Posted by: consigliere5 | February 25, 2010

February 25 2010

Political Content from dvds released on February 23, 2010: The Informant!, Everybody’s Fine, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, The Box, The Damned United

1. The Informant! [Rated R for language]

summary from

The U.S. government decides to go after an agri-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president turned informant Mark Whitacre.

starring: Matt Damon, Melanie Lynskey, Scott Bakula, Clancy Brown, Smothers Brothers, and a whole mess of other comedians

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
1. Carl Kozlowski at Big Hollywood
2. John Boot at Pajamas Media
3. Debbie Schlussel
4. Kurt Loder
5. [Christian Movie Reviews]


the following are all referred to at one point or another:

kickbacks in cash/embezzlement/corporate-whistleblower/money laundering/tax evasion/eeeevil corporations/illegal campaign contributions/My Lai prosecution/wire fraud/environmental award/Nixon & Watergate/price fixing…

a quote from the movie:

“four white guys in suits in the middle of the day… that’s not a buisiness meeting, that’s a crime scene”


Only problem is that ADM and virtually all of its executives, not to mention their competitors, are knee-deep in a global “price-fixing” scheme, which (in case you didn’t know) is all sorts of illegal./The Informant! is a tale of ’90s-era corporate malfeasance

The leftist production company Participant Media was involved in bringing this movie to theaters… and if you’d like to join them in sticking it to The Man and striking a blow against the nasty corporations, you can go here… where you’ll be instructed on 5 things that you can do in the name of Social Justice!

from Pajamas Media:

The entire film is (digitally) photographed with an aggressive garishness meant to suggest, perhaps, overlit conference rooms or the anonymous grids of large corporate offices./These are things the filmmakers assume we despise, and simply by presenting corporation men’s lives in quotation marks, as it were, Soderbergh thinks he is fashioning a comedy to an audience of refined artistes and tastemakers who wouldn’t be caught dead working in a classic middle American company that is located (for extra snark value) almost in the middle of America. Two hours of smugness and superiority do not a movie make, though.

2. Everybody’s Fine [Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language.]

summary from

A widower who realized his only connection to his family was through his wife sets off on an impromptu road trip to reunite with each of his grown children.

starring: Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, Brendan Sexton III

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
1. Kyle Smith
2. Debbie Schlussel
3. MP3: download an mp3 of Michael Medved’s review
4. [Christian Movie Reviews]

Poli-Bits:  nothing political detected.

3. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant [Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense supernatural violence and action, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.]

summary from

A young boy named Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a Vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak and become a Vampire.

starring: John C. Reilly, Patrick Fugit, Ken Watanabe, Salma Hayek, Orlando Jones

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
1. Kyle Smith
2. Christian Toto
4. MP3: download an mp3 of Michael Medved’s review
5. [Christian Movie Reviews]


from Slant Magazine:

a weak bit of suburban conformist satire (Darren’s parents pound the importance of the “college, job, family” lifestyle progression into their son’s head)

dialogue from a teacher character to students:

and so the mutually assured destruction policy of the Cold War was just that: MAD

one character says:

thank you, ladies and gentlemen… I am so excited to be here in an anonymous small town which used to have character but is now just a bland suburb filled with chain stores and surrounded by slums

the teacher character is concerned with “the exploitation of these poor people” [the “freaks”]

4. The Box [Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images.]

summary from

Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world; someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

starring: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella, James Rebhorn, Holmes Osborne, Celia Weston,

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
1. John P. Hanlon at Big Hollywood
2. Kurt Loder
4. [Christian Movie Reviews]



Kelly pays close attention to period details, giving us just a glimpse, for example, of the famous ’70s “Crying Indian” anti-pollution PSA.

from director Richard Kelly:

Writing the movie was really a process of thinking logically about why would someone pull this off. And setting the story in Virginia helped to keep it close to all these government entities — the FBI, the CIA, NASA, the NSA. This button unit started feeling like something that might exist as part of a governmental behavioral experiment. It all started to make sense for me.”

from Joshua Starnes:

There is a great deal of religious mythology mixed into Kelly’s iteration: Norma is introduced lecturing to her students about Sartre’s existentialist vision of hell—a place where everyone truly knows you—and that ultimately is the world they fall down to because of the test of the button./But it’s mixed in quite skillfully with mind controlled civilians and secret NSA projects, and even some other age old sci-fi mainstays like testing by intelligences from beyond and technology so advanced it seems as magic.


What began as a simple morality tale about the corrupting power of greed becomes in Kelly’s hands a convoluted narrative free-for-all involving the NSA, the Viking 1 Mars landing, Arthur C. Clarke’s second law, and something called the “altruism coefficient.” Oh, and a prosthetic foot.

dialogue from a snippet of the sitcom “Alice” shown on the tv:

man: “Alice, honey… when are you and me gonna get together?

Alice: “When Barry Goldwater gets together with Jane Fonda”

5. The Damned United [Rated R for language.]

summary from

Taking over England’s top football club Leeds United, previously successful manager Brian Clough’s abrasive approach and his clear dislike of the players’ dirty style of play make it certain there is going to be friction. Glimpses of his earlier career help explain both his hostility to previous manager Don Revie and how much he is missing right-hand man Peter Taylor who has loyally stayed with Brighton & Hove Albion.

starring: Michael Sheen, Colm Meaney, Timothy Spall

Conservo-Libertarian Reviews:
1. by Kyle Smith
2. James Bowman at the American Spectator
3. [Christian Movie Reviews]

Poli-Bits:  nothing political detected.


Some viewers might be offended by Brian using the term “wandering Jew” as an analogy, or a player sheepishly using the same about himself (and trying not to be that) in regard to that earlier comment.

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

1. Johnny Depp to appear on ’48 Hours’ in defense of convicted killers the West Memphis Three

2. Christian Toto on how Scarface just won’t go away

3. old article from 2009:
10 Horror Movies For Conservatives To Watch This Halloween

4. Newsbusters quotes from the NY Times:

It may come as a shock, but the fanboys reveling in the eviscerations, explosions and Car Wash of Death scene contained in the director Breck Eisner’s new take on “The Crazies” will also be contributing to socially progressive cinema. Perhaps even to the public good. With any luck, they won’t notice.

click on the newsbusters link for the rest of the article…



  1. So you gave Cirque du Freak 4/10. Netflix just shipped it. Now I’m not looking forward to seeing it.

  2. awww, spooky, please don’t let my ratings influence you!

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