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


This week:
Ice Age 2

Filthy says:
"Same shit, different epoch."

I don't know how heavily this story is being covered in the national news, but the Arvada Library is moving. It's a pretty big story around here; bigger than when the trash truck plowed through the community theater during a matinee of "Nunsense" and suffocated 14 senior citizens in chicken bones and coffee grounds. Plus, the library is slightly better news.

The new library is going to be way bigger and the carpet probably won't smell so funky. Maybe they will get some more comfortable chairs and some blinders at the tables so other people can't see me reading back issues of Cosmopolitan to learn 17 super sexy bedroom secrets. Actually, it's 17 every month, which is, what, 204 secrets a month. Although, they had that same finger trick in the March and December issues.

Anyway, the cool thing about the new library was going to be the new teen area, called the Attitude Lounge. That is also the name of Arvada's scariest bar, in the industrial zone on Lamar. So, I guess the librarians didn't recognize my handwriting on all those entries in the "Name the Teen Room" contest.

At least, I thought the new library's Attitude Lounge was going to be a cool thing. It's turned into a nightmare, though. First, I discovered that even though they say the room is a teen room, they're gonna let twelve-year-olds in. That fucking sucks. Anyone whose ever taken a math class knows twelve is not a teen. And twelve-year-olds are so totally immature. They're sixth graders and they have nothing in common with the kids who are 13, 14, 15 and me. When I'm chilling with the teens, lounging on overstuffed pillows and giving them my insight into the Judy Blume oeuvre, chatting about the latest variant of Mountain Dew, the last thing I want is a snotty little pre-teen pissing about his dirty diaper or some long division problem. I believe the Attitude Lounge should be for teenagers 13 and up, to my age. It would suck if they let, like middle-aged fatsos in there. But, us teen sand teenish people, we need our own space.

Which leads me to the second half of my nightmare: The twelve-year-olds will be welcome, but I won't. How fucked is that? What part of thirtysomething suddenly makes a guy unwelcome in the teen room? The library teens love hanging out with me, and I love hanging out with them. The kind who smoke behind the Conoco station love to beat the shit out of me. All adults berate me. I need a place, too, to chill when Mrs. Filthy's on my jock about something stupid like missing the bowl when I take a dump, or breaking her kitten figurines when I'm playing animal-army war, or going to Hancock Fabric while she's working and crawling under the cutting table to cry when I'm sad.

Why don't they make the Attitude Lounge all about maturity, not something as superficial as age? What I mean is, don't let the twelve-year-olds in because they are all super-duper immature. Some of the real teens, though, are ultra-massive mature, like me. Like, way more mature than any adults I know. Plus, they think I know a lot of shit. Or, the library should give me my own room. And put a TV and a Dig-Dug game in it, because I get bored with books. It could be the Filthy Lounge, and nobody would be allowed unless I say so.

It'll be exactly like Mensa, except that I can be in it. And it will be way cooler. Plus, I won't let those choosy Mensa jerks in no matter how many times they ask.

If I sound sort of cranky, now you know why. And if there weren't a light at the end of the tunnel, I'd be seriously planning a protest march at the library, and buying a lot of Skittles so kids will show up for it. The light is that Drive-In Season has opened. Twelve bucks a carload, which would be a great deal if anyone would go with me.

You get a lot of weird looks when you go to the drive-in alone. Especially when you ride your bike. Who gives a shit about weird looks, though? I get them already; at the grocery store, or digging through the St. Vincent DePaul bin; even doing something as innocent as getting a hand caught in the Coke machine at the Safeway. I just live my life and let the weird looks roll off, unless it's someone I'm trying to impress, like the teens at the library. I'm glad they weren't at the Cinderella Twin Friday night.

A trip to the drive-in transcends the mediocrity of a movie. That's not to say I loved Ice Age 2 just because I saw it in the great outdoors. I'm just saying that if you're faced with a raft of shitty movie choices, pick one but see it at the drive-in and you'll be less likely to hate yourself. Actually, this Ice Age is better than the last, which isn't saying much. This one is funnier and faster-paced, but you're still stuck spending an hour and a half with some boring ass characters and the human enema, John Leguizamo. Holy fuck, that guy annoys me.

This time, the Mammoth (Ray Romano), Sabre-tooth Tiger (Dennis Leary) and sloth (Leguizamo) are back. In the original, the story was some sappy bullshit about them returning a lost baby to his caveman family. Now, the ice age is ending and a dam is about to burst and flood the valley where the animals live. They all must evacuate to higher ground. Along the way, they encounter predators and other problems. Basically, it's the same premise as one of the shitty Land Before Time movies. Along the way, Romano finds a girl mammoth (the female John Lequizamo, Queen Latifah) and falls begrudgingly in love. Of course, before the story's over, he must rescue her from danger.

It's stock nonsense. I can't think of a character or situation in Ice Age 2 that anyone over twelve hasn't seen a dozen times. The sidekicks are wacky; the danger is mild; the hero is whiny, the outcome is never in doubt. A couple of gags were funny, but fleetingly so since I can't remember them now. The animation, which was the main point of the first one, is pretty damn run of the mill now. There are a few nice-looking scenes. By now, however, this kind of computer animation is only going to make the eyes fall out of Amazonian tribesmen. Oh, and stupid pre-teens who shouldn't be allowed in the Attitude Lounge.

The problem with the movie is the same as the first: a shitload of money was spent making something with nearly no soul. Why dump all this money into a movie if it doesn't feel like anyone who made it even cared? It's a commodity, like a damn can of Pringles; something to feed it to kids to shut them up. Except movies are supposed to make you feel something, and are supposed to be made by people with something to say.

Ice Age 2 is hollow. I'm sure it's just fine for twelve-year-olds. But for those of us supermature enough for the Attitude Lounge, you gotta do more. We need shit to talk about in our private space. And we're going to use dirty words when we do it, too. Two Fingers.

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Pete Hammond of Maxim

Inside Man is "what makes you want to go to the movies!... A cool, captivating cat-and-mouse game perfectly played by Denzel Washington and Clive Owen!

Lucky Number Slevin is "Clever and original! So many twists and turns you may need to see it twice!"

And somewhere a movie executive just wet himself with joy.

Filthy's Reading
Raymond Chandler - Collected Stories

Listening to
The Replacements - Sorry, Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash


It's All Gone, Pete Tong