay an
encyclopedic patina which would make the myth seem
more authentic, or were these details handed down with accuracy for
centuries? Or is there a third explanation? We will never know these answers, either.
But there is one thing we know for
sure: Homer's account was bullshit, whether he believed it or not.
The most obvious reason is that there
are no prophetesses and there are no gods wandering among humans.
Helen wasn't the daughter of a god who disguised himself as a big
duckie, Achilles wasn't virtually invulnerable because he was bathed in the River Styx,
Cassandra could not see the future, and so forth. Those things
should give you a pretty
good whiff of some major bullshit in the vicinity.
There is a less obvious reason as
well. The Iliad is the Greek version of the story, and nobody wrote the
Trojan version. There are two clichés worth remembering in this
Imagine an account of the history of
President Reagan's administration, as written entirely by the
admirers who want his likeness on Mt. Rushmore. Then imagine an
account written entirely by the Reagan detractors who think he was a
dunce and that his administration was riddled with criminality. You
see what I'm driving at? The Iliad is a partisan account, and
it had 500 years to become embellished by people who were so
ignorant they really believed that women could get pregnant from
having sex with a waterfowl. Surely the ancient Greeks were no less
susceptible to partisanship and pride and bias than we. Perhaps they
spun events even more than we do. And they were a lot more ignorant.
So how much of The Iliad should we
believe? I can answer that. Go back to my original point about the
Reagan administration. Imagine that the account was only written by
his supporters. Imagine that his supporters sincerely believe that
Jesus personally intervened to make Reagan defeat godless Communism.
Imagine that their account is handed down verbally for 500 years,
with no libraries or other records to dispute the oral accounts, and
nobody left alive to remember what really happened for 450 or those
500 years. Now imagine that the people who tell the Reagan story
over the centuries truly believe that a woman can get pregnant from
goose-fucking. Got a picture? How much of that account do you think you could believe
500 years later? That's how much of the Iliad you should believe.
The script for this mini-series
simply postulated that some of the Homeric account was
pseudo-religious myth, and some of it Greek "spin". It
tried to humanize and de-spin the story, hypothetically of course. The
Homeric account says, for example, that the Trojan prince, Paris,
was treated as visiting royalty by Menelaus, and that Paris
responded to this kindness by kidnapping Menelaus's wife (Helen of
Sparta, later Helen of Troy), with the help of the goddess
Aphrodite. The mini-series chooses to adhere to the basic facts -
Paris visited, was feasted, left with Helen - but spins it another
way. Menelaus and his brother were scumbags. They humiliated Helen
and treated her like they treated their prize cattle. She fell in
love with the noble, unaffected Paris, who had been raised as a
shepherd. The Spartans had long intended to conquer Troy for its
riches. They did wine and dine Paris for a time, but only to milk
him for information which would facilitate a battle plan. When Paris
escaped a certain death sentence in Sparta, Helen insisted on
accompanying him. In fact, she swam out to the Trojan boat, which
was already underway.
There are many other places where the
mini-series offers an alternative to The Iliad, but the one example
above should give you the general idea of the revisionist premise.
The new legend in brief: King Priam of Troy was wise and just, Helen really loved
Paris because he was a great guy, King Agamemnon was a complete
asshole, and his younger brother Menelaus was a spineless toady.
I reckon this version makes just as much sense as
Homer's. Maybe far more. At least all of the events seem justified,
the behaviors seem properly motivated, and the convenient impact of
the "hand of the gods" has been mostly excised from the account.
(Inexplicably since they claimed to tell the "true story", Paris's encounter with
the three goddesses and the apple of discord has been left in, as
have Cassandra's flawless prognostications, the fact that Helen was
the daughter of Zeus, and a few other minor supernatural elements.)
I liked what they did with the story.
Although some of the characters are one-dimensional (Achilles is a
total asscrevice), some of the others (Menelaus, for example) are
allowed to breathe and to grow. I liked the fact that the
script made Iphigenia a beautiful, bouncing, loving, pre-schooler
who was killed by her father after she ran merrily into his arms. I
very much liked the way they had Clytemnestra kill her husband, the
arrogant Agamemnon, who had killed their innocent little daughter as
a sacrifice for favorable winds, and I could feel her anger when she
did it. I felt that I would have done what she did. Isn't that how
drama is supposed to work?
I would have been completely thrilled
if the script had gone one step further. I would love to see a
script about the Trojan war which assumes that there were no
supernatural events at all, and gives a hypothetical recreation of
the actual historical events which could have inspired the mythical
version, using the best available archeological and historical
Assume Helen had a normal father.
