Screen Shot: ‘Dumbo’

El Capitan’s organ was sadly silent during a recent kid-filled rainy day matinee, and the leading character does not make a live appearance, but at least Walt Disney’s classic 1941 picture, Dumbo, is being screened at the once-legendary studio’s Holllywood Boulevard movie theater. The animated feature, which was affectionately introduced by El Cap’s extremely knowledgeable manager Michael, runs at the historic theater through January 28 to honor the film’s 70th anniversary next year. Next door at Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store, there’s a caramel-topped ice cream sundae and exclusive Dumbo merchandise. Unfortunately, Dumbo is preceded by a trailer for the latest Tim Burton horror movie, sharing the title of Walt Disney’s 1955 animated feature, Alice in Wonderland. The new, live action version looks like just another of his visually striking nightmares.

If only the currently volatile, unfocused, and increasingly generic Walt Disney Studios were creating movies of Dumbo‘s caliber, showing them in venues to match the quality of these outstanding twin enterprises, and cultivating outstanding cast members (that means you, ushers Melvin and Lucia). Read my review of this wonderfully colorful motion picture here.

Screen Shot: ‘Book of Eli’ starring Denzel Washington

This bleak, violent, post-apocalyptic picture is involving up until the point you realize it’s just another example of religious propagandizing. Starring Denzel Washington as a mysterious stranger who walks alone and comes upon a town ruled by a dictatorial Gary Oldman (fabulously chewing it up like an older version of his drug-addicted bad cop in The Professional), the grizzled solitary man carries a Bible, speaks in riddles, and winds up dressed as a Moslem in a progressively dull movie. The Book of Eli borrows nihilism from The Road Warrior and Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns with Clint Eastwood, a cheap trick from The Sixth Sense, and preachy religion from any of a variety of recent Christian pics. Also featuring Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) in the film’s best performance as a blind woman and a young actress named Mila Kunis as a nubile type. Its theme that religion will save the world is pure hokum. Despite fine turns by leads Washington and Oldman, this book sermonizes more of the same.

Massachusetts Showdown

The Senate contest between Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown has turned into a referendum on the administration’s fascist “health care reform”. Should challenger Brown, a state senator who voted for former Republican Governor Mitt Romney’s fascist “health care reform” for the state, who has declared that he will vote against the President’s health care bill, actually score an upset and defeat Coakley, the state’s Democratic secretary of state has already vowed to defy the election results and take his legally alotted time to delay certifying the election results. This will backfire and further undermine the legitimacy of what is arguably the nation’s worst law (though it isn’t law yet) since slavery. As with the monstrous bill, which is incidentally hugely unpopular, it is independents not the Republican Party driving resistance to Big Government. Stay tuned.

Screen Shot: ‘Leap Year’

The romantic comedy Leap Year starring lanky Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as an Irishman who meets a real estate decorator played by chirpy Amy Adams (Doubt) on her superstitiously pre-marital jaunt across Ireland has a few soft spots but is largely humorless. This effort from the director of the stylishly vacant Shopgirl is less than inspired but it beats watching the dreadful megahit Avatar, which I finally saw after Christmas at the suggestion of a pal in Seattle and a nephew who promised me it was the greatest movie ever made. James Cameron’s animated diatribe against civilization is apparently causing people to practice what the movie preaches: CNN reports that audiences are having suicidal thoughts.

Here Comes (More) Socialized Medicine …

Amid contentious debate, a divided nation, and widespread opposition, the House of Representatives narrowly approved legislation enacting total government control of the medical profession. The close vote, in which 39 Democrats joined near-unanimous opposition among Republicans (a New Orleans congressman was the only Republican to vote in favor of socialized medicine), was called in the darkness of Saturday night. The historic bill, which I compared to slavery and forecast earlier this year, represents the culmination of the President’s long, never-ending seige against what remains of free market medicine. If this bill is approved by Congress, Americans will be forced to buy what the government defines as “health insurance” at gunpoint, and private medical care as we know it will be forbidden and/or cease to exist. The bill now goes to the United States Senate.

I’ve been writing about health care policy and warning my fellow Americans that we already have government-controlled “health care” and that the idea must be actively opposed and stopped for decades but it is nearly impossible to get people interested in the topic, especially conservatives who accept the moral premise that health care is a right and some Objectivists, who refuse to engage in any form of activism and think politics is utterly beneath them and therefore not worth the expense of effort. If this bill becomes law, which is entirely up to the American public, it will take us irrevocably toward totalitarianism.

In the meantime, every American should speak out immediately, repeatedly, and often, and seek to stop this monstrous legislation. If it passes, it will become necessary to coordinate intellectual, economic, and political counterstrikes, such as organized boycotts (of any business or group that supports it), strikes, legal challenges, efforts to repeal, state-by-state opt-out legislation, marches, protests, and other measures, including a demand that any local, state, or federal political candidate take an oath to work to repeal the law as the highest priority. Silence implies consent and now is the time to speak up. The fact that the nation’s Speaker of the House, who happens to be America’s first female Speaker, and the nation’s supposedly pro-choice president, who favors anti-gay conservative Christians, adopted an anti-abortion provision in their socialized medicine is a sneak preview of what’s to come under government-run “health care”: medical care delivered, financed, and controlled by the state, which means dictatorship…which, in today’s context, means religious dictatorship.