Even though I’m a film buff, I don’t go to the cinema much these days. Partly because I’m too tight-fisted to pay the ticket prices, partly also because I realised that televisions had got bigger than your average mulitplex cinema screen quite a few years ago.
Anyway, earlier this week the other half came home with a few DVDs of movies we’ve been waiting to slip into the ‘Any three for £5 for a week’ category and so I’ve finally got to see the puppet-based Team America: World Police and the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
Watching the two films back to back makes for an interesting contrast.
One of the films is a tense and intelligent political thriller that touches upon contemporary themes such as globalization, corporatist conspiracies and the manipulation of the individual.
And the other’s got Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep in it.
Aside from a reasonable depiction of the Carlyle Group, sorry the Manchurian Global corporation, the Washington/ Streep offering is a woeful effort.
OK, I appreciate that there are legions of conspiracy theorists out there with a major boner for mind control. I am also aware that Hollywood loves to camp up the mind control thing; partly because it’s entertaining and partly because it portrays all conspiracy theorists as nutcases.
But the point is, it is not really necessary to go to all the effort depicted in the film; replacing people’s DNA, filling them full of psychotropic drugs and batteries of electronic implants, to get people to do what you want them to do. Not when a bag of greasy, used twenty pound notes or a few free holidays can do the job much more cheaply and reliably.
Now, for some entirely unconnected reason I’m sure, a picture of culture secretary Tessa Jowell comes to mind
The fact that she looked like a Gerry Anderson puppet to start with is just a bonus