Archives for posts with tag: misandrist

Stray Dolls

For those who enjoy movies like Heaven Knows What (2014), American Honey (2016), and White Girl (2016), which wallow nihilistically in America’s unwiped asshole, Stray Dolls is a decent entry in the growing genre. The story centers on Riz (Geetanjali Thapa), an illegal immigrant who gets a job as a maid at the super-seedy Tides Plaza Motel. Riz, who worked with a gang of thieves in India, is attempting to start her life anew but gets drawn back into a life of crime by her lowlife roommate Dallas (Olivia DeJonge). Dallas wants to open a nail salon someday, but meanwhile spends her time doing drugs and getting screwed on bathroom sinks. Her boyfriend Jimmy (Robert Aramayo), a creep with a neck tattoo of a snake, is the Tides Plaza manager’s son and a smalltime hustler, and when Riz steals a brick of cocaine from one of the motel rooms, they think they might be able to make enough money to get out and break the cycle of humdrum degradation. Unfortunately for the two antiheroines, things get complicated and they end up having to murder a couple of people before the movie is over. Those who enjoyed the three films mentioned at the top of this review will probably appreciate Stray Dolls, as well, but it breaks no real new ground in the field of cinematic slumming.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Stray Dolls is:

Pro-miscegenation. Jimmy cheats on Dallas with a black chick named Peaches (Yvette Williams).

Pro-gay. Riz and Dallas have a sort of half-hearted sexual attraction to each other, and participate in a three-way encounter with Jimmy.

Drug-ambivalent. The argument could be made that Stray Dolls is anti-drug in that nearly everyone whose life intersects with the business is ruined: a dealer is murdered, Riz and Dallas are drawn deeper into dangerous criminal activity, and an addict mother’s children are left unsupervised. Riz, too, is vulnerable to sexual assault after Dallas drugs her. The anti-dope message of the film almost seems accidental, however, and Riz and Dallas experience no immediate repercussions after bonding over some coke they snort together.

Misandrist. All men in the movie are sleazy and ill-intentioned, and Jimmy in particular turns out to be a rat. The others are violent and/or sexually predatory.

Immigration-ambivalent. Stray Dolls attempts a sympathetic portrait of a new arrival in the character of Riz, but fumbles it in that she and the other foreigners depicted in the film are hardly credits to an open-borders agenda. One of her fellow Indians, Sal (Samrat Chakrabarti), uses the motel to move cocaine by arrangement with the manager, Una (Cynthia Nixon), who seems to be from Poland. Una shreds Riz’s Indian passport after she hires her, knowingly employing an illegal immigrant, and is a generally unsympathetic character, though she does appear to want a different and better sort of life for her son, whose lifestyle she disapproves. “You work hard, you make it here. You believe that?” Una asks Riz when she hires her. Riz claims to believe it, and whether or not the “American Dream” remains viable is at stake throughout Stray Dolls. Notwithstanding the less than wholly flattering depiction of aliens, there is an undeniable anti-American content to the film. Juxtaposed with Riz’s initial meekness and politeness, Dallas represents Americans poorly by rudely using the bathroom with the door open right after meeting her. “Are you, like, Mexican or somethin’?” she asks, indicating possible nativist residue or, at the least, a stereotypical redneck lack of culture. “You’re gonna give yourself a heart attack,” one of Riz’s coworkers tells her, seeing her busily at work in the motel laundry room, thus perpetuating the meme of lazy, entitled Americans and hardworking immigrants. In one scene, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech appears on a television screen as Riz is cleaning, but the moment carries not so much an emphatic anti-Trump impact as a seemingly numbed indifference. Trump’s ineffectual pontifications are simply irrelevant to the situation on the ground in America, but the election of Trump may be added to the mix as a contributor to Riz’s anxiety about being caught by the authorities.

Irreligious. Una displays a picture of Pope John Paul II in her office, but represents Catholics rather badly. The John Paul portrait even seems to smirk knowingly as Una destroys Riz’s passport. “Jesus fuck,” her son cries repeatedly after being shot, saying little for the quality of his Christian upbringing.

