Archives for posts with tag: civil rights

Death Wish

By the early 1970s, Americans had begun to notice a change in their big cities. After the Civil Rights movement and the 1965 Immigration Act, the multiracial rot – the inevitable by-product of the Left’s ascendancy in the West – began to set in. Cities that were once clean, safe, and orderly became much less so in fairly short order. Americans were not complaining about muggings, rapes, and murders as much in 1960 as they were a decade and a half later. They also didn’t feel as if they were entering another country every time they walked three blocks to buy groceries.

The original Death Wish film, released in 1974, was, on one hand, a way to capitalize on these newfound feelings of insecurity and alienation which were perplexing the lives of millions of white Americans at the time. On the other, it did give legitimate, if somewhat oblique, expression to these feelings, so much so that the film quickly became iconic despite mostly poor reviews, and spawned four sequels over the following twenty years, as well as a big-budget remake that was recently released. The plot is straightforward: A solid citizen discovers that thugs have murdered his wife and raped his daughter in his New York apartment, and he then acquires a gun to take revenge on the streets as a vigilante. Given the film’s success at the box office, it is safe to conclude that many Americans, especially the white ones who fondly remembered a better past, strongly identified with such a character.

[Read the rest of Quinn’s review at Counter-Currents.]

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Baytown Outlaws poster

Prospective viewers may be disappointed to discover that ostentatiously billed Billy Bob Thornton has only a potty-mouthed supporting role as villain Don Carlos in this violent ersatz-Tarantino concoction disingenuously passing itself off as genuine good ol’ boy entertainment. The film concerns the reckless redneck exploits of the Oodie brothers, Brick (Clayne Crawford), Lincoln (Daniel Cudmore), and McQueen (Travis Fimmel), as they rip through an array of ridiculous comic book adversaries to rescue a handicapped teenager (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) from Don Carlos’s clutches.

The Baytown Outlaws is lightning-paced and at times diverting, but too condescending and mean-spirited to squarely hit its target. Worse, its perpetrators (writer-director Barry Battles, is that your real name?) betray a disturbing moral confusion and an obvious disregard for human dignity and life, as typified by the scene in which one of the brothers accidentally shoots and kills a maid and says, “Oh shit. My bad, lady”, and then goes casually about his business. Flippant to excess, this one may appeal to ADHD-afflicted consumers of films of the Snatch or Cat Run type.

3 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Baytown Outlaws is:

11. Drug-ambivalent. Don Carlos abuses pills. Liquor’s antiseptic quality comes in handy during a medical emergency. “You want one of these?” Brick asks, offering a minor a cigarette after a battle and telling the boy, “You earned it.”

10. Ostensibly Christian. Brick wears a cross on a necklace, but this fashion statement would appear to be the extent of how his faith expresses itself. The Oodies claim with sarcasm to have been in church while they were actually out raiding a residence and exterminating its occupants. “This Is Our Song”, a southern-fried hip-hop tune that plays over the end credits, says, “Folks round here still believe in God” and “Tell the government to leave my check and church alone”. A cross tattoo on a hitwoman suggests that the Christian content of the film is something less than sincere, however.

9. Anti-police. Celeste (Eva Longoria) wants peace of mind, “something the cops can’t give me,” she says. Officers catching sight of the Oodies locked in rowdy highway warfare turn a blind eye and give no pursuit.

8. Anti-corporate. “I kind of look at my future empire as the Wal-Mart of bottom dollar retail crime,” Don Carlos explains to impertinent underlings who have approached him about a raise. “I need stockers and cashiers and mercenaries and mules.”

7. Localist/pro-vigilante. The sheriff resists federal meddling and even eschews the law itself, maintaining the Oodies as his personal vigilante squad to keep criminals off the streets and spare the court system the trouble.

6. Gun-ambivalent. A t-shirt reads, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” The Oodies are poor poster boys for responsible handling of firearms, however, and kill several people by mistake.

5. Pro-immigration. Illegals are bright, talented, underappreciated professionals like nurses who, if given a chance, would be a boon to the U.S. What is more, they are whites’ intellectual betters. “Your ignorance is unbelievable,” a valiant wetback bimbo tells Brick when he says, “You’re a nurse. You oughtta be helpin’ people,” and suggests she become naturalized. “Your country doesn’t make it that easy for us,” she complains.

4. Black supremacist. The black sheriff (Andre Braugher) enjoys sassing and establishing his mental superiority and official authority over whites. “Just do what you’re told,” he scolds a deputy. In a scene that is seemingly intended to draw an ironic humor from racial role reversal in view of the hoses that were once turned on civil rights agitators, the sheriff unsmilingly sprays a white child with a garden hose for no apparent reason and tells him, “I don’t even know you.”

3. Family-ambivalent/anti-marriage. “This Is Our Song” includes the line, “God and my family is all I need”; but, with the exception of the Oodies’ mutual loyalty, the representations of family relationships in the film are derogatory. The Oodies have “no known mother” and the irresponsibility of their father, an abusive Ku Klux Klansman, necessitated their being transferred to foster care. Don Carlos is another negative father figure whose relationship with Celeste has ended in violence. “There goes the longest relationship I ever had,” McQueen reflects after he and his brothers dispatch a bevy of biker hitwomen.

2. South-ambivalent. “Welcome to the South, motherfuckers!” The Baytown Outlaws is something of a Trojan horse where the South is concerned, any regional pride it evinces being superficial and devious. Brick Oodie, who, along with his brothers, seems never to bother changing his clothes, always wears a sleeveless shirt bearing the Confederate stars and bars – but, as with his cross, more as a fashion object than as a proclamation of political philosophy. The hell-raising, empty-headed redneck, forever the film industry’s favorite image for the perpetually stereotyped southern white male, appears in The Baytown Outlaws as a kind of cute, quaint, grotesque curiosity, something like a dog to be petted and encouraged in its animal eccentricities, but also restrained by a master’s leash. The redneck can be an endearing type and useful as long as his wild ways are harnessed by a black representative of the state made wise by his sufferings during the struggle for civil “rights”. That one of the brothers, a brutish mute, is named Lincoln may be interpreted either as a sarcastic joke or as an indicator that progress is being made in the South and that northern dictators now vie with General Lee in the christening of white trash children. Alabama, it is observed, has its own pace but is “behind the times”.

1. Un-p.c. and repeatedly racist! The Baytown Outlaws is an exercise in what is termed hipster racism, which occurs when progressives knowingly appropriate stereotypes for their own putatively innocuous purposes and so expect a free pass for their playful, winking insensitivity. The Baytown Outlaws strains the confines of this classification, however, with its depiction of a group of Indian assassins who scalp their victims and shoot arrows. There is also a pack of vicious, foul-mouthed blacks, one of whom feels compelled to warn another, “This time, try not to hit the motherfuckin’ baby.” Other instances of political incorrectness include the use of “faggoty”.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Red Tails poster

Exactly the trite, pedestrian, chest-swelling exercise one would expect it to be, this George Lucas production is just another entry in the unending cycle of films spotlighting Congoid-American achievement. These movies are always the same: mighty blacks encounter and overcome race-based adversity . . . sweeping, inspiring music soars . . . The End. This time the Hollywoodized achievers are the Tuskegee airmen, the first black aviators allowed to participate in combat – in this case, appropriately enough, against those immortal bogeybots and inhuman emblems of racism, the Nazis, who, of course, are in for a “good ol’ Georgia ass-whoopin’” when they encounter the Red Tails. These valiant warriors have not only to defeat the Germans, however, but must also vanquish racism on their own side.

Bryan Cranston, slumming in a thankless cameo, plays the military bureaucrat unwilling to give the brothers a chance. Cuba Gooding turns in a puzzlingly deadpan and colorless performance as Major Stance, and Terrence Howard is safely poker-faced as Colonel Bullard. Whether the other actors in the film are capable of much is hard to say, considering the humdrum (nonde)script with which they have to work. “War is Hell. What we’re doin’ is just boring as Hell,” one of the pilots remarks with candor. Red Tails is the sort of movie that will have viewers glancing at the clock fifty minutes in and groaning that the film, far from winding down for a landing, is flabbergastingly not even half-over yet!

