Man, long weekend, in the sense that it was exhausting and full of obligations. Never did get around to cracking the books for the GREs, or writing, and yet there was not a single night that I got to bed before two in the morning. Gah.
On the up side, saw both Spiderman 2 and Fahrenheit 9/11. Go see Spiderman if you haven’t already. It’s really phenomenal, really well done. I think the advantage of the latest crop of comic book adaptations over ordinary action movies is that, when they’re well-done, comics have lots of experience in balancing action with character arc. It’s not just about explosions, it’s about the special effects serving the emotional chords. It puts the emotional issues at the forefront instead of tacking them on as obligatory character development. Definitely pleased with this one, and screamed with laughter at the Hal Sparks cameo.
Fahrenheit, on the other hand, I had mixed feelings about.
Personally, I thought if Moore had cut a half-hour of the worst of the propaganda, he would have had an incisive and insightful documentary. The footage of Bush’s initial reaction to the news of the crisis was pretty shocking. And I loved the little caption on the bottom of the screen when one interviewee claimed he had an 800-number to receive complaints and questions: “He’s lying. But here’s his private office number!” And it’s shocking to be reminded of how little time Bush spent in the office before 9/11, and Moore does some nice research into Bush’s financial ties.
On the other hand, how is Britney Spears’ opinion of Bush at all relevant? She’s entitled to her opinion, same as the Dixie Chicks are, whether or not we agree with it. What does it matter whether Bush sleeps on nice sheets? He lives in the freaking White House! Why is it significant that Bush shakes hands with the Saudi princes when he visits their country? He shakes hands with world leaders in France, Great Britain, China, Japan, Korea, this is in his job description. Why is it sinister that, when an international crisis breaks out, Bush has a private meeting with that country’s ambassador? That’s what ambassadors are there for, so there’s someone physically in the country to address questions and concerns and relay them to the appropriate people.
Why do these things piss me off? Because Bush is a monster and an incompetent, and Moore has done a lot of first rate work here, and these exaggerations and tangents only hurt the credibility of the rest of the film. I’m pissed that people who would otherwise agree with him will be turned off by some of this inflammatory nonsense.