New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott didn't much like "Won't Back Down," about two mothers fighting uncaring teachers and immovable bureaucracy (including the teachers' union) in an inner city school. Scott, a liberal, ironically warned that pious expressions of concern for 'the children' are usually evidence of a political agenda in overdrive" (as if liberals never bleat about "the children"!) The Times much preferred a left-wing propaganda piece on Occupy Wall Street.
Scott, who in 2004 praised left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore as "a credit to the republic" in his review of "Fahrenheit 9-11," wrote on Friday:
It’s surprising that Hollywood would make a film that sympathetically argues for school choice, the movie Won’t Back Down, starring accomplished actresses Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s not surprising that liberal Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday would then offer a withering one-star review that seemed more like a political judgment than an artistic estimate.
Hornaday huffed: “More than a portrait of spontaneous motherly outrage, it becomes clear that the movie has been designed as an anti-union, pro-charter screed, the fictional counterpart to the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman.”
Veteran reporter Sharon Waxman knew she’d found a new low. Reporting from the Toronto Film Festival, she revealed the viewpoint of director Nick Cassavetes, which she summarized in a headline: “Who Gives a Damn? Love Who You Want.” The topic was incest.
Hollywood’s march to tear down – to obliterate, really -- every boundary of sexual decency should compel even the harshest accusers of social conservatives like Rick Santorum to apologize profusely. They were wrong to mock conservatives for warning of the extremes, as we’re lurching so quickly and easily into the darkest “love who you want” extremes of the Lifestyle Left.
New York Times movie critic Jeanette Catsoulis demonstrated her simplistic liberal politics once again in her brief Friday review of the gay marriage documentary "The Right to Love," picking on mild concern from the subject's parents and grandparents as proving themselves "enemies of progress."
She found the movie itself "squishy" and the soundtrack "regrettably saccharine," but described left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow as an "arrow of lucidity."
In a video interview, anti-Obama filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza told The Hollywood Reporter that MSNBC and other media outlets were “cowards” because they would not acknowledge his new documentary 2016: Obama’s America, despite the film’s emergence this last week in the Top Ten.
D’Souza said: “Look at MSNBC. You could watch that channel and not even know we have a film out – unless you saw a commercial that we’re running for our film. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, you look at Rachel Maddow, you look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards!”
Box Office Mojo shows that "2016: Obama's America" was the fourth-highest grossing film on Friday, taking in $2.255 million, and trailing only "The Expendables 2," "The Bourne Legacy," and "Paranorman." What's more, its per-theatre gross of $2,067 is almost twice that of "Expendables," and well over double every other film in Friday's top ten.
The film also seems assured of becoming the highest grossing post-1982 political documentary coming from the political right.
The upcoming documentary "Occupy Unmasked" is getting the kind of promotional push too rarely received by right-of-center films.
The movie, directed by Steve Bannon and featuring the late Andrew Breitbart, tells the story of the chaotic, destructive Occupy Wall Street movement. The message hardly fits the standard theatrical template, which routinely sides with or sympathizes with the bedraggled protesters seeking their "fair" share of the one percent's cash.
The reliably liberal Dargis also tried to ruin the summer movie seasons of 2008 and 2011, with lectures on "separate and unequal" roles for women in movies. On Sunday she made the same points, adding a hit on "the Reagan years" that seems there only to validate the conservative joke that liberals blame everything on Ronald Reagan.
In an interview she conducted with left-wing actor Sean Penn at the Cannes Film Festival that aired on Tuesday, Today co-host Ann Curry behaved like an adoring fan rather than a journalist: "And through all of these years and all these characters....You have trained us to believe you, to believe your transformation, almost instantly. Do you accept that you are one of the greatest actors of our time?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While discussing Penn's charity work in Haiti, Curry sycophantically proclaimed: "The people who work for you in Haiti have – some of them have called you a demanding boss. You have gotten angry yelling, "That's not good enough!"....Have you always had this moral outrage?"
For several decades, Hollywood has shown its overt support for homosexuality. Brokeback Mountain was nominated for Best Picture for its unabashedly sympathetic portrayal of a doomed gay relationship. Newt Gingrich’s half-sister officiated at a gay wedding on “Friends” in the 1990s. More recently, late night talk show host Conan O’Brian officiated at an actual gay wedding.
During the Holy Week before Easter in 2011, Brent Bozell noticed an "Easter bonnet of mud" timed to be thrown at Christians. One of those mudballs was thrown in Italy, a comedy movie called "Habemus Papam" (Latin for "we have a pope.") Franco Zeffirelli, the director of the TV miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth,” agreed Nanni Moretti's film was an insult to the Pope and the Catholic faithful. "It's a horrible cheap shot," Zeffirelli said. "I feel especially sorry for this pontiff, who may not be a crowd-pleaser, but who is very civilized and reasonable."
