Bless This Mess

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Bless This Mess

MovieBob sits down with icon Bobcat Goldthwait to talk about God Bless America.

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I really want to see this film. It looks really good.

This is what happens when you give a director a small pile of money and say "make something you feel like making..."

I have to see this movie. I can't find it in my area though.

HEY NOW! Kim Kardashian uses her ass for FAR nobler ends than "Rev" Phelps ever used a bible.
Hell I could use a bible to wipe my ass and I'd STILL be going more good with it than Phelps ever could. Did I mention I REEEEAAAALLLLLLLLLLLYYYYY like the premise of this film?

interesting.

though I'm still interested in seeing purely for the spectacle of 'gunning down the filth', that we have to put up with, and can't gun down due to those silly 'laws' we have -.-

yes i do hate reality TV with the fury of a thousand suns

A two-man war against every douchey asshole in America.......... this interest me.

I thought the movie was awesome. I agree with Frank's sentiment too, "Why can't you just be nice?". The American, hell the WESTERN world is too obsessed with other people's business, and each new reality show has to be even more outrageous than the last. Remember when eating bugs on Fear Factor was shocking? That is nothing now, and all it does is breed idiots.

I think the movie IS wish fulfillment, just not the director's.

My first thought when I saw the trailer was "Wow. Americans are finally catching on to how stupid their own poular culture is." I NEED to see this movie, if only to see totally-not-Miley-Cirus get blown away.

captcha=saucy! Even the spamchecker knows there will be blood.

Ehn.

I saw God Bless America, and it's not even as good as Bob suggests. Far from being honest, it is a monument to hypocrisy, to a man who has decided that he is the ultimate arbiter of what is good and what is bad, and that everyone who disagrees with him needs to go to hell. The main character is a misanthrope who never makes even the slightest effort to understand the people around him, and most of whose problems are, in fact, of his own making even within the context of the strawmen that are liberally set up for him to knock down.

I like Bobcat Goldthwait a lot as a comedian, and he's a cool guy. At the Toronto Film Festival, he even got up on stage one night when the movie was delayed in order to deliver a standup routine and help keep the audience from rioting, which was just amazing (both the routine and him being willing to drop a free night to entertain others). I agree with several of his points about reality TV and culture in general. But I cannot get behind the sheer, holier-than-thou loathing that suffuses every iota of that movie.

In general this movie sounds good, although there is literally no way for me to see it in theaters.

Not sure I exactly understand the problem with hating on Juno though. That movie was terrible and the fact that Diablo Cody (or Ellen Page for that matter) still has a career is even worse.

Does it do the Falling Down bit, where you spend the whole movie cheering on the guy who's eliminating society's deadweight, only at the end to be told, "he shouldn't have done that"?

I surely hope not. When you make a black comedy/satire, either have faith in your audience and take things to their logical conclusions, or don't even bother.

So, you like it because you agree with it?

Question: would you be similarly amused (or at least accepting) with a movie revolving around killing MSNBC hosts, NPR "reporters," Al Sharpton, fanatical atheists like Dan Savage, and everyone who wants to kill North Carolinans? What do you think the metascores for the two would be, all other things being equal - and is it even remotely acceptable if one side gets savaged when the other gets a free pass? I'm inclined to think not.

Gotta be honest ... I loved it. Really, I loved that movie. It was frustrating and it was "cheap" such bluntly that it actually felt ... awesome.

It may be one-sided. It may be preachy. It may be thought not as far as one should. But it is - as Bob said - intriguing. And given that there hardly ever is a movie that makes me actually like it like this ... I can only keep repeating: it. is. awesome.

I feel a little bit sickened just from what you described. It sounds absolutely horrible, I guess the hypocriticalness is meant to be seen? But even still I don't think I could get through watching something with so much hate in it's core concept. This isn't a way somebody should ever think.

I mean I'm not even comfortable that you didn't put quotations marks around 'clarity'.

JaredXE:
I agree with Frank's sentiment too, "Why can't you just be nice?".

