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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? (2008, * 1/2)

Morgan Spurlock’s second feature, “Where In The World Is Osama bin Laden?” is more like “Super-Snide Me,” glossily, glibly entertaining yet deeply dumb and seriously shallow as the mustachioed West Virginian purports to seek out the ostensible shadow-figure of all matters Al Qaeda in various Middle Eastern countries while a darling baby grows in his girlfriend’s belly back home in Brooklyn where they await their man’s return from the field of war. Forget America: whereintheworldisosama1.jpghe must make the world safe for his spawn. The movie’s episodic character is camouflaged by campy interstitial material, such as videogame-style animation in which bin Laden is portrayed dancing and leaping to an M. C. Hammer song from the depths of last century, but the only genuine battle Spurlock pitches is against angry Orthodox Jews whom he laughs at while picking a fight by videotaping them in their own neighborhoods. Watch just how pleased he is, how much he grins with genuine glee as he’s told to leave and met with blows. This is near-clever television masquerading as earnest muckraking.

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield