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This week:


Filthy says:
"This is getting to be a broken record"

Guess who's back. If you're like me, you hate when someone asks you to guess shit. I'd rather you just tell me because all that guessing seriously cuts into my quality of life. It makes me feel stupid when I guess wrong. But enough about what I like. Guess who's back.

Stop and take some time to guess before you read on.

Did you guess Dipshit Suzanne, the world's worst video store owner and the human equivalent of a potato sack loosely packed with bone-in pork? If so, give yourself a prize. She thinks that being skinny and only smoking crystal meth recreationally is a healthy lifestyle. But as Dipshit Suzanne proves, it's possible to be skinny and still be a fucking disgusting pig. I'm in no position to extoll the virtues of health since the only exercise I ever get is when I fight Scooter for one of her slobbery dog toys. But a woman who crams her loose-skin-over-bones-and-flab into hot pants and vests with no shirt or bra repulses me. And attracts me a little bit, too.

So, Dipshit Suzanne is back. The pain-in-the-ass has been leaving messages on the answering machine again, and that's a big fucking problem because I hadn't told Mrs. Filthy I got canned yet. I would rather it came from me than the Dipshit, because I would have lied. But the real problem is with the sheer volume of messages. The God damn scabby whore won't shut up. First she's mad because somebody fucked up her Patrick Swayze section at the First American Video. Somebody swapped tapes so anyone renting Point Break ends up with Fisting of Fury 7: Slits Wide Shut. She thinks I'm somehow to blame just because I still have a key to the place and I never let a day go by where I didn't comment on what a loser Swayze is. Jesus Christ in a Hot Pocket, who doesn't? Then she's calling because she wants the fucking store key back. Fuck that, we all knew I would get canned and if she didn't want me to have access to the store she should have thought about that before she hired me. Finally, the calls late at night started coming. These are the ones where she alternates between sweetness and screaming into the phone about wanting me to come back then saying she's so fucking glad she fired me, then asking if I will come back.

There's no fucking way I'm going back to work in that pit. No way in hell, I'd have to be a fucking lunatic. I might do it, if I can't get my lawn business started because all the jerks around here think I should supply my own mower. But I don't think there's any fucking way I will.

I wonder if Jeffrey Katzenberg ever leaves long, crystal meth-fueled tirades on Steven Spielberg's answering machine. I would guess probably he does, and if he doesn't, you know that Geffen guy does. Except that they're all fucking rich, so they probably don't even have machines; they hire Ecuadorians to write down the messages in their own blood. I wonder if they had left a few messages when he was making A.I. Maybe a few that just said, "Hi, Steve, just going through the script and wanted to let you know it's self-indulgent and sloppy. See you at the orgy tonight."

A.I. is somehow supposed to be a joint collaboration between Spielberg and the very dead Stanley Kubrick. I'm not really clear on how the two of them collaborated, but I'm sure they must have because those upstanding citizens in Hollywood would exploit a corpse just to give a movie a pedigree. I'm sure that Spielberg would never take a half-baked idea that he and Kubrick talked about a few times and turn it into his own movie while claiming it was both their work. No, that sort of prestige-grubbing and grave-robbing would never happen in a town known for its Academy Awards and John Wayne beer commercials.

There is an element of Kubrick in A.I., and that's his love for taking a ten-pound story and stuffing it with fifty pounds of deep shit. It's the kind of hazy intellectual crap that gets NPR listeners all gooey in the pants because they can go to their microbreweries and coffee houses and act all smart while they stroke their goatees and pick pills off their angola sweaters. If two of them hit it off during their stimulating debates, they might get lucky and go home to share their feigned interest in Riverdance and their sincere delight in doing it up the ass. But, all that talking artsy-fartsy about Kubrick will get you at the Arvada Tavern is your ass kicked.

Far as I can tell, all this "thought-provoking" horseshit in A.I. is supposed to be about "what it means to be human." That sounds more like a good topic for phony therapists on "Oprah" than anything I want to debate about. Besides, if we do come to some conclusion about what being human means, can we kick the assholes out of the race?