There are, of course, the obligatory scenes in which black romantic prowess receives its due and in which central character Lightning (David Oyelowo) enters an officers’ club, the piano abruptly falls silent, and one of the evil bigots tells him, “This is a whites only officers club. You’re off the reservation, pal.” Most obnoxious, however, is the constant glorification of war and particularly of “killin’ Jerries”. Only genocidal blacks and the most self-loathing whites will exult in the flippant depiction of so much joy in human desolation. There is, too, an indication that the Red Tails take special delight in shooting down white fighters when one alludes to a German’s “bright yellow nose”, a suggestive reference not only to his plane’s paint job but also his lack of melanin. After so many computer-generated explosions and social triumphs, however, the viewer may not find himself stirred to multicultural pride by this cinematic backfire, so much as grumpily in tune with the unwelcoming white officer in the club who dismisses Lightning, saying, “Hey. Go home,” and throws in a racial slur for good measure.

2 stars. Ideological Content Analysis points Red Tails toward the hatefully segregated Crap Only facilities and indicates that this film is:

7. Pro-miscegenation. An Italian ditz (Daniela Ruah) blows a kiss to Lightning, who then woos her for the remainder of the film.

6. Ostensibly Christian. Smokey (Ne-Yo) carries a picture of “Black Jesus.” Whether this is simply to indicate that the historical Jesus was black or is instead a satirical jab at segregation, under which blacks require not only separate facilities, but also a deity of their own, only Black Jesus can say for certain. Not all of the pilots believe in the supernatural, however. (cf. no. 1)

5. Drug-ambivalent. Easy (Nate Parker) has a drinking problem. Smoking, however, gets a free pass, with Cuba Gooding working a pipe in picture 1940s style. Lightning smokes a cigar and Smokey appears to chew tobacco.

4. Statist. “You signed up to follow orders.”

3. Anti-racist and egalitarian. Skeptical whites are repeatedly forced to come to terms with the ability of blacks and say things like, “I guess there’s more to you coloreds than I thought.” The separate but equal doctrine extends to the military and receives a critique from Colonel Bullard, who, lobbying for more expensive equipment, says, “No more hand-me-downs. If you get us new planes, we can help your boys.”

2. Pro-war. The mutual mass murder politely termed war is as usual a noble enterprise, particularly when directed against unprogressive white men and when it serves as a vehicle for civil rights at home. The war effort even receives a spiritual endorsement: “Black Jesus, we thank you for bringing Red Squadron back home to us.”

1. Black supremacist. “We are on the side of God Almighty,” Red Tails boasts. “Hallelujah, the saints are marchin’ in,” proclaims one Red Tail as he enters the fray.

babesposter

For those still among the uninitiated, one of the great comedy and musical treasures that the cinema has to offer is the original film adaptation of Babes in Toyland, more commonly known as March of the Wooden Soldiers. Based on a popular stage production with music by Victor Herbert and libretto by Glen MacDonough and Anna Alice Chapin, the 1934 film directed by the team of Gus Meins and Charley Rogers has, with its preoccupation with toys and even an appearance by Santa Claus (Ferdinand Munier), ensconced itself with ease in audiences’ affections and become a Christmas classic of sorts, despite the story being only tangentially Christmas-related. With beautiful songs, imaginative sets and creature creations, and hilarious star turns from Laurel and Hardy, the film is refreshingly innocent and rivals The Wizard of Oz in delightfulness and capacity to produce a smile.

babesposter2

Laurel and Hardy goosestep with a wooden soldier.