So it should not be surprising that National Public Radio would applaud its American release, timed once again on Good Friday. Openly gay movie critic Bob Mondello implausibly declared "There's nothing in 'We Have a Pope' that's likely to offend, much that will amuse and also quite a bit of effective design work."
Movie reviewer A.O. Scott on Wednesday applied his expertise to the scientific ssue of global warming and rising sea levels, in his sarcasm-laden review of "The Island President," a documentary about "climate change" and the danger it supposedly poses to the island of Maldives: "In Paradise, and Closer Than Ever to Disaster."
New York Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis didn't even try in her brief review to render an objective look at the pro-life movie "October Baby," as her copy seethed with anger and evident indignation that pro-lifers still existed in this day and age (note to Catsoulis: by some poll numbers, there are more pro-lifers that pro-abortion believers). Catsoulis's political views are of the simplistic left-wing variety, as she has demonstrated on several occasions in past reviews. She wrote in Friday's Times:
While interviewing actor Ed Helms about his role in 'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax' On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer seemed puzzled that anyone would question the environmentalist message of the book or movie: "...believe it or not, Dr. Seuss has sparked controversy with this movie because Lou Dobbs weighed in on this..."
Lauer quoted criticism from Dobbs: "The Lorax is an example of the President's liberal friends in Hollywood targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children." Helms sarcastically joked: "I am so excited that Barack Obama, who is my best friend, got us going on this. Because we're going to indoctrinate a lot of people. If this goes well, I hope." He then exclaimed: "Lou, come on! What are you talking about?"
In a movie opening next week, left-wing activist Woody Harrelson (IMDb page) plays a dirty cop in 1999 Los Angeles whose character impugns the Founding Fathers as “all slave-owners” and warns that if he is fired “I’ll have my own show on Fox News inside one week.”
“I am not a racist,” he declares in a clip from Rampart played on Thursday’s Late Show, arguing: “Now, you want to be mad at someone, try J. Edgar Hoover. He was a racist. Or the Founding Fathers, all slave-owners.” Some Founding Fathers owned slaves, but far short of “all.” In a scene in the promotional trailer featured on Millennium Entertainment’s site for the film, Harrelson’s dirty police officer character threatens: “If you force me to retire, I’ll have my own show on Fox News inside one week. You’ll be my first guest.” (Video of both scenes below)
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today to discuss Golden Globe wins for several of his films, producer Harvey Weinstein was particularly proud of the Margaret Thatcher biopic, "The Iron Lady," selectively praising the former British prime minister: "...you see the values that Margaret Thatcher espouses....she was a social progressive, she was pro-choice...pro-gay, pro, you know, health service."
While Weinstein acknowledged Thatcher to be "fiscally conservative," he seemed to warn those who see her as a conservative icon: "There are myths that we blow away in the movie....Those people who put her name in vain are just lying about it. So I think the movie's explosive and fantastic."
Kyle Smith of the New York Post and I may share a similar political philosophy but we rarely agree on films. I sense we might agree on this one:
…but as “J.Edgar” sits at an astonishing 39 percent [at Rotten Tomatoes] it would be disingenuous not to notice that this film is getting hammered by critics. Despite its Oscar-winning director, writer (Dustin Lance Black) and Oscar-nominated star Leo DiCaprio, it is at the same approval level as “Immortals.” This is a disaster for a serious, highbrow, historical drama. The thought of critical reception didn’t occur to anyone on the set of “Immortals” but “J.Edgar” was made to win critical hosannas and Oscars....Oh, and “J.Edgar” is terrible and I predict pitiful box office and zero Oscar nominations.
Appearing on the front of the New York Times Arts section Tuesday interviewing Pixar founder and “Cars 2” director John Lasseter, Hollywood reporter Brooks Barnes indulged in his preoccupation with political correctness on screen and in movie studios: “It Wasn’t a Wreck, Not Really.”
The "wreck" in question was the critical opprobrium foisted upon the "Cars" sequel, which Lasseter directed. He defended the movie, the only true critical flop from the innovative animated movie studio. But Barnes wanted to talk quotas.
The front of Wednesday’s New York Times Arts section featured Dwight Garner’s review of the new book by left-wing documentary film-maker Michael Moore, “Here Comes Trouble -- Stories From My Life.”
