Even though the movie is directed by
with his dodgy politics,
what makes this movie great is that it breaks the biggest taboo in American cinema since 2003
- showing what the Iraqi jihadi enemy was like.
Lefties hate the movie
Left-wingers hated the film
because it committed the terrible sin of actually showing what the jihad is like,
something left-wingers work night and day to hide or minimise.
First he refers to the Iraqi jihad as "the native resistance fighters"
and he is baffled as to how they are
"somehow cast as the predatory wolves".
In one sentence he shows that he knows nothing about Iraq and has no moral compass.
He complains about the film's depiction of
"the almost cartoonish evil of the native Iraqis"
without making the slightest effort to show that this depiction is false.
(In fact it is understated.)
He also confuses the jihadis with the
millions of native Iraqis who in polls
supported killing the jihadis.
He actually complains that Iraqi jihad barbarity is shown on screen. (For the first time ever!)
This is like complaining that Holocaust barbarity is shown on screen.
"The second murder of a child is a murder by the villainous "Butcher" with his drill of oppression, who (and the audience is shown this) drills a child's brains out in a public square ... The scene is tasteless in the extreme"
You can hear the sneer behind "drill of oppression" can't you?
What's the bets this fool has never even heard ofthe torture of children with electric drills by the Iraqi resistance.
Matt Taibbi, January 21, 2015, has more leftist drivel about the film.
He claims that the fight against the Iraqi jihad,
one of the clearest struggles between good and evil of our lifetimes,
was actually an "insane moral morass".
He bangs on about WMDs and Abu Ghraib and George W. Bush.
His anger at the jihad is hard to detect.
He claims that "the occupation led to mass destruction, hundreds of thousands of deaths".
Of course it was the jihad, not the occupation, that led to this.
He declares that America killed "millions of Indochinese" in Vietnam, which is not true either.
Commies killed them.
But why blame the right target when you have a simple comic-book view of the world like Matt Taibbi does?
a man who in 2003
described the Iraqi jihad as
"a war now of liberation of Iraqis from American occupation",
doesn't like the film.
I should hope not!
Trailer for American Sniper.
It is one of the very few films ever to show
moral decisions that Allied and Israeli soldiers have to make in fighting against
the sneaky, dishonourable, war criminal, jihad.
An interesting but flawed film about home-grown Islamic terrorists in London.
Showing how they are recruited by hate preachers.
Showing how they are attracted to western life but tragically reject it.
a brutal home invasion by Islamic terrorists in England
where a family is murdered.
(Evocative of the monster
Samir Kuntar's home invasion
Fogel family home invasion
The movie is tragically spoilt by a stupid twist where some rogue (or official)
security services allow bombings to happen
(or even carry out bombings themselves)
in order to promote some agenda.
Sad and pathetic that they felt this would improve the film.
It nearly totally ruins it.
Trailer for the flawed but interesting
The first movie since 9/11
showing a fictional Islamist attack on the US.
The first movie since 9/11
showing an Islamist nuclear attack.
The first movie since 9/11
supporting the homeland fight against Islamism.
It only took 9 years!!
This deals with a real dilemma.
A jihadist has placed nuclear bombs in US cities.
The Americans torture him to reveal the locations of the nukes.
Is that ethical?
You might say yes, but consider this:
He won't talk.
So they (eventually) kill his wife in front of him.
He still does not talk.
They then bring in his children, and get set up to torture and kill them in front of him.
He partially talks.
He tells them about 3 of the bombs.
They defuse the bombs.
The torture ends.
The 4th bomb, that he never told them about, goes off.
He successfully nukes an American city.
Could you kill innocents (like the jihadist's children) to save millions of innocents?
Including, of course, millions of children.
America did in Hiroshima.
I could not do it.
But it's a serious moral question, to which I would provide no glib answer.
It's a deep, dark, serious film.
(Though not a very convincing jihadist.)
At first you are utterly opposed to torture.
But then, as you see 10 million people about to die, you start to crack and are willing to consider anything.
Trailer for the taboo-breaking
It only took 9 years to get a film
showing a fictional Islamist attack on the US!
Hollywood is as censored now as it was back in the days of the
The dark comedy
is brave, edgy, viciously satirical, disturbing and uncomfortable.
It portrays a group of British jihadis
as bumbling buffoons,
caught between two cultures,
heads full of nonsense,
planning random bombings for incoherent, illogical reasons.
Much like real life.
There is a great scene at a university debate where two angry Muslims
complain about being profiled as terrorists.
Of course, both of them are terrorists!
This reminds me of the BBC program
"Don't Panic, I'm Islamic",
where some of those featured complaining of fear of Islam
turned out to be Islamic terrorists!
