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

The desperate makers of Vanilla Sky, who manufacture four seaparate quotes from just two critics and hope we won't notice. I think I liked it better when they just made up names.

"Two Thumbs up! Declare Ebert and Roeper.

"After seeing Vanilla Sky, I knew I had to see it again." says Ebert and Roeper's Roger Ebert.

"It's a spectacular film!" says Ebert and Roeper's Richard Roeper.

"Vanilla Sky has surprises on top of surprises!" says Ebert and Roeper's Roger Ebert, except this timein his newspaper column.

Just think, if these guys had radio shows themovie could get two more favorable quotes!

Robert ritchie -
Captain Kidd and the War Against Pirates

Citizen Kane

Stan Kenton -
Kenton in Hi-Fi
Most of Stan Kenton's jazz is pretty corny, overproduced and way too lush. But this CD has the best version of Peanut Vendor ever recorded. At least go check out the page and hear the free clip of the song, or download it from wherever you kids are stealing music these days. Swear to God, it;s the happiest, fucking most fun song ever. Be careful, Kenton this song a lot and the version on this album is the best.

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Big Empire

Post-it Theater

Las Vegas

The Gift ElectroniquÈ

Big Empire Buddies

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

This week:

Lord of
the Rings

Filthy says:
"Add two fingers for fucking fan boys!"

Jimmy says:
"It's so great, it's so cool!"


The Majestic

Filthy says:
"Stand clear of the horse's ass until he's finished!"

Jimmy says:
"It sucks my ass!"


Click Here for My Christmas Gift to My Readers: A Very Special Christmas Story and photo tour of Arvada

FILTHY: Because of my general lack of knowledge about all things fantasy and sci-fi, I've brought in a ringer this week to help review Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel. My nephew, Jimmy, whom you last heard from when he reviewed The Matrix, is in town for the holidays. How old are you now, Jimmy? Sixteen?

JIMMY: Don't call me Jimmy. Call me Necron, Romancer of Death.

FILTHY: Necron.

JIMMY: Romancer of Death.

FILTHY: Can I just call you Ron?

JIMMY: Necron.

FILTHY: Does your mom know about this?

JIMMY: I have no mother, I am nourished by my band of Vampyres. Be sure you spell Vampyre with a Y when you transcribe this.

FILTHY: Why with a Y?

JIMMY: Duh. Because it's cool and because only mortals spell it with an I.

FILTHY: Wow, Jimmy-

JIMMY: I can't hear you.

FILTHY: Sorry. Necron. I guess we haven't spent much time together in the last couple of years. The last Christmas you were here you were really just an awkward eighth grader, into Sony Playstation and writing a vampyre robot novel. You've really grown up, into a fucking weirdo. I mean, are you trying to get your ass kicked with that makeup and white face powder?

JIMMY: Are you trying to have your blood sucked?

FILTHY: Have you ever even been laid? Last time, you at least had a girlfriend in Canada.

JIMMY: I will be immortal. I don't bother myself with thoughts of sex.

FILTHY: Oh, so those must have been vampyre stains Mrs. Filthy had to wash out of the sheets in the guest room this morning.

JIMMY: You know what? You're the weird one, with your denim pants and your beer and your mortality. When I was fourteen, I hadn't fully seen the dark. Now I'm older and more mature. And I am still working on my vampyre robot novel. It's 526 pages long.

FILTHY: You can take your trenchcoat off inside the house. And the Lee Press on Nails, too.

JIMMY: Fuck you.

FILTHY: I just find it interesting that you say that you have no mother. Who did you come here with, again? Who drove because you failed your driver's test? Somebody certainly seems to be feeding you well.

JIMMY: (sigh) I have a "mother" in your simplistic terms, and yes she sustains my physical presence if you consider Wheaties and meatloaf sustenance. But my life is in the mind, and when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil, I will exist in the ether, far beyond the petty imprisonment of a human family, with its human rules about making your bed and doing homework. As for my weight problem, it's glandular.

FILTHY: For someone eager to shake off the physical world, you sure had a long Christmas list. Do your vampyre friends know you want bubble bath?

JIMMY: Yours will be the first blood I taste.

FILTHY: Fair enough. Let's talk about Fellowship of the Ring. I'm no fantasy fan boy, but I thought it was okay, actually.

JIMMY: Okay. Obviously you didn't understand it because it's a fucking movie is a masterpiece for the ages. Forget all the hype, this is the best movie of all time and you're a loser if you don't know that. I hate people like you who try to talk about stuff you know nothing about.

FILTHY: Like I said, I thought it was pretty good.

