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Moriarty's Been To MUNICH!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I’ve been hard on Steven Spielberg in my time here at Ain’t It Cool, and I didn’t even mean to be. I’m not going to recap his whole career, because evidently I’ve done that over and over while writing about his work in the last few years. Best as I can figure, I missed out on reviewing AMISTAD or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for the site, even though I was already contributing by that point. So I’ll run some links so you can look back at what I have covered.

Here’s my review of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

Here’s what I thought of MINORITY REPORT.

Here’s my vaguely infamous review of A.I.

Here’s my report from the premiere of THE TERMINAL.

And, finally, this summer’s reaction to WAR OF THE WORLDS.

I just went back and re-read those pieces tonight, and I’ve been pretty consistent about beating up Spielberg for certain tendencies of his. I think CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is the only one of those films that I liked whole-heartedly. Even in the films I disliked the most, though, you can read how much I admire individual sequences or images or ideas. The truth is that for my generation, Spielberg is one of the primary architects of our fantasy life, and as he’s evolved as a filmmaker, we’ve been busy evolving as viewers.

With MUNICH, I feel like he’s finally reached a place artistically that he’s been working towards for over a decade now. I know the film’s been heavily discussed in terms of real-world politics for several weeks now, but none of that really matters to me. When I sat down to see MUNICH, I sat down to see a film, not to have the Israel/Palestine conflict resolved, and certainly not to have the entire idea of terrorism summed up for me. I’m not a fan of overtly political films that exist for the sole purpose of advancing an agenda, and if that’s what MUNICH was, I would consider it a failure.

But it’s not. Not by a long shot.

In fact, MUNICH may be the most adult film that Spielberg has ever made, moreso than even SCHINDLER’S LIST. MUNICH takes a clear-eyed look at a terrible moment in cultural history and the ramifications of that moment, and it’s brave enough to say that there are no simple answers, no absolutes, when you are dealing with violence and hatred. The things that are getting Spielberg attacked the most vigorously right now are the things that make his movie matter, and oddly, the choices he’s made here are in direct opposition to the choices that so frequently have crippled his other work. This is a reinvigorated director, a man who had something very personal to express. For the first time in a long time, I find Spielberg to be above criticism, above reproach. Say what you will about the film... and certainly, it’s not to everyone’s tastes... but you can’t fault him for lack of courage or conviction.

MUNICH opens with a brief dramatization of the events at the 1972 Olympic Games, where Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village and took several Israeli athletes hostage. Spielberg doesn’t dwell on the events, but instead paints with some broad brush strokes. It’s intense, and very effective. There’s one moment where we are inside a room, watching someone step out onto a balcony, and on a TV in the room, we see the actual news footage of the person stepping out. It’s a brain-bending moment of reality and recreation colliding, and I think it’s a canny way of merging the two so that you stop thinking about what’s “real” and what’s not. More than anything, the opening fifteen minutes or so deals with the media’s reaction to the events, and the way they were broadcast around the world.

Gradually, we shift away from the events in Munich and start focusing on the various communities that are watching the events unfold, and Spielberg does a phenomenal job of making you feel what it must have been like to be a Jew anywhere in the world watching it happen. The feeling of the community around you drawing closer even as the world seemed to get darker and more forbidding is remarkable, and I’m sure it helps that I immediately flashed on my own feelings on the morning of September 11th. In those moments, you can’t help but see the world as “us” and “them,” and you feel terrified about being under attack, but also galvanized by the sense that you’re surrounded by people who feel the same way. It’s only at the very end of this sequence, fifteen minutes or so into the film, that we finally meet our main character, Avner, played by Eric Bana. He’s watching them, too, and he’s feeling that same sort of helplessness as everyone else. The difference is, Avner gets a call that puts him in a position to actually do something about what he’s seen. Ephraim (Geoffrey Rush) puts Avner in a room with Israel’s top military leaders, including Golda Meir (Lynn Cohen) herself. Avner’s told that there must be a response to what has happened, and that eleven names have been put on a list, eleven people who were part of the planning of Munich. Eleven people who must die.

As a set-up for a film, it’s the model of simplicity. How much cleaner can it get? Avner’s team is assembled, and they set off on a trip around the world to slowly, surely, cross off those eleven names. Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kossovitz, and Hanns Zischler play the other four members of the team, and each of them makes a strong impression, although to varying degrees. I was quite moved by the work of Kossovitz, who has proven to be a better actor than director, and I say that as someone who enjoys the films he’s made. He’s a toymaker by trade, but as part of Avner’s team, he’s the bomb builder. So much of what happens in the film hinges on his ability to complete his part of the assignments, and much of the moral burden ends up resting on him, as well. It’s a heavy load, and watching it slowly crush him is one of the most wrenching things about the film. Ciaran Hinds also does some great work, and although he seems to be the most buttoned-down of the group, a few key scenes reveal the depth of the anger that he brings to the assignment, a reminder of how personal this is for all of the men.

