April 12, 2013, - 5:32 am

Weekend Box Office: The Place Beyond the Pines, 42, Trance

By Debbie Schlussel

I actually liked all three new movies debuting at the box office, this week, with some caveats. One of them, “42,” for example seemed sort of like a re-run to me and even recycled the same actress as the significant other. “Scary Movie 5″ was not screened for critics. With Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen both in it, I wonder why.

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trance

* “The Place Beyond the Pines“: This was the best of the bunch, this week. It’s the best movie I’ve seen so far, this year. It’s superb, well acted, beautifully shot, and a great tale of fathers and sons woven into a thrilling movie that views like you are reading a tightly crafted novel. It is three stories–actually three movies–in one. At first, it seems as if the first story abruptly ends and a second one with only a very tangential connection to the first begins and you feel sort of let down, but it all ties together with the third and you appreciate the clever way it all comes together. The movie is many things at once: a thriller, a crime drama, a parable about fathers and sons, a miniseries, and much more.


There are two fathers who are the main characters in this movie. One wants desperately to be with his son and will do anything to be with him, despite limited means. He (Ryan Gosling) is a carny (or carnie)–a stunt motorcyclist who travels with a carnival or circus. He learns that a woman he met while the carnival was in Schenectady, New York had his son and didn’t tell him about it. She is now with someone else and is pushing him out of his own son’s life because he is a poorly-paid traveling stuntman with no way to support them. So, he quits his job and moves to town, yearning to be in his son’s life, going distances that he should–and, more important, shouldn’t–go to get there. He grew up without a father in his life, and he’ll do anything to prevent that from happening to his son.

Then, there is the young, relatively new cop (Bradley Cooper) who has a law degree and a father who is a prominent judge. To his father’s disappointment, he has little ambition beyond being a cop and raising his family. But it all changes when he is first involved in a tragedy in the course of his police work and then gets ensnared in corruption, which he tries to overcome. He, too, has a young son.

I can’t say much more because it will give this terrific movie away (and, in my opinion, the trailer gives away too much, so don’t watch it if you want to get the full experience of this movie). But we rarely see such a movie coming out of Hollywood, where fathers sometimes try to do the right thing, even sacrificing everything else. And sometimes they do not, and we see the consequences.

I had a few objections, such as that the only truly and completely good character and caring, loving father in the entire movie is the one Black character, and the rest are generally creeps, except for one–a police officer cum politician who is of mixed character (were the writers and casting agents trying to tell us something?). But don’t let this minor, tangential racial message or character distract you or keep you away, since that is not at all what this movie is about. Also, there was one evil character that definitely should have died by the end of the movie and, sadly, did not. You know that in ten years or twenty or more, this person will still be the same evil, horrible person.

The movie is two hours and twenty minutes long, but, remember that there are three movies in one in this. While it may seem long to some, I enjoyed watching the tales unfold and come together. I wasn’t bored for a second. The movie also co-stars Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta (in a novel role: corrupt Italian cop). Actor Dane DeHaan, who is relatively unknown outside of cable TV, is very good in his role in this film. The movie is, sadly, showing mostly in arthouse movie theaters and isn’t in wide release at mainstream movie theaters, though it should be.

Some of the stuff in the movie, you can guess and predict, but not most of it. There is some limited violence and blood in this movie, and it’s definitely not for kids. Not even close. But, for everyone else, it’s worth seeing. And it’s a great statement on why we have some of the problems we do in this country today. It’s all about having–or not having–a present dad in boys’ lives. Writer/director Derek Cianfrance did a great job with this.

FOUR REAGANS
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Watch the trailer (DON’T WATCH if you plan to see the movie and want the full experience as it unfolds) . . .

* “42“: While I liked it, I had slightly mixed feelings about this movie, which is subtitled, “The Jackie Robinson Movie.” By most accounts, the late Jackie Robinson was a mensch even while under fire from racism and for the the rest of his life afterward until he died in 1972. And, by the way, he was a proud registered Republican, something this movie specifically omits–the second “Gee, I wonder why” of this week in movies.

