Paul Wunder of WBAI Radio is back
Hey Whore, how's
the whoring? According to this week's Quote Whore:
Mission to Mars is "Dazzling!"
Are You From is
"Hilarious! Off the wall comedy at its best!"
Final Destination is "A First Class Edge of
Your Seat Thriller!"
Randy Shandis Enterprises. All rights fucking reserved.
Romeo Must Die
"Hollywood Must Die!"
Gooden Says: "Jackie
Chan is going to kick Jet Li's Ass"
This week, I was lucky enough to be joined by Gooden
Worsted. He was in Arvada for Diddy Kong Con 2000, a
convention for fans of some video game, I think, Diddy Kong Racing.
And he spent the whole fucking weekend croaking, "My name
So, Gooden and I decided, shortly after finishing an 18 pack
of Scheaffer Light, to do a little tag team, like Siskel and
Ebert used to do before the skinny one finally got loose of the
fat fuck by dying. Mrs. Filthy drove us to see Gooden's choice
"Romeo Must Die" on her way to the fabric store. Motivated
by nine cheap beers each, we were almost kicked out of the AMC
after a brief brawl over who get the popcorn some previous moviegoer
Now, we're back home, still sort of snockered and ready to
tell you what a piece of trash this draggy, wannabe kung-fu crap
"Romeo Must Die" is the story of star-crossed lovers
in fighting families. Jet Li is imprisoned in Hong Kong when
he learns his brother is killed in a gangland war in San Francisco.
With the use of his martial arts and unnecessary X-ray imaging,
he kicks some Hong Kong cop ass, and then mysteriously reappears
in the good old US of fucking A.
Once there, he unravels the mysteries of the family war through
a series of completely unbelievable, and yet telegraphed, plot
turns and talky scenes. The war is between his rich fucking pop
and these really fucking rich black guys, led by a paycheck-cashing
Delroy Lindo, who provides all the star power of a 40-watt lightbulb.
Apparently, a new football stadium will be built in the middle
of the San Francisco Bay, but only if the Asian baddies can deliver
half of the waterfront, and the blacks can deliver the other
half. Exactly half. Because any other division would be too much
math for the lousy screenwriters. A shockingly annoying sixteen
year old, Edoardo Ballerini, is paying top dollar for an NFL
franchise, if the gangs can get the land. Along the way, Li has
many misadventures which, Gooden and I assume, were supposed
to be funny, but didn't make me laugh any more than the time
I woke up from a dental check-up with my fly open. For example,
after kicking the black gang's collective ass, he is thrust into
a football game with them. Go figure. It feels like the Play-Doh
Pumper of plots, where the writers shoved a bunch of shit in
one end and the studio put on screen whatever came out the other.
Meanwhile, Li bumps into and falls in love with Lindo's daughter,
the loudmouthed and unbelievably good-hearted Aaliyah. Of course,
since they're from warring families, their love is strictly verboten.
However, Alliyah and Li see a lot of bad shit and figure out
who is in cahoots with whom and then start kicking people in
Filthy: Well, Gooden, any fucking thoughts about "Romeo
Gooden: I completely agree. Filthy, it's about
redefining the martial arts movie. Instead of the usual kung-fu
student being beaten, then training, then beating the toughest
bad guy in town, this film is based, loosely, on none other than
Romeo and Juliet. Li's romance with Alliyea is
the easiest and most readily understood interpretation of Shakespeare's
classic. So even a viewer with no familiarity with literature
will still get a gloss, not only of action fighting, but of Shakespeare
as well. It's educational! And it better be, because it isn't
Filthy: The only thing this over-hyped pile of horseshit
redefines is how Hollywood fucks find their ways into our pockets.
This isn't about martial arts, it's some dipshit West-Coast Land
Rover driver's interpretation of martial arts movies. And their
interpretation is to remove most of the fighting, leaving only
the really fucking lame plot.
Gooden: Martial arts plots always involve good guys
and bad guys, and it's easy to tell who's who. That let's the
viewer concentrate on the airborne roundhouse wallops! But good
guys rarely have to explain themselves, and anyone with a scowl
is bad. Why do these actors have to spend so much time explaining
themselves? We know Li and Aliyaah are good because they play
with kids. And we know Alliyha is sexy because other characters
keep saying "Damn!" They didn't have to do that. She's
just hot enough to play the hot character, and she's not going
to get any hotter no matter how many people say "Woo, girl!"
Believe me, I've tried this.
Filthy: Alanya is about as hot as a busted toaster.
Personally, I find acting talent sexy. But with her talent, Aliyana
wouldn't convince me one bit if she said "Oh, Filthy, your
cock is soooo big." Gooden, allow me to discuss the plot
which should be simple enough to deliver the goods. But rather
than use it as the launching pad for some naked breasts and flying
fists, it launches a half-dozen baddies lacking the subtlety
of Scooby Doo villains.