What the back of the DVD case is unlikely to tell modern viewers, however, and what makes Babes in Toyland something of a forbidden treat subtextually, is that the film is positively dripping with anti-Semitism, particularly in its depiction of Toyland’s alien userer Silas Barnaby, played with hissing, insinuating glee by Henry Brandon – born in Berlin as Heinrich von Kleinbach and credited here as Henry Kleinbach.

babesbarnaby

Henry Brandon as Jewish usurer Silas Barnaby

01n/17/ARVE/G2044/063

Authentic Jew Lev Bronstein, alias Leon Trotsky

Barnaby, (barely) a crypto-Jew with a little Leon Trotsky goatee, dresses all in black, sneers and snivels, and creeps with a crooked cane through Toyland to the accompaniment of somber violin cues, sometimes in company with a large-nosed, depraved-looking dwarf lackey (John George) in a yarmulke. Hellbent on miscegenation and financial vulturism, Barnaby would appear to be the only thing preventing the simple and happy folk of Toyland from enjoying an essentially ideal society.

babesyarmulke

John George as Barnaby’s Minion

Good-natured but bumbling toymakers Stannie Dum (Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Hardy) cross paths with Barnaby when the villain threatens to callously foreclose on the home of the poor Widow Peep (Florence Roberts) unless she consents to allow her daughter, Bo Peep (Charlotte Henry), to marry the parasitic rascal.

babesbopeep

Charlotte Henry as Bo Peep

Complicating Barnaby’s plan, however, is pretty Bo Peep’s understandable aversion to his advances and the fact that the handsome Tom Tom (Felix Knight) has already asked for her hand in marriage. Undaunted, Barnaby simply sets about framing Tom Tom for the murder of one of the Three Little Pigs (played by children, one of whom, Edward Earle Marsh, would go on to earn infamy as a director of pornographic films under the name Zebedy Colt).

babescolt

After “pignapping” Elmer the Pig and hiding him in his cellar, Barnaby produces a string of sausages that, he claims, is proof that Tom Tom did the little fellow in, with the result that the innocent Tom Tom is cast out of Toyland and into the forbidding Bogeyland. Ollie Dee and Stannie Dum exonerate Bo Peep’s beau, however, when they discover that the sausages used as evidence against Tom Tom are not pork, but beef – Barnaby’s Jewish pig meat taboo having given him away.

babeslaurelhardy

Stannie Dum contemplates a Final Solution as comrade-in-arms Ollie Dee, impatient for glory in blood and iron, works an interesting mustache.

Determined to have his petty revenge against the people of Toyland, Barnaby comes back with an unsightly invasion force of hirsute, subhuman Bogeymen, who, with their horrible features, nappy hair, and savage subservience, may put some viewers in mind of caricatures of Africans and of Jewish provocateurs’ agitation of American blacks through various radical front groups of the burgeoning civil “rights” movement. Thankfully, after overcoming their initial panic, the folk of Toyland rally themselves and – with no little help from Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee, who activate a phalanx of goosestepping wooden soldiers – manage to expel Barnaby and his Bogeymen, thus securing the political and genetic integrity of Toyland as a contented monarchic ethnostate.

And so Babes in Toyland happily ends – to the extent, at least, that such a story can have any reassuring closure as long as the likes of Barnaby and his Bogeymen are at large in the world.

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Brutish Babes in Toyland producer Hal Roach poses with a truckload of antlered victims of his supremacist megalomania on their way to the infamous studio furnaces – dry run for the real thing a few years later.

Homosexuality has for a number of years been more or less accepted by the mainstream media – and, following them, the public – as an “alternative lifestyle”, its victory in the war for equal footing with heterosexuality so sure, such a fait accompli, that, had Oscar Wilde been caught with his velvet trousers down a mere number decades later, he would, rather than having entangled himself unnecessarily in a humiliating legal debacle and been branded with the mark of Victorian ignominy, have been lauded as a cultural hero and offered his own lightweight daytime talk show.

The ascendancy of the forces of sexual egalitarianism has been so crushingly complete, in fact, that, having overrun and occupied their enemies’ fortifications, they now seek not only an unconditional surrender on the part of the ex-establishment, but punitive reparations, permanent privileged status, and immediate implementation of an array of social experiments on the scale of collectivization under Stalin, calling for the totalitarian indoctrination and regimentation of future generations in the service of their cause.

It is not enough for homosexuality to be tolerated. It must be embraced and celebrated, endorsed in the public schools, be subsidized and pampered and have its leaky asshole licked. Gays, if a baker refuses their business when they want him to make them a wedding cake, no longer have to endure the harrowing inconvenience of locating another bakery, but immediately turn to the ACLU for social retribution. Fast food chains must champion sodomy or else face the wrath of the overlords of “progress” in markets like Chicago and Boston. Ideological Content Analysis has no moral objection to homosexuality in itself, but does demur when a movement pretending to advocate mere tolerance turns instead toward de facto coercion.

It is not sufficient for gays to be gay; everybody and everything must be gay in the new Socialist States of America. Statesmen and judges and fry cooks and basketball players must be homosexual allies, as must the Boy Scouts and even the clergy. In Europe, where cultural Marxism is even more firmly entrenched than in America, gay “rights” have already mutated into a means to authoritarianism, with priests in Denmark ordered by the government to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies on demand.

Now the pedophiles want their turn. NAMBLA, the North American Man/Boy Love Association, remains a largely reviled fringe lobbying group, though not without its shadowy following. In recent years, however, a movement toward compassion for those afflicted with the pederast’s compulsion is emergent. Not many years after molesting the young star of his horror film Clownhouse, director Victor Salva was welcomed back into the fold of the Hollywood mainstream and allowed to direct youth market films like Powder and Jeepers Creepers. A sympathetic 2004 film, The Woodsman, follows a child molester’s attempt at redemption after serving a prison sentence. More recently The Atlantic published a candid personal narrative by sexual degenerate David Goldberg, “I, Pedophile“, in which the author panhandles for sympathy on account of his I-can’t-help-it complicity as a patron in the child pornography industry.

These examples are arguably innocuous; but if the normalization of pedophilia that is plainly afoot follows the same trajectory as the now triumphant gay “rights” movement, then what, one wonders, does organized pedophilia have in store for western civilization? That open promotion of pedophilia may be the next major civil “rights” crusade is suggested by the most intensely repugnant trailer of this or any other year, that for Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa, the latest bid by MTV Films and Paramount Pictures for the imperiled soul of America: a naked campaign ad to pervert and subvert everything that tentatively remains decent in America.

The trailer, which features a little girl in a talent contest stripping off her costume to reveal adult lingerie underneath and who then performs a pole dance as the grandfather, with masturbatory enthusiasm, flings dollar bills at her, militates against the culprits, MTV Films and Paramount Pictures (assets of Zionist-run Viacom, Inc.), receiving any further business from moviegoers with any lingering sense of the good and traditional. Your humble reviewer, for one, certainly will not be patronizing their product, and a full-scale boycott of these corporations’ anti-American output may be in order if the scheduled release (as of a biological warfare agent) of Bad Grandpa proceeds as planned.

Naturally, everyone prefers a pleasurable moviegoing experience to a sharply unpleasant one; and yet, as adventurous, seasoned, and discriminating cinephiles already know, there is something instructive and salutary in an occasional trip to cinema’s Dark Side and a philosophically minded sojourn in the Movie House of Pain.  This is the tenebrous, nightmarish place (think Hellraiser and picture hooks and chains slowly swaying and clinking in unfathomable darkness) where nothing worthwhile is ever projected, where filth alone adorns the screen, and where Boredom and Loathing wait like lewdly lip-licking Cenobites to bind and eviscerate the viewer.  These are the experiences, after all, which give good and great movies their significance, just as, without the darkness, light itself would be impossible.

A case in point is Betty and Coretta, a Canadian-made Lifetime Network movie about Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige) and Coretta Scott King (Angela Bassett), the respective widows of martyred rabble rousers Malcolm X and Martin King.  Superfluous beyond belief, this most recent hosanna out of the Martin King Cult is exactly the film one would expect it to be: a stoic, vapid, stylistically sterile, and self-congratulatory cardboard reenactment of highlights from the lives of two not particularly fascinating women as they bravely continue to live their lives whole decades after the touted events that made them even tangentially relevant to anyone other than themselves – much of it punctuated, of course, by a soundtrack of the obligatory soulful moaning.

