Category Archives: Movies

2016: Obama’s America is in town

This big anti-Obama movie, 2016: Obama’s America, is in the Chi area beginning tomorrow, 8/24. 

Oak Parkers and other west suburbanites and West Siders, it’s at Yorktown Mall

Rated PG (!) and starring Obama himself, it “completely surprised” one fan reviewer, who had “thought it would be an emotional exhortation to get out the vote against Obama” but instead was “a factual, unemotional documentary of Obama’s life and cultural influences.”

One might come away from feeling “somewhat empathetic to Obama’s goals and dreams,” even as it presents “objective truths of Obama’s anti-colonialist influences learned first hand from his father and mentors who were card-carrying communists, Weather Underground radicals, and the like.”

The trailer is here.

Roger Ebert gets a history lesson

He parades his ignorance, is not wholly opposed to persecution of (ah, special treatment for?) Catholics.

Doesn’t want to compromise his liberal credentials, apparently. HHS mandate? Problem there?

“The Artist” as wunnerful

The Catholic New World movie critic “left the theater dancing” after watching “The Artist.”  (I hope no one saw her.)  I did not (leave dancing), as I indicated already
 
She concedes that “the story is too light to ever be wrenching” (to engage one’s interest, I’d say).  It’s “accompanied by . . . a delightful, old-timey, bouncy, Depression- era, “silver lining,” “sunny side of the street,” orchestral sound track.”  (Music was good, yes.)  “Its tender moments are truly [tender].”  (Treacly?) 
 
But I disagree with her in this:
“The Artist” focuses on visual storytelling, which is precisely what film is supposed to be. Anyone who has gone to film school will appreciate the forceful message here, summed up by the last word of the film: “Action!”
 
If visual storytelling is the essence of film, why do so many movies use talk?  She explains:
 
Filmmaking true to its pedigree tells the story visually. Lazy filmmaking tells the story through words and plenty of voice-over. “The Artist” must tell the story visually, you see, because it’s a silent film.
 
Yes, I see.  I still find it mannered, precious, even exhibitionist.  It’s an adorable film for people who went to film school and other buffs, but its silence, like charity and sin, covers a multitude of faults.

“The Artist” as tedious

Just saw “The Artist” and cannot recommend it.  Moved very slowly, by which I mean interest (mine) was not held.  It did get me to stay to the end out of curiosity: would the hero do this or won’t he?  etc.

He didn’t speak a word, as you know: it’s a mostly silent film, except for the music, which is fine.  I’d call it a musical with pantomime and a caption here and there to keep you up on things.  Which is a silent film, is it not?

I went very much of my own accord and out of my way — to a cinema on a Saturday afternoon — so did not go seeking to nitpick.  But it’s a moviemaker’s movie.  Buffs will glory in it, I suppose, not least because it’s about movie history, the switch to talkies and the inability of silent stars to make the switch. 

Not quite in this case: the hero doesn’t want to switch.  We never discover if he could talk.  But he has something else going for him, which I won’t tell.

The female lead is a love.  No problem watching her on the silent screen.  Nor do I want to condemn the overall effort.  The problem is not the silence but the story line and how long (and melodramatically) it took to unwind.

Go see it if you want, I can’t remember when anyone went or not to see a movie on my say-so.

Later: More I think about it, the medium is also to blame in itself.  You take talking away from your characters, and what happens to your story?  They are reduced to pantomime, as above.  No wonder the early silents dealt in such obvious images as the lady strapped to the tracks as the train approached and the mustache-twirling villain congratulated himself.

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