While the movie is ultimately uplifting, I couldn’t help but feel I’d seen this exact movie–or something very much like it before. I also felt I’d seen the actress who plays Robinson’s wife, Rachel, in the same role before. Sure enough, my memory was accurate. Actress Nicole Beharie was not only the wife in this movie, she played the girlfriend of Ernie Davis, the first Black man to win the Heisman Trophy, in the movie, “The Express” (read my review), the 2008 movie this one mirrors in almost its entirety–the movie just like this that I thought I’d seen before and, in fact, had. Like that movie, this one has the same slightly-cliched plotlines: the Black man fighting racism to break barriers and become one of the greats in his sport; the Black man who fights off an army of White racists calling him the “N” word and doing horrible things to him; and the Black man who finally succeeds and gains the respect of many. Yes, all of this happened in real-life, and nobody is expecting the story to be revised. Yes, racism happened and was a tremendous thing for Robinson to overcome. Davis, too. But, please, Hollywood, try to make the movie a little different . . . or at least vary the Black actresses who play the dutiful chick in the story. Isn’t it a subtle form of typical Tinseltown racism (Hollywood casting directors implying, “they all look alike”) not to do so? Just sayin’. And when will we see the movies about modern day Black racism against Whites?

I liked this movie much better than “The Express” for a number of reasons. In this one, not everyone is portrayed as a cartoonish caricature of a racist. There are plenty of White people who are shown supporting Robinson in his admission to Major League Baseball, including Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), the Brooklyn Dodgers owner who had the goal to bring Blacks into pro baseball and, ultimately, to his Dodgers team. And there are White folks on the street and on the team who also wish Robinson well. That’s something Hollywood rarely shows us in this type of movie, and so I appreciated this fairer portrayal to balance out the tremendous number of racists that Robinson–in the movie and in real life–had to face. We know that, in real life, there were some Whites aside from Rickey who wanted Robinson to get a fair shot to succeed in baseball.

Another reason I liked this movie: as with one of the fathers in “The Place Beyond the Pines” (see review above), Robinson is portrayed as a great father who will do what it takes to be in his son’s life. He is upset to miss the delivery of his baby boy and it pains him to stay away from his son when he is on the road in baseball’s minor leagues. He mentions that his father abandoned him and his mother, and he vows not to let that happen to his son. It’s a great message that would be best heeded by the many Black American men who will see this movie and whose communities are plagued by sons born out of wedlock with no fathers in their lives (a growing, harmful reality in White America, too).

I also liked that Jackie Robinson’s service in World War II is mentioned and recognized. Chadwick Boseman, who plays Robinson, is a good actor. He plays the part with dignity and class, which history says is the way Robinson handled his breakthrough career. An interesting part of the movie is when a sportscaster tells another, “Negroes are gonna run the White men out of baseball,” because, today, Hispanics/Latinos have run the Black man out of (Major League) baseball, and fewer and fewer Black kids play baseball today as this movie comes out.

There was an odd comedic scene in which a White teammate asks Jackie Robinson to shower with the rest of the team and in which there are implied gay jokes. I didn’t find it all that funny and felt it did a disservice to Robinson. I’ll bet the discussion and the scene never happened in real life. Come on, Hollywood, you shove gay marriage and gays in the military down our throats (no pun intended), and yet you do gay shower jokes at Jackie Robinson’s expense? Another case of LaLaLand “Do as I say, not as I do” BS.

There is nothing or original here. “42″ has the typical arc of a sports movie: the protagonist overcomes tremendous odds and obstacles to achieve greatness. I could have done without the music typical of these movies, which seems a little overwrought and too much in this latest iteration (and other recent non-racial iterations) of that story. Still, the movie is enjoyable and entertaining and the muted earthtone-washed colors, sets, and other period details are beautiful and well done.

And I believe, based on my own knowledge, that it captures the Jackie Robinson story well. The only way they could have done it better would be to have Robinson play himself, as he did in his own version, 1950′s “The Jackie Robinson Story.” Still, if I had young kids, I’m not sure I’d take them to see this. There are so many utterances of the N-word, they might come out of it echoing that dialogue.

