Posted by: consigliere5 | February 23, 2010

February 23 2010

Political Content from dvds released on February 16, 2010: Law Abiding Citizen, Coco Before Chanel, Good Hair, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Black Dynamite, From Mexico With Love, Women in Trouble, Splinterheads, Remarkable Power

1. LAW ABIDING CITIZEN [Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language]

summary from imdb.com:

The plot focuses on a man who, ten years after his wife and daughter are brutally murdered, returns to extract justice from the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against their killers. His vengeance threatens not only the man who allowed mercy to supersede justice, but also the system and the city that made it so.

starring: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Bruce McGill, Colm Meaney, Leslie Bibb, Gregory Itzin

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
from Kyle Smith
David C. Stolinsky, MD
from parcbench.com
from movieguide.org

Poli-Bits:

from Debbie Schlussel:

SPOILER WARNING:

“Butler’s true identity–an evil Defense Department mastermind our government “created” (only in leftist Hollywood)–and how he perpetrates the murders is simply preposterous.”

from regrettablesincerity.com:

“The movie is all plot mechanics and inadvertent right-wing political messages (you may get the urge to look for Dick Cheney’s name in the credits, but somehow, he’s not there), where an eye-for-an-eye is not only considered, but encouraged.”

from movieguide.org:

“LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is a provocative examination of crime and punishment, justice, and righting wrongs. The lesson imparted by the movie is, Don’t make deals with murderers. Nick is only able to stop Clyde’s murderous revenge when he absorbs that lesson. Ultimately, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has a strong moral worldview that shines a light on the U.S. justice system. As such, it examines the conflict between expediency and the meaning of true justice.”

from big leftist reviewer FlickFilosopher.com:

It’s all about the brokenness of our criminal justice system, this Law Abiding Citizen flick, which anyone can see is broken to the point at which you want to despair that it will never, can never be fixed. It opens with that kaboom of a bang, a home invasion in which a mother and her daughter are brutally murdered/Gray cuts quickly from the execution to the cello recital of Rice’s ten-year-old daughter, and it was only later that I realized he was saying: “This [the execution] is what we have to do to keep this [our children] safe./It’s easy to feel Shelton’s rage at a system that cannot guarantee maximum punishment for those who do wrong… and part of that is down to Butler, who manages to compel our sympathy even after Shelton has clearly gone down the road of the psychopath. It’s easy to feel Rice’s frustration at a system that sometimes has to let the guilty go free because it is designed foremost to protect the innocent… and part of that is down to Foxx, whose power as a screen presence more than transcends how underwritten his role is. And it’s easy to forgive the movie-standard preposterousness the plot must go through in order for Shelton to carry out his plan to make those pay who make others suffer, and to teach a lesson to those who would set wrongdoers free, however unwillingly./What isn’t forgivable, however, is Citizen’s apparent unwillingness to either go the full distance or to see the upshot of what it advocates. Near the end of the film, Shelton informs Rice that his campaign of terror against the city/is “gonna bring it all down,” this corrupt system, and that “it’s gonna be biblical.” I had already given up, at this point, but suddenly I had new hope. Where are the movies that have any ideas about how to really fix things? Doesn’t anyone have even a radical notion of what it would take? For a moment, I hoped that we were in for a Fight Club-esque finale, something that could be a real gamechanger. Instead, however, we have Rice, who has been a stickler for the rules — and with good reason — all along, saying, “F### his [Shelton’s] civil rights.”/Part of me would like to take Rice’s sudden sympathy with Shelton — a psychopathic terrorist — as something of a warning against letting oneself get manipulated into doing things totally contrary to one’s beliefs. (You know, kinda how Osama Bin Laden could claim a victory when the U.S. reduced its own freedoms after 9/11.) But that’d be a stretch, because that “F### his civil rights” line is meant to get a big ol’ cheer out of the audience: it is Rice’s moment of triumph, and the movie’s, the moment in which “good” supposedly will finally give “evil” the smackdown it’s asking for.”

