Jack has a sad.
The Dinner: Spinach and cheese pupusa, fried yucca, empanada topped with cinnamon and a Negra Modelo at Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria (4106 Brooklyn Ave NE Suite 102A)
Jack has a sad.
The Screenplate: If you go to see a move in the U-District you're going to be surrounded by college kids. Not necessarily in the theater. Because $10 tickets tend to weed out the poverty-stricken undergrads. But, ya know, on the street. Or in a restaurant.
Like the two kids sitting next to me at Guanaco's Tacos Pupuseria. One of them had a longboard, which means he couldn't have been over the age of 19.
(Once you hit the big 2-0 you smarten up enough to realize no guy ever got laid because he rode a longboard. Or you don't and end up folding Billabong t's at Pacific Sunwear FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.)
Anyway, the two of them were talking about something unimportant. Like a physics test. Or a philosopher. Some piece of knowledge that they'll only realize was unnecessary when they're in year three of their career as a management trainee at a FedEx/Kinko's. And all I could think about was how pure they looked. How uncynical. How unlike me. And this was before seeing "Casino Jack and the United States of Money."
Oh, we haven't talked about food yet? Fine. I had a pupusa. It was like eating two pancakes stuffed with cheese. Which is to say, fucking delicious.
There were other things on the plate -- some pickled cabbage, radishes, fried yucca and even more fried dough covered in cinnamon. But again, none of these things were the cheese pancakes. So they all got kind of pushed to the side in a rush to inhale what I'm assuming is the best dish to ever come out of El Salvador.
But back to those kids. And the movie.
"Casino Jack" is director Alex Gibney's latest. He's the guy who every other documentary filmmaker who isn't Errol Morris wishes they could be. He made "Taxi to the Dark Side" and the one about Enron.
He is fantastic at what he does and what he does in this movie is convince you that the political system in our country is broken beyond repair, using former superlobbyist Jack Abramoff as Exhibit A. Does that sound like a movie you'd want to watch? Of course not! Which is why I don't review films for a living.
So in order to properly explain how "Casino Jack" is far more compelling than any movie built around invoices and e-mail re-enactments has a right to be, here are some nouns in bold:
ANGOLAN WARLORDS DOLPH LUNDGREN MOB HITS CHINESE SWEATSHOPS RUSSIAN SPIES LIFEGUARD CEOS
Practically sells itself, doesn't it? Where'd I get the idea? Oh, nowhere in particu--wait, what are you doing? No! Don't hit "play"!
Damn. Cover blown.
Anyway, just see it. "Casino Jack" will corrode your soul. It will sharpen you into a cutting instrument of cynicism for at least an hour after the credits roll. And it will entertain the hell out of you to boot.
Just, if you go, look out for the guy on the longboard. Tell him he's only got a few more months with that thing. If he's smart he'll know what you mean.