Don’t let the annoying rap music in the trailers for this movie scare you. There is none of that in this positive, traditional sports movie.

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

* “Trance“: The first thing you need to know about this movie: it’s the first non-porn movie in which the lead actress must get a Brazilian wax. Yes, that’s the sad part about this really cool movie, which would have been cooler without the unnecessary addition of dialogue about women without genital body hair and scenes of Rosario Dawson in full frontal “Brazilianed” nudity. Never thought I’d be writing about this in a mainstream, non-X-rated movie review. Hope it doesn’t happen again, but, unfortunately, that’s the trend now, not the aberration. Upping the ick factor is the knowledge that, in real life, Dawson “dated” (euphemism) the movie’s director Danny Boyle (who looks like he could be her grandpa, has a daughter not much younger than her, and who never married the mother of his two kids, with whom he was together for two decades). More creepy: Dawson bragged that she took her brother, parents, and grandparents to see her in all the Brazilianed “glory.” Other than that, I enjoyed this movie and found it very entertaining (despite my not being a Dawson fan at all).

This movie was very different, interesting, and thrilling. It’s a novel story that reminds you, sort of, of the movie, “Inception” (read my review). There are various levels of story and you have to pay attention to know what’s real and what isn’t. And like Inception–although this one is much better–there is some degree of pretentiousness.

An employee/art dealer (James McAvoy) at a prestigious London auction house is involved in a heist of a valuable painting, which he was supposed to steal for gangsters led by Vincent Cassel. But he’s been hit on the head and has amnesia. He cannot remember what he did with the painting, and the gangsters can’t find it. Violence against him doesn’t make the art dealer remember. So, the gangsters force him to go to a hypnotherapist (Rosario Dawson), who is hired to try to coax the location of the painting through hypnosis. But it’s not that easy. And soon the hypnotherapist is the one who is the central character. She takes control of the situation for her own purposes.

I don’t want to say more, or it will give away the movie. Some reservations: I didn’t like the ultimately feminist revenge bent of the movie. And some of the coincidences as explained in the movie’s last scenes seem unlikely, trumped up, and too clever by half. Still, I enjoyed it and found it different and intriguing, and it’s well done. This is somewhat violent and has sexual situations and the aforementioned frontal nudity. And it’s definitely not for kids.

It’s a great thriller and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Definitely kept me engrossed.

THREE REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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34 Responses

We are being inundated with movies about how racist we are (or were). Even with portrayal of those whites who supported Robinson’s entry into baseball, the underlying message is still one about how racist this country was (and by implication still is.)

We are hit with this message constantly, reminiscent of the Communist brainwashing. January is MLK’s birthday, February is Black History Month, and there are all the 50th year anniversaries either coming up or current, Selma, the Freedom Rides, etc. No letup.

But there are other 50 year anniversaries that, in order to have balance, should also be publicized. The Harlem Riots of 1964, the Detroit Riots of 1967, and the dozens of other riots in the mid-60s.

All the anti-semitic actions by black gangs and black leaders, all the anti-Korean actions by blacks, etc. In order to have balance, why not have a movie about a Korean small shopkeeper who is driven out of business by black prejudice and thuggery?

And then, later in the decade, will be the 50th anniversary of the women’s actions and the gay actions. No let up from the constant drumbeating (no pun intended) about how racist, sexist, and antigay we supposedly are.

So even if this movie, as a self-contained production might be OK, I am not going to see it, because the ‘artistic’ production of our day is so biased and one-sided.

Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Loved your post, Little Al. You make many terrific points. I personally consider your argument as a whole to be logical and balanced.

    My own definition of a “racist” movie is this: “when the color of the characters’ skins features as a prominent part of the story.” By that definition, there have been an increasing number of racist films lately: “Lincoln,” “Django,” “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Killer,” “The Help,” “Machete,” etc. etc. and now “41.” Racist movies of this type are growing more prevalent all the time.