2. COCO BEFORE CHANEL [Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking]

summary from imdb.com:

The story of Coco Chanel’s rise from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world.

starring: Audrey Tautou and Alessandro Nivola

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
from Kyle Smith
from movieguide.org

Poli-Bits:

from MovieMail:

Vowing never to marry and insistent upon her right to work, Tautou’s defiant, acid-tongued Coco is a sprightly emblem of a key turning point in the history of women’s rights, her fiercely modernist principles prefiguring the political upheaval that would eventually coincide with the birth of her towering career.

3. GOOD HAIR [Rated PG-13 for some language including sex and drug references, and brief partial nudity.]

summary from imdb.com:

Chris Rock explores the wonders of African-American hairstyles.

a documentary by Chris Rock featuring interviews with Maya Angelou, Al Sharpton, Ice-T, Raven-Symone, Salt ‘N Pepa, Nia Long, Meagan Good, Kerry Washington

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
from Debbie Schlussel:
from movieguide.org:

Poli-Bits:

from Debbie Schlussel:

“But then it devolves into an Al Sharpton diatribe on how Asian-Americans and White people are racist because they dominate and own the majority of the Black haircare industry. And, I guess, it’s wrong that Indians make a lot of money off of selling Blacks hair extensions because, hey, it’s just a formality to Sharpton that most of that hair comes from India, as the movie shows in detail./I must admit that Rock–of whom I’m no fan after he urged the wilding beating of Congressmen for impeaching Bill Clinton–is a better documentary maker than Michael Moore, for instance. But not by much. He’s definitely more honest than Moore.”

from movieguide.org:

“One contestant in the beauty styling contest is overtly Christian, praying in Jesus’ name frequently and directing his team to fast and pray before the competition. At times, this is presented as serious, and at other times, these statements seem to be treated comically.”

from FilmJerk.com:

“The largest bone of contention is relaxer, a chemical spread that strips hair of its protein, thus straightening it for more traditional (or Caucasian) styling purposes. Rock can’t believe men and women allow this material in their hair, visiting a processing plant and interviewing a chemist to showcase how dangerous relaxer can be to a virginal scalp. Seeing the trend of relaxing trickling down to toddlers, “Good Hair” makes a few salient points on the nature of processed beauty and how it’s manipulated African-American culture for decades./The second major target of picture is hair extensions, which a majority of the interviewees (including Nia Long, Raven-Symone, and Salt-N-Pepa) proudly discuss, proclaiming their weave dependence, which Rock likens to crack. While played for guffaws, “Good Hair” hits a particularly sobering moment when Rock travels to India, looking for the source of the weave donations. What he finds is a religious ceremony where locals profit from the sacrifice of young women, who give their locks to God, only to have the hair collected and resold in America.”

from Reeling Reviews:

“and the Reverend Al Sharpton relates how when James Brown was invited to the Reagan White House to discuss making MLK’s birthday a national holiday, he insisted Sharpton style his hair like Brown’s.”

from Slant magazine:

“That many of these hairstyles derive from standards of beauty laid down by white tastemakers is a question that hangs over Good Hair. And while it’s not explored in the depth it could have been, it’s certainly not ignored. Rock states early on that his impetus to make the film came after one of his daughters claimed that her friend had “good hair” and she did not. Perhaps the film’s most poignant scene comes when Rock conducts a group interview with four black female high schoolers. Three of them have incorporated weaves, relaxers, and other products into their natural hair, while one wears hers in a modest afro. Their discussion of the perceptions of black hair and its connection to social acceptance becomes all the more affecting for the way director Jeff Stilson and editors Paul Marchand and Greg Nash continually cut back to the girl with the untreated hair, underlining the anxieties and subtle politics surrounding such a seemingly innocuous choice.”

from Salon.com:

