January 4, 2013, - 4:23 pm

Weekend Box Office: Promised Land, The Impossible

By Debbie Schlussel

One okay movie and another, a Muslim-funded propaganda piece against fracking, comprise the new movies debuting in theaters today. Also, I came very late to the critics’ screening of “Not Fade Away,” and chose not to see the first half that I’d missed, so I’m not allowed to review it (and it wouldn’t be fair). But you do the math.


* “Promised Land“: Yes, it’s the anti-fracking propaganda screed funded by ImageNation Abu Dhabi. I’ve written about and objected to ImageNation Abu Dhabi before back i 2010–much before the so-called conservatives now pretending to object to Muslim Gulf state funding of Hollywood movies. As I noted then, the company financed, “Fair Game” (read my review), the anti-American Valerie Plame BS-fest starring Sean Penn, and I called this new development, “Islamywood.”

That said, it’s hilarious to note that among the biggest “critics” of this Gulf state Arab funding of a movie–this movie–is the phony Heritage Foundation, which gets gazillions in funding from Qatar–hey, a Gulf state!–and other Gulf state emirates after jihadist Grover Norquist introduced his good friend, Heritage founder (and chief until his recent retirement) Edwin Feulner (the lobbyist for anti-Semitic Malaysia) to the Emir of Qatar (and other anti-Semitic, pan-terrorist Gulf leader buddies and financiers of his), taking Feulner on an Arab Gulf state sponsored trip to the Middle East, after which Heritage “softened” its stance on Islamic abuses and outrageous conduct and Feulner and his wife got more Malaysian lobbying dollars. Cha-ching! (This Muslim money Feulner was readily stuffing his wallet with is the same reason that Feulner listened to Jihad Grover’s demand that I be removed from Townhall.com, then owned by Heritage, even though I was the site’s most popular columnist (by more than twice Ann Coulter) and had given the site far too much free publicity and traffic with my appearances on Howard Stern and on various cable news shows plugging the site.) You won’t hear a single critic of the ImageNation Abu Dhabi funding of “Promised Land” object to the mass Muslim and Arabist funding of Heritage Foundation. But, hey, they’re not hypocrites and frauds, right? (BTW, don’t look for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Mark Levin to ever point any of this out, since all three of them get paid big bucks by Heritage, which is a major sponsor of each of their syndicated radio shows.)

And while the government-run ImageNation Abu Dhabi funded this, missing among the objections to that is the fact that Abu Dhabi is an oil-rich state, which has every interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent through alternative energy sources such as fracking. If the much-villainized “Big Fracking” companies were allowed to frack without environmentalist-wacko-induced government intervention, we could say good-bye to Abu Dhabi and the Saudis and the rest of the oil-rich Gulf states forever and bankrupt them. In Michigan, where leftist freaks failed to outlaw fracking, liberal Republican Gov. Rick Snyder correctly stated that fracking hasn’t hurt Michigan because it’s been done correctly, as it is in most places. There isn’t mass contaminated drinking water here or holes in the ground from the fracking. But they don’t show you that in this movie because that’s inconvenient to the agendas of ImageNation Abu Dhabi, Matt Damon, John Krasinski, and the rest of Hollywood.

And now to the actual details of the movie. It’s long, slow, and extremely boring. What is under two hours seems like over four. It’s just uninteresting. Writers Damon and Krasinski and director Gus Van Sant trot out the same old “big business” stereotypes and myths. Damon and Frances McDormand are employees of a big fracking company. They come to a small town somewhere in America, where the people are the way Hollywood sees them: uneducated dupes, unsophisticated simpletons, and elected officials who just care about the size of the bribe. Damon and McDormand buy plaid shirts at a local one-stop shop, called, “Gas, Groceries, Guitars & Guns.” Damon and McDormand agree that, “A place like this–they always wear flannel or camo.” Yup, it’s those dumb, average White people who hunt and wanna stay warm in the winter. The nerve of them.

While Damon is at first very successful in getting people to sign away the fracking rights to their lands, he soon finds opposition in the form of Hal Holbrook, a school teacher who was once a scientist and engineer. And then there is organized opposition in the form of an environmental activist (Krasinski).

