Turner Classic Film Fest: A history of violence

I know, pretty dark headline for  a post about a really fun, glamor heavy film fest. All the more so because, at least for me, TCM  Fest is the kind of event that  can put you in a kind of steel bubble which the daily news can barely pierce. If another Cuban Missile Crisis happened during Comic-Con, what would happen? Maybe if it ended differently this time.

Indeed, even a momentous event  like the death of Osama Bin Laden could just barely penetrate TCM’s  mix of Hollywood fantasy and scholarship. For me, the news first came as I overheard another filmgoer during an intermission of “West Side Story,” which I had popped in on just to see how good the 70mm print was, say to another. “No, he’s really dead.” I figured it was another classic film star gone forever. George Chakiris, who played Sharks leader Bernardo, had introduced the screening, but how were Jets Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn doing?

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Postal

The last person that should be making political satires is Uwe Boll, a man that doesn’t even understand the concept of failure, let alone the lines that can and should be crossed in political incorrectness. Loosely based on the video game of the same name, “Postal” opens with the most inappropriate joke of the 21st Century: a view from within the World Trade Center as a plane crashes into it. That image alone is enough to guarantee an immediate boycott by most Americans, and it’s probably a good place to stop watching the film. In fact, even though the scene leading up to the crash is actually quite funny (two Islamic hijackers discuss the veracity of the 100 virgins theory, only to discover it’s not true), the rest of the movie is so amateurishly incoherent that the joke would have been better left to someone who could actually pull it off in good taste. Starring Zack Ward as the nameless protagonist, the movie follows the down-on-his-luck loser as he teams up with his cult leader uncle (Dave Foley) to rob a German-themed amusement park before Osama Bin Laden gets there first. One is looking to steal a shipment of hard-to-find plush dolls, while the other wants the vials of avian flu concealed within them. Can you guess which is which? It doesn’t really matter, since Boll is less concerned about a story than he is with jokes about Verne Troyer getting gang-raped by monkeys and Dave Foley showing his junk. You heard right, and that’s not even the worst of it. Just wait until he takes a dump with his junk still exposed…

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