If there were ever a weekend for someone like Glenn Greenwald to avoid going to the movies lest he risk vomiting and seething with self-righteous indignation in the theater, this would be that weekend.
With Gangster Squad (Warner Bros., 113 minutes), we get a pulpy endorsement of extrajudicial killing, made all the more palatable by Ryan Gosling‘s roguish charms. Meanwhile, Zero Dark Thirty (Columbia Pictures, 160 minutes) delivers a history lesson in how America conquered Bin Laden through the sheer force of torture, with feminist overtones. (Read more…) Both films, which open on Friday and are rated R for “strong violence,” are inspired by actual events, both are tied to delays and real-life controversies, both features scores of composite characters, and both have acclaimed directors.
First off, I’d like to point out that I do not believe that movies or any other works of art should be condemned—or properly assessed, for that matter—purely through the prisms of moral questions. That is a lousy and dull way to consume popular culture, and if I were to adhere to such a stringent code, it would be extremely difficult to appreciate films like D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, which is widely acclaimed for legitimate, non-white-supremacist reasons.
Having said that, you’re in for a fairly decent and reasonably engaging time at the multiplex this weekend, whatever the premium you place on human rights.
[VIA MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones]