©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
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This week:

Filthy says:
"Someone just shit on my face.

If you're like me, you spend a lot of time tossing and turning late at night, awake with the horror that you could somehow be mistaken for a very pretty girl with luscious. long blonde hair. Night after night, you imagine being wrongly accused of a crime and thrown into the hottest, sweatiest maximum security women's prison in the world. This is a penitentiary for women so vile and disgusting they have to be locked away for life. And the heat in this fetid jail is so unbearable that the inmates go naked. The showers are like a viper pit, just a writhing, roiling tangle of sweaty limbs and boobs. Everywhere you look, these vicious women's hard bodies glisten with sweat, their homemade tattoos rippling over taut biceps. And when they see a scrawny, helpless guy like me (who looks like a helpless, hot lingerie model), they attack, violating my every orifice, holding me down and forcing me to do shameful things until I begin to like it.

It's horrible, for sure, and yet for some reason I return to these images every night. I'm sure most of us do. Except, that is, those of you who really are lingerie models. Anyway, I've been haunted by these horrible images, but try as I might I could never make the sensations that come with being overrun by violent, horrible prison chicks become real. That is, until now.

Envy, a Barry Levinson Movie, has given me a graphical taste of what it's like to be thrown down onto hard concrete and be forced to eat shit and take a rake up the ass. It's exactly like my nightmares, expect that I didn't end up enjoying it at all.

Envy is billed as a comedy, and maybe it is. Maybe it's some new brand of comedy that has no jokes or humor or, I don't know, any reason to exist. This thing is one of the most carefully and patiently made turds I've seen since some asshole told my retard cousin Larry that shit-sculpture would be in this year's Special Olympics. I wish I could express to you how fucking awful Envy, but it takes more than words. It takes puppets, and the proper costumes, and a hell of a lot of lighter fluid.

Ben Stiller and Jack Black play frumpy middle-class best friends stuck in dead-end jobs. The difference between them is that Black is a dreamer who finally hits upon a big idea. He invents an aerosol spray that makes dogshit disappear. Stiller thinks he's crazy and that the invention won't work so he refuses to go in partners with Black. When "Va-poo-rizer" works, Black becomes enormously wealthy and Stiller is left in his dead-end job, filled with envy.

I'm not sure if the movie meant for this set-up to lead into hilarity or mind-numbing tedium. If the former, the movie fails worse than me taking a urine test. If the latter, well, bravo! Mission accomplished. But why? For God's sake, why?

I won't get into all the absolutely arbitrary and worthless twists the movie takes on its path to pointlessness, but I'll tell you most every plot twist is based on sitcom-caliber cliches, and Christopher Walken stars as a weird, creepy guy who entangles himself in Stiller's life. Hey, now that's original. Sure, Walken has played the weird interloper in about 74 movies before, but this is the first time it's being done for the 75th time!

The movie mostly follows Stiller and Walken as they try to dig up and hide a dead horse. I swear to God. There are also subplots about Black's wife running for state senate against an incumbent who demands to know where all the disappeared shit goes to (Answer: who the fuck knows? The movie never says), Walken also tries to blackmail Stiller, Stiller's wife leaves him, Black's wife leaves him, Black and Stiller ham it up in Rome, and many other tiresome contrivances that are jokelessly drawn out with the pacing of the wheelchair olympics.

Not a single character in Envy is likable. Who the fuck are we supposed to care about: the whiny Stiller who doesn't like his job and pouts about it? His greedy wife who wants money more than anything? Black, the obnoxious infomercial asshole, or his dimwitted wife? Maybe it's Walken's asshole, whacked out bum we're supposed to like? Director Levinson and screenwriter Steve Adams obviously don't like them, so why should we? Why should we hope they turn out all right when their creators only want to make them stupid enough to push the story on.

The plot is pure arbitrary horseshit. It's hard to care where a movie's going when a director and writer jerk it around like a misbehaving three-year old at K-Mart. I suppose it's meant to be a cautionary tale, but for whom? Retarded assholes?

Scenes are tacked together without rhyme or reason. By the time the movie concluded, it had veered so far from its original intent that I had to think back to the beginning to make sure I hadn't fallen asleep and caught the end of some other, and equally shitty movie.

The biggest problem is its complete lack of punchlines. Everyone acts like they are tied down with a straitjacket, unable to crack a smile or joke. I wondered if this were supposed to be a comedy. If it's supposed to be serious, it's an ass-reaming. If it's a comedy, what the fuck? How about doing something funny? How about someone giving Stiller and Black some No-Doz so they can stop moping their way through it?

It's a rare movie that can look both cheap and costly at the same time. Envy looks like someone spent a shitload of money, but it also looks like the money was wasted. Most of the money was spent making the suburbs really look like suburbs. There are also cheapout continuity problems like this: once Black becomes rich, he builds a mansion right in the suburb where he always lived. This results in a lot of belabored camera work so that we never see the mansion in the neighborhood. We see the other houses, then a shot of his, back and forth.

One of the problems with movie like Envy is that they're based on us believing that the invention is a great one. But if this invention were feasible or great, why doesn't it exist? Is the fact that poo disappears supposed to be wacky, and not taken seriously? If so, why is the movie trying to damn hard to be boring? Why have a wacky plot and strap it to such dead-eyed performances and directing? I guess because the moviemakers are fucking idiots.

And so are we for paying for this shit. Don't see Envy. Don't even see it to find out if it's really as bad as everyone says. You'll only encourage those fuckers. One Filthy Finger for Envy. It's late, I'm tired and I hear there's going to be a jailbreak in my dreams tonight.

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Good old Earl Dittman

Laws of Attraction is "The best romantic comedy pairing since Tracy and Hepburn!"

New York Minute is "A big-hearted, joke-filled treat for the family!"

Filthy's Reading
Kent Walker and Mark Schone- Son of a Grifter

Listening to
The Astronauts- Surfin' with the Astronauts


Pee Wee's Big Adventure