Assume Cassandra was a madwoman (or
didn't exist at all)
Assume there were no gods and
goddesses, but that the characters believed in them. This interpretation would
still allow Agamemnon to kill his daughter, because he believed it
would bring the favorable winds. Perhaps a few weeks later, the
winds would reverse, and their superstitious minds would make the
connection with the sacrifice, because they'd assume that gods do
not always act immediately.
Show the spin doctors at work.
Picture the actual events, then show the balladeers' version of what
has been pictured earlier.
Oh, well. I guess if I want that
script, I'll have to write it myself. Fat chance of that. In the
meantime, this project gets about half way to what I'd like to see,
and gets there in a very entertaining, sometimes moving way.
It isn't perfect. The dialogue can be
cheesy, the attitudes of the characters seem too modern (ala Xena),
other characters are too one-dimensional, Helen seems like a
petulant 14 year old, and the actor playing Paris has the depth of
But if If you like the whole epic costume
drama kind of thing, and you don't really care that this version
does not agree with the Iliad, you might pick it up at Blockbuster some
weekend. I wasn't unaware of the project's weaknesses, but I got
involved enough with the characters that I watched it without the
fast forward button.
Nice female nudity, as well!
|Footnotes and reference:
1. Who was Homer? Is The Iliad historically accurate?
brief overview, if that's all you want
This site gives a complete summary of the Homeric Legend and asks if
there was a real Trojan war.
gives a good overview of how the events of the Trojan War have been
pictured in the art of the subsequent millennia.
What do we know about the real Troy? This is a very good academic
summary of the archeological evidence as well as the other, non-Homeric
ancient texts. Extremely detailed and scholarly.
Delia Day's Piercings Bizarre.
Naked protestor update
The Mouseketeer in a teeny-weeny polka dot bikini
Awesome collection. Almost every scan ever made by the legendary
and prolific Blackshine, who has featured naked and clothed
celebrities and supermodels
Love Hewitt pukes on the tomb of the unknown soldier
DNA confirms three children of aviator Charles Lindbergh. And
the one guy looks just like him.
Can you tell this page is not shit? If so, you can probably also
tell a hawk from a handsaw.
A remote tribe in the Brazilian jungle is now online after a
charity gave them five battery-powered computers. The Guarani
tribe has even come up with a word for the internet in their own
language, "um-capa-al-gori", which means "mankind's gift from Al
Czech MPs have been reprimanded by their Prime Minister for making
crude jokes about the country's education minister after she
underwent breast reduction surgery. At this point, the subject
is still hanging, but the minister is hoping to establish a firmer
Twenty-year-old Danish men have worse sperm quality than men of
60. Scientists theorize that sperm production may be
stimulated by the left turn signal.
The National Directory of College Athletics -25 best names for
Australian tennis officials have apologised to Spanish dignitaries
after the wrong national anthem was played at the 2003 Davis Cup
final. "Hey, we really thought it was La Cucaracha, mates!"
THE MUSEUM OF BURNT FOOD
Save big on airfare - get deported. Yeah, that's right, Mr
Ashcroft, I'm from ... um ... Tahiti. Yeah, Tahiti, that's the
URL says it all: SharonStonesScar.com
Weekly World News: "IN A BRAZEN attempt at nuclear blackmail,
Syria has warned U.S. officials that it will give dangerous
weapons to terrorists within its domain unless we boost our
shipments of barbecue sauce!
For sale: the album John Lennon signed for his killer just hours
before his death.
Halle as Catwoman
The greatest threat to American security - the Dutch!
Ace righthander Curt Schilling waived his no-trade clause Friday
and is leaving Arizona to become a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Movie fans buying cheap pirate copies of new films could be
helping fund al-Qaida, police warned today. I'm opposed to
piracy, but this gets an award as the most astoundingly clueless
article in history. The author seems to think that people download
pirated internet movies in Pakistan, then smuggle hard copies of
the CDs and DVDs into England to sell. Yeah, right. Well, call me
crazy, but if I were going to sell pirated movies in England, I
would simply download them in England, and therefore not have to
worry about getting caught at the border with thousands of illegal
CD's. Amazingly enough, the internet will also work in England!
It's no wonder these guys can't catch the pirates. They have no
idea how the whole thing works. (Now that I've had my rant, they
may be right about pirated profits going to support criminals and
terrorists. That, I don't know.)
World's biggest liar accused of cheating: In order to get into
the lying contest, he lied on his application. Then he lied about
whether he broke the rules. And the other guys are pissed. I say
they made the right choice. Unless, of course, he SAYS he
should be the winner. (The Mudd's Robot Quandary)
Swedish authorities are warning of attacks from drunk and
disorderly elks. Yeah, we have that same problem, although the
Rotarians get even drunker than the Elks.