Garner, a fan, called Moore (infamous for his anti-conservative conspiracy theories and vicious, purposely misleading mockery of Republicans) a “necessary irritant,” and in one nauseating paragraph suggested Moore’s book belonged alongside works by the revolutionary founding activist Thomas Paine.
An R-rated flick about a bunch of friends having an orgy gets hailed in today's Weekend Arts section as a "friendly, ramshackle comedy" albeit "somewhat laugh-deficient" while a G-rated drama about a young golfer being mentored by a retired pro is panned as a "stultifying hybrid of instruction film and Christian sermon" that "swoons into its own solemn sanctimony."
Richard Corliss, a liberal film reviewer who found Oliver Stone's "W." too tame for his tastes has decided to let his readers know that, some two years and seven months since the 43rd president left office, he's still not over his anti-Bush derangement.
Corliss shoehorned his strange asides about President George W. Bush -- and 2012 presidential hopeful Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) -- in his August 18 review of this summer's remake of "Conan the Barbarian":
Is the Obama Administration inappropriately disclosing classified data to movie producers in the hopes of getting a film about the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden released before the 2012 election? That is the question that Congressman Peter King (R-NY) is asking after word got out that the White House is giving inside information about the military raid that killed bin Laden earlier this year to the creators of the Oscar-winning film "Hurt Locker."
"This alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history," King wrote in a letter addressed to officials at the CIA and the Department of Defense which asked for full details on the government's involvement with the film. The Defense Department acknowledged the collaboration in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
A reminder this week Hollywood moguls aren’t just enthralled with Barack Obama. They are also ideological liberals who have disgust for conservatives and are especially enraged by the Tea Party’s success.
Explaining his $2 million donation to a left-wing political action committee, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told USA Today he was motivated by how “outside Republican spending in 2010 led to the election of ‘Republican extremists.’”
They say the movie theatres make more money on popcorn, candy, and soft drinks than they do on the movie tickets. If that’s true, theatre owners really ought to reconsider the previews they’re airing. They can make you sick to your stomach.
I don’t know why Hollywood moviemakers are so fascinated by with flatulence and excrement. It’s become almost an obsession, a formality of sorts in the “humor” oeuvre.
“Page One,” a new documentary about a year in the life of the New York Times directed by Andrew Rossi, is showing at the sleek new Lincoln Center theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for a mere $13. While not openly partisan or even political (there were no Obama stickers spotted on desks, no rants about the paper’s myriad conservative critics), “Page One,” which captures in semi-compellingif scatter-shot fashion a year or so in the life of the Times’s media desk, fits snugly in to the Upper West Side mentality of entitled liberalism.
It’s a running conversation running over with angst, as Times reporters tackle stories about new media while simultaneously pondering the paper’s own place in the rearranged cosmos, as the paper’s very reason for being seems under attack in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and liberal news aggregators like the Huffington Post stealing audience.
While it was less than loved by critics, there is no question it was a commercial success. In fact, some would say it is Pixar’s most obvious grab at a pay day, appealing to the NASCAR set without even the thinnest of veils. But I would argue its middle-American appeal goes much deeper than its subject matter. Indeed, I believe Cars is a vehicle for the conservative, science-denying belief known as Intelligent Design.
More than any other Republican presidential prospect, Sarah Palin draws white-hot journalistic loathing. She’s too red-state, too gun-toting, too religious, and too unwilling to abort a disabled “fetus.” Even so, filmmaker Steve Bannon remains deeply optimistic his forthcoming Palin documentary “The Undefeated” will sway the media to see Palin in a different light.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker turned filmmaker, told National Review’s Kathryn Lopez that once he and his producing partner delved into Palin’s life story, “we decided that not just the American people but even the mainstream media were both fair and decent -- that when presented with something that represented a completely different point of view they would be at least open to considering it.”
On Sunday, New York Times movie critic John Anderson issued a favorable profile of “If a Tree Falls,” a partisan documentary from Marshall Curry featuring convicted arsonist Daniel McGowan of the environmental terrorist group Earth Liberation Front: “Activist or Terrorist, Rendered in Red, White and Green.”
When Daniel McGowan moved in with his sister after college, he was so passionate about recycling that he took all the labels off her canned food. The problem was, he didn’t wait for her to open the cans. 'I didn’t know if I had soup, or what kind of soup; I don’t know if there’s peas, or corn,' Lisa McGowan said in an interview. 'He said, 'I never thought of that.'
Some would call Mr. McGowan overeager. The government calls him a terrorist.
The problem is, McGowan isn’t in jail for taking labels off canned food items but for arson and conspiracy related to the destruction of two lumber companies in Oregon, domestic terrorism credited to the Earth Liberation Front.