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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.