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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Trouble the Water,’ ‘Death Race,’ ‘I.O.U.S.A.,’ ‘The House Bunny,’ ‘Flow’

This could turn out to be one of the most important movies of the year. Not because Trouble the Water [opens limited August 22] was winner of this year’s Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, though that’s damn impressive, but because it purports to offer an unvarnished view of what was going on in New Orleans during and immediately after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Supposedly — and hardly surprisingly — it shows quite a different view than the one the mainstream media was propagating about looting and lawlessness and civil unrest.

If Trouble is a look at the ongoing but mostly uncommented-on collapse of America, then I guess that makes Death Race [opens wide August 22] just more of the bread and circuses that’s meant to distract us from it. Look at the cars going vroom — just like yours isn’t since you can’t afford to fill up the tank anymore! And look at the convicts killing one another like NASCAR gladiators! It’s fun!

More collapse, more bread and circuses. I.O.U.S.A. [opens limited August 22], from the maker of the delightful documentary Wordplay, now turns his attention to the national debt, and how it’s leading us down the road to financial meltdown. Not that anyone trying to make a living these days isn’t already familiar with financial meltdown, of course.

But never mind, because there’s The House Bunny [opens wide August 22]. Hoorah! Girls with bouncy boobs and no brains don’t think too much about economomics, so why should you? Look: boobs!

I can’t wait to see what They will come up with to distract us from the entirely manmade disaster that the documentary Flow [opens limited September 12] depicts. Another escapee from this year’s Sundance, it’s all about the the dwindling supply of fresh water on our planet, and how what’s left of it is being privatized away into a corporately owned commodity. You think four bucks a gallon for gas is bad? Wait till water is four bucks a gallon… and there’s no free tap to turn to instead.

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  • joy

    Looking forward to seeing what you have to say about Death Race. It looks like Fast & Furious, but on crack.

    I can’t imagine what sort of blackmail material someone has on Joan Allen, but I think the only reason I’d go is the pure eye candy of Jason Statham. And, maybe, just maybe for what’s sure to be a really good soundtrack.

  • MaryAnn

    the pure eye candy of Jason Statham

    I believe that’s the first time that phrase has been uttered in the history of humanity.

    Eye candy? Really? I don’t see it. He just comes across as pure thug to me.

  • Bill

    I know many women and men that agree with Joy. I’m not sure if I know any that agree with MaryAnn. He did play a character named “Handsome Rob”, yes? This is clearly a matter of opinion, but I imagine “the pure eye candy of Jason Statham” has been uttered many, many times:)

  • Joan

    Yeah, I don’t see the Statham thing either. If I needed a spider killed with a howitzer, sure. But to look at? Eh, no thanks.

  • jenn

    Some women think the same way of Vin Diesel, and I don’t get it at all. Neither of of them are good looking and it’s not just that they are thugs, (which they are) it seems like they think they are better then thugs. Diesel especially seems to think he is some kind of an artiste or a genius.

  • FrankS

    I know movie concession sales are a ripoff, but think about this. A 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water sells for $3.75 at the local Cinemark theater; that works out to $24/gallon. Gas is a bargain compared to bottled drinking water.

  • joy

    Stepping around the eye-candy comment…

    Flow. Thanks for the heads up. I’m definitely interested in seeing this.

    I’m starting to wonder if the Water’s the new Green. That sounds cynical, I know, but the press coverage has been amazing with articles running all over – NYTs, WSJ, etc. Or, I’ve just been noticing it more, maybe.

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