I’ve heard many people make reference to the quote “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind,” enough so that I thought the quote would appear in the film. It doesn’t, but Spielberg certainly conveys the idea with the way the film unfolds. What begins as a sort of adrenalized macho sprint to deal some revenge out becomes more and more complex as the team gets more entrenched in what they’re doing. Their swagger begins to falter, and it’s obvious that none of them are unaffected by what they’re doing. Even though their mission is a secret, and they aren’t officially sanctioned by the Israeli government, it’s obvious that news of their actions is being carried underground. When Avner sneaks home between two missions for the birth of his child, people tell him how proud they are of him, how he’s doing something great. Avner’s the son of a military hero, and it’s interesting the way he seems to not only be the fatherless child of so many Spielberg films, but also the absent father at the same time. His little girl starts to grow up and Avner’s back in the field, away from home, dealing in death while completely missing this new life. It would be one thing if Avner knew that what he was doing was totally justified and that every action he took genuinely made a difference, but the more he does, the more he comes to believe that the targets he was given may not all have had something to do with Munich. Even worse, as soon as they kill someone, new people replace them, and in some cases, the replacements are worse. Are they helping Israel at all? Or by giving in to the urge to meet violence with violence, are they making their country into something else? Are they, in fact, simply terrorists as well? These are hard questions, and the thing that makes the film work is that they are made personal, not global. Avner and his team have every right to debate these things because the blood is on their hands. When there is collateral damage and innocent blood is spilled, they are the ones who have to live with that. Spielberg makes the violence in the film terrifying and visceral and he never shies away from any of the details of it. There’s a hotel bombing that shocked me, and I’m not someone who is easily shocked by onscreen mayhem of any type. Much of the blood that’s spilled happens close-up, and that’s the way it should be. It’s easy to order a death, but it’s much harder to be the one who actually causes it. This film is about being in the room, smelling the gunpowder, hearing the last gurgle of life as it leaves someone, and having to weigh the cost of that against the good that it does... if any.

The final act is where screenwriters Tony Kushner and Eric Roth really bring the whole film together, and I think if you dismiss this part, you’ve missed the whole point. Once Avner returns to Israel, the hardest part of the process begins. He’s haunted by what he’s done. He’s haunted by how much of his daughter’s life he’s missed. He wants to step back into a normal life, but he’s not even sure that’s an option anymore. Even worse, he’s afraid now of his own government, afraid that they may punish him because of what he knows and what he’s done. Paranoia begins to creep into every aspect of his daily existence. He knows how easy it is to reach anyone, and he doesn’t feel safe anymore. But does anyone truly feel safe in a world where people are killed to prove ideological points or to underline political differences? Should they ever feel safe? We make our lives and we find our peace in small things, in our children, in our communities. We do what we can to feel safe and secure, and even knowing what evil there is in the world, and even knowing how horror can reach in and take anyone at anytime, we continue. We do it because we have to. It’s the only option we have, and the final moments of Spielberg’s film masterfully cut between two radically different events to show that, even faced with the darkest potential of the human heart, there is a way for us to deal with it, a way for us to drive that darkness back. It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile, and the entire film feels like Steven Spielberg’s own personal bid to keep that darkness at bay. I find myself flashing back on any number of moments in it, even days later, but none moreso than a simple conversation between Avner and a Palestinian in a stairwell. Neither of them knows who the other is, and for a moment, they are able to simply talk, not agreeing with one another, but free to push without it becoming a confrontation. In that one conversation, we see the seeds for a different resolution, one without bloodshed. But it’s just a moment, and as soon as it happens, it’s over, and things turn inevitably bloody. The fact that even that moment of hope exists is enough, and maybe those moments are all we have. Maybe we can build from them. Maybe we can’t. But that’s what hope is all about, and for a film to articulate such complex ideas so well is accomplishment enough. MUNICH is indeed one of Spielberg’s finest hours, and should provide much fodder for conversation not just this Christmas, but for years to come.

I’m still wrestling with my review of Terrence Malick’s THE NEW WORLD, and should have that up later tonight, and I’ve finally gotten back to updating the DVD blog, so there’s good stuff popping up over there, too. Back to work for me. Until then...

"Moriarty" out.





Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 23, 2005, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Cool

    by johne5

    Looking forward to seeing it.....f..i..r..s..t

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 12:50 a.m. CST

    seems like

    by LUZER

    it's gonna be a solid flick. LUZERonline.com

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Thanks again, Mori

    by JAGUART

    "I wish I knew how to quit you."

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:41 a.m. CST

    I think it's interesting...

    by kintar0

    that Eric Bana got his start as a "wacky" comedian who specialized in impressions in Australia. He even had his own show. He was sublime in Chopper.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:42 a.m. CST

    It's Mathieu Kassovitz, not Kossovitz

    by Darth Twoface

    but other than that, great review, as always

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Mori's reviews, quickly

    by YouInRawbIns?

