Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

VIDEO – DINESH D’SOUZA’S SPEECH AT CPAC AND PREVIEW OF HIS NEW FILM, ‘AMERICA’

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

VIDEO – DINESH D’SOUZA’S  SPEECH AT CPAC AND PREVIEW OF HIS NEW FILM, ‘AMERICA’

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MOVIE REVIEW – ARGO (Escape From Tehran)

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

Published on The Weekly Standard (www.theweeklystandard.com)

Escape from Tehran

A good movie might have been great without the polemics.

John Podhoretz

October 29, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 07

The new Ben Affleck film—an efficiently told piece about a crazily brilliant CIA operation to get six Americans out of Iran during the hostage crisis more than three decades ago—could almost have been a docudrama made for network television in the early 1980s, except that the rescue mission it depicts was classified and remained a secret until 1997. Which is to say, Argo is kind of a little movie that could easily fit on an old 19-inch color television. And in a different age, it might have worked better on television. But there’s something wonderful about the fact that it’s right up there on the big screen at a time when an adult looking for something to hold his attention at the movie theater is almost certain to come away disappointed.

Not this time.

The movie Argo most closely resembles is Raid on Entebbe, the understated behind-the-scenes story of the daring Israeli rescue of the airline passengers who were hijacked and taken to Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1976. Raid on Entebbe aired on NBC in 1977, and it remains the best fact-based television film ever made. Its verisimilitude and painstaking eye for detail contribute to the overwhelming force of Raid on Entebbe’s final half-hour: You know as you’re watching it that the mission was a success, but your heart is lodged in your throat and the passengers’ final escape results in a shocking flood of grateful tears.

Much the same thing happens when you watch Argo, which tells a true story even more unlikely than the one in Raid on Entebbe. When, in November 1979, six of the employees from the American embassy in Tehran manage to escape as it is being overrun by the radicals who would take 52 remaining Americans hostage for 444 days, they find refuge at the residence of Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor. They have to be extracted before the Iranians figure it out, and the task falls to Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a clandestine CIA officer who specializes in “exfils” (short for “exfiltration”). (more…)

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THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION ACCORDING TO BEN AFFLECK

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

Published on The Weekly Standard (www.theweeklystandard.com)

Letting the Rabble Off Easy

The Iranian Revolution, according to Ben Affleck.

Kelly Jane Torrance

October 29, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 07

Hollywood loves to think of itself as socially significant. But given how long it can take to finance a film—let alone make one—it’s exceedingly rare for its products to be attuned to the zeitgeist. So it’s fortuitous for the makers of the new movie Argo that its depiction of rioters storming a U.S. embassy might be mistaken for footage from the evening news. At the same time, current events make the movie’s implication that the Americans were kind of asking for it all the more unsettling.

Argo is set during the 1979 Iranian Revolution that deposed the shah and installed the theocracy that rules Iran to this day. The film’s early scenes would be frightening even if they weren’t so disturbingly familiar. A mob shouting anti-American slurs grows in size, sound, and rage. The Americans trapped inside their embassy watch in horror as the crowd finally breaches the entrance and rushes the compound.

The movie (reviewed by John Podhoretz on page 38 of this issue) opened October 12, a month after four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered in a violent attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya—and just days after President Obama admitted the assault was a premeditated terrorist strike. I spoke with director and star Ben Affleck about the film twice, first at a press conference in Beverly Hills, then with a few other journalists in Washington, D.C. At both events, the 40-year-old filmmaker emphasized that he didn’t set out to make a political statement. “It was always important to us that the movie not be politicized. We went to great pains to try to make it very factual and fact-based, .  .  . knowing that it was coming up before an election in the United States, when a lot of things get politicized,” he said. “We couldn’t obviously forecast how terrible things would become now.” (more…)

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MOVIE REVIEW – THE HUNGER GAMES

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Agenda 21 anyone? Take a look at this insightful review of the movie HUNGER GAMES. I’m sure you will agree that the movie portends a possible glimpse of our future–if we let it.

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VIDEO – ACT OF VALOR – MUST SEE NEW MOVIE

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

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MOVIE REVIEW: CONTAGION

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

‘Contagion’ all too real

Film exposes true biodefense vulnerabilities that need solutions

By Tevi Troy      Tevi Troy, a former deputy secretary of health and human services, is a fellow at the Hudson Institute and at the Homeland Security Policy Institute.

The Washington Times

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jude Law's character, Alan Krumwiede, wanders through an abandoned street as a horrific disease ravages the world in "Contagion." (Warner Bros. Pictures)Jude Law’s character, Alan Krumwiede, wanders through an abandoned street as a horrific disease ravages the world in “Contagion.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

“Contagion” was the No. 1 box-office movie on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 – and with good reason. The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick called the Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller about a killer virus “easily the scariest of the disaster films” since Sept. 11, and the film keeps viewers squirming and in suspense until the revealing and harrowing final shot.

