Who wasn't shocked by the Times's"negative" review of My Life? I didn't particularly care, but I was a little impressed - "Well, at least they're strong enough to go against what one would assume would be their liberal orthodoxy and print a negative review." A moderately positive or even slightly fawning review was what was expected, but a review that pointed out the problems and seemed to mesh with what many outsiders (including myself) thought would be the end product by the term-paper cramming way he was writing it just two months ago seemed a pretty honest, straightforward review. I would hardly call the reviewer a "right-wing conspirator" or anything like. So, not one to thrill the hearts of the Bill fan club, but you can't win them all.
Well, it appears I was wrong. If you're Bill, you can (more or less) win them all.
In an unprecedented move, the Times is running a second review, this time a favorable one by Larry McMurtry. Although it won't appear in the print edition until the Third of July, the Times already has it posted, so that all good liberals can see its mea culpa.
This really is embarrassing, unless they had it in the can a long, long time ago and were going to publish it all along. Kathy Park, an NYT pressperson, says that reviews have been released early before - but fails to note that they were the initial reviews for books that were not yet out. This is a titch different.
Oh, but I'm sure they must have had it in the can a while. Because, of course, the venerable, honorable Times wouldn't commit such a slap in the face to one of their longtime reviewers, and of course they wouldn't bow to pressure, either, would they?
It will be big in NYC, LA, and Chicago. It will hit big (for an indie) this weekend. Then it will sink, although it's possible that it might hang on in indie theaters like Bowling did. $6 million, best.
Look, there are people in New York that are stupid enough to buy this, but I think "flyover country" is a little smarter than that.
Here's an example of what I mean, from Roger Simon's Fox411 column today.
'Fahrenheit' Smash Hit in NYC
Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" broke all records yesterday in its premiere showing. Lincoln Plaza Cinemas manager Mohammed Alam told me last night that the film grossed a stunning $31,569 and all sixteen performances were sold out.
"From the beginning of the day until the end," Alam said, "I have never seen anything like it." Four shows for today are already sold out, and Alam expects a repeat performance.
Meantime, another bigger record was set downtown at the Village Cineplex 7, the only other theatre in the country playing "F9/11" before its national opening on Friday. The box office gross there was $48,000.
"It's a record," managing director Scott Rosenmann told me. "People have been crying and applauding at the end of shows. Some say they don't want to live in America anymore."
Rosenmann was keeping the theatre open all night last night, and even had tickets sold for the 2:30 a.m. show.
People have been crying and applauding? They don't want to live in America anymore? Hey, I hear France is really nice. Except in August, when it can be a little unpleasant, especially if you're elderly. P.S. Please take Alec Baldwin with you, he still hasn't kept his promise to leave.
So, oooohh, it was showing at two theaters in all of Manhattan. How thrilling. So all of those Manhattanites (including expats from everywhere and sundry UN characters, Bush fans all) could get their Bush-bashing Michael Moore groove on two days early. I'm sure that's very representative of the rest of the country.
Then there's this review in the Dallas Observer, our "alternative" weekly, where the reviewer basically says, "Michael Moore played me and I loved every minute of it!"
I mean, I frankly do not understand how people who pretend to know so much about film think he is the most. You can see it in the ad that's running on TV right now. GWB is on the golf course and makes a very serious comment about the war on terror. Then, immediately, he says (I'm quoting from memory), "Now watch this swing!" Omigosh! It's pretty callous - I would find it so myself - or, anyway, I would find it so if it was not obvious that there was a cut between his serious remark and his golf swing. This is the exact same thing that he did to Charlton Heston in Bowling for Columbine! And it's in the commercial! So how do you suppose the film is going to be?
Sure, it's cool and all to win the Palme d'Or and get "the longest standing ovation in the history of the Cannes Film Festival." There's a certain demographic that that sort of thing will appeal to, and I'm sure they'll watch this happily and uncritically because it speaks to their prejudices about the president. If Moore was on the right, he'd have been sliced and diced ten ways from Sunday by now. But because he's on the left, he's acclaimed and adored and is a critical darling. Jean-Luc Godard may be able to criticize him (scroll down), but Roger Ebert thinks Moore has learned his lesson from the criticisms of Bowling for Columbine. Um, I think not, and we'll see this film picked apart pretty well. Now, if a rightist filmmaker had made a film like this about Clinton, everyone would be saying, "Oh, come on, get over it already!" But because GWB is the spawn of Satan, well, that's okay.
I'm not sure if Moore really believes this stuff, or if he's found a goldmine of hatred and finds it so insanely profitable to keep mining it. I tend to believe the second, because his "facts" are so poor and his films so slapdash. If he were a true believer he would do a better job, I'd think.
Anyway, that's the great thing about America - Michael Moore can make a crapulent film criticizing the president, and instead of getting questioned or locked up, he wins accolades and pockets big bucks. What a great country.
Unfortunately, they don't mention all the interesting things from Mr. Falconer's press conference, the most interesting of which I found was the statement, vis-a-vis the dynamic of the Petersons' relationship, that "Pregnant women are crazy".
They may be The Country The Rest Of The World Loves To Hate (TM), but if you need security and fast, they're the pros. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? Probably because they're so eeeeeevil, I suppose. Nothing to do with all their neighbors trying to eradicate them or anything.
Well, duh-uuh. Not every country that begins (in English) with "S" does whatever terrorists want it to do. I saw the video of the fellow and it's just heart-wrenching, but responding to videos shot at gunpoint is no way to run a government.
How could they have done it differently? Easy - something like "South Korea reasserts troop commitment despite kidnapping". A stronger action verb, different phrasing. I suppose it depends on your point of view, though, doesn't it?