February 29, 2008, - 3:37 pm
Weekend Box Office: The Other Uday-Qusay Hussein Girl, Silly Will Ferrell Flick, Anti-American Abu Ghraib/Gitmo Diatribe, Etc.
By Debbie Schlussel
I didn’t particularly like any of the new releases at the box office, this weekend. Of them, the best is “Penelope,” but even that is a chick flick that had a lot of shrieking in it. Interestingly, it and “The Other Boleyn Girl” are about social-climbing parents try to shove off their daughters on rich bluebloods solely in the interest of selfishness and station in life.
* “The Other Boleyn Girl“: This is the story of two sisters, Anne and Mary Boleyn, who were among the many conquests and wives of King Henry VIII in the 1500s. Based on the book of the same name, it’s about how the girls’ social-climbing, ambitious father plotted with his brother-in-law to farm the two girls out to the married king for sex, in the hope that one of them would bear him a male heir who would be king, which would improve the family’s social and financial standing.
While Anne (Natalie Portman) is slutty, scheming, evil, and wants the married king (“Munich’s” phony Mossad agent, Eric Bana), Mary (Scarlett Johansson) is good and kind and devoted to her husband, and not too happy when she is a forced concubine to the king. The movie is full of treachery–with their father and uncle repeatedly plotting how to get one or the other of them in bed with the king. It all ends in tragedy.
This is basically a chick flick with nice period-piece costumes. But you’d never see this kind of stuff even in today’s trashy soap operas. True, these things happened. But, as I watched this sickening movie–filled with not only a father and uncle whoring out two girls, but instances of incest–I thought to myself, gee, in 2504, will there be a movie, “The Other Uday and Qusay Hussein Girl,” in which fathers whore out their daughters–or married daughters are forcibly seized against their will–as they were for Uday and Qusay Hussein and their father Saddam? Or will we see a movie, today, about Islamic kings and leaders who did the same at that time?
And as I watched this movie, I couldn’t help but note that in Britain today, and everywhere else around the Western world, these kinds of things do not happen anymore, except in the Muslim communities therein. Non-Muslim men cannot seize women, even if they are pigs with a crowns on their heads. Non-Islamic fathers cannot run prostitution rings farming out their daughters.
But there is one place where this stuff of the uncivilized does occur on a daily basis: The Islamic World. If King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or some other Prince or Sheikh wants your daughter, she’s seized to become part of his concubine harem. It goes on every single day. And then, as in this movie, her “virtue” is taken and no-one else will marry h er. In the Islamic world, every single day, fathers willingly whore out their daughters or are forced to at swordpoint to Islamic “nobles”.
As I’ve repeatedly noted on this site, in Shia Islam, men take on temporary marriages (for the period of a few hours up to a few days or a year or so) with no divorce settlements, for the purpose of sex only. It’s the only society that still believes openly and full force in polygamy (even the Mormon Church has ruled out polygamy and only a few extreme sects practice it).
But you’d never see a “The Other Beydoun Girl” or “The Other Al-Khalifa Girl” movie. If the characters in this movie were Muslim, it would resemble modern times. And if the characters in this movie were Muslim, CAIR et al will be screaming “bloody murder.”
So, it’s okay to remind us of the way the English nobles lived 500 years ago, but hell hath no fury if we show how Muslims live today in “modernity.”
Not for kids.
* “Semi-Pro“: Since I like Will Ferrell, I really wanted to like this movie. But I didn’t. After the far superior “Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby” and less so “Blades of Glory,” I really think Ferrell should give up on the pro sports theme in movies. He’s now done three in a row, this one is the worst of ’em, and he needs a new shtick.
Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, bi-racial, barely-hip owner, coach, and player of the Flint Tropics in the American Basketball Association (ABA). It’s the mid-’70s, and–as really happened in real life–the ABA is merging with the NBA, which will only absorb a few successful ABA teams. Moon, desperate to keep his failing team alive, wants it to be one of the chosen teams. The ABA commissioner reluctantly agrees that if Moon’s team is in the top four in wins by season’s end, it’ll join the NBA. Moon goes to great lengths to increase the number of spectators at games and wins. He brings in Monix, a former NBA player (Woody Harrelson).
While I laughed, it was way too infrequently. Most of the jokes in this movie are groaners. Not funny. Was it funny to watch Ferrell wrestle a bear, attempt an Evil Knievel-style jump over 20-some cheerleaders in bikinis, rip-off fans in promotions, and wear exaggerated plaid bell-bottoms of the ’70s? Yes. But the jokes only went so far. The best thing about this movie is the BS banter of the sportscasters calling the game. Other than that, yaaawn.
This movie was like a Saturday Night Live skit that goes on for two hours. It was bearably funny for like five minutes, mildly entertaining for a few more, and incredibly stupid for the rest.
The movie poster for this claims, “Putting the Funk into the Dunk.” More like “Putting the Clunk into the Dunk.” Semi-Pro: Not Even Semi-Bearable.
* “Penelope“: A girl (Christina Ricci) from an aristocratic family is subject to a family curse and is born with a pig’s snout for a nose. Her parents, desperate to marry her off and also to avoid tabloid exploitation of her nose, are trying to get a fellow blue-blood to marry her. If one does, the legend says that the curse will wear off and her nose will be normal. But every guy that sees her runs like hell. Add to that a photojournalist from a tabloid who’s trying to get a photo for the paper.
You’d think that, in the age of plastic surgery, this movie would be easily resolved with a quick nose job. But they’ve thought of everything, fellow cynics. It’s discovered that her carotid artery runs through her nose, so an operation is out of the question.
