Mar 1, 2006

Overrated films part 10.

Great documentaries, such as 'Capturing the Friedmans', entertain as well as inform. There are those that simply entertain, but don't offer really great insight such as anything produced by Michael Moore. Then there are those that don't accomplish either.

Outfoxed is the perfect example of critical praise given to a film because of it's subject matter rather than the art. People who enjoy network news have an either love it or hate it passion about the Fox News Network. Fox News, which proudly displays the fictional 'Fair and Balanced' tag, has become a hero for the right and a thorn to the left.

Conservatives, who've always felt the mass media has had a left wing bias, felt empowered by Fox News; however none of them will claim the network is a pawn of right wing philosophy. They will defend the 'Fair and Balanced' slogan, because for some reason if they don't agree with a network's programming it's liberal, but when they agree it's non-biased.

Liberals, who've always felt the mass media has had a right wing bias, seem to fear the Fox News Network as if it's somehow going to brainwash voters into goose stepping to the polls. When a Fox News pundit, such as O'Reilly, says something ridiculous they feel obligated to counter such asinine rhetoric fearing that the public would follow mindlessly instead of letting the broadcasters dig their own grave.

I consider myself a moderate, but I've posted about O'Reilly before. Mostly just to poke fun at him. Yeah I'm kinda a hypocrite.

Outfoxed became a liberal's answer to the Rupert Murdoch pet. Many critics hailed the project as important and eye opening. Suedo intellectuals were praising it's cause and telling their friends it's a must see. I never understood why. Outfoxed can really be summed up in one word, "Duh". For a documentary to "expose" Fox News as conservative is sort of like saying Hitler didn't really care for Jews. It's something that should be obvious to anyone who's ever watched the network for more than 1 hour. Plus fans of Fox News are not likely to a) go see this documentary that blasts their television heroes or b) agree with anything stated in the film passing it off as another attempt by the "liberal" media to take down their divine given news outlet.

The art of the film is simple at best. The graphics used are cheap, the editing seems rushed, and the interviews are anything but compelling. You may find some interesting moments in the film, but don't expect to be surprised by the information they present to you. If the producers would've at least made the film entertaining, such as the pre-mentioned Michael Moore, I would recommend this, but alas...

Outfoxed trailer:

""Outfoxed", like Greenwald's "Unprecedented," which looks at the 2000 presidential election, and "Uncovered," about the build-up to the Iraq war, is a rush job, and it shows. There's none of Michael Moore's snap and crackle, although we're occasionally treated to an unintentional laugh, such as the concluding remarks in which the masses are urged to "rise up" - against a TV channel!" - Megan Lehmann


Mattbear said...

I never saw Outfoxed, but that's because I suspected it would be exactly what you describe here. There was a rush to cram a bunch of anti-Bush, anti-Republican films and documentaries into 2004. Most of them turned out as shit. "Bush's Brain" made me wish for my 2 hours back, as did "Silver City", the fictional movie meant to allude to the dishonesty of the current administration. I blame "Farenheit 9/11", a mediocre documentary I however firmly agreed with.

Chitney said...

Ooh, I love Outfoxed. I show it to my classes as part of our study on media giants, bias, censorship, and control. [And on anti-rightwing agenda. ;)]

What I like about Outfoxed is that it's highly entertaining without Moore's over-the-top biases, which often detract from his valid arguments. Even my students comment on Moore's heavy-handed perspective. But that type of overture is absent in Outfoxed, rendering it much more immediately credible.

Also, I love sharing that biggies Don Henley and Eric Clapton both contributed their singles (Dirty Laundry and Layla, respectively) to Robert Greenwald free of charge because of their shared hatred for Rupert Murdoch. Excellent.