So the latest GI Joe flick is creating controversy, because the character is no longer portrayed as a typical American soldier. Instead he’s part of some elite murky force of international fighters - a Benetton ad with rocket launchers. On MSNBC, Donny Deutsch tried to take John J. Miller to task over his objections to the change – pointing out that the shift from an iconic American character to a mushy international delight is a “business” decision. For the movie to make money internationally, Donny thinks the character has to become part of global task force of community organizers. To this, I say, “Fiddle faddle,” which is short for “Silly stupid fiddle faddle.”
I wrote about this two years ago, just when Hasbro and Paramount execs decided to give GI Joe a makeover. Back then they felt the world would be too pissed at us for getting rid of Saddam Hussein to go see a movie about an American hero. As it turns out, they were wrong - the backlash over Saddam’s death had less impact than Norman Fell’s.
But for a moment, let’s attempt to use Donny’s logic on other flicks.
If you think the national news media is biased, spend some time rummaging through the world of entertainment news. Today’s L.A. Times piece about the marketing of “G.I. Joe” has an especially priceless whopper:
Yet overseas, where big action films often earn 60% or more of their ticket sales, rah-rah American sentiment doesn’t play well. So those references have vanished from the advertising.
The Great Lie told by Leftist Hollywood and the media who shill for them is that in order to make money the likes and dislikes of an “international” audience must be considered, and international audiences loathe Americanism.
Let’s see how that’s working out with some overseas numbers for a few “big action films.”
Greenpeace and the Canadian-born actor joined forces against Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and accused the company of "breaking green promises" for not producing products completely free of PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants. Activists from the radical environmental group painted a giant message on the roof of Hewlett-Packard's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. that read "Hazardous Products."
And in addition to the rooftop graffiti, Greenpeace set up an automated message to dial HP employee's numbers and then play them a recorded message from Shatner.
When it comes to awful movies, Pat Buchanan once quipped he didn’t have to look underneath a manhole cover to know there’s a sewer down below. The smutty new movie "Bruno" can be read by its cover. In the midst of a barrage of crude sexual humor, master satirist Sacha Baron Cohen is once again exposing Americans for what Time magazine calls their "ignorance and prejudice, hypocrisy and primitive rage."
Yes, I’m sure it has its funny moments, and some are laugh-out-loud hilarious. I say I’m sure because I really don’t know. I was on my way to the theater when I reversed course. I’m not going to give these slimy people $9.50, or $1.50. Besides, it’s all there on the Internet.
In his last film, "Borat," Cohen played an idiotic journalist from Kazakhstan who attempted to expose unsuspecting people as misogynistic, racist, and anti-Semitic. The new title character of "Bruno" is a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion reporter who is going to expose the raging "homophobia" in America, especially the South (also targeted in the last film).
New York Times movie critic Stephen Holden found "The Age of Stupid," a new mock-documentary looking back at a future environmental apocalypse, is a "frightening jeremiad about the effects of climate change." Coming from the left-wing critic Holden, that's high praise.
In "The Age of Stupid," a frightening jeremiad about the effects of climate change, the craggy-faced British actor Pete Postlethwaite plays the Archivist, a finger-pointing, futuristic voice of doom in 2055. Peering into a retrospective crystal ball that shows scenes from the early 21st century, he scolds the human race for having committed suicide.
For Hank Stuever of the Washington Post, Sacha Baron Cohen's latest movie, "Bruno," is a reflection of America's "giant case of sex phobia."
Cohen's movie tells the tale of Bruno, a gay Austrian fashionista who embarks on a quest for fame (to become "the most famous Austrian since Hitler"). Its depictions of gay sex and a gay man flamboyantly flaunting his sexuality caused worry among gay activists about an increase of homophobia, despite a statement from Universal Pictures that the film aimed to "shed light on the absurdity of many kinds of intolerance and ignorance, including homophobia."
Stuever offered Post readers an inside look on July 9 at what it felt like to be a gay man watching "Bruno" and concluded that the movie didn't teach anything "other than sex is basically a total gross out."