    Look for the one little sentence, the "stinger". In this case, it's, "But it's not. Not by a long shot." Read the preceding sentence so as to know what the stinger means in relation, and there you have it. Every time.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Great Review, Mori

    by Spaz Medicine

    Really well written review. I am definitely going to see this as soon as I get the chance and I hope I enjoy it as much as you seem to have. Being that my father is Israeli, I am convinced that he wouldn't allow himself to enjoy the film on any level because when dealing with situations such as the one this film deals with, if you don't agree with his opinion 100%, then you are wrong and you are an asshoel for thinking that way. And that is a shame. I, on the other hand, don't have the same connection to these events as he does, so I am very interested to see how I react to what happens on screen.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:24 a.m. CST

    AI and Minority Report were both shit

    by newc0253

    WOTW was good but in a throwaway, i-made-this-movie-in-3-weeks kinda way. The terminal was pleasant but forgettable. Only CMIYC was an actual decent flick.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:48 a.m. CST

    This just shot to my nr. 1 viewing priority.

    by DocPazuzu

    Great review, Mori. Brace yourself, though. Hear that rumble in the distance? That's Ringbearer9 on his way over here with his analysis of your review and what it REALLY means.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 4:54 a.m. CST

    very good review mori.

    by Cameron1

    My parents live in israel and this film is either being met with suspicion or a shrug of the shoulders. I suppose it's being met the same way in palestine, well in thise situation if both sides hate you, you are probably doing something right. I shall be there opening day.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 7:39 a.m. CST

    by any reasonable standards, Minority Report was NOT shit..

    by Captain Katanga

    and anyone that says that clearly has SEVERE PROBLEMS WITH THEIR BRAIN

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Katanga

    by cyanide christ

    Read the short story then watch the movie again. Sorry, brain problems aside this movie is far worse than shit.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 8:07 a.m. CST

    "far worse than shit"

    by Captain Katanga

    you see, your preconception of what you want the film to be is the problem... resulting in huge brain malfunctions on your part. Cheaper by the dozen 2 is worse than shit... as is Boat Trip... Deuce bigalo 2. Minority Reprt is an occasionally flawed but mostly damn exciting thriller. The opening suspense scene is wonderfully put together... the incredibly intense scene where Cruise confronts the man he believes murdered his son... Cruise's realisation that he is about to charged with a future murder. GOD I LOVE THAT FILM... even if the last shot makes me sick (read Massawyrm's review of Munich for more about Spielberg's ending problem). But NO, Minority Report is not shit. Consult your local brain doctor fast!

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 8:45 a.m. CST

    I'm seeing this tonight.

    by Judas Booth

    It sounds like a return to form for Spielberg. I liked 'Catch Me if you Can' and 'Minority Report', but hated 'AI', 'The Terminal', and 'War of the Worlds'. Moriarty usually is spot on with his reviews and what I like. And my wife wants to see this too...which is odd, as it's not her usual type of movie. I figured that she'd want to see that Geisha movie, but no. I dodged a bullet there, at least.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Regarding Katanga and 'Minority Report'

    by Judas Booth

    I couldn't have said it better about MR. I loved the movie, and I agree with you completely about it's flaws. I watched it again about a month ago, and I still enjoy it for what it is. And, while I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan, he's pretty solid in it.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 8:52 a.m. CST

    Great Review as always from Moriarty

    by MontyPigeon

    Everyone who does see the film, either check out beforehand or after viewing "One Day In September". It truly is one of the best documentaries ever made. To even think that they continued the Olympics during this hostage taking was irresponsible to say the least.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 10:08 a.m. CST

    AMISTAD, MINORITY, TERMINAL, A.I. WAR OF THE WORLDS were pure sh

    by Spacesheik

    when spielberg stays away from stars and does gritty ensemble pieces he always delivers the goods

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Bana rules. Nuff said!

    by R.C. the "Wise"

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    i dunno if the old reviews are supposed to make you more credibl

    by ScreamingPenis

    ...but you missed the boat on Minority Report.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Very excited about this movie...

    by Doom II

    Just watched One Day In September to get me ready for Munich. Spielberg is a master filmmaker. Say what you will, but even his "bad" movies are 1000 times better than The Mummy or Van Helsing or any Michael Bay picture.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 12:44 p.m. CST

    anti-semitic Jew?

    by superzario

    I heard some Jews on TV last week complaining about this movie being anti-Semitic. Something about Spielberg's "message" saying Jews don't have a right to retaliate against Muslim violence.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:07 p.m. CST

    A.I. and War of the Worlds were great films

    by My Ass Smells

    Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fucking moron.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Anti-Semitism

    by drew mcweeny

    Not even close. This film doesn't say that Jews have no right to retaliate against violence. This film dares to ask the question "What does it cost any culture to meet violence with violence?" Much of what you'll hear people say the film is "about" is what they bring into the theater with them.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 1:27 p.m. CST

    That's cool Moriarty

    by superzario

    I haven't seen the movie and probably won't until it comes out on DVD. Just relaying what I saw on TV. Personaly I am a meet violence with violence guy. if your not willing to do that the bad guys WILL walk all over you.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Munich is nothing but PC pablum

    by the flashlight

    This flick is pure shite. Spielberg is unable to cast off his Hollywierd PC sensibilities to make a film courageous enough to depict the terrorists as they were - filthy murdering animals. He then continues the slander by depicting the assassination squad members as conflicted, morally/ethically torn as to the rightousness of their mission. And by extension, he's making the argument that we should all feel conflicted, that we should all engage in a bunch of peacenik bed-wetting and Cindy Sheehan-esque hand wringing and admit that Israel is just as culpable as the terroists because they "met violence with violence". What a load of horseshit. Why does Spielberg sell out his people? Because Hollywierd embrace the Palestinians as a cause celeb a long time ago, just like Spielberg has cozied up to Castro and the Hollywierd community rallied around Tookie. Thanks go out to The Terminator for doing the right thing and giving his victims some justice instead of continuing to elevate him as some kind of folk hero.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Becarful Flashlight

    by superzario

    the liberals here are gonna come at you hard. I'm sure you'll be fine but for the record, I'm with you.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 2:38 p.m. CST

