- 13The film was made in 1981, but set in the late 1990's. While this did not happen in the 90's and has not happened yet, it's a pretty damning look at America. The movie states that crime has risen 400% -- yeah, that's a lot. So because of this and prison overcrowding (uh oh, that has happened), the island of Manhattan has been turned into one giant rather dirty prison. Then as bad luck would have it, Air Force One is hijacked by a terrorist (could that happen?) but the president escapes in his fancy escape pod. But then more bad luck falls on the prez when some prisoners find him and hold him hostage. They threaten to kill him if their demands are not met. Enter Kurt Russell -- who plays Snake -- who is offered a full pardon if he finds the president and saves him within 24 hours. Of course, he saves him, but only after encountering some of the meanest criminals around -- who may or may not be in our near future.BUY @ amazon
After Snake saves the president, he asks him what his thoughts are about the people who died while trying to save him. The president responds with an insincere answer, so I guess in the future even the president will be a lousy human being.
Side Note: Snake lands on top of the World Trade Canter on a glider. And that's pretty badass.
- 12This is the first of two damning looks at America's leaders. The film stars the great Kevin Klein -- I'd watch him read the phone book -- and he's brilliant here. The story is about Dave (duh), who looks exactly like the current Commander in Chief. Thus, he's brought in to take some pressure off, you know, things like dash out of a car and wave to the crowd. Easy stuff. But then the real president goes into a coma and Dave is told he is now acting president. "What about the Vice President," Dave asks. Turns out he's rather insane.BUY @ amazon
When the legality is questioned it's shrugged off much like I imagine our own leaders would do in a situation like this. The movie claims we as citizens could be fooled this easily and on the flip side, that anybody could do the job of America's leader. Actually, both might be true.
Side Note: Ben Kingsley is the Vice President. And it's hilarious.
- 11A little seen but interested science fiction film that looks at both our society and the media's roles in how Americans perceive things. The movie describes a future where parents can have their children implanted with a memory chip that will capture their memories throughout their life. Robin WIlliams and his hairy knuckles plays a 'cutter', a guy that edits these memories after someone passes away. He whittles the images down to a feature length film called a 'Rememory' which is put on video tombstones and played at funerals. Of course, he only shows the good moments in the Rememory and even if the person was a scumbag in life, he is made to look like a hero in the film. It speaks to how the media can manipulate us into believing pretty much anything. It also shows how Americans have a need to look good -- even after death -- while also not having to pay for their actions in life. Shame on you.BUY @ amazon
Side Note: I hope and pray my parents didn't have a memory chip planted in my head. Wow, that's a scary thought.
- 10This movie was called "the other asteroid headed for Earth movie" because the lesser "Armageddon" had all the stars and glitz and glamor. But this film is far superior in showing America at its damnest. At its core, this is a story about the end of the world -- that focuses on America. Unfortunately, the seemingly important and rich get to survive and continue, while the rest of us get destroyed by the crazy destruction that the space rock hath brought upon us. Good times.BUY @ amazon
Side Note: Rent it just for the scene where they are picking straws to see who gets on the helicopter. Funny stuff...but also sad for those who don't get on. Okay, maybe don't rent it for that scene...
- 9Some of you may have never heard of this movie -- actually, make that most of you -- but this is the first movie John Travolta chose to do after he was catapulted back to relevance with Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". It turned out to be a lousy movie, but the premise makes a statement about our society and race relations in general. The film is set in an America where the worlds of blacks and whites are reversed...and reversed to the extreme. The black population live the good life and are rich and upper class, while the white population struggles to make ends meet. Travolta (who is white) is struggling and is fired from his factory job. Things just get crappier for him after that. His family gets evicted and the cops beat him up. So what does he decide to do? Kidnap the factory owner, of course.BUY @ amazon
The two men spend their time together discussing race, politics and equality. These discussions shed some damning light on our country, but also leaves out two of the top three races in our country: Asian and Hispanic. Maybe they'll save that for the sequel...
Side Note: Why was Travolta fired? He accidentally saw the CEO's wife coming out of the shower. That's in every employee manual I've ever read.
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