    One reason for the increased amount of racism of this type might be found in the way racism can be exploited for political purposes. I’ve been reading Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man” lately. Marcuse was an important communist of the Frankfurt group who stirred up radicals in the sixties and exhorted them to use violence against misguided patriarchal capitalists. Marcuse argued in this book that blue collar factory workers had become fat and happy, so radicals should bend their efforts towards recruiting people of color. That’s what these movies are: a stick to stir up anger and resentment so that the religion of liberal fascism can increase its numbers.

    I’m glad the movie did finally come out. I’ve probably seen the trailer about ten times now. The trailer is so nauseatingly earnest and treacly that I’ve gotten to the point where I would step out of the theater when it would start showing, just so it wouldn’t wreck my mood for the upcoming film. Now the film is out and the trailers will thankfully stop.

    Burke on April 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Even though I do not agree with all those gals who think Ryan Gosling is “hot” I wanna see the movie because I saw Ben Mendolsohn is in it (Yippee!!) a I just love to watch him act. He’s excellent even in crap movies. Plus Ray Liotta is fun to watch when he’s playing a baddie. Don’t like Eva Mendez but I just ignore her in the good movies I watch when she is in them.

People rave about the range of Bradley Cooper but I wouldn’t know. Never seen any of his films. The actors in TPBTP are interesting so I will make sure to see it. If DS liked it it has to be good!

I LOLed @ the “Gee, I wonder whys?”! If I had a beard I would be stroking it and pondering those ponder-ables! :D

Skunky on April 12, 2013 at 11:35 am

Little Al, it is definitely your perogative not to see the film, but I’m not sure what you mean when you say, we are “inundated with movies about how racist we were”. I work in the film industry, and out of the 659 movies released in the United States in 2012, I could only find two that dealt with themes of historic racism. The top movies in 2012 were “The Avengers” “The Dark Night Rises”, “The Hunger Games”, “Skyfall”, “The Hobbit”, “The Twilight Saga”, “The Amazing Spiderman”, “Brave”, “Ted”, and “Madagascar 3″. Not exactly a plethora of movies dealing with racism. And none of the top releases in 2013 have an themes of “how racist we were” (I guess “Olympus Has Fallen” doesn’t count!) However, I think it’s past time a movie was made about a great guy like Jackie Robinson. If nothing else, the movie should show young blacks that whatever their alleged “greivances” are today are NOTHING in comparison to what Mr. Robinson had to face…and he married ONE wife (not a babymamma) and was a father to his kids while doing it. I plan on supporting the film…

Melyssa on April 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

    You must understand: Self-styled “culture warriors” who ritualistically denounce Hollywood are all war and no culture. For them, it is isn’t even necessary to see a movie in order to denounce it.

    There is no way to reason with such people. I’ve tried, but in the end it’s futile.

    Seek on April 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    It was stated that this movie, ’42′ was essentially a rerun. In case the hammering about our racism wasn’t enough the first time. And I’d be ashamed to admit I worked for the film industry.

    Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    And just to mention a third movie of 2012 lecturing us on the evils of racism there was Red Tails (in addition to Gerald’s two.)

    Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Jackie Robinson was born in 1919 and died in 1972. He lived a tough life after baseball and everything that happened to him finally caught up to him. You can extrapolate why the stress led to him dying so young.

Glen Benjamin on April 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

@Melyssa:

It was a lot more than 2 movies. Lincoln and Django Unchained alone dealt with historic racism. Now I don’t agree with Little Al of course … I think that all historical issues should be dealt with, not just historical issues that happen to benefit conservatives.

@Little Al:

Granted, Hollywood is not balanced in their treatment of racial and other issues, but Hollywood is dominated by far-left liberals. If conservatives want more balance, they should write, produce, direct or at least bankroll their own movies.

Don’t tell me that it is impossible. If Tyler Perry can put 13 movies in theaters in 8 years plus produce several TV series and create and run his own studio, conservatives can put movies in theaters also.