While this movie was charming and entertaining enough, it’s also a little bit too quirky and offbeat. And it’s basically a very predictable chick flick. In the end, everything works out. Reese Witherspoon, who co-produced this movie, makes a cameo as a very annoying working-class motorcycle messenger. The very stereotypical way she played the woman–as an ignorant, coarse hick–grated on me and spoke volumes about how she sees the average American. I was also annoyed by the even mix of Brits and Americans in the cast. It’s as if, they didn’t want to tell you where this movie was set, lest they upset either country’s audience.
Would have been much more interesting if the movie was about a Muslim girl born with a pig snout. Now that would be a great study in tolerant our “Religion of Peace” friends really are. An okay movie, but no big whoop. You can definitely take kids to see this.
* “Bonneville“: This coming of old-age movie, in which three aging women–two of whom are Mormons–take a roadtrip was neither new, fun, nor exciting. A pointless exercise in the waste of 1.5 plus hours, it’s about new widow Jessica Lang’s road trip with Kathy Bates and Joan Allen to transport the ashes of her late husband to his snobby, adult daughter from a previous marriage. Her husband wanted his ashes to be scattered to the various sites they liked to visit and vacation in, but if she doesn’t give the ashes to her step-daughter, the daughter will take her home. The late husband didn’t make a new will, and the old one leaves everything to the daughter.
Not only did I find this movie boring and a rehashed muddle of a million other roadtrip and 50-something chick flicks, but as a lawyer, it was flawed. Under the law of most states, a wife of twenty years, as in this case, would be entitled to at least half of her husband’s property upon his death, even if he willed it to someone else. And she might even be entitled to the home outright, depending upon how the title recorded ownership.
Best suited for Oprah followers and the cat ladies who watch PBS. Skipworthy.
* “Taxi to the Dark Side“: No shocker that this rehash of stuff from 2002-2004 about U.S. prisons for Islamic terror suspects in Bagram (Afghanistan), Abu Ghraib (Iraq), and Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) won the Oscar, last Sunday, for Best Documentary. There’s nothing new here. It’s the same stuff we’ve been hearing from the left for years–ie., that a woman letting her hair fall on the back of a Gitmo prisoner was sexual “torture” (so says his lawyer) because Muslims believe in modesty (right–like they did when they patronized prostitutes and a strip club right before 9/11. Uh-huh.)
I’m not sure how it constitutes a “documentary” when you make stuff up. We’re shown an artist’s drawing of a Muslim man, with a computer-generated face of a women and the word “WHORE!” on the picture in between them. For a second, I wondered if I was watching “The Vagina Monologues.”
We’re also told that the way America treated Mohamed Al-Qahtani–the 20th 9/11 hijacker–was “torture” because they called him “gay” and only let him sleep four hours a day. Hmmm . . . There are a lot of housewife-mothers and working men who get that amount or less sleep, and I don’t hear them saying America is torturing them. Donald Trump brags he only sleeps four hours a day. “The Apprentice: Torture Edition”?
Oh, and here’s another example the movie gives us of how we “tortured” Gitmo prisoners: Interrogators sang, “G-d Bless America” to Qahtani. Horror of horrors! They also “scrambled his sense of time” (by using light and dark and “sensory deprivation”) and wouldn’t allow him to go to the bathrooom, so he peed in his pants. Hmmm . . . Adam Pearl and Nicholas Berg choking on their own blood as they were sliced alive into pieces versus urinated pants. Which one is torure?
The only “witness” this movie uses for what’s happening in Gitmo is the already discredited Moazzam Begg. He and his friends were already featured in the discredited “Road to Guantanamo,” which even liberal movie critics derided for its re-enactments of what the men claimed happened there. Begg and his two friends never explained what they were doing in Afghanistan, apparently training with terrorists, when their homes were supposed to be in the UK. He’s equally as non-credible here.
The biggest problem the left-wing, anti-American “experts” in this fake-mentary/docu-fakery have: They’re upset that, despite everything they believe is evil about America’s treatment of Islamic terrorists, that “despite knowing all of this, 90% of Americans still support this ‘torture.'” Says the same “expert”: “Pop culture that Americans enjoy is the reason that 90% of Americans support legitimized torture.” He’s claims that “shows like ’24′” make Americans allow and even approve this kind of thing.” The commentators in the movie say that “we must debunk ’24.'”
Where’s Jack Bauer when you need him? This is high-quality, but very boring, Bin Laden cinema.
Tags: Abdullah, Abu Ghraib, Adam, Adam Pearl, Afghanistan, America, American Basketball Association, and player, Anne Boleyn, artist, barely-hip owner, bi-racial, Bin Laden cinema, Blades of Glory, Britain, Brits, brother-in-law, Christina Ricci, coach, Commissioner, Cuba, Debbie Schlussel, Donald Trump, Eric Bana, Guantanamo Bay, Henry VIII, I, Iraq, it was flawed, Jack Bauer, Jessica Lang, Joan Allen, Kathy Bates, King, lawyer, Mary Boleyn, messenger, Mohamed Al-Qahtani, Mormon Church, Mossad, Munich, Natalie Portman, National Basketball Association, NBA, Nicholas Berg, Penelope, photojournalist, plastic surgery, player, Prince, pro sports theme, Putting the Funk into the Dunk, Qusay Hussein, Qusay Hussein Girl, Reese Witherspoon, Ricky Bobby, Road to Guantanamo, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, Scarlett Johansson, Semi-Pro, Taxi to the Dark Side, the Oscar, The Other Al-Khalifa Girl, The Other Beydoun Girl, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Other Uday and Qusay Hussein Girl, Uday Hussein, Uday-Qusay Hussein Girl, United Kingdom, United States, Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson