Sunday, June 08, 2008

DVD Watching

Charlie Wilson's War. It's fun, with some well written scenes and good acting.

Should we have supplied these Muslim fanatics in Afghanistan with rocket launchers to defeat the Soviets? I probably would have supported it at the time, but now it looks foolish. Those rocket launchers are still out there somewhere and now those Muslim fanatics are at war with us.

The ending of this movie implies that if we had just poured foreign aid into Afghanistan then the Muslims would not hate us now and we wouldn't be in our current war. This is liberal BS, of course. (But what do you expect from Hollywood?) We've thrown billions down the sewer of the Middle East and it hasn't bought us a cup of coffee's worth of good will. They hate us because of "Baywatch" and Madonna, not because the CIA meddles with foreign governments. You can't buy off religious fanatics who want to impose a totalitarian dictatorship on the world.

Goya's Ghosts. An entertaining costume drama starring Javier Bardem (the psycho in No Country For Old Men), Natalie Portman (fine young liberal) and Stellan Skarsgard (the last a has a circle above it; no idea what that means).

The movie starts in the 1790's with Portman falling afoul of the Spanish Inquisition. The plot and the fortunes of the characters follow the tergiversations of history, as the French Revolution shakes the world, Napoleon conquers Spain, then the English and Spanish Royalists take back Spain.

SPOILER BELOW.

I can't figure out a theme if it has one, but the plot has enough twists to keep you interested. Much of the movie is about religious fanaticism vs. liberty. It almost rises to great romantic drama at a few points. (That SPOILER is in the next sentence.) The movie peaks when a rich man tortures an inquisitor, making him sign a statement that he is a monkey, to demonstrate to him that people can be broken to confess what is not true under torture.

3 comments:

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I did enjoy Charlie Wilson's War. Maybe it was a mistake to arm the nuts but it did help to bankrupt and demoralize the USSR.

Chuck said...

This looks like a fine spot for another Samuel Shellabarger plug. His story Captain from Castille is also set during the era of the Spanish Inquisition. And the reader gets the distinct pleasure of seeing one of the Inquisitors hoist on his own petard. In fact, a couple of them, if I remember correctly.

But there are other scenes, earlier in the story, that are quite moving. In one case (SPOILER ALERT) a man does his mother the mercy of running her through with his sword - just before she is burned alive in an auto-da-fe.

Myrhaf said...

I've read about the author before but have never read his books. I'll have to try one out.