I just got back from seeing The Bourne Ultimatum – overall, not a bad flick (though being a gun nut the sound effects and continuity errors grated a bit.) But the previews – ah, the previews.
First up, a trailer for The Kingdom, a film about, well:
A team of U.S. government agents is sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East.
While I’m not certain, I’m pretty sure this is about Saudi Arabia. Apparently the FBI is sent in to investigate this act of terrorism, and – for some strange reason – the local government interferes! On top of that, our intrepid G-Men are attacked by terrorists themselves! Looks action-packed. Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, directed by Peter Berg. Good cast as well.
Next up, Rendition. This film stars Reese Witherspoon as the wife of an Arab-American who is grabbed at the airport by the CIA and receives extraordinary rendition – i.e.: he’s whisked off to a foreign country where he can be
tortured into confessing interrogated properly. Of course a still-wet-behind-the-ears local agent is sent to “monitor” the “interrogation” and is disturbed by what he witnesses. Meanwhile back at home the distraught wife fights to find out what happened to her husband. Written by Kelly Sane, directed by Gavin Hood.
But wait! We’re not done! Third up on this list is Lions for Lambs, starring no less than
Glenn Close Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, and Robert Redford, who also directs! There’s not much online about this that I’ve been able to find, but Redford apparently plays a psychologist who can’t seem to understand why young men might actually want to join the military! Tom Cruise plays an opportunistic Senator who spouts lines like “Do you want to win the War on Terror™ or don’t you?!?!” Streep apparently plays the heroic newspaper reporter who is drawn like a moth to the flame of the Senator, but I’m sure is only interested in reporting the Truth™. Amazingly, this film is also written by Matthew Michael Carnahan. Mr. Carnahan’s had a busy year, since IMDB shows that this and The Kingdom are his first two screen credits ever.
Arnold Toynbee wrote, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” He also noted, “Of the twenty-two civilizations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now.” Finally, “I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills.”
I’m amazed by the seemingly increasing will towards civil suicide exhibited by so many of my fellow countrymen. I don’t like a lot of what I see happening either, but I don’t outright deny the dangers we actually face for the ones that might be. Perhaps we’ve reached some critical mass past which we cannot stop an inevitable slide into self-destruction. I don’t know. But Hollywood isn’t helping stop that slide, that I do know.