Thursday, January 18, 2007

Immigration, Terrorism, Hollywood

Two hot topics in politics right now are proliferating on the big and small screens, as of late, so I figured I'd fuel whatever fire and review three movies I've seen recently, as well as the season 6 premiere of one of the best shows on television.


James L. Brooks' comedy about an illegal immigrant housekeeper living with an upscale family in Los Angeles came out in 2004. I didn't see it, although I wanted to. Ever since Sex & Lucia, I've had a bit of an infatuation with Paz Vega, but that's beside the point. I bought the DVD in 2005. Strangely, I finally got around to watching it last week.

can, loosely, be described as a "cute" movie. However, this doesn't do it justice. It is a very good movie, well put together, and while a comedy, handles its serious themes nicely.

Adam Sandler plays John Clasky, an up-and-coming chef who is about to make his mark on the culinary world. He's a bit anti-confrontational, and this leads to various problems with his wife, co-workers, and (initially) his new housekeeper. Paz Vega plays Flor (pronouced Florrrrr, with vibratto), who wants nothing more than a better life for her daughter.

Anyway, cultures collide, John's high-maintenance wife winds up having an affair, John and Flor wind up falling love (but do nothing about it), and we're left with a satisfying, but open-ended conclusion.

Liberal Slant:
Immigrants contribute greatly to our society, this film proves it!

Conservative Slant:
Immigrants are home-wreckers and tax our social programs, this film proves it!

Jeff's Slant:
Funny movie, romantic movie, and Paz Vegas is insanely gorgeous.

V for Vendetta

A loose adaptation of the Alan Moore's absolutely spectacular comic book, V for Vendetta is a good action film that touches on certain political dangers. While nowhere near as profound as its source material, the film does attempt to place itself in the contemporary mindset, taking volatile political issues such as the Patriot Act head-on. Actually, despite half-hearted attempts throughout, this is really the only political issue that is taken head-on, as the film pays more than a bit of homage to George Orwell's vision of 1984.

While I enjoyed the movie (what can I say, I'm a Natalie Portman fan), it's unfortunate that the film dropped the multiple and far more extreme themes of its source material. The comic series was devoted to depicting the two ultimate political extremes against each other: anarchy versus fascism. In addition, the comic series was notable for remaining explicitly neutral in its own arguments. The film, however, is clearly about liberalism versus conservatism, and blatantly sides with liberalism.

Liberal Slant: Democrats good, Republicans bad.

Conservative Slant: All you art-loving, open-armed preaching idiots are going to get your asses kicked.

Jeff's Slant: Good movie, worth watching, but solely as entertainment (or if you have a Portman fetish). If you want the truly politically-charged version, read the source material.

Children of Men

Wow. This movie is phenomenal. Let me say that again... wow.

In the near future, mankind has lost the ability to procreate. No human child has been born on Earth for over 18 years. As a result, hope and faith break down, the world delves into a series of catastrophic wars, and the surviving governments become rather totalitarian. At face value, the film implies a heavy dose of racism, but under closer scrutiny, this is not the case... the film implies a heavy dose of nationalism. Otherwise known as fascism. There is a rather large emphasis on illegal immigration (albeit in Britain). Keep in mind that the director, Alfonso Cuarón, is Mexican, and the subject matter is likely near and dear to his heart. That being said, had I the talent and vision, I would have made Children of Men the exact same way he made it.

I really don't want to ruin anything about this movie, so I won't. The shock value of the scene in the dairy farm hit me like a ton of bricks, but only because I had no idea it was coming.

In other words, go see this movie. Oh, and by the way, the political messages of this film are far closer to what Alan Moore intended for V for Vendetta.

Liberal Slant: The world is going to Hell unless we start loving each other.

Conservative Slant: That's quite a naïve sentiment, but yes, the world is going to Hell.

Jeff's Slant: Wow. This movie is phenomenal. Let me say that again... wow.

24: Day 6

First of all, let me just say that I love this show. With the possible exception of "Day 3," this series has been one of the few molds of consistency on television.

Okay, on to controversy... apparently, there's a notion running around our government that the terrorist plot on 24 might serve as inspiration to actual terrorists. Right, like they aren't good enough on their own at thinking of ways to kill us. Kudos to 24 for exposing these "plot holes" in our anti-terror systems.

Let me use this as an opportunity to say that our government is clearly getting dumber by the hour. Liberal, conservative, I don't give a shit. They're all officially idiots.

I suddenly became irritated, so that's all I have to say about that. Watch the show, it's great.

Liberal Slant: We're idiots.

Conservative Slant: We're idiots.

Jeff's Slant: They're idiots. Watch the show.

One closing note: Congress is mulling over bringing back the "Fairness Doctrine," which would require news programs to always portray both sides of an issue or topic. Maybe they're not ALL idiots. It's sad that our government would have to enforce "open discussion," but it beats the alternative.

Of course, Rush Limbaugh is trying to claim it's all a conspiracy to shut him up. Hey, Rush... all they're doing is trying to get you to acknowledge the other side. Acknowledge, not agree with. Is that so bad?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They should never have abandoned it in the 80s. And, if it IS a conspiracy, it's probably aimed at Bill O'Reilly.

Personally, I think it's great. But the first time the FCC nails somebody, they'll scream censorship.

Posted by Geoffry on January 18, 2007 - Thursday - 7:59 PM

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