Teasing an upcoming interview with actress Megan Fox on Tuesday’s Early Show, co-host Harry Smith gushed: "...this woman has jumped from virtual unknown to Hollywood A-lister. It doesn’t hurt she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet...And a very nice young person."
Smith failed to make any mention of the "Transformers" star’s controversial comments in a June 5 interview, in which she wished the villainous robots in the movie could "...just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America." Fox, a self-described bisexual, made the comments while talking with "Total Film UK."
Fellow co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly fawned over Fox: "Harry already got the chance to meet her and I said ‘how is she?’ You sounded like Tony the Tiger...‘She’s great.’ A lot of people are saying, you know, she’s the new ‘it girl,’ the new Angelina Jolie."
Editor's Note: The following was originally posted to Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog on June 24. Perhaps of greatest note to NewsBusters readers is Tapson's reporting on the pronouncements of Daily Beast contributor and UC Riverside professor Reza Aslan that "There is no such thing as Sharia."
While Iranian-American protesters packed streetcorners in Westwood last Saturday afternoon in support of the revolution currently playing out in the streets of Tehran, an historical drama about stoning in Iran got underway at the Los Angeles Film Festival mere blocks away.
For the few who don’t know by now, The Stoning of Soraya M. is based on French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam’s bestselling book, which relates the true story of a woman in a remote Iranian village, in the years after the 1979 Khomeini revolution, who is falsely accused of adultery and stoned to death by a mob desperate to cleanse themselves of this affront to their collective honor and to their religion. It’s not only a gripping story in its own right, but it shines a harsh spotlight on the almost unimaginable reality that the barbaric punishment of stoning still exists in the Iranian law code, despite a largely nominal 2002 moratorium, the result of pressure from Western human rights groups.
(Full disclosure, even though I’m not reviewing the film here: I’m close friends with the filmmakers Cyrus and Betsy Nowrasteh, I provided Mpower Pictures with a bit of research on the project, I’m friends with other cast and crew and producers associated with the film, and I think stoning is bad. So don’t take my word for it when I say SorayaBig Hollywood’s John Nolte will be the most important, affecting film you’ll see all year. Instead seek out the multitude of reviewers who recommend the film, including and then see it for yourself.)
Following Saturday’s screening was a panel discussion, not so much moderated as simply hosted by Iranian novelist Khaled Hosseini, author of the bestselling The Kite Runner, who personally selected the film for the L.A. Film Festival. The panel also included Soraya’s writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh, starring actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Dr. Reza Aslan, billed as an Islamic scholar.
Leave it to New York Times liberal movie critic Stephen Holden to come down on "The Stoning of Soraya M," for stereotyping a couple of murderous, misogynist Islamists as...murderous misogynist Islamists.
Holden generally likes politically activist movies, especially left-wing documentaries that take aim at politically correct targets like big business and heartland hicks. By contrast, he's not fond of Israel or the Catholic Church, or evidently, movies about injustices committed against women in the Muslim world, like "The Stoning of Soraya M." Conservatives have embraced the movie, which might also provide a clue as to why Holden hates it. In calling it "lurid torture-porn," Holden echoes columnist Frank Rich's smear against "The Passion of the Christ" as "a joyride for sadomasochists."
Whenever Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore releases a new documentary the reaction in the press is typically jubilant. Rave reviews. Fawning interviews which rarely ask tough questions. Oscar buzz aplenty.
But this time could be different.
Moore’s last film, “Slacker Uprising,” didn’t go straight to DVD. It went straight to download. Now, Moore’s catching heat from Movieline.com, the online film magazine which routinely taunts conservative targets like Gov. Sarah Palin. The site’s new Moore-related post swats the filmmaker for a less than sharp attempt at marketing his upcoming film about the country’s economic collapse. The movie blogger sets up his critique here:
"Michael Moore, the filmmaker, is back and this time he was taking aim at Wall Street," Watson said on June 15. "[H]e did a very funny thing, Sarah, this weekend when you showed his documentary in some of the movie theatres. It was very interesting. He had ushers walk along, trying to take up money for CEOs and Wall Street banks."