But things are not as they seem. Not that I cared, since, again, the movie is such obvious propaganda. And, again, I know who’s funding the movie, and they wanna keep me hooked on Saudi Soda. No thanks.


Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Impossible“: This is an okay movie, but just okay. And I question the transformation of what, in real life, was a tremendous tragedy–the tsunami which struck Thailand and other nearby countries, in which many lives were lost and many others were badly maimed–into an action adventure thriller. But that’s insensitive liberal Hollywood for ya (and yet they always demand that the rest of us be uber-sensitive to the most absurd things). While it’s based on a real-life story of a French family that survived the tragedy, the movie portrays the family as a British one.

Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play the parents of three very cute young boys. The family travel to Southeast Asia for a beachfront vacation. But while they are outside at the pool, the tsunami strikes. They spend the rest of the movie searching for each other and wondering if the others in the family have survived. Some parts are touching, mostly because of the cute kids (they make the movie, no question), but it’s not a “great” movie. It’s entertaining enough, if a little slow.

And, the way things are going, I should probably be appreciative that this movie presents the dying species of an intact nuclear family, in which the parents are married (to each other) and the father is actually a decent guy, responsible, and risks it all to find and save his family. Not the kind of stuff Lalaland wants you to see anymore.


Watch the trailer . . .

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28 Responses

Been watching re-runs and TRU-TV idiocy. Ain’t that what TV’s for? Intended to see the latest Bond flick but have even been unmotivated there too.

Just getting old, jaded and wishing there were better movies.

P. Aaron on January 5, 2013 at 12:31 am

The Heritage Foundation used to be an interesting think tank about a quarter of a century ago. It really began to die out after the Reagan Administration. The Heritage Foundation is lucky to get any airtime even on C-Span now. Even Fox News has gotten out of the habit of regularly citing them in its newscasts.

The Heritage Foundation’s website is of a pretty low quality considering its funding. The reports you do find on the site tend to be tedious, rather than thought provoking.

Judge the site for yourselves: http://www.heritage.org/

I remember long ago when the Heritage Foundation used to have lengthy background reports on specific issues.

What you get today are reports that are too short to be of any use or more lengthy reports that have that recycled feel to them.

The Promised Land sounds like a rehash of the evil corporation flicks that have been standard fare for over forty years now. Debbie picked up on the not very subtle put downs in the flick, such as just needing a flannel or camo shirt to fit in.
“Gas, Groceries, Guitars & Guns” is such a cute name for a store. I wonder if it could be a chain? They might as well have called it “Inbreds R’ Us” while they were at it. Those writers are so isolated from the real world that they probably do not know when they are being insulting half the time. How old is Hal Holbrook now? He must be in his late eighties. Were the producers that hard up that they could not find a younger and more credible character?

Worry01 on January 5, 2013 at 3:28 am

    I had been donating to Heritage until Romney lost. I was unaware of the Islamic conecton. In the wake of not knowing what the heck was going to happen with thefiscal cliff, I cut off my donations. (That and the fact that I don’t support losers— this POTUS campaign could have been won by a sufficiently motivated Can of Spam, and Heritage was part of the strategic team that lost it—highly involved with the Romney campaign, which had crap for a ground game.)

    Oil drilling has been GREAT for ND—I live near the MN/ND border, and it has been GREAT for the MN economy, too, as we are the source for the special sand that gets used in fracking.

    I think Matt Damon and his intellectual capacity were best potrayed in “Team America.”

    Occam's Tool on January 6, 2013 at 3:54 am

Based on Debbie’s musings…

This weekend – Netflix. And sleep. Lots of both.

The Reverend Jacques on January 5, 2013 at 4:35 am

I would like to see Matt Damons or any other leftist for that matter, to explain how they deride the US as dependent of BIG Oil but yet are willing to have a movie financed by them. If this is not the nail on the coffin for anyone that believes that the left is their friend, then those people are either firmly believe in their idealogy or they are just plain dopes. Like I have notice anytime a leftist complains about the Repulbicans, conservatives, right wing, etc are the party of the rich, seems the leftist fail to look at their spokespersons

Mario on January 5, 2013 at 4:41 am

    And along those lines Mario. I’d like to see a law, in reality it would never happen, that says that no Hollywood POS can make money from any movie they star in, direct, produce, whatever if that movie features the use of firearms by the Hollywood POS. Damon, Looney, Penn, etc. bye bye.

