October 2, 2009, - 6:23 pm

Weekend Box Office: Anti-Religion “Invention of Lying,” Great “Zombieland,” Butch Feminist “Whip It,” Mikey Moore Agit-Prop

By Debbie Schlussel

This week’s new releases present a troika of offensive, leftist blather.  Hatred of religion, hatred of capitalism, hatred of femininity–take your pick.  There’s a movie for each one, this week.  Ironically, it also includes one of my top comedies of the year, the excellent “Zombieland.”

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*  “Capitalism:  A Love Story“:  Read my complete review.  Hypocrite Michael Moore tells us that capitalism is the root of all evil, while it’s actually the root of his fat bank account.  Again, read my complete review of this lying agit-prop.

FOUR MARXES
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*  “Zombieland“:  This is one of my top ten or top 15 movies of the year.  It’s funny, it’s cute, it’s got zombies, doomsday scenarios, and, yes, Bill Murray.  I laughed a lot, and I liked the cool, fast-paced story and the positive ending in a world that’s been destroyed.

Normally, I’m no fan of actor Woody Harrelson, but he has spunk in the film, as Tallahassee, the bad-ass who loves to shoot and kill zombies who want to eat and kill humans.  Plus the movie also stars rising star, Jesse Eisenberg, whom I’ve liked in everything in which I’ve seen him.  The movie takes place in an America over-run by zombies.  Few humans are left, among them Tallahassee and Columbus, two guys who’ve taken on the names of their hometowns.  Together they fight off and kill zombies and struggle to survive.  All the wile Columbus (Eisenberg) comes up with rules to live by.  Tallahassee is searching for America’s last Twinkie (talk about great product placement).

Soon they meet two sisters, Wichita and Little Rock, who scam them.  But they all band together to stay alive.  It’s a fun, light-hearted movie and not typical of the doomsday movies we’ve seen to date.  Enjoyable, entertaining, and the way comedies should be.

But definitely not for kids.  There’s much killing (mostly of zombies), and there are a lot of great shootings.  Fine by me.  Plus a lot of f- and s-words.  But it didn’t bother me and was proper in the context of two guys left alone in America fighting for their lives.  I liked it all the same.  Great movie.

THREE-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
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*  “The Invention of Lying“:  More like, “The Invention of Religion-Hatred.”  Ricky Gervais–creator of “The Office”–wrote, directed, and stars in this piece of garbage comedy that has it’s funny moments, but is mostly uncomfortable and trashes religion.

You see, you and I didn’t know it, but once there was a world where no-one could lie.  They could only tell the truth, the painfully honest truth.  Coke commercials featured Coke employee saying their product is “just brown-colored sugar water.”  A Motel is called “A Place for People Who Barely Know Each Other to Have Sex.”  Pepsi ads say, “When They’re Out of Coke.”  And blind dates tell the blunt facts about what they think of each other’s appearance .  . . before the date has even begun.  Oh, and they also tell each other TMI, as in more information than we needed to know.

Gervais plays Mark Bellison, a failed writer for a movie studio (movies are filmed readings of history, since this is a world where only truth happens).  Down on his luck, he suddenly tells a lie and then keeps telling them.  He finds that everyone believes his lies and the lies change his life.  He’s soon a smashing success, rather than the just fired, broke failure that he was.  He’s in love with “beautiful” Jennifer Garner (with lips to injected with crap they look ridiculous), but she doesn’t want a man who is fat with a pug nose, because “genetically” this will give her “ugly” kids.

Bellison’s mother is dying, and in the hospital, he lies to her and claims that after death, she won’t disappear into oblivion, but that there’s an afterlife. But it’s not true, it’s just a lie he told to let her die in peace. Nurses overhear this and soon the world is camped outside Bellison’s apartment.  He makes up more stories about a “man in the sky” who controls your life and afterlife and that if you are good, you get to “live in a mansion in the sky” after you die.  But if you are bad, you go to a bad place. Bellison writes “the nine rules” out on two tablet-shaped Pizza Hut pizza boxes. Get it?–Moses, Ten Commandments, two tablets? Yup, they’re all being mocked here as a complete made-up lie. Why Pizza Hut, Coke, and Pepsi would want product placement in this offensive movie, I have no idea. But it’s a stupid decision.

Yup, G-d, the “man in the sky” is a silly lie for gullible stupid believers in the view of Gervais and this movie filled with anti-religious bigotry.  Ditto for the concepts of heaven and hell.  It’s just “mansions in the sky” mythology for idiots.  There are no churches or synagogues, only buildings called “A Quiet Place to Think About the Man in the Sky.”

Remember this, the next time  you hear the name Ricky Gervais.  I was a fan until this movie.  Now, I now he’s just a vehement hater of religion and people of faith.  This movie is more  intolerant and zealous than any Christian or Jewish teachings I’ve seen.  (The movie also stars Rob Lowe and Jonah Hill.)

Ricky Gervais . . . Bill Maher’s English counterpart.

THREE MARXES
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Whip It“: Destined to be a cult classic for the butch crowd, this movie is this decade’s “Pretty In Pink” for the combat boot set . . . minus the pink and definitely the pretty.

A nerdy alternative girl in high school in Austin, Texas hates being in beauty pageants, opting to be a bruiser in the more masculine roller derby.  There,  she becomes a star and makes new friends and enemies.  Since she’s underage she lies about her real age and lies to  her parents.

Ellen Page, the world’s dullest and most over-rated actress, plays the girl.  Not only is she vastly over-rated and a product of way too much undue media hype, but Page looks and acts exactly like Janeane Garofalo two decades ago (and shares her wacko lefty politics).  I find her very annoying and lackluster.  She always plays the same character–herself–and tries way too hard to be an aloof, offbeat alternative girl.  It comes off as trumped up baloney and silliness.  And thanks for telling us you spent your off time from Hollywood in an Oregon commune, Ellen.   We get it.  You’re “alternative.”  Big whoop.  Her dumb sex in slow motion underwater in a swimming pool scene in “Whip It”  was so stupid it was comical.

This movie was directed, parts of it in Michigan, by Drew Barrymore, who also has a small part in the movie.

Even though Barrymore is a spokesmodel for Cover Girl cosmetics, the message she’s pimping in this movie is:  femininity . . . very bad, butch/masculine women . . . very good.

There were two things I liked in this otherwise crummy movie.  It shows a loving, present, and involved father (Daniel Stern) who cares about his daughter and wants her to be happy.  That’s something we rarely see coming out of Hollywood.  Plus I liked the cool names–like “Smashley Simpson”–of the roller derby characters.

But neither of those two things were enough to redeem this bad movie.  Not even close.  A complete waste of time.

TWO-AND-A-HALF MARXES
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37 Responses

I disagree with your review of Zombieland, I saw it this evening and it was very stupid, cliche, and boring.

Matthew on October 3, 2009 at 12:46 am

I think zombies should get into politics. They have more nuance and intelligence than our current crew in Washington D.C.

Sorrow01 on October 3, 2009 at 2:45 am

Zombieland? They made a movie about Obama voters already?

tempus fugit on October 3, 2009 at 7:38 am

I am going to see Zmobieland, I saw the previews a while ago, its cute, silly and funny. we have to laugh.

lindapolver on October 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

Debbie: Zombieland was pure crap. Terrible waste of time and money. Garbage.. Save your money.

Rick on October 3, 2009 at 9:28 am

Invention of Lying – is just being an atheist offensive?? By being a Christian you are by definition saying that Islam is a lie. How could you be so offensive to Islam!! In the movie Gervais makes up a religion on the spot so why are you surprised that it is not particularly deep?

Anyway, I though the concept of one person being the only person able to tell a lie was a cracking little concept. Like the majority of people on the planet, Gervais is not a Christian so why do you believe he should claim that Christianity is true?

G: Who said I’m a Christian? DS

Glo on October 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    hey to say invention of lying is anti religious is ridiculous!
    if he did this movie and didnt do the whole religion thing it would be a massive cop out done just so they didnt offend. me as someone who doesnt believe in god or religion doesnt think bruce almighty or dogma or the millions of movies tv shows books music ect that say there is a god are offensive,its ENTERTAINMENT :P if you dont find it entertaining thats one thing but to attack this movie for being “anti-religion” is like attacking the bible for being pro-religion its beyond stupid, how many mainstream movies do people who dont believe in religion have anyway jeeez and your attacking the one movie weve ever had that says what we feel I FIND YOU OFFENSIVE how about them apples?

    Jay on February 5, 2010 at 7:31 am

tempus fugit: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!! GOOD ONE!!!

Jon on October 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Liberals can tolerate subhuman stuff like that, but culture and civility and tradition – F that.

Brian on October 3, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Do you liberals seriously live with your heads in the sand like ostriches? Completely ignoring the realities of the world and the world beyond?

C.S. Lewis was right. Those who don’t believe in God will believe in anything.

Morris on October 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I took your advice and went to see zombieland…@%&* I gave that idiot Woodie Harrelson some money F!!!!!

It was a piece of crap on a stick Deb…sorry…

Dusty on October 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

“The Invention of Lying”–This was possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen. The first half hour was funny, then the movie becomes not only unbearably boring, but begins an outright attack on religion that continues throughout the movie. Save your money and your time, it’s not even worth renting.

Allison on October 4, 2009 at 12:53 am

Debbie,
You are spot on about Zombieland. I can’t tell the last movie I went to where at the end everyone stood up and clapped and cheered while they were still laughing. Tremendous special effects, but gory and in a fun way. THe scalping scene in Inglourious Bastards was a bit strong for me, but scenes from Zombieland were even more gory AND were halarious due to their context. I will probably see it again just for grins!

Just A Guy on October 4, 2009 at 11:20 am

Okay, so this one movie makes fun of religion? As though the rest of them aren’t spewing everything from soft porn filth to utter contempt for the attitudes, values, and lifestyles of everybody who doesn’t live in NY, DC, or LA?

Greg Solomon on October 4, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Zombieland looks pretty good.
Invention of Lying-someone needs to tell Gervais to get funny again. I enjoyed his podcasts, and “The Office”, even liked his bit in “Stardust”…but he is too impressed with himself. He’s not that good.
As for “Whip It”-yawn. I’ll listen to Devo instead.
By the bye-I made it through 20 minutes of “Sunshine Cleaning” before giving up. What did I win?

Douglas Q on October 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Sorrow01 zombies are in politics already. how do you think obama won. He and acorn cornered the dead vote.

Zombies always vote democratic, they prefer the taste of fresh, unused brains.

ender on October 4, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the review on ‘The Invention of Lying’ I think my hinderance from seeing it is because Tina Fey the Libtard is in the movie. I can’t stand her.

Btw managed to overcome the ecx-images-amazon.com problem; thanks.

Steve Harkonnen on October 5, 2009 at 9:05 am

Michael “Less” would be a much more appropriate name for this guy……..he is certainly becoming “less-effective”….”less-respected” (not that he ever was)……..and for the conservatives in this country….”LESS IS MOORE”

Darlene Blackman on October 5, 2009 at 9:53 am

Re:”This movie is more intolerant and zealous than any Christian or Jewish teachings I’ve seen”

Really? So teachings in the Bible like stoning those who work on the Sabbath and killing “witches” and the teaching (from the New Testament) that those who don’t believe in Jesus will burn forever and they deserve to are more tolerant and reasonable than this movie’s jokes–just jokes and barbs, not commands to hate and engage in violent actions? Before you answer with “that’s out of context” or “that’s metaphorical,” note that this was not how these teaching were originally conceived, that’s just modern society’s rationalizations of these teachings (which don’t even apply in modern society to the last one). Believers in history *have* done things like burn “witches” to death, on a massive scale, motivating by their religious teachings. It’s just that Judeo-Christian society (unlike most of Islamic society, which is why their religion still pushes them on a mass scale to commit atrocities) have evolved to the point to consider such teachings as reprehensible, but since believers still want to be believers, the layer an artificial “interpretation” to passages containing such teachings, which weren’t part of the original teachings.

Dudical on October 5, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I find it hard to get upset about a movie that makes fun of religion while the supreme court is seriously considering whether masturbation videos of women in stiletto heels stepping on kittens and mice are protected free speech.

If the supreme court says its ok to ban these animal cruelty films PETA is ready to jump in and ban any movie that shows someone hunting or even catching a fish. This country was founded as a Republic, not a democracy. It has gone past democracy and is almost to Idiocracy.

poetcomic1 on October 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Zombieland was fantastic! I’m glad I saw it before I could be spoiled (you know what I’m talking about, right?). Eisenberg was great but I keep mixing him up with Michael Cera.

pleasantmoon 2 on October 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

stepping on kittens? i’m calling the aspca.

zenith on October 6, 2009 at 4:49 am

If anyone with a faith-founded conscience is hesitant to see a movie like “The Invention of Lying”, they would do well to avoid it, like you said, Debbie. Some of us may still go (perhaps naively, as I did), and realize it’s good to be aware of the atheist propaganda that’s being promoted as entertainment. The point of the movie seems to be that the only person on the planet with a brain was the one who knew that the “man in the sky” story he made up was a lie. Everyone else in the movie is a mindless fool, taking his lie as truth, while carrying on their pitiful lives full of hate and shallowness. A sad, sorry, distorted view of mankind…

Jennifer Cote on October 7, 2009 at 1:15 am

Debbie: Amazing that “God is made up” is more offensive to you than “You are not Christian so you will burn in hell forever,” which is what a large percent of this site’s readership believes about you.

Dan on October 8, 2009 at 12:16 am

    It’s because she knows the truth of that belief: only liberals who who are not Christian go to hell and burn forever.

    Gravejoke on October 31, 2009 at 7:10 pm

I saw “Invention of lying” tonight. It was worse than “Zombieland”. The acting was very bad too.

Matthew on October 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Well. I’m going to see Zombieland on Sunday and I’m very much looking forward to it. I thank you for your intelligent review, as it helped me convince my date that she’ll enjoy (at least parts) of this movie.

Some of the people commenting here are real tools, but I guess you noticed that already.

Best Regards,
Rick

rick on October 10, 2009 at 12:54 am

I saw “The Invention of Lying” this weekend. I found it to be very funny and not offensive at all (I am a Catholic). The very premise of the movie is that nothing can exist that would require any bit of faith. In such a world religion could not exist.

It was interesting how the movie purposefully tread the line of NOT being offensive or “preachy” (no pun intended). In the movie Religion is considered a lie; however, it is considered a beautiful lie that provides comfort and direction. In this I think the author shows some respect for the teachings but disagrees with the premise. Not all lies are bad lies. (notice there is no lying commandment, only 9).

Offensive? No, hardly. How is not believing in something others believe in offensive? To an atheist, all religion is a lie – its made up. Or how Christians and Jews believe Islam is made up or how we all KNOW that Scientology is made up.

So offensive is someone disagreeing with you? This movie was respectful in its premise, thinking otherwise is pretty naive. Get over yourself.

As soon as the movie ended I said to may wife “This is going to drive the born-again crowd crazy.”

Epyx on October 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

We at acorn are upset that you would call us zombies, look at all the good we do.

Acorn Zombies on January 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

The invention of lying is a disappointingly poor comedy.
But criticism of it for being anti-religion is just pathetic, knee jerk stupidity.
Its a world in which there were no lies, no comforting lies, no hope giving lies, so no religion. You and everyone else knows darn well that even should a god of any kind exist, what we actually could have evidence to reasonably claim to know the truth of is zilch.
Gervais’ character creates his man in the sky to comfort his dying mother, other people want to know about this afterlife so he tells them. They ask the questions that demand more answers, do bad people have a wonderful afterlife too etc etc.
So he answers them trying to stay consistent to his story and what people know of real life.
To see how you could end up with anything radically different from the Hebrew style god is difficult, valhalla wouldn’t comfort many old women.
At worst its gentle poking of fun at religion, not out and out hatred, which seems to be the emotion a certain type of person jumps to in reaction to anything but veneration of their chosen crutch, that that certain type of person would style themselves as christian would be an far greater insult to christianity than this movie was.
One thing I will say though, the statement that
“Ricky Gervais . . . Bill Maher’s English counterpart”
a complement if ever there was one.

HuwOS on January 15, 2010 at 4:44 am

The writer is Jewish for some reason pandering to the pseudo christian loons so prevalent in the states.
Even so, expressions of such hatred towards this movie’s treatment of religion is still the far greater insult to people who believe in religion than the mild mockery in the film.

HuwOS on January 15, 2010 at 5:23 am

I recently watched the Invention of Lying and couldn’t help but feel turned off to the mockery of his version of the ten commandments on pizza boxes. I don’t care if some people find it ridiculous to think it’s offensive or not, I agree with your statements. I also find it comedic that people will argue with one another over what they believe. Who cares what someone else thinks or writes, I’m not going to say down with Ricky Gervais b/c he’s not a Christian. That’s his perogative such is the same as mine to not watch that film again. Let’s just agree to disagree and keep religion or anit-religion out of Hollywood period. There was much more that could have been done w/ that script seeing as being the first man to ever be able to tell a lie is monumental.

Pandora on February 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Rented ZombieLand yestarday:

OMG.did that suck!

Debbie,love ya babe,but that was a complete waste of time and money.Sooooooo predicatable and repetitive.There’s a zombie:shoot him,repeat as often as necessary.

I can’t believe you enjoyed that nonsense.I had to fast forward through it in order to make it to the end.Otherwise,there’s no way I could’ve sat through the whole thing.

ebayer on April 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm

This is obviously a politically-feuled and incredibly biased site. I’m not a liberal, but keep your politics out of your reviews for films…bringing them up as much as you do is unprofessional.
Also, it really pisses me off that Christians seem to think that movies should ONLY be made for them. There are plenty of movies that cater to the Christian audience, but when one is released that caters to atheists, you go on a rage about it?

Zach on April 24, 2010 at 2:10 am

Wow, you Debbie schl-whatever, are the reason the world hates America. How many poor Americans must be cringing in their socks at the verbal diatribe you poison the electronic world with? 3 1/2 reagans (that murdering goon doesn’t get a capital letter) – give me a break – lol!
Hail bejesus full of toast, i lay thee down to snore – haha!!

Stefan Fairweather on August 25, 2010 at 7:37 am

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