The only person in the theater who didn't figure out who the
real bad guys were fifteen minutes into the film was the three
year old sitting in front of me, and that's because he was too
busy trying to find out who was kicking his seat. Beyond that,
I spent way too much time thinking, "why the fuck are they
there now?" and "what the fuck is this?" and "Why
doesn't she take off her top?" Jet Li doesn't do much for
himself. He plays every scene like someone is shoving splinters
up his urethra.
Gooden: You gotta give Jet a lot of credit for trying
to work out his acting muscles. It's cute, like a ten-year old
at her first piano recital. In every acting scene you can see
him trying so hard to just act. When he's shocked, his face goes
into the perfect expression of sheer desperation and he holds
it until he thinks to himself, "Okay, I have acted enough."
And then the next scene begins, hopeful bringing some more crane-strikes.
Filthy: One thing that struck me was how director Andrzej
Bartkowiak sort of gave up directing halfway through. At first,
he was trying to be all stylish and artsy. Somewhere along the
way, though, I think he figured out what a pile of shit this
was and just rushed to the end so he could get back to making
Oh, I forgot to mention how bad the dialog is. It's got more
wood than a circle jerk. First, the black people talk like a
bunch of middle-aged white guys trying to act black. They said
"don't go there" more often than a whore with a virgin
anus. And who can ever forget Edoardo Ballerini's character,
no matter how hard we try? He is the lamest movie villain since
the writer of "Down to You." Other than being a young
businessman with bad hair, there is no reason to hate him other
than his frequent use of the word "cheddar" and his
"bad" attitude. I'm not sure why Warner Brothers wants
me to hate him, but I'm pretty sure it's not because he sucked
Gooden: Yes, and he doesn't even get a boot to the
chest! He's caught in a shootout, and his helicopter takes about
100 rounds of ammo, but he manages to escape. How dreadfully
Filthy: Maybe they're planning a sequel. "Super-annoying
Teenage Business Man and the Hair of Death."
Gooden: Sounds like another nine-stars for Jet Li.
He'll be up to 27! But the entire point of this film--the only
reason anyone is going to see it--is the expectation of radical
kung fu moves. Now, when it comes to martial arts, anyone who
knows me knows that Jackie Chan is my main man! The hype
around Jet Li drove me wild to see this film, and I was surprised
to find that Jackie Chan is still my main man! Watching Jackie
is watching martial choreography executed to the best of human
capability. Watching Jet Li throw punches and kicks is watching
a computer-enhanced, wire-flown man break all laws of physics.
He leaps fifteen feet into the air and throws a series of kicks
that spins his opponent 180 degrees for twin konks on the tail
and the noggin. Rad? Yes. But come on! Jet Li is not only a master
of karate, but a master of many expert film editors.
The thing I love about the kung fu movies that the 70's
song was talking about: the whole body was shown--as in Fred
Astaire dances. In this movie, and in the other Jet Li flick,
Black Mask, the film cuts so quickly and zooms so drastically,
that you really only get to see hands and feet most of the time,
and you just have to assume that Jet Li is the master fighter
he wants to be.
Filthy: You hit that nail on the head, Gooden. How
the fuck does a director screw up kung-fu scenes? I guess by
putting the whole goddamn movie in close-up. I don't care how
many pockmarks Jet Li has, close-up is no substitute for action.
Snot-sucking Jesus, if you have weak characters, make them run
around and hit stuff, not yammer like Mrs. Filthy and her koffeeklatsch.
I want to see people get their asses kicked, but this movie is
more interested in making them act like stereotypes and then
"suggesting" they got their asses kicked. Oh, and the
movie has this powerfully bad X-ray gimmick, where it shows what
happens to the victim's body after a particularly vague Karate
blow. It's like an aspirin commercial, showing that the Kung-fu
is really working!
Gooden: Right, like the scene where main Chinese baddy's
vertebrae all snap like a domino chain. I was so glad to see
that in X-ray! My gosh, I used sarcasm! What kind of beer is
this? Anyway, I'd say, if you're going to watch it anyway, you
should rent it. If you're into stereotypes, then fast-forward
to all the scenes with Maurice--he's the fat black comic-relief
actor. Then watch the kung-fu scenes in slo-mo. They might be
better at that speed. And you can balance your checkbook meantime.
Filthy: I can't tell if Gooden and me are in agreement
or not. I say two fucking fingers, and he's talking about
nine stars, but no more than that. I'm giving it two fingers
because if someone said I had to watch this or Mission to Mars,
I would watch this and like it. At least it has some action.
Bottom line, though, this is one pile of shit better left on
Edoardo Ballerini's shoe. We better quit before our buzzes dissipate
and we get all surly and sleepy.