December 20, 2013, - 8:58 am

Wknd Box Office: Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davis

By Debbie Schlussel

**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****

I cannot recommend any of the new movies coming out this weekend (and it’s more bad news for the movies coming out Christmas Day–I semi-liked one of them), but I’m especially disgusted with the Disney offering, “Saving Mr. Banks.” My review of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” which debuted on Wednesday is here.

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* “Saving Mr. Banks“: Disney is marketing this as a cheerful kids film about the making of the Mary Poppins movie. Don’t believe the hype. This is a dreadful movie that tells kids fathers are bad and subjects them to inappropriate storylines about alcoholism, death, and suicide. From Magical Kingdom to Tragical Kingdom–Yay, Disney!

We learn that P.L. Travers, the woman who wrote the Marry Poppins, had a horrible childhood because her father was an alcoholic who died when she was a kid, and she felt guilty that she killed him because, as a kid, she gave him more alcohol and she dropped a basket of pears. The movie keeps flashing back to boring, awful scenes of her drunken father getting fired, embarrassing the family, and being an overall failure. Oh, and the movie shows us how her mother tries to commit suicide, and again, the young girl must stop her mother from committing suicide.

As if that isn’t enough, we learn that Walt Disney’s father was a horrible guy, too. And not just a horrible dad, but a horrible CAPITALIST dad. You see, Walt tells Travers that, when he was a kid, his rich father didn’t want to pay people wages to deliver newspapers (he owned the major Kansas City newspaper routes). So, instead, he made his two young sons wake up in the middle of the night to deliver the papers in the freezing cold snow and then do it again to deliver the evening paper. Oh, and the Disney dad refused to buy his kids new shoes, instead, forcing them to trudge in the cold, wet snow with holes in their shoes and resultant frostbitten feet.






And while the movie does its best to traumatize kids and demonize dads, Walt Disney is, of course, portrayed as a jolly, avuncular, kind, decent guy. In real life, Disney was a fan of Hitler and not a fan of his many Jewish employees. Even his own museum admits he was an anti-Semite. None of this, of course, is mentioned in this love letter to Walt Disney produced by the Disney company. I guess it’s fitting that the anti-Semitism is skipped over, since it jibes with the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel sentiments of Emma Thompson, who plays Travers in this movie.

As for the rest of the movie, well, I’m just not sure there is so little of interest in this world that I needed to waste over two hours of my time watching a movie whose story is that P.L. Travers was a difficult woman and didn’t want Walt Disney to make her books into a musical film. That story could have been told in maybe 20 minutes at the most. So, they keep filling it with these depressing flashbacks about Travers’ alcoholic dad and suicidal, weepy mom. No thanks.

Yes, there are some funny lines and scenes. Yes, the period costumes (this takes place in the 1960s), sets, and so on are eye candy, “Mad Men”-style. And I liked the chauffeur character played by the always pleasant Paul Giamatti. Ditto for Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, and Bradley Whitford, who play song- and script-writers trying to create the Mary Poppins movie despite Travers’ constant objections to everything. But none of that made up for the underlying message and many tragic scenes poisonous to kids and, frankly, poisonous to the movie and any enjoyment that might have been gotten from it. I also don’t believe most kids today know who Mary Poppins is. That was my generation and earlier generations. Kids today know who the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus are.

The story: Travers is a stuck up, difficult woman who refuses to sell Walt Disney (Tom Hanks, who looks nothing like the real Walt Disney) the rights to make a movie out of her Mary Poppins books (he’s promised his daughters, years earlier, that he’ll make a Mary Poppins movie). But after years of saying no, she needs the money and goes to California to do the deal and help make the movie. She’s insisted that she has final approval on everything, and doesn’t want anything Disney and his crew want in the movie. She opposes music, singing, and dancing in the movie. She opposes any comical lines and objects to the casting of Dick Van Dyke. While all of this is happening, Walt Disney is trying to charm Travers and convince her to agree to these things. But, in the end, she doesn’t agree until Walt discovers the real story about her difficult childhood, alcoholic dad and suicidal mother, and shares with her his story about his horrible father.

Dad-hating misery loves company–that’s the cheerful Christmas message of Disney’s holiday offering. But, hey, feminists will love it. And so will the psychologists and psychiatrists who get to treat kids in the aftermath of the viewing experience.

**** UPDATE: A frequent anti-Semitism-denier and commenter on this site is questioning Walt Disney’s anti-Semitism and embrace of Hitler. But facts are stubborn things. From my post on Walt Disney’s anti-Semitic/anti-Israel great-niece Abigail Disney:

Walt Disney had a well earned reputation as an anti-Semite and Hitler fan (some of his cartoons had anti-Semitic themes, he welcomed Nazi filmmaker (and Hitler paramour) Leni Riefenstahl to Hollywood, and even the Walt Disney Museum acknowledges that he had “difficult relationships” with Jews).

