This week:
Blade II

Filthy says:
"Vampires haven't gotten any cooler since Dracula 2000!"

Gooden says:

"What fun to go to a drive in!"

This week:
Changing Lanes

Filthy says:
"The same old shit, this time out of a woman's ass!"

Gooden Says:

"A film that improves when seen back to back with Blade II!"

I know Blade II and Changing Lanes are a couple weeks old, and if you have a problem with that it's tough titties. And not big tough titties, but ittie bittie tough titties.

It's drive-in season here in Denver, Colorado. That means sitting in your own car seeing second run movies. Twelve bones lets a carload into the Cinderella Drive-In, so the Mrs., me and our very special house guest Gooden Worsted loaded up the Galaxie with Hamm's Light, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and Gooden's organic edamame and made a night of it. On this rainy night, we parked near the back of the dirt lot, beside a drunk who left his car every five minutes to roll in the mud or pop up in front of the grill thinking that that was what made him scary, and behind an amorous couple who got in a good 30 to 40 seconds of clit-diddling before he noisily shot his load, stumbled out of the car and curled in a fetal position.

The double feature was one half on-screen shit and one half on-screen shitting. Gooden rode shotgun with the Mrs. in back where she could spread out like hot pudding. And I mean that in the sexiest way, the kind of hot pudding you want to stick your dick in. While he's freeloading at my house, Gooden joins me this week for the review.

