Naked Lies (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

 

Scoop's comments in white:

Do you know how difficult it is to remember which Hugh Grant movie you're referring to - "um, yeah, it's the one where he plays the stammering, insincere, immature, smarmy, self-centered, smart-mouth, callous upper-middle class playboy/twit who comes to a measure of redemption ... "

NUDITY REPORT

Shannon Tweed shows her breasts. You can see her pubic area and her hips from the side.

Mineko Mori shows her buns and breasts.

A young woman does full-frontal nudity in an outdoor sex scene.

Well, if you think it's difficult to separate Hugh Grant movies in your mind, imagine how hard it would be to describe a specific Shannon Tweed movie. At least with Baby Huey, you can name the co-star. "Oh, yeah, it's the Hugh Grant movie with Sandra Bullock, or Renee Zellweger, or Andie McDowell, or whoever". That isn't possible with Tweed's flicks. You never heard of her co-stars. I did recognize Steven Bauer in this film, but he had about three lines, and was completely forgotten after the first ten minutes. Jeez, he must have some heavy-duty child support to pay, or something, to lend his name to this kind of movie for a few lines. 

The film was directed by Ralph Portillo, who specializes in this kind of movie, and the scriptwriter is also a specialist in erotic thrillers and drama.. Here is Portillo's career summary at IMDb:

  1. (3.65) - Last Great Ride, The (1999)
  2. (3.49) - Big Brother Trouble (2000)
  3. (3.33) - Naked Lies (1998)
  4. (3.14) - Midnight Temptations (1995)
  5. (2.72) - Bare Exposure (1993)
  6. (2.31) - Bare Deception (2000) (TV)
  7. (2.17) - Fever Lake (1996)
  8. (2.12) - Hollywood Dreams (1994)
  9. (2.07) - Bloody Murder (2000) (V)

I guess you can conclude from the list that this is one of Ralph's better films, so it could be well worth your while if you're a Ralph Portillo fan. On the other hand, a career zenith of 3.65 will probably not attract your attention if you're looking for a "legitimate" film. Here is the career summary of the notorious Ed Wood:

  1. (3.60) - Necromania (1971)
  2. (3.32) - Jail Bait (1954)
  3. (3.30) - Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
  4. (3.22) - Glen or Glenda (1953)
  5. (2.96) - Sinister Urge, The (1961)
  6. (2.86) - Bride of the Monster (1955)
  7. (2.82) - Night of the Ghouls (1959)

As you can see, Wood has the edge over Portillo at the moment. The rating for Naked Lies is almost identical to that for Plan 9 from Outer Space.

In this particular film, Tweed plays a law enforcement officer who goes undercover and "under the covers" to "bust" some baddies. She does some lame fight scenes, speaks some trite dialogue, and she has some sex shot through a vaseline-coated lens. Then almost everyone dies and the film ends abruptly, in what seems to be the middle of a scene.

 

DVD info from Amazon

         Surprisingly, there is a widescreen anamorphic transfer, 1.85:1.

         No features

I can't remember any more than that, because it's been nearly twenty minutes since I watched it.

I can say this. If you like ultra-violent crime stories filled with nearly-naked middle-aged women , this is your Holy Grail.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Naked Lies (1998) can't be dismissed as just another weak cop thriller that belongs on Skinemax. First of all, it is a little light on the sex and nudity, and heavy on the plot. The physical locations in Mexico were very nice, as was set decoration and cinematography. Shannon Tweed does very impressive martial arts kicks. The plot had enough elements to make a good film, but they didn't quite do it. It seamed to me like they had numerous rewrites, orphaning some plot elements. For instance, There are two suggestions that Tweed's boss has a drinking problem, and that he and Tweed had some previous relationship, but the subplot was underdeveloped.

The basic problem was that I never felt
Tweed was in danger undercover. She was too strong, and seemed in full control of all situations. I will give points for making the Latino bad guy a counterfeiter rather than a drug lord, and making him totally charming. With a little more effort, this could have been a decent modest film. Tweed showed a glimpse of nipple in an early shower scene, and there was a sex scene, in each of the three acts. In the first, Mineko Mori shows breasts and buns in a rather dark and tame simulated sex scene. The hottest of the sex scene occurs in act two, with an unknown blonde having sex with the bad guy on a balcony. She shows all three Bs. Tweed finally has her sex scene in act three, showing breasts, and buns from the side.

The Critics Vote

         no major reviewers

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "this film is a C- as a grade-b erotic crime story, or as I like to call those, a Shannon Tweed movie. I was harsh in my comments above, and the IMDb score is dismal, but the film is acceptable if STV crime/erotica is your kind of entertainment. The bad guy is complex, and the story is fairly interesting, about equivalent to a TV crime show, so it's OK in the storyline half of the entertainment. The only real script weakness is that the ending is completely unsatisfying, ending the threat from the bad guys, but leaving several sub-plots suspended. The film met my major criterion for a C- or better, in that I didn't reach for the fast forward button, but the strange ending did tick me off. The film is weaker in the erotica portion. The leads are kinda old, there's no frontal nudity from the two female stars, and the sex scenes are either dark or blurry." Tuna says, "the film is a C-, failing greatness, but marginally acceptable as a genre effort."

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