So any conservative with the talent to put their right wing spin on a movie about Jim Crow or slavery or a movie about white victims of black crime or how street gangs destroy neighborhoods and public schools (and illegitimacy is the breeding ground of gang members) is free to do so. But it seems as if conservatives would rather make easy money in the low risk industry of criticizing Hollywood than to challenge it by making movies of their own. The failure of conservatives to use mass entertainment to tell their story is a failure of conservatives, not of Hollywood.

Gerald on April 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Gerald, I would agree with you if Hollywood was a level playing field, but we all know it isn’t. Liberals are given preference, and conservatives are generally ostracized, and not given the opportunities that liberals are.

    I agree that conservatives could be more aggressive, but there is still ingrained hostility in the industry against them.

    Since I avoid Hollywood trash, I don’t keep count of politically correct movies, but after reading review after review on this site, it seems every week there is a movie about the oppression of one ‘victim’ group after another. I’m not going to waste my time or money going to all these movies to prove my point.

    Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Gerald, you let YOUR bias show with this gem….

    “So any conservative with the talent to put their [right wing spin] on a movie about Jim Crow …”

    Skunky on April 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Gerald, there are a lot of reasons why conservatives can’t just start their own studios and make conservative movies.

    One reason is that the movies will probably receive liberally biased, savage criticism for voicing conservative values. A good example of this is what happened with “Atlas Shrugged.” That film was a solid, interesting adaptation of an important classic but received only 6% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. This kind of pattern is a serious obstacle to advertising and public relations right out of starting gate.

    Then there’s the fact that anyone involved in making a conservative film at whatever level can count on being blacklisted in the future. Building a Hollywood career is cutthroat as it is without getting a black mark on one’s resume.

    Many times, I’ve seen well-heeled conservatives with good ideas and projects attempt to make films and then watched the way the films couldn’t find appealing stars or were ridiculed by the mainstream media; it hasn’t been a pretty picture.

    By the way, I disagree with your example of Tyler Perry. He happens to be a genius who makes soap operas for blacks; he’s not a conservative ideologue discussing taboo topics like black racism against Koreans or whites, for example.

    Burke on April 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Branch Rickey also was a WW1 combat veteran, drafted the 1st Afro-Hispanic player – Roberto Clemente for the Pirates, developed the baseball minor league farm system, and introduced the batting helmet in major league play. Some trivia on this great person.

Rick Gurtowski on April 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

@Little Al:

“I would agree with you if Hollywood was a level playing field, but we all know it isn’t”

Hmmm … so lack of a level playing field is a sufficient excuse if it is tilted against you and not the other guy? Please. In any event, I am not holding you personally responsible for this failure, because there is no evidence that you have the slightest interest in filmmaking … it is not your responsibility. But it is a failure of conservatives collectively and as a movement. Again, it seems as conservatives are more willing to make easy money criticizing Hollywood than put in the huge risk and hard work to be entrepreneurs and create their own production companies and studios.

Gerald on April 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    @Gerald–

    I think it goes far beyond taking the “huge risk.” The value system of Hollywood has been overwhelmingly liberal since the 1930s.

    Even if a conservative could get a movie made, so what? Nothing will change.

    More than that, while the movement *has* failed, how can you possibly compete against giving away free stuff to buy votes–against a backdrop of a vastly changed American demographic?

    Prometheus on April 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

So is the onus on conservatives for not countering Hollywood?

Generally people don’t like to make career-ending moves, and you have to be careful — your arguments are subtly turning the victim into the criminal. Why didn’t the victim do more to combat the criminal? Let’s remember who has the main responsibility, and who is still the victim. Pretty basic.

Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    “….your arguments are subtly turning the victim into the criminal.”

    Little Al, I’m “just saying” but those who know Gerald’s achilles heel here knows that his DEFAULT position. IF the colour is correct, of course…

    Like 7 on 8….