    If Palestine had their own country.

    by hallmitchell

    Munich would not have happened. And the anger of Muslims all over the world would subside in a major way. Extremists would have alot of trouble recruiting suicide bombers. It's time for Israel and America to look in the mirror and cut some deals.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Well, Anchorite...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... if you get your history lessons from films, then I guess, yeah, you'd probably be really upset and have sand in your crack about this movie. If, on the other hand, you go to see films because they are films, MUNICH is exceptional work, and beautifully crafted from end to end. Guess we're just different that way.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:07 p.m. CST

    And Regarding War And Violence...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... I didn't say it benefits no one. The film is about the personal weight of being the one who commits that violence, and it's about dealing with the after-effects of it. The film does not say "No one should ever do violence ever no matter what and we should all hold hands and sing songs," nor does it say, "KILL THEM ALL! KILL THEM ALL! KILL THEM ALL!" It takes a situation, drops some characters into it, and examines the personal impact of these events on them as a way of illuminating what happens to ANYONE in circumstances like these. That's what you seem determined to miss as you bellow about Israel and the Middle East and issues that aren't directly about this particular film. But again... I went to a movie, not a lecture, so silly me.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Very fine review Moriarty. Can't wait to see it.

    by CurryIce

    But many reviews i've read so far had issues with the length of the film that it should be cut a little shorter to make it tighter. You didn't seem to have any problems with that in your review. It's not really that important to be aware of that before seeing it 'cause i really believe that Munich must be a great film but do you think that there were the one or the other "unnecessary" scenes which made this film a little too long?

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    anchorite

    by hallmitchell

    Agreed with your points. Israel is a democracy. Yet President Musharraf of Pakistan said that every terrorist who we question says that the Palestine issue is what made us join the movement in the first place. Also glad to see Arafat out of the way. He tortured his own political opponents. Yet Palestine has to have their own country. This won't go away. If the U.S. wasn't funding Israel to the tune of Three Billion dollars a year. Then Israel wouldn't have the money to occupy Palestine. If the Irish can cut a deal then so can Israel. The ball is completely in Israel's court. Remember it was Israelis who blew up the King David hotel which murdered a few hundred people when they were after then own state. I want to see world peace. And the power is all with the Israelis.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    horse and buggy-bomb?

    by smackfu

    "BEFORE Israel was even a state, there was Muslim violence all over the globe." Which globe? Earth? That's a pretty broad statement. One could effectively counter it by stating that before Israel was established there was christian violence all over the globe. For those of you cry innocent on Israel's behalf, I'd suggest you do some serious research into just how the Israelis went about removing the Palestinians from the land that we had freshly 'allocated' for them.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 3:58 p.m. CST

    "I think it

    by fiester

    That was real. It actually happened in 1972, which is how the terrorists knew the assault was coming--they were watching it on TV.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Feister

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    Mori means real as in the "real" news footage and the movie's filmed recreation of the event.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    How canny is Mori?

    by Silver Shamrock

    Guess he learned a new word, I checked out his blog page and sure enough "Tim's incredibly canny about how he groups things" sigh.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 5:41 p.m. CST

    "Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind

    by newc0253

    so said the israeli supreme court. dumbfucks like anchorite can whine and moan all they want, but anyone with a brain knows better.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 6:51 p.m. CST

    I hope this politcal talk does one thing

    by superzario

    There has been a lot of political debate on this website the past few weeks. Yes I know I

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Superzario

    by drew mcweeny

    That's exactly what I did. Every comment I made was about the movie, not politics. There are ideas in the film that I discussed, but I'm not the one that started any of this political digression in the talkbacks. Thank Mr. Agenda Anchorite for that. And you don't know my politics, so I'll thank you to stop calling me liberal or conservative.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 9:41 p.m. CST

    CurryIce

    by drew mcweeny

    I must be made of steel, because I'm not having the same "Oh, god, it's longer than two hours" pissandmoanfest Christmas that every other ADD movie reviewer on the planet seems to be having. KING KONG, MUNICH, THE NEW WORLD... yeah, they're longer films. So was HARRY POTTER. So are a lot of films. Honestly, I don't spend the time I'm in a theater checking my watch. I went there to see a movie, and all I care about is how well the movie works, not how many minutes past some arbitrary mark it goes.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Moriarty, YOU'RE A GENIUS

    by zikade zarathos

    And yes, I mean that unironically. I'm glad that there's a critic out there can not turn crybaby about how long a movie is, as if taking out 20 minutes here, a half-hour there will suddenly transform a great film into a "masterpiece," whatever the fuck that means. I'm getting pretty tired of editor-reviews ("It would have been better if... take out this and this and this and it would've..."), and you avoid it more than most, so I commend you.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to it.

    by CatVutt

    And I have been, actually, since the more controversial elements have been getting press. Because the criticisms sound EXACTLY like the film I was afraid SS wouldn't be able to make at this point. Also, anyone who hasn't seen the Israeli film "Paradise Now" needs to do so ASAP. Brilliant.