The jihadis' incoherent grievances and complaints make no sense
- just like any other group of poorly-educated young militants.
They reminded me of the
- moronic hand-waving about capitalism, McDonalds and "decadence"
means that violent young men can kill, kill, kill
to make it better.
There are some very funny lines.
One of the idiots compromises their mission by bringing a (drugged up) girl home,
with a house full of bomb-making gear on display.
One of the gang orders him to kill her.
He doesn't want to.
The other one says, in a brilliant summation of Islamist ideology towards women:
"You can fuck her but not kill her! What's wrong with you?"
It is also magnificent that the jihadis
communicate via cartoon avatars on a website called
The end is very disturbing, because despite their stupidity and their chaotic attack,
the jihadis do manage to kill infidels.
Again, like in real life.
In very disturbing scenes, one jihadi has a wife and little boy
who he fully shares his plans with.
He then goes and kills himself and others
in a chemists for no reason more coherent than that they sell condoms, or something.
He leaves his sweet little boy fatherless.
And God knows who else he killed in there - maybe a mother with a child.
We do not get to see.
The film manages to portray suicide bombing as comic
because it is so stupid.
These young men should have enjoyed life.
Instead they bombed a kebab shop and a chemist
and killed themselves
for no reason.
It doesn't get much more stupid than that.
In Afghanistan, "the Taliban employ the world's worst suicide bombers: one in two manages to kill only himself."
"In Afghanistan, as in many cultures, a manly embrace is a time-honored tradition for warriors before they go off to face death. Thus, many suicide bombers never even make it out of their training camp or safe house, as the pressure from these group hugs triggers the explosives in suicide vests. According to several sources at the United Nations, as many as six would-be suicide bombers died last July after one such embrace in Paktika."
"One video, captured recently by the thermal-imagery technology housed in a sniper rifle, shows two Talibs in southern Afghanistan engaged in intimate relations with a donkey. Similar videos abound, including ground-surveillance footage that records a Talib fighter gratifying himself with a cow."
"Pentagon officials and intelligence analysts concede privately that our foes also have a voracious appetite for pornography ... Many laptops seized from the Taliban and al-Qaeda are loaded with smut."
The first proper Iraq War movie.
The first Iraq movie in which the Islamists are the bad guys.
The first film supporting the American troops in Iraq.
The first film supporting the British troops in Iraq.
At last, after
6 long years of anti-war propaganda films,
this is the first real Iraq War movie.
After 6 years of trying to help the enemy win during wartime,
Hollywood waits until America has won the war
before allowing the first movie
supporting the troops.
This is an excellent film by
A tense and realistic thriller.
Sympathetic to the incredibly hard job the troops have,
without treating them like victims or sneering at their mission.
Portraying the jihadis as the disgusting human beings that they are.
We waited for the
but refreshingly, it never came:
It was scary that it was written by
who wrote the article that
In the Valley of Elah
was based on.
But I couldn't see anything wrong with it.
It was also scary that it opened with a quote from
the anti-war cynic
But the quote was something both supporters and opponents of the war could agree on,
and it never got worse after that.
Anything wrong with it? Not really, just that there is still room for many more types of
It does not really portray why the war is being fought.
It is a small, intimate portrait of soldiers.
No big-picture politics at all.
No discussion of what the struggle against Islamism means to the world.
There has yet to be any movie since 9/11 that discusses this.
The heroes mainly disarm bombs
rather than kill jihadis (though they do that too).
There is still room for a more traditional type of war movie,
focused on killing an evil enemy.
This was no 300.
There is plenty of room for more Iraq movies,
if Hollywood has the guts to make them.
I totally disagree with
on this one.
His criticisms are of minor points compared with most of the film.
It was no 300,
but I thought it was definitely the first pro-military Iraq movie.
Likewise I disagree with
But he does have a good point:
"Why are these men in Iraq?"
was a question never discussed by the film (or any film).
The Hurt Locker Question, Andrew Klavan, 15 Jan 2010, also disagrees (politely) with John Nolte:
"The Hurt Locker, unlike every other War on Terror film I've seen, exists in a moral universe that a sane man might recognize as our own.
... it is, as Mark Hemingway wrote, "the best Iraq War movie ever made," though God knows that's not saying much."
Kathryn Bigelow's politics:
Does Kathryn Bigelow have good politics then?
Her previous film was the morally dubious
K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).
This was a sympathetic film about a Soviet Empire nuclear submarine crew in 1961,
as they cruised the seas
threatening the annihilation of London, New York
and other beautiful cities of the West
with nuclear missiles.
We were supposed to be happy
that these enemy fighters were rescued to carry on their evil work!
But wouldn't it have been better for the world if they had all died?