    MarkF on January 6, 2013 at 5:49 am

Debbie, I’d like to express my sincerest regrets for you having to suffer through this latest Damon dreck to provide a review of what they attempt to call a movie. I realize that being a film critic and reviewer requires you to see the bad as well as the good but, I wish you didn’t have to see it and would have been able to spend the time wasted watching that schlock on something worthwhile and enjoyable instead. I could tell by the commercials and the fact that the hippy commune raised Damon was in it, that it was going to be pure and utter shite. I’m sure the majority of your fans knew it as well but, you are a professional and still sat through it anyway. Thank you and I’m sorry for the time the movie stole from your life. Maybe we, your fans, can help you in the future to avoid garbage you don’t need to see. If you’d like to try sometime asking us through a poll on your site whether you should bother with certain movies, I’m sure we would be more than happy to help you out. I know I personally don’t like seeing your time wasted on what should be obvious. I’d rather have a review on a movie that may actually look good in commercials but, could be garbage in disguise. Although, that is usually the case anyway. I appreciate and love your reviews. They have helped me to avoid some time and money wasters that I was almost suckered into until I read your review of them. Keep up the great work and I hope you don’t have to sit through an obvious time waster like that again.

markswfl on January 5, 2013 at 5:26 am

Damon (whom the aforesaid hack Levin had referred to a few years ago as “Matt Demon”), like so many in La-La Land (chief among them the pompous jerk and a-hole Bill Maher), has a very low opinion of small-town and middle Americans; in one of the interviews he gave in connection with this latest Abu Dhabi-funded piece of drek, he even compared them to prostitutes selling themselves for sex. But then, given his long admiration of Howard Zinn (R.I.H.), it would be par for the course.

Interesting that one of the stars of the ImageNation-funded Fair[sic] Game, Naomi Watts, is in the other film reviewed here.

And “Al Gorezeera”: Very cute – and apt.

ConcernedPatriot on January 5, 2013 at 7:50 am

Was unaware of much of what you wrote about Heritage. Appreciate the information.

In view of their sponsorship of Rush Limbaugh, maybe Sandra Fluke and her friends will rise (no pun intended) to the occasion and publicize the information about Heritage. We can wait, and wait, and wait.

Little Al on January 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

“And while the government-run ImageNation Abu Dhabi funded this, missing among the objections to that is the fact that Abu Dhabi is an oil-rich state, which has every interest in preventing America from becoming energy independent through alternative energy sources such as fracking.”

Excellent point and insight. Thanks, Debbie.

DS_ROCKS! on January 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

Doesn’t surprise me that Debbie was way more popular than Ann Coulter.
Energy independence is not something the left likes in just the same way they hated what they called the “Star Wars” program.
Who cares if its goal was to protect Americans from nuclear annihilation?
The point was it upset the Russians because they couldn’t afford a similar program probably.
Also it probably meant we wouldn’t have to compromise as much with Gulag Nation on foreign policy.
This was going to take the emphasis off disarmament.
Shock, horror. Libs hated that idea, what the hell would we need them for then?
I always thought they were more afraid of it working than not working.
Anyway weren’t we stupid for even thinking it might be possible.

The left essentially has only one game, dependency.
Ever notice how only freedoms exercised in challenging what used to be American values are the only ones they really still approve of. We only seem to be really free now to complain about how unfair things are and demand some or other government entity does something about it. But don’t worry because big brother knows best. What do you want to do? Take responsibility for your own life like some kind of Maverick?

Can’t say a bad word about Levin though until I know for sure that someone else owns him and I don’t believe that.

Frankz on January 5, 2013 at 9:27 am

“Al Gorezeera” Thanks for the laugh, Debbie. I love puns.

Italkit on January 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

‘Gorezeera’ is pretty close to Gojirra, either one being a huge, scary, fire breathing, city-destroying monster.