JIMMY: Why don't you shut up before you look even more like a fool? Thousands of years ago, in a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. His name was Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), a wanderer who stumbled upon the One Ring. This ring gives its wearer awesome powers to rule and destroy.

FILTHY: Yeah, but that's not what this movie is about. This movie starts with Bilbo an old man, ready to pass the ring onto his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood).

JIMMY: Your readers aren't cool enough to be in the Keneally High Vampyre Society. They're stupid so you have to start at the beginning for them.

FILTHY: The movie begins when the old wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) comes to Rivendell to make sure that the ring is passed safely from Bilbo to Frodo. In the east, the evil emperor Sauron is amassing his armies to seek out the Ring and restore his evil empire. They have learned that the Hobbit has the ring, and now it is up to Wood to get it to safety before evil's minions can catch him. The original plan was to leave the ring protected by the elves, but Sauron's army is growing too strong for them. So, the ring must be destroyed by returning it to the Cracks of Doom where it was created. At each step, Sauron's army becomes stronger and more threatening to Wood and his pals.

JIMMY: Uh, hello? You forgot to mention the Fellowship. Frodo is helped by eight others in his quest. They include Gandalf, humans, an elf, a dwarf and other Hobbits. What about Sarumon (Christopher Lee) imprisoning Galdalf? You forgot to mention Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) who protects the Fellowship, or the Mines of Moria where the Fellowship first encounters Gollum and the Orcs. And, derrrr, what about the Balrog? You know, one of the maiar who followed Morgoth instead of the light?

FILTHY: We don't have time to go into every detail.

JIMMY: Speak for yourself, I'm immortal. I have all the time in the world. I'll be dancing on your grave.

FILTHY: Peter Jackson does a hell of a job of bringing the audience into his fantasy world. It's like a God damn Dungeons and Dragons board brought to life, but in not-too-terribly-geeky sense. Unlike Harry Potter, which just copied what's in the book verbatim, Jackson brings his own vision to the picture. He successfully creates a world full of impossible peaks, lush valleys and pits of darkness. It really looks like an epic of massive proportion and succeeds in bringing even me into a world of dwarfs and monsters.

JIMMY: Like Christmas at your apartment.

FILTHY: Except, unlike my apartment, the movie has no vampyres.

JIMMY: Oh, shit, I would have had a fucking heart attack if it did. There would be no need for me to keep living because then my vision would be complete.

FILTHY: A few of the characters are very good. McKellen is just fucking great at Gandalf, a prickly wizard. He's not the cute, wonderful kind, but a more believable one: tired and a little bit pissed, but also aware of his moral obligation. The hobbits should be interesting: they're tiny earth dwellers who love mischief and are big pussies. They mostly like to stay at home and eat, not battle evil. Throw these reluctant underdogs into an adventure this big and Joseph Cambpell probably has a boner poking through his casket. But, Jackson overplays them as wide-eyed simpletons. Wood's Frodo just bumbles through the story with his ass getting saved repeatedly by humans. His main job is to be fucking surprised, to frequently turn slowly toward the camera with really big, glossy eyes.

With nine characters, plus elves, wizards and others, people are sure to get lost keeping track. The other three Hobbits in the Fellowship all act like they're about to steal my Lucky Charms. They're just stupid, condescending sidekicks meant for comic relief, because everyone loves to laugh at filthy little people. The humans look identical and it took me a while to remember which was Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and which was Boromir (Sean Bean). More importantly, the story never really makes clear why I should bother.

This many damn characters is great in a book that fucking fan boys will read over and over until the pages stick together, because just remembering everyone is part of the puzzle. But, on screen, keeping track is an unrewarding experience. Who is Liv Tyler playing again? Why is she in the story? She saves Frodo from evil horsemen, then is quickly gone after making googly eyes at Bean. Come on, lady, take it off.

JIMMY: Why are you here? Well, you're a pretty bland character to make a web site about. Frodo is fucking cool. He's got hairy feet and when he has to he kicks ass. I think you're jealous because you have hairy feet, you're a pussy, and the biggest adventure you've had is getting stuck in the doggy door.

FILTHY: The story takes place in a world where some characters have no reason to exist other than to be evil. In fact, Sauron is hardly even a character, just an unstoppable foe with unlimited resources and no redeeming features. Not even a mother that loves him. The good guys face pure, black evil; no moral complexities, no doubts about who is right. In the real world, evil that black would be a laughably lame plot device, and the story would be trashed for its moralistic simplicity. So would a single ring that, when destroyed, destroys all badness. If that happened in the real world, what the fuck would Miss America do?

