Monday, July 28, 2008

'Lost' at Comic-Con

The L.A. Times has run a transcript of a Q&A with 'Lost' creatives Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse at Comic-Con. Like the show, it raises about as many questions as it answers, but there are some answers that should interest fans more than a little.

The upshot of it all for me... The Lost shall be first again in my viewing priorities for the upcoming TV season.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

'Dark Knight' of the American soul

Believe the rumors, fellow right-wing travelers. Batman is one of us.

Just got back from The Dark Knight last night, a film as deep as it is spectacular. I won't use much space dissecting it since others have already put it better than I could. (Links below.)

Suffice it to say, I take comfort -- as should George Bush -- that the wild success of this movie is de facto vindication of his lonesome leadership since 9/11, offering a none-too-subtle salute to our vilified Commander in Chief and every war-weary trooper currently engaging the enemy abroad, choosing to "endure" in an unpopular war -- as Alfred, the film's moral standard bearer, urges -- for the greater good.

In other words, as movies like Gladiator and Braveheart have been taken into combat in remote deserts, reportedly screened on the hoods of Humvees from Fallujah to Kabul, Dark Knight is destined to join the fighting man's DVD collection.

Not that things play out as easy or (horrors!) jingoistic as that may sound. Mainly because conservatives aren't as simplistic as the mainstream media usually posits. The movie wrestles with the reality that there are no easy answers when confronted by those who ask no quarter and want nothing but to "watch the world burn." It asks hard questions... Is Batman's presence helping Gotham? Or merely provoking more violence and chaos? And does he have a choice, let alone the right, to stop fighting regardless?

The film's clear but imperfect answer is no.

In other words, sure it's an action film with a '24'-like take on terrorism, but there's a philosophical debate at its core more in line with the disturbing visionary brilliance of A Clockwork Orange. (Far better, and more watchable, because Knight offers answers with a heroic moral counterweight in figures like Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Alfred -- and us.)

I long ago gave up trying to decipher the politics of the people who make movies. Christopher Nolan could come out and declare his allegiance to Barack Obama tomorrow, and while I'd be disappointed, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. Liberal critics are certainly praising the movie as much as I am. But there's just no way to put a Leftist spin on the subtext here.

There's even a John Ford "print the legend" tone to the ending which is a definite throwback to classic Hollywood -- and something liberal Boomer filmmakers have declared anathema since they took over in the '70s.

The fact Knight is setting box office records, while liberal movies opining on terrorism have flopped by the dozen, must gall to no end those liberals who have picked up on the message.

But check out Dirty Harry's Place here for a better look at the politics of the film. And for a thoughtful take on the spiritual implications, don't miss Craig Detweiler here.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Political SAT question

This still sounds funny, but you've gotta love how the latest Will Ferrell project is pitched here, huh?
"The story involves a racist man who, after a prank gone awry, develops a split personality. This new persona is a bleeding-heart liberal."
So "tolerant" is to "bleeding-heart liberal" as "racist" is to...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What the--?

Was there anything we could have done to make your stay in Israel more enjoyable?

So apparently Israel has completely lost its mind? If I had the guts to turn on the comments around here, I'd seriously want to know.

Because a "prisoner exchange" in which one side gets two coffins and the other side gets five living bodies seems somehow...I don't know...not good.

If the article is accurate, a majority of Israelis even approved of the deal, which included releasing an unrepentant killer who once bashed in the head of a 4-year-old girl with a rifle butt.

On the other side, it was a frame-by-frame remake of Sept. 11, 2001:

"In the Gaza Strip, controlled by the violently anti-Israel Hamas group, the spectacle of the coffins drew people into the street in celebration, and sweets were passed around..."

With Hezbollah's Sheik Nasrallah and company laughing all the way to the (West) Bank.

"We are handing over the two Israeli soldiers that were captured by the resistance...and whose fate has been unknown until this moment," said senior Hezbollah security official Wafik Safa. "Now you know their fate."

Ba-dum-DUM! But seriously, folks...

"Hezbollah's commander in south Lebanon, Sheik Nabil Kaouk, called the swap an "official admission of defeat" for Israel. Red, white and green Lebanese flags, yellow Hezbollah flags and welcome banners hung in south Lebanese villages..."
Yep. Really pays to sit down and talk, doesn't it?

I wonder what kind of sweet deal President Obama will cut with the Taliban in exchange for our unconditional surrender in Afghanistan. Cash for skulls...? One free Marine for every two they promise not to kill on the way out...?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

'Outlander' trailer

Yeah, I know. And I don't care.

Given the fact this trailer refers to Barrie Osborne, producer of "The Lord of the Ring" (not 'Rings' somehow) I'm expecting the worst, but hoping for an overachiever guilty-pleasure of Tremors proportions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Independence Day in Baghdad

Gen. Petraeus with 1,215 members of the military at a re-enlistment ceremony in a former palace of Saddam Hussein on July 4, 2008.

That 1,215 figure? Twice the number of re-ups last year.

Video here. Prepare to get your red, white and blue on.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Great Scott!

'Office' fans rejoice! Steve Carell has signed on for another three seasons as World's Best Boss, Michael Scott. By my rough calculation, that gives us another three seasons of 'The Office,' too.

Ricky Gervais let slip the news thusly:
Steve Carell (now one of the most bankable film stars in the world) has just signed up for another three years with us. He is the hardest working man in Hollywood and the harder he works the better it is for me. I mean... well done Steve you are wonderful.
Why do we love this news you ask? Here's a big reason. (Aaaaand that's what she said.)