Airmet Tango on January 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

The information about Heritage is hard to read with being deeply disappointed and concerned. DS has done it again. Churchill warned Great Britain and the world of Hitler’s illegal rearmament and Hitler’s totalitarian intentions and few listened. Many talked of disarming Great Britain and the allies.

Beware the lobbyists. The two faced Grover Norquist lobbies for tax breaks for corporations claiming they are reducing taxes and starving the beast. In fact, the lobbying acknowledges the legitimacy of Statist intervention in the economy. Grovery Norquist is not Constitutional Limited Government conservative. He is a phony and a sell out.

DS is essential reading.

FYI I am from Pennsylvania and no one has been injured by fracking. There is a better chance of being hit by lightening than being poisoned by anything to do with Marcellus Shale drilling. Marcellus Shale is Pennsylvania’s number one job creator and has, actually, reduced cost of energy in Pennsylvania and elsewhere as well as generating $200 million the first year tax was imposed. Marcellus Shale is, literally, a gift from God. Let us see what we will do with this gift.

bobguzzardi on January 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Boy, you said it BobGuzzardi (and Little Al!)…I am shocked to learn that about Heritage. I know I shouldn’t be and I had been holding off checking them out (wanted to look at the Constitutional course they offer) but now I know why. Jeez.

    Ok, just avoid these propaganda pieces with “Land” in them…”Promised Land” and “Gas Land”. It’s a leftist ploy to get uncritical (and emotional) thinkers to embrace their environmentalist tyranny bullsh.

    I come across many well meaning but clueless idiots that think the earth is in peril. It makes me roll my eyes and see the BAD propaganda is working.

    Just think about those light-bulbs (incandescent) our Nanny State Gubment wants to phase out. Those new curlycue awful ones not only are very dangerous with Mercury in them (go to the website and see what you have to do if God forbid one of those suckers break in your house…) but now they can cause cancer if you don’t stay 2 feet away from them! LOL. Liberals want you listening to their mental-cased palaver AND dead! Also, those horrible light-bulbs won’t work outside if the weather drops below 43 degrees!! No wonder Libtards love Mooooslims. Both want us back in the year 680 AD!!!

    Quinn’s 1st Law~”Liberalism always generates the complete opposite of its stated intent”. And HOW!

    Speaking of Jim Quinn, Bob G. you prolly listen to him. He has been at the forefront of what you discussed about your state and the mishagas happening there. He has been strongly defending fracking for yonks.

    Yuck! Matt Damon. I don’t see the appeal of that idiot. Only flick I saw him in was “True Grit” and I was NOT impressed. Not with all the good acting by far better at their craft than he. He’s like Leonardo DiCraprio’s equally bland and woefully overhyped idiot brother. Those who love mediocrity can keep him!

    This site is most valuable to me!

    Skunky on January 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      The courses on the Constitution you want to take are the two offered by Hillsdale College. I don’t know if you were mistakenly attributing them to the Heritage Foundation, but they are excellent courses and I highly recommend them.

      JeffT on January 5, 2013 at 10:39 pm

        Thank you JeffT! You are correct. I mixed them up…but I am glad you alerted me and I will take your recommendation. Much thanks!

        Skunky on January 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

Thanks for taking the hit for us again, Debbie.
Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies.

Michelle on January 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Debbie, thanks for the insight about Townhall.com. That used to be a go-to sight for me, but in the past few years It had become a don’t-bother site. I think I may have discovered you on that site, in fact. They have dropped several columnists I loved to read, and replaced them with people who aren’t worth reading. Also, they don’t monitor their comments, so things get really ugly really fast, and they have LOTS of spammers from foreign countries who post poorly-worded comments touting their websites. I wondered what got into them. Now I know.

DG in GA on January 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

>> … the phony Heritage Foundation … <<

I joined the Heritage Foundation a few years ago, after Obama became president. Rush Limbaugh promotes them every single day. I wanted to give them a try.

Last month was the 200th birthday of “Uncle Sam”–something that I exclusively researched. I thought people should know about it. I emailed the Heritage Foundation and its new leader, the still-senator Jim DeMint. I asked the Heritage Foundation and Senator DeMint to help honor “Uncle Sam,” the symbol of the United States of America, on the 200th birthday.

