May 20, 2012, - 1:07 am

Wknd Box Office: Battleship, First Position, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Sound of My Voice, Mansome, Bully

By Debbie Schlussel

This weekend’s new movies actually include a more than one good one, which is rare.  You’ve already read my review of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator, which debuted in theaters on Wednesday.  (I apologize that my movie reviews weren’t up Friday, as they usually are, but there were so many new movies and I had so much going on that I couldn’t finish this in time for the Jewish Sabbath.  That happens rarely.  Better late than never, right?  to those who already attended the movies I hated, sorry that I didn’t save you in time from wasting your ten bucks and two plus hours of time.  I’ll be back with these reviews earlier, next week, G-d willing.)



*  “Battleship“:  This is being trashed by all of the conventional (liberal) mainstream media movie critics, who eschew patriotism (at least of the American variety) and a good adventure thriller.  But I loved it.  It’s patriotic, suspenseful, filled with non-stop action, and has a tight script and a great story.  I wasn’t bored for a second.  This is the movie the Navy SEALs should have made and could have made, instead of the anti-Semitic “Act of Valor” (read my review).  There is a great plot twist involving the veterans of Pearl Harbor, Korea, and Vietnam . . . and even the U.S.S. Missouri, which is now a museum to the Pearl Harbor attack.  Col. Gregory Gadsen, a real-life American soldier who lost his legs to an IED in Iraq, has a pretty big role in the movie, too, and he’s a pretty good actor.  (In real life, he was awarded three Bronze Stars and is currently Director of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program.)


Yes, I know the movie is based on a board game, but there is little resemblance to the game, other than one scene in which water displacement radar is used to locate and target alien battleships.  I was disappointed that the sentence from the old TV commercials for the game–“You sunk my battleship!”–wasn’t in the script.  Well, not that disappointed, but it would have a been a funny tribute.

The story:  a misfit (played by Taylor Kitsch) is forced by his brother, a naval officer (Alexander Skarsgard), to join the U.S. Navy, after he gets into his latest criminal trouble–breaking into a convenience store to impress a girl.  The girl (Brooklyn Decker) turns out to be the daughter of the Naval Commander (Liam Neeson).  Then, it is Pearl Harbor Day, and the two brothers and other Navy men are engaged in joint naval exercises with the Japanese Navy.

Suddenly, giant objects fall from space in spots all over the world.  They look like high-tech parts of some type of space ship and destroy buildings and highways.  Soon, some of the junk falls into the Ocean and two towers arise from the water, along with a giant spaceship of some sort.  The Navy ships engaged in the joint exercises with the Japanese are soon stuck inside a giant bubble and their communications with the shore do not work.

The rest of the movie is about how the Naval officers try to fight off the aliens, who are apparently bent on destroying the earth.  And there are a set of others–a geeky scientist in charge of satellites and a depressed soldier (Gadson), who is out on a hike with his physical therapist (Decker)–who try to overcome the aliens on a Hawaiian mountain, as the aliens attempt to take over America’s satellites.

If I had any reservations, it’s that the movie never tells you who the aliens are or why they came here.  But that’s okay . . . because whenever Hollywood does tell you that, it’s usually to tell us how horrible we are and how we are destroying the earth’s resources–or some other liberal BS like that.

The movie is much better than my description of the plot, but it’s too complicated to describe in words.  You have to see it.  It’s two-plus hours of fun and excitement.  Not the world’s deepest movie.  But for escapist adventure mixed with a lot of action and a terrific patriotic tribute to our veterans, you can’t beat it.  Kudos to sort of “pro-Israel” director Peter Berg, who made a far better movie in this than his pan-Islamic, anti-American propaganda in “The Kingdom” (read my review).  I hope he’s changed his tune.  This is a good start.

If you have kids, though, you may want to think twice about taking them to this movie. It is filled with four-letter words.

THREE REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “First Position“:  This is another patriotic movie, though unintentionally so.  It’s an entertaining documentary that follows the lives of several American kids (and their families) of various ethnicities, all of whom are ballet dancers and want to make that their career.  I thought I’d hate this because I’m not into ballet, but it’s really not about the dancing.  It’s about the discipline, poise, and character of these fantastic kids and how America gave them the opportunities they likely wouldn’t have elsewhere–and, in at least two cases, definitely wouldn’t have had where they began.

I used to think that kids like this were giving up their childhoods to train so intensely.  But the movie shows that they have fun like any other kids.  And they are starting early to try to make something of their lives, an admirable trait we see less and less of in this country.  Frankly, in today’s day and age, when kids are a bunch of morons over-exposed to sex and violence, seeking to become Kardashians, and modeling their lives after vapid sluts on TV and the movies, these kids in “First Position” are a welcome breath of fresh air.  They are disciplined, hard-working, smart, well-mannered, poised, precocious, and decent.  Even those who do not become ballet stars will still be head and shoulders above the average, idiotic American kids.

I was touched by the story of Michaela DePrince, who has the skin condition, vitiligo.  She was born in Sierra Leone, where both of her parents were killed.  Both she and her sister Mia were adopted from a Sierra Leone orphanage by a Jewish couple, Elaine and Charles DePrince of Cherry Hills, New Jersey.  I gave a thumbs up when the movie showed the DePrince family’s menorah (the movie does not mention that they are Jewish, but it’s well-documented throughout the media that they are).  The DePrinces gave these two girls great lives in America and spent thousands of dollars on expensive costumes and private dance teachers for Michaela.