FILTHY: Let's talk about Blade II first since the order we saw them, and we saw it before we ran out of Hamm's and someone whose shall go nameless stole a cooler from the 4x4 with the plastic nuts hanging from the rear axle.
GOODEN: Too bad it was more Hamm's. I was longing for a Butte Creek Organic Porter. Somehow, I could have used a good brew during Blade. You know how some movies are known to be better when you're effected by intoxicants? Blade II would have been fantastic for me if I'd been in junior high and hopped up on Papa Gooden's bathtub brew. Then, I could have really enjoyed the special effects, creepy as they were. Unfortunately, temperance has ruined my ability to enjoy a film without plot. I blame myself
FILTHY: Enough with the namby-pamby pussyfooting around. This movie blew more chunks than a blood-clotting longhorn. I mean, this is one god-awful dungheap, flung up by the usual Hollywood apes.
GOODEN: Basically, Wesley Snipes is Blade II. He's a vampyr (pronounced "wom-peer") and also a vampyr hunter. Not exactly sure how this works out, but then again, I missed the original Blade.
FILTHY: The first movie didn't clench up my rectum like this stinker. It seemed to have a sense of humor, a hint of originality, and what we in the business call "a reason to exist." Snipes was a girlie-vampire who didn't want to kill people. Fuck, I ain't a vampire and I keep a whole notebook of people I want dead. Anyway, he respected the vampire's right to live, but wanted to keep them from trying to take over the world. Blade felt like a comic book: silly, colorful and original. Blade II is half-rehash and half partially digested sausage of post-Matrix cliché action scenes.
GOODEN: Oh, was this a comic book? It sure didn't feel like it. Blade acts like a grump for the most part. Let me attempt to piece together some of the story for you. First, Kris Kristofferson comes out of a tube of blood. He was killed in the first movie, but the tube of blood has helped a lot with the death thing. As Blade's contractually obligated sidekick, he returns to help out in this zany caper. Another young sidekick, named Scud (Norman Reedus) is also on Blade's team. This is what made me feel best about myself--I could tell right away that Reedus was a heavy in disguise, despite all the good things he does for Blade. When the plot turn finally hatched, I could pat myself on the back for predicting it--and for being able to make out this much of the story in the first place.
FILTHY: This movie has the magical ability to make no sense and yet still be entirely predictable.
GOODEN: True, true! Let's see. A mysterious team of ninja vampires shows up to kill Blade. They're called the Blood Crew, and there are a lot of them. Each has a name. Let's see, there's Priest, Chupa, Reinhard, PJ, Dolly, Jeffy, Barfy, Not-me, and Ida Know.
FILTHY: That Ida Know is nothing but bad fucking news.
GOODEN: Oh, and Lighthammer. So, this crew is loyal to a talking, non-scary Nosferatu vampire king (Thomas Kretschmann) who likes to soak in his plasma hot tub. Now we get some exposition that I will try to summarize. Dang this is hard! Can you field this one, Filthy?
FILTHY: I may not get it right, but neither did the movie. Kretschmann has created a superbreed of invulnerable vampires who can suck the life out of all humanity and other vampires. They will take over the world as soon as Kretschmann can generate enough of them. The only one who can stop him is Blade II. So, what does he do? He calls Blade II to stop him. Thus, the plot. Pretty fucking clever.
GOODEN: Oh, and I forgot: Snoman, Verlaine and Kant are also in the Blood Pack. Also, Filthy didn't mention that Kretchmann doesn't tell Blade II he created the uber-vampires. Neither does he tell his daughter, the semi-hot Leonor Varela, or his son, the uber-vampire blood prince named Timmy or Timebomb or something, about it. That's so the plot can surprise us down the line.
FILTHY: When Mrs. Filthy is slurping down Little Debbie in the back seat, it takes a hell of a lot more than that bone-hag Varela to get my attention. Perhaps the script was supposed to surprise, but wouldn't that require us to care?
GOODEN: Amid this storyline, or broad story-field rather, there are many fight scenes and a few good gross-out internal body part scenes. The wildest thing is how the uber vampires faces open, revealing a little alien-mouth proboscis thing. Being stoned would have been nice. Instead, I got to watch the drunk teenagers slink around cars and try to scare each other by jumping out and puking.
FILTHY: The movie is anchored by Snipes in a no-acting-required role. I can just imagine del Toro's direction: "Okay, Wes, in this scene you need to stand there and look tough. Okay, Snipes, this scene's a little different. Here, I need you to stand in a different place and look more tough." The rest of the crew takes their cue from Snipes. They are each allotted one facial expression and slightly less than one emotion.
GOODEN: During the third-to-the-last big battle, Ron Perlman as leader of the blood Pack has Snipes on the ropes, thirsting for the ultimate power drink, blood. Conveniently for the hero, Perlman shoots Snipes so that he falls into the blood hot-tub. I guess Perlman momentarily forgot that vampires like blood--and hot tubs--because he smugly turns to leave, figuring Blade II is done for. A ha! Snipes emerges and kicks Perlman's large hieney. Yay for Snipes! Sixtyeen identical fights down, only two more fights to go. As in the corporate world, you have to go up the chain of command. Next he'll fight Nosferatu, and finish with the uber-super-vampire blood prince with the nasty tongue. Then he'll be the CEO!
FILTHY: All I ever ask for in a movie is one little reason to give a donkey's sore nut about the story. Someone to root for, a reason to hook into the narrative. Here we have a flat bunch of assholes as moody as teenagers at their first dance.
GOODEN: And just as foul-mouthed! I counted no fewer than 39 F-expletives in this 116-minute film. That's one F-word every three minutes. Mouthed, shouted, whispered, written in subtitles, spelled out in neon, this word was everywhere.
FILTHY: It was really fucking excessive. But it's indicative of the lazy vaginal fart of a script. Maybe del Toro doesn't speak English and didn't know he was buying into the kind of story that features a man pleading "Don't die on me, man," to another who, perhaps inspired by the triteness, doesn't.
GOODEN: Speaking of trite, let's turn to Changing Lanes. Actually, the intermission at the drive-in was probably the scariest and most morally deep experience of the evening. For instance, the bathroom was genuinely sketchy, and yet, a sign put up by management made the ethical plea to taggers not to despoil the john since this is one of few remaining drive-ins in the nation. It had politics and soul. And I relieved myself.
FILTHY: Plus, this weird little dude was trying to look at my wiener. That opens up a whole 'nother can of ethical worms.
GOODEN: Going to the bathroom is often a deep experience. Just ask Ben Affleck. The Affleck school of acting states that if you want people to think you're serious or conflicted, just look as though you really have to poop.