This film is roughly equivalent to a sympathetic film about the difficulties
encountered by the Iraqi resistance.
This is a strange film.
but the plot makes no sense and has a million holes.
On the good side,
the US are clearly the good guys.
The terrorists are the bad guys.
But it is never made clear
who exactly the terrorists are.
There are hints that they are Islamists, but it is never confirmed.
There is a back story about a threat from Moroccan Islamists,
but there are a lot of decoys and double bluffs in this film,
and it is never made clear if the Moroccan back story
is connected with the gang who actually carry out the attack here.
One of the gang has a wife in hijab, and carries out a suicide bombing,
but others (e.g. a girl in a flimsy top) seem very European and secular.
They never mention Allah, or jihad, or infidels,
even when talking among themselves.
The closest we get is one saying:
"This war will never end."
think they are Islamists,
but I think it is left deliberately ambiguous.
I don't think it counts as a movie where the bad guys
It's far too ambiguous.
This is a historic film.
It is the first movie since 9/11
with a fictional story
in which the bad guys are the modern Islamists.
It took 6 years, but Hollywood finally delivered one film.
And it is a quality action film.
Restrained, stylish, and beautifully shot.
The Americans are the good guys.
But with a convincing, sympathetic Saudi policeman and his colleagues among the heroes.
No jingoistic speeches.
No wisecracks as bad guys are killed.
The Saudis help the Americans not so much because they are pro-American
but because they are conservatives who despise jihadi anarchy.
The film is strongly
pro-American, but in a restrained, low-key way.
It has a really convincing, classic Islamist attack
- against defenceless civilians,
with a followup attack using a bomb-laden ambulance to kill
a huge number of rescue workers.
Classics of the Islamist way of war.
And no shit politics. None!
No dumb, trite messages at the start or the end. None!
Some people on the right thought the fact that both sides in the film said
"Don't worry - We're going to kill them all"
was some sort of statement of moral equivalence.
But I didn't get that at all.
It was just a statement of reality.
The jihad wants to kill all infidels - men, women and children.
And the good guys want (or should want) to kill all jihadi fighters
(rather than, say, address their grievances).
What is the problem?
One for the Good Guys: An action thriller that approaches reality, by John Podhoretz, 8 Oct 2007.
He likes The Kingdom, and brilliantly mocks Hollywood's previous efforts:
"Unfortunate moviegoers who have suffered through Hollywood's recent efforts to make geopolitical sense of the Middle East may spend some of the running time watching this new suspense thriller .. with a sense of looming dread. Surely, any moment, there will be a scene in which it is revealed that the bombing of an American housing compound in Saudi Arabia ... was not the work of Islamofascist terrorists but rather of an evil oil company. Or the U.S. government. Or militant Christians ...
who are killing Americans to try and start a holy war with Muslims""The great surprise of The Kingdom is that it does not take this approach at all
- which is why, among other things, it is going to be embraced by Americans who will be thrilled by its unapologetic depiction of a heroic crew of stateside good guys going into Saudi Arabia in pursuit of those who slaughter innocent Americans in Allah's name.".
Trailer for The Kingdom.
Click on high-resolution.
I was pleasantly surprised by this.
It's a well-made film about the torment suffered by Pearl's family and friends.
I'm not sure it counts as a movie where the bad guys
are Islamists, though,
because, believe it or not, there are no bad guys.
At least, not on the screen.
The Islamists that kidnapped and killed Pearl never appear on screen.
Only a few shots of their associates.
We never see Pearl in captivity.
We do not see them behead him.
We do not see the video of it
that is online:
We do not see them dismember him.
We see no jihadi actions on screen at all.
They all take place off-screen.
It's a well-made film.
But it feels as if there is some bizarre and extreme self-censorship making a hole
in the middle of it.
contains shots of Pakistani police torturing a jihadi,
and TV clips of jihadis in Guantanamo.
And yet not a single clip of the jihadis in action.
It's very odd.
Some have thought the message of the other clips was one of
moral equivalence - that both sides are as bad as each other.
But I didn't get that.
It was very understated if that was the message.
The film seemed pretty anti-jihadi to me.
So I don't agree with
Debbie Schlussel's review, May 24, 2007,
that the film was trying to find excuses for the jihadis.
But I do agree that it was an odd film.
"instead of scenes of Muslims beating, interrogating, torturing, beheading, and dissecting Daniel Pearl, we see Muslim Asra Nomani crying and anguishing over Danny. We see Muslim police officers very concerned about Pearl."
I'm sure many secular and liberal Muslims in Pakistan did anguish about Pearl,
and tried to help.
But to show them and not show the Islamist execution and mutilation
seems like an act of evasion.
