movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Written and directed by relative nobodies, except John Cusack who helped write this. Starring some notable actors: John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine, 2012, Being John Malkovitch, One Crazy Summer, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, Stand By Me) as the main character, and Marisa Tomei (What Women Want, Four Rooms, an extra in The Toxic Avenger 1) and Hillary Duff as his competing love interests. Not being a fan, I had no clue that was Hillary Duff… She did a good job apparently. I actually thought she was Middle Eastern. DERP. A lot of people complained that her acting was very bad in this movie… Or similar to her acting in other movies. I guess I’m lucky I haven’t seen any, because I had no problem with this. Her role was a Middle Eastern pop star influenced by the Western culture of the infidels…Which I think can help explain away any bad acting as the character herself trying to act western when she was middle eastern. Anyway, she looks quite hot as a brunette white girl pretending to be an Arab. Surprisingly so.

With Joan Cusack (Toy Story 3, High Fidelity, My Bodyguard) as his manager, and Dan Aykroyd (Saturday Night Live, Ghost Busters, Blues Brothers, 50 First Dates, Canadian Bacon, Caddyshack), and Ben Kingsley (Prince Of Persia:Sands Of Time, The Wackness, Species, Schindler’s List, A.I.) as the President. Basically, he is Dick Cheney, and a lot of this movie is “really” about Halliburton.

And Montell Williams as the GuideStar computer.

QUIRKS: Political satire comedy action romance. In that order. More straight-comedy here than in most political satires; less romance here than in most comedies with a romance plot.

PLOT SUMMARY: A political satire set in “Turaqistan”. Some people call this “almost a sequel to Grosse Point Blank”, but I never saw GPB.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Girl tries to fuck her murderer dad, then opens fire at wedding party.

VISUALS: Warzone/middle eastern sets. Lots of ridiculous satire, such as tanks with corporate logos on their sides.

SOUNDTRACK: Mideastern-pop sounding stuff, much of which is really Hillary Duff. “I Want To Blow You… Up”. Friggin’ hilarious.

MORALS: Gee, maybe killing people for the CIA (or whatever) isn’t the best way to bring peace to the world.

POLITICS: This movie is FULL of anti-corporate, anti-war, pro-freedom “liberal” politics. The corporate Viceroy may as well be Big Brother from George Orwell‘s 1984! I’d imagine Tea Partiers and the like would get totally hung up on the politics, and not be able to enjoy this movie. I challenge conservatives to like this!

GOOD STUFF: Lots of good humor here, and uniquely fresh situations. Great political satire, favoring making a good joke over making poingnant satire. Thus, it is not as dry as other political satire comedies like Wag The Dog.

I did not notice that some of the Arab names translated to “fuck you” and “fuck me” in pig latin. Well-played, movie. Well-played.

BAD STUFF: Man that ending was dark. Wow. Not really bad, just… Wow.

Also, [highlight for spoilers] the twist where his long-lost-due-to-his-job missing daughter turns out to be the pop singer girl who’s there to meet her father for the first time was pretty predictable.

CONCLUSION: Although utterly ridiculous on many levels, this film was quite funny, and had some of the most hilarious anti-war anti-corporate satire that I’ve seen in awhile. It also had a twisted plot with lots of odd quirks, like the OnStar navigator that delivers psychiatric advice in the voice of Montel Williams, as well as lots of fresh situations, like seeing a brunette Hillary Duff stick a scorpion down her pants. This movie finally delivered what I was hoping to get out of Wag The Dog. (And yet, Wag The Dog is more highly rated for some reason.)

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
TwoBeans: Definitely liked it a lot.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 5.7/10, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars (why so low?!) (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars).

For comparison, Wag The Dog got 7.1/10 on IMDB (and 7/10 from us), and 3.3/5 on Netflix (3/5 from us).

RECOMMENDATION: I particularly recommend this movie if Wag The Dog disappointed you, and if you are an anti-war, pro-freedom politically-aware individual.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Wag The Dog was in some ways similar to this movie. Not so much the plot, but the subject matter. Honestly though, I thought Wag The Dog didn’t deliver up to its expectations, while this movie did. Plus, it was heavier on the comedy than Wag The Dog, which was more of a dry satire. Also, As mentioned earlier, some consider this a psuedo-sequel to Grosse Point Blank.

MOVIE QUOTE: “I like killing people as much as the next guy, but I signed up to kill the bad ones! Health clinics, trade unionists, journalists, agricultural co-ops, catholic liberation theologians, impoverished Colombian coffee farmers, these are the barbarians that are brave opponents of civilization? We turned Central America into a fuckin’ graveyard! Whoever momentarily interrupts the accumulation of our wealth, we pulverize! I’m just not feeling good about that anymore, sir!”

“Did you know that the word “person” comes from the Latin word “persona”, which means mask?”

on second thought I guess I should have realized she was really white, but I don't get to see what a lot of Arab women look like because of their stupid veils and burquas

Faith H: “I loved this movie! It kind of was played up as a sequel when it came out to GPB (definitely watch that one Clint).”

Mood: annoyed
Music: Dr. Dirty – Fa-La-La-La-La