Megan Fox recently stated that her solution to a real life evil Transformer invasion would be to negotiate and ask, “instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?”
I also found these quotes from Ms. Fox:
“I don’t want to have to go on talk shows and pull out every single S.A.T. word I’ve ever learned, to prove, like, ‘Take me seriously, I am intelligent, I can speak.’ I don’t want to have to do that. I resent having to prove that I’m not a retard.”
“Women are expected to be conformist automatons in L.A. but in Britain you can be more yourself and people will take you on face value.”
Far be it from me to point out that the base audience for “Transformers” is young males in Middle America, the same men that Fox condemns to a robot apocalypse. I doubt the bi-coastal elites from Beverly Hills to the Upper West Side will be waiting in line for the midnight showing of Michael Bay’s latest opus.
Ten years ago, the movie The Cider House Rules was toasted in Hollywood for its fervent support of the need for abortion doctors. But you wouldn't know that from today's TV listings.
The film is airing Tuesday night on WGN, and the plot summary in the Washington Post TV Week section on Sunday says only this: "Raised to be an obstetrician at a Maine orphanage, a young man leaves to work at a cider mill with a soldier's beloved."
James Bowman's takedown of the film is here. He wrote, in part:
The rules against abortion are (or were, when there were such things) made by men, who do not live in women's bodies. Therefore, women need not obey them. Indeed, it is a question whether they need obey any rules imposed upon them by a patriarchal society.
After promoting the controversial, religion-baiting film "Angels & Demons" for a combined 19 minutes last week on "Good Morning America," ABC finally featured a Catholic priest to object to the movie. Unfortunately, the interview was relegated only to the network's website, not the ABC morning show. (Considering the four days of fawning coverage to the film's stars last week, this hardly seems fair.) Father Edward Beck appeared on the internet-based "Focus on Faith" to talk to Chris Cuomo and point out the inaccuracies.
Beck critiqued the filmmakers behind "Angels & Demons," which falsely features the Catholic Church participating in a brutal massacre of a secret society, asserting that they should be more responsible for "doing their homework, even with a work of fiction." Cuomo bizarrely responded by claiming Beck needed to consider "the atheistic [position], which is, 'It's all fiction.' So, the church doesn't have any right to hold its own truth when it is a fiction in and of itself." He reiterated the disbelievers take, stating, "Anything you say you believe in is based on a fiction, because God is a fiction. So, what's wrong with having a fiction about fiction?"
Beck quickly retorted, "No. Whether or not the church kills people is not fiction. Either they do or they don't." Beck went on to note other offensive elements of the movie, such as the fact that the deceased Pope in the movie turns out to have fathered a child through artificial insemination. The New York-based priest complained, "Now, I mean, how unrealistic do we really want to make this?" Appearing to miss the point, Cuomo replied, "You taking yourself too seriously in the organized church?" (It should be pointed out that some of the tone was light-hearted as Cuomo and Beck are apparently friends.)
"Good Morning America" on Thursday capped off four days and nearly 20 minutes of fawning coverage of "Angels & Demons," the just-released film that features the Catholic Church participating in a brutal massacre. On Thursday, co-star Ayelet Zurer appeared to promote the movie, whose main villain turns out to be a priest who murdered the previous Pope and is also his son. And just like with the interviews of director Ron Howard and stars Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor, the film's controversial, anti-Christian elements were completely ignored.
Instead, Sawyer focused on the number of languages the Israeli Zurer could speak and how she prepared for the role. The GMA host never mentioned how the film's storyline, involving the Catholic Church wiping out a secret society called the Illuminati, is false. And, just as with fellow co-star McGregor, she ignored the fact that the movie's big surprise turns out to be that the priest (McGregor's character) is a murderer and the son of the late Pope. On Wednesday, McGregor absurdly claimed, "However, I would stress there is, really, no controversy. There's no anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity in the movie at all." Sawyer didn't challenge the point.
Newsweek hasn’t favored the movie Angels & Demons with a cover story like it did for The DaVinci Code, but it is allowing the cast to make the usual denials of anti-Catholicism on the Newsweek website. In an interview for their Pop Vox blog with Newsweek’s Nicki Gostin, actor Ewan McGregor repeats his mantra that "There’s nothing anti-Catholic or anti-church or anything that challenges people’s beliefs in the film."
