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The Undefeated Review: The Worst Thing to Happen to American Cinema Since The Ku Klux Klan Discovered D.W. Griffith

By Brian Prisco | Film | December 13, 2011 |

By Brian Prisco | Film | December 13, 2011 |

I like to think I’m fair and balanced. While I have my own personal tastes and distastes, I try to go into everything with an open mind. I did read all of the Twilight books before I started trashing them, and I contend that if you carved away all the wood-faced mooning and nonsense rom-antics, you’d have a solid book worth of decent enough fantasy story. I don’t want to hate a film. I want to be informed. I want to be entertained. Even if it is something with a message that I don’t agree with. I would love to watch a documentary and have my values and beliefs challenged. I used to be a gun control advocate — to the point where I said they shouldn’t sell any guns. But my college roommate made the point, “You know, you bullshit about rights and freedoms and everything, but then you want to take away my guns. I didn’t do anything wrong. I want them because I like guns, and I like hunting, and I like shooting. I’m not doing anything illegal with them. Do I need them? Maybe not. But I want them. So who are you to take them away from me?” And like that, boom, food for thought. I can be swayed.

So I sat down and watched this movie. It was about a secondary figure suddenly catapulted into the limelight to basically become a star, a hero for many. Everyone attacked the way they talked, the things they said or did, as stupid or backwoodsy. They made fun, said terrible things, but in the end, the hero triumphed by maintaining that lovable folksy knowledge and staying pure to their smalltown honest upbringing. And that man’s name was Tow Mater and the film was Cars 2.

And that’s two bullshit paragraphs about nonsense and empty rhetoric and avoidance to get to the point that holy fucking fuck me in the shit is Stephen K. Bannon’s The Undefeated the worst fucking thing to happen to American cinema since The Ku Klux Klan discovered D.W. Griffith. It’s not a documentary. It’s a fucking commercial for Sarah Palin. And not even a good one. Now, I’m not trashing the film because it’s one sided. I mean, hell, Michael Moore’s been sweatily doing that for years. It lacks a fundamental dimension to even have sides. It’s literally a chronicling of campaign promises spouted by members of her campaign staff and Republican pundits for a mindmelting two hours, intermingled with a soundtrack and imagery that’s so hilariously bad, I want to show it in every film class to send them all screaming for jobs doing manual labor. Because that’s what real Americans do. They eat three egg omelettes seasoned with pepper spray and true grit and then go to work micromanaging foreigners that shouldn’t even be in America anyway.

The documentary begins with a montage of Hollywood celebrities essentially trashing Palin. Calling her words like “bitch” and “whore” and “slut” and “cunt.” They show Facebook pages titled “Kill Sarah Palin” and Tweets about her “retarded” babies. And it made me a little sick. Because those attacks aren’t about her political record, it’s gender-based. And there are plenty of reasons to hate on Sarah Palin — but not because she’s a woman. It’s sickening that the so-called “liberal left” are making these kinds of petty attacks. In reference to the imagery of The Undefeated in the paragraph above, I had originally typed the joke, “and imagery that’s so clinically retarded it could have fallen out of Palin’s pine-scented, grizzly mama vagina.” But I deleted it — and not just because I’m making an effort not to use the term “retarded” as a slur anymore, but because that attack isn’t about how Palin is a shitty candidate. Bannon is right to shame left-wingers who dare to spout such vitriol. That’s not something that conservatives would do. Unless it was towards Hilary Clinton. Or go ahead and type the words “Obama” and “Nigger” into Facebook’s search engine. Conservatives would have an entire news channel committed to punditry where people would demand a copy of Obama’s birth certificate, attack him for having the middle name Hussein, and criticize him for not saying God during his Thanksgiving speech. However, you have to do Google searches if you want to see the pictures of the Obama family drawn as monkeys.

But it’s not about the hate! It’s about how fucking awful this documentary commercial is. Every time they talk about what a patriot Palin is, what a maverick championing the little people she is, they play soaring inspirational music with actual angelic choirs. If it’s not her publicist, who comprises at least 50 percent of the first part of the film, then it’s Andrew Breitbart or Mark Levin, the hedgehog Costanza whose entire dialogue consists of saying, “Palin Reagan Palin Reagan Palin Reagan.” Or, it’s Palin herself, via the audiobook recording of Going Rogue. It gives everything that whole homemade YouTube feel, like a really really really excited superfan. Whenever they explain the attacks against her, they play dire and sinister music, as if Voldemort were actively attempting to Avada Kedavra her. But that’s nothing compared to the visuals.

