Archives Ratings Mrs. Filthy Gooden Worsted

Now Playing

Hey, whore, how's the whoring? This week, the honor goes to:

Jeff Craig of the nearly nonexistent Sixty Second Preview

About Thirteen Ghosts "The visual effects are breathtaking!"

Truth is, the studios have cut back on the whoring in the wake of all the scandals. But, fret not, it's not an ethical decision on their part, and the whores will be back as soon as they think they can get away with using them again.

Edited by Maxim Jakubowski -
The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction


Eskimo -
The Further Adventures of Der Shrimpkin

Shop at!


Big Empire

Post-it Theater

Las Vegas

The Gift ElectroniquÈ

Big Empire Buddies

©2001 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.

This week:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Filthy says:
"It's not so fucking bad!"

Mrs. Filthy understands, and for that I'm a lucky man. She understands that it's hard to find a job when you aren't looking. Yet, I keep uncovering a few extra dollars around the apartment, in places where she knows I'll find them if I do my chores. Or, I will find them if I spend twice as long looking than the chores would have taken.

Mrs. Filthy understands the need of a man to drink pints of beer in bars where it's easy to feel superior to all the fucking downtown poseurs always talking about their cars and their feelings. Every now and then, I need dark bars where I can see dark-haired girls that I think nobody else knows are so fucking beautiful they hurt my heart. They are girls who seem nondescript when I first look at them, but something makes me look twice. Maybe it's a Band-aid on the chin, a tiny bruise over the eye, or uneven eyebrows. Whatever the reason, I look twice and I decide that maybe the girl is sort of pretty, but not so pretty that all she does is walk around thinking "I'm hot fucking shit. I'm so God damn pretty that I'm immortal." Maybe she used to be fat and has resulting low self-esteem and lingering aura of uncertainty. Or maybe she has a wooden leg so she never dances.

I keep drinking, pretending to read the paper while I eavesdrop on the conversation of the bald asshole with two needy women on his arms, and I keep looking up and checking out the girl. And she gets prettier to me until I'm staring. It's a secret pretty, something only I can see. I know I could make her feel like a million bucks plus a house if I told her how pretty she was. Nobody ever tells her how pretty she is, because nobody else knows. And if I tell her, she will see how pretty I am, how beneath my unwashed hair, acne, acne scars, scraped knuckles and "Show Me Your Tits" T-shirt that she will always ache to be with me.

Then this terribly pretty girl's fucking boyfriend shows up and he looks like just about the biggest asshole east of John Travolta's butt (or as some call it, "The Widowmaker"). He sits beside her. He collects her beauty like a drip pan collects pork fat, and it's wasted, lost forever because he's so dull and boring and self-absorbed that he likes her for something obvious like her perfect tits, not the secret beauty. And because even she isn't sure of her beauty, she settles for an asshole like this. Maybe they will marry and maybe over time she will shed her secret prettiness because he never notices it. And that's the sort of shit that ruins a man's fantasies.

I need my fantasies. Since I've been unemployed, I don't hardly go out, and the longer I stay indoors, the harder it is to face the harsh light of reality, and only my fantasies keep me sane. Only my pirate adventures using sofa cushions, my ventriloquism with the dog and the radio receiver I am building out of lettuce keep me from wigging out. It's the power of fantasy.

Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone is fantasy, and judging from the people seeing it this weekend, America's kids need escape from their dingy little apartments, too. Holy shit, the theater was fucking packed to the rafters with the brats. They are a hell of a lot better behaved than adults, though. They don't have cell phones and they don't come in at the last minute and then pout when there are no good seats left. Plus, they keep their fucking mouths shut. They still appreciate going to the theater and know what a treat it is to sit in the dark watching movies. They don't show up and look at the marquee and say "I don't know, what do you want to see?" They know because they care.

Harry Potter is a decent movie. It's great for little kids who go to the movies for birthday parties, and it's better than most of the shit parents will put on their minivan VCRs to get the kids to shut the fuck up. It comes from great source material, but it is surprisingly lacking in creativity of its own.

Whiny little pom Daniel Radcliffe plays Harry Potter, a kid whose parents were killed by the evil Valdemort because of their goodness and the strength of their magic. He doesn't know he has magical powers until he is brought to Hogswart, a boarding school for young wizards. The best part of the movie is this boarding school, a place that fulfills children's fantasies for freedom from parents in a safe environment. Plus, it's a place with unlimited halls and hidden doors to explore. Potter befriends other students, makes enemies of others, and encounters a variety of beasts, ghosts and danger before the movie finally settles on its plot. That is, the school has a sorcerer's stone which gives its user immortality. Radcliffe and his little pommy friends uncover a plot by Valdemort to steal the stone and he is challenged to save the world.

It's a great premise for a plot: a kid who doesn't even know he has magic powers is put into the ultimate battle, not only to save the earth but avenge his parents' deaths. And it looks great. Fuck, what kid doesn't dream of magical powers? I'm an adult and I still believe I can develop the ability to see through women's clothes. This is one of those movies where the fantasy world is fully realized, and the characters are immersed into it. We are along for the ride because the rules, look and feel of this world are all so well defined. It's not a world where anything can happen, but one where magic, clearly understood, does.

The problem is, it was a great plot in the book and the movie adds nothing. It plays like a third-grader giving a book report "And then this happened, and then it was really funny because this feather blew up, and then there was this dragon, but it got away, and then Harry Potter says 'No way.'" Like the third grader, director Chris Columbus (who has previously blessed us with shit like Bicentennial Man and Mrs. Doubtfire) remembers all the favorite scenes from the book, but he doesn't really connect them. It all feels lukewarm. We're expected to get the emotional depth from the book and take it to the theater with us.

Columbus and writer Steven Kloves are so intimidated by the book that they are afraid to trim it or revise it. To me, a movie adaptation should give us new ways of seeing scenes, or should add to the lore of the book. But there's none of that. Harry Potter is mostly a slavish adaptation more interested in showing us how well a big budget can reproduce what your imagination did while reading the book. And while they get the look of everything right, they don't even really bother with feeling.

And still the movie is two-and-a-half hours long. The checklist of cool stuff from the book front loads the story so that we don't really get around to the plot until ninety minutes in. And while everything looks cool, it would have been nice to know where it was going sooner. It's like Columbus is fascinated by the place of Hogswart but not the accompanying story.

The main actors are all kids, and kids are historically really fucking annoying little shits on screen. These snots aren't much different. It's not their fault; they're just kids and they don't know any better, but I swear to God that if I see that little Radcliffe prick stiffly go bugeyed with shock one more time I'm going to beat the crap out of the next limey kid I see. Radcliffe's pals Emma Watson and Rupert Grint both seem to be spouting their lines in response to cattle prods, not what the last person said. Mabe this is editing, but they sure seem to be not paying attention. There are a couple of fine performances. Alan Rickman is wonderfully dark and vaguely creepy as Professor Snape. And Robbie Coltrane is the warmest character, despite his small hands, as Hagrid, a quietly sad Giant who looks to animals for companionship. But these good performances are pulled out of the muddy and shitty dialog by good actors.

If I were a kid--which I wish I were because I see some real jerks at the local elementary school who deserve a little of the Filthy brand of justice-- I'd want to go see Harry Potter. And If I were a parent, I would take him or her. It's a good movie, but certainly not as good, or even different, from the book. Three Fingers.

And now, as a special treat for anyone who is bored out of his skull at home or work, here is the first two acts of A God Damn Love Story, aka A Hell of a Lot Better Than Tomcats. If you're good, I will let you read the rest later.

 Enter an e-mail address and send this page to a friend:

Want to tell Filthy something?