This week:
15 Minutes

Filthy says:
"Oh God, here we go again."

Have you ever had alcohol poisoning? It's fucking gross and I don't ever want to go through the last week again. I have learned my lesson about drinking. About the fortieth time I threw up and my stomach muscles recoiled I realized I'd hit rock bottom. I was so pathetic that a weekend of $1 taps at the Arvada Tavern was reason enough to send me careening from First American Video to the bar without even stopping to see my wife and eat dinner. The headache and cramps didn't go away for five days.

What a Goddamn waste of my life. I am going to change. Yes, you're reading the words of a changed man, a filthy man who sees the folly of his ways. I know I didn't write a column last week, and I'm sorry. It won't happen again. From now on, no more going out on Friday nights, alone and sad, desperately hoping cheap booze will fill my empty stomach and heart. From now on, I will eat a big meal first.

See, the booze does plug the gaps in an empty heart, and God knows I had a great fucking time until I blacked out and hit my head on the "Road Work" pinball game. But, it was drinking on an empty stomach that made me sick, headachey, vomitous and immobile. I want the sad soliloquies. I like spying on the harelip and that new fat broad drunkenly going at it lesbian-style next to the grease bin in the alley, sloppily fingering each other and grunting like overfed cocker spaniels. I love the moment when I see a hand on the bar and can't even tell if it's mine or not. And I cherish my arguments with Lloyd about the size of his tongue. But, getting sick, that's just fucking lame.

By Friday, my stomach had settled enough that I could eat yogurt, carrots and iced tea. I don't know why I could keep down this sort of hippie shit, but it's all that sounded good to me. My beautiful wife, who felt sorry enough for me to abandon her "tough love" approach to my drinking, went out and got some of that vege-cocksucking-tarian grub and put my Salisbury steak (with Mrs. Filthy's fan-fucking-tabulous creamed beef surprise gravy) back in the freezer. Thanks to her nursing me back to health, I was feeling well enough by Friday to drink a few girly-piss light beers, head over to the AMC to do battle with ticket-taker Hitler Junior and see 15 Minutes. Holy shit, it was like alcohol poisoning all over again.

15 Minutes is an expensive, unpleasant, mind-numbing, gratuitously violent pile of over-processed horseshit. It's the latest example of those fuckwits in Hollywood expecting us to dig through their garbage to find the big, important messages. Well, the movie wants to say something about people's obsession with celebrity and fame, but I'll be fucked with a rake if I could find it.

Robert DeNiro is Eddie Fleming, a beloved celebrity cop in New York who has been brought into a homicide case along with an arson investigator from the fire department (the duller-than-a-Ginsu Edward Burns). Two thugs from Eastern Europe are on the loose with a video camera, killing and maiming with their ultimate goal to kill the supercop DeNiro and sell the movie for millions of dollars before claiming insanity. There are many missed opportunities at conflict between Burns and DeNiro as they chase the killers. In the mix is a wide range of unexplored subplots, including Kelsey Grammer as a hard-boiled sensationalist TV reporter who is, I am guessing, supposed to be morally conflicted at the end.

The point of this movie wants to be some nonsense about celebrity, the media and the how they feed on each other. But, typical of the grassfuckers in Hollywood, they think that just saying "Look, these villains killed people for fame" is enough. They have nothing new or interesting to say, just that there seems to be some sort of problem. Well, congratulations, assholes, pat yourself on the back for once again spending millions of dollars to point out the obvious and then undermine it by wrapping it in a disgusting, overripe sensationalist movie.

How are we supposed to take any message seriously when it's inside the same old bullshit conventions that the movies pump out like shit out of the ass of a man who just ate warm, week-old shrimp? This is Hollywood's idea of "gritty" and "real," but only so long as it can make them some goddamn green. And so, ultimately, they sacrifice the message because they get pants-shitting scared that it won't be entertaining enough. I bet that what may have been a good idea at the core of this movie got trampled by dozens of fucking studio executives and writers trying to get their snouts in the trough.

The damn movie isn't helped by its desperate snatching at dozens of subplots that go nowhere. They seem to be slotted in where a solid central story should go, but they are dropped on their heads more often than a baby in a trailer park. Burns romances a victim. DeNiro romances a TV reporter. Grammer will air anything for money. The two Slav bad guys are hunting the victim Burns loves. Burns is "out of control," according to his boss. Who the fuck cares? I didn't.

By the end of the movie, I was so overwhelmed by the cavalcade of lame characters and the mad scramble to tie it all together that I just wanted to leave. The ending is a laughably bad, heavy-handed attempt to make sense out of the bloody pile-up of plots and murders that's gone before.

It probably would have helped if the two leads were interesting. But, like the entire movie, they are created by a committee of nitwits and jackasses. DeNiro's celebrity cop is, at first, a bully who forces his way onto a crime scene that isn't his yet, has a camera crew go on a bust with him, and is a drunk. The drunk business never comes back to haunt him. It's just another lame piece of exposition that's supposed to pass as character development. Hollywood thinks that if they say he's a drunk at the beginning, we're supposed to believe that for the entire movie, regardless of the fact he never, not once, acts drunk or has any problems resulting from it. And DeNiro is not a bad guy, just a boring guy. How he got to be the most beloved cop in town is a complete fucking mystery. He isn't sharp, hungry or interesting.

Burns should go back to writing shitty romantic comedies, because his acting sucks the shitdust out of 80-year-old asses. He's a zero with a whiny voice and no presence. He's merely competent, and if I wanted competent I would go to Target and watch them stock the paper towel shelf. His on-screen romance is dead on arrival, and his "comic" scene of handcuffing a mugger to a tree is about as funny as getting a bloody nose from picking too much

This is a bad, expensive movie. Get off your high-fucking horse, Hollywood. If you want to make a message, have some fucking clue what it is, and some conviction that is stronger then your slutty desire for cash. As it is, 15 Minutes is just another hollow, pointless rant, no better or worse than hearing Mrs. Filthy bitch about the Calico bin at Hancock Fabric. Two fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something?

Filthy's Reading
Mike Weatherford - Cult Vegas

The Fall - Bend Sinister

Sunset Boulevard
Any movie narrated by a dead guy and begins with a woman seeking a coffin for her dead chimpanzee probably perfectly captures the essence Hollywood. This movie about a screenwriter in a death-spirall with an aging movie star has more biting comments about Hollywood than anything made in the last 50 years. It's creepy, chilly, sad and ultimately a killer satire of Hollywood and the stars it creates. Of course, nobody would ever make it today.

Mark S. Allen, again

Enemy at the Gates is "a poignant and suspenseful war epic that is masterfully directed." (by the way, Enemy's two-page ad in the New York Times is a virtual who's who of quote whores)

See Spot Run is "The best family film of the season!"

©2002 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All fucking rights reserved.