Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Japan Times Online: Death or glory? Not another jingoistic story

The Japan Times Online: "So as preppie-turned-Texan George W. Bush leads America into a hard-right policy of 'pre-emptive' attacks against people for spurious reasons, it's only natural that the Disney corporation -- the same people who refused to distribute Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' -- brings us 'The Alamo' one more time. What better to cultivate the national mood of patriotic self-sacrifice, to re-acclimate the country to the idea of deaths in a noble cause, to reinforce the paranoid belief that America is outnumbered and beset upon by enemies? (Yes, 'The Alamo' was green-lighted for production after '9/11.')
Unfortunately for Disney, what they got was not the chest-thumping jingoism of John Wayne's 1960 'Alamo,' which was explicitly made to rally Cold War audiences. Instead, director John Lee Hancock has attempted to give us a historically accurate telling of the battle. But judging by the film's underwhelming performance at the box office (a major factor leading to the recent resignation of CEO Michael Eisner), it just goes to show that you can't please all the people all the time.

For all the apocalyptic fury of the final battle, "The Alamo" (which had a PG rating in the States) seems far tamer than such recent battle films as "Musa" or "We Were Soldiers," or even "Cold Mountain." In the end, this may have lost it more of its target demographic than any of the revisionism. In the age of "Doom 3," splatter-free battles are a hard sell."

The Japan Times


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