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|COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION: Jessica Alba and Michael Medved
I sat down today looking to take a nap, maybe eat something junkish, watch some spring training highlights on TV, play with my kid… it was going to be a rare day, and the weather had decided to play its part in helping make this a Saturday to remember. And then I made a huge mistake: I went online to read a little news, and there it was, hypocrisy by the boatload. Hypocrisy at such radical levels that I could not, with a clear conscience, stand by and let it happen unanswered. Jessica Alba, Michael Medved and the American family Association: a trio that has only the devil himself to thank for their very existence, let alone the fact that people actually pay attention to their inane ramblings. So let’s throw on the watertight waders and run through the muck, and see how many assholes we can skewer.
DEFENDANT #1: JESSICA “DON’T LOOK AT MY BREASTS, WHICH ARE RIGHT HERE, IN YOUR FACE, ON DISPLAY” ALBA
THE ACCUSATION: Extreme hypocrisy.
I have no time for the current crop of vacuum-packed, pointy hip boned, artificially stacked sub-humans that are being marched out on a daily basis and dubbed ‘starlets’. Granted, the starlet has never been a particularly bright creature, even back in the day when they played bingo on beach blankets, or fought off Jeff Goldblum’s anal rape attempts in Deathwish movies, or ignored Ducky so they could hang out with the rich asshole played by Andrew McCarthy. The starlet is, traditionally, a species notable only for its complete lack of humanity, moral worth, and an innate ability to find a career in porno when the acting roles (and boobs) head south.
But lately, the starlet has taken on a new, more evil form. With the emergence of Crack Whore Chic (pictured right), which began with the odd fascination the world has with Paris “I’m rich but I’ll blow you for a dollar” Hilton and Nicole “Not Even Considered Good Looking in Eastern Europe” Richie, all manner of successful teen and early 20’s actress has decided to:
A) Get pregnant
B) Get a coke habit
C) Let their boobs fall out whenever a camera is around
D) Release a home porno
E) Get anorexic
F) Be interviewed by tabloid magazines about how awful it is to see yourself in tabloid magazines
Jessica Alba has tried to forged a different path. She has a G option, and that option is “Make sure you complain about your boobs being out at least once a month, despite several months of getting your boobs out at every opportunity.”
First it was Sin City, a film that was based on a comic book that involved much nudity. In the story, a hard-boiled detective, played by Bruce Willis, is trying to protect a girl that he knew as a child, who is now not only an adult, and not only a stripper, but also flaunts her sexuality at every opportunity. She does this because she knows it makes him REALLY uncomfortable. It’s what she does. It’s her central character trait. It’s her essence.
And the world she lives in is one where EVERY woman must use her sexuality to get by. A female cop, played by Carla Gugino, wanders around her apartment topless. A group of hookers, one of which is played by Rosario Dawson, walks around in fishnets that barely cover anything. A local barmaid, played by Brittany Murphy, gets beaten and sexually taken advantage of by her boyfriend.
The object of the film is this: Men are animals, and women in this world have to use the one thing they have that retains any sort of power – their sexuality – to survive, and even thrive. It’s a cautionary tale, where the sex is not for titillation, but to point out an extreme view of our own world, right here. It’s supposed to be jarring. It’s sex and nudity with an actual point – that sex and nudity have lost their purity and innocence in this messed up world. And part of that – a central part of that – is supposed to entail a stripper making life very hard for the one guy who is trying to do right, by teasing and taunting him sexually.
Mistake #1 was choosing Jessica Alba for a role that required acting ability. Mistake #2 was allowing her to turn up on set, after having been semi-naked in every second magazine on the shelves, and then hold the production to ransom, saying “I don’t feel comfortable going topless…” One might think that if it were a problem, she might have said something before taking a role AS A STRIPPER WHO IS NAKED MUCH OF THE TIME! What made this clear attempt at Hollywood extortion all the worse is that, the month the film was released, Alba appeared all but naked on the cover of a men’s magazine.
So a little time goes on and her nudity continues in magazine after magazine. She appears in the Fantastic Four with a suit so tight it had to be sewn on. She appears in Into The Blue, wearing nothing more than a bikini through the entire film.
And now, Playboy Magazine decides that she’s the sexiest star in Hollywood and puts her on the cover of their magazine – and Alba threatens legal action. Why? Because people might think she’s appearing nude inside, and that would harm her career and reputation.
