I flew from Nicaragua to Miami to Newark to London/Heathrow, and then took the bus to Oxford where I'll spend the summer. I flew Virgin Air across the Atlantic, which I enjoy--in part because they seem to have the best in-flight movie selection in the industry.
The flight was excellent--only one thing went wrong: I decided to watch Team America. The one-line review is that it is the single most vulgar movie I can ever remember. I'm not even going to bother to explain why: I don't even feel like writing about 80% of the movie, the plot, the language, the scenes.
Did it have any redeeming features? Well, I rather liked the vision of Michael Moore as a suicide-bomber whose hatred of America causes him to blow up Mount Rushmore. And the withering blasts at the Film Actors Guild were systematic and well-earned.
But it makes me sad: during World War II, Hollywood responded with a slew of movies designed to bolster American morale, and help the country win the war against Nazism. The jewel in the crown was arguably the greatest movie Hollywood ever made: Casablanca. And it was inspired by the crisis of the war.
Now in the middle of perhaps our most serious war since then, Hollywood's contribution to the war effort is not inspiration, but
...total silence. As I write, terrorists are working around the clock to acquire nuclear weapons and to denote those weapons in Washington, New York, Los Angeles or some other major city. Yet Hollywood will not offer the defense of freedom even the whisper of an effort.
Team America has gotten some attention from some sympathetic conservatives. But this only highlights the ludicrous contrast between the eras: in the 1940s Hollywood produced Casablanca; today we get Team America. To steal a slogan from John Kerry: America can do better.