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This week:

Filthy says:
"Apparently, the 70s are still funny to someone.

Man, last week I was beat like a Korean in Tokyo. Dog tired and wondering if I had the Mono. I didn't want to do anything except sit on the sofa, or lie on the shag, watching shows about home design hosted by chicks with nice tits in tight softball shirts. Mono's a scary thing, you know, because, first, you want to sit down for a while. Then you start thinking about who gave it to you. Worse is Mrs. Filthy wondering who gave it to me because she always assumes that I did something stupid.

I did some reading about it. I looked it up on the Web and found a few articles about the virus's common symptoms and ways people get it. Mostly it's exchanging fluids. They call it the kissing disease because that's a pretty damn easy way to get someone else's spit in your head. Then I started thinking about people kissing, mostly hot lesbians. And they're at this wild hot tub parties, and maybe they're cheerleaders. Anyway, someone says the water's getting too hot, so they all take off their swimsuits and one of the girl's says her tongue hurts, so they all start kissing it. That's about the time I stopped reading WebMD and then my research took a turn toward the sociological.

So how did I get Mono, I wondered. Was God punishing me for crapping in the Lutheran Church's junipers? Or did he figure he was even after striking me with that tree limb Tuesday? I haven't been kissing anyone except Mrs. Filthy. Not that I remember. And I haven't even been kissing her that much because they're doing button inventory at Hancock Fabric and she gets pretty stressed out about counting those things.

I held hands with this guy who kept licking his palms, but that was only because we were really giddy about the Tavern's new jar of pickled eggs. There are 32 hours I blacked out, but I think I mostly watched a "Real World" marathon and maybe rolled a liquor store. I kissed this chunky girl who had a "Kiss me, I'm Irish" button, but there was hardly any tongue and I forgot when St. Patrick's Day was. And I licked a toilet seat, something I'm not proud of, but we've all done it.

I started self-treatment for Mono with airline-size bottles of vodka. I don't know if these are any better for you than chugging straight from a 750 ML bottle, but they feel better. You know, because they're tiny like bottles of penicillin, and it feels more precise to drink them, like they're doses. Anyway, funny story: I didn't have Mono. Turns out I'm just really fucking lazy. Given that, it wasn't easy, but I dragged myself out of the house and to the movies this weekend. I saw Anchorman, a pretty damn mediocre comedy, saved from the shit heap of SNL movies by Will Ferrell. He;s funny, the rest usually isn't.

Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, a 70s San Diego news anchor in the male-dominated, chauvinist TV news world where the men wear a lot of polyester, talk a lot about groping women's boobs and smoke like chimneys. It's a world like a Playboy cartoon come to life. That's almost the entire joke here. There's a plot as thin as Ashley Olsen about a woman anchor (Christina Applegate) moving onto the men's turf and threatening their manhood with her dreams of being an anchor. She as ambitious as Ferrell, leading to a rivalry that sends him into a tailspin. He loses his job, goes into a drunken stupor, and finally triumphs by returning to the anchor chair, and to save Applegate from zoo bears.

Fattening this skeletal story like so many Ding Dongs in Ashley's belly before she purges are dozens of silly, distracting SNL-type skits. I don't mean that as a compliment. I mean that the way SNL skits are: really fucking shitty, bloated, pointless, and hoping for a graceful and swift death but usually living too long, like my Aunt Horis and making us all pay. Ferrell and his news team get into a gang fight in an alley with the other local news teams. This might have been funny if it had anything to do with the rest of the story, or wasn't paced like a bad hair-metal video. Similarly, Steve Carell plays a retarded weatherman whose role in the movie is to blurt out something silly every time a scene is about to bog down in exposition. You know, fellas, there's a reason the "Simpsons" use Ralph Wiggum sparingly. He wouldn't be funny if he had to save the fucking story every three minutes.

Will Ferrell is really funny. He fills his oblivious blowhard characters with a deep patheticness. His characters don't act sad, sometimes they don't even know they are. But there's always sorrow right below the surface that raises the stakes for all their blunders and vanities. It's what Ferrell brings to Anchorman that saves it from being as bad as Superstar or Ladies Man.

It's too damn bad nobody else could do the same, or that Ferrel's (and Adam McKay's) script didn't give them a chance. Actually,m the script is just plain awful. It's the sort of lazy turd where any lousy plot device is used with the excuse that it's "wacky." The result is a movie full of individual skits that don't build to much and don't let us care what happens. I mean, how can we care when we don't have the slightest clue where it's going? I fucking hate when people think they can do a shitty job on the story because it's "zany." I don't worry about Will Ferrell not being funny, but I do worry that as long as he makes money, the studios are going to be afraid to make him work hard.

The cast is stuck with one-joke characters like the vaguely-gay, locker-room talk sportscaster and Carell's retard. They're funny the first time we see them, but by the halfway point, it gets pretty fucking tiresome. If I wanted repetition, I'd rent Candy Bottom's Up the Ass, All the Time for an eighth time. But I won't, see, because after seven viewings I get it. She takes it up the ass, all the time. Even while sleeping. Even while shitting. Even while taking it up the ass from some other man.

The direction by Ferrell's co-writer Adam McKay is as dull as the scissors they let my cousin Larry use. Mostly, the movie is made up of characters talking in place, or walking stiffly in the center of the screen. The action sequences are awkward and unexciting.

One unintentionally funny thing about this movie is that it's supposed to be a comedy that makes light of the male-chauvinist world of 1970s TV news, yet it's made by a bunch of woman-fearing comics. The story doesn't give Applegate's character any good lines, or even much of a character. She's hot and smart in the stereotypical way that virginal males imagine woman can be, but she's not very interesting. And, she's the only woman with more than a couple lines. What's the matter, guys? Afraid to be upstaged by a broad?

Two Fingers for Anchorman. Holy shit, I'm tired. Time for eight or nine more doses of medicine.

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MNose Persico of CTV

At White Chicks "You'll laugh so hard, it will hurt!"

(Apparently you will laugh, but independently you will be hurt)

King Arthur is "Visually stunning!"

Filthy's Reading
Charles M. Schulz - Complete Peanuts 1950-52

Listening to
Woody Herman - Blowing Up a Storm: The Columbia Years 1945-47


Raiders of the Lost Ark