Relativistic. “We’re all just a buncha sinners doin’ the best we can,” claims Dallas, and it says quite a bit about the film’s worldview that it features not one major character who isn’t a criminal.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism.

Satanic Panic

Purple-haired feminist filmmaker Chelsea Stardust’s tongue-in-cheek horror outing Satanic Panic offers more or less what one would expect from the title and poster, and if anything was probably marginally better than I was expecting. The cute presence of actress Hayley Griffith in the lead goes a long way toward making this ultimately disposable movie smell a little bit less like the garbage it really is. Griffith stars as financially struggling millennial Sam Craft, who just started her new job as a pizza delivery girl and needs every penny of every tip she can get. Venturing out of the pizzeria’s delivery radius in order to score what she hopes will be a big tip in an affluent community called Mill Basin, she instead stumbles into a devil-worship cult’s human sacrifice ritual and spends the rest of the night defending herself against rich occultists and otherworldly beings – which, pleasantly, are realized without the assistance of any cheesy CGI. Gross highlights include a bloodsucking kitchen creation, a grab-happy forest monster, worm-vomiting, and the sickening sight of a man’s intestines being pulled out through his mouth – all of which ought to satisfy the fanbase of Fangoria, which produced.

3 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Satanic Panic is:

Class-conscious, suggesting that the wealthy get rich through evil – perhaps even satanic – machinations, and meanwhile stressing the protagonist’s working-class background in her victimhood and her struggle against them. Sam’s troubles begin when one of the Satanists fails to give her a tip to cover her gas – fails to pay his fair share, in other words. A stereotypically smug and entitled frat house jerk also stiffs her for a tip.

Anti-white. All of the nasty rich people are white, and the only blacks who appear in the film work at the pizzeria. A trashy old woman to whom Sam delivers a pizza mistakes her at first for “Mexicans”. She then gives Sam a tacky sweater that, as Sam later complains, “smells like racism”. Sam finds antagonism, therefore, not only among the upper class, but among the common people whose ranks she aspires to leave behind, if only culturally.

Misandrist. No positively depicted male characters appear in the film, and Sam is first harassed, then almost raped, and finally actually raped and impregnated before successfully escaping from Mill Basin. Her boss at the pizzeria is also unfeeling, and the coworker who helped her get the job expects to be able to get into her pants in return. Still a virgin, Sam has spent her life avoiding such advances. Significantly, the only male character given favorable mention in the script is an old boyfriend who had cancer, was unable to perform sexually, and was therefore no threat to her womanly independence. The ending has Sam happily riding her motorcycle into the clueless twilight of her solitary and probably nonprocreative future.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism.

Wild Card

Revenge for a raped prostitute might sound like less-than-thrilling motivation for an action hero, but it works nevertheless to propel this uncharacteristically character-driven Jason Statham vehicle. The Expendables star here plays Nick Wild, a skid row Las Vegas “security consultant” in Simon West’s quality realization of a thirty-year-old William Goldman screenplay. A British special forces veteran who can take care of himself, Nick is also a self-destructive compulsive gambler and drinker who has to grapple with his own shortcomings as well as the gangsters who want him dead. Something of an odd couple dynamic comes into play when Nick is befriended by a nerdy software millionaire (Michael Angarano) looking to be initiated into the world of danger and excitement. Some of the exchanges between these two have a rather phony and forced cleverness; but the script, on the whole, is highly engaging and full of fun and surprises. The cast of familiar faces includes Stanley Tucci, Hope Davis, Anne Heche, and Jason Alexander in minor roles.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Wild Card is:

6. Misandrist. An abused woman (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) threatens to sever the penis of a cocky misogynist (Milo Ventimiglia).

5. Corporate. A big-titted Latina (Sofia Vergara) squeezes in a quality plug for the junk food complex when she orders a Diet Pepsi. Putting in a good word for the usury industry, Statham’s credit card comes in handy when he uses it put a gash on a bad guy’s head. He also mentions eating Wheaties as a source of energy.

4. Anti-Christian. Set against the tacky blinking backdrop of one of America’s sleaziest, most Judaically resonant metropolises, Christmas is a hollow observance with no meaning. Simon West, in his commentary, relates that “the Christmas theme in the movie meant that I wanted to get some actual Vegas at Christmas footage, but […] unfortunately Vegas doesn’t seem to celebrate Christmas that much.”

3. Anti-Semitic! “You’re not supposed to like Vegas,” Nick explains of the city that Bugsy Siegel built. “It’s just this creeping virus people catch sometimes.”

2. Anti-gun. Nick rejects firearms, demonstrating instead how simple objects like silverware and ashtrays can be used to debilitate armed assailants.

1. Pro-miscegenation and anti-white. Most appallingly, Wild Card contains a scene of flirtation between Nick and an unappealing black hotel maid (Davenia McFadden). “Too bad you got all that British blood in you,” she teases him. “If you was black, I’d bed you good and fast.” “You can make believe,” Nick encourages her. “Nah,” she replies. “Don’t think this is racial or anything, but I never feel like you people are clean. This is a housekeeper you’re talking to, remember? I can tell if a Brit’s been in a room [snaps] just like that.” This dialogue suggesting that Brits are unclean makes little sense until one listens to Simon West’s commentary. “In the original script, the [Nick] character was actually Hispanic,” he reveals, “so we had to change the racial stereotyping.” Mexicans can no longer conscionably be depicted as dirtbags, but Englishmen are apparently still fair game. Three decades ago, when the screenplay was written, the occasional spot of political incorrectness was still permissible at the multiplex; but, fortunately for public morals, Wild Card was filmed in the current year, so to speak.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

American Johns

Natalia-Christabelle Serrano in American Johns (2015)

This 12-minute short from writer-director C.L. Hoffa depicts a few episodes in the life of Melissa Masters (Natalia-Christabelle Serrano), a former child actress who now works as a call girl. Unfortunately, the story is told entirely in images and a couple of captions to identify the principal characters, with the viewer left to connect the dots of whatever semblance of nonlinear narrative is to be had. Melissa specializes in boring kink, alternately crawling around on the floor like Ai in Tokyo Decadence (1992) – though the director cites The Canyons (2013) as an influence – or playing the dominatrix and stepping on masochists. Unfortunately for her, this results in one of her johns lying face-down dead on the floor of a hotel room, which brings the creepy and haggard Detective Steve Scott (Christopher Loring) into her life.

Lyle

When Lyle Lovett attacks! (Rey Marz and Natalia-Christabelle Serrano in American Johns)

A man who appears to be a slumming Lyle Lovett (Rey Marz) is shown being confrontational and then more adoring of her, but the exact nature of the transaction remains unclear. Hoffa advertises American Johns as “experimental“, so one assumes that any ambiguity is intentional. Minimalist electronic music abstractly suggests moods for the episodes, but one is sometimes unsure how to feel. Not much interest, for instance, attaches itself to scenes of Melissa walking around and chatting on her cell phone outside Bob’s Big Boy – particularly when the viewer has no idea what she is talking about. Maybe the idea is that men see her as fast food?

2.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that American Johns is:

3. Pro-gay and pro-miscegenation. Melissa appears to enjoy a non-platonic relationship with a tattooed black woman.

2. Misandrist. Men, in their relationship with women, are either customers or inquisitors. Melissa’s past as an actress finds a continuity in her work as a prostitute, in that men expect her to play a role – they do not accept the real Melissa, in other words. The tramp, in the course of her duties, discovers that even the most seemingly masculine man is only a writhing maggot at heart – they, too, are actors.

1. Feminist (i.e., anti-human). American Johns, unlike The Canyons, appears to aim not for an implied moral judgment in its portrait of soulless squalor, but to aspire to some sort of seedy chic, a de facto glorification of the protagonist’s AIDS-tempting lifestyle. Mise-en-scene of the character’s introduction to the audience – framing her through and against the vertical lines of blinds and railings that convey the impression of bars of a cage – suggests that Melissa is a prisoner; but the heroine’s final moment onscreen indicates that she is in control – she is the zookeeper minding the cage – and firmly in command of the men in her life. Her nihilism and capitalist degeneracy, it seems, are some form of women’s empowerment – a realization of some mutation of the American Dream.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in [almost] 30 Days

DAY TWENTY-NINE

Mad Max Fury Road

This might be the new punk on the block and so not pack the nostalgic wallop of a Road Warrior, an Escape from New York, or even a Hell Comes to Frogtown; but technically and in terms of its crazed epic scope and its grandiosity, Mad Max: Fury Road is the greatest post-apocalyptic action movie ever made. Viewers able to hold their noses through the feminist rubbish gauntlet will enjoy the wildest ride of their lives, with Bane himself, Tom Hardy, stepping capably into the boots and onto the gas pedal where the great Mel Gibson left off.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that this frenetic and insanely brutal movie is:

3. Green. Charlize Theron hopes to escape with a harem to the “green place” where she grew up, but finds it hopelessly polluted when she gets there. Anthropogenic climate change, an opening montage suggests, is to blame for the sorry state of the world.

2. Anti-white. In the “war boys”, Fury Road offers viewers a cartoon version of identitarians: unhealthy, exaggeratedly pale skinheads whose unprovoked berserker raids, they hope, will earn them a throne of honor in Valhalla. The continued casting of race traitoress Charlize Theron in this or any movie, furthermore, must be considered anti-white.

1. Misandrist. In this adventure, everybody’s favorite road-ripping desert nomad gets mixed up with a bunch of escaped concubines hoping to find a better life for themselves in the wilderness with a tribe of (presumably lesbian) Amazons. Previously, their entire existence has been a degrading matter of subservient boredom, sex slavery, and serial pregnancies. This is the future to which all women are doomed if they fail to rise up and revolutionarily expropriate the means of reproduction!

[Readers might also be interested in Germanicus Fink’s reflections on Mad Max: Fury Road.]

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY SEVENTEEN

Maleficent

After decades of speculation about her actual physical form, Angelina Jolie appears without makeup or airbrushing software in Oy Gevalt Disney’s Maleficent. For years her horns and razor-sharp cheekbones have remained hidden, digitally erased through the wonders of CGI; but now the moviegoing public can finally see for themselves what a witch Brad Pitt pledged to fuck on a regular basis in exchange for worldly celebrity in a Luciferian pact with the Globalist Nazi Illuminati Council on Foreign Relations.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Maleficent is:

5. Globalist. Rival realms are united after the death of a king (Sharlto Copley). War will be obviated by the erasure of national borders.

4. Multiculturalist. Disney managed to dig up a few medieval European blacks for extras.

3. Pro-gay. Only “true love’s kiss” can awaken Aurora (Elle Fanning) from her slumber. Of course, Maleficent’s creepy lip-squish does the trick. “I’m going to live here in the moors with you,” Aurora has said earlier. “Then we can look after each other.” Maleficent teaches little girls that men, and especially white men, are not to be trusted unless weak and dim-witted. “Fairies” are the good characters, whereas men are evil.

2. Misandrist. The only positively depicted males are an apparently lobotomized prince (Brenton Thwaites) and a shapeshifting furry omega (Sam Riley). In a kid-safe evocation of “rape culture”, Maleficent is drugged on a date of sorts and has her wings clipped while she sleeps. Armies of senselessly violent (and mostly white) males rampage over the countryside, hell-bent on oppressing women and diverse magical creature populations.

