This week:
X-Men 2

Filthy says:
"I fucking creamed some comic book geek's jeans.

I get two complaints more than any others. The first is "Dude, you smell like a pig." The second is, "You're too hard on comic book adaptations." Actually, correction, those complainants never call them "comic books"; they are "graphic novels", "graphic novellas" or "graphic works of art in the traditional short format on really shitty paper." Well, there ain't a damn thing I can do about the first complaint short of taking shower and I'll do that when they pry this porn descrambler from my cold dead hands and feet. The second complaint is probably valid. I am too hard on movies ripped from the long-form graphic art of Marvel and DC.

Maybe pissing on the comic book fans is, in many ways, just pissing on myself. Something I know all too much about. Sure it seems funny to make fun of morbidly obese, Cheetos-coated-fingered misfits when I'm doing it. But am I doing it just because I too am a misfit and looking for a way to win the favor of the popular kids. Am I simply savaging my own ilk to look cooler, like the guy who tells a girl all his friends are geeks because he thinks that somehow makes him cool. Really, though, he's just acknowledging that he can't even claim cluelessness as his reason for hanging out with the geeks.

Like so many things, making jokes of the computer lab crowd feels hilarious when I do it, but leaves me with deep regrets later. For example, pissing in the open window of a car strikes me as a rich, profound gag every time I stumble out of the Tavern and find such a vehicle. In retrospect, though, it isn't, especially since I usually target my own Galaxie 500.

I've had a good time at the expense of the comic book geeks for their geekiness and obsessive attention to detail about, well, about fucking comic books meant for eight-year olds. It isn't fair, though, and the usual rigid and comprehensively researched and contemplated reviews I write are tainted by this injustice. I saw X-Men 2: X-Men United this past weekend, and I gave it a fair chance.

Now, having come clean, I can say with pride and clarity that I am approaching this review from the perspective of the comic book fan. I am writing this review with an open mind and with an attention to detail and accuracy you rarely find in my reviews of comic book adaptations. I can say without worrying what the popular kid think that X-Men 2 is pretty fucking retarded. And long. It's pretty fucking retarded long. And boring, too. Even seeing it at the Cinderella Drive-in, with the pleasant distraction of sugar-doped four-year olds in pajamas playing hide and seek among cars, didn't make the experience enjoyable.

I saw the original X-Men movie, but I remember less about it than the time I hit my head in the Tavern's men's room and woke up in the alley with the Harelip's teethmark in my collar bone and wearing underwear made of wax paper. Actually, I'm not sure which I would rather remember. X-Men 2 takes off where the last one ended, I assume, with a bunch of mutants who want to be accepted into society and yet can't resist naming themselves afterAmerican Gladiators. That's probably a great way to win respect among steroid-popping closet homosexuals at Gold's Gym, but it's a questionable strategy for blending in.

Led by Professor Xavier Cugat (played by Gene Luck Picard), once a polyrhythmic bandleader and now a superfreak who can play drums with his mind, a band of good mutants works to protect the fate of all mutants and to have them accepted as equals all over the world. Cugat runs a school for band class with its own jet, and has assembled a squadron of crimefighters like: Wolfman Guy (Hugh Jackman) has the withering looks of a man coming from a Flock of Seagulls lookalike contest for werewolves; Sprinkles the Weather Girl (Halle Berry) wears a lame-ass white wig necessary for being able to create tornadoes and hurricanes with her breath; Mr. Sunglasses (James Marsden) who has really expensive Oakleys that can shoot fire; Dr. Dorian Gray (Famke Jannsen) can read people's minds and control matter too, but the picture of her she keeps in the attic cannot; Bandit (Anna Paquin) is a prematurely graying teen who can suck your soul out with a French kiss (and really, this isn't so impressive. My mother is able to crush souls with her words). There are dozens of others, including Nitro, Pyro, Chilly Willy, Dick Face, Juan Valdes, and the new addition Earthworm (Alan Cumming) who does a delicious Cabaret rendition throughout the entire movie without once wondering whether it's really fucking annoying. You go for it, Earthworm!

