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This week:

The Legend of Bagger Vance and Charlie's Angels

Bagger Vance duffs ass.

Your assignment, Angels, is to give Filthy a boner.

It's a double feature this week, kids. Why? Because your pal Filthy still doesn't have a fucking job and I got a little scared about the pissing blood thing so I stopped drinking the beer. All I have to do all day is chase my dogs with a wheelbarrow. Since it's been raining, I can't even chase the damn dogs. So, I'm stuck paying for one movie and sneaking into a bunch. This week, the theme is Angels. Angels on the golf course, and angels who I wish would rub their tits all over me.

Do you like those big, glossy coffee table books about golf? You know, the ones that have big pictures of lawns and sandtraps and shit? Can you sit for hours staring at one of those? If so, you'll love The Legend of Bagger Vance, because it's the closest Hollywood has come to recreating the feeling of sitting on your ass looking at pictures of golf courses. One year from now, a Bagger Vance DVD will be the perfect gift for that boring jerk whose only characteristic is his moronic passion for golf. You know, that boring asshole at work who "loves golf" and refers to his wife as a "golf widow," and who loves those fucking coffee table books, golf joke books and golf on TV.

I was bored to fucking tears. Bagger Vance is the story of golf hero. Rannulph Junuh played by Matt Damon, who goes to World War I, sees his fellow soldiers get ripped to shit, then returns to Georgia and hits the bottle. A drippy southern belle played by Charlize Theron was his old lover, and now she's trying to save her father's world-class golf course by staging a tournament of the greatest golfers. For some reason, Junuh is dug up, ten years since his last golf game. He's drunk and has "lost his swing." That is, until Will Smith's Bagger Vance comes along. He's a Steppin' Fetchit angel who appears from thin air, gives Damon a bunch of new-agey bullshit advice that would never work in real life, then vanishes. Damon is losing the tournament until he falls for the new age shit. Guess what happens. Damon comes back from twelve strokes down! What a fucking surprise.

What sinks this story is that there is no tension, no drama, no character growth. It's all extremely serious and I think it's supposed to be an "important" (meaning Academy Award) movie, but the story's too lame and simplistic to give a fuck's hootenanny for. The people are cutesy southern caricatures who can't just say "yes" or "no." They always say "You make me melt like butter on a hot muffin" and "He was whupped more than a possum in a sack" and "Her tits sag like two sacks of wet cornmeal" (okay, that last one's not in the movie, but you get the idea). It's shit people who love browsing in Hallmark card shops will find charming, but it's nothing people really say, or do, or think.

Damon is a drunk when we first meet him. We're supposed to believe he's drowned the last ten years in heavy booze. Yet, when the golf tournament begins, he's suddenly a casual drinker who has no trouble with the bottle. Smith's Bagger is a corny angel, all full of "aw, shucks" smiles and that horseshit clichés like "see the field" and "a man's grip on his club is like his grip on the world." How the fuck does that shit make someone hit a ball straight? How does Vance make a boozehound into a champ in like three days just by saying corny crap?

There is not a single moment of tension with Smith, and he's never more developed than a magic angel in a Disney movie starring Steve Guttenberg. Damon and Theron are supposed to have a past, ten years ago, but neither has aged in that time. And whatever was wrong between them is resolved with almost no conflict. Just, presto-changeo! Makeout session.

Similarly, Damon's war-scarred hero is cured by four rounds of golf, just because a dopey angel was jabbering at him. It's all too pat. Redford tries to set up big problems, but he's too in love with putts to spend any time making their resolutions believable.

I guess director Robert Redford wanted to get more shots of the golf course in. Good God, more than half of this movie is pictures of the Goddamn golf course. At least it has more personality than Theron. Sweet-Jesus-out-poaching, is she a bad actress. Her southern accent is phonier than Candy Bottoms' tits, and her face registers almost a complete blank. Is she pretty? Maybe, but there's so little going on, and so little charisma, that she's like a black hole on the screen.

