you're unemployed as long as I've been, the government stops including
you in their statistics. Every month, I wait for the unemployment
numbers to come out for Colorado and the country. It's the only
time I can point at the paper and say to Mrs. Filthy, "See!
I'm making a difference." Now I'm not even doing that. Apparently,
the unemployment figure represents people who want jobs and can't
get them, not those of us who aren't even trying. If you don't
get a job for a while, they figure you aren't even trying and
just dump your sorry ass from the numbers. Man, oh man: I'm too
fucking lazy even to qualify for unemployment statistics. So what
am I? Where am I in the facts and figures? Do I even exist? I
bet they probably lump me in some category called "losers
and jerks" that they don't show to the general public. It's
like some statistic they keep just in case there's an emergency
among the rich and they need to harvest a bunch of kidneys quick.
I resent being classified with the losers and jerks, though, because
I'm not like the rest of them. They clump me with the junkies,
ne'er-do-wells, the bottom-feeding convicts and child molesters,
and I'm better than that. There are tiers of loserdom, and I'm
definitely in the upper-middle class of assholes.
people think that unemployment gives you a lot of time for introspection
and thinking about shit. It's a chance to think about what you
want out of life and a golden opportunity to create a plan, blah,
blah, blah. Finally, a chance to contemplate success and failure
and your place in the world. For the first four hours of unemployment
that's true. You're motivated to prove you aren't worthless. You
think about schemes to bust your old boss' legs without getting
caught. Then, you spend about four hours thinking about getting
another job. Then you get drunk and convince yourself to open
a skate park for dogs. It sounds so fucking cool. Skating dogs
would rule, except when you sober up you remember that dogs don't
have money. Well, maybe some do, but you can bet your ass they're
really stuck up poodles and Jack Russell Terriers. Then you watch
"Judge Judy" for about 6000 hours and the God damn government
gives up on you. You just disappear from the statistics. As though
sitting at home in your underwear (sometimes) watching Judy tear
new assholes means you don't exist.
Congress, fuck the senate and fuck the GAO. Someone has to keep
the daytime Nielsen ratings up so out TV stations can make money
for advertising. Someone has to get so bored he calls the operators
at the Showtime Rotisserie and tells them dirty jokes. Somebody
has to grow increasingly eccentric and detached from the real
world or else this country will no longer be able to boast incredible
diversity. And my reward is to be ignored. It's almost enough
to make a guy try to get a job. But then I'd just be falling into
didn't know what movie to see this week. It's February, a time
when Hollywood buries its stinkers in the cineplexes. I didn't
want to see Disney skullfuck the corpse of J. M. Barrie for a
few more bucks. I almost went to Britney Spears' Crossroads,
but decided to wait for a rumored DVD chock-a-block with nude
scenes and hardcore anal action. Through random selection, I settled
on Hart's War. This sucker reeks bad, like a movie some
studio pinned a bunch of Oscar hopes on while it was still in
production, only to find out that none of the performances were
good enough, the direction isn't flashy enough, and the script
is ultimately a confused mess. So, Warner Brothers treats it like
a beaten Pole in the Stalin-era Soviet Union and discretely hides
it in the frozen tundra of February.
War really isn't a bad movie... until the last twenty minutes.
Then it's fucking awful and it pisses away any good will I had
for the previous 100 minutes. Up until the end it's as dull and
solid as a dinner table from Sears, but it isn't terrible.
Farrell is Thomas Hart, a senator's son with a cushy job in World
War II's European Theater until he is captured by the Germans.
After confessing to a Nazi interrogator, he is sent to a Stalag
where Bruce Willis is the ranking American officer. Farrell is
immediately put on the shitlist because Willis knows he caved
easily and gave away American secrets. Shortly after he arrives,
two black pilots are sent to the Stalag and Farrell is assigned
to protect them from racist fellow Americans. One is quickly framed
for concealing a weapon and executed by the Nazis. Shortly after
the other is found standing over the dead body of the biggest
bigot of them all. Farrell, with two years of Yale law school,
is assigned to defend the black man in a court martial. This is
his opportunity to prove to Willis that he is an honorable soldier,
and also the opening the movie needs to make several hypocritical
speeches about racism. Proving his honor is the war the title
is talking about, I think.
I can't be sure because there is so much horseshit tacked onto
the end that the plot and its messages crash into each other like
derailed box cars. Whatever statements the movie wants to make
get completely lost in the unnecessary twists and turns that are
tacked on as elegantly as surcharges at a used car dealership.
War tries to cover too many dull formulas in one movie. It's
a prisoner of war drama. No, it's a courtoom drama. No, it's a
polemic on racism. No, wait, it's The Great Escape. It
doesn't know what the fuck it is. And every time it changes its
mind it throws the themes of the last story out the window. Early
on, it makes a smart observation about the way blacks were treated
in an Army supposedly fighting bigotry in Germany. Then it goes
on to overstate the case, giving a cardboard black character a
big, important and obvious speech. Once that's played out, the
movie dumps that shit faster than Larry King after a trip to the
Sizzler salad bar. Farrell's "war" turns out to be a
shell game and he didn't even know it. How the fuck is he supposed
to prove to Willis what an honorable guy he is when Willis doesn't
give a flying fuck?
story's loopy too. Apparently, winter days in Germany are about
three minutes long because everything happens at night in the
same bluish icy colors. Many characters do unexplained things,
as though they are caught in the gears of a giant plot machine
they'll never understand. And when he can't win Terrence Howard
case, Farrell confesses to the murder and everyone says "Oh,
okay, never mind the last seven days, then." We're expected
to believe that Nazi colonels humored POW requests like a court
martial jsut for thehell of it, and that the German soldiers were
as dumb as "Hogan's Heroes'" Schultzie. "They see
nutting! They see nutting!" But, worst of all is that we're
supposed to believe Farrell is smart, and he urges his client
to escape into the countryside. Yeah, brilliant. A black guy in
1945 Germany would blend right in. I'd want that guy defending
me like I want those festering sores to reappear on my thighs.
sucks. This is one of his dramatic roles where he just tacks on
a steely gaze and speaks in low tones and we're expected to think
that's intense. He's so flat he saps his scenes of life. Farrell
is average and sturdy in his role. He's sort of like a JC Penney
underwear model: you don't pay attention to him but the clothes
would look pretty stupid without something to fill them. Marcel
Iures probably could win a 4H trophy because he's a prizewinning
ham as the Yale-educated, Duke Ellington-listening Nazi colonel.
The poor sap doesn't have much choice, though, since the movie
makes his principles change frequently to meet the plot's needs.
Fingers for Hart's War. Five Fingers for Filthy's
War against the government for ignoring me.
to tell Filthy Something?