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Friday, July 09, 2004


Written by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell

Directed by Adam McKay

Folks, you know I've been gettin' lazy. A review here...a review there. But I must say I was inspired to run right home after this midnight screening at the Arclight in Hollywood (greatest theater in the whole wide world) and post my review of this one because it is nothing short of brilliant. Far exceeding my comedy-snob expectations.
Anchorman is the story of local San Diego news anchor Ron Burgundy, at a time when the world was his oyster. It was the 70's. Before the days of sexual harassment, AIDS, and women in the workplace. A simpler time...and men didn't come simpler than Ron Burgundy. A man more shallow than a coin fountain, and dumber than a box of rocks, but sweet in a bizarre way. The story chronicles Ron and his news team of equally clueless compatriots as they try to deal with the first female news anchor played by Christina Applegate.
Okay enough of the pleasantries. Let me just tell you I laughed my arse off and it was one of the only times in recent memory that I can recall laughing that hard throughout an entire movie. Non-stop, wall-to-wall, sustained absurdity--and it all works. At first I thought it was the two Double Happinesses I drank at the Good Luck bar in Hollywood, but nope, everyone else seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. Great cameos abound, and I actually had some tears squirting out of the ole ducts during the "climactic battle sequence." I'm actually planning on seeing it again, and I don't often do that. I'm predicting that this one could place Will Ferrell in the pantheon of true SNL graduates to hit the cinematic jackpot. Along with guys like Steve Martin, Bill Murray, John Belushi, and yeah, Mike Meyers, what the hell. Ferrell should expect his next paycheck to have a lot more zeroes after the smoke clears on this one. All right, it's 2:45 in the morning for crap's sake. I'm going to bed.

Go. Watch. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Written and Directed by Michael Moore

George Bush. Bumbling fool? Diabolical genius? Well, both if Michael Moore is to be believed. Moore’s latest film is a definite hit piece on the poor bastard. It’s hard to separate your politics from a review of this film, which explores mostly the negative aspects of George Bush’s presidency and the events leading up to the present Iraq war. Moore has stated, I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, that his goal with this film is to change the minds of those viewers who have an “on the fence” position about ol’ Dub Bush. I’ll tell you now; Mil falls to the right on the political spectrum. It all started with one of Moore’s heroes, Rush Limbaugh, when I began listening to him more than ten years ago to hear what the other side thought about things. Much to my chagrin I found I tended to agree with the Republican mouthpiece on most things. Now you know where I am coming from.
Now let’s talk about the film. I was talking to El Bicho and he asked me if I liked the movie—and frankly I wasn’t sure. Now I tend to think I didn’t really like it much, but not because I disagree with Michael Moore’s politics, it’s just that it failed to engage my mind in any serious way. Let’s just say he lost me at “hello.” The film opens with a recap of the 2000 election, more specifically the Florida part, yeah, remember that? Well, I do. But I think Moore is a little foggy. Here’s where he lost me: he implied that after the votes came down such a close margin, Bush winning each of the regular mechanical counts, that Bush was handed a victory by his brother Jeb (Governor of Florida) and the supreme court of Florida, mostly conservatives. He went on to say that newspapers declared afterward that Al Gore would have been the victor had he been granted a statewide recount, this of course has become popular folklore among angry democrats. Forget the fact that not all newspapers that reported afterward agreed with the newspaper Moore quotes. Upon hearing this bit of information, Mil remembered that he would have supported a full statewide recount, by hand if necessary, but Mil also recalls that GORE NEVER ASKED FOR ONE. He did ask for recounts in certain counties that were weighted to the Dems’ side, which he was properly denied cause that just ain’t fair, he’d be guaranteed to pick up votes there. If he asked for a statewide recount after that, it was just too late.
I think that’s what is missing from this film--where’s the other side? I felt like I could have been watching a film about how Bill Clinton had something to do with the death of Vince Foster, and that other guy in the plane crash. I don’t buy those stories either, but someone could certainly make an interesting case for those if they hand picked some interviews and did some nice editing. Whatever. I much prefer listening to talk radio, which is ruled at least these days by conservative hosts. The reason I like those shows, especially guys like Dennis Prager and Michael Medved is because they like to have guests on who oppose their ideas, often quite articulate folks. I like hearing a good debate. I didn’t get anything resembling debate in this film, and that bored me. And since I thought he was obfuscating right from the start, I didn’t know what else I could trust him on. He also implies that Bush went to war with Saddam Hussein because he was responsible for the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. I never thought that, never was given that impression by the President. Saddam Hussein probably didn't know about the plan, but we know he supported terrorists by paying the families of suicide bombers, not much of a stretch to think he helped Al Qaeda as well, but not necessarily with the Trade Center attack. We found some top Al Qaeda guys in Iraq after we rolled in. Saddam probably didn’t know they were there.
I think I went with the whole idea of the war because after the WTC attacks I thought, crap, look what those 19 or 20 jackholes were able to do with some of our own jets, we should start cleaning up our pests from the past, and a guy like Hussein could certainly do more damage if he wanted to, and since EVERY DAMNED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD thought he had some nasty weapons, he was a good start. Plus he already violated his surrender agreement from the first gulf war by not allowing inspectors to do their job properly, so we already had cause to boot him out of power. Moore never touches on any of this in the film. For me, the worst you can say about Bush’s decision to go to war is that we did the right thing for the wrong reason, and the war went well, but the occupation, well, maybe not so well, but I think in a hundred years it will be viewed as a good move, many disagree. Time will tell.
As far as world opinion goes, Bush just forgot to say please, or didn’t say please to the U.N. quite enough times, and rushed to war (2 years is rushing by the way)--or maybe he should have said please to Michael Moore directly? So anyway, I’m not sure how to rate this one. I guess if you hate George Bush, you’ll like the film. What more is there to say?

Mil Out