Considering the inconsequential nature of the women’s stories following their husbands’ deaths, Betty and Coretta understandably suffers from a lack of interesting event or forward narrative momentum.  Follow Coretta Scott King as she boldly faces reporters who have the nerve to question her about the FBI recordings.  Follow Betty Shabazz as she bravely raises a daughter troubled by nightmares after her father’s murder. Follow Coretta Scott King as she graciously gives multiple inspiring speeches and lobbies to get a holiday named after her husband.  Follow Betty Shabazz as she boldly hosts her own radio talk show.  Follow Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz as they admirably persevere, eat lunch, exchange brave mothering insights, move on up, and boldly shop for shoes together.  Betty’s public accusation that Louis Farrakhan (Alex C. Askew) had a hand in Malcolm X’s murder is as confrontational as the movie ever gets, and even this subplot fails to engage.

Worse, screenwriters Ron Hutchinson and Shem[p?] Bitterman’s script is rock-hard stale bread all the way, with Coretta Scott King sounding every time she opens her mouth as if she suspects the pious stenographers of black historical destiny may be hiding behind a curtain and recording her every word, calling her husband a “vessel for greatness” and arguing that “we need to consecrate his legacy.”  Angela Bassett’s wooden performance perfectly mirrors the empty verbiage she recites, and Malik Yoba is just as boring as Great Doctor Junior Himself.  Mary J. Blige fares better in her role, coming across much more naturally, but the dialogue does the actress no favors.  Lindsay Owen Pierre is unworthy of note as Malcolm X, and Ruby Dee, who narrates the film as a pseudo-documentary interviewee, gives evidence of incipient senility as she delivers her lines in halting, awkward syllables and sometimes even appears to read from cue cards as her eyes dart unsettlingly from side to side.

A star and a half.  Ideological Content Analysis, after being stretchered out of the Movie House of Pain like a wounded and bloodied trooper, indicates that Betty and Coretta is:

8. Pro-bastard.  Betty’s daughter keeps it real and skips the marriage bit.

7. Anti-gun.  Betty’s daughter has nightmares about men with guns.

6. Anti-miscegenation.  Betty’s daughter’s white live-in guyfriend, as if wiping his nose before offering to shake hands with Betty is not bad news enough already, also turns out to be a dastardly spy for the FBI.

5. Selectively anti-state.  The FBI is an antagonist, as are the congressmen who oppose the creation of the national King holiday.  (All the FBI probably needs, though, is a quota system, for it to become a tool for progress.)

4. Egalitarian.  Coretta campaigns for “economic justice” and identifies poverty as one of the evils plaguing America.

3. Statist/pro-NWO.  “Can you believe it?” Betty says, exasperated.  “Another round of budget cuts.  When are taxpayers gonna learn?  Pay a little now or a whole lot later.”  The film opens with witness to history Ruby Dee gushing at the momentous dedication of a King statue by President B.O.  Coretta longs for “a new world [order], a just world, a world dedicated to fayuhness and equality for awl.”  The UN is referenced as a weapon for forcing social change in America.

2. Feminist/black uber alles.  “You don’t need a man to survive,” Betty tells a student.  “You just need some trainin’ so you can get a good job.”  Addressing herself to black women, Coretta defiantly intones, “Weeee awwww a powuhful fawss.”

1. Anti-racist (i.e., pro-yawn).  Imagine that.  And yet, in an unintentional irony, as soon as Betty has enough money, she gets “a nice home, away from the city [and her fellow blacks, presumably], where Betty could give her children the sheltered life she had dreamed of.”  Still, “Every time a neighbor see us, they think we gone blow somethin’ up.”  Bigots!

BettyPin2

dredd-poster

After the nuclear holocaust, the ruins of America’s eastern seaboard are united under police state rule as Mega City One, a sprawling urban squalor infested with crime, with “only one thing fighting for order in the chaos: judges.”  One such judge is Dredd (Karl Urban), a man whose passionate dedication to law enforcement is so profound that his mouth is permanently frozen into a psychotic pout as he zooms around the city righteously blasting tattooed dopeheads.

