A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
Voice Media slashes another film critic.
Adding further grist to the discussion of "critical sameness" ("The Stepford Critics?)," Village Voice Media has cut another (film-)critical voice from its payroll. This time it's National Society of Film Critics member Rob Nelson, of the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages. GreenCine Daily quotes critic Dave Kehr:
(See Kehr's clarification in comments below.)
This is not good. Soon, we will have a choice between the re-animated Paulettes who dominate the print media and the Knowles-nothing fan boys who dominate the internet. Which in my book isn't much of a choice at all.
As the movie's more begrudging admirers will likely acknowledge, Ferguson is no Michael Moore. His background is as a scholar and a Brookings wonk, and "No End in Sight" — his first film, amazingly — is less a work of investigation (or activism) than history. There's no psychology in the movie (e.g., Dubya has daddy issues), and neither are there conspiracy theories (e.g., the war is about redrawing the Middle East map and further fueling Halliburton's tank). On some level, it even endeavors to be a film without politics—and might be that if such a thing were possible. [...]
Ferguson has assembled a wealth of on-the-ground footage from a variety of sources, using it mainly to annotate his interview material, although near the end of the film he includes a horrifying home video of private military contractors randomly picking off Iraqi civilian motorists with machine-gun fire, Elvis's jaunty "Mystery Train" booming from the Americans' car radio. Throughout the film are images of burning cars, stacks of torn bodies, bombed-out homes, Iraqis weeping into open coffins—the sort of pictures conspicuously missing from network news coverage. Is the movie's reporting biased? Not if you consider that anyone who'd testify to the "good intentions" or overall success of the campaign—Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld—naturally refused to comment. The evidence speaks for itself...
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