Because some madman has deemed other people's lives (which you pointed out as no-ones business) completely worthless and condemnable?

To bring it into practicality here, it's the choice of people in reality TV to appear on reality TV and the choice of people who watch it to watch it. It's done entirely between people giving deliberate permission to give up their privacy for something they think they might enjoy and it's non of your business to care about what they think, do or watch regardless of whether you enjoy reality TV or not (I generally don't)

omicron1:
So, you like it because you agree with it?

Question: would you be similarly amused (or at least accepting) with a movie revolving around killing MSNBC hosts, NPR "reporters," Al Sharpton, fanatical atheists like Dan Savage, and everyone who wants to kill North Carolinans? What do you think the metascores for the two would be, all other things being equal - and is it even remotely acceptable if one side gets savaged when the other gets a free pass? I'm inclined to think not.

The same question was posed to Roger Ebert when Outfoxed was released. He gave it a positive review and every political pundit asked him, "would you do the same thing for an anti MSNBC documentary?" After a week of hearing this, his response was simple and elegant: At this point I don't know because I have not seen it yet. Make the movie, let me watch it, and let me get back to you." The next year three anti- MSNBC documentaries came out and, long after any controversy was forgotten, he gave them all positive reviews. Was not to cover his ass, but because he enjoyed the movies.

I'm inclined to think that Bob would say the same thing and to think anything else is only meant to look for a fight.

I don't know how to put this movie, beyond that I enjoyed it. Not for the "ideology" or for the scenes where people just get blown away, I liked it because it did come across as a movie that wasn't ashamed of what it was. There was no attempt to be politically correct and not offend people, which I find remarkably refreshing.

As for the idea of smoking the assholes of the world, I honestly think the movie falls a little short on the high horse, but then again, it's still something I can sympathize with, even if I don't always agree with it. Again, its just the fact that it doesn't really try to reserve itself to keep from pissing people off or alienating potential viewers.

tl;dr, I enjoyed the movie for what it is, and don't think its for everybody

The Gentleman:
This is what happens when you give a director a small pile of money and say "make something you feel like making..."

To be fair, Inception is what we got when a director was given a metric fuck-tonne of money and told "make something you feel like making". And Inception makes my willy go standy-uppy.

OT: Sounds like Super, with Rainn Wilson, to some extent. Although that could just be because it features him beating the crap out of someone who cuts in line.

malestrithe:

The same question was posed to Roger Ebert when Outfoxed was released. He gave it a positive review and every political pundit asked him, "would you do the same thing for an anti MSNBC documentary?" After a week of hearing this, his response was simple and elegant: At this point I don't know because I have not seen it yet. Make the movie, let me watch it, and let me get back to you." The next year three anti- MSNBC documentaries came out and, long after any controversy was forgotten, he gave them all positive reviews. Was not to cover his ass, but because he enjoyed the movies.

I'm inclined to think that Bob would say the same thing and to think anything else is only meant to look for a fight.

I think that might be true of Bob, but read this

DVS BSTrD:
HEY NOW! Kim Kardashian uses her ass for FAR nobler ends than "Rev" Phelps ever used a bible.
Hell I could use a bible to wipe my ass and I'd STILL be going more good with it than Phelps ever could. Did I mention I REEEEAAAALLLLLLLLLLLYYYYY like the premise of this film?

and this

My first thought when I saw the trailer was "Wow. Americans are finally catching on to how stupid their own poular culture is." I NEED to see this movie, if only to see totally-not-Miley-Cirus get blown away.

and this

I thought the movie was awesome. I agree with Frank's sentiment too, "Why can't you just be nice?". The American, hell the WESTERN world is too obsessed with other people's business, and each new reality show has to be even more outrageous than the last. Remember when eating bugs on Fear Factor was shocking? That is nothing now, and all it does is breed idiots.

I think the movie IS wish fulfillment, just not the director's.

and this

A two-man war against every douchey asshole in America.......... this interest me.

And that's just a page worth of comments before your or mine in this thread alone, and I think it's safe to say that some people would not be saying this if the film was about stuff that they like or hold dear.

