Guest Jen L., wife of Quote Whore Stephen Iervolino (whom TNT's
Rough Cut has called "No
wrote to your old pal Filthy to say:
calling my husband, Steve Iervolino, a whore. Perhaps, you're
jealous? Glad you have a lot of time on your hands to do this
type of stuff. You're a whore to the masses."
Well, Jen, I certainly
am jealous, but it's mostly of self-pleasuring hermaphrodites,
not your husband.
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
Proof of Life
"Russell Crowe, you're lucky I'm not gay."
First the good news: I'm getting closer to employment. I had
an interview at America's Video which is staggering distance
from the apartment. You know, I'll be a pretty fucking great
video store clerk, telling people to go fuck themselves if they
try to rent a Rob Schneider movie. And, for those weak of mind,
I can steer them toward the good shit.
America's Video offered me the job but I turned it down. They
do drug and alcohol testing with zero tolerance, but if someone
is going to pay me seven bucks an hour you can bet your red ass
I'm gonna be drunk. So, no thank you, America's Video, let me
know when you're looking for someone who likes watching pornos
on the store TVs and occasionally passes out under the "Foreign"
To celebrate almost getting a job, I took the Mrs. to a matinee
to see Russell Crowe's latest flick, Proof of Life, a
good time marred mostly by the presence of crinkle-nosed pain-in-the-ass
Meg Ryan. Actually, Mrs. F paid since I'm a little low on cash,
but I promised to finally pick up the dog poop in exchange.
In Proof of Life, Ryan plays one of those goddamn hippies
with money. We got shitloads of them in Boulder. They're the
prissy fuckers who want the world to be more tolerant, but not
in their fucking fascist city where homes cost more than 100
Volkswagen buses and you can't smoke indoors. She lives in South
America with her do-gooder engineer husband David Morse, who
is building a dam for an oil company. When Morse is kidnapped
by local guerrillas, Crowe is brought in to negotiate for his
Crowe is a badass, he works for a company that insures foreigners
from kidnapping in third world countries, and his job is to retrieve
the people as cheaply as possible. The movie opens with him stealing
money from corrupt Russians on another Ransom mission in Chechnya.
Ryan immediately swoons when Crowe takes her case (fuck it, if
I was gay or a woman, I would too). But, Morse's weaselly oil
company has dropped their insurance, and Crowe won't take the
job. That is, until Ryan makes a whiny plea for him to work for
free (yeah, right) and he agrees.
For more than 120 days, Morse is held in the mountains of
this spec-fucking-tacular South American country while Crowe
whittles the ransom demand from five million bucks to a few-hundred
thousand clams. Slowly, way too slowly, Crowe and Ryan fall for
each other as they spend four tense months in each other's presence,
leading to a moral problem for Crowe. Why rescue the husband
of the woman you want to slip the dog to when you can just as
easily fuck it up and get her to yourself? (This is assuming
you believe that Ryan is worth desiring, which I don't.)
Crowe strikes a deal with the kidnappers, at the same time
Morse unknowlingly tries to escape his captors, which queers
the whole deal. The only solution is for Crowe and a band of
commandos to go in Rambo style and save the day.
It's almost impossible to talk about kidnap movies without
mentioning the classic Disney film No Deposit No Return.
Proof of Life is similar, only not as funny and Meg Ryan
is no Don Knotts. Plus, that movie was about two wacky moppets
and this is about a bloated David Morse.
Proof of Life has a ton of shit going for it. First
is Crowe, a genuinely fucking great actor. The guy produces more
testosterone in two hours than my nuts will in a lifetime. He
carries himself almost always exactly right, never getting hammy,
and even handling a few corny lines with feeling. Crowe commits
to the material and does a hell of a job as a man of infinite
macho. David Morse also does a fantastic job showing the slow
descent of a man into a kind of insanity. Alone with guerrillas
for four months, he grows believably batty, shaggy and beaten.
With me, after four hours without Mrs. Filthy, I get a little
scared and once ate a roll of toilet paper, so I can only imagine
what shitting into a boot for 120 days would be like. Morse does
The reality of the kidnapping story is also damn good. The
details of this business are more fascinating and have more dark
crevices than the August issue of Juggs's lesbo spread with Candy
Bottoms and Tiny Morsels. The details of negotiating and hostage
taking feel damn real. Crowe's character doesn't always have
the right answer, just the best guess. And the terrorists aren't
shown as third world cartoon villains. Some are sympathetic,
some are assholes, and their motives are clear. Director Taylor
Hackford and writer Tony Gilroy deserve a truckload of credit
for assuming we have brains in our heads and presenting this
material with the right amount of detail.
The setting, in South America, is stunning. It's ramshackled,
lush and rambling, just like the place really looks in National
Geographic. I've never been there, but I want to go more now
than ever, and not just because I heard in the jungle you can
have monkey butlers. Oh, man, I'll get them to wear tiny little
tuxedoes and then I'll piss myself laughing every time they bring
me a cerveza fría. The mountainous tropics that
Morse and his captors trek through are a much more involving
character than Meg Ryan.
Speaking of that bag of bones, she almost single-handedly
drags this movie into the abyss. She belongs in Nora Ephron's
aren't-I-cute-when-I-crinkle-my-nose crapfests, not in a serious
drama where she's totally lost. She handles drama about as well
as my 86-year-old neighbor handles icy sidewalks, only she's
nowhere near as funny to watch fall. Many scenes have her gawking
wordlessly, and she fails to even express what her character
is supposed to be thinking. I think she doesn't know. Her line
readings are generally bad, like she's talking to a wall, not
Similarly, the relationship between her and Crowe drags this
movie well over two hours. If Hackford had cut their dull romantic
coupling, the movie could have clocked in a half-hour shorter
and been a fantastic thriller about an interesting subject. It
could have felt like an old Bogart story. But, Ryan and Crowe
never connect other than what the script tells us, and there
are almost no consequences to their single tonguing.
Three strong fingers for a generally good action flick.
Just bring ear plugs for Meg Ryan's scenes and you'll have a
smash-up time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go check out
some more monkey butler web sites.
to tell Filthy something?