That akcnowledgement/admission is quoted in the book, “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination” by Neal Gabler. ****

THREE MARXES PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “American Hustle“: This movie is mistitled. It should really be called, “Not Abscam.” Since when did Abscam–the successful FBI sting of elected public officials who were willing to accept bribes from a fake Arab sheikh–become a story about a Jewish con artist (who wears a giant gold Star of David, just in case you don’t know he’s Jewish) and his fake-Brit extra-marital girlfriend? Since when was it a story about a bumbling FBI agent who perms his hair, lives with his mother, and blackmails his boss? Well, actually, almost none of these things are true.

Yes, there was a convicted felon, Melvin Weinberg, who was Jewish (in name only), who was recruited by the FBI to help out in the Abscam sting. But he was a side character whom the FBI asked to take part. This movie presents the Jewish con artist, “Irving Rosenfeld” (Christian Bale) as the creator of several giant cons, who invents more cons–including, eventually the fake Arab sheikh, which is a sidebar in this movie–when he gets caught by the FBI. The real life FBI agent, Anthony Amoroso, who successfully helped plan Abscam and posed as the representative of the Arab sheikh (in this movie, Rosenfeld is the representative of the sheikh) is portrayed as a bumbling, coke-snorting, Studio-54-going idiot, “FBI Agent Richie DiMaso” (Bradley Cooper). Weinberg’s wife, Marie, who was nearly 50 at the time of Abscam, is portrayed by 23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (who was 21-22 at the time of filming).

No surprise that the movie is phony history and a phony version of what Abscam was. No surprise also that the movie is a giant anti-Semitic lie. Hey, it’s Hollywood, which makes gazillions lying to America and creating fake “history” which the movie-going public believes is all true. And it’s, sadly, a fact that so many JINO (Jew In Name Only) Hollywood writers, producers, and directors seem to revel in making Jews look bad. We are less than 2.1% of the American population and nearly 100% of the criminals in the Christmas movies (stay tuned for my review of “Wolf of Wall Street,” next week).

Yes, the movie begins with the caption, “Some of this actually happened.” But the morons who pay ten-plus bucks to see this will, sadly, believe most of it actually happened, just like they believe the BS of “The Butler,” “JFK,” and other faux-history movies as truth. And, by the way, the movie does not mention the name John Murtha, one of several scumbag liberal Democrats who took the bribe money from the fictional sheikh, nor does it mention Republican U.S. Senator Larry Pressler who declined to take the money, saying it might be illegal. (Frankly, the whole Abscam thing–a foreigner bribing public officials to expedite visas to the U.S.–wouldn’t make sense today because an Arab sheikh can just show he’s going to spend several hundred thousand dollars in America and he can get an expedited “green card” and citizenship.)

Yes, there are some funny lines and funny scenes in this movie (I laughed several times), and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was entertaining. I also liked the cool 1970s clothes and jewelry the women wore, though I don’t remember women wearing so many bra-less, “sideboob”-revealing open shirts (I was going to vote for Amy Adams for “best unsupported actress”). But, on top of being a gross distortion of history and reality, the movie was repetitive and way too long. It went on and on and on for nearly 2.5 hours (it clocks in at 138 minutes running time).

The story: Irving Rosenfeld (Bale) is a con artist who tricks people into giving him $5,000 for large loans they’ll never get. And he also sells fake art. He meets Sidney (Amy Adams), who pretends to be from England and uses a phony accent. Together, they go into the con artist biz together. But they get caught by FBI agent DiMaso (Cooper), and he forces them to engage in a sting operation that involves bribing Camden, New Jersey’s mayor (Jeremy Renner). Soon, Rosenfeld comes up with a larger scam involving a Saudi sheikh and wants to expand it to Congressman and Senators. The mob is also involved (and Robert De Niro, in a novel role for him, makes a cameo as a mobster). FBI agent DiMaso repeatedly blackmails, threatens, and attacks his boss. Rosenfeld’s wife (Lawrence) is an idiot who sticks her nose into his business and nearly ruins everything.

The movie is actually kind of depressing in the end and I felt like I was robbed of nearly 2.5 hours I’ll never get back. We’re doubly and triply robbed because the American public will think this is the real Abscam story and that it was all because of a Jew. None of that is true.

The title of the movie is appropriate though. America is definitely being hustled by this film.

