Movie Diary 4/15/2009

Tea Party Day (Fox News). You notice Fox and the other talking-points reciters have quietly changed the official storyline for this “grassroots” event from tax-hike outrage (even the most ardent Bush voters might actually realize at some point that their Middle Class taxes are being cut) to complaints about spending. (Because what about our grandchildren?) Another new wrinkle is that Fox’s drum-beating populism on behalf of the “tea parties” is being positioned as not about Democrats or Republicans, or Obama or Bush — because all are guilty (as are the media and people who live in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and New York City — although as Glenn Beck noted, not all of New York, just the “snotty parts”) and should be replaced. With something. (Why the non-exclusive-targeting of Obama? Because his approval numbers remain stubbornly high.)

Beck was standing at the Alamo, backed by Ted Nugent (who summed up his philosophy as “so simple, it’s stupid”). There were a few decent Beck-isms, but he didn’t quite go full-bore crazy, perhaps because he didn’t need to, given the company he was in.

Fox’s coverage was frequently interrupted by commercials for gold, pitched by G. Gordon Liddy.

boomerang2Boomerang! (Elia Kazan, 1947). Fluid study of community, politics, and the rush to convict a very unpopular murder suspect. The brisk little noirs Kazan made in this period (Panic in the Streets too) have a teeming energy in them that his bigger movies don’t always find.

Battle for Terra (Aristomenis Tsirbas, 2007). A 3D animated thing about aliens invaded by Earthlings, with plenty of lectures about peace, war, and the environment. Also too many celebrity voices: Evan Rachel Wood, Luke Wilson, Justin Long, James Garner, Dennis Quaid — any of whom, however capable they are, might have been replaced by a competent unknown. (full review 5/1)