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This week:
How to Eat Fried Worms

Filthy says:
"Kids fucking rule."

I'm gonna keep it short and simple this week because there's not a whole lot to say except that if I were ten years old How to Eat Fried Worms would be to me what Quentin Tarantino movies are to annoying frat assholes. That is, the Holy Grail of movies. It contains the sort of nuance and genius that pre-pubescent boys need as much as salt, riboflavin and neighbors who throw away old Playboys.

The difference between smug caollege pricks and and ten-year-old boys is that the kids are a hell of a lot more fun to hang out. And the crap they like is way more accessible to a dumbass like me. Shit like remote control fart machines, lots of candy, boobies without knowing what to do with them, gross stuff and whole Saturdays stretched out in front of you with nearly nothing to do.

How to Eat Fried Worms is based on the book of the same name. By the way, it's a pretty fucking great kids book. Like it, the movie adaptation gets it just right when showing how young boys act. It's a genuinely rare movie that tries to entertain kids without giving a rat's ass about the parents or whether the people making it will look cool. That's no small feat for the self-absorbed Hollywood grassfuckers. Usually they make movie kids too smart and precocious, or some idealized carbon copy of the way they've seen kids act in other movies. Worms, though, has kids behave like kids. Well, maybe not the story's only girl (Hallie Kate Eisenberg). She's a bit stiff and I find it hard to believe that these boys want her around. They are, after all, pure prepubescent maleness. They crack up at the word "sphincter", they ride around on bikes, dance like dorks and believe someone's ring has the power to kill people.

Luke Benward is the new kid in town who dreads having to make new friends at a new school. Before his first day is out he finds himself in a bet with the school bully (Adam Hicks) to eat ten worms, prepared by Hicks' minions. From that point, the story is a nearly-chaotic story wild boys running amok, trying to find different, disgusting ways to cook nightcrawlers while not getting busted by their parents or their hard-ass principal (James Rebhorn). In the process of eating his worms, Benward wins the respect of his classmates, which is what he wanted all along. Believe me, winning the respect of ten-year-olds is pretty fucking hard to do. It doesn't matter how big a splash your cannonballs make, or how much faster you can ride than them; you always hear them laughing behind your back.

Always. I can hear them right now.

Writer/director Bob Dolman gets his band of boys to act like they normally would. That's amazing. They are dorky and oblivious, both in the story and in real life. He never stuffs their mouths with poignancy or horseshit that sounds more adult than kid. Really, when was the last time you heard an adolescent say something worthwhile? Dolman also doesn't try to make the story something it's not. Sure, there's some message crap in there about peer pressure and being true to yourself, blah blah balh. But that's buried way below the sheer joy the kids have frying worms, dipping them in marshmallow and ketchup, dousing them in hot sauce, microwaving them and mixing them into omelets.

How to Eat Fried Worms is a godsend, really, to anyone who is ten or just wishes they were. Far as I can tell, that's almost everyone reading this right now. It's a delicious slice of meat sandwiched between the empty, insipid calories of shit like Barnyard and Open Season. Those are typical of how little respect Hollywood has for kids. And they only make Worms look even better. Four Fingers.

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Richard Roeper and Jay Leno

Talladega Night is "Two thumbs way up!"

Little Miss Sunshine is "Two thumbs way up!"

Holy shit! So now they don't even have one real critic on that show?

Filthy's Reading
Barry Gifford - Wild at Heart

Listening to
The Evaporators - Ripple Rock


Monster House