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God Bless America

Posted by admin on February 20, 2013

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Television media has to evolve with new technologies, like the Internet, to compete for everyone’s attention. But at what cost? The Internet is home to YouTube where many videos are pranks, at-home fails (think clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos), and people talking about subjects that they think the rest of the world wants to hear. So TV networks will combat by presenting exactly what YouTube is giving us; unadulterated crass. Most of us are aware of programming like The Jerry Springer Show, Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo and Jackass. All of this falls into the same category of trash TV.

A lot of people complain that programs like this prove that the American dream is dead and that we’ve resorted to developing shows to fill the capacity of our ignorance. If these shows supposedly prove us dumb, then why do we watch these? The networks give us this because their low cost to produce and their research says we all love this stuff. I find that the purpose of many of these programs is to actually give viewers a sense of pride; a pride of themselves. They can point, laugh, and proclaim that no matter how bad their lives are; at least they’re not like the rednecks on Jerry Springer. One make tries to take a stand against the trash in our culture in God Bless America.

Insurance Salesman Frank Murdoch (played by Joel Murray) not only has a bad life, but hates the way people have become. A boring night of television watching programs like Tuff Girlz (a copy of Jersey Shore) and American Superstarz (a copy of American Idol) leads him further into his depression. His belief is that programing like this had led his friends and neighbors to become more rude and spoiled. A trip to the doctor reveals he has a terminal brain tumor that cannot be operated on. He knows he has nothing to live for. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger to blow his brains out, he witnesses a knockoff of My Sweet 16 that gives him an idea.

Seeing that the this girl treats her parents badly and complains about not getting the right car, Frank drives to her school in Virginia to kill her. A shot in the head pleases him enough, but is witnessed by a fellow classmate of hers, Roxy (played by Tara Lynne Barr).  She follows him to a motel he’s staying at, where he tells her that he only wants to kill bad people. Tired of her normal life, she joins Frank, as they become a Bonnie and Clyde team to go kill the worst on American Television.

This film is hard to describe why anyone would like this, but I found it pretty good. It’s probably the blackest comedy around as the subject is all about killing people. In a dark way, I can understand what Frank is trying to get around; not that we should stop watching TV, but that we shouldn’t let the media invent our personalities.

God Bless America was directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, and I can tell he had plenty to say about current culture trends. Go I guess this movie is a sick way of living his fantasy. Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr make a good team, having to portray a large age gap relationship without making it romantic. The comedy comes off best from Tara who may be even darker then Joel for reasons that I cannot spoil. Though I have disagreements with their ideas, I found myself rooting for these guys. Does that make me sick as well?

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I’ll give this four and a half epic Statue's of Librety out of five. This independent nightmare is an intellectual’s dark dream come true. It’s both funny, twisted and has some heart that didn’t need to be shot out. 

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