THREE MARXES PLUS AN OBAMA
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Inside Llewyn Davis“: One of the most depressing, pointless, long, boring, waste-of-time movies I’ve seen all year. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a Manhattan-based folk singer in the early ’60s, who is struggling to make it after his partner in a folk-singing duo commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. He has no money, is always broke, and can never catch a break. He lives by sleeping on various friends’ couches. He can’t even afford gloves or a warm coat in the middle of New York winter. He’s gotten a number of women pregnant, including his best friend’s wife. And he pays for them to get abortions, but finds out the first pregnant girlfriend had the baby and lives in Ohio.

Every time he might have a chance at success, he either is struck by bad luck, bad decisions, or a combination of both. He uses every last penny he has to hitchhike a trip to Chicago to meet up with a promoter, and the promoter tells him that there is no money in his act. Davis is also forever chasing around a cat that escaped from the apartment of one of his friends on whose couch he sleeps on.

Dreary and depressing to the max. I wasn’t sure why they made this movie (other than the make money) or why I sat through it. But don’t make the mistake I made. Unless you think you are too happy and in too good a mood and need a big-time cinematic downer, stay away.

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

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41 Responses

I doubt the American Hustle movie mentions the late Congressman John Murtha and his involvement in the Abscam investigation.

CC: Actually, you are spot on. I meant to mention this in my review but, in my haste, forgot. Murtha is NOT mentioned at all. Nor is the one honest Republican who did NOT take the money. Adding that. DS

Concerned Citizen on December 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    And John McCain was part of it. An un-indicted person though.

    jake49 on December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Oh, I was wrong about “American Hustle” (which I thought would be a 25% like but I’m glad I was right on that ugly bore Tom Hank’s film)!

Wait. I think I picked the Meryl Streep film as the 25% and the Walter Mitty one as the 50% (which I don’t feel as confident now, but we’ll see…) so I think I am back on course as I may have said “American Hustle” would be the 25%er if not the Meryl Streep film….

Oh! Pity about the Coens film!

Skunky on December 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

Great reviews. I do feel a little sad for you given the stuff you have to view.

skzion on December 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

This is going about as I’d expected…The Tom Hanks movie will bomb at the box office. A re-release of MARY POPPINS would’ve been more profitable…AMERICAN HUSTLE is maybe an entertaining movie to find on cable, but not the truth and hardly worth $10…INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS probably shouldn’t have been made.

I’ll say that Debbie kind of liked the action in 47 RONIN…THE WOLF OF WALL STREET looks like a story we’ve seen before (WALL STREET, BOILER ROOM) and was probably overlong at 3 hours…AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Streep & Roberts) looks like an avoid-at-all-costs chick flick…I’ll also go with a mild like for WALTER MITTY.

Barry Popik on December 20, 2013 at 11:43 am

I’m not so sure about Disney’s alleged antisemitism. Henry Ford, hell yes. But Walt Disney? And in defense of Disney’s dad, I don’t know that he ever made his kids deliver newspapers barefoot in the snow or whatever, but I do know he was nice enough to take Walt to the 1892 Exposition in Chicago (It’s mentioned in The Devil In White City”) and presumably that experience was a big influence.
Last week it was implied Peter O’Toole was antisemitic because his biggest role was T.E. Lawrence, now it’s Walt Disney (and BTW, I’m not a particular ‘fan’ of the whole Disney gestalt, if you will). I’d like to state to you, Debbie, right now, while I’m alive and able to speak for myself, that I am unequivocally NOT antisemitic, and never have been. Please make a note of it for when I’m dead. Thank you.

Joe Guiney on December 20, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Joe, there is some evidence that Walt Disney held anti-Semitic views, and some of that evidence is really guilt by association. Disney met with Nazi filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl, for example. But Louis B. Mayer also had business discussions with her. Nonetheless, there are no indications that Disney came anywhere close to Henry Ford’s level.

    Much of anti-Semitism is taught, and Walt’s father, Elias, did hold anti-Semitic views. Perhaps the fact that Disney, as a non-Jew, was doing business in a highly competitive industry dominated by Jewish entrepreneurs, might have brought some of his father’s poison to the fore. But it’s not always like-father, like-son. (Joe Kennedy, for example, was a virulent anti-Semite as well as racist, yet his son, John F., took the opposite positions and hired Jews and Blacks to posts they had never before held.)

    And it should be remembered that Disney famously wore a “Goldwater for President” button while meeting Lyndon Johnson at a White House ceremony. In my opinion, no hard-line anti-Semite would be in favor of Goldwater, regardless of his Conservative credentials. Whe Goldwater ran for President against LBJ, the anti-Semites came out in full force, much preferring LBJ. To a true anti-Semite, the hatred for Jews trumps just about everything else.

    As for Walt’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, who ran the Disney Company, I know of no indications that Roy was an anti-Semite. In fact, the evidence indicates the opposite. Roy partnered with Stanley Gold through Shamrock Holdings and together they controlled the Disney Company and made investments in many enterprises, including import (with about a 4% ownership share)and important investments in Israel. Gold is today President and CEO of Shamrock Holdings.

    And as for Abigail Disney, Roy E. Disney’s daughter, and the grand-niece of Walt Disney, she’s a different story. Although she publicly came out against an anti-Israel Donald Duck cartoon produced in the Middle East, in 2012 she donated the investments and profits from the Disney family’s stake in the Israel-based Ahava cosmetics company, whose factory is located in the West Bank, to what she said were “organizations working to end this illegal exploitation.” Regarding this, Abigail Disney said “I cannot in good conscience profit from what is technically the ‘plunder’ or ‘pillage’ of occupied natural resources.”

    Of course, the reality regarding Israel’s so-called “exploitation” of so-called “occupied natural resources” is that Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements are paid more than twice the salary than what they receive from Palestinian employers. But Abigail isn’t concerned about that exploitation.

    Obviously, incredible wealth and the finest education that money can buy do not make a person intelligent, nor can it give them common sense. Again, the poison of anti-Semitism easily kills whatever remnants of those things, if they even existed in the first place, as surely as bad money drives out good (Gresham’s Law).

    RA: Huh? Barry Goldwater was 1) not Jewish (he was Episcopalian), and 2) very anti-Israel largely b/c he was a self-hater against his family’s Jewish background. That Disney supported him was absolutely NOT evidence that he was not an anti-Semite (and might be even more evidence that he was). Disney was conservative and most conservatives supported Goldwater then. You fail to respond to (and apparently deliberately ignore) the solid evidence I posted in this review–that many Disney cartoons were blatantly anti-Semitic, that the Walt Disney Museum itself admits to his “difficult relationships with Jews”–if that is not an admission that he was anti-Semitic, what is?–and your dismissal of his bringing Riefenstahl to America is pure apologism. Are you going to make similar excuses for Mel Gibson now, too? (Gibson was benign compared with Riefenstahl.) Regarding Abigail Disney, as you well know, I wrote about it on this site and purposely linked to it in this column. Therefore, it was not necessary for you to repeat the entire story as people can go to the post on this site to read about it. DS

    Ralph Adamo on December 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      The fact that only Goldwater’s father was a Jew means nothing to a true anti-Semite. The hatred that is core to anti-Semitism has no concern whatsoever for “technical” details.

      To illustrate another example, the great composer Felix Mendelssohn really ranks with the greatest composers of all time, but in spite of the fact that he was baptised as a Reformed Christian, that did not stop the anti-Semites from launching all-out attacks to denigrate his music. The Nazis banned his music. The assault on Mendelssohn was so extensive and prolonged that even today he isn’t fully recognized as the genius that he was. (Even Richard Wagner, who was among the leaders of those attacking Mendellsohn’s “Jewish music” is on record as privately admiting that he was a genius.) And the Nazis even wanted to do the same thing to Johann Strauss II, composer of the Blue Danube and other well-known and popular music, even only his paternal great-grandfather was a Jew. But Strauss’s music was such a central part of Germany’s culture that they could not ban his music–so the Nazis did the next “best” thing: they rewrote history to remove references to his Jewish origins.

      Also, you ignore that when Goldwater was running against Johnson, the anti-Semites attacked him just the same. A genuine anti-Semite believes that a Jew or even a part-Jew, no matter how remote, can’t be trusted because they will side with their “own.” http://www.jta.org/1964/08/24/archive/goldwater-deplores-soviet-anti-semitism-endorses-ribicoff-resolution

      And guilt by association is not evidence. You ignored that Louis B. Mayer also negotiated with Riefenstahl. Does that make Mayer an anti-Semite?

      And as for “difficult relationships with Jews,” I have already explained that Disney was a non-Jew working in a “Jewish” business, and as an outsider to that culture, some frictions would inevitably result. The fact that an astonishing percentage of the top people in the fields of finance and show business happen to Jewish is not a coincidence in my opinion. I believe that Jews actually do have an affinity for those fields.

      But to escalate such business frictions to anti-Semitism is to stretch the truth. When Al Capone’s South Side Italian gang did the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre against Bugs Moran’s North Side Irish gang, was this really about the Italians vs. Irish? Of course not. This was “nothing personal,” it was “strictly business,” as they say. Business rilvaries in which one group or the other has a dominating ethnicity is naturally going to bring that ethnicity to the fore, and they may even use perjorative terms to describe one another, be it “Wop,” “Mick,” or “Kike”–but the rivalries are really about business and there’s no real hatred of the group involved, if you can understand that distinction.

