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The Bottom Shelf #148

Feb. 21, 2008by: AwesomeZara

There are few things better in life than sex, drugs and music. Actually... there really isn't anything better in life than sex, drugs and music. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not. Here are two really good case studies of that fact.

HUMAN TRAFFIC (1999)
Directed by: Justin Kerrigan
Starring: John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington

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-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Trends come and they go, but popular influences remain in their wake. Whereas in the States there was a crop of young directors who aspired to be the next Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino, across the pond the directors emulate Danny Boyle. Rightfully so, since Boyle has a hand which is steady in guiding his films to a destination where entertainment and social enlightenment walk hand in hand. There is a reference to Boyle's TRAINSPOTTING in this flick, making a jab at the people who have misinterpreted the director's visions as glamourizing the seedier side of life than the acidic moral lessons that they really are. But don't go thinking that HUMAN TRAFFIC is a Boyle flick. No, this is the sibling of the addict who doesn't have the propensity for addiction. This is for the drug takers who don't fret potential $5 blow jobs in their futures, panicking over their next hit. This is the snotty little smartass who's smarter than most but still not as smart as they believe themselves to be.

A group of twenty-something friends living in Cardiff prepare for a weekend of debauchery by complaining about their jobs (great scene at the retail shop where the lead has to bend over for his boss), quitting their jobs, complaining about the opposite sex, complaining about sex and worrying about their hooker mothers, paranoid schizo fathers and foppish brothers. Their plan is to drop some Ecstasy, go out to the clubs, dance to the music, complain some more and fasten it all together with fantasy scenes, voice overs and direct camera contact. Along the way they, well... they get loaded, go to a large house owned by some unknown person, scream profanity at one another, complain some more and fasten the rest together with, well... what was I talking about again?

While this isn't the hard hitting, emotionally packed train ride that some people prefer, I'm of that group of people who grew up during Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign. Prior to that, I wasn't aware that street drugs existed. Children don't understand these things until guilty and paranoid adults come in and preach to them about the woes that they personally endured. I got an education on which drugs to take, which drugs to avoid and that if you're an alcoholic, that means you're old, white, paunchy and you beat your kids. So, no worries! I can get right on board with this movie's logic: that drugs aren't ALL bad. You have some lows, sure. You have a problem if the crashes outlast the highs. But for the most part, you just get stupid, have some fun, see the world in a way that you wouldn't if you were sober and increase sexual satisfaction and occurrence of orgasms once you get your brain to unload. This film will seem a trifle for those who have addiction issues. But the fact is, there are more people out there who have a good time without the drawbacks than the number of cabbage chokers. But that could just be the durka talking...

Favorite Scene:

When Jip and Koop are having the random conversation at the coffee table and completely lose track of what they were talking about. It's one of those "You'd've had to've taken drugs to really understand the depth of understanding in that scene" moments.

Favorite Line:

The various ramblings of how STAR WARS is really a film about drugs.

Trivia Tidbit:

Lead John Simm supports Manchester United Football Club and sometimes has a reference to this inserted into the characters he plays.

See if you liked:

TRAINSPOTTING, THE FULL MONTY, SNATCH

THE BOYS & GIRLS GUIDE TO GETTING DOWN (2006)
Directed by: Paul Sapiano
Starring: Cricket Leigh, Navia Nguyen

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Don't be one of those assholes who takes themselves too seriously and you'll end up loving this movie. Basically, don't be the straight-edge dude at the end of the flick that no one wants to hang out with. There's nothing more obnoxious than that one douche who can't just go out and have a little bit of fun with his friends instead of sitting around and criticizing other people, asking why they need enhancements to make their night out more enjoyable. They don't need them, you douche bag. They want them. And for all of those people who continue to condemn recreational drug use, then I'm going to keep referring to you as a feminine hygiene cleansing product. Deal with it.

Filmed in the style of those strange educational videos that we used to be forced to watch in high school, the ones that tried to be hip by hiring young actors and having them forcefully deliver canned lines that some lame adult wrote whilst trying to figure out what the hell young people use as slang (f*ck it, I still say "hella" with pride.... bite my old skater chick ass). Tips are distributed over the length of the film, including footage of "doctors" at an "institute" where research is being performed in the hopes of perfecting techniques on how men and women can get it on. Several areas are considered, from proper drug politics, alcohol enhancement, pussy power, women and their Marine "No one gets left behind" club-attending mentality and how to get rid of an unwanted one night stand before the sun comes up. All of the information covered is vital to success in the art of getting down.

That is, if you're of a certain age group and living within a certain area. While not specified, most of what goes on is in Southern California, so while I might have gotten more out of watching the movie than other people might, I still think most of what's covered is universal. Including the segment on bouncers, how they attend certain schools to learn bouncing skills like tossing drunks, telling losers waiting outside that the club is at "maximum capacity" inside and how you can tell which level of serious ass-kicking a bouncer can give depending on the locale he's working at and the number of "hot dogs" he's got on the back of his neck. The movie is stupid and silly, poorly lit, shakily shot and quite frankly hilarious. It dares to touch on drug examples by explaining that certain drugs are "sketchy" and not good for "getting down" and others are simply enhancement drugs that are better off illegal because it keeps their cost down. A brilliant statement on traversing the club scene, having a good time with friends and learning a little bit more about the mind-set of women and men when they travel in packs. I don't care how you find it, call Felix at 10 in the morning if you have to, but make it a point to search out this film and learn yourself some valuable info. Your 9th grade health teacher would be proud.

Favorite Scene:

The demonstration of the proper way to shut up that annoying blonde chick who never shuts up at parties.

Favorite Line:

"Do you keep human shit by your bed too?"

OR:

"My ass hurts..."
"No it doesn't..."

Trivia Tidbit:

Yes, that really is Dennis Haskins (aka "Mr Belding" on "Saved by the Bell") but he doesn't list the film on his imdb.com resume. Shame on him.

See if you liked:

GO, SUICIDE KINGS, SLC PUNK

I'm excited to see where the continuation of the GUIDE TO series goes, as there is a BOYS AND GIRLS GUIDE TO BEING GAY listed on imdb.com for 2009. And because Cricket Leigh is hella boss. Yeah, I said it.

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