Monthly Archives: November 2006

Film Critic Quote of the Week

“[Rachel] Weisz just doesn’t register–it’s one of those roles where you can tell the filmmaker is in love with her and thus thinks you are too. (Call this the “Ed Burns Casts His Girlfriends Syndrome.”)”

Sean Burns, taking apart “The Fountain” on the House Next Door, a blog you really should be reading every day if you’re even the slightest bit of a film buff.

Quote of the Day

“The good news is that Mel [Gibson] finally has something in common with the most popular man in America. The bad news is that Borat hates Jews too. In even worse news, Borat is fictional and he was joking. With Mel, were not quite sure.”

FilmThreat.com, naming Mel as #1 on its annual list of people with the coldest careers in Hollywood.

I Swear…

This mind-boggling column by Dennis Prager has to be the favorite for Most Asinine Argument of the Year, which is sort of surprising, since I thought Prager was actually intelligent.
In it, Prager argues that incoming Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, is committing a grave anti-American offense by taking his oath of office while placing his hand on the Koran, as opposed to the Bible. The act, Prager writes, is “damaging to the fabric of American civilization.” He goes on to compare one placing their hand on the Koran to taking the oath on “Mein Kampf.” And finally, he argues that Ellison is contributing to “the Islamicization of America” by bringing a Koran into his swearing-in ceremony.
Where to start with this? For one thing, placing one’s hand on the Bible during the oath is not a Constitutional obligation, or even a law- it is merely a traditional custom. For another, it would be unfair to ask a man not of the Christian faith to place his hand on a holy book that is not his own.
“Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned” Prager argues, “America is interested in only one book, the Bible.” I don’t remember “America” ever being asked to vote on such a thing, and of course, the Constitution forbids establishment of religion. And I wouldn’t worry too much about this leading to the “Islamicization of Congress,” since Ellison remains the lone Muslim in the 435-member House of Representatives.
Were Ellison rejecting the Constitution itself in favor of the Koran, that would be one thing. Instead, he is merely rejecting a holy book that is not his in favor of one that is. I fail to see the outrage, I really do.
There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Keith Ellison, but how he takes his oath of office is very low on the list. And this comes just a week after another generally tolerable right-wing talk radio guy, Glenn Beck, asked Ellison on live television to “prove to me that you’re not working with our enemies.” There must be something about this guy that makes people go nuts.

Film Critic Quote of the Week

“Instead, we got a Major Motion Picture directed by Ron Howard, perhaps the single director least likely to rescue this material from itself… Enter Howard who… has devoted his adult life to making Frank Capra look like an ironist. The word “earnest” is not itself earnest enough to convey the earnestness of Howard’s filmmaking.”

Christopher Orr, in TNR, taking apart the horrible, horrible film adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code.”
And yes, he’s referring to Ron Howard the director, and not Ron Howard the Phillies first baseman.

Sometimes, the Haters Are Right

News Item: Alcee Hastings Will Not Chair Intelligence Committee, Pelosi Announces.
A good move, I’d say, since it doesn’t speak well of the Democrats if such a key post is held by someone who was impeached from a federal judgeship. And yes, I know it appears Pelosi is bungling things either, but remember- the session hasn’t even started yet. This is the preseason. Wait until the Congress is actually seated before you come to any conclusions.