Movies

By Kurt Schlichter | October 4, 2010 | 11:33 AM EDT
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We may have just found the outer edge of the Hollywood taste envelope, all thanks to Andy and Larry Wachowski, the creators of The Matrix.  Formerly known as the Wachowski Brothers - that is, until Larry decided after making zillions of dollars and gaining millions of slobbering fans that the only thing standing between him and true happiness was his penis - this pair's latest project, Cobalt Neural 9, appears to be repelling even the jaded mandarins of Hollywood. 

Oh, it's not because the content of CN9 will be vacuous, foul and outright evil, though it is.  It's because no one in Tinseltown thinks the movie will make any money.

So what is CN9 about?  Well, it appears to mix condemnation of the Iraq War, a healthy dose of gay sex, naturally, a plot to assassinate George W. Bush.  Sounds less like a hit movie than the agenda for a Daily Kos staff meeting.

By Brent Bozell | October 2, 2010 | 7:38 AM EDT

Don’t read Newsweek magazine while drinking a beverage. A spit take is the obvious first reaction to a column by Julia Baird headlined “The Shame of Family Films.” On the Internet, this article is coded as “Why family films are so sexist.”

Baird's denunciation of Hollywood's fraction of decent entertainment began: “They have all been smash hits: ‘Finding Nemo,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Ice Age,’ ‘Toy Story.’ Fish, penguins, rats, stuffed animals, talking toys. All good innocent family fun, right? Sure, except there are few female characters in those films. There are certainly few doing anything meaningful or heroic – and no, Bo Peep doesn't count.”

So what does feminist bean-counting have to do with whether a movie is “good innocent family fun”? Did any young girl come away from “Finding Nemo” feeling like the memory-challenged Ellen DeGeneres fish character didn’t represent female empowerment effectively? Were they offended by the oppressively archaic stereotype of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl during “Toy Story 2"? Families can’t enjoy these films without expecting them to pass some politically correct quota exam?

By Lachlan Markay | September 30, 2010 | 3:19 PM EDT
Oliver Stone is discovering one of the many joys of capitalism: without it, he would never be able to make such flashy, well-produced films bashing capitalism!

Stone's latest film, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", may have replaced Charlie Sheen, star of the original, with a younger Shia LaBeouf, but it's still as hypocritically anti-capitalist as the original.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Money Never Sleeps" would not have been able to muster a sufficient budget without massive product placement campaigns. The film benefitted "enormously" from the advertising technique, Stone admitted (h/t Big Hollywood headlines).

By Chris Yogerst | September 29, 2010 | 11:37 AM EDT

The internet is abuzz with praise for the new documentary that points out the many faults of public education, Waiting for Superman. With positive reviews from both the Huffington Post on the Left as well as the New York Post on the Right, it makes one wonder, how could this be? It appears that this film has single-handedly done what President Obama could not do to save his own life: bring the Left and Right together on a single issue.

It is refreshing that the film's director, Davis Guggenheim (who directed An Inconvenient Truth), is able to put politics aside to see the destructive nature of teachers unions. Guggenheim put his own kids through private school but realizes that not everyone can afford such a luxury. Here, he sets out to tackle the real problems that have long plagued public school systems: teachers unions. Though, he is careful to say that he isn't bashing unions in general.

Guggenheim sees that not everything has to be a political football, which is why we should applaud him for taking a bipartisan approach. However, some feel that the response to the film shows the true, negative colors of conservatives. Liberal Patrick Goldstein comments in the Los Angeles Times:

By Brad Schaeffer | September 28, 2010 | 5:34 PM EDT
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"It is time for stronger remedies to be applied," said abolitionist Wendell Phillips of the Union's effort during the Civil War, "in the form of hot lead and cold steel duly administered by 100,000 black doctors."  His vision became a reality as over 180,000 African-Americans (free men and escaped slaves) joined the Union Army to fight against the slave-holding Confederacy.

The story of the first such "colored" regiment to be formed, the 54th Massachusetts, is beautifully retold in director Edward Zwick's 1989 film Glory.  That this film didn't even garner an Oscar nomination for best picture - in a year where Driving Miss Daisy took the prize - is puzzling to me.  Glory features a first-rate script, wonderful imagery, and a stellar cast led by Matthew Broderick who plays Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the real-life idealistic white officer chosen to lead the regiment. The film is also a feast for the ears as the majestic chorus of the Harlem Boys' Choir permeates the score.

By NB Staff | September 25, 2010 | 4:39 PM EDT

From our friends at Reason.tv - Hollywood's obsession over demonizing capitalism. Anyone notice a trend here?

By Tim Graham | September 24, 2010 | 10:46 PM EDT

Oliver Stone may strike most people as pretty radical, but not to people at The New York Times. Business columnist Joseph Nocera panned Stone's new movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in a piece headlined "When Did Gekko Get So Toothless?" Stone failed to "eviscerate the folks responsible" for the credit crisis -- and Nocera might mean actually removing their viscera, like in a slasher flick:   

There is something a little incongruous about hearing Oliver Stone, the left-leaning, blunt-talking film director, dropping arcane Wall Street terms like "credit default swaps" and "collateralized debt obligations." But that’s just what he was doing a few weeks ago when trying to explain why his new movie, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” was not the fictionalized version of the financial crisis of 2008 I had expected. 

