Two Film Reviews and The Blame Game

The first film, which I saw today, is 21 and I give it a whopping two stars. If I did not find Vegas personally appealing with the desert, casinos, gambling, smoking, drinking, stripping, lights, nocturnal life etc. I would have give 21 one star. The film is moderately entertaining with night shots of Vegas lights and gambling accompanied by an electronic soundtrack, but the film is overwhelmingly boring with its simplistic generic plot. Basically, guy has good friends but needs money, guy dumps friends to get money, man he works for dumps him leaving him with nothing, guy tries to get money one more time and gets revenge, gets his friends back, and no longer needs money. I would think a story about card counting, beating the casino system, would be a little more thrilling, apparently I was wrong. Actually, this film is not a good test of that plot because the movie does not follow the book.

This not only makes the film boring, but also inaccurate. For example, the book explains that Vegas casinos can throw people out for card counting; however, though the card counters did get thrown out they were never beat up for counting. The only time one of the counters was beat up for counting was when he went to a casino in the Bahamas. Apparently, he had been thrown out of all the Vegas casinos and thought he would try the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the casinos in the Bahamas recognized him as an infamous counter, so they beat him up. None of this is in the silver screen production; however, what is more annoying is that the film shows casino security guards beating up some of the counters. The film creators obviously needed to work it into the story and decided to throw the truth out the window, or they thought Vegas was still the good old Vegas of the 60's and 70's before it sold out to be Disney-esque. Obviously, this creates an unrealistically bad depiction of modern Vegas; consequently, making a theme hard to discern. It appears everyone was just a little bad in the movie, the casinos are bad for beating and exploiting people, and the counters are bad for gambling.

Great, more incorrect stereotypical morals. This, however, is not to say the film actually presented this theme well, but that is all I could discern from this boring monstrosity. A far better theme would be: there is nothing wrong with casinos, people voluntarily go to gamble, gamblers consent to the casinos' rules tilted in the casinos favor; however, casinos are private property and though counting is not illegal casinos certainly have the right to throw someone out for counting.


The second film, The Bank Job, I saw a few weeks ago, and I give it three stars. is kind of a good movie because it is about a heist, and all heist films are kind of good because they are all kind of the same. However, there is one distinguishing factor of The Bank Job, which was not embraced. The film is based on the true story of a bank robbery in London. Apparently, MI5 wanted photographs of a certain princess doing a certain scandalous something in Bermuda. Consequently, MI5 decided to secretly convince some criminals to rob the safety deposit boxes of the bank where these photographs were kept. The rules MI5 gave were, steal everything from this particular box and give it to us, everything else in the vault it yours. There are some huge themes here the film could have embraced, but the film largely focused on the bank robbery. The film should have offered perspectives on: Is preventing sex scandals in the royal family from reaching the people a reason to violate individual's natural rights? Should the government be allowed to hire out villains in extenuating circumstances? Should the bank robbers be punished, or is it completely the government's fault? Basically, The Bank Job was a wasted opportunity.


Now, the final point I must address is the blame game that has been going around in my Political Theory class. As I mentioned in a previous post I have been reading Rousseau's Politics and the Arts in the class. As I stated before I hate Rousseau. I think he is clown. However, the rest of the class does not think so. In the past two days the professor has been asking the class if Hollywood does harm to society? Of course, the entire class jumps on board with Rousseau and says, "Hollywood sets a bad example. Hollywood sets societal standards. Celebrities get paid too much. Movie stars should take on more responsibility." My response: "No, how about you take on more responsibility." Hollywood, or any group of people, only has an affect on individuals if individuals allow that group to have an affect. Hollywood is not responsible for any of the "banes of society" such as scandalous clothing, promiscuity, greed. I, of course, do not really have a problem with any of those. Rational selfishness is a virtue, so greed is not a problem. As for scandalous clothing and promiscuity, I personally see no gains in either of those but if someone else wants to do it fine. However, the more important point is individuals choose to follow what Hollywood does. Hollywood does not put a gun to anyone's head. Hollywood does not order people to look and behave like celebrities. It is individuals' own choices that cause that. However, my class refuses to accept responsibility for their actions and blames it all on Hollywood. More examples of laziness, ignorance, self-loathing. I personally do not believe in any thing as societal value. My class does, however. They gauge everything by how much value it brings to society. The group is not important. If one lives for the group he does not live for himself. His actions show that he loathes himself, that he believes himself to be unworthy of a life. In reality Hollywood is not damaging society, it is the emphasis of society damaging society. It is a vicious cycle. Society cannot sustain itself because it preaches laziness, ignorance, self-loathing, but those are what actually harm individuals, and if individuals are harmed then society cannot exist. People must forget about society. People must begin to act rationally selfish. At that point individuals will be healthier. The blame game will not be practiced. And the scourge of society will be dead.

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