Movies

By Clay Waters | July 2, 2012 | 3:52 PM EDT

New York Times movie critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott held their annual joyless, ridiculously political summer movie conversation on the front of Sunday's Arts & Leisure, focusing on the glut of superhero movies: "Super-Dreams Of an Alternate World Order – The Modern Comic Book Movie Has Become a Hollywood Staple. But Exactly What Is It Selling?" Dargis managed to make a villain out of President Reagan, while Scott chimed in by complaining that movie superheroes are "avatars of reaction" and that the last X-Men movie was insufficiently attentive to the civil rights movement (really).

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.

By Kyle Drennen | May 23, 2012 | 4:37 PM EDT

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?"

By Paul Wilson | May 10, 2012 | 3:00 PM EDT

Hollywood celebrities exuberantly celebrated President Obama’s recent declaration of support for gay marriage. But Hollywood did not have to come out of the closet and support homosexuality – it has long used its influence to purposely swing public opinion in favor of homosexuality. 

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.

By Tim Graham | April 10, 2012 | 12:34 PM EDT

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."

By Clay Waters | March 28, 2012 | 1:35 PM EDT

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."

By Clay Waters | March 23, 2012 | 11:09 AM EDT

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:

By Kyle Drennen | February 29, 2012 | 4:52 PM EST

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?"

By Brent Baker | February 4, 2012 | 6:51 PM EST

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)

By Kyle Drennen | January 16, 2012 | 12:51 PM EST

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."

By John Nolte | November 16, 2011 | 6:50 AM EST

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.

By Clay Waters | October 20, 2011 | 9:29 AM EDT

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.

By Clay Waters | September 14, 2011 | 4:45 PM EDT

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.