FILTHY: It's true. Changing Lanes is loaded with long, preachy monologues during which Affuck either looks like he should be saying "Unnnngggggggg," or "Who does Number Two work for?" We were forced to add these sound effects ourselves. During the most powerful scenes, Affuck wages World War III below his belt, slowly cajoling a Rhode Island Steamer into the bowl. His brow furrows and his lips twitch with every centimeter of cable he lays. This is how that uncorkable frat boy got into acting. Once somebody mistook his irritable bowels for profundity. They said, "What you thinking, Ben?" and he said "Something, unnng, deep," rather than "My ass is on fire."
GOODEN: Aha! There's the connection! Moral fiber--dietary fiber. This film makes total sense to me now. You see, Affleck is a Wall-Street lawyer, a person everyone knows is morally bankrupt. On his way to a hearing to defraud a philanthropic organization, he has a little fender-bending with regular Joe Samuel L. Jackson. Since it's necessary to the story, he does not exchange insurance info with Jackson but hurries on to the hearing, stranding Jackson in the middle of the freeway with a busted-up car.
FILTHY: Jackson is also on his way to court to win his kids and wife back by proving he's turned his life around. He's stopped the boozing, bought a house and is learning to control his temper. This is how you become a useful member of society? Hell, I wouldn't be the miserable, insignificant asshole you're reading right now if I took this route. In the hubbub of the accident, Jackson is left with a key document of Affuck's. Without it, Affuck may go to jail, but Jackson isn't about to help. After being treated shoddily by Affuck, he is more self-righteously indignant than I was the night I spent in a K-Mart Boy's section dressing room because those assholes made the knobs too fucking hard to figure out. And thus begins the movie's tedious tit-for-tat as Hollywood delivers a deep rumination of first-grade ethics. You see, it's wrong to treat people bad, especially when it doesn't cost a God damn nickel more to treat them good.
GOODEN: The film tells us how it's good to be a good person by showing us how bad people can be. Jackson is late to court and loses his family. Affleck arrives in court to find his important paper missing. Realizing that he has no way of contacting Jackson, he begins to panic, running to his mistress for support. Then, all at once, he spots Jackson on the street. What a coincidence! Jackson is now in a bleak mood and refuses to help Affleck. Yeah, he saw the file, but he threw it away.
FILTHY: While the idea of Hollywood and the gambling, drinking, money-grubbing Affuck telling us about morals is novel, telling us over and over gets tired. There are only so many ways to watch Affuck take a shit, but this movie finds them all. While others deliver the homilies, Affuck gives us an intimate look into the bathroom of a star. The first 30 minutes set up the premise, the last 70 show us every way that a studio can dream up for two archetypes to take revenge on each other.
GOODEN: Affleck finds a guy who can screw with peoples' records. Affleck pays this creep a bundle to destroy Jackson's credit, thus ruining his chances of buying the house. Jackson removes the wheel bolts of Affleck's car, causing a near-fatal accident at the same spot on the freeway where Jackson's broken car still sits. (What a coincidence!) Affleck walks away from the accident and goes to Jackson's sons' school to tell the administrator that Jackson is a homicidal maniac which eventually gets Jackson carted off to prison.
FILTHY: Occasionally, one or the other has a pang of conscience. Midway, Affuck takes time out to wander into a church and pinch a loaf in a confessional while making some speech about his moral confusion. To sympathize, we have to believe that rich, arrogant assholes are okay people so long as they occasionally stop to hate themselves before returning to being assholes. Look, I couldn't care less if the guy stealing my newspaper is morally conflicted. All I know is he keeps stealing it. After his brief episode of introspection, much like when a small child hides in a corner to poop his pants, Affuck is right back in it, wallowing in his shit and tormenting Jackson.
GOODEN: Meanwhile, all of this action is rendered moot by the fact that the law firm's principals (incidentally, Affleck's father in law) have underhandedly covered Affleck's trail. Now Affleck's morals are completely compromised. He and Jackson are hand-slapping only for the sake of the remaining minutes of movie. As Filthy put it, the movie ran out of gas before it was over. But Affuck hasn't. Oh, no! You've got me doing it!
FILTHY: It comes pretty naturally, doesn't it? The movie ends with scenes that are supposed to leave us pondering its meaning. But what happens if our parents did the right thing and taught us this lesson already? Then what the hell are we supposed to think about? Some nudity would have been nice. Once again, Hollywood props up a simplistic ethical dilemma and really proud of itself for spending $60 million resolving it. Only the grassfuckers in Hollywood think people should be rewarded every time they do the right thing. In real life, we get jack shit for being good, and holy hell for doing bad.
GOODEN: Yes, Hollywood proclaims its wisdom with the enthusiasm of a grade schooler who has just learned about gravity or that the thing at the ice rink is called a zamboni. But it often misses the bigger picture. In Changing Lanes, we are still subjected to race stereotypes that Hollywood hasn't learned to get around. The rich white guy remains a rich white guy and even lands a boat and an even cushier job by the end of the film--while saving the fortune of the philanthropic organization. The regular black guy loses a lot more during the film that white guy and emerges in just about the same place he started. Race lines and especially class lines are perfectly preserved.
FILTHY: Typical of the fat cats making movies, they keep insisting that the rich aren't happy with their millions. Well, how fucking hard is that to change? Just buy a shitload of pornography. You'll be poor, happy and a little bit bloody.
GOODEN: For me, Jackson's acting is a bright spot, but you know how if you put a 20 watt bulb next to a 10-watt bulb it looks bright?
FILTHY: Jackson is as good as the relentlessly dour script lets him be. Affuck is as good as a big turd. If I wanted to see frat boys crap, I'd subscribe to one of those voyeur web sites.
GOODEN: Seriously. But the best thing was the plastic testicles under the big white truck. If not for seeing that, the night would have been less interesting.
FILTHY: One Finger for Blade II. Two Fingers for Changing Lanes. And Five Fingers for the hanging nuts. They make me want a truck.

Want to tell Filthy Something?

Filthy's Reading
Fyodor Dostoevsky- Random House Webster's College Dictionary

Listening to
White Stripes- White Blood Cells

Stop Making Sense

Jeff Craig of 60-Second Preview

Changing Lanes is "Four stars! Changing Lanes is a spellbinder!"

The Sweetest Thing is "a sinful delight!"

Dogtown and Z-boys is "Four Stars! Irresistible! A fascinating feature about the birth of skateboard culture!"


©2002 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All fucking rights Reserved