If you’re going to review a movie for a publication, it’s probably a good idea to go in with an open mind. Going in with a preconceived notion about the film you’re about to watch isn’t the best way to view a movie. It’ll make for a bad experience and probably won’t translate to the best review in the world.
Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Will Bunch recently saw Clint Eastwood’s newest film “Richard Jewell” and he didn’t like it too much. In fact, he wants you and I to stay away from the film altogether.
He recently posted a triggered tweet accompanied by his article in which he absolutely destroys the film.
Very early on, in his first paragraph, we can tell Bunch’s feelings were hurt by this piece of cinema.
At some point during those two hours in the dark — maybe the attack on the FBI as a rogue outfit using trickery to frame innocent people, or the depiction of journalists as amoral enemies of the people, or the swelling agitprop of applause lines about common folks under attack “from our two most powerful forces — the United States government and the media” — that I’d began to wonder if I’d made a wrong turn.
Seriously, that’s the guy’s opening paragraph. But it gets much, much better as Bunch begins to tear down the film because it’s not real friendly to journalists.
He goes on to say that he so bravely “saw Richard Jewell so we won’t have to.”
At a screening Tuesday night, I saw Richard Jewell so you won’t have to, when it opens nationally Friday. Rarely have I seen a film that was so “of the moment” — but in the worst possible way. In the time of a reality-TV president, Eastwood seamlessly blends facts with outright fiction to create a narrative that transcends truth. To get viewers riled up about “fake news,” it fabricates a story. Yet, in the end, in making this movie intended to crush any remaining public faith in the news media, Eastwood has unintentionally reminded us of why democracy requires a functioning free press.
He then goes on to say:
Whatever you think of the film’s two heroes, Eastwood’s villains are way more cartoonish and two-dimensional than anything in the Marvel catalog. Except it’s like a comic book written by Rush Limbaugh, starting with the first tip to the FBI about Jewell, phoned in by a smarmy bow-tie wearing college president (Jewell’s former employer) who’s framed by a poster of words like “Education” and “Knowledge.”
Having not seen the film myself, I can’t say if it’s worth forking over the $15 or so for admission. But I can say that Bunch, regardless of how good this film is or isn’t, he probably wasn’t going to like it anyway. It appears that it challenges his political beliefs and the idea that perhaps not all members of the press act in a super moral manner 100% of the time.
Also, he seems to have forgotten it’s a film made by Hollywood for entertainment purposes. When has Hollywood ever gotten everything 100% right? The lone exception being, of course, “An Inconvenient Truth.”