If Jack Thompson decided to shoot a bunch of people who play violent-video games for instance. I don't think we'd get past the message to judge the movie on quality alone (Bob may or may not, his reviews of the Fast and Furious and American Pie have been negative just because they are designed to be liked by the sort of people he doesn't like) so I wouldn't say I've known him to not less bias get in the way.

Roger Ebert on the otherhand is a genius who brings such a delightful sentiment to every review and it's no disrespect to say that Bob has not yet reached those heights. But even Roger Ebert flinched a bit at this films message.

Sound gratituious to the point of pornography, and I'm sorry it isn't playing here.

"This movie isn't wish fulfillment. If it was wish fulfillment, they'd be blowing up Hollywood studios, not a bunch of dumb kids on a show."
It may not be wish fulfillment for you, but it is for the OTHER dumb kids on the internet.
You know, the ones that won't shut up about Idiocracy or Brave New World or etc.

Personally, I feel that political discourse is better than it was even 10 years ago, the only difference being that we have so many different avenues for discourse that we can now SEE all of it.
Accusing the sitting president of being an Anarchist/Communist/Socialist/Nazi is absolutely nothing new, it's just now we have entire cable channels dedicated to it, whereas before we would have only said things like that at the water cooler, or at our local political meetings.
So is there a problem with the amount of privatized news coverage and therefore with the inevitable massive polarization that comes with creating an audience? Yes, and you can demonstrate this rather easily. But has the actual discourse and disposition of politics itself changed much in the last century? Also yes, but I'd say it has indeed gotten better or at least less violent and racist.

The problem with me having these views is that no one will really take me seriously, not within "thinking" circles anyway. My optimism can all be chalked up to youthful inexperience, naivety, or not having read the right books.
The last time it was POPULAR in intellectual circles to say that things are better "now", Leibniz and Spinoza were still alive. And then Candide came out, and soon enough you weren't allowed to call yourself a real intellectual or visionary without ALSO being a constant naysayer or a pessimist.

malestrithe:

omicron1:
So, you like it because you agree with it?

Question: would you be similarly amused (or at least accepting) with a movie revolving around killing MSNBC hosts, NPR "reporters," Al Sharpton, fanatical atheists like Dan Savage, and everyone who wants to kill North Carolinans? What do you think the metascores for the two would be, all other things being equal - and is it even remotely acceptable if one side gets savaged when the other gets a free pass? I'm inclined to think not.

The same question was posed to Roger Ebert when Outfoxed was released. He gave it a positive review and every political pundit asked him, "would you do the same thing for an anti MSNBC documentary?" After a week of hearing this, his response was simple and elegant: At this point I don't know because I have not seen it yet. Make the movie, let me watch it, and let me get back to you." The next year three anti- MSNBC documentaries came out and, long after any controversy was forgotten, he gave them all positive reviews. Was not to cover his ass, but because he enjoyed the movies.

I'm inclined to think that Bob would say the same thing and to think anything else is only meant to look for a fight.

This may be a reasonable assumption to make for any individual reviewer. I concede that.
However, the meta-result will still have some very interesting perturbations - where MovieBob and the reviewing public treat this anvilicious movie as a positive thing, there are many examples (to name two, Expelled and Passion) of movies whose preachy approach to their subject matter was taken as a negative value for the film itself in a significant portion of reviews.
To wit: a large portion of the industry has a very specific viewpoint here. And while any individual may be able to avoid putting his personal bias into play, the aggregate is that movies/media that don't fit the picture get (pardon the pun) crucified for it - they're preachy or overbearing or biased - while movies that fit with the reviewers' worldview routinely "make you think."
As a side note, the phrase "makes you think" in these contexts almost never means "made me think." Nine times out of ten, the reviewer is in complete agreement with whatever viewpoint is "deep" or "affecting." Which is interesting, to say the least.

Will not be seeing this movie. I can't endorse anyone who says, even satirically, that murder is the best way to deal with those you disagree with.