Worse still is Spielberg's biggest contribution to the story. Rather than leave the question open, he tacks on a sappy, vomit-inducing answer that forces a happy ending on us and also tells us "We in Hollywood think you're too stupid to understand, so we'll spell it out for you now." It's some cockeyed bullshit about weepy futuristic beings and how to be human is to feel. I fucking hate Hollywood's infatuation with its own answers.

A.I. takes place in some vague future, after all the terrible things the phonies in Hollywood keep predicting will happen if everyone but them doesn't start conserving energy. As a result of all the ecological waste, people aren't allowed to reproduce like Mormons and Catholics anymore. To give potential mothers some reason to put "My Child is an All Star" bumper stickers on their minivans and treat everyone else's kids like second-class citizens, a scientist creates a robot boy, Haley Joel Osment. Osment is different from all the other robots in the world because he is capable of love. He is placed with a couple whose real son is in a coma, and the grieving mother quickly adopts the robot as her own. When the real son comes back to life, he torments Osment and forces him to wonder whether he is loved by the mother in return. After being tossed out of the house, he goes on a quest for the Blue Fairy, the pixie who turned Pinocchio into a real boy, because he thinks becoming real will win his mother's love. He is joined by Jude Law as a sex robot on the run, and they go across the country, not really encountering much of anything.

Spielberg ain't no artist. He's more a technician, and he's almost technically perfect. With the exception of one really stupid sequence called the "Flesh Fair" which just looks like an overpriced demolition derby, the movie looks really pretty. But Spielberg is so fucking interested in his pretty images that he undermines everything else to achieve them. Everything has to be sun-dappled, or underwater, or glittering with neon, never mind that it makes no sense how the story got to that point. Forget that it dilutes the point because it looks so fucking pretty.

The story starts slower than a 400 meter race at the Special Olympics. You sort of want to shake the participants and yell "Go that way and speed it up!" Spielberg is trying to get us to love this robot, but it's impossible because 1) he's Haley Joel Osment and 2) he's a fucking robot. No matter how weepy and melodramatic the godawful soundtrack gets, Osment himself makes it perfectly clear that he's a machine and he can just sit quietly for all eternity. Spielberg spends a dull hour showing us every fucking "humorous" or "scary" thing that can go wrong with a robot. All that does is reinforce that it is not a boy, and that we have no more reason to care about him than we did for that little bastard in Short Circuit.

The story continues to plod for a total of two-and-a-half hours. It is like a very tedious "thought-provoking" movie was spliced together with a cheap Blade Runner ripoff. The thought-provoking movie has lots of quiet parts and narration where something VERY IMPORTANT is being told to us fucking morons in the audience. The bad sci-fi movie looks great, but features shit like "Rouge City" full of neon gams and futuristic vehicles, a wisecracking robot teddy bear sidekick, sex robots in Devo New Traditionalist pompadours, and the ridiculous "amphibicopter" which is a helicopter when the story needs that, and then is able to travel under water when that is needed. The whole mess is taped together with convenience and lazy contrivances, not a logical plot.

In fact, Spielberg bulldozes logic and forces the story to fit his pretty storyboard. He knows what neat shit he wants to show us and he knows where he wants to end, but he really doesn't have any idea how to match the pieces up. At one point, Law and Osment have to ask "Dr. Know," a corny oracle gimmick, in order to get the information that will push the story forward. At other points, Spielberg just abandons logic, like when Osment is somehow able to see a statue in Brooklyn from the base of a Manhattan skyscraper, or how the power in one particular building is working when a city is submerged and abandoned. These are minor points, but the story is littered with them like cigarette butts on the Arvada Tavern's floors. It's just sloppy story-telling.
I'm sure we'll all hear plenty about what a great fucking actor Osment is, but the kid just creeps me out. I don't like him. Otherwise, everything is visibly restrained, trying very hard to be quiet, except Law in a totally gratuitous role.

Two Fingers for Spielberg's latest attempt to be considered a genius.

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