Republicans Make New "Fahrenheit-9/11-Killer"

Probably the worst movie title ever, probably the dumbest idea ever. Why anyone would want to answer a documentary with another documentary is beyond me. Talk about it, get your views out. But if that doesn't work, and the story isn't sticking, don't try and make this (NYT: free subscription):

The Republicans finally have Hollywood's answer to Michael Moore: "Celsius 41.11 - The Temperature at Which the Brain Begins to Die," a documentary made in six weeks that is billed as "The Truth Behind the Lies of Fahrenheit 9/11!"

After its premiere in Georgetown on Tuesday night, there seemed to be two prevailing sentiments among the solidly Republican crowd of 300. One was that the film is a lot more thoughtful and accurate than "Fahrenheit 9/11." The other was that it is not going to gross $100 million.

But then, that was not the point, as the Hollywood conservatives (yes, there are some) who made it kept insisting.

"We could have gone wall to wall with red meat on this, but we purposely didn't," said Lionel Chetwynd..."The cheap shots may be entertaining in Moore's film," he added, "but we wanted to make the intellectual case and go beyond lecturing to the converted."

Hollywood's version of the presidential campaign seems to be an inverse of the one being waged out of Washington. Democrats have been lamenting that their candidate is too much brain, too little heart, in contrast to the Republicans' emotionally appealing message.

But on the big screen, the Republicans are taking the wonk approach in an attempt to show that their brains have not overheated. "Celsius 41.11" offers a point-by-point defense of President Bush (listed on the screen like a PowerPoint presentation) by politicians, journalists and scholars discoursing on the legality of the Florida recount in 2000, the Clinton administration's record on fighting terrorism and the theory of American exceptionalism.

The film does have a few "Fahrenheit"-style juxtapositions, like an image of the World Trade Center burning as Mr. Moore declares: "This needs to be said on national television. There is no terrorist threat." The discussion of Europe's slow response to Hitler is illustrated with a picture of French antiwar demonstrators in 1938 holding up signs saying "Non" - which inspired a hiss from the Republicans on Tuesday.

Senator John Kerry is serenaded with a new song (written and recorded on deadline last weekend) by Larry Gatlin, the country-music star. Sounding a bit like Pete Seeger, he sings, "John boy, please tell us which way the wind's blowing." But it's not even accompanied by the famous shot of Mr. Kerry windsurfing.

..."This film wins an entry into the debate," said Jerome R. Corsi, an author of "Unfit for Command," the best-selling critique of Mr. Kerry's Vietnam record. "It's going to be talked about."

I do find it a bit ironic that they don't want to "preach to the converted," yet that last quote is from a guy who wrote a book criticizing Kerry's record. This movie sounds phenomenally boring, what with it's powerpoint-style presentation and all. That they expect to get it distributed somewhere is laughable, but I can guarantee that if it runs on TV at all, it won't be anywhere but FoxNews. Thanks to Different Kitchen for the amusing link.
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