BrotherRool:

And that's just a page worth of comments before your or mine in this thread alone, and I think it's safe to say that some people would not be saying this if the film was about stuff that they like or hold dear.

If Jack Thompson decided to shoot a bunch of people who play violent-video games for instance. I don't think we'd get past the message to judge the movie on quality alone (Bob may or may not, his reviews of the Fast and Furious and American Pie have been negative just because they are designed to be liked by the sort of people he doesn't like) so I wouldn't say I've known him to not less bias get in the way.

Roger Ebert on the otherhand is a genius who brings such a delightful sentiment to every review and it's no disrespect to say that Bob has not yet reached those heights. But even Roger Ebert flinched a bit at this films message.

You might be right. Bob does seem to express more vitriol to movies that he does not like. Personally, I do not like wild accusations about whether or not the reverse situation were true. That gets into all sorts of personal biases and wish fulfillment fantasies. The only honest answer in those situations is I do not know because it has not happened.

As for the God Bless America, I'll give it a pass. It sounds like it is something I won't like. I have this intense hatred for movies that are disorganized messes and this movie feels like one of those.

malestrithe:

You might be right. Bob does seem to express more vitriol to movies that he does not like. Personally, I do not like wild accusations about whether or not the reverse situation were true. That gets into all sorts of personal biases and wish fulfillment fantasies. The only honest answer in those situations is I do not know because it has not happened.

As for the God Bless America, I'll give it a pass. It sounds like it is something I won't like. I have this intense hatred for movies that are disorganized messes and this movie feels like one of those.

I have to admit I didn't read Omnicron as particularly attacking Bob as attacking peoples reactions as a whole, which we've already seen as entirely valid.

And Bob is a good guy but he really is biased in some reviews and it's an uncomfortable bias we shouldn't let sit by because everytime you let someone call someone else a gun-nut douchebag or the other stuff, your letting that become an acceptable way of viewing whole swathes of people.

Bob isn't a particularly bad case and it's something that affects all of us in all society. Just think of all the people who write about games being made worse because CoD morons can't handle a game with depth. You can't think these things and you can't let them become the norm because we're writing off whole swathes of the population just because they aren't us.

I don't think in this review Bob really expressed any bias at all and I don't really read in what he wrote any sort of approvement of the characters actions, my gripes are with other reviews, but I think Omnicron was very right to put a check on people liking this because it hates reality TV and we don't like reality TV etc

It's not wish-fulfillment, it's god-damned catharsis.

I haven't seen this one, but Bob's description kind of makes me want to. Not for any of the 'right' reasons of course.

To me this sounds like every B-Z grade movie I've watched on a bored Sunday afternoon. The way its described, in fact, makes me think of something somthing of the Third Reich. I'll have to look up the actual name in a bit here, but it really does sound like a nazi-sploitation/revenge-sploitation movie without any nazis. I don't even know what you could call it, western-sploitation?

At any rate, low grade sleaze is what I enjoy watching in my down time, and this movie sounds like a high budget version of that. Take it how you will I suppose.

Aah, I had the wrong one in mind. The name of it is 'Last Orgy of the Third Reich', but that's not the one I was thinking of. I'll update you all if I remember it, as I'm sure none of you will get to bed tonight wondering what you may be missing out on.

I remembered:

It reminds me of 'Las Vegas Bloodbath', where a guy catches his wife and then decides all women are scum and starts randomly killing them. Also he shoots a male bartender for some reason.

Anyway, yeah: Classic revenge-sploitation. It has the barest edges of a theme, tailored in such a way that people can be murdered on screen for entertainment.

BrotherRool:
I have to admit I didn't read Omnicron as particularly attacking Bob as attacking peoples reactions as a whole, which we've already seen as entirely valid.

And Bob is a good guy but he really is biased in some reviews and it's an uncomfortable bias we shouldn't let sit by because everytime you let someone call someone else a gun-nut douchebag or the other stuff, your letting that become an acceptable way of viewing whole swathes of people.

