Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wknd Box Office: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Anomalisa, Ride Along 2

Here is an interesting article from http://www.debbieschlussel.com/ reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!


Wknd Box Office: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Anomalisa, Ride Along 2

By Debbie Schlussel

One really fantastic new movie debuting at theaters this weekend. The rest: skipworthy.
* “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” – Rated R: This is a great movie. Very well done. I liked it much better than “American Sniper” (read my review). It’s nearly 2.5 hours long, but you’d hardly know it, as it is full of heart-pounding action, suspense, and–yes–comedy. It is very entertaining, but an important education for every American, even if you know many of the details of the true story of what happened on September 11, 2012 at two U.S. installations in Benghazi, Libya–one a diplomatic outpost and the other a secret CIA base.
Although Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are never mentioned, it’s very clear that they are the failed “leaders” who bear responsibility for the Muslim murders of three security team members and Ambassador Chris Stevens. As indicated by the title, the movie details the 13 hours of horror faced by six security detail members and how they begged the CIA station chief to give them permission to respond to the attack on the Ambassador’s residence, permission he repeatedly refused to give. The movie shows in stark detail the arrogant, smug, hateful attitude exemplified by many a State Department diplomat toward our military men and contractors. They treat the military and security contractors like dirt and constantly tell them they are “not needed.”
The CIA station chief, Bob (played by David Costabile, who was meth-maker Gale Boetticher in “Breaking Bad’) is the worst among them. He’s the one who repeatedly orders the security team to “stand down” and allow the terrorist attacks to happen. He’s an elitist, who constantly tells the military men who saved his ass, that “we have people here from Harvard and Yale.” But Harvard (Barack Obama) and Yale (Hillary Clinton) didn’t save the day. They helped create a night of horrors.
There are many scenes of drone views of the impending and, then, occurring attacks on the two American outposts in Benghazi–one a temporary residence for the Ambassador and the other a secret, but not-so-secret, CIA base. And although Clinton and Obama are not mentioned, the dialogue makes it obvious that everyone at the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon knew what was going on, but just simply ignored the pleas for help. The security team members note that those in the Oval Office, at State, and at the Pentagon are not only seeing what’s going on through the drone footage, but that “they’re seeing more of what’s going on than what we’re seeing.”
The dialogue also responds to the phony claims, frequently shrieked by Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice with Barack Obama’s full sanction and approval, that the attacks were caused by an “anti-Islamic” YouTube video. The security team discusses that and notes that “we didn’t hear anything about any video,” whether in chatter or in the chants and protests of the Muslims who attacked them. They also talk about how the attacks had to have been coordinated and planned for weeks and maybe months because they were so precise and because the “secret” installations and the airwaves of the security were so easily and quickly pinpointed by the Muslim attackers.
As the movie also makes clear, every single other foreign embassy and mission saw the danger and closed down, evacuating Libya ahead of this. Only the U.S. ignored the obvious warning signs, partly because of the naive pan-Islamism of Ambassador Chris Stevens. This movie captures very accurately the smarmy, pan-Arabist naivete of Stevens, who also said he didn’t need security because he stupidly thought the Muslims to whom he pandered would return the favor. Instead, they showed him the “big Islamic love” for Americans: torture and death (the movie doesn’t show what we know happened: that Stevens, a gay man, was tortured and sodomized by the Muslims before he was murdered).
As I’ve noted on this site, Stevens was a big supporter of the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi, a big supporter of Islam and the FUBAR “Arab Spring,” and a friend of HAMAS and the Palestinians, who mourned him. (He was also a well-known Israel-hater–yup, Israel, the only place in the Middle East where he could be openly gay and live to see the end of the day.) There’s a reason that Stevens was mourned by the PLO and HAMAS. The guy romanticized Muslim extremists (a redundant phrase) for a living and was their willing tool. Although Stevens is portrayed somewhat as a “victim” here, he is more an accessory and had the blood of the three security men on his hands. He irresponsibly put everyone at risk in the name of his “Arabian Nights” fantasies. And the movie does show that he didn’t want much security, lest it offend his Muslim friends and killers–something I pointed out on this site, back in 2012.
