Dark Confessions (1998) is a Lloyd A. Simandl white slavery film from the era when he used at least one name actress, in this case Rena Riffel. If this seems familiar, it is because it has been covered by the master of all things Canadian, Spaz. This has been on my shelf for a while, but the end of the year is a little slow for new releases, and the camera work in this one is excellent. Very warm lighting was used, and the women look amazing.
Way too much exposure for one night, so tonight we have Rena Riffel from a sex scene with a guy, and a lengthy lesbian encounter with Eva Aichmajerova. Riffel shows breasts and buns, and Aichmajerova shows everything. Riffel is the brains of this white slavery ring, and Aichmajerova is her favorite playmate until sold at auction.
Tomorrow night, a plot summary and the rest of the women.
Big Fish (2003)
Because of the kind of movie it is, you can conclude two things
about Big Fish.
1) It will not be nominated for any
significant Oscars. Where are the Oscars for The Princess Bride and
Blade Runner and The Life of Brian and The Big Lebowski?
Simple: no persecuted gay people, no suicides, no sad violin music, no children killed or molested
= no Oscar.
2) A decade from now, people will
have forgotten all the films that will be nominated (except Return
of the King), and will still be watching Tim Burton's odd and
sentimental fantasy, along with A Mighty Wind, Pirates of the
Caribbean, and maybe (on a small, cult scale) The Station Agent.
I would like to be proved wrong about
the first, because Big Fish is a much better movie than some of the
overwrought misery films (21 Grams), cookie-cutter formula pictures
(Cold Mountain), and otherwise overrated films
that will undoubtedly be nominated. Unfortunately, I will
probably be right. So it always goes for original thinkers and fantasy films.
1987 was a great year for cinema,
producing many memorable films, several of which are now considered classics, or cult classics.
Unfortunately, only one of them (The Last Emperor) was nominated for an Oscar.
(Nominees are highlighted in the table below). The academy chose a
bunch of safe twaddle. Fatal Attraction as Best Picture? It is now clear as day that
The Princess Bride and Full Metal Jacket were the greatest movies among the eligible films
that year. The Princess Bride
is now among the all-time Top 100 at IMDb, and is extensively quoted
by movie buffs. Can you quote any lines from Broadcast News?
1985, on the other hand, was not a great year. I think
you could fairly argue that they should not have given the Best
Picture award at all that year, but if they had to give one, Out of
Africa was about as bad a choice as has ever been made for that
honor. (See our
article on the worst Oscar winners.)
There were two fantasy classics
released that year: Terry Gilliam's Brazil, which is now rated #171
of all time at IMDb, and Back to the Future, rated #145.
Neither received a nomination.
Based on the history of The Princess
Bride and Brazil, don't expect Big Fish to win any
awards. Tim Burton, like Terry Gilliam, has to wait for posterity to
give him the respect he is due as a filmmaker, which is considerable.
Big Fish is probably not as memorable
a movie as The Princess Bride or Brazil, simply because it doesn't
have a clear focus on a target audience. It may be too sentimental for
the young guy audience, too grown up for the kids' market, and too silly for the hard-core SciFi/Fantasy
fans. In essence, it's a story of a father and son reconciliation
told in a fanciful way. Fanciful, to say the least.
Albert Finney and Billy Crudup play a
father and son with issues. Finney is a compulsive story-teller, a
guy who has always answered any serious question about himself with
a long and exaggerated fish-story. Crudup was an adoring son until
he was about ten, at which point he realized that every word his father had ever
told him was a lie. That didn't stop the old man, however, who
continued telling his tales and even embellishing them further. Now
the father is dying and the son wants to come to terms with who his
father really is underneath the stories. Before the movie ends, the
two of them must reconcile the real world and the fish stories, and
that occurs in some unexpected and imaginative ways.
I guess you could argue that this
film is my own dad's story, in a way. Just like the Billy Crudup
character, I worshipped my tale-tellin' dad until I was old enough
to realize that everything he said was bullshit. Then I kind of
avoided him for about a decade. I felt kind of betrayed,
because I was some kind of Blade Runner child, running around with a
head full of false memory implants, completely unaware of the
location of the line between myth and reality.
I wouldn't say he was a liar, because
a liar expects people to believe him, and my dad would have been
insulted if anyone thought any aspect of his stories was believable.
That would imply a lack of imagination and humor on his part. In
addition, "liar" is an ugly word which implies that somebody
deceives others for his own gain. My dad had no ulterior motives,
nothing beyond laughter, and
his stories never hurt anyone. Still, I believed them when I was
five, just like kids believe in Santa Claus, and then there came a
point in my life when I realized that I believed in a lot of
As an adult, I realize that beautiful
and entertaining falsehoods are often far better than reality, but deep inside me, I still have some
problems with his stories. Of course, I know that he didn't really
teach Ted Williams how to hit, and he didn't write the last two pages of The
Great Gatsby so Scott Fitzgerald could attend a party without
missing his deadline. I figured
that out when I was about eight. But there are other elements of his
history (read: MY history) that I'm still not clear about, half a
century later. Are his stories partially true? Are they literary
embellishments based on some core of fact, or is every single detail
suspect? Was his last name really Sparrow for some years before he
and my grandfather returned to the original Polish version? I have
told this to people as if it were fact, and when I left for college I
still believed it completely, but every passing year has created
additional doubt. I'm now at the point where I'd just rather not
My dad and I were uneasy together
from the time I got "sophisticated" until I had kids of my own, at which point he again took over his
official duties as the family's designated storyteller with another
generation of kids. Another decade later, I had a second family, and
there was my dad again, spinnin' his tall tales for my youngest son.
If every man is meant for one role in life, he was meant to be a
grandfather. One of the most vivid memories of my life is the
raucous laughter coming from the bedroom when Grandpa Danny was
supposed to be putting the kids to sleep. In a world where tears
often outweigh laughter, how can you stay mad at someone who brings
people so many laughs at nobody's expense?
As for my problems, how did they all
get reconciled? Do I now know the truth about my dad?
More to the supposed point of this
essay, what about the son in the movie? Did
he get beyond the yarns and find the real man?
The answer for me is very similar to
the answer in the movie. The real man is the tall tales. What more
do you need to know? I don't know much, if anything, about what happened
in the first thirty years of my dad's life, but I have now spent as
much time as he ever did preserving his tall tales for posterity. I
concluded that there is no need to look for the real story behind
the tall tales. The real story is that he was the guy who created
the tall tales. They were a separate reality that seemed real to me and my sons for many years.
He was funny, and loveable, and a gentle soul. Let's face it,
he WAS Danny
"Suits" Sparrow. Nothing else really matters, does it?
The film pretty much comes to the
same conclusion. It is a sweet, imaginative, silly movie. Unlike Tim
Burton's earlier work, it is almost complete devoid of darkness and
I enjoyed the hell out of it.
- Bevin Kaye (1,
- Bevin is a stuntwoman. She was hired not because of her face
or her acting, but because she can hold her breath underwater for
a long time without acting panicky. But she's a great looker as
her home page.
Cold Mountain (2003)
Cold Mountain, according to some critics, is the Homeric tale of The
Odyssey relocated to the era of the American Civil War.
This is the kind of thing that
critics say when they want to impress you with their knowledge of
classical literature. Personally, I don't much care for classical
literature. When I was studying The Aeneid, I could never get past
that part about singing of the arms and the man, because I wanted to
know the tune. Should I sing of arms and the man separately, or
together, and in which key? I would tell you that I tried to sing of
arms and the man to the tune of The Whiffenpoof Song, but I'm afraid
that you'd too soon determine that I just like to use the word "whiffenpoof".
So what does Cold Mountain have to do
with The Odyssey? Well, a guy leaves a war to return to his faithful
beloved. Along the way he has many distracting adventures, each of
which is a separate episode only peripherally related to his trek
home, and ...
Oh, let's face it, the Odyssey thing
is just a red herring meant to distract you from the fact that this
movie is The English Patient filmed over again with different
costumes. A guy fights against all obstacles to return to his true
beloved. In fact, this one is like several English Patients, because
Jude Law plays a Confederate soldier who gets wounded at Petersberg,
and his wounds keep re-infecting. Therefore, he is tended not by one
compassionate nurse, but by several along the way as he meanders
home and keeps passing out. Jude acted out more passing out in this
movie than Iron Mike Sharpe did in his entire winless wrestling
career. No matter where Jude passes out, women want to nurse him
back to health. Contrary to Dr. Kissinger's famous aphorism,
it seems that fainting, not power, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Important lesson: you might think about a sling and
a fake cast the next time you want to get laid.
Provided you look like Jude Law.
I did learn one thing from this
movie. No matter how hard times got during the Civil War, even when
there was money for neither food nor clothing, Nicole Kidman always
had enough Confederate money set aside for make-up. She would never
be seen without eyeliner and a little rouge. You have to admire
that. A gal has to look her best when starving to death and
shivering in the cold. Amazingly, Kidman looked perfect in every
frame, except maybe for an occasional loose strand of hair which
only served to make her seem more relaxed and beautiful. About 11
years pass between the earliest and latest scenes in this film, yet
Kidman never ages one day, and actually looks much better after the
war than before it. Man, I never guessed that the Civil War was the
ultimate beauty treatment. Those guys who do Civil War re-enactments
should consider supporting their costs by marketing the hardship as
a budget alternative to a spa.
Like The English Patient, this is a
big retro romance which looks great, and goes on far too long. It is
the kind of shamelessly corny romantic film that Hollywood made
before the cultural revolution in the late 60s. Unfortunately, the
male star (Jude Law) has the looks for the job, but is lacking in the energy that old-time
Hollywood stars would have brought to the role. Let's face it,
Clark Gable simply shows more vitality and personality than Jude Law.
And I'm talking now,
after a forty year dirt nap, Gable still shows more life than Jude.
Of course, I don't know how much life Jude could have showed in this
movie when his entire role consisted of short bursts of wakefulness
before passing out.
The best news in this film is that
the supporting players are colorful and entertaining. Philip Seymour
Hoffman, Renee Zellweger, and others provide some much-need
relief from Law's tedious and oblique peregrinations toward Kidman.