  • Dec. 23, 2005, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Im sorry Moriarty

    by superzario

    I didn't mean you, I meant the whole site in general. Check out the big mans Gay cowboy movie review. He's glad to live in Austin and would be even more so if he was gay because Austin is a great town to be gay in. I was kind of ranting and didn't really mean to point you out. Nut you do seem to lean to the left. Just an observation.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Munich is an Atrocity

    by MarkWhittington

    Munich the film is as much an atrocity as Munich the terrorist massacre. It creates the impression of a moral equivalence between terrorists who slaughter innocents and those who would punish those same terrorists. It

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 12:28 a.m. CST

    look like fools

    by superzario

    That

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 3 a.m. CST

    My problem with the film also revolves around moral grounds.

    by Lezbo Milk

    Frankly I don't see how you can put the Israeli's on the same level morally as the terrorists, it is more than a bit off base. However; the screenwriter of the picture has gone on record as saying he does not believe in the legitimacy of Israel and thinks the state should've never been created. Whatever. The Jews have one tiny little piece of the world to call their own, and they are surrounded on all sides (virtually) by large Islamic nations who want nothing more than to erradicate them from the planet. All Israel want is to be left alone on their small plot of sand. Jeez. Anyway, there are big moral differences from a man (or men) who butcher unarmed civilian athletes in their dorm rooms verses the men who hunt them down for doing so. Sometimes evil is just that. Evil. Hell, most terrorist border on the retarded. Can you imagine anyone with any intelligence being conned into a massacre or blowing themselve to bits? I can't. Religion in general is for the feeble minded in my opinion, and anyone who beleaves in an invisible man up in the sky needs some therapy. That's just my take. The thing I like about the Jews is they don't take any shit, and they arn't afraid to open a can of whoop ass at the drop of a dime. I'm sure sometime soon we will see them in action again, bitch slapping Iran. I give it six months.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Saw today...

    by PurityOfEssence

    Damn sound cut out, took them ten fucking minutes to fix it.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Will see it as soon as it opens

    by moviemaniac-7

    In this case the real-life politics don't concern me (I have the news for that), but only one questions remains: Has Spielberg scored again? The man is a directing machine!

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 5:44 a.m. CST

    "they are surrounded on all sides (virtually) by large Islamic n

    by TheSmokingMirror

    That would be Syria and Iran, then, wow Israel must be quaking in it's boots at all those billions of Moslimz who want to kill them all. Do retarded Republicans think that Israel doesn't have military and economic ties with any Islamic countries at all? Dumbass rightwingers are too consumed with their religious intolerance to understand the world, and Israel, is a little more complex than that

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    i guess the US is a bunch of rat bastards too

    by Peven

    ..according to the logic of the people on here, since we killed over 80,000 innocent Iraqi civilians and wrote them off as "collateral damage". what is ironic is that hate-filled moronic self-rightious assholes like anchorite are the ones who become terrorists in the world. whether its the IRA, the PLO, etc., the people who think they KNOW who deserves to live and die. if anchorite had been born a palestinian, with his mentality, he'd have already strapped a bomb on his chest and run into a synagogue. hate and violence breed more hate and violence, but people like anchorite are just too fucking stupid to see that.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 12:07 p.m. CST

    anchorite.....Yeah, the Palestinian terrorist are really nice gu

    by Doom II

    Spielberg shows them as nice guys when they violently kill those innocent athletes in Munich without remorse. And when they pull off revenge strikes against the Israeli hit squad (Bana and his crew) like the killing of 140 civilians in the Athens airport, we again sympathize with the Palestinians. Dude, see the fucking movie and turn Bill O Rielly off for a minute, ok? Pay your 9 bucks, THEN posts about the film. If anything, this movie is completely pro-Israel with about 5% of "what do Palastinians truly want"?

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 12:33 p.m. CST

    I called them rat bastrads not anchorite

    by superzario

    And I stand by it too. If 80,000 innocent Iraqi civilians were killed I'm sorry but at least they didn't die because we were targeting Sbarro's or bus stops or wedding receptions. There is a huge difference between the US military and the terrorists. The US tries to avoid civilian casualties. Sometimes we can't, it's sad and nobody likes it. The terrorists don't even try. The easier the target the better.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah...

    by superzario

    Then they celebrate. You ever see a single American celebrate colateral damage? "yeah we killed 500 inocent Iraqis today" only rat bastards do that

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 1 p.m. CST

    its sickening how easily you write off 80,000 lives

    by Peven

    the US has the most technologically modern military force in the world, with laser/satellite-guided shit all over the place, so don't tell me they don't mean to blow up everyone and everything they do. every bomb and missile hits exactly where it was intended. they just don't give a shit if some innocent civilians get caught in the blast too, THATS what collateral damage is. and by your logic, as long as the terrorists said they're sorry for the unfortunate death of "innocents" that would make what they do ok, right? but then, they're just a bunch of brown people who are Muslim and live halfway around the world, so like many typical American ignorants they don't rank high enough to give a shit about, do they? and if i had a nickel for every time i've heard some dumbass redneck casually making a crack about the US wiping out "those dirty camel jockeys" i'd be fucking rich. people like you and anchorite are nothing more than the American counterparts to the people who support violence and hate towards Isreal and the US.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Are you kidding me?

