This week:
Minority Report

Filthy says:
"More of Spielberg's diluted dystopia."

Never mind that Philip K. Dick's name makes me giggle every time I say it. Never mind that he was a pretty shitty writer, mostly trying too hard to be Raymond Chandler. Despite that, the guy had some really good fucking ideas. I can almost understand why Hollywood keeps digging him up and scraping his dead bones for more meat. It's a perfect marriage of an industry and a man that loved high-concept and as little substance as necessary to pose as "profound."

In the short story that Minority Report is based on Dick (tee-hee) came up with a pretty cool way to look at destiny and the future as more than just an unknown destination. By creating a trio of characters (pre-cognitives) that can see the future, he asked the same question I ask myself every Saturday night: Knowing what will happen, can I change my fate? If so, doesn't that mean I didn't know the future after all?

If I know I am going to the Arvada Tavern to get really drunk, lose my bicycle and then fall down, hit my face on the curb and shatter a molar while walking home, will I still do it? Probably because this happens every God damn week. Still, there is that moment every weekend where I say to myself "I don't want to fuck up my face again. They hate me at the free clinic." What if I deny fate and don't go one week ? Will I never again be able to know for sure what will happen on Saturday nights? I don't know yet, because I'm so fucking stupid I keep going.

Enter Steven Spielberg, the fucking Costco of directors. His movies are filled with "jumbo-sized" boxes of everything. His current definition of great is "too much is never enough." There's never an individual serving size or, God forbid, a fun size. No, he wants you to buy the whole fucking thing and eat it until you're sick. He takes the simple and intriguing noir story with a twist and smothers the life out of it with all of his horseshit attempts to catch up to The Matrix and self-imposed sense of importance. An idea that should have played out as a tight little hard-boiler like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep takes 137 long and showy minutes. And just like that fucker always does, he assumes we're all so fucking stupid that he has to spend the last twenty minutes explaining the entire thing to us and making sure all the good guys are happy and the bad guys are punished.

Super-important sci-fi movies always show the future as slate gray and cold blue. In Minority Report, Spielberg makes sure his movie is the grayest and bluest of them all. He's that great a director. It's 2054 and Tom Cruise (all teeth and jaws) works in Washington DC's pre-crime division. Three pre-cognitives (named Arthur, Agatha and Dashiell for Conan Doyle, Christie and Hammett--an obvious reference to the authors Dick (wiener!) wishes he were) foresee murders. Cruise then tracks down the potential killers and arrests them before the crime can happen. Like all noir anti-heros he has a past that prevents him from being entirely altruistic. His young son was kidnapped and presumed murder and the pre-cognition system would have saved him. He believes the system is flawless and necessary. Since the disappearance, Cruise has been estranged from his wife and hooked on a futuristic illegal drug called Neuroin.

The DC pre-cog program is a test and an upcoming election can turn it into a powerful nationwide program. It's a political football. Colin Farrell is an ambitious little shit working for the justice system. He's looking for flaws in pre-crime. How do they know they have the right person? How do they know the murder would have happened if they stop it before it could have? Farrell is eager to dig up shit on Cruise and take his job. He discovers the neuroin addiction. The pre-cogs foresee a pre-meditated murder with Cruise killing a man he has never met. Cruise must now either believe that he will kill the man or that the system he believes in is flawed. Cruise runs, and he has to decide if the system is flawed or if he is being set up.

This movie is as powerfully overblown as Kirk Member was on Lip Planet in Suck Rodgers in the 69th Century. Sure Minority Report looks nice, but so do those Franklin Mint figurines of little boys taking their first shits. And just like those, the question is why be so extravagant? The point that everybody poops does not require a limited-edition, hand-painted porcelain doll. This crime thriller doesn't need similar treatment. I guess what I'm saying it that just because the futuristic element of the story sounds like something off a Rush album that doesn't mean it has to be just as overproduced. And for God's sake, someone shut Geddy Lee up.

It's a story that would have worked a hell of a lot better on the cheap, down and dirty and starring unknown people that don't have the baggage of that asshole Cruise. Spielberg is so fucking anal that his dirty and gritty looks like it came from "Architectural Digest." He is eager to please the people and to assume we're idiots looking for nothing more than eye candy so he makes his dark and dingy aesthetically appealing and full of gee-whiz techno crap. He smothers the story in layers and layers of "look-at-this" moments that don't add anything. He should watch Touch of Evil to get the right look and to see how a big-shot director really can make a dirty, ugly movie.

The cool bits, like the way people's privacy has slowly been eroded to the point that they are automatically identified by retina scanners wherever they go, are totally undermined. Holy shit, it would be creepy to go to the liquor store with Mrs. Filthy and hear some disembodied voice say "Welcome back, Mr. Filthy. We set aside the latest issue of Naked Amputee for you." I'd be fucked. But, in this movie that angle is sold to the highest bidder. Gap, Pepsi and about a dozen others sell their shit through Spielberg's dystopian vision, and they sure as hell aren't trying to look bad doing it.

Cruise is the worst person to put in the movie, unless your goal was to sell tickets to jackasses who go to movies based on whose name is above the title. An unknown would have worked better because any unknown, including my retard cousin Larry, is a better actor. Second, Tom Cruise is always Tom Cruise, shitty, monochromatic midget with a tense jaw. And because of who he is, I never stop thinking "That's that asshole Tom Cruise up there."

The ending is so fucking annoying. Oh gosh, I'll spoil it for all you whiny babies who think you can't enjoy a movie if I give away plot points. But, really, fuck those simpletons whose only joy in movies is being "surprised." I think their local TV stations might have reviews better suited to them. Through more twists than my uncle's inverted big intestine, Cruise comes out okay and cleans up. He has to because he's a fucking movie star. The blue-gray sky becomes hazy yellow and he reunites with his wife and all is hunky dory. This is Spielberg's biggest insult to noir. There is no lingering vagueness or evil lurking in the closet. Everything is absolutely wonderful and love has conquered the dystopian world. The future is a sun-soaked lake cottage and a baby on the way.

Bullshit. This is what happens when directors like Spielberg say they want to go dark. They don't commit and we end up with a pussed-out, compromised version of something that could have been great. Two Fingers.

Want to tell Filthy Something?

Filthy's Reading
Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep

Listening to
The fucking amazing record by Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice - if you want to make a Sum 41 or Blink 182 fan cry and wet his pants out of fear, buy this record.

Touch of Evil

Reliable as the sun Earl Dittman

Mr. Deeds is "Awesome!"

Hey Arnold is"a hysterica, entertaining treat for the whole family! Action-packed, suspense-filled and chock full of laughs, Hey Arnold is 100% pure fun and absolutely cool "

Wow! The Hey Arnold people must have been paying him by the word.


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