Mrs. DePrince spends hours dying various straps and mesh on the costumes so they will match her daughter’s Black skin, as almost all ballet gear is dyed to match the White skin that makes up the majority of the consumer base.  (And while Michaela is tremendously aware and grateful for the opportunities the DePrinces gave her, I doubt this will lessen to any degree the tremendous hatred that Black America continues to have for the Jewish people.  Nothing ever seems to make a difference or be appreciated.)  Michaela’s is the most dramatic story in the movie.  Her drive and will are inspiring.

And there is Aran Bell, the very cute, happy-go-lucky, dedicated young boy, who is the son of a Navy doctor.  He belies the myth of male ballet dancers being effeminate or gay.  He has a girlfriend in fellow dancer, the cute Israeli, Gaya Bommer Yemini.

Joan (pronounced, “Johan”) Sebastian Zamora left Colombia at 16 because he said there is no future for him in that country and it’s not normal there for a boy to dance ballet. (I guess they never heard of Mikhail Baryshnikov, there.)  He works so very hard–training in New York to make it as a ballet star–because his father tells him that if he does not succeed in ballet, he will be stuck with a hard life in Colombia.

Miko Fogarty, who is half Japanese, lives in California with her brother and her helicopter mom Japanese mother and her British start-up company entrepreneur dad.  The movie shows us the aggressive but happy nature of her mother and the lack of ballet talent on the part of her brother, Jules.  Miko is home-schooled and mature well beyond her young age.

And, finally, there is Rebecca Houseknecht, a blonde high school cheerleader who loves pink and resembles a Barbie doll.

All of these kids are impressive and fun to watch.  Don’t let the topic of ballet fool you.  You’ll see little ballet–but a lot about their lives of opportunity in America–in this movie.

Inspiring, uplifting, positive, and a must-see.  And it’s thrilling, suspenseful, and funny, too.

FOUR REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“:  Skip this at all cost.  If you don’t, you can’t say you were not forewarned.  It’s absolutely dreadful, and I’m shocked it wasn’t reserved for the August and January movie pet cemeteries, where Hollywood usually sends absolute dreck like this to die.  This movie was so whiny, weepy, and annoying that I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Yet, it seemed to go on forever and ever and ever.  It was the filthy version of “Crash” for pregnant women.  There were several couples in the movie either about to have a child or adopt one, all of whom intersect with other couples in the movie in one way or another.  The only intersection I wanted was me and my feet with my car and the gas pedal heading away from the theater.  So many celebrities, so much crap.  It was filled with fart, urination, and sex jokes (none of which were funny) and unnecessary melodrama.
I wrote down three of the lines of dialogue because they were so bad, so groan-worthy. But, now, I’ve decided that they are just way too filthy and ridiculous for me to repeat on this site. Guys, if your significant other woman wants you to go see this, avoid it like the plague.  It’s a chick flick times ten. And it’s painful to watch. Prime Gitmo torture material.

The stories (I call them, ordeals–at least for the person who paid $10 to see this dung):  Jennifer Lopez and some Hispanic guy are about to adopt a Black baby from Africa, after passing an interview with Tootie from “The Facts of Life” (actually, actress Kim Fields who is best known for Tootie, but clearly needs the paycheck from this crappy movie.  Chris Rock and three gay-looking fathers spend each day in the park walking their babies and lamenting how they’ve lost their lives and manhood to taking care of their babies (but they never mention the reason for that–feminism).  Elizabeth Banks runs a store about breasts and nursing with a dumb pun of a name.  Her story in the movie begins with her reading a dumb kids book she wrote about breast-feeding.  She and her husband (an actor who is the husband of the gross fat chick from “Bridesmaids,” Melissa McCarthy) learn that she is pregnant after they’ve tried many times.  Her husband’s race car driver father, Dennis Quaid, is married to a beautiful woman less than half his age (Brooklyn Decker) and they find out they are expecting, too.  But the father is in steep competition with his son and belittles him.  Cameron Diaz plays the coach of a fitness reality show a la “The Biggest Loser” (though the real Biggest Loser is anyone who goes to see this, despite reading my review), who finds out she is pregnant with the baby of her dancing coach/dancing partner on a show that is like “Dancing With the Stars.”  They argue over whether or not the kid will be circumcised. Yup, scintillating. And then there are two 20-somethings who have a one-night encounter, and the girl gets pregnant.

Why should you care about any of these dumb stories or annoying characters?  If you do, then you clearly aren’t someone of any taste or intellect, and you probably spend your life watching “E!”  For everyone else, stay away.  This movie stinks.

FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Sound of My Voice“:  This small-budget movie was very interesting and smart.  A little too smart.  While I liked it, it’s sort of pretentious in that it doesn’t answer a lot of questions.  I like movies that do that, as they make you think.  But this left a little too many questions unanswered, such as: who was the woman leading the cult?  Who was she really?  And who was the lady involved in sort of telling us that answer, but then not telling us?  And so on.