Really Slick Screensavers
Every possible thing there is to know about area codes
The World of Money Presents: Money of the World. Which country has
the ugliest money? Sample comment: "Bolivia seems to have
discovered a new way to stimulate the economy: make your money so
ugly people can’t wait to spend it. This bill comes complete with
a picture of a fellow who, no doubt, was once a dashing fellow of
power and reknown, but now just looks like a greasy cabdriver who
does the midnight-to-dawn shift because it lets him really pay
attention to what the voices are saying."
More then 50 ways to get rid of your blind date
Bored with Mr Potato Head? Try Mr. Picassohead
Some seriously demented shit: Jesus IS Hitler Among the
proofs: they both like pineapple on their pizza:
European Union considers a ban on rocking horses.
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 Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
- If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too
ashamed to admit it.
- Barbara Bach, Mrs. Ringo Starr and the former Bond Babe going topless in scenes from the World War II movie, "Force 10 from Navarone" (1978).
Be sure to pay Graphic Response a visit at his website. www.graphic-barry.com.
|nmd 'caps of Diaz topless (hands and hair covering her breasts), showing a little cleavage and looking fantastic in a bikini in scenes from "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle".
||PK Orion 'caps of the indie star topless in scenes from the controversial film by Vincent Gallo, "The Brown Bunny". As you may recall, the controversy stems from a sex scene with Sevigny giving Gallo a real BJ.
|A new Vejiita comic featuring both ladies topless in scenes from "Meridian" (1990).
|It's a slow news day...so here are a few bonus pics of Spradling showing skin in scenes from a few of her movies.
Links 1-2...More toplessness from "Meridian".
Links #3...Topless in scenes from "Johnny Skidmarks" (1998)
Links 4-8...Topless, black undies and working the brass pole in scenes from "To Sleep with a Vampire" (1993).
Mundae with Darian Caine
|From the less than B-grade softcore 'parody' of Spider-Man called "Spiderbabe" (2003). Both ladies show breasts and bush and get in on in a lesbian love scene. 'Caps by PK Orion.
||The co-star of "Josie and the Pussycats", "Men in Black II" and "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" showing some leg and a whole mess of cleavage for the red carpet cameras.
|Señor Skin 'caps of the "Dynasty" star baring breasts and bum in scenes from "The Bitch" (1979).
|Pat Reeder www.comedy-wire.com
Pat's comments in yellow...
MACY'S PARADE'S MRS. SANTA A GUY
She Comes Out Of The Closet, Not The Chimney - Playwright/actor Harvey
Fierstein, who stars in "Hairspray" on Broadway in drag, appeared in Macy's
Thanksgiving Parade as Mrs. Santa Claus accompanied by a man in a penguin
costume. But he annoyed Macy's by writing an op-ed in the New York Times
called "What if Santa really was gay?" Macy's got complaints from
customers and quickly issued press releases saying that Fierstein
represented his "Hairspray" character's wacky idea of Mrs. Claus while
Santa would appear separately with the "real" Mrs. Claus, who was played by
a woman, so kids wouldn't think Santa was gay.
They considered having Santa and Mrs. Claus simulate sex, just to drive
home the point.
If Santa's not gay, why does he wear a red suit with fur trim like Elton
Santa is NOT gay!...Dancer and Prancer are...
If Santa were gay, he'd redecorate every house he stopped at.
Harvey's companion wasn't a giant penguin, it was David Gest in a
SMELLING BAD IS HEALTHY
Mickey Rourke's Doctor - Dr. Jordan Rubin of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida,
says it's healthier to smell bad. He claims that scented lotions, shampoos
and colognes destroy your body's natural pH and can introduce dangerous
toxins into the body. He also says that using antiperspirants stops the
body from sweating out wastes and disrupts lymphatic drainage which can
lead to breast cancer.
That's right: Russell Crowe is the healthiest man on Earth!
Finally, a little good news for France.
So stop using shampoo and start smelling like real poo.
And don't even get him started on toothpaste!
He doesn't have many patients because nobody can stand being in his
JUSTIN'S WILLY NOT TINY
He Just Sings Like It Is - After Britney Spears tried to embarrass Justin
Timberlake by hinting on MTV that he had a tiny male organ, his grandmother
came to his defense. Justin's granny, Sadie Bomar, told the Sun, "I helped
raise him, and I can assure you there is nothing wrong with him
Which is worse? Having your ex-girlfriend say your penis is tiny, or
having your grandmother say, "No, it's huge!"
Most grandmas just embarrass you by kissing you in public.
Is there anybody else Justin knows who'd like to make this worse?