    Skunky on April 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I’m SO sick of the annual canonization of Jackie Robinson. Yes, I’m glad the color barrier was broken, and yes, he was one of the great 2Bs of all time. That being said, do we have to all but worship him every April? Why does nobody ever even mention Larry Doby, who was the first African-American to play in the AL? His debut was less than three months after Robinson’s. Does anyone seriously think all the animosity had dried up during that time, or that AL crowds were any less ferocious in dealing with the presence of a black player? For that matter, how about Moses Fleetwood Walker, who was the FIRST black player in the majors, six decades before Robinson? Or how about Hank Greenberg, the first big Jewish star? Granted, there was no “gentleman’s agreement” among the owners to keep Jews out of Organized Baseball, but vitriolic anti-Semitism ran rampant in America in those days, and Greenberg took more than his fair share of crap as well. My bottom-line point is that there are more than enough heroes to go around in the history of the game. Why rehash the same story over and over, ad nauseam?

Rick Nordstrom on April 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    @Rick–

    But, none of those you mention are part of the accepted PC narrative. Thus, they don’t really exist.

    Besides, who cares about Cleveland (Doby’s team)? NYC is all that counts as far as the media is concerned.

    Prometheus on April 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm

@Little Al:

“your arguments are subtly turning the victim into the criminal. Why didn’t the victim do more to combat the criminal? Let’s remember who has the main responsibility, and who is still the victim”

Excuse me, but how is your logic any different from that of the black person who complains that the playing field isn’t level so he isn’t going to even try to start his own software company or catering business? For you, the lack of fairness and equality is an insurmountable barrier, but for the other guy, it is victimization. Sorry, but I am not buying it. Especially when there is no shortage of black actors, directors etc. in Hollywood who claim that they can’t get enough good projects – or projects at all – because of their race, yet there are still blacks who break through and succeed, even if they get stuck with the typecast, token or stereotypical roles.

@Prometheus:

Who on earth said that you had to change or even challenge Hollywood? I am talking about conservatives making their own movies. You can start your own studio anywhere. You can create your own production company anywhere. You can create your own distribution company anywhere. If you do that, you can create and distribute your own movies yourself with no regard to any liberal Hollywood power structure. Don’t believe me? Check this out. http://www.howstuffworks.com/movie-distribution.htm

When people in England, France, Germany, India etc. started making and distributing their own films, were they trying to change Hollywood? No. They were trying to A) make money and B) tell their own stories. And if you don’t believe that it will change anything, you’re not dealing with reality. Hollywood propaganda has HEAVILY influenced American opinion on a host of issues. Why shouldn’t conservative movies be able to convince people of the truth?

You don’t think that a movie that depicts what a basket case Detroit is by – for example – using contextual footage of Detroit City Council meetings as well as showing that black politicians and leaders ran whites out of the city on purpose so they could take political control (when the false “white flight to avoid integration” narrative is universally believed instead) wouldn’t provoke debate and change minds? That is just a defeatist attitude.

20 years ago folks were likely certain that a 24 hour conservative cable news channel would fail, but look at Fox News. Roger Ailes should have started a movie studio or production company in addition to or instead of that operation.

Sorry, but conservatives just dropped the ball.

Gerald on April 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    But, as a frequent reader of this blog, Gerald, you know that Fox is not really conservative. They support illegal immigration, the Arab Spring (sic), etc., etc.

    And again, would lack of initiative excuse liberal bias in Hollywood? You seem to be evading that question. Liberal bias does exist, and it is the liberals’ fault.

    Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

@Gerald–

I was not talking about changing Hollywood. I was referring to the culture. The battle–as Debbie has often said–is lost.

Dropped ball or not, personal responsibility is not a tough sale these days–it is a “no sale.”

Conservative media gives a voice, but at the end of the day, so what? Examples such as the union defeat in WI were mostly because the common man finally saw that his unionized neighbors were ripping him off. And that turned the tide.

It had very little to do with O’Reilly or Limbaugh.

There is no way for that to occur nationally, however. Besides, “The Man” may have given us the WI victory as a consolation prize.

Prometheus on April 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Gerald, with the position that you have, I would be hesitant to enter into a discussion of logic.

