Shitty Movie Sundays: Invasion U.S.A., or, Chuck Norris’s Nightmare, or, Chuck Norris’s Wet Dream

Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus found their cash cow. After Chuck Norris got revenge for the United States losing the Vietnam War in Missing in Action, Golan and Globus wasted no time locking up Chuck to a multi-picture deal at The Cannon Group. Invasion U.S.A. was the first picture under that deal, and it’s just as over the top and stupid as anything else from the Cannon stable. But it also has a mean-spiritedness that will try the viewer. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Invasion U.S.A., or, Chuck Norris’s Nightmare, or, Chuck Norris’s Wet Dream”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Act of Valor, or, Yvan Eht Nioj, or, Stop Shooting! My Neighbors Are Trying to Sleep!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines propaganda as “chiefly derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view [emphasis theirs].”

Act of Valor, a United States Navy-sanctioned and aided Hollywood film, that the military has also used for recruitment purposes, meets every part of that definition. It is definitely biased, most assuredly misleading, is used in jingoistic fashion to promote the cause of a particular country, and is, despite this government’s greatest public ambitions towards being otherwise, very derogatory. This movie sucks, too, but as much as I try to raise my liberal hackles at this awful mess, I can’t really give too much of a shit. It’s a recruiting film trying to disguise itself as an action flick, and I do not care. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Act of Valor, or, Yvan Eht Nioj, or, Stop Shooting! My Neighbors Are Trying to Sleep!”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Battleship

What a gloriously stupid movie. And I write that in a mean way. Battleship is the type of adrenalin-fuelled CGI monstrosity that assumes its audience didn’t pay attention in high school. From an introductory scene that will produce epic eye-rolling from Neil DeGrasse Tyson to a climax that demands we believe a museum ship can get underway at a moments notice AND carries live ammunition, Battleship requires the suspension of a lifetime of critical thinking skills in order to be enjoyed. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Battleship”

The Empty Balcony: Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down is perhaps the simplest movie I’ve ever viewed, and also the most complicated. The United States intervention in Somalia is a footnote in America’s foreign policy history, but it is quite weighted, to the point that a student of recent American politics ignores it at their own peril. The initial American operation in Somalia, Operation Provide Relief, part of UNOSOM I (United Nations Operation in Somalia I), began in August 1992 as a response to the massive amount of killing and humanitarian suffering throughout the country. It was followed by UNITAF (Unified Task Force), also known as Operation Restore Hope, which lasted from December 1992 to May 1993. During that time, the United States suffered 43 killed and 143 wounded, but was able to increase the security of much of the country. After the mission ended, however, the peace did not last, as the warlords reasserted their control and chaos took hold once again. This led to UNOSOM II, Operation Gothic Serpent, and ultimately to the Battle of Mogadishu. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Black Hawk Down”