They Were Murdered Because . . .
. . . These Dhimmi Idiot Didn’t Want to Offend Muslims w/ Adequate Security . . .
John Krasinsky is ostensibly star of this movie, but the real star is Pablo Schreiber, younger half-brother of Liev Schreiber, who plays real-life former Army Ranger Kris “Tanto” Paronto. He’s an up-and-comer who’s had bit parts until “Orange is the New Black.” But as this movie makes clear, he’s got the acting chops. He’s got great delivery and comedic timing.
And might I say, as a red-blooded American woman, all of the guys who played the security team in this movie, were hot, hot, hot–even with their bushy beards. Schreiber, James Badge Dale (“Rubicon”), David Denman, Dominic Fumusa (the ex-husband in “Nurse Jackie”), and Max Martini, were all smokin’, and for us chicks, there were a lot of nice, eye-candy scenes of these very cut, very masculine guys working out with their shirts off. See, as a woman, I can be just as much of a sexist and chauvinist as a guy, but I get away with it (and pop culture doesn’t lecture me about it and call me a future rapist the way they do with men). Those are my kinda guys–strong, courageous, proud, and not afraid to do what is right. And they really captured the spirit and persona of ex-Army Ranger, ex-Navy SEAL security contractors.
Muslims will not like this movie because it tells the truth and it shows these men wearing and waving Islamic crescents and shouting “allahu [FUBAR]” before and during their terrorist attacks. And while director Michael Bay does make a silly effort–in fact, he tries way toooo hard–to try to show us that “not all Muslims” are this way, we know this was a Muslim attack and that no Muslims tried to stop it. In fact, the “friendly” Muslim militias paid to protect the U.S. installations in Benghazi were anything but friendly. They were weak, useless, and, in many cases, probably working with their fellow co-religionists to murder Americans.
Although this is rated “R”–mostly because of language and somewhat violent and bloody (including a semi-dismembered hand) images–it’s fine for teens–they need to see what America is up against and will be up against more and more in the very near future. My only fault with the movie is a minor technical one: the postscripts at the end of the movie–telling us what happened to each of the characters–go by very fast. Way too fast to actually read them. I could have used a few seconds more.
Best line in the movie: “Payback’s a bitch, and her stripper name is Karma.” Problem is, not a single American official who allowed the Benghazi attacks to take place and left Americans to the Islamic wolves, has gotten even an iota of payback or karma. One of ’em is currently Prez and another will probably soon see her ugly cankles occupying the Oval Office.
This is riveting. Go see it.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “Anomalisa” – Rated R: I hate movies that rely on gimmicks, and this is one of those gimmicky movies. With or without the gimmicks, it’s just a slow, boring, sludge through some average life and a complete waste of time. Even reality TV is more exciting than this. So, what is the gimmick? Well, there are two of them here: it’s animated, and the characters are all supposed to be marionettes. It’s stupid and pointless because, the marionette part has no bearing on the plot. These are supposed to be real humans, except that they have barely visible seams on their faces and on one occasion, part of a guy’s face falls off, and he puts it back on. So what? Again, what’s the point? The only “cute” part of the gimmickry is that most of the characters, including women, have the same voice–a man’s voice. But that quickly wears off, as it becomes extremely confusing. The most “memorable” scene in this movie (and I’d rather unsee, unsee, unsee! this) is a very creepy, very weird, extended, graphic, sex scene between the marionettes. Eeuuww.