Yes, blacks should certainly, in most cases, have used initiative (say in 1947, [or the period immediately after] when Robinson entered the majors) to get ahead, starting their own companies, entering professions, etc. And if they didn’t, they do in most cases bear some responsibility for their lack of success, subject to the qualification in my last paragraph.

But it is still the white society’s fault, overall that racism exists (although now with affirmative action the picture changes.) The fact that an individual black person used insufficient initiate doesn’t change the fact that he did not bear the main responsibility for the racism. The whites, looking at it historically, still bore the main responsibility, even if the black was not completely blameless.

You are an intelligent person, but you seem to have a blind spot in recognizing that the fundamental responsibility is that of the liberals.

And you look at things only from the point of view of the potential conservative filmmaker, not the consumer. Is the consumer expected to show this kind of initiative also? Running around from community to community trying to find entertainment that is not liberal? Many of us try, but it is hard. Conservative films are not reissued or shown the way liberal films are. Film books by conservatives are much more infrequent than those by liberals. Suppose I wanted to find out about the Hollywood 10 from a conservative point of view. Almost impossible unless you are aware of basically arcane sources.

Similarly, the liberals in Hollywood bear the main responsibility, in spite of any lack of initiative on the part of conservatives.

But your argument fails logically a second way. For a black person in 1947, white racism, in many cases, was all-encompassing. That was THE challenge that a black person had to overcome. However, for conservatives, liberal Hollywood is one liberal bastion out of many. The conservative is not compelled to fight in that arena. There are still many other choices available to him (at least for the present), and it would be hard to fault him for choosing an arena or profession with less ingrained bias than Hollywood, most campuses, or for instance, if he is a conservative Republican, running for citywide office in Washington D.C. Although I guess he wouldn’t want to go into Climatology, either.

So the liberalism in Hollywood is more compartmentalized, in terms of society as a whole, than the racism that black people faced. The existence of more avenues for the current conservative, again, at least for now, differentiates his position from that of the black person in 1947. Although even then, would a black teacher be faulted for teaching in a black environment rather than being a civil rights pioneer? Herman Cain did get hit with this inappropriate criticism (why didn’t he demonstrate aggressively for Civil Rights in college?), but I don’t know too many other cases. But this seems to be your logic.

Although of course with the current environment of affirmative action, in Hollywood as elsewhere, individual initiative plays an ever-increasing role for blacks, given the multiplicity of opportunities, just as it would for conservatives in Hollywood if the liberal barriers weakened.

But, as Prometheus suggests, they have been strong since at least since the 30s.

Little Al on April 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    RE: Gerald~”You are an intelligent person, but you seem to have a blind spot …”

    YEP. I have pointed this out MANY TIMES. Many, many times.

    Glad someone else finally did too.

    Skunky on April 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I probably wouldn’t have given Trance a second glance so I’m glad I read this review. Was not really an Inception fan but maybe ‘Trance’ is better.
All in all looks like some decent movies for a change.

@Seek,
Resistance is futile my friend, glad you finally see that.

I myself have not only denounced movies I’ve never seen but have actually not even bothered to pay to see them. People do this all the time.
If we didn’t Hollywood would just remake every movie in existence and resell it to us.

They still do that most of time anyway and I blame people like you, Seek.

Frankz on April 13, 2013 at 9:49 am

@Gerald,
Your discussion with Little Al was interesting and your concern over the failure of conservatives to penetrate Hollywood… so touching.

To quote you,
“Hmmm … so lack of a level playing field is a sufficient excuse if it is tilted against you and not the other guy? ”

Well if it isn’t then what is the justification for affirmative action?

Glad you’ve come round to my point of view on this.

Frankz on April 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

    @Frankz–

    Good observation!!

    Red Ryder on April 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

My 12.5 year old grandson loved “42.” he probably hasn’t seen the other movies of this type and living in NC, I think it was good for him to do so. he is smart, thoughtful, articulate and quite literate with a beyond his years writing style. I remember seeing Jackie Robinson on TV many times in the 50′s and 60′s he was a gentle man and a gentleman.

