Lazy Movie Review: God Bless America

Premise:  A middle aged man (Joel Murray, brother of Bill) is becoming increasingly sick, both mentally and physically, over how inconsiderate, dimwitted, and mean America has become.  Eventually, he gets fed up with it all, and instead of taking his own life, he decides to become a serial killer that takes the lives of the stupid, inconsiderate people he hates.  Along the way he teams up with a high school girl, who joins him for the mayhem.  Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait!

Pros:

-The film is essentially a brilliant barrage of parodies of all the stupid television shows America for the most part enjoys.   This movie is worth watching for the parodies alone.  Attacking things including American Idol, Bill O’Reilly, My Super Sweet 16, Diablo Cody, Westboro Baptist Church, Jackass, and more.  Also delves into the territory of simply annoying people; such as annoying neighbors, people who take up two parking spots, and people who talk in movie theaters.

-Whether or not any of these people deserve to actually die is questionable. Obviously I’d rather the movie talkers just leave and the car parker just get towed, and I wish Bill O’Reilly would just go away to the mountains somewhere and never be in front of a camera again. I don’t really wish anyone to die, but it’s necessary in this film that they do for the overall point. It looks at not only who to put in the targets, but also the misunderstood spin the news puts on the aftermath of most major events.  The film really works as a fantasy.  Kind of what could happen in a universe where people could kill annoying people without consequence.  As Rex Banner once said “”We can’t choose what laws to obey, if we could then I’d kill everybody that looked at me cockeyed”.

-I love dark humor, and this is DARK humor.  It’s violence filled and hateful, but it certainly kept my attention.  “You ugly, hate-filled movie!”  “Hey I may be ugly and hate-filled, but…  uh… what was the third thing you said?”

(two Simpsons references in a row, that’s called ‘blogging correctly’)

-Joel Murray is really good (he was also really good on Shameless).  There’s also a handful of obscure comedian cameos throughout.

-Dream sequence set to Alice Cooper’s “Hello Hooray”…  HELL.  YES.

Cons:

-A bit preachy.  Since I happened to agree with most of what they were preaching about, I didn’t mind.  But if you don’t agree with the film, I don’t see how it would seem any better than the stuff the film is against.  But the film is a crusade against idiocy and mean-spiritedness, so if you disagree with the concepts of God Bless America… I assume you’re some kind of mean-spirited idiot?  That doesn’t mean you’re wrong, necessarily, it just means you’re probably one of the morons.

-It does operate on a level of pretentious thinking that the characters assume everything they are doing is for the best.  Again, that makes it kind of preachy, even if it’s preaching for the correct side (in my opinion).

-From pure filmmaking perspective (cinematography, editing, set design, directing, etc)…  it’s ehhhhhhhhhhh.  Nothing special in that department.  It’s way more substance than style.

Final Thoughts:  I didn’t take the film at much more than comical face value, admiring that others dislike the same kind of idiocy that I do. The dialogue was almost just a “don’t you hate this?” and “don’t you hate that?” back and forth, and it’s all very entertaining. It was almost like a George Carlin stand up act. Just an excuse to list off as many things as possible to hate about American pop culture. It’s kind of preachy, but it’s preachy about things I hate, so i didn’t mind. It’s a good watch if you like super dark comedies about American ignorance. It’s a darker Idiocracy!  Much better than Bobcat’s previous effort, World’s Greatest Dad (which I admired for its balls, but didn’t really enjoy all that much).

8 out of 10

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