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Flimflam Film Scam - October 27, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Hollywood keeps pumping out films that are short on meaning and long on mayhem.

"Kill Bill" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" are just the latest in the Hollywood severed-arms race. The problem is that movies like these amount to what's called in the law an "attractive nuisance."

Here's an example. Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" combines the look of a video game and the allure of martial arts, sprinkled with some Japanese animation. All of the elements effectively work to draw a youthful audience.

Tarantino himself has said: "If you are a 12-year-old girl or boy, you must go and see 'Kill Bill,' and you will have a damn good time. Boys will have a great time, girls will have a dose of girl power. If you are a cool parent out there, go take your kids to the movie."

Tarantino's been getting some big-name help on his gory hike from critics in the mainstream press who are raving about the film's stupefying violence.

Roger Ebert claims that Tarantino is "so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through Flight of the Bumble Bee."

Jeffrey M. Anderson of the San Francisco Examiner writes that " 'Kill Bill' takes a cue from Spaghetti Western master Sergio Leone and turns every little twist and turn into a giant-sized operatic odyssey."

Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune gushes that the flick is "the most gorgeous B-movie ever made."

Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post, with whom I recently appeared on "Buchanan and Press," says that Tarantino "delivered with such high panache and brio, it's mesmerizing."

Then we have the remake of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." This movie has a young cast, and an adolescent's dream actress in the form of Jessica Biel, to reel in the puberty crowd. And like "Kill Bill," the gory flick has far too many respected authorities throwing superlatives at it.

Once again, Stephen Hunter praises the mindless violence, writing, "Realize how hard this is on me, to have to tell you what a superb job director Marcus Nispel has done re-creating, yet also revising, 1974's grisly, gristly, protein-centric masterpiece."

Hunter apparently thinks that depictions of splattered brain matter and twitching limbs qualify for "masterpiece" category.

Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press focuses on the teenage male angle, writing that the remake "is nearly as tense and nasty as the original and, to be fair, features far better acting, most notably by Jessica Biel, who is compelling even when she isn't about to burst out of her wet T-shirt."

Well, at least Robert K. Elder of the Chicago Tribune gets it right when, while praising the film, he classifies it correctly. He says that "Chainsaw" is "an effectively scary slasher film."

It never ceases to amaze me at how consistently incoherent liberals can be in their pursuit of the relative truth.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2003
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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