German director Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God; Nosferatu; Cave of Forgotten Dreams) has disparaged Lawrence of Arabia as “not really that good anymore.” Herzog criticized the screenplay by Robert Bolt for depicting the Arab world as “very stupid.” He added: “Lawrence of Arabia doesn’t portray the Arab world in a good way.” … Herzog said that for a forthcoming film he himself is educating himself about the Arab world — “about the region, about Islam, about [the] Bedouin … about the dignity of the Arabian world. This is something which you cannot learn from Lawrence of Arabia. It does not show what is true of today.”
Good grief, the protagonist in “Lawrence of Arabia,” who just so happens to be Lawrence of Arabia, practically becomes an Arab in the film and demands the British treat Arabs as equals. Furthermore, Omar Sharif’s Arab character is portrayed as educated and sophisticated, and over and over again we’re shown the bravery and honor of the various Arab tribes.
Is it David Lean’s fault history recorded the truth about all the tribal squabbles and feuds that doom the third act?
Well, let’s see if Herzog has the sand to “show what is true today”– the good, the terrorism, and the Sharia.
Don’t get me wrong, I very much admire Herzog. But this is just dumb.
I simply can’t imagine going through life caring about what someone as dumb and bubbled as Barbara Walters thinks.
This, to me, is my favorite chapter of Walt’s life. The truly inspiring one. The anointed king and namesake of Walt Disney Studios quietly slipped out the back door. He cashed in and took a handful of talented artists and, with Roy’s blessing, started over. He dreamed of a place. A place where families could come together and experience something unique yet familiar. A place to share an experience that offered comfort in a changing and scary world that seemed dead set on thumbing its nose at tradition and shredding families apart. A place where cutting edge technology and animatronics could create an immersive virtual reality of an idealized past and future, relying on each family to provide the present.
In what can only be a bid to appeal to adults and to make amends for the idiocy of the entire outing, Chipwrecked is also packed with slightly out-of-date references – jokes about Sarah Palin, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the double rainbow guy, The Most Interesting Man in the World, and many more populate the film. These jokes are not funny. Yet, these attempts at adult-friendly chuckles are not alone, as Chipwrecked is clearly designed mainly to appeal to children. Oftentimes, when a studio screens a kid-aimed film for critics, they set the screening at a family-friendly time and allow the press to bring their children. It’s a nice touch by the bigwigs, but it allows grumbly old critics some key insights – mainly, are kids laughing at this? Kids laughed at Chipwrecked, but they didn’t seem taken in by it, delighted by the film, or even especially consumed by it.
This is awesome.
How cool is this?
LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING
For some reason — probably the $3 cost of the DVD — I thought that after 23 years “Bright Lights, Big City” (1988) might play better, if only for nostalgic eighties purposes. Unfortunately, the movie remains so bad I can hardly believe the same director, the late James Bridges, directed “The China Syndrome.”
The story is dull, the performances — especially Michael J. Fox and Kiefer Sutherland — are one-note, and the production design and cinematography are even worse. The sets look like, well, sets and the “crowd scenes” feel so staged you can practically see production assistants moving people in and out of shots.
The biggest problem, though, is the miscasting of Fox. While he’s a very talented comic actor, self-loathing is so far off his acting radar that you never believe for a moment his character is spiraling into some self-destructive black hole of debauchery.
The film’s biggest failure is that you never get any sense that the time and place of go-go Manhattan during the eighties has been captured. You’d have to work pretty hard to get that wrong.
SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR
CLASSIC PICK FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16
10:00 PM EST: Christmas In Connecticut (1945) — A homemaking specialist who can’t boil water is forced to provide a family holiday for a war hero. Dir: Peter Godfrey Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet. BW-102 mins, TV-G, CC,
The whole story is made possible because the protagonists want to display their patriotism and do something good for a war hero.
A reminder that Hollywood didn’t always suck.
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