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This week:
Welcome to Mooseport

Filthy says:
"Everyone's so fucking nice you just want to pop 'em.

It would be kind of cool to be in politics; maybe be a senator or mayor or king. I've heard that elected officials and their spouses get to eat for free--all you can eat. That's the sort of classy treatment my wife deserves, but that I can't deliver while passed out on the linoleum in our basement apartment. If I were the mayor, I sure as hell could get her all the enchiladas she wanted from Alamos Verdes. It would be as simple as a single phone call: "This is your mayor. Bring my wife a pan of enchiladas or I'll burn your motherfucking business down. Oh, and don't bother knocking because I'm passed out on the linoleum."

I want to get into politics. I've been going to city council meetings and mostly not making farting noises when Mayor Fellman speaks. Plus, I've spoken on a few issues when the council has asked for public comment. I wait until after the Harelip speaks about black cars and CIA-implanted listening devices so that my request to fill the creek with beer for Saint Patrick's Day sounds brilliant by comparison. Holy shit, drunk ducks and muskrats are awesome.

I think I'll start small and apply for a seat on the Arvada Celery Cookbook Commission. Honest to God, we have one. And last year the cookbook sucked. The damn thing looked like it was put together by a bunch of women who don't know a God damn thing about pleasuring a man. Nowhere near enough dirty words, very few sex tips and only one beaver shot. If I'm selected, I guarantee it'll be the hottest cookbook you ever jerked off all over. Maybe even a Letters section: "Dear Arvada Celery Cookbook Commission, I never thought I'd be writing to you..."

I'm kind of afraid, though, that while running for political office my past would get out. I'd campaign on the platform that I have a big dick, but is that enough? What if my opponents goes off-topic and makes it personal? I've done some pretty awful shit, like prematurely ejaculating before a date even started. When I was working at the Family Dollar I made all the discounted ladies' panties crotchless, including the support hose and adult diapers. I suppose the time the firemen caught me behind the firehouse stuffing leftover spaghetti and meatballs into my pants is the sort of petty event that can be blown out of proportion in the heat of a bitter political campaign. If I were mayor I wouldn't put the firehouse so fucking close to the bar where I drink. I've got a lot of other great ideas, too, like about free money and licorice sidewalks, but I'll save them for my campaign.

Welcome to Mooseport is supposed to be about small-town politics, but what it's really about is not a God damned thing. It's the cinematic equivalent of warm water, a movie with no flavor, nutrition or value. Like two hours with your uncle George, where he starts a story that sounds amusing enough, but after 15 minutes he still hasn't gotten to the funny part. A half hour later he's saying "Hold on, hold on, this is where it gets good." But it doesn't, and shortly after that you try to beat the crap out of him because he's old and weak, and Mom pulls your hair and spills her Irish Coffee in your eyes and calls you a worthless bastard, which hurts, but not that much because it's true and how mad can you be at your mom when she's finally right about something?

I thought politics were supposed to be all bitchy and nasty, but this movie's as sweet and sickening as that bottle of insulin I found in my cousin's fridge. NOTE: Insulin does not get you "high as a kite", so if that asshole Worm tells you it does, don't believe him.

Welcome to Mooseport stars Ray Romano as a virtuous small-town handyman/hardware storeowner who can't commit to his girlfriend, a veterinarian played by Maura Tierney. You know, I can never look at Maura Tierney (she used to be the cute girl who fucked David Foley on "NewsRadio") without thinking of Kim Deal of Pixies. Maybe it's the gravelly voice or the Midwestern good looks, but when Deal finally chokes on her own vomit and dies, Tierney should play her in the movie. The former U.S. President, played by Gene Hackman, retires in the small town of Mooseport and takes a liking to Tierney, much to Romano's dismay.

Through contrivances that the filmmakers are mostly too lazy to bother showing us, Romano has to run for town mayor against the most popular president that the country's ever had. Not only are they competing for mayor, they are competing for Tierney's heart. It's the little man, full of decency and honor, against the giant, slick machine of big-money politics. Gee, I wonder who the fuck will win in a patronizingly pile of shit like this.

Along the way to the election showdown, there are all the worn-out machinations of a bad formula. Tierney gets upset when she learns the two boys are fighting over her, Romano is afraid of commitment, Hackman's longtime aide finally reveals her secret crush on him, and a greasy political adviser is brought in to dig up some dirt on Romano. Characters get drunk to be funny (when the truth is to be really funny you have to be not only drunk but self-loathing and somewhat suicidal). Hell, this crapfest even hauls out a sassy old woman and a straight talking black women. You go, cliches!

Welcome to Mooseport just isn't funny. It's too fucking nice to everyone to be funny. Nice is what I want from waitresses at Denny's, but not from friends because they'd bore the fuck out of me. I'd never want my waitress to crap on my waffles, but if I saw one do it I'd probably want to hang out with her. Rarely are waffles crapped on without a juicy backstory. The movie needs to have some balls, be nasty or at least insane. I mean, how can you satirize politics if you leave everyone's standing and beloved?

The premise of Welcome to Mooseport movie isn't bad, really. I even went in thinking it might be fun. Fun would have required the movie to sink its teeth into the bullshit of politics. Instead, Mooseport is an 80-year old gumming a Slim Jim. There's plenty of slobbering and hard work, but no meat.

Mooseport is one of those mythical small towns that only exist in the minds of shitty writers who only see middle America from airplanes. The movie is made with the same sweetness that Hollywood keeps cramming down our throats, that us simple folks in the sticks are just about the nicest people. Real goodness and happiness can only be found in a small town. If we're so great, why the fuck haven't all these grassfuckers moved out here yet? Probably because they're too damn busy patronizing us and cashing our checks to bother. Or maybe all those actors, executives and writers are Mother Teresas and Hollywood is their Calcutta. Clean that shit up, and for God's sake, someone cure Tom Cruise's leprosy.

The acting is uniformly fine. Hackman, I guess, does great as a likable president, and Romano is bland enough to be believable as the kind of guy that nobody ever gets that excited about. Tierney would be even better as Kim Deal, and Kim Deal will be even better when Pixies' new tour starts.

The acting isn't the problem; the problem with this thing is how damn it is. It belongs on CBS's Monday night lineup, not in theaters. Two Fingers for Welcome to Mooseport. That is, unless you liked it and you don't know who to select for the Celery Cookbook Commission. Then give it the full five. I am for sale.

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Earl Dittman of "Wireless Magazines"

Against the Ropes is "Gripping and Exciting!"

Welcome to Mooseport is "Hilarious!"

Filthy's Reading
Peter Biskind- Down and Dirty Pictures

Listening to
Luna - Bewitched


The Muppet Show