The film is bookended by quotes, one from the Bible and one from Thomas Paine. When it’s not giving us title cards superimposed of a dark snowy background, it’s showing us grainy stock footage of Palin campaigning. Or from her childhood and yearbook. It’s very much like the kind of video you’d see done by an amateur videographer for a couple’s rehearsal dinner. If it were the 1980s. And the videographer had a restraining order against him for sitting outside her apartment, crying and masturbating into a can of Gennese Light. And instead of being hired, it just started playing against the VFW wall before he came crashing through the window in the powder blue tux jacket and shirt he wore to their prom, naked from the waist down and slashed his wrists with the commemorative champagne flutes they had been given as gifts. Like that.

If you’re still wondering, well, fine, it’s preachy, and it’s full of punditry, and it’s got a shitty soundtrack that smacks of desperately wanting, still, you’re from Pajiba. You’re a bunch of liberal yahoos (even though a bunch of us voted both Libertarian or Republican) and you hate America. You’re just exaggerating. Besides, it doesn’t have a picture of blurry Kirk Cameron surrounded by flames on the cover, so it can’t be all that bad. Ah, I give you the visuals, where Stephen K. Bannon edits everything together like it was the Simpsons Behind the Laughter episode. When they talk about how Palin fought Big Oil in Alaska, they actually show a room full of men in suits chuckling and smoking cigars. When they talk about the attacks she had to endure from the “liberal media,” they actually show a zebra being taken down by a pride of lions. When they talk — repeatedly — about how Sarah Palin doesn’t like wasteful spending in government, there are a number of shots of hundred dollar bills being flushed down a toilet. Similar to what I imagine the distribution company saw in their heads when they watched the final cut.

The ultimate message of The Undefeated, other than Heil Palin!, is that she is the next coming of Ronald Reagan. Bannon ends the film with Tea Party rallies, with pundits decrying the shittiness of the Republican party, and how Palin is a progressive who wants to take back government. Palin is directly responsible for the clown car of jackassery that’s the current Republican presidential candidates. I feel for you, Republicans. I remember when we were spouting “Anyone But Bush!” in 2003, and then they gave us FrankenKerry, and we were like, “Well, I know we said anyone, but fucking hell, dude.” There’ve been lunatic candidates before — I fondly recall Ross Perot and his sidekick Cap’n Crunch Admiral Stockdale. And we live in a country where three of the cast members of Predator have held political office. They couldn’t even kill an alien without nuking the forest!

I guess what makes Palin The Undefeated is that she’s never actually lost an election, since she’s quit before she got that chance. I guess I’m an undefeated world chess champion because before checkmate I always scream “fuckyourfatface” and flip the chessboard halfway through the game. But, truthfully, Palin is winning. You can tell because Rick Perry released that odious commercial “Strong,” about how gay soldiers are sodomurding any students who say Jesus in government buildings. It’s hateful and bigoted and ignorant. But you know what? That wasn’t some gaffe statement on a show. A group of publicists convinced him that it was the right move to make. Because they’ve done research, and they feel like there are enough people in the voting populace who would support that statement. That America is at the point where to attack gays with a Christian message is a smart political stance. Which makes The Undefeated one of the most successful horror movies of all time.

This rambling, overlong review isn’t going to change your minds any more than the rambling, overlong documess changed mine. No matter how irrational, our political beliefs are like the home team. When Michael Vick got kicked off the Atlanta Falcons, I called him dog murderer. And when he got picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles, I said, “You know, how long are we going to make the man pay for his crimes?” I suggested what it might take was if he stripped naked except for a lettuce leaf like those oh, so effective PETA ads and gave 3/4 of his entire salary to the ASPCA, an organization that kills three times as many animals in a day than Vick has in his lifetime. And then maybe if he played an entire season with three leashed dogs on his arm at all times, would that be enough, you fucking crybabies? It’s not that I don’t think what Vick did was horrible (it is) and that he’s a scumbag (not as big as Iverson or T.O., but still, he’s a fuckcock) but because he’s on my team, I feel this blinding need to support and defend him. So, I guess what I’m saying is, I hope after reading this bullshit you feel like you’ve wasted a huge chunk of your life and are all the dumber for it. Because, fuck you motherfuckers, I actually had to watch that fucking flaming dog fart of a film.

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