1. Cultural-Marxist. Up is down and down is up. A hideous monster in the fantasy world of this movie is “classically handsome”. Maleficent, described as “both hero and villain”, purports to be “strongest of the fairies”, but anybody with a preschool education knows a being with horns growing out of its head is called a devil. This is one of myriad movies in which the traditional symbols of evil, as in Little Nicky and Dracula Untold, have been transformed into sympathetic characters – a process discussed at greater length here.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY THREE

A_Good_Marriage

Stephen King wrote this blackly comedic thriller about a woman (Joan Allen) who, after celebrating her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with her seemingly dull accountant husband (Anthony LaPaglia), becomes convinced that he is actually “Beadie”, a patriarchal shitlord serial killer and rapist who has been busily putting strong, liberated women back where they belong – in the grave! Meanwhile, some shabby-looking drifter character (Stephen Lang) seems to be stalking the couple. Who is Beadie and what will the heroine do when confronted with his identity? Finding out should be fun for man-haters and those who enjoy scenes of elderly people screwing.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that A Good Marriage is:

6. Anti-Christian. Allen responds irreverently to a priest’s platitude.

5. Drug-ambivalent. Allen takes a prescription pill to cope with her difficulties. The film, however, warns against alcohol, which impairs judgment.

4. Pro-miscegenation. A congoid can be seen dancing with a white woman at a party.

3. Class-conscious. Prompting the viewer to feel contempt for their social betters is a ridiculous scene in which the leads discuss whether or not to buy a rare coin for $9,000.00. An investigator’s only duty, he says, is to pay his taxes, while LaPaglia contrarily “covers his tracks” from the IRS. The implication would seem to be that the rich will only waste that money they manage to save from redistribution. Allen demonstrates her growth as a character by giving her husband’s belongings to a charity.

2. Misandrist. Sexually insensitive behavior and talk – such “sexist crap” as, for instance, quoting from From Here to Eternity or remarking that a woman’s attire is provocative – is indicative of a psychotic mind that harbors violent hostility toward women.

1. Anti-marriage. Those women who have the misfortune to enjoy “something very rare, a good marriage”, are better off preemptively murdering their spouses – just in case.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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The Homesman

Pioneer life is a neglected subject on twenty-first century movie screens – not being sufficiently hyper-violent or anus-oriented to guarantee rentals, one imagines. It may, however, also be because a movie like The Homesman blows to smithereens any goofy notions of “white privilege” or of American whites’ allegedly unearned prosperity having been built on the backs of slaves. Existence for the earliest Midwestern settlers was brutal, as is brought to vivid life in this impressive film from writer-director-star Tommy Lee Jones, who plays a scoundrel drafted by upstanding citizen Hilary Swank to transport three crazed women back east by wagon. This being ultra-Zionist Haim Saban’s production, however, it goes without saying that other, less savory currents are also at work in the film.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Homesman is:

6. Anti-Christian. One of the women, clearly deranged by the one-two punch of frontier life and old-time religion, imagines herself to be the Almighty and threatens, “God will strike you down!”

5. Anti-racist (i.e., pro-yawn). Viewers who blink may miss a shot of black slaves in a wagon, reminding the audience that black people had it even harder. When Jones tells an anecdote about killing Indian horse thieves, Swank’s facial reaction gives the viewer to understand that his insensitivity has disturbed her. Jones, encountering another group of Indians, gives them a horse to make them leave him alone. The idea would seem to be that whites, if they want to live in peace with minority neighbors, ought to accustom themselves to such life-or-death generosity.

4. Pro-gun. Guns are a handy frontier equalizer, especially for a woman.

3. Bolshevik. When wealthy businessman James Spader refuses to give room or board to Jones and company because they are not “socially acceptable”, the protagonist, in one of The Homesman’s more colorful lines, tells Spader’s party, “Your mothers and your sisters and your wives and your daughters will cuss your broke-dick souls!” He later returns to the inn where Spader’s group is staying and sets it ablaze, burning them alive.

