25 August 2012

Other Blogs

I’ve started posting at my other blogs again.  There are a pair of movie reviews at Allusions of Grandeur.  One is a review of The Campaign.  An excerpt:
What prevents the movie from being a hilarious take on the American political scene, a la Duck Soup or Idiocracy, is its theme:  Big Money is ruining politics.  This theme, stated directly a couple of times throughout the film, is wholly fallacious.  Big Money is not why democracy, and its attendant elections suck; Big Money is merely the symptom.  No, the real problem is that gullible idiots are not only permitted, but often encouraged (I’m looking at you, Get Out the Vote) to vote.  The reason why so many millions of dollars are spent making ads that focus on stupid reasons to vote for or against a given candidate, or why so many politicians and talking heads quibble over the most inane of talking points (like how much money a candidate makes, or what grades a candidate received in college) is because there are a large number of people who think that this sort of discourse is meaningful, and these people have the right to vote.  The simple fact of the matter is that it is shockingly expensive to convince shallow and gullible people to commit to choosing a candidate for office.  And that’s why big money is so prevalent in politics.  Of course, the theme of voter stupidity was already dwelt upon in Idiocracy, and so it would seem a little shopworn to dwell upon it now.  However, this movie could have easily been reworked as a send-up of Swing Vote, with Ferrell retaining his initial role as unopposed incumbent and Galifianakis being cast as Marty Huggins, a man needing to be convinced to be the one person to vote in his state, and thus lend the election a sense of legitimacy.  Now that would be political satire that strikes close to home.
The other is a review of The Dark Knight Rises.  An excerpt:
Whereas the prior installment focused on the dangers of anarchy, DKR focuses on the danger of fascism, and totalitarianism dressed up as equality.  This is a remarkably mature theme for a comic book movie, but Nolan handles it with aplomb.  I would suggest that Nolan is a conservative in the truest sense of the word, recognizing the pitfalls of both anarchy and fascism, and striking to find balance between the two.  Interestingly, Nolan seems more accepting of the use of force in this film than in prior ones (cue Catwoman:   I’m not fond of the whole ‘no guns’ rule…), recognizing that sometimes the only way to combat evil is with evil.  Thus, while Nolan is leery of a world without a central authority, as in the character of the Joker in DKR, he is also just as leery of a world where madmen are the central authority.  Nolan’s overarching of the Batman series appears to be that Power is a necessary evil, and one that should constantly be kept in check, which is itself a very Jeffersonian view.
I’ve also picked up posting at Red Carpet Blues. For those who might have been wondering, here’s a hint as to why I have not been blogging as much over the past couple of months.

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