    by superzario

    Why would they apologize for hitting their target? They don

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Anchorite

    by CondomWrapper

    Tell me you've seen Munich already considering how much you're complaining. I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I just hope you've seen the film and these are your own opinions about it and not something you read.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Interesting

    by MarkWhittington

    Interesting that "Firstman#01" assumes that just because I object to the film I must be Jewish. Of course, both he and Speilberg are wrong in one sense. Killing terrorists is never futile. Dead terrorists do not commit terrorism. Besides, the alternative would seem to me to be surrender. But then, perhaps there are certain people who prefer Jews to be victims than for them to fight back.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Thats too funny

    by superzario

    I'll assume your joking. I prefer the method where we deter terrorism by killing terrorists before they can kill anyone. I'm proactive that way.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Serenity

    by superzario

    I just saw serenity on DVD a couple days ago and laughed my ass off at the end. I really like Joss Whedon but his Liberal ending to that movie was just too funny. The good guys won at the end through education. I really wish we could win battles that way, but some of you people need to realize that we sometimes need to do something besides talk. Because while your talking, bad guys are blowing up buses.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST

    I would only kill those that seek to harm inocent lives.

    by superzario

    Someone needs to be willing to defend those that are incapable or unwilling to defend themselfs. If you ever needed it I would be willing to protect you and your family. I hope you never need people like me to help you out.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 8:12 p.m. CST

    What if your killing just created more terrorist.

    by Rant Breath

    Would you seek another solution?

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 8:22 p.m. CST

    You kill the new guy too.

    by superzario

    See, here is what you guys don't understand. They don't want peace unless it is under their terms. They have a clear mission. Kill all who do not beleive as they do. they have had this mission for a very long time. What we need to do is make it so that being a terrorist no longer works. In order to do that we need to destroy all terrorists everywhere. We need to create a situation where terrorists are dying without acomplishing anything. When this starts to happen they will look for another way to acheive their goals then and only then we can talk. Right now the guys you want to talk to would just as gladdly cut your throat as talk to you.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Solution for Terrorism: Robots

    by Nivek666

    Im dead serious, look at 21st Century Robotics like ASIMO and current Military Robots like the SWORD, we make it so if we fight Terrorists, our Soldiers dont die. they feel pity, remorse, pain, or hesitate eliminating these douchebags because of some mortal coil. We want to be the True Superpower, create a different soldier, a line of defence that doesn't beack down or get shell shock, and offencive capabilities of a Phil Tippit wet Dream.

  • Dec. 24, 2005, 9:06 p.m. CST

    just give it time

    by superzario

    2 words "America's Army" Like the Air Force using unmanned planes The Army will use that game to reruit players to control robot soldiers using first person controls. I know your kidding but just wait and see.

  • Dec. 25, 2005, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Tolerance of Intolerance

    by Lezbo Milk

    That's what a lot of liberals spout off about. It's ridiculous. To address Ringbearer9's above post: the Jews and Palestinians will always be in conflict over what is now Israel because the site is a holy one for both (actually all three major faiths: Jewish, Christian and Muslim) religions. As long as these sights remain on the face of the planet, the Jews and the Palistinians will be fighting over them (I guess Christians don't give enough of a shit to fight over it). Peace will never prevail there until one of the two are wiped out. Period. End of story. Also your comment about just letting the terrorist go, so they could get old and become disinterested, thats so damn stupid it's funny. You spend much time around old men? Old men tend to be crotchity, cantankerous, grouchy, unbending, pesimistic, radical old bastards. The last thing the world needs are old men terrorists. Jeez. Also to answer the guy above concerning my statement about admiring how the Jews arn't afraid to open a can of whoop ass: opening up a can of whoop ass doesn't make them assholes. Sometime in the very near future Israel is going to open a can of whoop ass on Iran. Now the United Nations and all it's members, prior to the can opening event, will have sat around setting up inspections, and sanctions, and other ineffectual bullshit, which Iran will ignore completely. Then Isreal will will go in on their own and take care of business. They will do this because they know damn good and well that the paint on Irans' first nuclear missle won't even be dry when they launch the fucker at Tel'Aviev. So Isreal take premptive action, and the UN and the rest of the world will piss and moan to the media, and behind closed doors they will all breath a big fucking sigh of relief that a nutbag militant Islamic nation wasn't able to go nuclear. Right now Israel is one of the only nations that is not tolerant of intolerance, and that's a good thing.