2. Anti-family. From the sickening moment the Saban Films logo comes up onscreen, the informed viewer knows that something evil is afoot; and the institutions of marriage and family really come in for a drubbing in this otherwise exceptional film, unfortunately. “You hate me! I hate you!” These words set the tone for married life on the prairie in The Homesman. “You will give me a son,” insists a husband as he fucks his wife as impersonally as some robotic movie Nazi. Further obsessing over his “seed”, he borderline-rapes her as her mother, lying beside her in the bed, pretends not even to notice. Conventional domesticity is equated with horror as a woman’s darning drudgery unexpectedly turns into an act of self-mutilation with a sewing needle. In The Homesman’s most shocking scene, one of the women throws her baby down the hole in an outhouse. She is at no point treated as a murderer, but regarded as a victim of circumstances.

1. Feminist. Swank is “as good a man as any man hereabouts”, her character furnishing a model of culture and propriety in contrast with loutish, dirty men. After twice (or more, one suspects) having her marriage proposals refused by men undeserving of her (who say she is “too bossy” and “plain”), she quietly hangs herself as a proto-feminist martyr of sorts, a woman ahead of her time for whom the Nebraska territory simply offered no opportunities equal to her personal merit and talents. Jones, by contrast, is prepared to meet his death only with copious begging and whimpering.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Expendables 3

Expendables 3 has hardly begun before the titular crew of mercenaries is massacring prison guards to liberate murderer Wesley Snipes. Typically for the series, the film simply expects the viewer to take for granted that the “good guys” would never shoot anyone undeserving of death. (Speaking of which, no Expendables review would be complete without the obligatory reference to how close to death some of these guys appear. “Relax. You’re gonna give yourself a stroke,” Stallone is warned before his upcoming adventure.)

This entry in the franchise does, however, evince more of something approximating a heart or emotional center in its plot involving renewed conflict between Stallone and treacherous ex-partner Mel Gibson, whose presence does much to enhance part 3. Gibson, now an arms dealer, has been deemed a war criminal, and CIA honcho Harrison Ford, in a role alluding to his turns as Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), hires Stallone to retrieve him from Central Asia for trial at the Hague.

What ensues is tons of dumb fun, with better action scenes that dispense with the gallons of CGI gore on display in the previous outing. The viewer almost forgets what villains the heroes’ real-life counterparts are. A campy charm attaches itself, admittedly, to the wince-worthy scene in which Ford, providing air support for the beleaguered Expendables and obviously embarrassed by the unimaginative dialogue, half-heartedly mumbles, “Drummer’s in the house.” Expendables 3 is worth a rental for that moment alone.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Expendables 3 is:

7. Disingenously anti-torture. In one of the movie’s biggest unintentional laughs, CIA creep Harrison Ford complains that Gibson is responsible for the torture and killing of two of his men. As Gibson later says of Stallone’s character, “He thinks he’s the good guy.”

6. Pro-drug. There is a lighthearted feel to a scene in which Kelsey Grammer’s flying is impaired by his drunkenness. The Expendables get together to drink in celebration of a successful mission, while Dolph Lundgren, whose combat readiness is unaffected, just likes to drink for the picturesque hell of it.

5. P.C. Snipes objects to Stallone using “spook” with reference to a CIA agent.

4. Feminist. Ronda Rousey plays a tough-as-nails bouncer-cum-soldier whose looks conceal deadly fighting prowess. “Men,” she huffs with contempt before fatally shooting a man.

3. Anti-family. “If you’re lookin’ to go the family route, it’s the wrong job for you,” Stallone admonishes Rousey. “There are different kinds of family,” she replies. “And when my life is on the line, that’s my family fighting with me.” In other words, a gaggle of ragtag cutthroats is no less valid a pillar of personal and national stability than some old-fashioned assemblage of the biologically related.

2. Multiculturalist. In addition to two black Expendables and an Asian one, this third installment adds a Latino as a nod to that group’s demographic ascent, with Antonio Banderas providing some odd comic relief as a lonely acrobatic weirdo desperate for an excuse to machine-gun people.

