Get ready for The Least Action Hero - cinemadom's first libertarian vigilante takes on the Federal Reserve in the doomsday market collapse thriller The Crash.
By: Jimbo X
Something dawned on me when the Academy Award nominees were announced - Hollywood is literally trying to declare celluloid jihad on middle America now.
Let's take a look at the movies the Academy selected as the nine best of the year that was. With the sole exception of Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge - an absolutely awesome throwback to the wartime dramas of the '50s and '60s, complete with people getting curb stomped on grenades and dudes using bifurcated corpses as human shields against Tojo fire - every last one of the nominees was meant to slight the heartland viewing bloc. Nowhere is this more evident than the 14 nominations bestowed to a movie so full of blow-hard Hollywood leftist gas that they literally named the damn thing after themselves - La La Land.
All I can say is sweet Hosanna, this is the WHITEST movie ever made. You thought that ultra vanilla dollop of pure Caucasoidness that was Boyhood was unbearably, excruciatingly white? Well, La La Land is so white, it makes the former grand champion of white suburban cinema look like Shaft in Africa.
That a movie THIS unabashedly waspy racked up more than a dozen nominations after all of the #OscarsSoWhite hubbub, it's almost as if AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson WAS TRYING to stretch her labia out like a Stretch Armstrong doll so she could intentionally spray as much privileged white piss all over the place as possible. It couldn't have been a more racially cognizant "eff you" had the Oscar steering committee retroactively nominated Triumph of the Will in its place.
The rest of the Academy Award nominations really aren't that impressive, neither. Hidden Figures and Fences are both boring, by-the-numbers odes to white guilt that were nominated solely because of affirmative action, while Arrival and Hell or High Water are both rudimentary genre films that got an Oscar bump because of their actors and directors - despite being subpar and/or mediocre works compared to the rest of their respective canons. Manchester By the Sea is LITERALLY just Ben Affleck's brother walking around in the snow being all pouty for two hours and Lion is actually just an extended commercial for Google (no, I am not making that up.) But the one that I find the most interesting from a social psychology perspective is this one called Moonlight.
Now, the whole reason Moonlight was nominated is because last year, the Academy decided that they were going to give The Birth of a Nation all of the Oscars so people on Twitter would stop telling them they're racist - but then, the guy who directed The Birth of a Nation was revealed to be a dude who may or may not have raped a white co-ed in college, and because liberals care more about gender than color, that automatically made the flick (in no small part due to self-moralizing blow back from the very same people who were heralding it as the preeminent text of the Black Lives Matter movement just months earlier) a financial and critical flop. So the Oscar big wigs - seemingly randomly - plucked this obscure coming of age drama as this year's substitute Great Black Hope.
So, what's this heavily hyped Academy Awards underdog about? Well, basically, it's about two gangbanging crack dealers in love, following their romance of the ages as they grow from little seven year-olds checking each other out in their swimming trunks to middle schoolers making out and jerking each other off after geometry class before realizing "no homo" and hitting each other upside the heads with chairs. Then they don't talk to each other for a decade and one of 'em calls the other up to come visit his restaurant in Miami and this causes the main character to have a nocturnal emission and after he visits his drugged-up mama at rehab he scurries all the way down from Atlanta to tell his old butt buddy how much he's missed him and then they spend they rest of the movie hugging and swapping spit on the beach.
The Daily Emerald called it "courageous" and "compassionate." Miami.com likewise used the word "courageous" to describe the film. ThatMomentIn said the movie "is a work that transcends the genre, a film of such power and courage it redraws lines on the map." Writer/Director Barry Jenkins "handles the material with courage," says one reviewer at Blu-Ray.com. And naturally, Twitter is abuzz with suspiciously Caucasoid commentators labeling the film as "courageous art."
Now can someone tell me how exactly Moonlight is a "courageous" film? Hollywood's been celebrating black cinema nonstop since 1990 and praising LGBT cinema nonstop since 2000. There's absolutely nothing we see in Moonlight we didn't already see in Brokeback Mountain almost 15 years ago, with the SOLE difference maker being the melanin levels of the cast. Take out the "down-low" gangsta' love story and you have yourself little more than another awfully generic woe-is-Black-America street-survival yarn. What sort of heroism does Moonlight promote? That simply liking your sex in a different hole is enough to grant you status as a martyr? Of course, you really can't make the characters literal martyrs, because that means having to admit that inner city black culture is immensely homophobic, and anything that calls into question the compatibility of the great intersectional Axis powers is strictly verboten. In a culture that views homophobia and racism as the most unforgivable of social transgressions, making a movie championing gay black men is pretty much the LEAST courageous thing you can do. What's so controversial and daring and brave and bold about saying something 99.9 percent of the mass media zeitgeist already believes is a moral imperative?
Right there, you can see the greatest rift between the Hollywood and East Coast liberal elites and the rest of the middle class (and lower) American movie-going masses. To the lefties, "heroism" means nothing more than yelling the party line and waving the team colors. You don't actually have to do anything for anybody else to achieve Hollywood's version of "heroism." Simply existing in an alleged "climate" of antithetical ideologies and values by default makes you Oskar Schindler 2017. Throughout Moonlight, the main character doesn't do a SINGLE good deed or display one act of selflessness or altruism. But because he's both gay and black and other black kids at school pick on him, we're automatically supposed to believe he's some sort of messianic figure? Something tells me the Chosen People out there in Movie-World need to re-read the Book of Matthew - Jesus isn't a hero because he got the shit beat out of him, he's a hero because he HELPED a whole hell of a lot of people before getting the shit beat out of him.
