Sonny (2002)-- A reader wrote that both Scoopy and I missed a butt shot of Josie Davis in the movie Sonny. He mentioned that it was at the end of the "cough syrup" scene, as she was being helped to her feet. We always aim to please, so here are the requested butt close-ups. I also included a couple of frames as she was shoved to the floor that I rejected as too out of focus my first time through.

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  • Josie Davis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    "Allyson is Watching"

    Allyson is Watching (1997) would be just another Softcore, this one a little light on sex and a little heavy on plot, except for one thing that we will get to in a minute. Allyson, sweet, nearly innocent is giving her first and only boyfriend a good bye boff in the back of his pick-up, as she is off to Hollywood to become a movie star. She has one a contest, making her eligible for an acting school.

    She arrives, rents a one room apartment for $400.00/month from an obnoxious landlord, finds out that the contest was a fraud, but talks the drama coach into letting her in, then finds out her next door neighbor is a hooker. The title comes from her listening through the door, looking through the keyhole, and getting off on the sights in the next room. Then she has a need to learn about hookers preparing for an audition, and befriends the hooker. That is the set-up, and I will leave the rest of that for you to discover.

    Now to the good news. Allyson is played by daytime soap star Jennifer Harmon, and this little lady can act, gets totally naked several times, and has a very hot lesbian scene with the hooker played by Caroline Ambrose. This scene alone makes the DVD worth watching. IMDB readers have it at 4.5 of 10, with only 67 votes. Take away the plot, and the sex isn't good enough to recommend this film, take away the sex, and the plot is weak, but given a very good performance from Harmon, a good job by the supporting cast, and a very hot lesbian scene, and this rates a solid C as a softcore "Couples" film.

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  • Caroline Ambrose (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
  • Jennifer Leigh Hammon and Caroline Ambrose (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, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)
  • Jennifer Leigh Hammon (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, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    In America (2003)

    We continue my Philistinism on this year's prestige pictures. I didn't much care for this one, either. I didn't much care for anything that the critics liked, although I'm certain I'll agree with them on The Return of the King.

    Break out your insulin for this one.

    In America is a sentimental tale of an Irish family moving to America in the early 80s, and is about halfway between a fairy tale and one of those "miracle of life through a child's eyes" films like To Kill a Mockingbird.

    It really wants to tell the story of how newcomers to the United States struggle, not at the turn of the century, but in recent decades. The problem is that it can't bear to tell the truth. In reality, a typical family of recent immigrants would be very unlikely to try to live in Manhattan, so their lives would be much better than this. But, and this is the key point here, if they did try to live in Manhattan their lives would be much worse than this. The film tries to show the hardship of life, not in a realistic and truthful way, but to show a level of hardship that any of us could consider facing and overcoming, as we imagine our grandparents and great-grandparents once did. It is all calculated to let us feel the enduring nature of the human spirit - thus of our own spirit.

    Jim Sheridan, the Irish director, did actually move his family to New York in 1982, and his own two daughters co-wrote this script with him. Unfortunately, they didn't really tell their own story, but simply harvested elements from it to create a fictional family far more impoverished and isolated than the Sheridans were, but who came to New York at the same time.

    The family of four, including the requisite adorable daughters, and the mandatory specter of a son lost to a tragic accident, land in a tenement in Hell's Kitchen. Here are some of the things that happen:

    (1) Their run-down tenement house has no rats or cockroaches.

    (2) Although they barely have enough money to pay the rent on their pathetic flat, they can afford to send their children to private schools.

    (3) Unlike most immigrants, they have absolutely no support group in the United States. They have no family, no friends, and no ethnic or religious community to lean on for support. I might understand that if they were Uzbeks raised in the atheistic Soviet Union, but they are Irish, fer chrissakes! After the 1980 census the American Sociological Review had an article called "How 4.5 Million Irish Immigrants Became 40 Million Irish Americans". Forty million. In New York City alone, there were 600,000-700,000 people who identified themselves as Irish in 1980. You'd think this family might run into at least one or two, especially since their kids are in Catholic schools! But, no-o-o-o-o. They are isolated.