      True, Disney made a cartoon “The Three Little Pigs” that has a scene with a Jewish peddler, but Disney has also had such scenes with other ethnic and cultural groups. Yes, Jewish groups denounced the cartoon, finding it offensive, and the subsequent version of the cartoon has changed the character to an Irishman. But to label the original version anti-Semitic propaganda is a stretch because the cartoons do nothing to advance, promote or inflame anti-Semitic feelings, even on an unconsious level.

      Finally, you also ignore that Roy E. Disney, who had run the Disney empire for most of my life, at least, had a Jewish partner (and who still is the head of Shamrock Holdings, which holds 4% of Disney stock). Together, they have invested scores of millions of dollars in businesses in Israel. Also, take a look at the people that Roy Disney had installed to run the Disney Company. Most of them are Jews. But they weren’t hired because they were Jews. They just happen to Jews who are first-rate in show business.

      Ralph Adamo on December 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        And, Debbie, your continued reference to Oliver Stone’s “JFK” as faux-history is nonsense. You dislike Oliver Stone. Your readers get that point. But the fact that you don’t like Stone does not equate to “JFK” being faux-history. That’s just dumb. Next, you’ll be saying that because Hitler was a vegetarian than all vegetarians are fascists.

        Although Stone co-wrote the screenplay for “JFK,” the other important writer and the one who incorporated most of the research into the script was Zachary Sklar. Now you don’t know this because you really know next to nothing about the JFK assasination, but Sklar had done assiduous research for the film project. Consequently, the movie incorporates the research of the world’s leading experts on the JFK assasination, including the eminent coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, who was the medical advisor to the film.

        Some of the powerful dramatic moments in the movie were drawn directly from court testimony in Jim Garrison’s case against Clay Shaw. (In 1979, Richard Helms, former director of the CIA, testified under oath that Clay Shaw had been a part-time contact of the Domestic Contact Service of the CIA–thus proving that Garrison was clearly on the right track.)

        Naturally, as with any movie based on facts, the movie contains reconstructions of conversations, and some people from the real story have been transformed into composites for dramatic efficiency, but every–and I mean every–factual assertion in the movie has corroborating support.

        Can the same thing be said for the Warren Commission fairy tale? Not by a long shot. Oh, and by the way, the Warren Commission did not come up with the “Oswald was the lone-gunman crackpot” story on their own. JFK’s body barely went cold when the White House Situation Room released that result. Imagine that, the US Government knows the entire truth without any investigation taking place. And well prior to its release, the FBI publicly came out with that canard. (You know, FBI–Famous But Incompetent.)

        I will not retell the mountains of evidence proving that the official government story that you purportedly believe in is a complete fabrication and a fairy tale and how Stone’s movie actually does an extraordinary job of incorporating much of the outstanding research and real investigations that have been performed into the JFK assasination over the year.

        The real fact is that only a moron truly believes the official government fairy tale. Even top defenders of the sham, like Vincent Bugliosi, don’t really believe it, but are happy to make money from peddling the lie.

        You would sound less foolish if you would say, “I don’t know much about the JFK assasination, and I don’t really want to know about it . . . I prefer to believe what the government tells me because it makes me feel safer . . . and I feel a psychological sense of security by following authority blindly, rather than doing some research and independent thinking.”

        Ralph Adamo on December 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Odd, your review of the Ditzey film does not gel with the trailor! As one who avoids all Hanks films, there is little doubt as to whose tale is the accurate one.
I should have known something was amiss when the trailors did not include sufficient car chases, crashes, bombs exploding and flying people!

Hans Schaden on December 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Do you think they will make a movie about how one of the more politically correct monstrosities came about? Any of the tensions, differences, etc. that accompanied the making of one of those movies?

Little Al on December 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

These films are waste products rather than films. Tom Hanks is a mediocre actor who has managed to con major studios into thinking that he is a versatile talent.

worry01 on December 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I love all this Hanks-hate!

    DS_ROCKS! on December 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

How much longer until we get a Christmas movie showing the action heroes who are dismantling Christmas like the one that appeared on The Factor last night?

The U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay has traditionally displayed a Nativity scene in each of its dining halls, which serve thousands of military and civilian personnel.

This year, the “Military Freedom From Religion,” (Freedom From Christianity) founder, Mikey Weinstein, demanded that the displays be removed.

Fotunately, O’Reilly handed his ass to him and shut his mic off. Hilarious.

Marsha K on December 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I didn’t enjoy Mary Poppins all that much as a child. I sure as hell wouldn’t waste my time as an adult on a whiny flick about its creators. Fuhgettaboutit.

Larry Deepsouth on December 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Tom Hanks claimed he didn’t know Walt Disney was a heavy smoker. I’ve known that for decades. Hanks probably even didn’t know Walt was an Anti-Semite. Isn’t there one Lib in LaLa land entertainment who isn’t super ignorant?

NormCBS on December 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm

…” though I don’t remember women wearing so many bra-less, “sideboob”-revealing open shirts (I was going to vote for Amy Adams for “best unsupported actress”)

Thats a good line. I like the sagacity.

Big D on December 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

“Since when did Abscam–the successful FBI sting of elected public officials who were willing to accept bribes from a fake Arab sheikh–become a story about a Jewish con artist (who wears a giant gold Star of David, just in case you don’t know he’s Jewish) and his fake-Brit extra-marital girlfriend?”

That was EXACTLY what I thought when i researched what this movie was about.

*************************************************

And since when did Walt Disney have a Texas twang to his voice?
I don’t recall him having any kind of Southern accent at all.
Tom Hanks’portrayal of him is absurd.

ebayer on December 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Well, I still love the movies the SEVEN DWARFS and BAMBI… I did not care about ANY politics when I was a little girl… but I loved those 2 movies and always will. They were sweet and adorable. They still make me smile.

Tom Hanks has never been a fav of mine no matter what his politics… he just stinks as an actor.

Nazis….I HATE THOSE GUYS( and their gals)!!
Commies, I despise them too… and drunks and dopers and whiney women who write children’s books. JUST YUK!

It is just ME AGAIN on December 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

“And it’s, sadly, a fact that so many JINO (Jew In Name Only) Hollywood writers, producers, and directors seem to revel in making Jews look bad.”

More on that point, the movie was directed and written by David O. Russell. Granted, he gets co-writing credit with Eric Singer, but “Russell re-wrote Singer’s screenplay, replacing the characters with caricatures of their respective real-life figures.” So the original story and structure was Singer’s, but Russell replaced the more historically accurate characterization with characters that poorly depict Jews. The result was a much more negative depiction of Jews than the original screenwriter intended.

And of this Russell: “His father was from a Russian Jewish family, while his mother was Italian American and Catholic. He was raised in an atheist household.”

With all due respect to some of Ms. Schlussel’s frequent participants that are atheists, I think that just about explains it.

Gerald on December 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    And of course you dwell on that rather than on the main point of the post, the flagrant anti-semitism of the movie, which clearly had the support of the upper echelons of this company.

    Little Al on December 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Besides Disney’s Jew-hatred and Hitler worship, his “entertainment” in his lifetime wasn’t exactly all that benign. The violence against animals in “Bambi.” The evil Queen in “Snow White.” And these had a “G-rated” reputation? (Besides, I was more a fan of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck et al., anyway.)

As for “Snow White,” no-one beats Ernie Kovacs’ skewering of the story in the guise of “French chef” Pierre Ragout c.1956, as on a 1976 album consisting of audio tracks of some of his routines.

ConcernedPatriot on December 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I loved Bugs Bunny, Road Runner Show every Saturday morning, well in to my 20′s.

    Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

All the big name stars and immediate Oscar-buzz tell me “American Hustle” is probably really dumb.

Saw the new “Hobbit” today. I liked it. Strays pretty far afield from the book, as expected, overall but still a nice visit back to Middle Earth. Thought the scenes with Smaug with very good and the ending quite compelling. Think they’re trying a bit too hard to tie these Hobbit films directly into the Lord of the Rings story instead of treating “The Hobbit” as its own storyline.

Matt on December 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, so Tom Hanks likes to participate in based on a true story kind of stories that ain’t necessarily true, nor all that solidly based, ehhhhhhhhhh?

The Government-Hollywood Media Complex, rewriting Amerikan history, one lie at a time. Ja wohl, achtung, and all that rot.

Misery, sadness and woe.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 20, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Debbie

Very interesting to hear what you had to say about “American Hustle” becoming a story about a Jewish con artist. I went to see the new musical production of “From here to Eternity” in London’s West End and found that Tim Rice decided to introduce into the storyline a major Jewish character who is not just an evil homosexual, but also a coward, a liar, and a snitch. It seems that directors now think Jews are fair game to be cast as the evil villains. Yest, yhey would not even think about introducing a similar character from some other ethnic minority, such as, for example a Muslim, or a Black. I posted a full report about this here:

http://edgar1981.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/blatant-anti-semitism-on-stage-in.html

Edgar Davidson on December 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

” Weinberg’s wife, Marie, who was nearly 50 at the time of Abscam, is portrayed by 23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (who was 21-22 at the time of filming).”