Oh! You mean like the time she went to a premier with a see-through top and no bra? Gee, I’d hate to think anyone might assume Jessica would get naked on camera.
In fact, according to MrSkin.com, the gurus of all things nude and celebrityish, Ms Alba has appeared in her underwear of less six times in movies, and three times on TV. But hey, don't put a picture of her in a bikini on Playboy! No, that'd ruin her reputation....
THE VERDICT: Stupid as sin. Her recent Hollywood track record proves she’s not very bright, but this “Look at my boobs/don’t look at my boobs” routine is just nutso. She’ll be sentenced to a lifetime of saying, “No seriously, I was famous once” to people while filming ‘small, adult-oriented, independent video features’ in the San Fernando Valley area.
DEFENDANT #2: MICHAEL “ZELL MILLER” MEDVED
THE ACCUSATION: Right wing nuttery while pretending to be a film critic.
THE CASE: Anyone who has ever heard Michael Medved speak, or read his ill-considered words in print, knows that he’s an idiot. What Sean Hannity is to polite discourse, Michael Medved is to film criticism. Take, for example, his most recent poll on his website (at the time of writing), which asks: Which movie got snubbed in the Best Picture category for this year’s Oscars?
Uh, what? WHAT?! The Dukes of Hazzard is put forward by this mook as a serious contender for BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR?!?
Now, when you answer that poll (which I did, with Walk The Line), it takes you to a page of results in which a whopping 42% of Medved’s listeners chose the Chronicles of Narnia as the most snubbed film! What this tells us is A) Medved’s audience are functionally retarded, B) They’re also hardcore Christians. And that makes sense, because Medved could not possibly appeal to anyone who hasn’t been saved by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Oh, or the Jews. He’s apparently arranging a trip to Israel for his family and his listeners this summer. Oy.
In fact, Medved is quite the right wing goofball, and he’ll readily admit as much. In fact, he wrote a book called ‘Right Turns’ and uses the slogan “It’s Cool to be Conservative!” on the top of his website, just above the notice thathe’ll be speaking at the Dallas “Yes to Life” event, where presumably all those great Christian listeners of his will hear him talk about how bad it is that the US has killed 100,000 innocent civilians in Iraq.
What? No mention of Iraq? Well, perhaps they’ll speak up about the Texas law, signed by George W. Bush, that says if you can’t pay your sickly child’s medical bills, the hospital can turn off the kid’s life support and let him or her die against your wishes. Anyone who truly loves life would hate such a law and…
What? No mention of that either? Oh, now I get it. It’s not “Yes to Life”, it’s “Yes to Rich White People’s Life” – makes perfect sense!
Anyway, why I’m calling out Medved is that he just yesterday did a radio interview in which he said the following (and I’m paraphrasing as the Christian conservative radio station he was speaking on doesn’t offer transcripts):
• He called Good Night and Good Luck “a movie about the so-called McCarthy era” and said it was “left wing liberal propaganda because it did not describe Stalin's massacres under communism and the very real threat that communism posed in this country and what Senator McCarthy was trying to protect us from.”
• He accused George Clooney of "Goebbels-like revisionism."
• He said that Cinderella Man was the best movie of the year, and stated that the reason it didn't do well because “with a title like Cinderella Man, people probably thought it was another male transvestite movie. […] No, seriously."
• He claimed people in Hollywood don't make more family movies because all they care about is impressing beautiful women.
• He said they make left wing movies that don't make money, but family movies don't make them look tough to the ladies.
• He described Munich and other films in the Best Picture category for the Oscars this year as fitting into the “Hollywood Liberal agenda”.
Now, one might ask, what sort of utter fucktard looks back on the McCarthy era as a GOOD time in America’s history? What sort of absolute maroon finds anything but poison for McCarthy and his witchhunts, which put good American families on blacklists and kept them out of jobs because one member of the family might have attended a Communist Party meeting (or might not have) twenty years previously, during the heights of the Great Depression?
I’ll tell you what sort of asshole says things like that. Michael Medved does. A contemptible prick who would tell you what a great American movie Cinderella Man was, without realizing that the man who SAVED Jim Brannock and his ilk from starvation was Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt, and his New Deal – a change in America’s system of government so dramatically better for America’s poor that people like McCarthy (and later, Medved) spent decades trying to break it down.