By Pam Meister | September 16, 2010 | 4:22 PM EDT
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"Feminism is a Crock - and Other True Stories." That's the title for a book I'd like to write someday. The reason I say feminism is a crock is because it has morphed from "equal rights for all" to "women are better than men, and if you disagree you're a sexist pig who should be castrated." It's also morphed into a sexual free-for-all: what used to be sauce for the gander (and those ganders were usually considered cads) is now sauce for the goose. This image is being perpetuated by pop culture and entertainment, and women are more and more frequently being portrayed as strong through their sexuality, not through their actual accomplishments. Is this the standard to which we want our daughters to aspire?

Early feminists fought against the centuries-old image of a "woman on a pedestal." Gloria Steinem (she of the "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" who in later years ended up getting married anyway) once said, "A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space." I suppose a bra is also a small, confined space, which might explain the bra burnings of the 1960s. But the early feminists had a point - to a point. If a woman wants to be put on a pedestal and admired and adored, fine. But if she doesn't, she should have the right to do with her life as she chooses. She should be free to pursue any vocation for which she is qualified, either as a single or married woman, children or no children.

By John Nolte | September 8, 2010 | 9:19 AM EDT
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Do the math. Instead of someone with the last name Rodriguez telling the tale of noble, sympathetic Hispanics victimized by white American southern rednecks  - all of whom are portrayed as murderous racists, what if we had a white filmmaker telling the tale of noble and sympathetic Texas border ranchers victimized by marauding, racist, gold-toothed unwashed Mexicans out to steal their land? Oh, and we would close our story with a stand-up-and-cheer race war where Texas ranchers unite to violently mow down evil Mexicans.

The same Left whose standards are so low that opposition to ObamaCare, same-sex marriage, and the Ground Zero Mosque can only be driven by a "phobia" or "ist" - the same PC Left that hides "silly" old Bugs Bunny cartoons and can't broadcast a season of "24″ without including a patronizing Don't Be Racist to Muslims PSA - sees the vicious portrayal of white Texans in "Machete" as nothing more than a silly goof. I guess it's easy to convince yourself of that when your principles are based on an agenda as opposed to any sense of consistency or intellectual honesty.

By Lawrence Meyers | September 7, 2010 | 12:25 PM EDT
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It breaks my heart to write this article.  Roger Ebert has been a part of my love for cinema since I was eleven years old.  When I was in the hospital for two months at age 19, I devoured his entire book of movie reviews.  I even met him at the 2002 Conference on World Affairs when he dissected David Lynch's masterpiece Mulholland Drive (though I thought he needlessly threw in the towel regarding the film's meaning).   I don't need to expound on his contributions to film education and his championing of truly great movies.

Nevertheless, I don't know the man. I only know his words. Yet I have to wonder if the physical and mental trauma Roger has endured has taken a toll on his mind.  He always seemed apolitical to me.  He just wrote great movie reviews.  However, he started a political journal on his website in the past year.  It's full of the same clap-trap expected from those on the Left: false premises, poorly constructed arguments, and replies to comments which dodge legitimate challenges.

By AWR Hawkins | August 25, 2010 | 11:14 AM EDT
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On July 27th and 28th, the New York Times published the following headline: "The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected." In the story that followed the headline, readers were informed: "The immense patches of surface oil that [once] covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the...oil rig explosion are largely gone."

Ironically, the man who predicted this would be case was the much-maligned Tony Hayward, former Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP). While being grilled on Capital Hill about the oil spill earlier this year, Hayward described it as a "relatively tiny" one in comparison to the "very big ocean" in which it had occurred.  Although the backlash Hayward faced by Democrats was nasty, Rush Limbaugh concurred with the BP boss, and stories like the one I cited from the New York Times seem to demonstrate that Hayward and Limbaugh were both correct.

Yet, not only does BP continue to be the target of heavy criticism by Democrats and environmental groups, it has even found itself in the crosshairs of Brad Pitt, who recently "said he would consider the death penalty for those to blame for the Gulf oil spill crisis." According to the UK's Daily Mail, Pitt's exact words were: "I was never for the death penalty before - I am willing to look at it again."

By John Nolte | August 20, 2010 | 3:07 PM EDT

There are three important things going on in "The Tillman Story" (in selected theatres today), two of which almost make the conspiracy-mongering documentary worth your time. The first and best is the opportunity to get to know better the extraordinary and extraordinarily complicated and interesting Pat Tillman. In the best sense of the word, this was a fierce and fiercely passionate man - fierce on the football field, fierce on the battlefield, and fierce in his personal beliefs. This was also a man who only ever dated one woman, the woman he would marry the same week he enlisted; and my guess is that Tillman was the kind of man and husband who found leaving the fame of professional football much easier than leaving his young bride. 

You also meet Tillman's family; his parents, brother and wife - a decent, loving, inconsolable group dealing with the terrible loss of someone they obviously loved and miss very much. This is a family furious with a United States government who didn't know all the facts before they told the story of Tillman's death to them, and to the American people. And as far as that goes, they are right to be angry.