She also reported that preview tickets were given to a publisher of boys' comic (manga) magazine. updated 1/2/2004
My very distant cousin, Frank Rich, writing in The New York Times, December 14, 2003, had an interesting theory about the movie's box office appeal and the zeitgeist of the times in Christmas Will Be Bloody This Year (fair use excerpt):
Anxiety has replaced cockiness as the dominant national take on our postwar war in Iraq. Intentionally or not, three of the four new Christmas war movies play on our current fears rather than reprise the slam-dunk triumphalism of Top Gun. And they do so even though most of them are top-heavy with creative talent (actors, directors, screenwriters) who hail from countries in the coalition of the willing (England, Australia, Japan, even Romania). . . .The only unambiguously gung-ho war movie of the bunch is Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which went so far as to patriotically reorient the plot of the Patrick O'Brian novel that gives it its title: what was once a story about a Royal Navy frigate battling an American ship in the war of 1812 now pits the British against our favorite weasels, the French, in 1805. Despite Russell Crowe, the movie has done only half the business of Elf. That may be attributable to its frail narrative pulse, but it may also be because of an American audience's changing view of war.
One of the film's (and the war in Iraq's) loudest boosters, the columnist Charles Krauthammer, had hoped that Master and Commander would rally hawkish audiences back to the fold when it opened last month. "Its depiction of the more ancient notions of duty, honor, patriotism and devotion is reminiscent of what we glimpsed during live coverage of the dash to Baghdad back in April but is now slipping from memory," he wrote. But that memory continues to slip. (Mr. Krauthammer had previously signed on as a consultant to another jingoistic post-9/11 war movie, Showtime's DC 9/11: Time of Crisis, produced by a Bush campaign contributor; it also arrived too late for its "Top Gun" moment and tanked.)
. . . The gore on screen . . . in Master and Commander . . . is far more explicit than anything broadcast to the American public from our actual war in Iraq, where the administration's censorship and television's self-censorship conspire to sanitize the bloodshed as much as possible. That a 2003 American audience can revel in the disembowelments of 19th-century warfare but must be spared the bloodshed of a present-day war, even when encased in coffins, is itself an index of the nation's ambivalence about our continuing mission in Iraq.
To Mandel Maven's Nest: And Then There's Russell Crowe
To Mandel Maven's Nest: And There's Russell Crowe's Music
To Mandel Maven's Nest Reel Life: Flick Pix Page
To the Mandel/Shultz Maven's Nest
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