Returning from the first movie and in the corner of evil are Mr. Magnavox (Ian McKellen) who can suck the iron out of your blood and make bullets out of it, and watches way too much television (hence the name), and Dark Blue Mercury Mystique (Rebecca John Stamos), a discontinued car who becomes a shapeshifting supermodel with a deep gloss paint job. Dr. Magnavox was caught at the end of the first movie, and so in this one he is being held captive at a space-agey hotel with excellent cable access.

But, all mutants, good and bad are facing a new threat when a very , very bad government scientist Mr. Strikeout (William Cox) plots to steal Xavier Cugat's giant drum machine and use it to pound the life out of all the mutants worldwide. Boop boop, bap bap! Mr. Magnavox and Cugat, once friends, then enemies, must now ally themselves to save all of the mutants from death by way of the world's most devastating drum circle.

Along the way, each mutant gets an opportunity to use its mutant powers to fight the sniveling evil forces. Sprinkles makes it rain so the flowers grow, and that makes everyone happy. Wolfman Guy encounters the equally indestructible Wolfman Lady (Kelly Huh) and they make Wolfman love. Oh wait, no, they just have a scissors fight, except the scissors are part of their hands. Cool! In the end, the mutants all attack Mr. Strikeout with cymbals and go clang, clang, clang! Until his damn head is ringing. I know my head was ringing and I'm pretty sure it was cymbals.

There's a whole lot of noisy and confusing action in X-Men 2, maybe like 40 minutes worth. That's great because the comic book geeks can get into message board arguments about it for months to come. That leaves about 95 minutes for characters to yell "Noooo!" and "Stop him!" and stuff like that. Sadly, it leaves no room for any of the movie's 60 or 70 characters to have any personalities. Sprinkles, we hardly knew ye. Mercury Mystique, I hear you handle well for a mid-size sedan but I wouldn't know. The heavily promoted Mazda RX-8 gets a better showcase. One time Wolfman Guy drinks beer right out of the bottle, because he's a bad boy. How's that for character development? And Dr. Strikeout has a pretty good grip on being the sort of transparently evil character that only 450-pound video-game worshipping comic book collectors could not see through. Once I put on another 250 pounds, you bet your sweet ass I'm joining them.

There's some infighting among the mutants. Wolfman Guy and Mr. Sunglasses both love Dr. Dorian Gray, and so they give each other lots of nasty glares and, at one point, Mr. Sunglasses really burns Wolfman Guy by telling him to fill up the motorcycle's gas tank himself. Oh, shit, I guess he was put in place.

The action seems pretty good for people who are into that sort of thing. It sure as hell goes on forever. There are about eight times where you think the movie is over, but then it keeps coming back to resolve more stories under the misguided perception we actually give a mother rat's tit what happens to Sprinkles, Xavier Cugat, Pyro, Twinkles the mad ballerina, and the rest of the well-coiffed mutants.

So I didn't like it, but it sure as hell wasn't because I didn't try. I paid so close attention I thought my fucking head was going to burst all over my car windshield. I want everyone to understand how much time and patience went into this review, making sure I got all those little details right. It's that sort of respect that I hope the comic book community can give back to me. Truce, okay? Two Fingers. Oh, yeah, one other little detail I forgot to mention. All the X-men are pedophiles, too.

Want to tell Filthy Something


Filthy's Reading
Erik Larson- The Devil in the White City

Listening to
Low - Things We Lost in the Fire


Mulholland Drive

Tony Toscano of Talking Pictures

Daddy Day Care is "The perfect family film!"

For Identity "Take someone you plan to grab!"

He doesn't say whether we should take someone who wants to be grabbed.


©2003 by Randy Shandis Enterprises. All fucking rights Reserved