New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, who has courted controversy from pro-Israel conservatives during her brief tenure, appeared in the Sunday Arts section to express concern over the muted reception in Israel to the new documentary "The Gatekeepers," an unflattering look back at Israel's Shin Bet, the country's security service: "'Most Israelis Are Not Listening.' – Little impact at home for an Oscar-nominated film." The film is also a loaded call for Israeli Jews to withdraw from the West Bank.
Several actors attending the Sundance Film Festival through Jan. 27 in Park City, Utah, have stated that Hollywood has played a part in the recent spate of gun violence through the production of violent films and video games. However, one actor has suggested an unusual solution to the problem.
Alexander Skarsgard, who fired all sorts of weapons at alien invaders in the "Battleship” movie and is a big player in the violent vampire series “True Blood,” said that it may be time to revisit the Second Amendment because the discussion about it “is ridiculous to me.”
"The far left is making [the average American gun owner and NRA member] a villain for abiding by your Second Amendment rights," and they're finding willing accomplices in supposedly objective journalists like Bob Schieffer, Brent Bozell argued on the January 17 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity. The Media Research Center president was reacting to a soundbite in which the CBS anchor compared the political challenge of President Obama taking on the NRA to defeating the Third Reich in World War II.
"Surely passing civil rights legislation as Lyndon Johnson was able to do, and before that, surely defeating the Nazis was a much more formidable task than taking on the gun lobby," Schieffer noted on January 16 shortly after President Obama's press conference on gun control. "This is a turning point in this country.," Schieffer insisted, concluding, "Unless we figure out a way to make sure that something like Newtown never happens again, we're not the country that we once were." [watch the full Hannity "Media Mash" segment below the page break]
New York Times movie critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis team up for next Sunday's edition (posted early online) to once again pour their peculiar brand of pretentiousness over the latest crop of innocent films: "Movies in the Age of Obama."
In the summer of 2011, Dargis lamented "the symbolic phallus" present in the form of a rifle in a Western. Last July she managed to make a villain out of President Reagan, while Scott chimed in by complaining that movie superheroes were "avatars of reaction" and that the last X-Men movie was insufficiently attentive to the civil rights movement.
There was another theater massacre last weekend. Casualties ran to nearly 200. Victims were incinerated, bludgeoned, beaten, stabbed, pulled apart by cars (really) and, oh yes, gunned down by the dozen.
It all happened on the screen, to fictional characters. But when Hollywood stars begin demanding gun control for the rest of us, as many have in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, it’s worth taking a hard look at the violence they portray and often glamorize. (video after the break)
One reason, I'm guessing, for still subscribing to The Boston Globe is to laugh at "self-loathing" black conservatives...even in Quentin Tarantino movie reviews. Globe film critic Wesley Morris is at is again. On NPR in May 2011, Morris hailed "The Fast and The Furious" movies as very "progressive" and "equal-opportunity shallow." When challenged on it, Morris shot darts instead at "The Blind Side."
In his Christmas Day review of the new movie "Django Unchained," Morris found "a hard mix of meticulous cartoonishness and unexpected power," especially in the "house Negro" Samuel L. Jackson, who apparently channels Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Herman Cain, and Michael Steele:
In an interview with a Canadian talk show, director Quentin Tarantino blasted America’s drug policies, saying that they are creating a system of “slavery through and through” at the behest of a prison “industry” which seeks to keep them in place solely to make money.
Tarantino’s comments came in response to a question from CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos who had asked him to put his latest film project, Django Unchained, a movie about a freed slave in the 19th century, into a contemporary American context. Tarantino warmed to the subject, apparently thinking that having directed the film gave him some sort of insight into race and America.
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane made Thursday's front-page with a quasi-movie review of "Zero Dark Thirty," the critically acclaimed new release about the Bin Laden raid that suggests "enhanced interrogation" like waterboarding aided in finding him. The headline, "Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate," shows the Times comfortable using the loaded word "torture" to describe interrogation methods like water-boarding that inflict temporary physical panic.
Previously Shane has fiercely resisted the idea that waterboarding contributed to finding Osama bin Laden, ignoring CIA director Leon Panetta's admission that it had. Shane wrote on May 4, 2011: "But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden's trusted courier and exposing his hide-out."
In other words, it may have helped, but don't make me write it.
In an interview with actor Jamie Foxx on Wednesday's NBC Today about his upcoming movie Django Unchained, co-host Savannah Guthrie brought up offensive comments Foxx made while hosting Saturday Night Live: "You said your character gets to, quote, 'kill all the white people,' adding, 'how great is that?' I know you know about the criticism, do you think it was fair?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Rather than show any regret for the remark, Foxx simply replied: "I'm a comedian. So, I mean, I'm not a – I don't even know what to say." Instead of following up on that non-answer, Guthrie made the awkward transition: "Back to the movie..."
During a segment on Thursday's NBC Today on the upcoming film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if scenes depicting "brutal interrogations" of terror suspects would make movie-goers feel guilty: "It's inevitable people are going to sit in the movie theater...and when they see the scenes of torture, they're going to ask themselves if they think it was justified, if the ends justified the means." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to director Kathryn Bigelow, Lauer pressed: "Do you want to make a political statement with this movie?" Bigelow replied: "Well, I think the film doesn't have an agenda. I think it just shows the story as – you know, the story of the greatest man hunt in history. And that's part of that history." Lauer urged: "But do you want people to discuss that topic more? Whether these kind of enhanced interrogation techniques are justified?"
Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.
Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:
Traditional media weren’t the biggest fans of the movie “Atlas Shrugged: Part I” when it was released in April 2011. With “Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike” set to hit theaters on Oct. 12, it’ll be hard to top the derision of the last movie. Most reviews of the first film were short and to the point – this movie was terrible because conservatives, more specifically the Tea Party, will like it.