About as believable in that role as she was as Katniss in the Hunger Games films (that is, not that much if at all), eh? Somehow I’m not surprised . . .

ConcernedPatriot on December 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Re-reading my predictions on Debbie’s movie coma concerning two of the movies reviewed here, I see that I was right about “American Hustle”, but was wrong about “Saving Mr. Banks”. I’m angry at myself about my prediction on “Saving Mr. Banks” because I should have known that Debbie would hate it at least because Walt Disney was an anti-Semite and a Hitler fan. But either way, all three movies that are reviewed here are skip-worthy per Debbie’s reviews. Once again, thank you Debbie for reviewing the bad movies and enduring the crappy movies that you have to watch so that we don’t have to.

JeffE on December 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Rewrite of my final sentence:

    ” Once again, thank you Debbie for reviewing the movies and for enduring the crappy movies that you have to watch so that we don’t have to.”

    JeffE on December 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

You still have yet to provide one shred of proof that Walt Disney was a Hitler supporter and anti-Semite. Your links that are supposed to support your claims are just links to other hacks like you making false claims with no facts to support them. I was wondering why someone who has studied law would make such outrageously libel and slanderous statements, but then I read that you are a frequent guest on FOX “news” and your defaming rants all made sense.

Patrick on December 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Actually Patrick, your news is a little old. Debbie has become persona non grata at Not So FOX(y)-News and other so-called “conservative” outlets because of the unvarnished truth she puts forth. We are being played by a massive Government-Hollywood Media Complex which has been joined by many “conservatives,” including FOX(y)-News. When you walk on eggshells around Islam and allow bashing of groups like the Tea Party, along with joining in the demonization of guys like Ted Cruz, you’re no longer that independent, nor “fair and balanced.”

    Debbie’s not playing that game, check those facts again and get back to us.

    Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

As Disney produced a majority of ANTI NAZI propaganda films during the war many lampooning Hitler…you idiot are just regurgitating the same old fundamentalist propaganda that fundies did in the 90s….oh and the Sherman bros were Jewish and they were treated like royalty…s

J at remain on December 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Well, that was an interesting review of “Saving Mr Banks” which our entire family saw and to a person – and there are a lot of us – did not like (“It was okay” was probably the most positive response), but for practically none of the reasons you wrote about. Initially the pre-release buzz was that this was a movie that would get Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks Oscar nominations, but since it’s been released, I’ve read a few reviews which use the term “Disneyfication” (or something like that; word Travers would hate, I guess) of the relationship. Historically, it’s wildly wrong; just read Travers history on wikipedia and you start mentally chalking up all the “facts” that the movie got wrong. And Tom Hanks’ Walt Disney is little more than one dimensional. Even the trudging through the snow comes off as suspicious. And whatever the makeup people did with Hanks’s face to give him some sort of Walt look appears like nothing more than a bad face lift. It was distracting.

One of my touchstones for the quality of a movie is if it is so bad, boring, simple, etc., that I start counting how many locations are used over and over in the movie. I started doing that with this movie.

You are right about the Walt Disney Museum – which is not connected to Disney, Inc. – but run by the family. It’s in San Francisco. It is a fascinating museum, and does a service to history and Walt Disney by addressing not just his creations, but also his shortcomings and failures. Something this movie doesn’t do at all.

gmartinz on December 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Stubborn fact: Disney was named “1955 Man of the Year” by the B’nai B’rith chapter in Beverly Hills.

Taztigger on December 23, 2013 at 9:07 am

I love the Coen Brothers films and can’t wait to see ‘Inside…’ ‘A Serious Man’ was one of the best American films of recent years (and a mediciation on Judaism).

Vivian on December 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Debbie,

You really have to lighten up.

American Hustle is an updated version of The Sting. It’s a comedy not a documentary. You are beginning to sound like the liberals who can’t watch football games without lamenting about the lack of black quarterbacks.

You must have laughed when Jennifer Warren blew up the microwave oven and I bet even you didn’t predict the ending where the FBI raided the wrong law firm and found a black divorce lawyer instead of a mob advisor.

BTW, I thought the Jewish conman from Long Island actually was a good guy in the sense that he did love his wife and adopted son and had a conscience. Likewise, for the crooked Italian mayor of Camden who really did want to help his community.

Bottom line. Not everything is or should be political.

