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February 24, 2012

Review of "Ides of March"

I decided to just rant about this on Twitter. I had an idea that I would put this review into proper order on the blog, but meh, it's such a crap movie I'm not sure I can do this again.

Basics that I didn't mention: Ryan Gosling plays the press secretary (??? -- the movie doesn't make it clear what his exact function is) to a front-running liberal dream candidate played by George Clooney. Clooney essentially has an extended cameo in the movie -- but he wrote the screenplay, so don't worry, you'll be getting some Full-On Clooney here.

Twitter goes in reverse order so keep scanning down to expose more and more of the feed, then find the post reading:

I saw Ides of March. It's as repellently stupid as @NolteNC said it was.

From about 2 hours ago, as I write this, at 6:30 ET.

Because this movie is so absurd, I sort of want to do a live-chat of it some day. But I don't want people to pay for this dreck, so maybe when it's on HBO or something.

I don't want to put cash in their pockets but I will say that as far as laugh-out-loud unintentional hilarity-- a MST2K goof-on-it-with-friends movie -- it's... well, it would serve that purpose admirably.

As you'll see in the review, it's actually very MST3K, because it is so divorced from reality it has a sci-fi vibe. I asked aloud, "What planet is this supposed to take place on?" I'm still not sure. It's a Type M planet, Earth-like in many respects... but apparently it's somewhere where very rich people cannot withdraw $900 from an ATM.

It's a movie by dumb people who think they're smart, for dumb people who also want to think they're smart, by people who don't know anything at all about the business of politics but think a few Cynical Sounding Lines of Dialogue will authenticate it all, for people who also don't know anything about the business of politics and will be fooled by a few Cynical Sounding Lines of Dialogue.

It, seriously, is retarded. At least films like Porky's know they're aiming at a very low brow. This film is so stupid it thinks it's actually smart.

Politics At The Expense of Art? At no point in the movie is anyone less than 100% enthusiastic about the abortion, so there's no drama on that point. The drama comes in on the "How do rich people secure $900 for this purpose?"

I'm wondering if the original play did contain some stuff qualms about the abortion-- perhaps the girl didn't want an abortion, and the drama comes in when Ryan Gosling pressures her to have one. And maybe that's where he's supposed to lose himself to this Beast Called Politics.

However, in Clooney's world, it would count as a liberal strike against the film to Push the Rightwing Narrative On Abortion, so maybe he just took that all out and made her say "Abortion? Of course!"

And then that necessitates making the acquisition of nine hundred whole dollars -- by wealthy people -- the main source of drama.

Point is, if that's what happened, it would be a liberal deliberately making a story less dramatic and less interesting than the original form he found it in, simply to earn Gold Stars from the Daily Kos and Amanda Marcotte.

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posted by Ace at 06:29 PM

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