now is perfect-walking-around-town-drunk weather in Arvada.
The evenings are cool, but not freezing where you're inebriated
enough to feel warm but when you get home you find your nuts
froze to your leg, or you can't get into the apartment because
your hands went numb and you can't feel your keys in your pocket,
but wake up and discover you impaled your thigh with them. The
air is just right, cool enough that a beer-soaked warmth feels
warm, but not so warm you take off your pants as you stumble
back from the Tavern by the moonlight. Plus, the skies are clear
enough that if you get really lost you can navigate your way
home using the stars. At least I can, because our apartment
is directly under one.
around town is where I get some thinking done. I've also heard
dry ice factories are good for that. I think about a lot of
stuff, like how much money is a talking dog worth, and how hard
should I be looking for one? Is the Harelip's goiter for real
or is it just a couple pounds of makeup? And I think about this
guy I once saw at Lake Mojave who had an inch-deep crater in
his upper arm where he'd carved away a tattoo of an ex-girlfriend's
name with a penknife. I think about how drunk he must have been
to do that. What was he drinking? Did he know that the mystery
of what letters were once between the "D" and "S" that remain
would draw more attention than the full name ever did?
It was after
closing time as I walked home down Grandview. In about a third
of the homes I saw the sickly blue flicker of televisions bleeding
through the curtains. Inside those homes were men and women,
as drunk as me, flipping through channels, hoping to find a
companion in a late-night time of need who isn't making phallic
motorcycles or playing poker.
I was thinking
about how I once read this theory that each of us only has three
great moments in his life, and the rest of the time is tedious
filler. Sort of like a Godzilla movie. I believe this theory
because I couldn't handle four great moments. That would be
too much excitement. And I'm at a good position in life: I've
had two of my moments so I have something to talk about cocktail
parties, but I won't slit my throat because I'm still owed one
more. My first two great moments were: 1) when I asked Mrs.
Filthy to marry me and she said yes while removing the chicken
bone I was choking on, and then pulling me out of the dumpster
I had crawled into to get the chicken bone in the first place;
and 2) this time I saw a photograph of a squirrel waterskiing.
It's important for me to note that everyone's great moments
are different, and not necessarily equal, so don't expect yours
to be as awesome as mine.
had sort of gotten turned around and found myself behind St.
Ann's, which is the opposite direction of my place. I didn't
care, though, because I like thinking. I was thinking how nobody
gets rich off other people's great moments, unless they have
a video camera, I guess. The money is in providing the tedious
filler. Which Madagascar certainly is, but I'll get to
reviewing a movie when I damn well feel like it. Anyway, that
realization led me to what may be my third great moment.
As far as
tedious filler goes, there is nothing on TV for two-in-the-morning
viewer, easily the most valuable demographic. If we weren't
the most gullible, who else is buying shit from an obnoxious
asshole in a homemade suit covered with exclamation points?
But I know what we want and I'm going to make it. It'll be cheap,
but on the money. Like a Dr. Laura or Dr. Phil but without wasting
anybody's time being a fake-ass doctor. He says straight to
us, "I love you, man. You're the only who understand me. I don't
know why she left, man, I don't know, man. She still loves you.
C'mon, you know she does. You're too good for her! That's the
problem. Call her right now. Just call her. I bet she wants
to see you. Pick up the phone and call her. Put it on speaker
so I can hear. Sing her a song. I don't know, something by Journey.
Are you back? What'd she say? Denial. She don't even know what
she's missing. We should go hunting, dude. We should go out
in the wild and shoot shit with guns. You know, like it'd be
spiritual, being in the woods, sleeping by a fire, wearing boots
and those heavy socks. That money, dude? I'm gonna pay you back,
I swear. You don't drink too much, she drinks too little."
be so fucking rich when someone makes my show. TV producers,
feel free to contact me, but expect a bidding war. The rest
of you, you sure as hell won't see me here anymore. I'll be
too busy masturbating with a million-dollar bill. Which maybe
will be the third great moment in my life.
you've had all three of your great moments, you have to choose
carefully among the tedious fillers. It's sort of like a Country
Buffet; all the options suck, but some less than others. Madagascar
is the salisbury steak all sour and gristly and smothered with
sauce to mask the inferiority of its meat.
