LA Times Slams '2016: Obama's America:' 'A Sluggish Film. Even Its Outrage Falls Flat'

August 27th, 2012 5:45 PM

Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey didn't like "2016: Obama's America," a movie that's surprised many with its box office appeal.  In a review on the Los Angeles Times's Web site titled "'2016: Obama's America' goes by the book,'" Sharkey is sharply critical, writing that the movie doesn't demystify President Barack Obama, but rather "does more to illuminate its filmmaker, Dinesh D'Souza, and his ego instead."  Moreover, "it's intent on laying out the arguments of a man who has given the same lecture countless times."

I have to wonder how seriously Sharkey approached the movie.  She misquotes a tag line, saying that it's "Love him, hate him, now you know him," when in fact it's "Love him, hate him, you don't know him."  She praises career leftist Michael Moore for his supposed objectivity:

But Moore's work and the genre itself come with an implicit understanding that whatever truths emerge, they were ultimately forged by the process, not set in stone beforehand.

She compares the new film unfavorably to Moore's work:

That "2016" was built on a book is one of its fundamental weaknesses, its course determined before the first frame was shot.

She ends her review by citing a particular scene, writing that it's "merely another piece of heavy-handed drama conjured up by the filmmakers — nothing more, nothing less."

Could Sharkey be a little bit prejudiced?  Consider what she posted three years ago, in a piece titled "Michael Moore film says capitalism must die."  Some excerpts:

As good a filmmaker as Moore is, he's not bad as a stand-up either.

The documentary is in its own way an activist love letter for a different time, one he feels passionately we should reclaim. . .

There are heartbreaking vignettes of foreclosed families.

And there is the trademark Moore confrontational fun: the filmmaker wrapping Citibank, Chase, et al. in yellow crime scene tape, trying to make a citizen's arrest of their boards of directors.

The film gets tougher and tougher as it goes along with his hometown priests, among others, denouncing capitalism as not just a failed economic system, but as an evil that must be eradicated.

After a standing, cheering ovation as the final credits rolled, more than half the audience stayed for the Q&A after.

Was he angry over the deification of President Regan? He was.

I must have missed when "President Regan" was in the White House.  Reviews are by nature subjective.  But couldn't the LA Times have found an analyst who's not an unabashed fan girl for Michael Moore to report on a conservative movie?