  • Dec. 25, 2005, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Another excuse for political arguments

    by McBane

    I want to see this film. I have always been a big Spielberg fan, though he has always had a problem ending films, as has been mentioned many times before. I am annoyed that he didn't stick to the historical facts surrounding munich. Th revisionism in this film is gonna cloud its power, distracting from the quality in its own right. Hearing these tired arguments we always hear about 'liberals' and 'conservatives', I think such labels narrow everyone's critical thinking. So I am going to try and play Devil's advocate to them. ********** If you were going to apply a political label to me, you would probably use the world 'liberal'. Nevertheless I am not some creative champage socialist who can wax liberal becase I have a few million in the bank. I can appreciate that in the real world, you can't be nice all the time. Sometimes you have to play hardball. Israel has not survived as a nation by being nice. Rightly or wrongly, they have stamped on th civil liberties of everyone in order to maintain some semblance of security. In spite of the ever decreasing numbers of successful suicide attacks in Israel, 9-11 would never have happened there. Why? Jetliner cabins have been locked down for years. Air marshalls are on random flights, interrogation level immigration procedures, random public searches... The list goes on. Sometimes you have to be hard to survive. But I genuinely believe the 'kill them all before they kill us' policy is doomed to fail. Here's why. Suicide Terrorism is the most effective form of cause advancement in the world today. Please note I am NOT trying to justify these actions. I believe that it is one of the most morally repugnant acts a human can commit. Removing emotion and looking at the act logically, it is effective in its strategy and simplicity. Blowing up people with bombs has been around for decades. But the world was getting wise to it. In many major cities, unattended bags and vehicles can be isolated and investigated within a matter of minutes. This usually doesn't leave enough time for the bomber to get away. Suicide bombers elmiminate that need to escape and make it very difficult to detect. They blend into the local population and when they successfully strike, the news reaches the far corners of the globe. How many people had heard of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda six years ago? Dealing with terrorists in a purely violent way allows them to further their cause. Every Iraqi family torn apart by an american smart missile, creates another possible suicide bomber. Every Israeli revenge attack against palestinian controlled areas that leads to collateral damage, creates more possible suicide bombers. If we wish to eliminate suicide terrorism, violence cannot be the only option. I wish I could offer an alternative but sadly, I cannot. In the above Talkback, many people have said that you cannot compare the israeli agents retribution with the palestinians. I disagree. In the real life aftermath of Munich, didn't an innocent man get accidentally killed. OK so it was just one person. A regrettable mistake. But where do you draw the line. 10? 50? 2000? 80,000? Would it matter to you if a foreign security force came to your country and started assassinating people it believed carried out heinous crimes without judicial oversight? What about if one of those assassinated was a friend or a member of your family?

  • Dec. 25, 2005, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Can't we all just get along?

    by dr_dreadlocks

    No? Okay. Bomb it all to glass.

  • The scenes of the massacre in Munich are shot for shot how it happened. Watch One Day In September, then go see Munich. The actors playing the Israeli athletes and terrorists are like mirror images of the actual people involved. Great casting. The movie is exciting and fast paced. 2 hours and 44 minutes flew by. Politics aside, Munich is in my top 3 for the year...WAY ahead of Batman, Star Wars of any other blockbuster crapola...I will see it again in the theater.

  • Dec. 25, 2005, 10:24 p.m. CST

    MUNICH has an obvious political agenda!!! Just cause you agree w

    by Thunderballs

    I am so sick of Leftists praising movies that support their views as being "balanced, well thought out, fair, lacking in any and all agenda, not interested in politics." Give me a fucking break Mori, the movie has an enormous agenda, mainly to show the Palestinians as human beings just like us, and that violence for violence solves nothing. Just cause this fits with your world view does not mean there is no agenda. Same goes for Syriana and Good Night & Good Luck. Leftists embrace films that support their views, yet it is amazing that all these films have no agenda! "Oil companies are bad---that isn't an agenda, that is the truth!!!" To Leftists, if they are hearing what they want to hear, it is simply the truth. An agenda implies subterfuge and falsification in an effort to spread propaganda.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 5:54 a.m. CST

    F**king. Great. Movie.

    by BurnHollywood

    Just saw it, and you know what anchorite, superzario, et al? You clearly haven't, so you're full of shit and should refrain from comment. If you did, you'd know that ALL your concerns and proposed "solutions" are addressed and undertaken in the film, and however conflicted the Israeli hit squad may feel about their duty, they're unswerving in its pursuit and committed to its success. The entirely realistic assessment of the historical outcome is what so discomforts you...in thirty years of nonstop covert warfare against extremists, has Israel made the world safer, or just bred a more ruthless monster? Good question, and Spielberg is to be highly praised for raising it.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Remake?

    by NudeandAroused

    Isn't "Munich" a remake of the series "Sword of Gideon?" Which, if I recall correctly, are the memoirs of the leader of the Israeli strike force. I found the book to be gritty and quite moving. It raises challeneges to any who feel that the real world is made of "good and bad" issues. If the movie is anywhere near as sensitive and realistic as the book, then Spielberg deserves great praise.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Thunderballs...