The movie is about a guy whose mother died when he was a kid because she was in a cult and refused to use conventional medicine to treat her illness.  Currently, he is a teacher, but in his spare time, he and his girlfriend have infiltrated a cult run by a woman (Brit Marling, who was also excellent in “Another Earth”–read my review) who claims that she has come to earth from 50 years into the future.  He sees her as a con artist and wears hidden cameras to record her for a documentary he’s making exposing cults.  But a dumb con woman she is not, and she plays a lot of mind games with him.

To give away much more would be to give away more of the movie.  And for all of the excessive questions with which it leaves us hanging, the movie perfectly portrays cults and the people who get sucked into them.  There is at least one disgusting scene involving eating bugs.  But other than that, I liked it enough to give it . . .

TWO-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Mansome“:  This is yet another BS, waste-of-time “documentary” by McDonald’s-hating, anti-Israel, Islamo-pandering, far-left HAMASCAIR honoree Morgan Spurlock.  I wrote about my own experience with Spurlock and his production team–and how they lie and fabricate to suit their agenda–in a Wall Street Journal column a few years ago.  In this movie, he shows himself instructing his young son to play “Occupy Lego Street” with his Lego set.  Barf.

And, per usual, with his boring movies, it’s all about him, him, him, him.  “Me, me, me, me, look at me shave off my tacky porno-star-wanna-be mustache, look at me look like the stupid dope I really am underneath it.”  And as with his silly documentaries, there’s no message to be had, no original insights.  Just a boring waste of time.  The only interest I had in it was when I saw a scene in which there’s a glimpse of what appears to be my first cousin, David Schlussel, in his mustache.  Cousin David’s Twitter response regarding whether that’s him is  a  somewhat cryptic confirmation, so it probably is him.

The movie is supposed to be about men and grooming, but it’s really just a non-stop bore of expounding upon topics none of us care about without any sharp comments.  The only good commentary is from Adam Carolla, whose spots are rather limited in this movie.  And as far as men and beauty products go, much better, more pointed and entertaining commentary about that has appeared on this site via my many “Men-The New Women Alerts” and “Girlie Man Nation” posts. The thing is, I correctly don’t approve of this stuff. That girlie-man, faux-hipster leftist, Spurlock, thinks it’s sooo cool that men have evolved into prancing, moisturizing women.

Interspersed with each scene is more “me, me, me” with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, who produced this movie (along with Ben Silverman, brother of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign speechwriter).  They have nothing interesting or new to say and should have probably just shut the bleep up and put on their bra and panties–two items that clearly befit them. They, too, approve of this men-preening-like-women BS.

About the only information I got from this movie was TMI.  A man who grows his beard long for a living calls himself an athlete and refers to himself as a “beardsman.”  He enters contests representing: “Team Beard USA.”  Like I said, TMI.  Let me guess:  this guy doesn’t have a lot of dating experience with the opposite sex.

Skip this, unless your money grows on trees, you don’t mind giving it to a complete Marxist moviemaker who loves Islam and hates McDonald’s and Israel, and you have 1.5 hours of your life you want to kiss good-bye forever.

FOUR MARXES PLUS A BIN LADEN PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Bully“:  Bullying isn’t anything new.  It’s been going on since the world began and the snake bullied Eve who bullied Adam into eating the apple.  The only difference is that, in modern day America, there is online bullying through Facebook, and there are far too many womb and sperm donors who refuse to parent and discipline their kids, teaching them how to behave.  Those vicious, misbehaved kids then go to school, where they take it out on other kids–innocent kids, some of whom might have illnesses, physical weaknesses, nerd personalities, or other vulnerabilities.

I was bullied plenty of times, and I remember it vividly.  After I skipped the third grade, I was repeatedly bullied in middle school by jealous female classmates in my new grade, who weren’t as smart or successful in academics as I was.  In the fifth grade, my classmates destroyed my art class paper mache projects because I was more artistically talented than they were, and my project elicited the teacher’s praise to the class.  When I was chosen for my school’s “Gifted and Talented” program, all of the kids in class attacked me again, and their parents whined, so that my entire class–many of whom were dummies–were now all in the Gifted and Talented program.  And then there was that rabbi’s son, Harry Nelson, son of a far-left, Islamo-pandering
Conservative rabbi (Rabbi David Nelson, a close friend of Iran/Hezbollah-backed, anti-Semitic imam Hassan Qazwini), who bullied me (and he also cheated on the SATs, ran a bookie operation from his locker, and stole copies of tests).  (He is now a lawyer.)

But I was always a strong, tough kid who wouldn’t let any of that stuff get to me, and it only made me tougher.  Most kids aren’t that strong, though.  And my parents always instructed me to ignore these kids because life would get better, and many of these people would grow up to be losers.  And it did, as soon as I left to public school, where I was very popular.  Many of these kids don’t have both parents, and even if they do, both parents are working and not involved enough in their kids’ lives to see what is going on.

Today, I’m constantly bullied by losers and dummies on the left AND the right, including mentally unstable, jealous Commentary Magazine Editor-in-Chief John Podhoretz, who sent me at least six unsolicited, nutjob-esque tweets on Twitter in less than 24 hours a few days ago.  (I felt like I was in the First Grade and he had a thing for me.  And I wondered how this crazy man knows so much about drugs for psychos, probably because he’s been frequently prescribed, but forgot to take his.)  But I laugh at these fools.