The Heritage Foundation wasn’t interested in the slightest. No one wrote back to me, even though emails don’t cost anything.

The next day, I heard another one of Rush Limbaugh’s commercials stating that the Heritage Foundation truly cares about every member.

I resigned my membership immediately and told Heritage never to contact me again. I gave specific reasons for leaving–no one at Heritage gives a darn about a member or even cares about the heritage of the United States. No one responded to that, but they did cancel my membership.

Maybe Heritage will work out for some of you, but no one there showed me the slightest kindness or simple human understanding for my membership dues.

Barry Popik on January 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Barry Popik, Thanks for your post. I enjoyed learning about your experience and their dismissal of you says it all.

    KenB., as always, I do enjoy your thoughts. Good job!

    Skunky on January 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thank you once again for your excellent movie reviews Debbie. I cannot understand WTF is the appeal the little toilet bug that is Matt Damon. There is a why in “Team America World Police” this clown was reduced to just repeating his name. He was a dummy back then and things haven’t changed. His anti-fracking load of baby diaper filler is nothing but Hollyweird propaganda that was funded by a company from the UAE. As anyone with half a brain knows Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the other gulf states hate the US and hate fracking. They would just love it if the US kept getting oil from them and thanks to hypocrtical environuts like Al-Jazeera sellout Fat Albert Gore. I’ll take a long pass on this crapfest.
So sorry to hear about the Heritage Foundation and Townhall.com. This is why your number one on my favorties list Debbie. Only here would I have found out that THF was getting funding from Qatar of all places. It just goes to show you that the all mighty dollar trumps principles anyday. Either that or they had no principles to begin with. Just like one of their leading proponents Vannity. What a fake, fraud, phoney baloney that bum has turned out to be. Just like that putz Feulner banning you from TH.com. They keep CINOs like Malkin and weiners like John Hawkins but ban you. Whatever. Debbie me and the other regular posters here know that you are the real deal Holyfield. Keep up the great work because this Black conservative country boy (that’s right dummy Damon) from West Virginia appreciates all that you do.

Ken b on January 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Regarding Arab/Muslim dollars flowing into and influencing conservative institutions and big business (and not liberal politically correct multicultural universities) I suppose that we should be shocked, SHOCKED that 1 Timothy 6:10 applies to conservatives just like everybody else, right?

Gerald on January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

And thanks for the tip on “The Impossible.” I will pick it up when it comes into my Netflix queue based on your recommendation.

Gerald on January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I kinda find “The Impossible” a bit chick-ish for an environmental disaster flick. But I’ll wait for it on Netflix as well.

In (somewhat) unrelated news, NHL is back online. Go Leafs Go!

The Reverend Jacques on January 7, 2013 at 3:08 am


    “I kinda find “The Impossible” a bit chick-ish for an environmental disaster flick.”

    I know, plus I have despised Naomi Watts ever since “Mulholland Drive.” But what can I say? “And, the way things are going, I should probably be appreciative that this movie presents the dying species of an intact nuclear family, in which the parents are married (to each other) and the father is actually a decent guy, responsible, and risks it all to find and save his family.

    Better to let my kids see that than Django Unchained (or Les Miserables for that matter) I say …

    Gerald on January 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

I’ll go see both films. Sorry, but I take no critic on his word. By the way, if this is indicative of anything, the back cover page of the current issue of National Review contains an ad for “Promised Land.” Hmmm. Does this mean Rich Lowry and company have made it official? Has conservatism’s flagship publication completely gone over to the Dark Side? Just wondering.

As for Matt Damon, I can take his off-camera politics with a grain of salt, but it is indisputable that he is a gifted natural actor, far superior to the mechanical “acting” that prevailed in the imagined “golden” age of Hollywood. And most of his films are NOT in any meaningful sense “Leftist” — unless someone here wants to tell me that “We Bought a Zoo,” “The Informant” or the “Bourne” movies are political agitprop.

Seek on January 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Seek sez:

    “Does this mean Rich Lowry and company have made it official? Has conservatism’s flagship publication completely gone over to the Dark Side? Just wondering.”

    The answer is yes, you dumb bunny.

    skzion on January 9, 2013 at 7:23 pm

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