1. Neoconservative. Like the other Expendables films, this third entry continues the work of conditioning the American male to accept overseas hellraising and mass murder as an exciting career opportunity, or at least as something deserving of their patriotic admiration. “I am the Hague,” Stallone says in triumph, alluding to his famous line from Judge Dredd (1995). In other words, the United States as the indispensable superpower and global force for gay, is exceptional in that it constitutes in itself – and even through the acts of its lowliest mercenaries – the world’s judge, jury, and executioner. “Very tribal,” Gibson says of the Expendables’ penchant for ritual murder – leaving the viewer to determine which Tribe he has referenced in his remark. As usual with this sort of movie, too, there is a dig at nationalist Russia, with Gibson spending some time there and giving the impression that Putin’s New Nazi Germany Russia is some sort of haven for evildoers.

The CIA no longer even cares if Americans know it conducts dirty wars through mercenary proxies. “This one’s off the books. I’m not even here,” says Ford, clearly thinking himself very cute. Those incorrigible Central Intelligence scamps! Oh, well – boys will be boys. Maybe a couple of decades from now, Hollywood will be making action movies celebrating the “ISIS” scam and the takedown of the evil Assad regime. “We killed a lot, but we saved more lives than you can possibly imagine,” Gibson excuses his days as a hired assassin for the Company. Whatever.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Vice poster

Sometimes nothing quite hits the spot like a bleak futuristic movie. Combining elements of Westworld (1973) and Blade Runner (1982) and updating these themes with apprehensions of twenty-first century cultural rot and a rising police state, Vice is a worthy entry in the dystopian thriller genre. Appropriately, generic actress Ambyr Childers stars as a synthetic human plaything at Vice, an indoor resort complex for perverts and sadists. Thomas Jane is cool as the dedicated but tired cop who attempts to find Childers after she escapes into the outside world, and Bruce Willis oozes the sleaze of authority as Vice’s untouchable proprietor. Fast-paced and relevant, Vice is solid. Those hoping for outrageous depictions of high-tech debauchery, however, will be disappointed, as most of the sex is merely teased.

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Vice is:

5. Arguably Christian. A church provides at least momentary refuge. One line of dialogue suggests that those wrapped up in illusions avoid such places. Christians are falsely blamed as likely terrorist suspects.

4. Misandrist. Vice, unfortunately, is full of today’s hysteria about a ridiculous “rape culture”. The film depicts a nightmare America not unlike that from the Purge franchise, in which white males would delight in nothing more than to pay for the privilege of beating up, raping, and murdering women.

3. Anti-state and anti-corporate. Vice reflects the darkening reality of a world governed by a sexually permissive but totalitarian state guided by materialistic corporate interests. Elements of the police are in Willis’s pocket and work to cover up his crimes. The Vice resort fronts for defense sector research, the “artificials” being tested for military applications. The film can also be read as a skewering of the official 9/11 story.

2. Luddite. Technology threatens human liberty. Characters hope to escape to the “tech-free zone” of St. Helena.

1. Pro-censorship. Surprisingly for a Hollywood movie, Vice contains a thinly veiled argument for censorship. Describing the pleasure palace in words that might just as easily refer to the multiplex and its desensitizing effect on viewers, Thomas Jane’s cop holds forth as follows:

You know, people go in there and they get their freak on and they do whatever they do, and then they keep goin’ in there, and then they keep goin’ in there, and then they bring that shit out in the real world, it feels normal to them. [. . .] I used to be a cop. I’m not a cop anymore. I’m a fuckin’ garbage collector since that fuckin’ place opened up. It needs to be shut down.

Later, in a confrontation with villain Willis, he adds:

This is the only place I know that any scumbag in the world can get into paradise [. . .] You would think that if you created a place where people could come and they could commit any crime they could think of, just any fucked-up thing that comes into their head, they could get it out of their system and they’d become better citizens, you know. But you know it turns out, the exact opposite is true. These people get a taste and they just can’t get enough.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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