“It’s both social commentary and pure delight./Historically in black culture, the idea of black hair being “bad” hair isn’t even an unspoken one: Hair that’s smoother, shinier and silkier — in other words, more like white hair — is often the goal. It can take dangerous, potentially blinding chemicals, expensive extensions and time-consuming, inconvenient maintenance to straighten out the kinks, and, as Rock discovers, some parents start their offspring out on not-so-gentle “Kiddee Perms” when they’re barely toddlers./He explains that the black hair-care products industry is dominated by white people and Asians — they’re making an awful lot of money off black people’s anxiety over their hair. (He also travels to India, to trace the source of most of the human hair that’s used for extensions in this country./But Rock also points out that beauty and barber shops are viable sources of income for black businesspeople, as well as gathering places for gossip and conversation. And Sharpton reminds us that hair straightening itself is simply a part of black culture. If it’s true, as one interviewee suggests, that white people feel less threatened by relaxed black hair, there’s also the concurrent truth that everyone, regardless of color, likes to feel good about his or her hair.”

from USA Today:

“Rock travels to India and finds that much of the coveted “good hair” sold in the USA comes from the heads of devout Hindu women. They shave their heads in a religious ceremony and an opportunistic businessman scoops it up and exports it for sale at high prices. It’s an unsettling discovery: unscrupulous businesspeople profiting from the religious fervor of the poor./Actress Tracie Thoms describes her natural hairstyle as being almost transgressive. Sharpton notes how the companies serving an African-American population should be black-owned, but few are.”

4. Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever [Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, disturbing gross content, sexuality/nudity and pervasive language.]

summary from imdb.com:

A high school prom faces a deadly threat: a flesh-eating virus that spreads via a popular brand of bottled water.

non-conservative reviews

Poli-Bits: detected nothing political

yuck, yuck, yuck… grossest movie i’ve seen in a long time…

And then there’s the miscarriage scene… I’ll say no more. In short, Cabin Fever 2 will not only make you lose your lunch, you’ll never want to eat lunch again

5. Black Dynamite [Rated R for sexuality/nudity, language, some violence and drug content.]

summary from imdb.com:

This is the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite. The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight The Man all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House

starring: Michael Jai White, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Mykelti Williamson

Conservo-Libertarian reviews:
from Kurt Loder:
Sonny Bunch
from movieguide.org:

Poli-Bits:

from movieguide.org:

paramilitary group wants to overthrow America/conspiracy from the White House to distribute a certain tainted Malt Liquor into the ghetto that will shrink male genitalia/Black Dynamite ends up fighting the mastermind of this conspiracy, President Richard Nixon, in a Kung Fu numchuk battle in the Oval Office. Helping Black Dynamite is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln./There is also much sex and nudity, including multiple close ups of male genitalia.

from poptimal.com:

he kicks and punches just about every person in the film male or female, including First Lady Pat Nixon/Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Eureka) plays the super hot main love interest, Gloria. Often a frenetic character – first a black panther leader, then orphanage house mother

quote from Black Dynamite, himself:

I remember Vietnam/like it was yesterday/I remember that village we had cut down,/It was a massacre/All the dead Chinamen we left in our tracks/I remember their faces/The children/This one child I’ll never forget…

6. From Mexico With Love [Rated PG-13 for sports violence, language, brief sensuality and drug references]

summary from imdb.com:

HECTOR VILLA, physically tough, but emotionally self-destructive, is one of the millions of illegal migrant workers vying for a new life in the U.S., and will do everything he can to rise above picking fruit in the dirt. Hector dreams of being a boxer, like his father before him, but finds he has to fight just to survive the grim reality of living on a Texas Ranch. During the day Hector works long hours under the scorching sun. But at night, he trades his work gloves for boxing gloves, fighting in the surrounding bars and converted barns, where a five dollar entrance fee and a few rounds in a makeshift ring can score the winner more than a days pay in the sweltering fields.

starring: Kuno Becker, Danay Garcia, Steven Bauer, Bruce McGill, Stephen Lang

non-conservative reviews

Poli-Bits:

from Slackerwood:

“attempts to meld a crowd-pleasing sports story with serious commentary about the plight of migrant farm workers living on the U.S.-Mexico border. (Think Rocky meets Lone Star.) Unfortunately, the film delivers its political messages with jackhammer subtlety, and any sincere attempt at social relevance is no match for a thoroughly clichéd plot and dialogue apparently lifted from the lesser works of Dolph Lundgren./The film’s protagonist, Hector (Kuno Becker), is an impoverished Laredo farm worker who supplements his meager income by boxing in unsanctioned and unruly low-rent prizefights. Hector’s world includes the expected characters: cynical immigrant smuggler Tito (Steven Bauer)/his ailing mother, who labors alongside him in the fields despite her persistent coughing and wheezing. When the callous farm boss (apparently, there are no noncallous farm bosses, at least in movies about migrant workers) cuts mom’s pay because she can’t pick the required daily amount of vegetables/Hector vows to avenge his mother’s mistreatment and, we assume, the mistreatment of migrant workers everywhere./grudge match against the evil (and white) farm owner’s evil (and equally white) son”

from Variety magazine:

“But as so often happens in pics such as this, most scenes are swiped from the nominal leads by character actors flexing their muscles in thinly written roles./In this case, the petty larceny is performed by Bruce McGill as a grumpy old trainer who once tried to turn Hector’s father into a champ; Steven Bauer as a smooth-talking wheeler-dealer who helps Mexican workers slip across the border and into farm jobs; and Stephen Lang, looking as lean and mean as a guest-star bad guy in a ’50s TV Western, as the hardass farm owner who divides his time between exploiting his migrant workers and overseeing his son Robert’s boxing career.”

from Just Press Play:

“but, unfortunately, Robert’s cruel, racist father ‘Big Al’ Stevens (Stephen Lang) owns everything in town, including the venue where the legal boxing matches take place, and he doesn’t allow immigrants to participate. Even when Hector gets a chance to be Robert’s sparring partner; Big Al puts the Kibosh on it./The final straw comes when Big Al’s foreman cuts the pay of Hector’s sick mother because she isn’t able to carry her weight out in the fields anymore. In a fit of anger, Hector gets into a brawl with Big Al’s hired hands. His punishment goes beyond merely being fired. He is dragged away and dumped in the desert, over the border in Mexico./Robert wants to lash out and boxing gives him the opportunity to pummel something. But symbolically, he is striking out for all the unfairly treated immigrants and beating the world into submission. The film makes us care about Hector and the other migrants.”

from the official website plot synopsis:

“While there, Hector tracks down a veteran boxing trainer (McGill) who takes him under his wing and helps him prepare for the ultimate David-and-Goliath faceoff—a fight against Robert. After some tough negotiating by Tito, the ranch owner agrees to the match. The bout becomes a dramatic showdown between the racist ranchers and the masses of downtrodden farm workers, who see a victory in the ring as a chance to reclaim some of the dignity they’ve lost in the fields. Their hopes rest in the calloused hands of a young hero with something to prove.”

7. Women in Trouble [Rated R for sexual content including strong dialogue, and for language]

summary from imdb.com:

A serpentine day in the life of ten seemingly disparate women: a porn star, a flight attendant, a psychiatrist, a masseuse, a bartender, a pair of call girls, etc. All of them with one crucial thing in common. Trouble.

starring: Carla Gugino, Adrianne Palicki, Connie Britton, Marley Shelton, Simon Baker, Josh Brolin, Emmanuelle Chriqui

Conservo-Libertarian reviews:
from Kyle Smith

Poli-Bits:

from Slant Magazine:

“This proves particularly problematic given the male-fantasy archetypes that populate the film’s day-in-the-life narrative scheme: a pregnant porn star (Carla Gugino); a pair of call girls (Adrianne Palicki and Emmanuelle Chriqui) hiding out after witnessing a mob murder; a flight attendant who has an ill-advised bathroom quickie with an aging drummer (Josh Brolin)./The film opens with Gugino’s Elektra Luxx filming a scene in full nun garb, and when she needs to coax a prison guard into letting her and her comely female companion out of the prison cell, she quickly strips away the habit to reveal an ornate lingerie getup underneath. (Women play conflicting gender roles? Get out!)/Schematic conversations about the Virgin Mary’s sexual history and other such “quirky” topics consistently grind the film to a halt”

yuck:

from nycmovieguru.com:

