Bush doesn't care, should you?

Available at Amazon for $16.99 from August 26th 2008 It's not a great time to be an American. Prices are high, jobs are scarce, and the expensive "war on terror" has produced more terror than the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The whole world seemingly hates the States, and they especially despise her Emperor, the baffling idiot George Bush. Undaunted by his intellectual inferiority, Bush has spent the last seven years blowing up the planet in a (supposed) search for the shifty terrorist organization known as Al Qaeda, and its prophet-like leader, Osama Bin Laden. The title of this new "documentary" by Morgan Spurlock asks a good question - where is the guy? The United States army managed to find Saddam Hussein hiding in a makeshift hole in the ground and hang him from the end of a rope unjustly, but cannot seem to find the one man upon whom they have placed an enormous bounty. Homeland Security can signal an orange alert every time someone gets an erection, but for some unknown reason Bin Laden eludes capture. Spurlock, best known for his Super Size Me attack on McDonalds a few years ago, returns to ply the sub-Michael Moore territory of ego-centric, semi-true docu-features. The film contains a huge dose of Spurlock, who for this film, traveled throughout the Middle East in search of answers to his questions about Eastern/Western politics. The over-arching story is clumsy and stupid. In a protracted intro, Spurlock tries to set up the fact that, due to his wife's impending birth of their first child, he must try to stop terror around the world. This is told through a "yee-haw" style of narration over video-game graphics. While the animation is eye-pleasing and nicely done, it immediately detracts from the message, giving the entire film the feel of something less than mature and important. Which is a shame, because the message is important. Spurlock fails to find Bin Laden (duh...), but he does meet a lot of interesting characters along the way. The ultimate message of the film is that people are the same all over the world, and basically have the same wants - safety and health for their families and friends. While only Americans would be surprised by such a message, it is brought forward with genial charm and an honest-seeming goodwill. With such important and controversial material, I wish filmmakers like Spurlock and Moore would get the hell out of the way and tell their stories. Here, the message is lost amidst distracting cutaways to visit Spurlock's pregnant wife in Lamas class. No offense, but who gives a shit? This is a film about Middle Eastern tensions, not another episode of The Real World. Ultimately, this is a glossy and fairly superficial look at countries and lifestyles that many in the so-called civilized world routinely and wrongfully ignore. Many of the sentiments expressed here are real, and the attitudes on display may very well determine the course of future events. Everyone would do themselves a favor to watch this, look past the silly graphics and Spurlock-isms, and see the reality powering the terror against which so many have fought on both sides. EXTRAS There are several short films included on the DVD, most of which are merely extra interviews Spurlock conducted during his trek. The interview with former IRA leader Martin McGuiness is a revealing side-note, while the interview with Israeli President Shimon Peres reeks of ass-kissing. I also liked the short film On Being a Woman in Saudi Arabia, which contains a personal look at the fiercely-Muslim nation and some of their customs. OVERALL Like I said, I wish Spurlock wouldn't have interjected himself and his life so thoroughly into this film, because the information uncovered is important - frankly, more important than the whereabouts of the world's most wanted man.

rating: 3


All you need to know is that I love movies and baseball. I write about both on a temporary medium known as the Internet. Twitter: @rayderousse or @unfilteredlens1 Go St. Louis Cardinals! www.stlcardinalbaseball.com