"Waking the Dead"

While my images for this film badly needed to be redone, my review didn't. Here is the original review.

Waking the Dead (1999) opened on 62 screens on March 26, 2000. The following week, it was down to 48 screens, and 13 the week after. Total gross was less than $1 meg. DVD release was September 16, but there was some problem with distribution, and it is just now widely available. The title refers to the monumental problem the ushers had clearing the unconscious audience from the theater after each screening. As the film begins, Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) sees a news story that his true love, Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connelly), has been killed in a car explosion. We then begin two threads -- one starting in 1972, where Fielding meets and beds Sarah, and one in 1982, where Fielding runs for congress while trying to cope with the loss of his true love.

Fielding meets Sarah at his brothers magazine, and they fall instantly in love despite their political differences. While they are both liberal Democrats, she is a total idealist, and he is more practical. He is in the Coast Guard to dodge the draft, yet not kill his chances of holding a political office. She believes that it is immoral of him to join any military branch. He is ambitious, wanting to climb up from his middle class working man roots, while she is a compulsive do-gooder. The brother, played by Paul Hipp, is a caricature of Sonny Bono at his hippest and worst.

The non-linear time sequence, which was used effectively by Atom Egoyan in nearly all of his films (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, etc.), and in Fight Club, doesn't work here. As a matter of fact, with each shift, they have to print the year on the screen just to keep the audience from getting confused. This is due, in part, to the fact that the two threads are always a mere 10 years apart, and set in the same locations, so they don't look much different. Both threads also involve the same characters.

Critics pretty much agreed with the theater goers. Berardinelli gives it a 1 1/2 stars and Ebert is overly-generous at 2 1/2. IMDB viewers have it at a surprisingly high 6.2/10. The film contains a short love scene between Fileding and Sarah, which is actually a montage of two deleted scenes which are part of the 30 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD. If you still plan on seeing this, skip the rest of the review, as it has spoilers.

Fielding begins to fall apart just as his dreams of going to congress begin to seem possible. The reason? Sarah is either alive, or he is hallucinating that she is. Director Keith Gordon worked very hard to make sure that we never got enough information to decide which was the case, to the point of deleting several scenes, and some sub-plot, when test audiences were able to defend a point of view that Sarah was actually alive. Sarah works for a priest assisting Chileans find asylum. Fielding and Sarah have lunch at the church, and a big fight. In the deleted portion of the scene, one of the Chilean women remarks that she looks much like Sarah, and is exactly the same size. In the following scene, Sarah returns home and informs Fielding that she wants to get pregnant. There is a long and steamy love scene, at the end of which, she stops him before ejaculation and says she can't get pregnant.

Armed with these two pieces of information, the audiences believed they could prove that she was alive and in hiding, and that it was actually the Chilean girl who was in the car. The idea was to turn government policy against the evil Chilean government. As the film ends, Fielding still doesn't know if Sarah is live or Memorex, but decides that he can go on either way. I have no idea why Gordon worked so hard to avoid resolution, but, long before the end, I stopped caring. Most of the nudity was in the deleted scenes anyway, and there was no other possible reason to watch this film. Also irritating to me was a lot of strange lighting which seems to have been used because Gordon liked strange lighting rather than to establish mood or atmosphere. Connelly certainly does have impressive breasts. Lets hope she can find a more worthy role for them.

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  • Jennifer Connely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24)

    "The Bedroom Window"

    The Bedroom Window (1987) is a homage to the classic Hitchcock thrillers. Unfortunately, Steve Guttenberg is no James Stewart, and Isabelle Huppert is more decorative than talented in this film, but it is engaging enough entertainment if you don't think too hard about it. A man (Guttenberg) is having an affair with his boss's wife (Huppert). She witnesses an attempt by a serial rapist/murderer on Elizabeth McGovern (who turned in the best performance in this film) through the bedroom window. She finally screams and scares the assailant off. She can't go to the police without alerting her husband to the affair, so she convinces Guttenberg to report it as if he had been the witness. When his near blindness without glasses comes out in court, the suspect is freed to start over, and Guttenberg becomes a suspect.

    Act one shows promise, act two is illogical at best, and act three is just plain dumb. If you can turn off your brain, it might worth the price of a rental. The exposure comes from Huppert in the opening scenes where she is in bed with Guttenberg than goes to the window nude. She has good breast exposure. Her character is also shown nude from the back, including a rear gyno cam shot, but I am nearly certain this is a double. First, the sequence starts with a very rough jump cut. Second, if you enlarge the first double image, you will see a reflection in the window. There is some distortion, but the face doesn't really look like her, and the breasts droop a little too far.

    IMDB readers have it at a generous 6.3 of 10. Rotten Tomatoes gives it only 40% positive. For a well written review, see the one by Berardinelli, who only awards two stars. As an homage to Hitchcock, it is a dismal failure, but as a grade B thriller, it is no worse than the typical direct to vid efforts, and hence watchable. C-.

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  • Double (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Isabelle Huppert (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

    "Mother's Boys"

    Mother's Boys (1994) stars Jamie Lee Curtis as a mother who abandoned her family. All but the oldest son has gotten on with their lives, and her husband is ready to remarry, when she shows back up and decides she will get her family back no matter what. She is not a very nice person, and resorts to spraying obscenities on the sides of carts, using sex to try to lure both her husband and her son, and doing physical harm to those in her way.

    Jamie Lee shows a breast in a loose fitting shirt, and her character shows buns and breasts from the rear, but this is almost certainly a double. IMDB readers have this at 4.7 of 10. Total US gross was $870K. I am not sure what was wrong with the film. Jamie Lee played the part as written, and was evil incarnate, the psychological problems of the oldest son were interesting, and there was plenty of dramatic tension, but the husband was way to weak, as was his new fiancee, The Curtis character could have said boo to them, and they would have paid her to take the kids. D.

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  • Jamie Lee Curtis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

    "Picture Windows"

    Picture Windows (1995) is an obscure mini-series suggested by a Fun House reader. It consists of three short stories. Supposedly, paintings come to life to reveal the stories. The first episode is loosely based on Pagliache, and is about a clown in a tragic love affair. It is beautifully filmed, and was nominated by American Society of Cinematographers for best achievement in a mini series. It was directed by Norman Jewison. The third episode, Language of the Heart, tells the story of a ballerina, and the young street musician who captured her heart. It won an Emmy for the music.

    The second episode, Song of Songs was far and away my favorite, and contained clear topless from Sally Kirkland. George Segal plays a middle aged baker who works with his wife in a neighborhood bakery. Sally Kirkland opens a lingerie shop across the street. George disapproves, until he meets Sally, who instantly becomes the love of his life. When he finally has the "I've fallen in love with someone else" talk with his wife, he gets more than one surprise. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, this is a very clever romantic comedy, with more than a little pathos. It is reminiscent of an O'Henry short story.

    Soir Blue was a little arty even for me. Language of the Heart was a sentimental but unremarkable tribute to the power of love, but Song of Songs is a real unknown gem. There is literally no information to be found on line -- not even 5 votes at IMDB. I rate the whole DVD a C, but Song of Songs a B-.

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  • Sally Kirkland (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)


    Reviews without pictures:

    • Spider (picture in yesterday's edition)

    • Catch Me If You Can (no nudity). You don't need me to tell you it's a cool movie, so I spent most of my time wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio is actually Lenin. I came to the conclusion that Lenin, as a young man, did look a lot like DiCaprio, but looked more like Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. Hey, can you learn crap like this from Roger Freakin' Ebert?


    Here's Mr Skin's look at Laura Harring (aka Laura Herring, aka Laura Martinez) in Silent Night, Deadly Night 3. Very Christmassy! Harring is the gorgeous brunette (former beauty queen) who was in Mulholland Drive, as we have seen many times, including yesterday's edition. She seems to have implants in Mulholland Drive, while this earlier movie shows her natural chest.

    • Laura Herring or Harring or Martinez or various combinations thereof (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)



    Hey Scoop!

    As a native Montrealer, I've always been fascinated by Carole Laure. I noticed that you include shots from "L'Ange et la Femme", but only the topless ones. I'm not sure if you're aware, but she actually has an explicit sex scene, including fellatio and a "pop" shot in the film. It's dimly lit, but it's there. I've seen it when I rented the VHS a few years back. Not sure if there are any DVD's out there, but we can always hope.....

    Thanks for reminding me. I forgot that I was supposed to add some more r-rated pictures, and five xxx-rated video clips to the Laure volume. As you said, the scene is dark and the clips are not DVD quality, but how often do you get to see a mainstream star doing this kind of material?


    Other crap:


    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 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 Brainscan:

    "Second Time Lucky" (1986) is cute. The premise is cute, the dialogue is cute, the lead actress (Diane Franklin) is cute. And nekkid. A lot. Nineteen collages worth.

    The contrivance here is that The Almighty and Lucifer bet that given another chance, humankind... or at least two humans...will be able to resist temptation. We see our protagonists at a frat party, where they remain virtuous even though Eve (yep, Diane's character is named Eve) gets down to her skivvies 'cuz Adam spilled a drink on her (collage 1).

    Frameshift to the Garden of Eden (collages 2-15), where Eve wanders around all nekkid. You see Ms. Franklin's really, really nice upper bod in almost all these collages. Rear views in numbers 6 & 10. Diane is a true endomorph, with a face and bod that aren't fat but are full.

    Collages 12 and 13 are something of a treat. For two frames, Eve walks out from behind a bush and shows bush. Thanks to the digital revolution I grabbed both frames and stuck them in a collage that continues on to Eve-Diane's hooties and face (#12). Thirteen is a composite made from the best frame showing Diane's face and breasts and the best one showing her nether regions. It worked out okay.

    Collage 16 has Diane baring a single breast as a Roman lovely.

    Collages 17-19 have her defiantly ripping away her top so that a firing squad can get a good view of her, uh, heart. The send-up here is that she is French nurse serving as a German spy (captured) toward the end of WWI; not to worry... she survives as the armistice is signed sometime between Aim and Fire. BTW, there is some historical background to this act. Some of Mata Hari's admirers suggested she do the breast exposure thing in front of the ol' firing squad. It was reasoned the executioners would not bring themselves to damage such wonderous goodies. Sadly, she either could not or would not take their advice.

    In the end, God wins. Imagine that. Omnipotent, omniscent and lucky to boot.

    So this is an uneven movie, silly but exuberant, child-like but tolerable, so long as Diane Franklin is on the screen.

    'Caps and comments by Hankster:

    Today we look at a true horror classic "Black Sunday" aka "The Mask of Satan", starring Barbara Steele. Released in 1961, this was Mario Bava's directorial debut. The stunning Barbara then 23 years old had just walked out of the Elvis Presley flick "Flaming Star" after an argument with the director. She flew to Europe worried that her career might be over, but along came "Black Sunday", which led her to become a staple in horror genre movies and becoming known as the "Queen of Horror", a title she truly deserved.

    Here we see the stunning Barbara as a "Babe in Bondage" in the first five caps, the last four are just caps of a very beautiful woman with the last cap showing her in her dual role as centuries ago witch (who was impaled with the mask of spikes), returning to take her on her descendent. If you are a true horror buff this black and white classic is one you should see.

    Next, a whole different direction. Monday morning on Univisions (Spanish speaking) "Despierta America", Ana Maria Canseco displayed the most awesome display of cleavage I have ever seen on early morning television (what a sight to see while eating your cereal).

    • Ana Maria Canseco (1, 2)

    Finally today...Cleaning up the hard drive with a quick look at Jennifer Lopez (some cleavage and leg) on a "Letterman" show last week.

    • J-Lo (1, 2)

    Everybody have a safe and "Happy New Year"!

    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    "Erotique" (1994)

    A revisit to the "Let's talk about sex" segment regarding the unidentified actresses. Dianna Miranda is the one in the nude fantasy sequences (often mistaken for Kamala Lopez). The two fantasy slaves are played by Queer as Folk's Michelle Clunie and rap singer Tairrie B. The other actresses are probably playing the fully clothed sex workers or auditioning actresses.

    • Dianna Miranda: full frontal making hot monkey love to Wade Dominguez. (1, 2, 3, 4)

    • Michelle Clunie: topless going lezzie with Miranda.

    • Tairrie B.: topless washing up Dominguez.

    BONUS: Kira Reed's first role as a dream girl in "Fortress" (1993). Topless but heavily distorted by computer graphics.

    Salma Hayek Salma bares most of a breast in a baby feeding scene from "In the Time of the Butterflies" (2001). That's one lucky bambino!

    Jennifer Aniston Very brief breast exposure in a love scene from "The Good Girl".

    Laura Harring
    (1, 2, 3)

    Naomi Watts
    (1, 2)

    Excellent nudity from the David Lynch movie "Mulholland Dr." Harring shows off her robo-boobs and link #2 is her digitally altered to not be full frontal, full frontal nude scene. Watts also goes topless, and both enjoy a little lesbian lovin'.

    Irčne Jacob
    (1, 2)

    The beautiful French actress goes topless and shows off her bum in scenes from "Victory" (1995).

    Jordanna Brewster
    (1, 2)

    The young brunette babe best known from "The Faculty" and "The Fast and the Furious" showing off a bit of breast exposure in scenes from "The Invisible Circus".

    Naomi Campbell
    (1, 2)

    Great nude scans of the supermodel by Marsie. #1 features full dorsal nudity, #2 shows her topless.

    Bettina Zimmermann
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    The German version of Maxim magazine's "2002 Woman of the Year". Thanks to Arthur Figgis for the scans. The best exposure is the cleavage in #4.

    Lorraine Van Wyk The South African born model looking stunning in this arm kinda over boobs pose.