Two Fingers for Bagger Vance, a deadly serious movie with nothing between it's ears about a boring hobby and angels who care about it.

Charlie's Angels, on the other hand, is a flick that mostly doesn't take itself seriously, and that's the best thing about it. The flick sets out to entertain, not meditate or be fucking profound or preachy. It's so insistent about being stupid that I felt dumber just for having enjoyed it. That's okay, though, because I feel pretty fucking dumb most of the time anyway. And, I didn't feel as dumb after seeing this as I did the time I ran over my leg with the lawnmower, just because I was curious.

Had Robert Redford made Charlie's Angels it would have ended up a ponderous contemplation on Charlie and the angel who carries his golf bag. In the hands of Director McG (stupid name there, fella), it's tits and ass, jiggle, jiggle, jiggle. Hooray for jiggle!

Just like in the tits and ass TV show, Charlie is an unseen millionaire who sends three chicks out to fight crime with the help of his assistant Bosley (Bill Murray). Drew Barrymore (not too hot), Cameron Diaz (hot) and Lucy Liu (sort of hot) are the Angels. They are hired by a computer programmer to see if a rival stole his software, and they are sucked into a world of double-agents and murder.

The movie's best when it's just plain stupid, like when Murray dresses up like a tacky millionaire and escorts the Angels to a fancy party. Some of the action sequences are pretty damn good, too, like a Formula race car chase on surface streets and Liu avoiding a hailstorm of bullets by clinging to the ceiling of an Airstream trailer. The girls manage to look pretty hot most of the time, frequently having to change skimpy costumes. And, Drew Barrymore is naked for about one second, in the background. This, I'm sure, will increase sales of the DVD to horny teenagers who know how to pause the frame. The movie's pace is fast, and at 90 minutes or so, it's the right length.

There are a few good gags, like that these high-tech girls still use that stupid white box to communication with Charlie. Crispin Glover's turn as a hair-fetishing villain who seems really pissed off is a fine return to Glover's creepy form. And I doubt I could get sick of Lucy Liu flipping that nice black hair in slow-motion.

The movie gets real sucky, though, when Tom Greene is on screen. I guess he's Barrymore's boyfriend, so he gets to be in the movie. But he's whiny and about as funny as a dose of the Clap (which is about as funny as having your eyeballs scratched out with paperclips). Aren't his fifteen minutes up yet? Murray isn't given nearly enough to do. He has a few funny moments, like when he tells a bird what a squirrel told him, but overall, the barrage of writers don't give him enough to do.

And romance is like an anchor that drags the whole thing to a halt. As shallow as the story is, it bothers to make a passing effort at giving the girls love lives. They sucked. They're stilted, slow and corny. What's supposed to be funny, like Diaz at the Soul Train show, ends up overlong and does nothing to drive the plot. It's just a bad Saturday Night Live sketch.

The plot is even less there than the Angels clothes. Personally, I would have voted for them to drop both plot and undies and have the girls kiss each other the whole time. As it is, though, the plot is a tiresome little double-twist about software. Yeah, software is real exciting shit.

The movie's way too expensive. The makers made a real effort to give us a big-budget blockbuster, when all we needed was the chicks in bikinis and a lot of silly running around. The problem with the explosions and helicopters is that it detracts from the girls. It turns their story into a plain old action movie. More cheese and skin, next time. Oh yeah, and don't just say the girls are brilliant, make 'em that way. So smart that a plot this lame would be solved in ten minutes.

Finally, am I the only person bored to death by these phony martial arts scene where people fly through the air? Jesus, is it the only way the thieves in Hollywood can think to spice up a fight scene? "Let's steal that Matrix shit! The kids sure seemed to like it." Hell, McG even throws in a bullet in slow motion, just to make sure we know he's stealing.

Three Fingers for Charlie's Angels. That's one finger for each of you ladies. Just tell me where you want me to stick them.


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