“and can tolerate a blend of lowbrow and highbrow comedy, you’ll probably find yourself cringing rather than laughing, such as when Holly Rocket describes an unholy relationship she had with her little dog when she was a teenager.”

from LA Independent:

“There are countless sexual references and topics of discussion presented, including a scene in which one character reminiscences about her experiences with bestiality. Is this what Gutierrez thinks women talk about in their day-to-day lives?”

me:

girl mentions that she’s had 3 abortions and refers to her family members as “drunks and religious psychopaths”

8. Splinterheads [Rated R for language including sexual references, and brief drug use.]

summary from imdb.com:

Splinterheads tells the story of Justin Frost, a slacker whose life is turned upside down when a traveling carnival rolls in to town for the summer, bringing with it an outrageous crew of carnival workers, who call themselves ‘splinterheads’ and earn a living by hustling an endless stream of townies out of their hard-earned cash. When Justin begins to fall for one of them, a striking, street-smart con-artist named Galaxy, he finds that there are a few people in his life complicating his pursuit of his dream girl: a love-sick police sergeant who happens to be his mom’s ex-boyfriend, his 116-year-old grandfather who is the newly minted “World’s Oldest Living Man,” his best friend and current employer Wayne Chung, and Galaxy’s insanely jealous, belligerent carnie boyfriend Reggie.

starring: Thomas Middleditch, Rachael Taylor, Christopher McDonald, Lea Thompson

non-conservative reviews

Poli-Bits: detected nothing political

9. Remarkable Power [Rated R for language, sexuality, violence and drug use.]

summary from imdb.com:

A late night talk show host masterminds an elaborate scheme to save his canceled show and avenge his wife’s affair, entangling an eclectic collection of tinsel towners in the process.

starring: Kevin Nealon, Tom Arnold, Nora Zehetner, Kip Pardue, Christopher Titus, Dule Hill, Jack Plotnick

non-conservative reviews

Poli-Bits: detected nothing political


Today’s Batch of Miscellaneous Extraneousness from Across the Web:

1. Christian Toto talks with Breck Eisner, director of this week’s upcoming zombie movie The Crazies.

2. “Mother Nature as the Monster” by Christian Toto

3. a movie for Michael-Moore-haters in L.A. to support

4. Bruce Willis Says M. Night Shyamalan ‘Still Thinking’ About ‘Unbreakable 2’

5. Born-Again Christian Gavin “Love Boat” Mcleod Stars in New Faith-Based Film [The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry]

6. Garner Towne Square Movie: ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’

“…Best buddies Dustin (Jansen Panettiere), Albert (Frankie Ryan Manriquez) and Mark (Allen Isaacson) are 12-year-old boys looking for fun in the summer of 1970. What they find is trouble, and its name is Nick, the town bully. The boys need help, and they find it in the form of Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod), a 75-year-old man Dustin has seen at his church. Dustin starts to mow Sperry’s lawn, and a unique friendship develops. What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget.

Jansen Panettiere is the younger brother of Hayden Panettiere, star of “Heroes.” Robert Guillaume also costars.

Actor and Christian evangelist Kirk Cameron, known for his role on “Growing Pains,” said he was inspired by having seen the movie.

“‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’ moved me with its message of eternity and how one faithful man can make a difference in the lives of many,” Cameron said. “I recommend this inspiring movie for any family to watch together.”

MacLeod, made famous by his roles in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Love Boat,” is a devout Christian and said it was a privilege to play this role.

“I have been acting for over 60 years. I made my first movie in the mid-1950s and have worked with some of the biggest stars in show business,” MacLeod said. “Playing the role of Jonathan Sperry is the most meaningful project I have ever done.”…”

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