Sadly, today, there is violence against and online embarrassment against these kids that sometimes claims their lives (either from the violence, or because they committed suicide being unable to handle it).  I feel for these kids and their parents.  I also feel for them because the parents of the bad kids raise their kids to behave this way and refuse to do anything about it.  And that’s where the schools come in.  We expect schools to raise these kids and make up for bad parenting, and that’s too high of an expectation–an expectation repeatedly raised in this movie.

On the other hand, there are school administrators, like the dopey chick principal and assistant principal in “Bully,” who are absolute morons.  They are at fault when, as is shown in the movie, they refuse to get involved and treat kids who are victims of the worst violent attacks by other students as though they are at fault.  The idiotette principal in this movie not only blames kids who are the unwarranted victims, but she makes them shake hands with their attackers and pretends nothing has happened.  (This is the just a smaller-scale version of the liberal psychobabble Israel and victims of Islam are treated to on a historic basis–that aggressor and victim are morally equivalent.)  It’s tragic, and one of these days someone will sue her and have plenty of ammunition in this movie’s footage.  Yes, a documentary can be one-sided, but not that one-sided.  She gave them the rope.

You cannot help but feel pain for the kids who are bullied in this movie and their parents–some of whose kids have committed suicide as a result.  The most sympathetic of these kids is Alex Libby, who was born many weeks premature.  However, he often seems to be bullied by his parents and especially his little sister.  And I object to the portrayal of bullying as a problem that happens only in America’s South and the outskirts of Middle America.  Bullying happens in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, too.  But they don’t show any bullying situations in this documentary.  It’s unfair–and just plain liberal fiction–to portray bullying as an epidemic of Red State America, when we know it’s an even bigger problem in Blue State America and its inner cities.

I also object to the anti-bullying laws that this movie has been used to advocate and pass in many states because many of those laws will only be used to attack the free speech rights of those on the right, those who speak of the Islamic threat to America, etc.  That’s already been the case.

Still this movie should probably be seen by all school-aged kids and their parents.  Maybe somewhere, somehow, it will spur empathy for some of these kids who are attacked by those who are the bullies and those who raise them.  Sadly, the bad kids like the ones in this movie will not change.  That’s how they were raised, and it’s sad that this movie expects schools to make a dent in what poor parenting has forged in stone.

HALF A REAGAN
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Watch the trailer . . .

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31 Responses

“Battleship” is really an allegory about Islam and Berg couldn’t tell the story he wanted to – PC Hollywood doesn’t allow it. But its clear enough the “aliens” are a surrogate for Islam and the mindless evil that emanates from it seems to strike without warning and its up to the brave few to hold the line for civilization. I’m thinking of pivotal battles of World War II in London, at Midway and in Stalingrad that decided the fate of our world – you had a few brave men holding the thin line against a superior foe and turning the tide. The movie is a glimpse of our future and someday our kids will have to hold that line just as those in generations past before them did.

Its worth keeping in mind as the Memorial Day holiday is fast approaching.

NF: HUH? Where did you get that from? Peter Berg never said that the aliens were a surrogate for Islam. And, as I noted, he is very pro-Muslim. You need to go back and read my review of “The Kingdom.” He always makes the movie and story he wants. Nobody has ever stopped him. DS

NormanF on May 20, 2012 at 4:43 am

    No one ever stops him – you’re right in the past he has been very pro-Muslim.

    I got the idea from thinking about the clear and present danger of our time and your favorable review of the movie. We’d all like to see PC Hollywood treat the subject of Islam honesty.

    Will it ever do so? I have my doubts. That doesn’t prevent me from drawing as I did, the logical conclusion as to what civilization must do to survive. Regardless of Berg’s intentions, I think its a key message in the movie.

    Whether we have the fortitude to recognize the danger and overcome it remains to be seen – or the next attack on us by our real-life enemy could be as unpleasant and overwhelming as those inflicted by the “aliens” in “Battleship.”

    NormanF on May 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Whenever you see “aliens” in a movie, such as “Battleship,” they are rarely just aliens, and they usually are symbols for somethng else. Take the novel and movie “War of the Worlds” (written by H.G. Welles). H.G. Welles wrote that as WWI was about to begin. Then Orson Welles did his famous radio show as WWII began. In 1953, George Pal’s movie version hit the screens as the nation dealt with the menace of communism. And in 2005, a remake of sorts was filmed post 9/11 and the Iraq invasion. Because movies are generally made to appeal to masses of people, when aliens are a key element in the story, the aliens usually have symbolic value to resonate with audiences. But the aliens are typically not defined, so that the audience can project onto the aliens whatever ideologies they choose.

    But what or whom the aliens in “Battleship” represent to the filmmaker is a fair question. Director Peter Berg, whose father was a Naval historian and a Marine, will probably not say directly who they are or who they represent, as he even tries to play down the pro-American military stance of the movie in interviews, such as the following:

    Q: “Battleship” has already made $215 million overseas. Why do you think a film about American soldiers is playing so well internationally? [Translation: Shouldn't a pro-American military movie flop overseas because nobody likes the US military overseas and they aren't even liked in the US so much, at least in our jaundiced media leftist perspective.]

    A (Berg): “At the end of the day, the movie is about people. You stop thinking about these sailors as representatives of an army. They’re young people trying to survive. I felt that if we could accomplish that, the jingoistic aspects of the film could be diminished and people would get on the ride and go with it.”

    Nonetheless, I think that Berg gives us a clue as to who the aliens might represent in one of his interviews (at least in Berg’s mind). And Norman’s theory might not be far from the truth, in spite of Berg’s politics in “The Kingdom.”

    In an interview with an Israeli reporter, Damiano Holt, Berg tells the reporter that one of the most important issues today is the dilemma that Israel faces with the looming threat of a nuclear Iran. Now, I would imagine that Berg has been on the road a lot recently, promoting this movie, and that he’s given a great many interviews. In the interview clip, he strikes me as being a bit weary from the road tours, and his comment about Israel and Iran does not particularly flow naturally from the discussion, so the way that this pops up suddenly indicates to me that the Iran nuclear threat is on the front-burner of his political consciousness.

    RA: Perhaps you’ve not been reading the site regularly, as I did a whole post on that video, so I’ve removed the link to an outside source and have posted the link to this site where the video appears:

    http://www.debbieschlussel.com/49606/wow-famous-hollywood-director-wakes-up-from-his-pan-islamist-slumber-join-the-idf-m-fer/

    Also, I think you are imposing what you want to think onto Peter Berg. This is the second time he’s attacked “jingoism,” which is a favorite word of the left used in place of patriotism to mock and attack it. He said no such thing about Islam. Period. And what he said about “The Kingdom,” he’s never taken back. If you read the link, you will re-evaluate what you think he’s thinking (but actually has never said he’s thinking at all). DS

    Ralph Adamo on May 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      We like to think he may have changed. It pays to be skeptical.

      Now if the movie is patriotic, I think its due to the fact even leftists like Berg are attuned to the commercial aspect of making money and anti-American and pro-Islamist propaganda bombs at the box office.

      Hollywood is still not prepared to take sides like it did during the Cold War – and we have to take what we can get. Like I said, whether our elite cultural figures want to admit it or not, we are at war.

      And the killing last year of Obama Bin Laden changed nothing on that front.

      NormanF on May 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Debbie, you’re right; I missed that earlier article. When it comes to movie symbols like aliens there is always the opportunity for the viewer to read into what the aliens represent, which is why they tend to be depicted in an open-ended manner, and that’s also why I referred to that projection mechanism in my post. And it’s certainly possible that these aliens are simply that, to be taken at a comic book level. (and, after all, the Hoeber brothers, who wrote the story and screenplay for “Battleship” are steeped in comic book literature). However, in the larger context, in order for major film like “Battleship” to resonate with audiences, there still needs to be some link to current events. As for the term “jingoism,” I’ve never accepted “jingoism” as a pejorative term. I’ve always taken the same view of the term as Theodore Roosevelt. This is what he had to say about it: “There is much talk about ‘jingoism’. If by ‘jingoism’ they mean a policy in pursuance of which Americans will with resolution and common sense insist upon our rights being respected by foreign powers, then we are ‘jingoes’.” New York Times, 1895. And when Chamberlain notoriously appeased Hitler, critics of that policy were saying “where are the jingoes?”

      Ralph Adamo on May 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Looks like a bunch of good movies this weekend, except for ‘What to Expect’ and ‘Mansome’ (what does that word mean, anyway?) Your review of ‘Bully’ reminds me of all the times I was bullied in school.

About the online bullying, I do think kids being addicted to FaceBook, MySpace and similar sites are getting in too early. Taking a break from it, and either exploring other sites, or staying offline altogether is a better idea. Of course, in our times in school, kids were busy hounding us in actual physical proximity, which made it hard to get away from.

Infidel on May 20, 2012 at 5:37 am

Did John Podhoretz tweet you about how he would turn over a new leaf and go after Grover Norquist? He’s always been a lightweight, and would never be associated with Commentary at all were it not for his father.

Did he say he would turn over a new leaf and oppose illegal immigration?

Little Al on May 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

I saw Battleship last night. After you suspend your disbelief that the alien war ships which traveled light years to reach Earth can be penetrated, blown up, etc., by human ordnance, you’ll love this action filled patriotic movie. There are a set of scenes that appear to be borrowed from Star Trek First Contact and the Borg but that’s okay. I hope Colonel Gadsen gets more parts in TV and movies. The WWII, Korean and Vietnam Navy veterans brought a tear to my eye (my late father was a WWII Army veteran who saw action in Europe). And of course, Brooklyn Decker is absolute gorgeous and is not portrayed as a dumb blonde. Go see it.

Concerned Citizen on May 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Debbie reacted in disbelief to what I said – but there’s truth to the notion that art can’t but be influenced by present day events.

    There was much discussion earlier in the week as to whether Berg has changed his views. The Left doesn’t like this movie and as for what I wrote about it being an allegory, it’ll be attacked from that quarter too.

    We had this same debate around the time the “LOTR” was written during the World War II years. The fact remains America has an enemy and whether Hollywood chooses to face up to it or not, that is its problem. We have to live with it.

    And my point about our kids remains a valid one regardless of how you see the enemy in the movie. We’ve had to fight them in the past and someday in the future, we’ll have to fight them again.

    Civilization will never truly be secure.

    NormanF on May 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I about died laughing reading Debbie’s description of John Podhoretz in the passage of her review of “Bully.” Let’s accept, if only to avoid a row with conservative bigwigs, that he won his job at Commentary on his own, without the help of his father. The fact remains that this guy strikes me as semi-crazy — if not seriously over-the-top crazy. What gives? Does Debbie know this guy personally? How can someone like that run a major magazine more than three years running?

In any event, I saw “Bully” several weeks ago, and it was effective as a documentary of a very real social problem. I, too, was infuriated by that female principal in Iowa who assumed moral equivalence between tormentor and victim. The victim actually displayed more stones than the principal. Highly disturbing footage — and necessary.

R: You have it right on him (minus the “semi-” part – he is full-on crazy). I do not–nor do I have any desire to–know John Podhoretz personally and have never ever had any interactions with him, including this time. I never tweeted to or at him, but he began sending a slurry of crazy tweet attacks at me, unprovoked–that’s what jealous, bitter, crazy guys do. He is a completely unhinged, talentless hack, who got everything he has solely because of his last name. DS

rocker on May 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

“Frankly, in today’s day and age, when kids are a bunch of morons over-exposed to sex and violence, seeking to become Kardashians, and modeling their lives after vapid sluts on TV and the movies, these kids in “First Position” are a welcome breath of fresh air. They are disciplined, hard-working, smart, well-mannered, poised, precocious, and decent.”

Sounds like the way kids were before ridiculous child labor laws were passed and kids often had to work to help support the family or did actual chores on the family farm, not 4H projects. We need to find ways for kids to learn something useful while they’re still young so that they develop all these qualities as well as finding their abilities and passions. That means not legislating them into delayed adulthood by keeping them in schools with programs not suited to the academically talented or preventing them from working when they feel ready. Kids turn into Kardashians because they are empty of value and discipline. They are petted and preened over and told how wonderful they are for doing nothing, but that “self esteem” is just an empty box beautifully wrapped. Even if they don’t have some special gift, e.g. ballet dancing, they need to be given things to do that show them they are capable and give them the work of their hands to appreciate.

Italkit on May 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Great review of “Battleship,” Debbie. I liked it, too. It was patriotic, exciting and fun. It was also simple and pure–actually good qualities in this case. Like Concerned Citizen, I was moved by the older veterans who came in to help towards the end. The underlying message of that scene seemed to be that we baby boomers could use a little help from an older generation, because technical know-how–so-called “smart power”–isn’t everything. Sometimes experience and character count.

Sci fi comes in many forms–adventure (“Star Wars”), weird (Ridley Scott films), liberal parable (“E.T.” and “Contact”). I’m liking this new form that appears to have been recently invented, a hybrid between the traditional, uncomplicated John Wayne-type war-story as developed in the forties when we fought Nazis and Japs, along with monsters and sci fi elements now inserted. The fairly recent “Battle: Los Angeles” was almost identical in form, and I liked that, too. (This was better, though.)

Liam Neeson as admiral was well cast for the story. After watching him in “Taken,” I could empathize with the main character’s nervousness in asking for the daughter’s hand in marriage.

Many critics were indignant and annoyed by the loud sound of this film. Maybe they’ve spent too much time listening to NPR and should get out more. From what I’ve observed, liberals talk softly but underneath they carry a mean (fascist) stick.

Burke on May 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Debbie I will resist making a comment about you Expecting after our First Position. Nor will I comment on any additional Positions we may find ourselves in. It’s too obvious and not in keeping with the rules of Tznius which require me to pretend I’m interested in politics, etc. Anyway two things. First, good job outing the loser Rabbi’s loser son. These things shouldn’t go unmentioned. Second, I bet your sudden popularity in junior HS wasn’t totally due to your personality or change of scenery.

A1 on May 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Debbie, I liked your review of “Bullies.” It’s not just a problem in the schoolyard, as your illustration with Podhoretz shows. Of course, there’s always the Chicago-Thug-In-Chief to help remind us what bullying can amount to when practiced as a fine art in politics.

I didn’t like the movie myself. It’s a liberal film made by a liberal filmmaker that happens to concern a topic of interest to conservatives. In that way, this film reminds me of David Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman.” That documentary was all about failing public schools, and Guggenheim (famous for “Inconvenient Truth”) went on conservative talk radio shows like the Sean Hannity program and fraudulently pretended that it would be worthwhile for conservatives to see. In actual fact, the film was a slanted piece of liberal trash–but I’m sure a lot of conservatives were fooled into buying tickets so that Guggenheim could afford an even more luxurious mansion with a better view. That’s important.

Conservatives want a civil, decent society, so they’re naturally drawn to the topic of bullying, but this film “Bullying” wasn’t made for them. Its main purpose is to enlarge the number of mascots or pets liberals can pretend to bleed compassion for and pretend they want to save along with dolphins, Harvard Cherokees and Islamofascist terrorists. You gave a good analysis of the many defects and biases of the film in your review.

The really big problem with the film, though, is one you didn’t take on directly, and that is that the film looks at the symptoms without diagnosing the disease. The real disease is that public education is a stinky failure. I should know, having taught in government schools for twenty-five years. They are worthless places of sad, empty depression and passive resignation. There are pockets of healthy functioning, but these pockets are soon wiped out by union rules and union envy, suit-happy lawyers, girlie-style discipline, federal paternalism, one-size-fits-all mediocrity, and total apathy by parents who understand the scam and have withdrawn. The problem is the schools themselves because one-size-Soviet-style propaganda machines don’t work. Until that problem is addressed, then drug use, cheating, poor ethics, sloppy and lazy teaching, violence and routine failure will all continue to grow.

Burke on May 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Interesting take on the Bullys. In real life, some get bullied more than others. But as with most cause and effect, there can be long lasting benefits and downsides. My own story is different from yours, but I couldn’t help to enjoy watching a Strikeforce (Showtime) Heavyweight Championship Fight between Daniel Cormier and Josh Barnett today on DVR. Cormier won the fight, and part of his remarkable story is that he got into wrestling due to being bullied. Obviously they created a monster.lol

samurai on May 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I was curious on what you thought of that pop star Rihanna’s performance in “Battleship”.
I have much more to say about this whole bullying epidemic. The film-makers of this “Bully” movie were criticized for not explaining that kid Alex’s disability in the movie. I feel that everyone should be educated about disabilities other people have to fight this bullying epidemic because more knowledge might make people feel more compassionate and sympathetic to disabled people (who are most vulnerable to bullying). I spend nights awake worrying about the well-being of these people since I know some adults with disabilities who are very unhappy and treated badly by their family members. It breaks my heart to hear about all these teenage suicides of victims of bullying.
On the other hand, much of the bullying movement is promoted by liberal activists who are hypocrites. Dan Savage who began the “It Gets Better Project” in 2010 recently cursed at Christian High School students at a speaking engagement last month.

M: Rihanna’s acting was not bad, though she had very few lines and at least two of them were four letter words. I was unaware–until reading your comment–that Alex had a disability, and you are right: that is a failing of the movie. I think that would make his case even more worthy of sympathy than it already is. I felt for Alex and hope he makes it out of school okay. And I agree with you on the hypocrisy of the liberals. They are often bullies, too. DS

Matthew on May 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for the warning on the bad language in “Battleship.” I was already leery of that production merely because Rihanna (whom I despise) is in it, but the bad language makes it a no-brainer. The sad thing is that not so long ago, films got R ratings based on bad language alone, and definitely for a combination of bad language and violence. They need to go back and give all those R rated action movies from the 1980s (which generally had bad language and violence but nothing else) new ratings.

“I doubt this will lessen to any degree the tremendous hatred that Black America continues to have for the Jewish people. Nothing ever seems to make a difference or be appreciated.”

Hmmm. That is quite unfair. Opinion polls show that 35% of blacks harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. Even if you take those at face value, that statement is horribly unfair to the other 65%. Would you make such a sweeping generalization about the white community due to the fact that 46% of white Republicans in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be illegal? (Not that they personally oppose it, mind you, but that it should be illegal!)

And by the way … I don’t take that 35% at face value. Those polls are done by liberal organizations like the ADL and often have loaded questions that classify politically incorrect positions (and by that I literally mean things that are opposed to the liberal political and social agenda) to be bigotry, and at the very worse only reflect benign stereotyping as opposed to an actual intent to cause anyone real harm (physical, economic etc). Another thing: the (utterly false) “blacks can’t be racist” nonsense that has been reinforced by the educational system and the media for the past generation will make a black person far more likely to answer affirmatively to something like “Jews control the banks and the media” in a poll question than whites – who have been taught to hide their biases or else get fired from their jobs, get kicked out of school, etc. – will.

Put it this way: the biggest overtly anti-Semitic black organization in America, the Nation of Islam, contains a mere 200,000 members, like 0.5% of the black population. And the Nation of Islam is larger than all the other black anti-Semitic groups combined. Another example: U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen, who represents a heavily black district in Memphis, and routinely crushes his black challengers in primaries where blacks make up the vast majority of the voters. (Meaning that the very same blacks who would refer to Cohen as “a rich Jewish lawyer” in those loaded ADL anti-Semitism detector polls vote for Cohen instead of civil rights leaders every two years.) Another example: the vast majority of black athletes, actors, musicians and other entertainers continue to retain Jewish representation (agents et al) despite many demands from certain elements of the black community that they abandon them in favor of black agents.

I say that the “Nothing ever seems to make a difference or be appreciated” stuff cuts both ways when it comes to Jews who insist on believing that blacks hate them. Or at least in believing that blacks hate Jews any more than other non-Jews do.

Gerald on May 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Sorry Gerald, DS’ statement has more credibility than what you said. I don’t think what she said was unfair. I thought it rang very true when I read it.

    Skunky on May 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm

@Gerald, I don’t believe for a minute that “the nation” only has 200,000 members. There’s more that subscribe to the “newspaper” they put out. The penal system alone has much more than that. The rest of the sympathizers are many as well. Blanket statements abound, come on son.

samurai on May 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

the best way to handle bullies is to introduce them to mr.rock which i had to do to a lot of rump swabs.i had a paper route of about 109 stops after school so i did not have a lot of time to fool around with them.i carried a 2lb rock in my canvas bag for carrying news papers.if attacked by a bully i would give him a two hander to the squash and this usually ended the bulling.if not two to the squash did the trick.there after i was known as a vicious bastard to be left alone.

BRUCE on May 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm

The problem with bullying is when the victim fights back, and, say, evens the odds by picking something heavy up and hits the bully with it, or fights back and wins, the victim ends up in the principal’s office. I know, as the smallest kid in the class, and Jewish, I had to fight back, and I never lost. The morons at my elementary school used to blame me for fighting back. Liberalism run amuck.