That’s an interesting thing to say when your character is supposedly an idealistic Catholic priest who ends up being the film’s supervillain, poisoning the Pope and murdering Cardinals, until he finds out he was the Pope’s son (by artificial insemination). Learning that he poisoned his own father, he commits suicide. He’s a perfect portrait in Catholic corruption. But McGregor wants us to buy the notion that none of this "challenges people’s beliefs" about the Church:
In addition to the anti-Catholicism present in the forthcoming release of "Angels & Demons", there's another politically correct element to the movie adaptation of the Dan Brown novel that's worth noting: Hollywood's aversion to portraying radical Muslims as the bad guys.
I just cannot get behind this Star Trek rebirth. The whole thing is just so unrealistic. Not the warp speed or phasers or beaming about the universe - those are at least remotely plausible. I am talking about the fact that the starship Enterprise is composed entirely of officers and yet it still seems to function. Where are the non-commissioned officers (NCO), the petty officers and sergeants who actually make any military organization run? No, I can suspend disbelief over Klingons and tribbles, and I actively support the notion of green alien hotties. But the idea of a functioning military unit without sergeants is just a wormhole too far.
Hollywood movies often focus on the commanders, the captains and colonels, but they have also managed to highlight some great sergeants as well. When you are picking out DVDs for next weekend, remember that May 16th is Armed Forces Day and consider a few selections that show the sergeant in all his gruff and grumbling glory.
If you have never experienced the joy of going through basic training and do not plan to, your first stop should be Full Metal Jacket, with R. Lee Ermey’s legendary portrayal of a Marine drill instructor who must have missed out on the block of instruction on sensitivity. I saw this in the theater about a week before I reported to Basic. That was a poor idea.
Concluding a Thursday NBC Nightly News story on summer movies, correspondent George Lewis previewed the new Star Trek film, set to open on Friday, and found it relevant to highlight how “some Trekkies have compared the Spock character, the product of a mixed marriage between a human and a Vulcan, to President Obama.” Those “some Trekkies” would be Newsweek's Steve Daly, author of last week's cover story, “We’re All Trekkies Now,” who proposed in a soundbite: “In a certain sense, Spock the character has dealt with some of the same prejudices and problems that our new President does.”
In the piece for the May 4 edition of the magazine, Daly asserted: “Spock's cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we've put a sort of Vulcan in the White House.” And “like Obama, Spock is the product of a mixed marriage (actually, an interstellar mixed marriage), and he suffers blunt manifestations of prejudice as a result.” Daly also hailed how “with the willfully hegemonic Bush administration now gone, the tenets of [original Star Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry's fictional universe feel very much in step with current events,” since:
The Obama foreign policy, at least for now, emphasizes cross-cultural exchange and eschews imperialistic swagger. That sounds very much in sync with the Federation's Prime Directive, which stipulates that humanity should observe but never interfere with alien cultures (no Iraq-style invasions, in other words).
In 2004, coalition forces in Iraq launched Operation Phantom Fury, the battle for control of Fallujah. American troops battled through a city of enemy insurgents, fighting house to house and street to street to seize control of the most dangerous city in the world.
Narrated by Senator Fred D. Thompson, “Perfect Valor” [view trailer at right] is the story of the high price paid by US forces and the legacy of that campaign as seen through the eyes of the men and women who were there, risking their lives in service to their country.
We meet a Navy Cross recipient, recognized for extraordinary gallantry under fire during the assault on Fallujah. A true American hero still haunted by his experience in Iraq. We listen to the family of a fallen Marine as they tell the story of their sacrifice. We hear the harrowing tale of a battalion surgeon who risked his own life to move an aid station forward, into the middle of the fight - a decision that saved thirty lives.
When the conglomerates behind the viciously anti-Catholic book "The DaVinci Code" were looking for a director, Newsweek reported Ron Howard had a secret weapon: his aw-shucks child-star Opie Taylor likeability. "Ron is not a polarizer," said one. "We all knew the book was quite controversial, and we were ready for that. But we didn’t want to add to it."
In that same article in 2006, it became clear that Howard wasn’t going to make the film less vicious (or less filled with historical lies and distortions) than the book. There would be "no placating. It would be ludicrous to take on this subject and try to take the edges off. We’re doing this movie because we like the book." (Emphasis his.)
This is where the aw-shucks routine goes out the window. It’s one thing to say you like a good mystery with historical overtones. It’s another thing to say you like a fiction book that paints the Catholic Church as an evil nest of lying murderers conspiring to protect the lie that Jesus Christ is God.
Watching “24” this week, I realized that our number one threat is multi-national corporations with battalions of hired killers on the payroll. Similarly, “Michael Clayton,” “The International,” the new “State of Play” and many others have taught me that big companies assassinate their rivals, whistleblowers, policemen and random passersby with astonishing regularity.
I wish. But then, I’m a trial lawyer and I could use a new house.
Sadly, the real world is much more esoteric than the portrait Hollywood paints, and the real threat is not quite so picturesque. Instead of corporate death squads composed of hardboiled mercenaries with high tech assault rifles, the real killers are boring jihadi doofuses with dusty AKs, booby-trapped Fiats and the occasional boxcutter.
Let’s stop and check the numbers. Real terrorists, counting the victims of 9/11 and American losses in Iraq and Afghanistan: Over 7900 murdered. Victims of corporate murder: Zero. Nada. Zip. I would add in the number of Iraqis and Afghanis murdered by these folks, except that toll is beyond counting. And to many liberals, their lives don’t seem to count anyway.
You too can save the planet from the effects of carbon emissions by participating in the symbolic gesture of turning off one light switch at a time for Earth Hour on March 28.
That's the message from actor Edward Norton, the official U.S. ambassador for Earth Hour 2009, who appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" on March 25. As Norton explained, this is a symbolic event for which everyone turns out their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on March 29. And this act will encourage world political leaders to cap or tax carbon emissions through the legislative process by demonstrating "global unity."
"You're right. The act of turning out the lights for an hour - is, it's not an act of conservation," Norton said. "It's not, um, meant to say that, ‘By doing this, we're going to solve the problem.' I think it's a symbolic act of global unity, of highlighting the number of people who do think this is one of the central issues of our time and motivating our leaders to take, um, purposeful and aggressive action on this issue."
OK, now by that headline you are most likely assuming that I am calling del Toro, Carrey and Penn Hollywood stooges and making fun of them. Of course, we already know that Penn and del Toro are stooges on the "useful idiot" level, but you may wonder why I am slapping Carrey? Well, I mean it in the strictest sense -- that Hollywood is casting for a new 3 Stooges team and these are the three Nyucks under consideration. It is del Toro as the new Moe, Carrey as the next Curly and Penn as our favorite nebbish, Larry.
But leave it to Hollywood to take the funniest threesome in Hollywood history and make a muck of it. This isn't really the 3 Stooges at all. See, it is a "new" one, set in modern day, where three guys sortta, kinda like the 3 Stooges find each other in an orphanage and start a comedy team bringing them fame and fortune.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith played a clip of himself talking to left-wing actor Sean Penn following the Oscars Sunday night: "In a night full of first-time winners, Sean Penn took home his second Oscar as best actor for his emotional performance as slain gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk in Milk. I caught up with him and other big winners at the Governor's Ball." During the interview, Smith admitted to Penn: "As I sat watching the film, seems to happen to me more rare these days, but I wept openly during several scenes in the film because it really is a film about a civil rights movement." On December 10, Smith interviewed Penn’s Milk co-star, James Franco, and called the film "a must-see."
Earlier in the broadcast, a clip was played of Penn describing his feeling’s about the Oscar win during a press conference after the award show: "That means a lot to myself and to everybody involved, not only in the movie, but to anybody who believes in equal rights for other human beings." However, no clip was played of Penn’s actual acceptance speech, in which he declared: "I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect, and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone."