Italkit on April 14, 2013 at 7:27 am

Hi Deb: I agree with you about ’42′, although I think I liked it a tad better than you did (I can’t help it; I’m a sucker for good baseball movies, mostly ‘cuz they’re so rare these days.) I agree, that ‘shower room’ bit was **extremely** awkward to get through & really clearly did not fit in the rest of the movie. I suspect you’re right; they probably just stuck that in there as a nod to the whole (as you point out) ‘gays-in-the-military/gays-in-pro-sports/gay-mariage’ yadda yadda yadda brouhaha constantly going on in the news nowadays. Either way, it didn’t fit. But like you, I also appreciated the fact that the movie depicted Robinson as (a) a good family man, (b) a patriot who served his country and (c) a devoutly religious man as well. All three of those are seldom seen in movies nowadays. As for the subtitle, I don’t know, but I suspect it might’ve been just for purposes of clarification. (I have to admit, when I scanned the listings for upcoming movies, prior to seeing the film, I kept forgetting what ’42′ referred to; my first reaction was it was for another stupid espionage spy-flick or something…) And, like you, I also appreciated the fact that they depicted some non-racist whites in the film (let’s just be glad that the vastly-overrated Spike Lee, for example, wasn’t the director!)

Paul GC. on April 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Debbie,
Just saw “The Place Beyond…” and my wife and I are quite disappointed. Eclectic, boring and sometimes just plain stupid. Quite predictable, all cops are bad and corrupt, a “poor disadvantaged” kid is eventually the “good guy”, despite being together with his father (Gosling’s character) the real evil characters, etc. I am baffled why Debbie liked this movie; it was a wasted two and a half hours…
AF

A: I’m sorry you are disappointed. I thought it was a terrific movie and a great statement about what happens to kids without a strong father in their lives. And not all cops are bad or corrupt in the movie as one of them–the lead actor–tries to do the right thing. You missed that key part of the story? The poor, disadvantaged kid is not eventually the good guy–he did wrong several times, stealing, shooting someone, and kidnapping another. However, do you really believe that the poor, disadvantaged kid can never do the right thing? Is that the conservative message? Really? I thought we believe in free will and that poor, disadvantaged kids CAN do the right thing if they really want to. It’s liberals who believe that poor kids are victims of their circumstances and must predictably do wrong and get our sympathy anyway. It was a great movie. But we can disagree. DS

Alex on April 15, 2013 at 12:32 am

I saw “Trance” and didn’t care for the film as much as Debbie did. It’s a slick heist film and has much in common with “Oceans Eleven” which I despised. Director Danny Boyle tends to make superficially flashy films about unlikable, uninteresting people (as “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine,” and, most famously, “Trainspotting”). Here he makes another of the same type. Boyle is also the crusading liberal who tainted the British Olympics by making it a huge advertisement for universal health care. In this film, five guys who pull off a heist let a psychotherapist hypnotize them so that she can play with their minds. I would recommend it to anyone who might enjoy a power fantasy where the woman holds all the cards and the men are playthings that the woman can manipulate and torture at will.

I also saw “The Place Beyond the Pines,” a serious film about character and consequences. As with Debbie, it’s my favorite film so far this year. All the characters effectively play to type—Liotta (as Debbie mentions) corrupt and dangerous; Bradley Cooper a weak man; Ryan Gosling a brooding powder keg; and Eva Mendez, decent but in over her head. This is a beautifully written tragic melodrama with people you come to care about, not a fun ride in an amusement park. The third act in particular elevates the film into something particularly noteworthy. (By the way, Debbie, I went out of my way to see this film because you recommended it. It’s not playing in my area, so I had to drive a ways. Thanks for the tip.)

Finally, I saw “42,” every bit as grating, didactic and “racist” as I’d expected.

Burke on April 15, 2013 at 7:41 am

Of course, Jackie Robinson blasted Nixon for not visiting MLK while he was imprisoned. But you conservatives never like to talk about how the Segregationists fled the Democratic Party in the 60s…

justsaying on April 20, 2013 at 11:59 pm

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