So, you have to accept that in the fantasy world, good and evil are as simple as black and white. You have to want to be in a place where there are dragons and little people so badly that you just say "Okay, sure, it's all that simple." And to a degree, Jackson's world makes that possible. He believes in it so fiercely that he puts his faith on the screen in the details and the gargantuan scale.

JIMMY: Pick, pick, pick. God, you're just like my mother. I didn't even want to come here for Christmas, but my mom wants to do an "intervention" on you.

FILTHY: She what?

JIMMY: She's going to make you stop drinking.

FILTHY: Bullshit. Look, we'll talk about that later. Right now we need to talk about the movie. The monsters are cool. The Orcs look really bad ass. Gollum is fucking spooky. The Balrog's sort of lame. Unfortunately, for all the build-up the Orcs get in the movie as terrifying warriors, they're really more like a Girl Scouts from the housing tracts within the fallout zone of Rocky Flats: horrifying and relentless little creatures, but also as easy as pie to knock down. The Orcs attack in waves, but they're the world's worst shots and even worse swordsmen. The battles aren't so much fights as Orcs charging to the slaughter.

JIMMY: It's hard to beat foes in such large numbers, even if they are weaker and dumber than you. It's like when the football team caught me in the locker room. One on one, I could kill them with my bare hands. But, I couldn't defeat them all. Don't worry, though. I'll get even. I have a plan.

I knew you shouldn't be reviewing this movie. Why don't you stick to the regular stupid movies that you hate so much? This movie is for the cool people who know how to appreciate a masterpiece.

FILTHY: Did you appreciate the treacly, incessant Irish soundtrack? I thought some fucker was going to start singing "Danny Boy" or that Michael Flatley would start dancing around like a ponce.

JIMMY: Ireland is a land full of myth and wonder. And giant killer-robot factories.

FILTHY: It's a land full of fall-down drunks and car bombers, who are often pickled to the gills. Look, I have no problem with the Irish, but Fellowship of the Ring's soundtrack is so fucking loud, and not a single moment of the story passes without some musical cue telling us exactly what we're supposed to feel.

JIMMY: Why don't I just shit all over your favorite film now?

FILTHY: Because we're reviewing Fellowship of the Ring, which at three hours is a bladder-buster. This isn't to say it doesn't have three hours of story to tell, because it does. Much of it gets repetitive, but still, at three hours it's probably about right. The opening is the only scene that overstays its welcome. We are introduced to the magical world of the Hobbits as though it should be in a display case next to the pewter dragons at the Hallmark store. The opening is a fucking leprechaun convention, all of them so shiny and happy and full of wonder. The sweetness gets poured on just a touch too thick. The middle of the story is good, as the Fellowship is built while they are pursued by villains. But, the last hour is repetitive. It's a big fight, followed by a sappy, over-emotional mythological speech, followed by another fight and another corny, expository monologue. On and on without really building any tension until the end.

JIMMY: It's not the end of the story, dork face, just the first third of the trilogy. That's why they don't get to the Cracks of Doom yet. And it's not repetitive. Sometimes they fight Orcs in the mines, and then sometimes they fight in the outdoors. If you'd just pay attention.

FILTHY: Well, I'm giving Fellowship of the Ring Three Fingers. It does a fan-fucking-tastic job of creating a new world, and then sort of craps out.

JIMMY: You fucking fascist. Anything less than Five Sets of Vampyre Teeth just means you're an idiot. Which you are.

FILTHY: Okay, fine, I'm an idiot. I'll be sure to return the Mr. Bubble I bought you. Now let's talk about the other movie we saw. I'm sure we can both agree on this trainwreck:. Jim Carrey in The Majestic.

JIMMY: I didn't even want to see this. You made me because you say the theaters shouldn't charge such high prices. It sucked.

FILTHY: I agree.

JIMMY: It was so fucking boring I thought someone would turn into a killer robot. But nobody does, and if nobody turns into a killer robot, what's the point?

FILTHY: The point was for a bunch of Hollywood fucks to puff up their chests and strut around like patriots. Far as I can tell, that's the only point. It's a god-awful pile of shit dripping with cheap sentiment and cornball acting.

JIMMY: It was so stupid. You totally owe me for making me watch and then not letting me go hang out in the lobby. That Carrey dude just wanders around going "Gosh! Golly! Jeepers!" And you can totally tell he doesn't mean it. It would have been cool if vampyres got him.

FILTHY: In The Majestic, Carrey is an ambitious young screenwriter during the McCarthy Era. After he is wrongly fingered as a communist, he gets blacklisted and goes on a drunken drive, crashing his car and washing up on the beach of the perfect little community of Lawson, California. And guess what? He's got amnesia. Of all the crocks of shit that Hollywood has its hands in, the amnesia one is just about the smelliest.