Peter on December 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

OK, well I think you are way too sensitive about “American Hustle’s” emphasis on the con’s Jewishness, because it really doesn’t (you are close to aping that Woody Allen scene (“Annie Hall?”) where he says, “Did you hear him? Jew? Jew?” and his friend says, “No, he said, ‘Did you?’”), and that distracts from your well argued points about the fallacy of the movie. From the outset I realized that the actual Abscam affair was merely going to be a jumping off point to create a fictional world, but as a friend of mine said, “The movie wants to be something like ‘Boogie Nights’ meets ‘The Sting’ and it misses both ways.” For all the clothing and music, you never get the feel that it’s set in the 70s,just that the producrers are trying to get you to feel that it’s set in the 70s (does that make sense?) and the actual exit strategy sting has two big question marks (how’d they get to use an entire office suite during a workday and wouldn’t the FBI know who a Mafia cheiftain’s New York lawyer really was?). The producers had to put a dig in against Republicans – it wasn’t enough that Amy Adams correctly slams Jimmy Carter for the insanely high interest rates, she then corrects herself and says, “Well, really it’s Nixon’s fault.” My complaint about Amy Adams character isn’t that she was so fond of cleavage but that as the sting and double sting progressed I wasn’t sure why her character was necessary at the meetings. Other than she’s Amy Adams.

gmartinz on December 29, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I am Jewish woman (not in name only), 59 years old, grew up in Brooklyn, and worked in Manhattan in my 20s & 30s. I was 24 in 1978 during ABSCAM. I remember some of the details. I read Debbie’s review a few weeks ago because my 21 year old daughter saw it and did not like it at all. She thought it was too long, disjointed, and was very dedicated to spelling things out to the audience, as if we wouldn’t understand it. She did not relate to the “Jewish” negativity. So I was aware of these things going in. I saw American Hustle last night. I laughed at the “some of these things actually happened” line. As a Conservative thinking person I am not fooled by “historic” movies, and don’t go to them thinking I will “learn” something, if I go to them at all. I went to be ENTERTAINED. I have to say, I was. Very much, and surprisingly, so. I am usually very sensitive to the unwarranted, unnecessary, and not-worth the small laugh, Jewish references in movies, as well as to the the liberal pot shots against conservative ideas or people that are present in most movies today. However, I just loved Christian Bale’s acting in this movie. I don’t know why I was so affected by his character, but I was and I really was entertained by this movie, perhaps because I knew it was bullshit. Also perhaps because I was able to relate to the period of time. I just wanted to enjoy something for a change, instead of being angry about this or that. I also did not even notice the Magen David (Star of David) on Irving’s neck.
If I had, it may of pissed me off. I think I enjoyed the movie BECAUSE I was able to put the facts aside and just be in the moment. That is my 2cents.

Marlene on January 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

I finally got around to watching “American Hustle.” Although I didn’t see and need to watch the money, a friend gave me several DVDs as a gift and “American Hustle” was among the bunch.

I’d agree that this movie is definitely not a “based on a true story,” as I’m very familiar with the Abscam story and the players involved. But that aside, the movie is basically an overblown and overlong “sting” movie. The director must have kept the film editor on a very tight leash, as the pacing is poor. Clearly, at least 20 minutes of unnecessary material that does not advance the story should have been cut, and moved to the “deleted scenes” feature of the DVD. As far as “sting” movies go, David Mamet’s “House of Games” still rules.

As I’ve already indicated, it’s inappropriate to compare “American Hustle” as history with Oliver Stone’s “JFK” as history. In the case of “JFK,” most of the historical material of “JFK” was actually written by co-writer Zachary Sklar. And because I’m extremely knowledgeable about the facts of the JFK assasination, I can tell you that Sklar has done a first rate job of incorporating the complex and detailed facts that had come to light at that point in time into the storyline. In fact, Stone and Sklar have separately written a book of the “JFK” film that provides the historical sources of every fact referred to in the movie, something that can not combarably be said about the Warren Commission fictional work.

Insofar as the fictional Irving character (extremely well played by Christian Bale), I did not find the presentation of Irving to be necessarily anti-Semitic. The audience is rooting for Irving, not the character played by Bradley Cooper. In the boy-meets-girl and boy-loses-girl part of the story, we hope that he wins back the girl. And in the primary storyline, we hope that he finds a way out of the mess he finds himself in. Irving is also, unquestionably, the smartest character in the movie.

I’d also point out that the dialogue is interesting (although the movie has to do a lot of “telling” rather than “showing” with voiceovers), and the acting is outstanding throughout. The look, sound, and “feel” of the movie is also excellent, with interesting and appealing costumes and cinematography.

In short, there’s actually a fairly entertaining movie buried within “American Hustle,” but there’s plenty of needless footage that should have been hacked out.

Ralph Adamo on April 30, 2014 at 3:51 pm

I see I was right again about a sneaky post-er. Glad I can always smell the stench of a fraud even thou’ many are tricked by ‘em. It ain’t that hard…

Skunky on December 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm

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