Our schools should be teaching the motto, “Never take crap from anyone.” There would be a lot more bloodied bullies, and fewer victims.

Jonathan E. Grant on May 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

THREE REAGANS FOR “BATTLESHIP”??? I’ll wait for it to show up on Torrent / Netflix / DVD-BluRay.

The reason why I can’t be bothered to go to any Hollywood movie is because the underlying theme of each flick appears to be in lock-step with the hippy-commune “liberal” mentality prevalent among the major players.

Sailors vs Aliens? From the review, it appeared that the aforementioned Mr Berg has reduced the USN to a guns-and-steel version of the Camp Fire Girls. (Plus, the Japanese Navy is officially the “Maritime Self-Defence Force” – a tad too genteel for my taste.)

And what are the Arabo-Fascist regimes doing about the evil ETs in the movie. Would it be politically-incorrect to see their armies go kamikaze on the invasion fleet? Unless, of course, they have the Magen David etched onto their vessels?

I’d still like to see it, even though it has Rihanna “acting”, or at least making an attempt at it. I have a feeling that she is the new Black Marilyn Monroe. A big leather ottoman has better looks (and more talent) than her.

“Battleship” – meh!

“First Position” – meh! It’s a doc, has an agenda. But the tarts these days are so maligned that it’s great seeing newer generations stepping up to the plate.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” – feh! What happened to the Goebbels. DS? Another example of Holly-weird propapgandizing! If I wanted to see pregger-porn, I’d watch the real thing.

“The Sound of my Voice” – meh! This would qualify as a “date-ish” movie, judging from the plotline. Wait 4 Netflix.

“Mansome” – feh! If I wanted to see a Michael Moore flick, I’d go see a Michael Moore flick. And I never had forgiven the fat effer for misrepresenting my country in “Bowling for Columbine”! Morgan Spurlock only did one movie worth watching once and that was “Super Size Me” which exposed him as a poor-man’s MM. But no more. 50 lashes for that cur Spurlock!

“Bully” – yeah! Potentially a painful watch – check out the “Zeitgeist” series if you want REAL pain – but sometimes we have to face our pain, and fight and prevail over it. Recommended viewing but make sure the ‘rents are with their kids at all times while watching it.

And don’t watch the “Zeitgeist” series – unless you posses a strong open mind and have no projectiles lying around. Just saying.

This Weekend – FUS-RODAH!

The Reverend Jacques on May 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

After waiting all weekend to read Deb’s review of Battleship, I was so excited to see it this afternoon. I’ve been anticipating this movie all year and was terribly disappointed to see all of the negative publicity and had almost considered waiting until the DVD release. However, my son and I just returned from seeing it this evening (after reading the aforementioned Deb review) and it was completely GREAT!!!! Very patriotic, pro-American, pro-military, etc. I have to also admit, much to my chagrin, Rihanna was actually pretty decent in it too. This is one I’d pay good money to see again while it’s in theatres. Time to spread the word!

Denise on May 20, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Blacks don’t have anti-semitic attitudes? I guess now that Koreans are the main villains.

In the last few decades, Jews have been leaving the occupations where they come into a lot of contact with blacks, and thus black animosity is more diffused.

Also, I guess the word has come down that Jews are financing BO, and as the old saying goes, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

The black media and racists (pardon the duplication) have probably toned down their anti-semitism temporarily as long as Jewish supporters are forking over their money to black politicians such as Obama.

But under the surface, the black community is still anti-semitic. It’s just that most well-known Jews don’t disagree with Blacks on anything, so as a result, opposition is muted. But as a test, suppose a leading Jewish spokesman said that Zimmerman is innocent and should be freed, and that this theme was picked up by a few other leading Jewish politicians. Watch the anti-semitism spring up universally in the black community.

And Gerald’s last paragraph? Does he believe Jews are universally hated? That’s certainly the suggestion.

Little Al on May 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

Debbie, I love your Rating System icons. I really do LOL at the 4 Marx+Osama+Friedan … jeepers, I’ve wiped tears off laughing. May I suggest you have a special rating icon using Obama? (for note-worthy hate America film garbage)

That said, I’m looking forward to Battleship.

Jack on May 21, 2012 at 11:23 am


It’s been going on since the world began and the snake bullied Eve who bullied Adam into eating the apple.

Really? Apples grow in the Middle East? Since when?

FK: The “forbidden fruit” is commonly referred to as an apple. Plus, we don’t know where the Garden of Eden was. DS

FrenchKiss on May 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm


And I agree with you on the hypocrisy of the liberals. They are often bullies, too. DS

Conservatives are often bullies too.

FK: If you read my review, you’ll see that I noted that thee are plenty of bullies on the right. DS

FrenchKiss on May 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hey FK – if apples are grown in the mid-east, you just have to know which country can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Viva Yisrael

brickwood on May 21, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Debbie, great review of Battleship. I took four pre-teen boys to the movie and they LOVED it. And I totally got into it too. I really wasn’t expecting some of the plot twists and turns. Very surprised how the film makers were able to redo the aliens-try-to-take-over-the-world theme into something fresh and new. And to throw in a pro AMERICAN military theme at the same time was great. I’m shocked at the beating the film is taking at the box office. Though it is expected with the The Avengers juggernaut. Maybe some good word of mouth will help Batttleship!

tom7836 on May 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

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