Time for a history lesson. The Republicans threw America in to the Great Depression. FDR came along to try to fix things, and in doing so came up with The New Deal, in which the government would take responsibility for caring for the poor. Welfare became a reality. Social Security bloomed. Government works were set in motion, and slowly but surely, the country turned the corner and became prosperous once more.
Well, not everyone felt so great about this. The wealthy were so alarmed at the New Deal that a group of Wall Street bigwigs employed a retired US Marine General, Smedley Butler, to raise an army of veterans, numbering anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000, to march on Washington and tell FDR he was finished as President. It was, for all intents and purposes, a political coup attempt. Organizers of the coup were quoted as saying they had tens of millions of dollars in the bank, and were prepared to spend half to protect the other half.
The General, however, had second thoughts, and went to Congress to tell them of the coup. Unfortunately, the members of government he thought would be alarmed at this were sympathetic with the wealthy coup plotters, and the entire affair was ‘investigated’, but ultimately swept under the rug. Newspaper owners across America, like William Randolph Hearst, said nothing of the coup, or the investigation that followed, and in time the committee that was set up to STOP this attack on the New Deal, became the House Unamerican Activities Committee, and turned it’s attention on, instead, stopping anything that could possibly be described as Socialism in its tracks, under the guise of defeating the ‘evil’ Communists.
Now, Stalin was a dick – no question about it. And Communism doesn’t work – we kinda proved that one over the decades that followed. But how on earth can you possibly look at a group of people who covered up a plot to take over the government of the United States of America, and then spent decades making criminals out of people because they wanted society’s poorest to be looked after, and say that those people are anything above the level of pondscum?
Added to that, George Clooney went out of his way on Good Night and Good Luck to NOT put a partisan spin on things. He went so far as to use McCarthy’s very own newsreel footage, rather than put an actor on screen to play him, because he wanted to AVOID the appearance he was putting his own spin on things. He, in my mind, HURT his movie by NOT taking a stance against McCarthy and his ilk, but he was determined to not tilt the facts and give people reason to call foul on him.
Yet Medved will sit at his microphone and pour scorn on this film because it didn’t spend a little time taking McCarthy’s side on things?
Here's a tip, Medved: Every story does indeed have two sides - the correct side, and the bullshit BS spin side. Just because someone, somewhere, prefers to be a revisionist and see McCarthy as a great hero does not mean, under any circumstances, that they're right.
Should Hotel Rwanda have given us the genocider’s perspective? Should The Pianist have spent a few minutes looking at the evils of Jewish piano players, and what they have wrought on society? Should Schindler’s List have taken Hitler’s side for an act or two? (And don’t even get in my grill about using a Hitler comparison – this douchebag called Clooney Goebbels-like, after all.)
Give me a god damned break. Medved loves Gentleman Jim Brannock and the film about his fight back from poverty, but he hates the people that brought America as a nation out of the Depression. He loves the Chronicles of Narnia, a movie that features a scene where Santa Claus doles out heavy weaponry to small children, but he hates Brokeback Mountain, a movie where the selfish love of two cowboys ruins the lives of those around them, and indeed themselves. He doesn’t see an agenda in Narnia, but he sees one in Munich.
THE VERDICT: GUILTY of outright wingnuttery. Morons like this think it’s great the the US tortures Middle Eastern people, even as they drive around in their SUV with a fish decal on the back bumper. For him, and those like him, there’s a fiery pit of eternal damnation on the way, and it won't be filled with gays and liberals, it'll be filled with Halliburton executives, Senators and talk radio pundits. Jesus would LOVE Brokeback Mountain. He would have TOTALLY dug Good Night and Good Luck. He would have been all over Munich as a cautionary tale that serves as a warning to us all. And he’d kick Michael Medved’s docile, ill-informed, ill-considered, redneck ass all over the street for daring to try to paint evil as good.
THE SENTENCE: Another three years of explaining to his shrinking audience that they should ignore the 34% opinion polls of George W. Bush because he’s a 'man of peace'. And hey, let’s also sentence him to an unfortunate accident that devastates him financially so he can find out why a little socialism can be a good thing.
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link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1759
originally posted: 03/05/06 12:07:11
last updated: 03/23/06 18:48:24