    by dr_dreadlocks

    I thought Palestinians were just like us, I'm assuming they're not robots. I also thought it was true that violence begets violence, because, well, we've seen it for a thousand years. So is it a fact? Yes. Is the depiction of it an agenda? No, not at all. Spielberg did have an agenda, to show both sides of the story. That's what he did. We're all human. Sometimes we just don't get along.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Ah, Ringbearer9

    by Lezbo Milk

    The reason Israel isn't worried about Pakistan, is because Pakistan could give two shits about Israel...they would rather fuck with India, or have you forgotten or never heard about the pissing match those two are in? Pakistan does not want to see Israel wiped off the map. Also, it's not like the world isn't nervous about nations like Pakistan having nukes...it's making a lot of people very fucking jittery. Don't even bring up rogue Pakistani scientists selling nuclear secrets to anyone with enough money. Point being, Pakistan has never really had the "we officially hate the Jews guts, lets wipe all of them off the planet and move the rest of them to Canada or something" policy that nations like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and (in the past), Egypt. So a ton of people are really, strongly against Iran having nukes. A crazy, fundamentalist muslim nation, with a hate adjenda, an unknown nutbag leader (who doesn't believe the holocaust even happened) and a nuke should make the world nervous...very fucking nervous, and anyone with half a brain is for non-proliferation.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Iran won't be so bad once it gets nukes? Are you serious Ri

    by Hot Carl

    That's about the dumbest shit I've ever heard. The Milky Lezbian chick is right, anyone with any sense is for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. And as far as people bitching about Pakistan having nukes...there is plenty of bitching, huge amounts of bitching. As a matter of fact, if there is ever going to be an exchange of nukes...it's going to be India and Pakistan blowing the shit out of each other. As far as Iran getting nukes, that would be fucking disasterous. If the thought of a politically unstable nation getting nukes doesn't make warning bells go off in your little bell ringing head, you're an even bigger dumb ass than I thought (and I've read a lot of your posts, and I already thought you were pretty fucking dumb). I don't think the Iraq war was a war we should have fought at this point in time, it was wrong to go in and a wrong way to utilize American resourses in the fight against the terrorism threat to the USA and it's interests abroad. However, hopefully the end result will be a more democratic Iraq, and a first step in the direction of a more democratic middle east. It would be nice to see more middle eastern countries fall in line, even though I think the middle east will end up being more like Turkey than the democracy the west would like to see. But hell thats better than what it is now. If Iran gets nukes, it will embark on it's goal of establishing a radical Muslim region, by force, and it will destablize the entire region and be a fucking gigantic nightmare for the rest of the world. I could go on and on but won't, it's depressing.

  • Dec. 26, 2005, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Uh, Hot Carl?

    by BurnHollywood

    Iran doesn't need nukes to "embark on it's goal of establishing a radical Muslim region"...the Iraq War has done that for it. See, the most powerful man in the new Iraq is the Iranian born Shi'ite cleric Ayatollah(!) Sistani, who has massive influence over the Badr Brigades, who themselves are trained Iranian Revolutionary Guard units now filling the role of police and National Guard units in the majority Shi'ite South. Next time you see one of those photos of an Iraqi woman happily displaying her purple finger, notice that she's typically wearing the full-length garb of a Shi'ite fundamentalist...she's happy because she just obeyed the demands of her local Ayatollah in helping to vote in a Shia theocracy. How this ties in to MUNICH is to illuminate the shortcomings of a one-size-fits-all violent response with unintended consequences, which the US and Israel will now have to live with.

  • Dec. 27, 2005, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Great film. Probably the best of the year

    by MOSDEF

    Totally enthralling, relentlessly paced, I can't wait to see it again. Should I feel guilty for appreciating the magnificiently staged action scenes? The big emotional moment was shattering, because it was so subtle and out of nowhere. *****SPOILER***** I'm talking about the scene where Avner hears his daughter's voice for the first time ***** END SPOILER ***** Spielberg's most disciplined movie to date.

  • Dec. 28, 2005, 9:16 a.m. CST

    liberal crap

    by ZO

    "there would be peace if israel doesn't respond". what a load of crap. will anyone take responsibility for the killing of innocent athletes? revenge and violence and death are the only things these scumbags respect. spielberg thinking he can change history and make peace? hes delusional.

  • Dec. 28, 2005, 2:49 p.m. CST

    neocon crap

    by Saluki

    "revenge and violence and death are the only things these scumbags respect" will anyone take responsibility for the killing of innocent athletes? peace and goodwill and life are the only things people respect. spielberg thinking he can change history and make peace with neocons around? hes delusional.

  • Dec. 28, 2005, 4:39 p.m. CST

    what would jesus do?

    by smackfu

    "Israel is not an occupier." Yes, they are. The land was given to the jews by the UN after WWII for the purpose of creating a new jewish homeland, and cleansed of arabs by (irony) a campaign of terrorism.

  • Dec. 28, 2005, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Uncle Shlomo Needs YOU!!!

    by smackfu

    "will anyone take responsibility for the killing of innocent athletes?" I recall once reading the official response to that from the group responsible being that since all Israelis serve a stint in the Israeli military, there is no such thing as an israeli civilian. Only israeli soldiers, former soldiers and soon to be be soldiers. Serving in the military means they actively participate in the (as perceived by palestinians) oppression and occupation, which makes them fair play.

  • Dec. 28, 2005, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Neacon? You do realize Neocons are Mostly reformed democratic Je

    by JUSTICE41

    Just look up the word and follow the links and all the people in the neocon movement are Jews Like Richard Pearle and William Crystal(sp) So in reality anyone who uses the term neocon is really just an anti-semite.

  • Dec. 30, 2005, 5:17 p.m. CST

    we should have

    by ILK

    4 hr films.