In Dredd, the titular hero has an especially rough day on the job when, along with rookie partner Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), he finds himself locked into a ghetto megastructure (the overgrown futuristic equivalent of a housing project) and pitted against its masters, drug queenpin Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her minions.  The resulting adventure approximates The Running Man meets Escape from New York meets Assault on Precinct 13, with police woefully outnumbered against frightening futuristic odds.

With its charismatically grim avenger and pulsing electronic music, Dredd makes for a fairly slick glorification of authoritarian skull-cracking and high-tech fascism.  There remains in the public’s imagination a fascination and a seduction in quasi-vigilante cops after the Dirty Harry mold; Dredd, likewise, in its more macho moments, almost succeeds in lulling its audience into idiotic obedience in slavishly licking the iron heel.

An irony of Dredd‘s dangerous indulgence toward the police state, however, is its desire to depict iron-fisted government brutality as the solution to social problems which, though the script seems oblivious of the fact, are actually caused by the policies of precisely that glorious fascistic leviathan.  Manufacture and sale of drugs appear to be the major generators of wealth for the ghetto dwellers; but the state, through its prohibition of the people’s livelihoods and pastimes, has only succeeded in creating hellholes of systemic violence in which only the most vicious criminals and corrupt police are allowed to profit and thrive.  The exorbitant level of unemployment indicates that Mega City One’s Hall of Justice is probably doing its enlightened utmost to strangle other potentially productive areas of commerce, as well.

Dredd‘s budgetary constrictions rarely interfere with its considerable entertainment value.  The action scenes are adequate, the pace is consistently brisk, and the evocation of a grimy, dystopian future is sordidly picturesque and amusing if also somewhat half-baked.  Urban is quite watchable in the lead and Dredd lays a workable foundation for a potentially fun series of films down the road.

4 of 5 possible stars.  Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Dredd is:

7. Antiwar.  Nuclear conflict has destroyed most of America.

6. Pro-miscegenation.  It’s the progressive future, so it’s casual.

5. Torture-friendly.  Psychic interrogation may be more efficient, but an old-fashioned beating is also acceptable.

4. Multiculturalist.  The Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) is black, as are representative medical professionals.  As in 80s vigilante films, street gangs, or at least the Ma-Ma Clan, are a multiracial affair (but one gang, the “Red Dragons”, is all Asian, apparently, and another group identified as “the Judged” is represented by a brown face).  In progressive acknowledgment of multiple intelligences, affirmative action is in effect in Hall of Justice human resources decisions.  Anderson, who has failed her qualification examination by a margin of three points, is given a chance because she is psychic.

3. Feminist/pro-castration.  Tough-as-nails Ma-Ma, formerly exploited by an abusive pimp, “feminized the guy with her teeth”, took over his business, and built a successful drug empire.  Humor is more than once milked from the idea of damaged or destroyed male sexual organs.  A thug is doomed from the moment he taunts Anderson, “Got any last words, bitch?”

2. Anti-drug.  Slow-mo, the illegal drug of choice in the futuristic ghetto, creates an experience of reality that moves at 1% normal speed.  It is evil for postponing the user’s inevitable progress into the glorious future.  Thus, conservatism or resistance to change is reimagined in Dredd as a narcotic addiction and an obstacle to big government new world order progressivism.

1. Statist/fascist.  Society, breaking under its own weight, needs to be protected from itself.  Search warrants, Miranda rights, habeas corpus, right to trial, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment are annoyances that have, conveniently for the state, been discarded in Mega City One.  Statism gives itself the ultimate pat on the back with Anderson, the psychic judge who proves that the benevolently omniscient and omnipresent state, like Santa Claus before it, knows who is naughty and who is nice.  Gun control, too, receives an endorsement when, as with Bond in Skyfall, Dredd is shown at a disadvantage against lawbreakers’ superguns with high ammunition capacity and rapid fire action.  Citizens live in fear of “the gun, [and] the gang” (presumably with reference to the private and not the public varieties).

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