Why not show the whole world, warts and all, instead of a sanitised version?
As usual, the Internet provides
a much more shocking reality:
The image of
the jihadi holding up Pearl's severed head
is one of the iconic images of this
war against utter evil.
It is a symbol of what the global jihad will do to all of us
if it wins.
Maybe cinema could not show this.
But why did it have to be so sanitised?
"The only "terrorist" behavior shown on screen is done by our side. Our government teams up with the Pakistan anti-terrorism squad to find Pearl and along the way the "good" guys torture, threaten, and even talk about how much they enjoy it. We only see Daniel Pearl through photographs sent by his kidnappers. Their treatment of him is never dramatized and Winterbottom doesn't even bother to let us hear Pearl's execution videotape, much less see it."
The film made very little money, and perhaps the decision not to
dramatize Pearl's murder (or even his kidnapping!)
is the reason why.
"Is it unreasonable to wonder if the failure of A Mighty Heart is due to an agenda-driven approach to the film? What else explains the conscious decision to not let us feel something for Daniel Pearl? ... To not dramatize his ordeal or let us get a sense of his suffering? To only show our side brutalizing others?
It's all so cold and efficient you have to wonder if the people involved in crafting it weren't so worried about ginning up support for the War on Terror that they decimated their own film"
It took nearly 5 years,
but at last we have a single cinema-released movie about the war.
What a bunch of cowards Hollywood are.
To be precise, it took 4 years and 9 months.
If the same absurd leftist McCarthyism had prevailed in Hollywood in WW2,
then the first movie about the war
would have come out in Sept 1946.
This movie is not bad.
Not a masterpiece.
It is brilliant on capturing the confusion of that day,
the totally unexpected, unbelievable nature of the attack,
and the sheer innocence of the targets.
It captures that "Sept 10th" feeling.
But it doesn't capture the raw emotions of that day remotely as well as
the TV movie Flight 93.
But still, what a breakthrough for cinema.
It is the film Hollywood has been
to make ever since 9/11.
Not a masterpiece. But it's a start.
United 93 cost $15 million to make, and grossed $76 million.
Having at last seen it on video,
it is beyond my comprehension why the
Flight 93 (2006)
was not in the cinema.
This was without doubt the best
movie so far about the war since 9/11.
In a historic time, when there is only one great story, and all of cinema is
to deal with it, this movie deals with it head on.
This movie captures the raw emotions of that day far better than United 93.
And yet it never made it to cinema,
while a thousand worthless turkeys did.
account of Operation Wrath of God.
This was a crap movie.
the first real movie since 9/11 in which the bad guys are Islamists.
After 4 years of Hollywood silence,
this was a modest breakthrough.
But of course, it was not about the modern war.
It was about part of the war decades ago.
The Israelis were the good guys.
Critics said it was full of
left-wing moral ambiguity about counter-terrorism.
Yes there was a bit, but not a huge amount.
The Israelis were still the good guys.
They were shown trying to avoid civilians,
while the Palestinians were shown targeting civilians.
Critics said the film promotes the left-wing
that Israel's response to terror may have led to more terror (including 9/11).
But I didn't get that from the film at all.
It is fiction, and it seems like fiction.
It is disputed by many people
(including the former head of Mossad)
that Yuval Aviv was ever in Mossad at all:
Because it is fiction, it does not ring true dramatically.
I enjoyed it, but
I didn't believe a word of it.
The Mossad and Palestinians sharing the same safe house.
The CIA protecting a target.
Members of the team being stalked and killed (and not replaced).
The Mossad agents alone and abandoned by the agency.
The endless agonising by the agents over the ethics of killing Palestinian terrorists.
None of it felt true.
It would never have been like that.
Well, it's not quite the pro-war movie we're looking for,
but it's something.
It's a tiny bit of relief
while we wait for a decent movie about the war.
And it actually has the bravery to slag off
a genuine dictator, the genocidal butcher
Kim Jong Il
of North Korea,
who - unlike Bush - actually kills people who offend him.
Slagging off Bush is safe and risk-free.
Slagging off a real, living dictator takes guts.
Gary's famous speech
at the end of Team America: World Police.
And Kim Jong Il is an asshole.
But dicks also fuck assholes. Assholes who just want to shit on everything.
I don't know much in this crazy, crazy world, but I do know that if you don't let us fuck this asshole
Such delicious disrespect to
a real-life living murderer.
Who I block:
I will debate almost anyone.
I love ideas.
I will not debate (and will block) people who do the following:
(a) Make threats.
(b) Accuse me of crimes.
(c) Comment on my appearance.
(d) Drag in stuff about me not related to the topic. (My professional career, my personal life.)
(e) Complain to my employer.
Yes, people do all these things.