JIMMY: Amnesia is real. The government brainwashes people and gives them amnesia all the time.

FILTHY: I guarantee you that lazy Hollywood hacks dole it out more than the government. Without his own identity, Carrey is mistaken by the simple, pure-hearted people as one of their war heroes finally come home. Their faith in him makes him a stronger person and he begins to believe he is hero Luke Trimble. He becomes the hero they expect and helps the man who thinks he's his father (Martin Landau) re-open the classic old movie theater. The movie plods like a drunk Clydesdale through a minefield, exploding occasionally bullshit speeches and unbelievably coincidental moments. This movie is nothing but phony moments piled on top of phony moments, all building to one incredibly crappy speech at the end that's enough to make real blacklisted screenwriters rise from their graves and beat the shit out of writer/director Frank Darabont.

JIMMY: That would be cool!

FILTHY: See, while Carrey is playing war hero in the small town, the Feds are looking for him. Although it makes absolutely no sense except to Darabont, they now think he is a top commie agent (a belief they magically drop later when it no longer serves the movie). They happen to track him down the day after he recovers his memory, realizes he's not the war hero, and Landau kicks the bucket. That gives Carrey the horseshit opportunity to be conflicted as to whether or not he should tell the dying man he's not his son.

JIMMY: I thought when Carrey leaned over the old fart's bed that he'd suck his blood.

FILTHY: Once Carrey returns to Los Angeles to testify before the anti-commie committee, the most repugnant, fucked-up thing happens. Rather than just take a slap on the wrist, Carrey remembers all that courage he got in Lawson. Although he planned to just fess up and get his job back, he instead stands up to those Washington fat cats. What follows is probably the lamest BIG SPEECH in movie history. It's dull, flat, inelegant and corny. Carrey reads the Constitution's First Amendment as though nobody had ever heard of it. Of course, the congressmen are shocked and embarrassed. Gee, all it would have taken to stop McCarthy in the 50s was showing him the First Amendment. The reporters present at the hearing stand up and applaud. The movie makes Carrey (and by extension Darabont) a hero--for stating the fucking obvious! And the real blacklisted screenwriters all turn in their graves, that their misfortune could be trivialized in order to make Jim carry a hero for doing what I'm sure every single one of them tried. Fucking Darabont. What an asshole.

JIMMY: Then Carrey goes back to making movies and writes a movie about vampyre women who fuck the corpses. But it only gets released in Germany, making it really hard to find and supercool.

FILTHY: I wish. Instead, he realizes he's too fucking good for Hollywood now that he's got morals. So he returns to Lawson and the good innocent people of Anywhere, America. You see, the movie tells us that it's better to live among the simple folk of small towns than work in the heartless, cold movie world. I'm sure Carrey, Darabont and all the other cocksuckers associated with this pile of crap will be packing up and moving out of LA real soon.

Or perhaps they don't really believe that. Perhaps they just want to shove that message up our asses because they think we're as dumb and sweet as they keep telling us we are. What a pile of shit, what a stupid movie full of big, obvious, insincere speeches.

JIMMY: I just wanted it to end.

FILTHY: But it takes two-and-a-half fucking hours. I guess a story this boneheaded needs a lot of time in order to be as dull and fucking stupid as this. We need to see Carrey stare dumbfounded at shit a lot. We need to see Landau overact himself to death. We need to meet every fucking pure-hearted store owner in town. We need Carrey to fall in love with the absolutely white-bread young lawyer with the nice tits. We need one character to dislike Carrey for absolutely no reason just so he can like him at the end. We need the wise old black man to say wise old black shit. What the fuck's up with that? In Hollywood, young black men are portrayed as sass-talking morons. Old black men are always stately and full of wisdom. How the fuck does that happen? Doesn't Hollywood think there are any smart young blacks or dumb old blacks? How do the dumb kids somehow get all this wisdom between the time they're saying "She's a freee-ak," and when they're old and saying some corny variation of "You need to follow your heart." Fucking racist Hollywood assholes.

JIMMY: You're turning red. Do you need one of your pills?

FILTHY: I'm almost done. Fuck you, Darabont and Carrey. Don't try feeding us anything you wouldn't eat yourself. One Fucking Finger.

JIMMY: Zero vampyre teeth. Are we done?


JIMMY: Want to see this hair I got off a real dead person?

FILTHY: You're such a fucking weirdo.

Click Here for My Christmas Gift to My Readers: A Very Special Christmas Story and photographic tour of Arvada

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