    (4) In all the time they live in squalor, amid prostitutes and junkies, neither the parents not the children really face any serious danger. Everyone in the neighborhood seems to live lives of colorful but resigned poverty that would make Francis of Assisi seem as bitterly materialistic as Donald Trump.

    (5) The mother and father, in order to have some lovemaking privacy, allow their two daughters, aged about 11 and 4, to go down by themselves to the Ice Cream parlor on their block. In NYC. In Hell's kitchen. Nobody kidnaps them, molests them, robs them, or shoots them full of heroin. They are not inadvertently caught in any gunplay or knife fights.

    (6) The father gets shilled into a carnival con-game, gets to the point where he has almost lost every penny, then miraculously pulls off a winning shot to get all his money back and win his little girl an E.T. doll. This was actually a very good scene up until the point where he won. I was feeling his shame and his obsession, and I had to turn away my eyes in embarrassment for him at having been conned out of their meager earnings. It would have been a brilliant scene if he had lost, which in real life, he would have. But the opportunity to show how the hard types of the world prey upon the naive and innocent was lost when he won everything, and my instinctive reaction was to do a Delta Cough. {cough} blowjob {cough} bullshit {cough}.

    (7) The howling, crazy man on the floor beneath them turns out to be ... well, it turns out to be Djimon Hounsou playing the same role he always plays - the forbidding, buff black man who glares imposingly, and who seems to present the threat of violence and intense sexuality, but is actually the possessor of great mystical wisdom, resigned martyrdom, the gentle forgotten secrets of older cultures, and an inner nobility and compassion that guides white people on their path to spiritual enlightenment. If you need that guy in your film, call Djimon's agent, because the big man has that role nailed. Oh, did I mention that he's dying courageously of AIDS? So he can handle that role for you, too, if Kevin Kline is busy.

    (8) An adorable little girl in a cowboy hat sings the entire song "Desperado" over a montage, while a nun plays a piano accompaniment.

    I haven't even hit all the major points, but you get the idea.

    This film is meant to tug at your heartstrings. You witness the bravery of the mother through an impossible pregnancy, and of Djimon in the face of pain and imminent death. You experience the innocent acceptance of the kids as they adapt to their new surroundings. You watch the father's dead heart learn to love again. You meditate on the loss of a child, for those of you who missed the dead children in 21 Grams and The Station Agent, or for those of you who just can't get enough tragically dead kids. Can we declare a moratorium on using dead children for emotional manipulation?

    Some of the unlikely events mentioned above are explained by three miracles generated by the three magic wishes of the elder daughter, who narrates the story. The dad wins the unbeatable con-game because the daughter uses one of those wishes, which have been granted through the authority invested in dead and mourned sons by the powers beyond the grave.

    You know, the usual tear-jerking bullshit magical realism stuff pre-pubescent girl stuff.

    Yes, the film does work from time to time. Jim Sheridan knows how to make a film, even if he has nothing to say. The story doesn't always feel false because some of the incidents came from his own family's experiences, and even when scenes do feel manipulative, the director knows how to milk the tears from your eyes, even against your will. He works like those magicians that tell you how they're doing the trick, but fool you anyway. The two kids are terrific at behaving wise and adorable in the typical precocious Disneychild manner. I'll admit the film got me misting over a couple of times and, let's be honest, just about everyone but me loved this movie. Check out the scores at

    So maybe I'm just jaded and cynical.

    I suppose I am, but cynical or not, I found it heart-warming, but false, like those cartoon movies with the adorable immigrant mice named Mousekewitz. Hey, didn't Fievel sing in that movie as well? At least it wasn't an Eagles song.

    Did we really need a remake of An American Tail with live actors?

    As I see it, the director (Jim Sheridan) and his two daughters should have dug deep inside and written about the way it really was for them when Jim moved them all to New York in 1982 to take the job as director of the New York Irish Arts Center. That would have been a story about a real family. That would have been the truth, and would probably have been a great movie.

    Instead, they chose to tell half-truths, to imagine what it must have been like for people in more difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, they simply didn't know that story, so they filled it out with inaccurate imaginings of Manhattan poverty, details from their own life that didn't apply to these people (private schools!), "miracles", and imaginary tragedies (the dead son).

    The ordinary truth - it would have been so simple.

    Based on this description, this is a C. I would have said C+, but I had to knock off a half grade for the adorable little kid in a cowboy hat singing "Desperado" from start to finish.

    • Samantha Morton- (1, 2) she's topless for a long, long, time, but the movie is rated PG-13, so you never get a clear look at anything. To make matters worse, the screener quality is crap.






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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.
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    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Hot Pics of the day!

    • Christina Ricci topless in Euro-DVD 'caps from "Prozac Nation"! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Board Heads"
    Hey, it's a beach flick, and that's just what it is. Plenty of cliches, goofy characters, not much plot, and beautiful women in bikinis or less.

    Come to think of it, that's not really so bad.

    Halle Berry
    (1, 2)

    The Oscar winner grabbing her wonderful boobs at a red carpet event.

    Paris Hilton
    Nicole Richie
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    The socialite duo down on the farm in more 'caps from a couple of episodes of the FOX "reality" series "The Simple Life". No nudity of course, but there is some skin in bikini and low-rise pants form.

    Andrea Rau
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

    Señor Skin 'caps of the German actress going full frontal and full dorsal in scenes from "Die Vertreibung aus dem Paradies" aka "The Expulsion From Paradise".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    Method Actor! - Billy Bob Thornton said he wanted authenticity for the scene in "Bad Santa" where he wets himself, so he went to the director and said, "I'll be happy to drink a couple beers before we start, and I'll just pee myself." The director okayed it, but Thornton said the special effects people told him it wouldn't show up on his clothes as well as their glycerine solution, "so they wouldn't let me do it...but next time!"

  • Let's hope his next movie is a romance with Barbra Streisand.
  • Sounds like he still drank the beers.
  • He used to do that all the time to impress Angelina Jolie.
  • He's evil, has a scraggly gray beard, pees on himself...Are you SURE he wasn't playing Saddam Hussein?

    Lowest Regards - To the dismay of Arabs who admired Saddam Hussein as the brave, suicide-bomber-paying warrior, it was revealed that when US troops found his hole and were about to drop in a grenade, he called out, "I'm Saddam Hussein, I'm the president of Iraq and I'm willing to negotiate." Commanding officer Major Brian Reed replied, "President Bush sends his regards."

  • And THEN, he dropped in a grenade, just for laughs.
  • He claimed he was president of Iraq to lay the groundwork for an insanity defense.
  • Suicide is for people who have no reason to live, not for people who are hated by everyone and living in a hole.
  • Martha Stewart put up a tougher fight.

    Couldn't Afford An Airwick? - Troops said the basement Saddam was living in really stank. He had $750,000 cash, but his tiny living space contained dirty laundry, old textbooks on the floor, old bread, leftover rice still in the pan, dirty dishes in the sink, and a small fridge with nothing in it but a few candy bars, some hot dogs and a 7-UP.

  • It was like a typical Harvard dorm room.
  • In other words, he was "batchin' it."
  • Coincidentally, that's what $750,000 will buy you in Manhattan.

    "Don't Mess With Texas" - When asked what he would say to Hussein, President Bush replied, "Good riddance, the world is better off without you." But he added that the US would work with Iraqis to insure that he gets a fair trial, which will likely be televised.

  • That might be a bad idea: I hear he's hiring Johnnie Cochran.
  • NBC will finally have a ratings-grabber to replace "Friends!"
  • Bush promised to give him Texas justice: a fair trial, then he's hanged.

    Odd celebrity stuff...

  • Robbie Williams' fans complain about his fake penis