"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".
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.
to tell Filthy Something?
Peter Hammond of Maxim
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."
is "a smart, highly entertaining no-stop shocker!"
is "hot stuff! Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony set off
fireworks!...scores big time!"
is "a 100% unqualified summer smash!"