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This week:
The Bourne Ultimatum

Filthy says:
"Bang, pow, pop! Wheee!."

Wow. That was exciting. Some people were running this way, and others were running that way. This dude had a knife and another guy had a gruesome mullet. A kid standing in the corner looked shiftless and greasy. There were countless fistfights and one entertaining hair-pulling incident. This lady on a scooter cut through the crowd and started doing donuts. That was before the rains came.

I'm talking, of course, about Olde Town Arvada's inaugural "Movies in the Square" last Friday night. My city recently spent a shitload of money fixing up the area they call Olde Town. They kicked out the junk shops and mom and pop ice cream joints. They scrubbed the sidewalks and let in all this yuppie shit, like boutiques where you buy designer blouses for your dog, pricey office buildings, a store that sells fake flowers which smell like my grandmother's powder room, and this one place that says it sells quilting supplies. How the fuck do you make money selling that? You don't, I'm pretty sure. I figure it's either a front for criminal activity or one hell of a head shop. I'm rooting for the latter, and watching the old ladies who come and go for bloodshot eyes and slurred words.

In the middle of all this snootification is the Arvada Tavern, still a dump with cheap beer, stale peanuts, ice in the urinals and the same surly menagerie of drunks, assholes, drunken assholes and lesbian softball players. We thumb our noses at all the money Arvada is dumping into Olde Town because we know we'll outlive any improvements they make. I'm sure Olde Town was nice before, like forty or fifty years ago, and time ravaged it into a shithole the same way it broke down my friend Worm's colon and my enemy The Harelip's face. So, we've hunkered down in the Tavern with cold Budweiser drafts and we wait. Time is destroying us from the inside, but in this case it's also our destroying our enemy. So, it's our friend.

As part of Olde Town's coming out party, the City is showing movies outdoors on Friday nights in the new "Square," a public space where I'm pretty sure they won't tolerate public discourse, but they did put in some fountains where kids can play. That's pretty cool. Sometimes, after a few of us get a belly full of happy hour booze in us, we wander outside and watch the kids splashing around. It takes you back to your own childhood, which then spurs a lot of memories of things that never happened, opportunities missed, classes failed or ditched and birthdays spent on restriction. After we think about that long enough we feel shitty knowing all that joy these wet kids have is fleeting and will be replaced all too soon by dead-end jobs, divorce, prison and alcoholism. Even their mothers, waiting to the side with fluffy towels, can't scrub away the inevitable.

Oh yeah, so, "Movies in the Square". Friday night they kicked off the season by projecting Raiders of the Lost Ark onto the side of the fancy new library. That's the place where some members of the staff recently found out about my reviews and are still trying to figure out which of their regular perverts I am. To the library staff: I am the guy with the wet pants on the sofa in the way back of the second floor who squeals like a pig whenever girls walk by. Yeah, that's me.

"Movies in the Square" drew a lot of families. God knows why. Maybe the wholesome faction of Arvada really want to subject their children to Raider's drinking contests, Nazi heads melting and bursting, and a bald Aryan get his face ground up by a propeller. What made the night especially magical, is that the local surly teens didn't know about the event, so they still showed up at their regular Friday night hang out with scooters and skateboards, ready to loiter. And the Tavern still served booze in excess to its patrons across the street, who had a huge audience they felt compelled to entertain. I didn't stick around for the exciting climax because I had to stagger down the hill to the grubby old movie theater and pay full price for the 9:30 showing of The Bourne Ultimatum. I wish I could have stayed, though. Between the Nazis, the spooky ghosts, the pissed off scooter gang and Worm mooning the babies it looked like a hell of a show.

That's not to say The Bourne Ultimatum isn't a good show, too. It's action-packed and thrilling as all get out, but it doesn't hold a candle to "Movies in the Square". What could?

Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne, a brainwashed assassin for the CIA who is slowly piecing together the details of his brainwashing and all the shitty things the government made him do. As in the first two movies of the trilogy, The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, Damon wants to track down the sinister people who turned him into a killing machine. He wants to know why, and to get some revenge, especially since they've been working around the clock to kill him.

Killing Damon ain't so easy, though, since he's been trained by the best to be indestructible, untraceable and, apparently, lucky as a turd in the palace. In Ultimatum, Damon gets closer to the truth. He's still mourning the loss of his lover, whom the CIA killed last movie. His memory is improving, though, and more images from his past are coming back. He has a name and a contact, which worries the CIA more than usual. If news of this brainwashing assassin program gets out, the public's going to be pissed.

The movie opens with a goose chase through London, including a shootout in a crowded train station and a dead newspaper reporter. From there, it goes to Spain, Italy, Morocco, New York and probably a few other places I can't remember. Everywhere, there's some fistfights and gunplay, all of it pretty fucking spectacular. A rooftop race across and through old buildings in Northern Africa is particularly awesome.

Ultimately, Damon returns to the place where he was first brainwashed. I'm pretty sure that's called closure. That's what my court-appointed counselor said it was when she asked me to stick my fist in her vagina. Something about ending at the beginning. Unlike me, though, Damon did not get the rest of his mandatory counseling sessions canceled when he told his court-appointed clerk about the incident. He has to face the man who created him, a guy old enough to be his father, which means it feels creepy punching him in the face unless you're really drunk and he says for the thirtieth time that you were a mistake, he's not your real father, and he never loved you anyway. Then, punching your dad feels pretty satisfying.

The globe-hopping nature of the Bourne movies is pretty fucking cool. The action takes place in what is either the real place, or at least feels like it to a guy whose never been there. Morocco feels exotic, crowded and dusty. Turin, Italy is noisy and crammed with classic architecture. New York looks like there are a lot of assholes inside every building. The fights sound and look close to what a fight should. It's not as drag-down real as the bar fight in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but punches miss, people get tired and fall down and the punches land with thuds, not pops. The espionage is also really fucking clever and smart. It feels one step ahead of the audience and relatively possible without being flashy. Plus, for the most part it isn't over the head of a dipshit like me. I knew what was going on.

I didn't always know why, though. There is little to care about in The Bourne Ultimatum. Julia Stiles is plugged into the story for little reason other than to make us think we're supposed to give a shit about her. I didn't. The reason to root for Damon to win hasn't changed and it hasn't deepened since the first movie. He is still on the same quest for the same reason, but he hasn't really grown or become more interesting than a guy who got royally screwed by the feds.

As an action delivery system, this is a fantastic movie that doesn't insult you and doesn't let up for a second. Which usually should be good enough. However, when it has to compete with "Movies in the Square", which has just as much action and a lot more heart, well, it pales by comparison. Four Fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something?



Peter Hammond of Maxim

The Bourne Ultimatum is "The best action picture in decades. A two-hour high-tech chase around the world that surpasses everything that's come before it, including Oscar-winning classics like The French Connection and Bullit."

1408 is "a smart, highly entertaining no-stop shocker!"

El Cantante is "hot stuff! Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off fireworks!...scores big time!"

Hairspray is "a 100% unqualified summer smash!"

Filthy's Reading
Peter Bagge - Buddy Bites the Bullet

Listening to
Velvet Underground - VU


Midnight Express