OK, here's the thing. The Self-Made Critic hadn't seen a movie for a while, so we called him up on his cellular and asked him why. He said to shove off, it was almost tee time. We said he had to review a movie. He said he didn't have the time. We said he has the time to play golf, he has the time to see a movie. He said golf is a very pain-staking game and he needs to practice. We said practice? He said he has two more weeks to get his score under 85 or he loses a few thousand dollars. we said where's his score now? he said very near his weight.

So basically, he wasn't going to see anything soon. so we begged him. Please, see something, anything. See Kingpin. " Kingpin?" He said, "You must be joking." No, we said. See Kingpin, it's supposed to be good. He wouldn't listen. We began to beg. He still wouldn't listen. We got down on our knees and barked like a dog. He wouldn't listen, although he did promise to play fetch in the near future. Still we begged him to see Kingpin. Finally, he simply said, "Look, you want a review of Kingpin, go see it yourself!"

So we did.

Greetings! The Self-Made Critic has been unable to attend any movies lately (something about some pulled muscles in his writing hand, seems a little suspicious to me but hey, what he does late at night with that large bottle of Wesson oil is NONE of my business!) So he sent me, the intrepid boy wonder, his trusty movie-going Sidekick to keep all you frustrated review fans out there sated until he recuperates.

So here I was, a man on a mission, to find a film worthy of reviewing for the Self-Made Critic. Would it be "Lone Star," one of the best reviewed flicks of the year? Maybe a little Jane Austen with "Emma." Or wait, Robert Altman just released "Kansas City!" That would be it! So I headed down towards the NuWilshire, ready for some artistic enlightenment...

...and got sidetracked by Vanessa Angel's amazing talents in Kingpin.

Everyone remembers the previews, right? "From the People What Brung You Dumb and Dumber." You loved the catchy music (which, by the way, is in the movie) but you turned to the guy or girl or empty seat next to you and said, "Rental. Definitely rental." So then the movie opens, and BOTH the fat guy and the skinny guy that review all those movies think it's the greatest thing since sliced Spam. I mean, you knew the fat guy would like it, but the skinny guy too? So here I am, trusty sidekick, with this internal conflict going on. Should I see this flick for $7.50, or wait to rent it at Blockbuster for $3? Finally, I did what any reasonable person would do to save their sanity from this tormenting question: I did the matinee for $4.75.

So, let me tell you, despite what those TV critics said, this movie is no Citizen Kane. That's because this movie has Vanessa Angel! Who needs Orson Welles when you have someone of her uplifting talents. This woman exudes so much sexuality in so many different ways on screen, I almost did that scene from "Diner" with my popcorn box! (and for those of you who didn't get the reference, you know what you have to rent tonight!) Vanessa comes out of total obscurity (OK sure, she stars in a show on the USA network, but come on, who watches it?) to make an amazing impression onto celluloid. Actually two impressions. And with those impressions, she has a fight scene with Woody that puts Jackie Chan to shame. She can even act! I'm ready to bear her children! Yow!

Oh yeah, the movie has a couple of other folk in it too. Randy Quaid and Woody Harrelson are both terrific. Believe it or not (and it's hard to believe it from the previews), they create a couple of great, three-dimensional characters that have some wonderful serious moments mixed in with the many hysterical ones. And Bill Murray does some of his most inspired acting since "Stripes." This guy acts up such a storm that even his hair starts acting, a sight which must be seen to be believed.

The movie is very funny, unpredictable, and even touching in parts. There are some very inspired fantasy sequences, including one with Chris Elliott that parodies a certain bad movie with Demi Moore and Robert Redford. The humor ranges from the subtle satire of pro-sports to the not-so-subtle mistaking of a bull for a cow when it's milking time. In short, whether your tastes are for champagne or for ripple wine, there's something in this movie for everyone. I give this movie 3 2/3 Babylons--kind of a funny number, but it gets that little extra for Vanessa Angel. Did I mention her talents? Ooooh mama!

OK, OK, I'm back. I never thought they'd call my bluff.

I want to apologize again for sending you a review I did not write. It's not that it was a bad review, it wasn't, it's just that I feel that I've somehow cheated you, my public, and that is one thing I never wanted to do. Well, actually, I was hoping to cheat some money out of you, but that's an entirely different thing.

I promise that I shall never do this again. Well, maybe a couple more times, but they'll be stretched out over a wide length of time. See I want to give you, the glowing public, the widest range of movies to choose from, and since I know you could never see any movie not reviewed by me, I felt the need to expand your possibilities.

You buying this?

Anyway, thanks for indulging my friend. Well he's not really my friend, he works for me. I mean I've seen him around the office once or twice. Or at least I know what his name is. Assuming it's spelled write on the contact sheet. But he's family! Well not family, just a relative of a former possible Mrs. Self-Made. Well, she was never really a possibility, but she did apply for the position, at least one night. Actually, that night, she applied for many positions, and carried out a few more. And took some photos. And threatened to post them. Which is why her damn brother got to do a review. Happy?

Now you know more than you ever wanted.

By the way, the Wesson Oil is strictly for medicinal purposes.