January 20, 2006

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Here's John Powers of LA Weekly with the best takedown I've yet to see of George Clooney's embarrassing "Syriana":

Now that we’ve all genuflected to Clooney for backing this project, can we just admit it? Stephen Gaghan’s quasi thriller about Big Oil, American spooks and foreign policy embodies most of what stinks about today’s liberal filmmaking. First, it’s a big-star movie on a big political theme that chooses not to address the mass audience; instead, it plays at being an art film, deliberately obscuring the crucial connections it wants viewers to make and guaranteeing its own political irrelevance. Second, it serves up hokum that appeals only to the converted. I don’t care how much research Gaghan claims to have done, his script’s a grab bag of pulpy clichés, from its slithery-evil oil-company execs (I almost felt sympathy for them) to the noble Middle Eastern sheik (with the wicked brother, of course) who really, truly wants to fight evil oil companies for the good of his people. Finally, it’s mired in the liberal sense of hopelessness and futility. Gaghan treats The System as being so omnipotent that lawyers, businessmen, spies and diplomats are all reduced to ciphers without the free will to engage in moral reflection, let alone action. When Clooney’s CIA agent finally does rouse himself to act, he’s immediately post-toastied in a rocket attack so perfectly executed by his colleagues in The Company that you wonder why they didn’t just do the same to Osama.
The movie was made for one reason only: to make Bush-hating liberals feel empowered.

Also, here's an Andrew Sullivan post on the "Post-PC" moment in pop culture. We really are living in a golden age of comedy, something I could not have imagined ten or even five years ago.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 20, 2006 01:25 AM

I couldn't agree more. So many people are sucking up to Clooney for this no surprise dumbass boring film. The only thin great about it was watching Clooney and Damon. They were both hot and that was prety much it.

Posted by: A at January 20, 2006 10:24 AM

Is Matt Damon related to Johnny Damon? If so, shouldn't he be disavowing that relation right about now?

Posted by: LilB at January 20, 2006 12:32 PM
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