The self-aggrandizing denizens of Hollywood constantly scold Americans over a lack of national healthcare. It is the biggest failure of American society ever that there is no cradle to the grave program for free health care, they constantly tell us. And now, in keeping with these nearly universal Hollywood "principles," to prove how Hollywood is far more moral than we lowly citizens of flyover country, and to show that they are better than the great unwashed in the backwaters of America... Hollywood is closing its nearly 90-year-old Motion Picture Fund hospital and accompanying long-term living facilities for aging actors.
Yep, dumping it. Walking away from the facilities for free healthcare for actors. Fuggedaboutit.
If you thought the last Batman movie, The Dark Knight, was dark and cynical, wait until you see Watchmen, arriving in theaters on March 6, 2009. Brooding Bruce Wayne will have nothing on a "hero" that rapes his sidekick, another one that has no interest in mankind at all, one that is a megalomaniac, one that is psychotic, and one that is overweight and sexually impotent all set against a backdrop of a United States that is many shades of despair and evil. It makes Batman, The Dark Knight, seem like a festival of sweetness and light. This is the Watchmen, soon to be released by Warner Brothers. If this new flick at all follows that anti-American, nihilism of the original comic books we are in for some dark stuff, indeed.
Why do contemporary artists all seem to think the end of the world is nigh? Why has art become a thing of ugliness, instead of light? With all the beautiful things we see every day, the delicacy of a flower, the turn of a woman's arm, the grace of a bird in flight, we are treated only to the bizarre and horrid by our artists. These days we see sculptures that look like molecular mistakes writ large. We live in architecture with the image of a jumble of blocks thrown to the ground in the midst of a temper tantrum by a gigantic, petulant child. We view paintings that appear more accidental than planned. We have movies full of violence and anti-social behavior. On the radio we hear music that celebrates all the worst in man. We even have comic books that belittle heroism, that deconstruct the good and exceptional turning their heroes as cartoonishly flawed as the most obscene head case on the Jerry Springer Show.
Brian Williams revealed Wednesday afternoon that in a question he didn't get to with President Obama the day before, he wanted to ask Obama if he is “ever tempted” to start over again with the stimulus bill “and give a stemwinder combination fireside chat/speech to the nation,” just as did Michael Douglas on "the crime bill” in The American President movie, “and just say, 'look, here's what we got to do. I went wrong. It got loaded up. Now we're going to do the real thing?'”
In that 1995 film (IMDb page), in which Douglas played Democratic President “Andrew Shepherd,” after compromising with Congress, he returns to his left-wing sensibilities and, in the climatic point of the movie cheered by liberal film-goers, walks to the press room where he delivers an impassioned lecture -- which earns affirmative nods from the journalists -- praising the ACLU, pushing for extreme action on global warming and promises, in the portion Williams admired, “to get the guns.” President Shepherd:
The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today it no longer exists. I’m throwing it. I’m throwing it out and writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security and I will go door-to-door if I have to but I’m going convince Americans that I’m right and I’m going to get the guns.
On Thursday's Late Show, actress Renee Zellweger recounted her “emotional” experience seeing Barack Obama's inauguration, but Obama isn't the only liberal politician she idolizes. Zellweger, who stars in a new movie that apparently ridicules small town America and Christians, told USA Today: “I have a crush on Jimmy Carter. I admit it. He has an extraordinary mind. He's an exceptional human being. And he writes poetry, for crying out loud. He's all good things.”
In a Friday “Life” section profile, “A low-key Renee Zellweger loves to hide in plain sight,” reporter Donna Freydkin relayed: “So wowed was Zellweger that she waited in the blistering Manhattan cold for 2 1/2 hours on Monday to have the 39th President sign her copy of his latest book, We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work.”
Humorously, three pages later, USA Today film reviewer Claudia Puig trashed Zellweger's movie which opened Friday, The New Town, as not only “the worst movie of this fledgling year,” but as “one of the worst movies of any year.” Puig condemned it: “Not content to be merely inane and predictable, it is downright insulting, humorlessly deriding those who choose to live in rural America, labor in factories or have a strong Christian faith.”