Bob isn't a particularly bad case and it's something that affects all of us in all society. Just think of all the people who write about games being made worse because CoD morons can't handle a game with depth. You can't think these things and you can't let them become the norm because we're writing off whole swathes of the population just because they aren't us.

I don't think in this review Bob really expressed any bias at all and I don't really read in what he wrote any sort of approvement of the characters actions, my gripes are with other reviews, but I think Omnicron was very right to put a check on people liking this because it hates reality TV and we don't like reality TV etc

I did not think he was objecting to what Bob said either. I'm objecting to the whole reverse hypothetical situation, where if the reverse situation were true, would you.... That line of thinking bugs me. We do not know because it has not happened.

I'm not defending Bob either. I've called him out on plenty of things.

Not everyone thinks stuff from their childhood is sacred.

I dislike Transformers not because its from my childhood, nor because Bay directed it. I dislike them for being disjointed messes scriptwise.

I don't like the Fast and Furious movies, but I am not offended they exist either.

While Halo could be interpreted as a racist game, not all of the players are neo-Nazis.

malestrithe:
I'm objecting to the whole reverse hypothetical situation, where if the reverse situation were true, would you.... That line of thinking bugs me. We do not know because it has not happened.

I guess in some ways that's fair enough. I guess it'd be easy to get in the habit of using against other people 'well he'd have thought this if this came out' which is what you were talking about?

But as a thought experiment it's a useful one for yourself and other people, it just needs to be the question not the criticism itself (criticism is fine if there's evidence for it though)

Since when did being a full on asshat become political?

When Beck compares anything he dislikes to Nazis, that's called being a douche bag.
It doesn't matter if you like or dislike the group/person he's talking about.

God Bless America is the second best movie I've seen all year, Avengers being the first.
And yeah the thing is preachy as hell with its message, but its a message that NEEDS to be given in our "modern" world.

Having watched only the trailers for this film I found myself surprisingly shying away from even giving it a chance. Goldwaith claims it is absolutely in no way wish fulfillment fantasy and I will take his word for it. I think it is an important thing to get down because I would definitely be against it if it wasn't actually striving for a much more noble message (i.e. be a nice person) than the superficially obvious kill those you think are bad (that let's face it, 50% of the viewers came in to see from the trailers).

Having concluded that, I still think that isn't quite enough. Unless the film has an incredibly sobering and masterful final act, the "kill bad people" message isn't just going to disappear. If this plays out like Fight Club where you get a pithy disclaimer that everything that you were nodding in agreement with thus far (because that was the director's intent, let us not forget) was wrong, then I would definitely oppose the whole production.

With great power comes great responsibility and if you are going to literally escalate the arms race of reactionary media, then you better have prepared well for the consequences of those seriously drastic actions.

BrotherRool:

malestrithe:
I'm objecting to the whole reverse hypothetical situation, where if the reverse situation were true, would you.... That line of thinking bugs me. We do not know because it has not happened.

I guess in some ways that's fair enough. I guess it'd be easy to get in the habit of using against other people 'well he'd have thought this if this came out' which is what you were talking about?

But as a thought experiment it's a useful one for yourself and other people, it just needs to be the question not the criticism itself (criticism is fine if there's evidence for it though)

Funnily enough I do that on things where there is 2 equally valid choices. I tend to do it with nostalgic souls who think stuff from childhood is better because of no other reason than it's from their childhood.

I just never do it when the reverse example does not exist. In this case, the reverse example does not exist.

omicron1:
So, you like it because you agree with it?

Question: would you be similarly amused (or at least accepting) with a movie revolving around killing MSNBC hosts, NPR "reporters," Al Sharpton, fanatical atheists like Dan Savage, and everyone who wants to kill North Carolinans? What do you think the metascores for the two would be, all other things being equal - and is it even remotely acceptable if one side gets savaged when the other gets a free pass? I'm inclined to think not.

So, have you ever listened to NPR? I'm asking because it seems like anyone wants to hold something up as the liberal equivalent to Fox News they go to NPR without ever actually listening to it.

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