©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Casino Royale

Filthy says:
"Run, James run!"

It's so fucking cold here in Colorado. Last night, walking to the movie theater, my nuts froze to my legs--one to each. That didn't stop me, though. It only meant I walked slower. And, as I said before, it's fucking cold so the walk sucked.

January is the beginning of the season when Hollywood stops trying not to suck and starts patting itself on the back. Sure, the rest of the year the movies suck, but not quite as much, and not so intentionally. In the spring they suck because of incompetence and greed. In the summer they suck because of greed. In the fall they suck because of delusions of grandeur. But in January and February they suck because they suck. It's the Meadowlands of cinema, where the goombahs of Hollywood dump their toxic waste. All the movies that nobody gave a shit about, or that even the grassfuckers recognize as pure shit, get passed off as entertainment.

In short, fuck the new releases. I am not easily amused, but I am extraordinarily gullible and have a short memory. I will repeatedly pay full price in hopes of seeing something that will take me away from a reality where I have an increasingly painful lump in my throat, or have only nine toes (technically, ten, but I excommunicated one). Not in January. I won't pay nine bucks to see the glowing waste of Stomp the Yard or Arthur and the Invisibles.

Instead, I went to the cheap theater here in Arvada, the Elvis Cinema, and paid $3.50 to see the months-old Casino Royale. Add three bucks for a Coke and some popcorn, and I still had $3.50 left over from the allowance Mrs. Filthy gives me to buy a taco and a bottle of generic NyQuil. Holy shit, I just realized I gave you the formula for the greatest first date ever. Of course, it would cost twenty bucks, not ten. That is, if you don't go dutch.

By now, anyone that wanted to see Casino Royale has probably already seen it, so I doubt this review will either encourage or discourage anyone. But I don't give a shit about that. Mostly, I'm writing it because I felt like going to a movie and writing something about it. Consider it a lot like the recently-departed great actress Candy Bottoms' early masturbation videos: she was clearly enjoying it most, but as long as she was doing it, might as well turn on the camcorder for the benefit of others. I don't have a camcorder, but like millions of Americans, I have a web site for my jerking off.

I'm not a James Bond fan, not even of the early ones that seem to have gained classic status simply by being old. Mostly, I find the movies a lame combination of campy gags we're supposed to laugh at, and hoary plot devices and gadgetry that we weren't. By the end, Bonds' suavity was so assumed that he could say things that would have sounded vulgar on the party page of a 1972 Playboy yet the ladies swooned. "Yes, your boobies are very plump, Miss Haymaker, but not half as nice as my ding-dong would look in your hand." "Ooooooh, Jaaaaaames." Bond never grew or changed, he just arched his eyebrow with varying frequency. The technology had clearly become the star of the movies, and it was baloney, a bunch of improbable doo-dads dreamed up by hack screenwriters like occasionally invisible cars and gas-powered socks. Each movie was embarrassing, but viewed in series, the decline and repetition is even moreso.

For the series, there were three ways to go: quit; keep dreaming up even more convoluted plots and laughable gadgets; or start over. Casino Royale represents the only viable choice for a group of status-seeking grassfuckers. That is, to appear to be daring and reinvent the character and the series while really just keeping a franchise viable.

The new James Bond is Daniel Craig, whose face looks like a cross between a handsome man and a bare skull. He isn't even a double-o when the movie begins. Instead, I think he is from the typing pool but kills a guy and earns a promotion. I thought that only worked at the Arvada Police Department. Craig is more immature and emotional than previous Bonds, and responds more like a trashy hothead. The bad guy (Mads Mikkelson) is a man who is using an African warlord's mosey to short the stock of an jet manufacturer. Once he blows up jet maker's newest flagship and the stock goes in the crapper, he and the warlord will make a fortune.

That's pretty straightforward, especially compared to the crap in the last Bond movie about Icelandic diamonds, satellites, albino Koreans and cold wars. The real drag in the plot is the hooey middle section. After Bond screws some guy's lady friend and then foils the bomb plot, the Africans are going to kill Mikkelson, so he dreams up a scheme to play a ten-man poker tournament at fifteen million boners a head to recoup the loss. For reasons that still don't make much sense, Craig is signed up for it by his agency. Even in the fantasy world of spies, secret agents aren't bought into high-stakes against unknown opponents and expected to win.

The middle of the movie has all the thrills and excitement of those Travel Channel poker shows where fat white guys stare into each other's souls. Yeah, Bond hooks up with accountant Eva Green, who was much better when she was naked all the time in The Dreamers, and nearly gets killed a few times. Still, though, it's pretty fucking boring watching poker at home, and even worse on a big screen. What we do learn is that Bond is a weak-loose pussy at the table who only raises with the nuts, never bluffs and, despite suavely saying that in poker "you don't play your cards; you play your opponent," only plays his cards. The one time he doesn't, he loses.

There are plenty of arbitrary and confusing double-crosses in Casino Royale. There are also plenty of villains who pass across the screen that it's hard to remember them. Bond runs around a hell of a lot, and heals quickly. Still, this is a better Bond film. Not nearly as much time is spent fetishizing gadgets, and Bond is unsure of himself and gets beat up often enough that he actually breaks a sweat.

Three Fingers for Casino Royale; it's a good restart that'll give the grassfuckers another twenty years to drive Bond back into the ground. In conclusion, it's fucking cold here.



Earl Dittman of Wireless Magazine

Arthur and the Invisibles is "A hilarious reimagining of the 'King Arthur' legend

Filthy's Reading
George Kalogerakis - Spy: The Funny Years

Listening to
Beck - The Information


The Ox-Bow Incident