One of the reasons the movie is so frightening is that it is so realistic, and verisimilitude clearly is something the filmmakers were striving to attain. The film thanks the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense for their assistance, suggesting that those entities did not have significant disagreements with the way the film portrayed the government’s earnest but not always effective response to the film’s fictional MEV virus. Nor should they. For the most part, the film shows U.S. officials to be smart, hardworking, dedicated and self-sacrificing, and the government plays a key role in the creation of an anti-MEV vaccine that helps humanity fight back against the deadly viral threat.

Based on my experience with U.S. biopreparedness efforts, the U.S. government’s role is depicted fairly accurately in the film. At the same time, even though the government comes off pretty well in “Contagion,” the scariest part of the film is the vulnerabilities the film highlights in our current system. Despite spending $60 billion in biodefense efforts since the 2001 anthrax attacks, we still are not fully prepared for a full-on bioevent, whether it be made by man or by nature. The film identifies at least four biopreparedness weaknesses, all of which could be addressed by smart government planning: (more…)

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VIDEO – A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE NEW MOVIE – ATLAS SHRUGGED

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

A FASCINATING MOVIE – FIND WHERE IT IS PLAYING IN YOUR AREA

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MOVIE REVIEW – THE KING’S SPEECH

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE www.nationalreview.com

The King’s Speech: A Deserving Golden Globe Winner

By Gina R. Dalfonzo

Posted on January 17, 2011 3:36 PM

I found myself in an animated conversation about The King’s Speech with the heavily tattooed twentysomething who rang up my purchase at Borders. “That was a great movie!” he said enthusiastically when he saw the title of the soundtrack I was buying.

I told my parents about this, remarking that if the movie had reached even this unlikely audience member, it was bound to be a smash hit. “So what’s the appeal?” my dad wanted to know.

I had to think about it. Most of us are used to seeing people flock to movies about things that smash and crash and blow up. True, there’s always been an audience for British period dramas, but that doesn’t explain the kind of audience numbers that The King’s Speech is getting. Fueled by hugely positive word of mouth, the film – which was playing in only 700 theaters over New Year’s weekend, when I saw it — averaged a whopping $10,927 per screen. By that measurement, it blew away every other film in the top ten (Little Fockers, in the #1 slot, averaged $7,400 per screen). Since then it’s been steadily climbing the charts, shooting up to #4 this weekend after expanding to wide release.

But why? Trying to tell my parents about the movie, I couldn’t come up with a description that seemed adequate. The story of a king’s struggle against a speech impediment — it doesn’t sound like a major crowd-pleaser. But the truth is, the film is about much more than that. (more…)

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TEACHERS’ UNIONS RESPOND TO ‘WAITING FOR SUPERMAN’

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
  • The Wall Street Journal

  • OCTOBER 5, 2010

Hating ‘Superman’

Teachers unions are on the moral defensive.

The new film “Waiting for ‘Superman'” is getting good reviews for its portrayal of children seeking alternatives to dreadful public schools, and to judge by the film’s opponents it is having an impact.

Witness the scene on a recent Friday night in front of a Loews multiplex in New York City, where some 50 protestors blasted the film as propaganda for charter schools. “Klein, Rhee and Duncan better switch us jobs, so we can put an end to those hedge fund hogs,” went one of their anti-charter cheers, referring to school reform chancellors Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The odd complaint is that donors to charter schools include some hedge fund managers.

Or maybe not so odd. Teachers unions and the public school monopoly have long benefitted from wielding a moral trump card. They claimed to care for children, and caring was defined solely by how much taxpayers spent on schools.

That moral claim is being turned on its head as more Americans come to understand that teachers unions and the public bureaucracy are the main obstacles to reform. Movies such as “Waiting for ‘Superman'” and “The Lottery” are exposing this to the larger American public, leaving the monopolists to the hapless recourse of suggesting that reformers are merely the tools of hedge fund philanthropists. (more…)

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MOVIE REVIEW – I WANT YOUR MONEY

Monday, October 4th, 2010

‘I Want Your Money’ and turnout

New documentary woos Obama foes

ASSOCIATED PRESS President Barack Obama  speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner at the Washington Convention Center, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Washington. ASSOCIATED PRESS President Barack Obama speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Inc.’s Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner at the Washington Convention Center, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Washington.

By Christian Toto   The Washington Times

September 19, 2010

Taking aim at the Obama administration‘s economic record, a new documentary is looking to ride a wave of government resentment to the unusual heights of blockbuster status.

Think “Fahrenheit 9/11,” Michael Moore‘s liberal documentary that dovetailed with Americans’ shrinking approval of President George W. Bush and growing alarm over the Iraq war, but for the nation’s center-right voters.

The makers of “I Want Your Money,” which uses animation plus interviews with conservative-leaning pundits, know their core audience and have tapped one of the few marketing companies with experience in attracting conservative-leaning voters to movies. Motive Entertainment worked on “The Passion of the Christ” and “Expelled,” films that exceeded box office expectations.

“Its all about connecting with the core motivation and value of the receiving audience,” said Paul Lauer, CEO and founder of Motive Entertainment. For “The Passion of the Christ,” that meant reaching out to faith-based groups. “I Want Your Money” is seeking out other targets – conservative talk-show hosts and “tea party” affiliates. (more…)

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