Hollywood - and really, contemporary liberalism - has convinced itself that suffering alone constitutes heroism. This is in sharp contrast to the moral bedrock of Middle America, where courage actually requires some sort of external qualifiers. The West Coast/East Coast identity politics aggrievement machine is dedicated wholly to self - what YOU experience (or perceive to experience) makes you a "hero," they tell the young 'uns - while flyover country (itself, a nice jumble of white, black, liberal and conservative populations, all tied together by common socioeconomic factors) believes that heroism can only come about via selflessness. In fact, the American laypeople consider this so critical to the moral foundation of its youth that Ted Behar's MovieGuide lists "films about selflessness" ABOVE its recommended viewing for "films of faith." Religion is just dandy in the eyes of middle America, but without actually being WILLING to help out others, they're well aware all that time warming the pew is for naught.
Meanwhile, Hollywood values tell you all you have to do is sit on your ass and profess some sort of marginalized status and you ARE noble and courageous. And when THAT is the central message you're trying to instill into the hearts and minds of our gilded youth - one that completely inverts the 300-year old American prole definition of valor - maybe you shouldn't be surprised one iota that box office sales continue to fall and fall and fall some some more.
|Even playing a low-rent Stephen Hawking, John Leguizamo remains the most animated thing about the new anti-Federal Reserve libertarian vigilante action movie The Crash.|
Anyway, speaking of things Hollywood doesn't care about no more, our movie of the week The Crash answers the question Americans of all ages, sizes and ethnicities have been wondering for over a decade now: what exactly happened to John Leguizamo? You know, the guy who played Luigi in that ill-fated Mario Bros. movie and had his own sitcom on Fox for about three minutes in the mid-1990s? The guy who played the morbidly obese Joker ripoff in Spawn and the world's most flamboyant methamphetamine freak in Spun? The dude who despite being very, very Hispanic in appearance, tone and mannerisms was cast by Spike Lee as a stereotypical Italian mook in Summer of Sam and whose big breakout vehicle The Pest crashed and burned at the cinemas worse than Paul Walker's last drag race?
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time Leguizamo's been at my local cineplex since Land of the Dead - a movie that came out 12 years ago - and unfortunately, it ain't exactly a performance that'll be garnering the L-Man any "comeback of the year" honors. Here, he plays this paraplegic techno nerd who screams "we're flashing red!" like he's chewing a mouthful of marbles every time his plasma screen monitor lights up, and trust me, he gets to say that a lot since the premise of The Crash is that the Federal Reserve is false flagging a huge economic collapse so all the banks bailed out in 2008 will be able to collect a ton of stocks at rock bottom prices by the end of the week.
The thing is, there's this one guy in Chicago who they're trying to set up as a cyber terrorist responsible for the attack, but he's not entirely sure whether or not he should play ball with 'em and he spends half the movie weighing his options while walking around this central command station he set up in a random suburban mansion and a nuclear powered sub that supposedly powers 5 percent of the total Internet just sitting out there on Lake Huron because George W. Bush apparently forgot about it one day. And then, on the morning the Feds push the big red panic button (interestingly enough, the film takes place in an alternate reality where Hillary Clinton won the election) and everybody starts getting into fist fights to get to the ATM machine first and France and England are severing diplomatic ties with us and people are going on Twitter to type "we're all doomed" in all capital letters, that's when he's got to make the decision that'll alter the course of humanity forever: does he appease the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and nuke a virus they intentionally set loose on the New York Stock Exchange mainframes, or does he take another look at his daughter and say "dagnabbit, we can't let the banks KEEP printing money all willy-nilly!" and tell him to buzz off?
This being perhaps the first paranoid libertarian vigilante action movie ever - which means our heroes just sit in front of a computer the whole dang time complaining about the moral ills of fiat currency - I think it's pretty much a given how our Facebook-age John Galt is going to respond. But therein lies the drama, folks - will we at least get one more monologue from the dastardly board chair while he's giving the heads of Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo a tour of an abandoned carnival before then?
We've got no dead bodies. No breasts. No motor vehicle chases. No kung fu. Gratuitous Hillary Clinton impersonator. Gratuitous Muller yogurt product placement. People getting roughed up by bank officers. Multiple monologues about the perils of low liquid reserves. And if this whole Paulxploitation trend keeps chugging along, something we're probably going to be seeing a whole hell of a lot more of at the movies - Google Fu.
Starring Frank Grillo as the world's first libertarian action hero, whose feats of cunning and courage include briskly getting up from a computer in one room to go check out a computer in an entirely different room; Minnie Driver - yes, that Minnie Driver - whose face looks like botulism city and who occasionally throws paperback books at her husband's face; and Christopher McDonald - yep, Shooter McGavin himself - who at one point explains how the U.S. stock market was based on clowns being chased around by bears back in the late 1700s.
Directed by some guy named Aram Rappaport, who originally wanted to call it Jekyll Island and had to leave the final product on the shelf for two years before somebody finally came along and wanted to take a look at it.
Two and a half stars out of four - not a shabby little no-budget post-B-movie thriller at all. Jimbo says give it a gander, if you're living by one of the three movie theaters in North America that's actually screening it.