THE MOVIES: Fall Movies - The fall film season is upon us, the time that many moviegoers eagerly anticipate, when the studios release many of their best films, films they think may be contenders come Oscar time. With Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan as our guide, we look at some of the new films coming soon to a multiplex near you. Image Credit: Saatchi & Saatchi
CBS’s Fall Movie Preview Slants Largely Left
We, at MAXINE, were watching CBS Sunday Morning at about 7:37 AM PT and a review of the new fall films was put together and played with what seemed to be an obvious perspective slant.
We do know it is not just us, people have complained over, and over again that when Hollywood produces a film about military conflicts and/or current political situations, only one side of complex issues is portrayed. That one side, or point of view, is almost always from the political American Left/Progressive/Socialist/Group Rights to the rejection of traditionally American Right/Conservative/Self-Reliant/Individual Rights based perspective.
Therein lays our observation, and it has to do with the knowledge of one film that was blatantly omitted from the presentation.
"American Carol" is being advertised as unabashedly based in making fun of the political Left in our country through a tale told about a mythical situation that centers around Michael Moore.
Moore, who we are familiar with from movies titled Bowling For Columbine, Fahrenheit 911, SICKO, is a filmmaker who uses a documentarian style to illustrate a point of view he holds about any subject he chooses to highlight. The biggest problem with Michael Moore’s style of filmmaking is that it really isn’t either a documentary, or an issue exploring political tome themed film … it bases itself somewhere in the middle, ending up in the end with just his point of view … which is politically American Left/Progressive/Socialist/Group Rights.
"American Carol" punches large holes of situation-comedy into circumstances the film character of Michael Moore finds himself involved in … through parody from the politically American Right/Conservative/Self-Reliant/Individual Rights based perspective.
CBS Sunday Morning, in it’s presentation, highlighted three of the fall season’s politically themed movies and showed clips of the films, all of which were from an overtly critical viewpoint that stands clearly on the Left. Oliver Stone’s “W.” about a pre-presidential George Bush, "Frost/Nixon" which gives a focus on the interviews that British interviewer, David Frost did with the disgraced President Nixon after he resigned President, and Sean Penn in “Milk” showing Harvey Milk’s life and struggle as a gay rights activist before he was assassinated by one of his fellow city councilmen.
Out of the 23 films previewed (however briefly), why wasn't there room for a movie from a different point of view than these three obviously are?
How about removing any of these other culturally questionable movies while they are at it … and make room for a political comedy from the other side?
Kenneth Turan - The red carpet may be rolled up and every starlet in town may be wearily kicking off her Manolos, but the premiere isn’t really over until Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan serves judgment with breakfast. Even the most mindless summer blockbuster is treated to an inspired, intellectually discerning review by Turan, also a regular commentator for NPR’s “Morning Edition.” … well, duhhhhhh! Image Credit: MovieMaker
This Excerpted and edited from CBS –
The Fall Movies Are Coming
And ... Action! Critic Kenneth Turan Previews Hollywood's Oscar Bait And Box Office Hopefuls
CBS - Sept. 14, 2008
The new movie season has arrived. We'll be bringing you a variety of coming attractions in weeks ahead. To begin, Jerry Bowen with a look at fall movies...
Big names … epic sagas … even a tall tale or two. If you really love the movies, then this is your time of year.
The very best time of year, says Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan:
"You have to be optimistic in the fall," Turan said. "The fall is the season when the studios put all their quality eggs into that basket. So, if you're not optimistic in the fall, you're gonna have a terrible time the rest of the year!"
If its spy craft you crave, there's "Body of Lies," with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe from director Ridley Scott.
"He's really turned into one of the great craftsmen, I think, of modern movies," Turan said. "He always does something interesting."
"Titanic" stars DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite in "Revolutionary Road," suffering together in suburbia.
And what of this pair? Oscar-winners Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are nun and priest in the film "Doubt" about accusations of clergy sexual abuse.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing how they interact with each other," Turan said. "These are two of our best actors, with really strong material. It could really ignite."
In a year when the longest-running and most riveting political drama has been the still-evolving presidential campaign, it seems appropriate to have a choice of political dramas at the box office, a trio of films to remind us that truth … or what passes for truth … is always stranger than fiction.
Director Oliver Stone bids farewell to President Bush with "W," Stone's version of how the 43rd president made it into office. Josh Brolin stars.
"You know, this could be anything," Turan said. "It certainly won't be boring. That's the one thing you'll say: 'I don't think it's gonna bore anybody.'"
"Frost/Nixon" is based on the real televised interviews David Frost conducted with the disgraced ex-president.
And Sean Penn stars in "Milk," the story of gay politician Harvey Milk who was murdered by a fellow San Francisco supervisor, a performance with Oscar buzz.
"The strength of the film is gonna be in the performances, and especially Sean Penn's," said Turan. "And whenever he gets really into a part, you want to watch."
World War II is back in a big way. Daniel Craig leads the Jewish underground against German troops in "Defiance."
"Miracle at St. Anna" is director Spike Lee's story of African American soldiers caught behind the lines in Italy.
And in the epic "Australia," Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman fall in love as war with the Japanese looms.
In an odd way, says critic Turan, Americans find comfort in WWII movies:
"We are in such a quandary now about our place in the world. And I think we have a real nostalgia for the days when it was crystal-clear who the good guys were, the bad guys were, what we should be doing. And also, when we clearly won."
So if it's movies you like … this is your time of year.
Turan observes that in an odd way we all find comfort from WWII movies – then he goes on to impugn the history we have all lived through here in the War On Terror.
Hey Kenneth (from the LA Times), haven’t you noticed that our country has not had a follow-on attack to the Islamic Terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? That the surge of troops in Iraq has worked to turn the security quotient of this brand new democratic country (three nationwide votes with over 70% participation of 25 million citizens) which includes the recent turnover of one of the formally most violent provinces back to security Iraqi authorities?
What!? There is nothing to dramatize here that would allow Americans to take comfort and know that we do know our place in the world?
If it is largely slanted reporting you want … this (CBS) is only one of about six network channel offerings out of seven available on broadcast and cable/satellite to ones television set.
Thanks for the constant reminder, CBS and Kenneth Turan, to all of us here at MAXINE.