The “story”: Michael Stone (David Thewlis, who has a British accent) is a customer service expert who has written a book and gives speeches at conventions. He travels to Cleveland to give a speech at a convention there. He has a mundane life, including a wife and a son–with neither of whom he seems much endeared. The movie starts out with an annoying, talkative cab driver gabbing endlessly to him about stupidity–urging him to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a sex toy shop. Then, there is more annoying and boring crap. Stone settles into his hotel, interacts with hotel staff and guests, and meets two women who are big fans of his. One of them, Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), has a scar on her face, and he goes for her. He takes Lisa to his room and convinces her to have sex with him. Then, we “get to see” this paunchy, aging customer service expert–animated as a marionette–naked and having sex with the scarred Lisa, whom he calls, “Anomalisa.” It’s gross and something I could have definitely lived without. Nothing romantic about it. Maybe there’s some merit to having this disgusting, unromantic kind of sex scene in movies–better to show teens this than the fakery in most Hollywood movies. Still, yuck!
The rest of the movie is equally a waste of time. Michael has a bad dream in which the hotel manager tries to trap him in the basement to stop Michael from romancing Lisa. Michael wakes up and tells Lisa he wants to leave his wife for her. Michael delivers his speech and gets flustered and stumped in the middle of it. Michael looks for a toy for his son and buys him a creepy Japanese sex toy figure. Michael returns home to an unwanted surprise birthday party thrown for him by his wife. Michael doesn’t love his wife or much care for his young toddler son. But he’s resigned to it. The end.
Um, why do I care about any of this? The movie didn’t tell me, and instead stole 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back . . . and laughed at me.
If you want to see Mundane America, you can see that life every single day at the mall. You don’t need to waste ten bucks plus and 1.5 hours that seem like three.
High-quality artsy-fartsy Gitmo torture material.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “Ride Along 2” – Rated PG-13: As a rule, I generally try to see the first installment of a movie series before I see the sequel. But there is something so disgusting–so perverted!–about cop-hating thug Ice Cube playing a cop that I avoid seeing his crap as much as possible. I mean, this is the guy who for years–and to date–rapped, “F–k Tha Police.” And he raised a generation of Black (and White) Americans to think that way, to the point that it’s now open killing season on police across America. And then he has the utter chutzpah to make zillions on playing a cop?! Whatta guy. And he’s laughing all the way to the bank–yup, another slimy example of anti-capitalist capitalism. To call him a schmuck would be an insult to schmucks.
Oh, and on top of that, Ice Cube (slave name: O’Shea Jackson), is a Jew-hating member of the Nation of Islam, who proudly poses on the cover of one of his albums with a copy of Louis Farrakhan’s completely debunked “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews” (which falsely blames Jews for the Black slave trade in American history–um, that was Muslims). Excuse me if I don’t like bigoted Cop-and-Jew-haters and don’t wanna help contribute to their megazillions.
And the movie has zero merit. It’s stupid, silly, and boring. The lamest re-run of “Miami Vice” is far more exciting. This movie looks like it came out of ’80s movie schlock (with apologies to ’80s movie schlock for the comparison).
The story: screw-up police officer Kevin Hart longs to be somebody on the Atlanta police force. His future bro-in-law Ice Cube is a police detective. Hart is supposed to marry Ice Cube’s sister (who is a full foot taller than Hart) the following weekend. After botching an undercover drug buy, Cube and Hart discover some intel on a murderous Miami drug kingpin (Benjamin Bratt). Cube manages to get permission to take the bumbling Hart to Miami with him to investigate. They team up with a local Cuban police officer (the half-Chinese Olivia Munn, who looks as “Cuban” as Lisa Ling does) in their investigation. In a series of typical, stale plot “points,” the three of them are repeatedly foiled by the drug kingpin, who is a major donor to the police and has built up goodwill with the head honchos on the Miami police force (um, didn’t I see that in “Breaking Bad” with Gus Fring?). They also repeatedly screw up. Gee, I didn’t see that coming. But, ultimately and predictably, they get the bad guy.
Yaaaawn. In fact, this is so tiresome that I fell asleep three times and missed nothing. There are a few funny lines in this. But, mostly, it’s just unbearable. Yes, I get that Kevin Hart is only 5’4″ tall. But is that the only thing they can make fun of in this movie? It gets old . . . fast. Just like this movie. Tired, silly, pointless, and a total waste of time. Hey, that’s why they released it in January.
Watch the trailer . . .

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