That's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Dishonest Cheese Doodle" and that I enjoyed. Oliver Stone's Savages? I hated it. So I was glad to read Hiram Lee's review at WSWS:
US authorities have used the war on drugs as a pretext to assert its dominance throughout the region for reasons that have nothing to do with combating drug use or protecting the population from the threat of gang violence. Inside the US, which has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world (according to the World Health Organization), the so-called war on drugs has allowed for the ramping up of police forces and powers throughout the country. The prosecution and criminalization of those suffering from a social and medical disaster, targeting some of the most vulnerable and oppressed layers of society, has contributed greatly to making the United States’ incarceration rate the highest in the world.
In recent years, connections between major US financial institutions and cartels in Mexico have also come to light. In 2010 it was revealed that Wachovia Bank, acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008, had laundered $378.4 billion (!) for the notorious Sinaloa Cartel over a period of three years. The bank avoided prosecution by agreeing to pay a mere $160 million in fines.
To ignore all of this, along with the broader social processes that contribute both to widespread drug use and the development of parasitical gangs like the Baja Cartel, is to make a film largely beside the point. Romanticizing the outlaw culture of parasitical entrepreneurs like Chon and Ben does no one any good at all.
Savages, if you don't know, is Oliver Stone's attempt to legalize pot. Call it Cartel Madness. It's supposed to scare everyone, have us shaking in fear of the cartels and, as a result force us to legalize pot. It's sort of like Reefer Madness with a twist.
I'm not an Oliver Stone fan.
I think Hiram's on shaky ground when he starts praising that crap Born On The Fourth Of July. Ron Kovic's book is a wonderful read and he's a real activist. But his story was told better in Coming Home with Jon Voight playing him. (Kovic's life experiences were brought into that film, he served as an advisor on it and he knew Jane Fonda because they were both activists.) Tom Cruise is a small little man and couldn't even play the rage convincingly in Born on the Fourth of July.
As for Platoon, that played like a boy's life tale, not like a movie about war. Certainly not one about the criminal Iraq War.
I saw Savages only because we couldn't pick a movie Friday night. I was with 8 friends. We knew we if we saw another comic book movie this decade, we'd kill ourselves. And there wasn't a great deal else. But some thought Savages would be a "grown ups film." Obviously, they haven't seen U-Turn.
The only thing I would praise in the whole lousy film was Salma Hayeck.
She is a wonderful actress as we all know. But she's playing a very different type of role in this film and she's amazing. I wouldn't be surprised if she were Oscar nominated for this role.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"