Even Natalie Portman delivers a competent performance, which is very good news indeed for those of us who had come to believe
that her abysmal, wooden performances in those Star Wars pictures
represented the true level of her adult acting skills.
If you liked The English Patient, or if you hated
it, you'll feel the same toward this film. Great production values,
old-fashioned love story, same writer/director. I'm not inclined to like that kind of
film, but I would have enjoyed this one if it had been about 30
minutes shorter. (It is a kidney-challenging 155 minutes. It ran
three hours including the ads and trailers.)
I'll don't have a screener for this one, so I don't have any pics
yet. (I saw it at an actual theater. They still have those!) Here is
screenit's nudity summary, which is accurate:
A woman states that she's going to make Jude hug her until
she grunts. She then exposes her bare breasts to the intoxicated
Inman and then bends over a table and writhes a bit, exposing her
bare rear to him, wanting him to have sex with her that way,
telling him to "ride me all the way to China". (Very raunchy,
We see the above woman and some bare-breasted women with Philip
Hoffman, and one is moving on top of him.
Kidman and Jude: we see various brief shots of them before
and during sex, including passionate kissing, groping, brief and
partial views of both of their bare butts, a brief view of her bare
breasts, quick look at nipples while she is on her back.
Other Movies (2003)
- Two pages of lists of
Bottom Tens: The Worst of 2003 Movies. The most
knowledgeable list, by far, was made by Garth Franklin of Dark
Horizons, whose list is just about perfect except that he left
out that Justin and Kelly thing.
- Here is a page which has collected about 100
Top Ten Movie Lists for 2003.
2003's Most Daring TV
- Here is the
complete transcript of the CBS Jacko interview.
- Here is the trailer for
The Calendar Girls.
Dean: Dems doomed if he loses nomination. Oh, and
also if he gets it - although he didn't specifically mention
- The Charmed Life Of Neil Bush.
Not only is it good to be the king, but being the brother and
son of kings ain't so bad either.. This article is
filled with quotable lines: "Neil Bush is the latest
manifestation of a long tradition in American life -- the
president's embarrassing relative. But Neil Bush has surpassed
them all. Bush has done something that no other American has
ever accomplished: He has become the embarrassing relative of
not one but two presidents." ....... "Ah, it's nice to be Neil
Bush, who seems to be living the lifestyle immortalized in those
famous Dire Straits lyrics: "Money for nothin' and chicks for
- The New York Times picks their
Movies of the Year. I admire his selection of the
remastered full-length version of The Good The Bad and The Ugly,
and the fact that he has the cojones to include an unpretentious
entertainment picture like The Pirates of the Caribbean.
Michael Jackson denies charges, says police 'manhandled' him
when he only wanted to be their "rubba" friend. Lengthy summary
of his interview.
- You've read the story of
Joan of Arc, right? Complete bullshit, says a
scientist - whose theory states that the mythical Joan is an
amalgam of three women. "With the English armies threatening the
French throne, the monarchy needed a miracle and their
supporters concocted one."
The New Republicans: The Reagan Revolution - the
notion of an ever-decreasing amount of interference from an
intrusive government into people's lives, has been declared DOA,
as conservatives have hijacked the other side's Big Government
Build your own manger from the characters on the
bottom of the page, then press "animer", and watch it come to
Planning a wedding? I think you may need this. If you
find a woman who will go actually along with this - hold on to
- Here's the trailer from
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, a time-travel drama with Ashton
Kutcher. Yeah, I know. I thought the trailer looked as bad as
the premise sounded, but my daughter watched the trailer and
decided she has to see it, so there you go ...
Movie Monologes. Check out the one from The 25th
The Prelinger Archives. Rick Prelinger and The
Internet Archive hereby offer these public domain films from
Prelinger Archives to all for free downloading and reuse.
Hollywood had its best Christmas weekend ever.
Aussie forklift driver is the rightful king of England.
This is not a satire, or the plot of a John Goodman movie, but
the real deal.
British rock legend Pete Townshend contemplated suicide during a
police inquiry into his use of child pornography.
The View Askewniverse - unfilmed scene from Dogma - "Hosties"
Sir Alan Bates passes away at 69. Zorba, teach me to
Top DVDs of 2003
Dave Barry's "2003 in review"
- Official trailer for
The Polar Express, a Christmas-themed family movie
slated for the 2004 holiday season.
- Here's the teaser/trailer for
The Day After Tomorrow, a film about climatological
Armageddon, from the director of The Patriot and Independence
- Here's the trailer for
Laws of Attraction, which appears to be a predictable
Tracy/Hepburn style of romantic comedy about two bickering
lawyers (Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan) who find themselves
married after a night of extreme libation.
- Here is the trailer for
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's the
latest from offbeat screenwriter Charles Kaufman (Adaptation,
Being John Malkovich), starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and
Kirsten Dunst. (Trailer features Dunst dancing in a t-shirt and
underpants, lookin' mighty good.)
- The trailer for
Taking Lives. Crime thriller with Angelina Jolie and
Ethan Hawke. It appears to be a beautifully filmed movie, from
the same director as The Salton Sea.
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 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.