At the Central
Park Zoo, zebra Marty dreams of being free in the wild and schemes
to escape. He is friends with a lion Alex, giraffe Melman and
hippo Gloria. The zebra is sassy and carefree, and voiced by
Chris Rock. The lion is a bit timid and unsure of himself and
voiced by Ben Stiller. The giraffe is a neurotic hypochondriac
voiced by David Schwimmer. And the hippo is maternal, voiced
by Jada Pinkett Smith. Not one of these main characterizations
expands beyond what we know of them after the first minute.
of their zany antics, the entire lot of them are boxed up and
shipped off. They wind up in the real Madagascar, among a wacky
bunch of partying lemurs. The zoo animals discover that the
wild is a dangerous place, they must work together, and that
there really is no place like a man-made home where they can't
do a fucking thing all day but pad around a tiny cell and shit
in front of school children. Well, actually that last part does
have its appeal.
Hollywood let unfunny people make comedies? Is there anyone
out there who recognizes humor? The two jackasses (Mark Burton
and Billy Frolick) who wrote this rank piece of shit has no
interest in being original or clever. I'm sure they crack themselves
up, and bust out laughing every time some asshole e-mails them
the latest lawyer joke, but their movie's about as funny as
a plantars wart. The directors (Eric Carnell and Tom McGrath)
and writers remember the essence of a lot of jokes from their
childhoods, but they don't remember what made them funny. Instead,
Madagascar sucks the humor out of Roadrunner cartoon
gags and replaces it with flop sweat and noisy desperation.
It's as though Wile E. Coyote were getting paid by the decibel,
or targeted at the world's densest children.
culture references are relentless and tiresome. There are lemurs
singing drum and bass house music, and corny parodies of American
Beauty and Chariots of Fire. Chariots of Fire?
What the fuck? Didn't poking fun at that get tiresome around
1983? Not to these movie makers. And it's not like they had
some irresistible gag about it. It's the same fucking joke as
in 1983. I'm sure there are some mob movie references in here
too, because these shitty kinds of movies always have those.
The attitude of the Madagascar toward this shit is sort
of like that of fishermen toward sea otters; "Throw every fucking
stick of dynamite into the water and let's hope we hit a few."
To me, pop culture references are lower than kicks-to-the-balls
on the comedy scale. They take no originality and only get laughs
from people giddy at recognizing what's being parodied.
voices have no nuance and add nothing. Every one of the stars
plays off his or her reputation, so it's pretty damn hard to
look at the lion on screen and not think of Ben Stiller all
hunched over and gollum-like in a recording studio, probably
pouting over some slight insult. If Madagascar were interested
in story or characters, it would start with a blank slate for
voices so we associate them only with the characters. Of course,
those grassfuckers at Dreamworks are afraid that a good story
won't sell tickets like stunt casting will, and they only give
a shit about selling tickets, and dolls and Happy Meals, etc.
also looks cheap. It's computer animated, like The Incredibles
or Finding Nemo, but it lacks the detail and the quality.
The characters are always shown front and center with the backgrounds
pushed way back. In Nemo, which I don't think is a great
movie, the scenery envelops the characters and you are always
aware of their environment. Here, you're only aware of the backdrop
they are hamming it up in front of. Why Madagascar? Why not
anywhere? In other computer-animated movies, you can feel the
temperature and touch the textures. Not here. Almost every surface
is flat and shiny, like plastic.
is a crap ass movie, and some lousy material to fill the time
between great moments like your first threesome and the time
you get away with robbing a bank. It's also too shitty for your
kids, unless you want to lower their expectations early. Two
Fingers. Now would some big time TV producer get a hold
of me already?