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15 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A thinnly veiled agenda, February 26, 2005
This review is from: How Arnold Won the West (DVD)
I was tremendously disapointed with this documentary. This seems to be a sad trend in documentary making in the Michael Moore era, where the filmaker uses deceptive and manipulative tactics to paint there subject as deceptive and manipulative. You want to hear people talking about the flaws of Gray Davis? The filmaker felt the best example would be an Elvis impersonator and a guy who poses for pictures as Spider-man. A few minutes after describing how spin doctors discredit the source of opposition to Arnolds agenda, they attempt to discredit the man who spearheaded the movement for the recall by stressing his BROTHERS crimminal record. There is also surprisingly little information about the deeply flawed record of Davis that spawned a re-call to begin with. They seemed to much rather show him as a victim, as the David vs Goliath, ignoring that he was infact a Governor of California (which may make the David comparison break down).

Above all else, this Brittish movie loves to portray the American voter as a blind sheep to awe struck to think critically and too stupid or lazy to make intelligent decisions. As a matter of fact, she's banking on it, for you'd need to be stupid and lazy to not see through her thinnly veiled agenda.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 6, 2007 2:00:12 PM PDT
Admittedly, I haven't seen How Arnold Won the West yet, but had a question about your review of it. For instance, your accusation of its metaphor of David and Goliath being amiss seems either blinded, because of a lack of documentation on your part, or else because there isn't documentation to be had. By the film, Schwarzenegger could be Goliath, and you haven't said why it couldn't be without an apparent disregard for the effort of people who made their statement within this movie.

My own opinion of Gray Davis is that he's an honorable person, as he's able to speak with credible coherence and I have no reason to believe he isn't honorable. It's Schwarzenegger who has never proven himself in a political realm, yet he's entered into a political field where the only thing we know of Schwarzenegger is that he's an action-movie actor with a big box-office draw. It's more likely that the Republican party is using his reputation to garner partisan support, as this is typical, as it has employed many people with unstable reputations in politics, like the fired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North or actor Ronald Reagan. Or, its supporters have had doubtable interests like histories of anchoring neo-conservative partisanship as fundamentalists, like actor Charleton Heston who headed the NRA.

Furthermore, I would believe that someone British would have something to say about Governor Schwarzenegger as, like the rest of the world, the people who think the U.S. acted unethically in its invasion of Iraq, the British who had been drawn into it by certain government officials' connections with the Bush Administration, are in the majoirity; and so, I certainly expect some Americans to come forth defending their neo-conservative icon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, without considering first his objectivity and without a keenness to his platform, as this is what makes neo-conservatives neo-conservative. And, because the ratio of supporters of the Iraq invasion and occupation is much higher in the U.S., which is consequently the very reason Bush could ever get elected, let alone Arnold.

There is one distinction from your questioned metaphor though: David knocked down Goliath; but, Gray Davis, with all his knowledge, still lost to Arnold.

This only insinuates metaphorically that Goliath defeated David.

Posted on Feb 16, 2008 1:29:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 16, 2008 1:29:51 AM PST
meg says:
"...you'd need to be stupid and lazy to not see through her thinnly veiled agenda."

Too stupid or lazy to spellcheck "thinly," "disappointed," "awestruck," "too," "recall," "criminal," and "British," for example?
The only "thinly-veiled agenda" I see in operation here is yours, frankly. This seems to be a sad trend in "reviewing" here on Amazon, if I may borrow a phrase. Dear pot, meet kettle.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 3:43:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2012 3:45:15 PM PDT
This documentary has nothing in common with a Michael Moore documentary. For one, I have come across very little information explaining anything in this film. On the other hand, Michael Moore, while taking editing liberties to help make his point in a more entertaining way, makes factual assertions and educates people to what is really going on. He is a good and important filmmaker that makes informative films accessible.

I agree that there is no information on Gray Davis, however I strongly disagree with your claim of the "flaws of Gray Davis". Have you ever heard of a company called Enron? Ever heard of deregulation? Well combine those two and you have the reason why California was in such a bad state. If you want the facts just google "enron california power", you'll get plenty of information on their scam. Watch the documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and listen to those callous bastards laugh about how they're ripping off "grandma". Odd that you didn't mention the missing information on the fraud of Enron since you purport to be concerned about the reason for the recall.

How about Arnold's ties to Kenneth Lay, you didn't complain that that was not mentioned. Why did that not bother you? Did Faux News and your talk radio hosts not tell you about that?

And speaking of the man who spearheaded - and financed - the recall, Darrell Issa(is there any reason you didn't mention him by name?), he has been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building. He thought after spending millions he could be the governor, but then we got a governator instead. You can read an eight page article about him in the New Yorker.

As to your last point, the sad truth is that there is a large portion of the American population that is stupid - or at least ignorant and misinformed - and too lazy to make intelligent decisions because they choose not to research things. All you have to do is look at the statistics on Fox "News" viewers to know that is true. Fox viewers know less than people who watch a comedy news show (The Daily Show) for their information. But they keep watching it and listening to more radical right wing propaganda on the radio and rather than check if any of it is actually true they just start repeating it. And after listening to all that dribble they go out and vote against their own interests. All they have to do is have someone associate Michael Moore with a documentary in some way and it will make them not want to watch it. Oh wait a minute... you didn't make that connection for that reason did you? Hm... speaking of thinly veiled agendas.

Also, there were reports of UC and Cal State college students voting for him just so that his signature would be on their diplomas. Sounds pretty stupid - and dangerous - to me.

Anyway, the film is not very good, but not necessarily for the reasons you mentioned, and your review was about as good and informative as the film, and even less fact based.
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