Docuganda

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DC 9/11 is a made-for-cable reenactment-cum-revision of the president's response to the 9/11 attacks, with That's My Bush! star Timothy Bottoms reprising his role as W. but in a more stoic and heroic mold. (For those of you who didn't see That's My Bush!, this is a bit like Chevy Chase suddenly portraying a wise Jerry Ford in full command of his motor skills.) J. Hoberman's sharp review of the film puts it into a larger context of political propaganda, ranging from mid-century Stalinist dramas to the Clintonite wish-fulfillment fantasy The West Wing. He also gets off some great lines, like this one:

As played by Penny Johnson Jerald, the president's ex-wife on the Fox series 24, Condi is a sort of super-intelligent poodle?dogging her master's steps, gazing into his eyes with rapt adoration.

And this:

The turgid DC 9/11 would doubtless have been more entertaining with Harrison Ford or Arnold Schwarzenegger or even Ronald Reagan in the role of the president.

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  1. I expected this post to be about a doctor in Sub-Saharan Africa! 🙂

  2. Gee, it all sounds so realistic! Just like being there.

  3. As played by Penny Johnson Jerald, the president’s ex-wife on the Fox series 24,

    People who watched the 2nd season of 24, which I won’t spoil here, will recognize the irony of Sherry Palmer starring in a movie about 9/11.

  4. Julian, I assume that seen was followed by one of Ashcroft leaping in and saying, “I’ll take care of that!”

  5. Undaunted by my misspelling of the word “scene”, I’ll theorize that Ashcroft really likes those Cato Constitutions. They give him something to wipe his ass with when he’s on the road.

  6. If the actress who played Sherry Palmer is now playing Condoleeza Rice, maybe Dennis Hopper will show up as Donald Rumsfeld, and Tobin Bell (who played Peter Kingsley, evil mastermind) will show up as Dick Cheney.

    Disclaimer: I’m not saying Cheney is an evil mastermind. It’s just that on 24, Penny Johnson-Jerald’s character was working with terrorists, and now she’s playing Condoleeza Rice, who has to stop the terrorists. So why not bring in all of the villains from 24 and have them play government officials?

    Maybe get the guy who played Ira Gaines to play the CIA director:

    “Is Bin Laden dead?”
    analyst: “We’re not sure. Maybe sort of dead.”
    Gaines/CIA director: “Well, I’ll tell you kid, you’re either dead or you’re not dead. There’s no such thing as sort-of dead. Here, let me show you…”

  7. This movie is the worst possible thing the administration could have allowed to happen.

  8. [Tuesday morning, White House situation room. Rumsfeld, Powell and Cheney are present. A television tuned to CNN blares in the background]

    Rumsfeld: There goes the second tower, right according to plan.

    Powell: Should we notify Junior?

    Cheney: That beady-eyed little shit? Let him keep reading to the school kids about goats. That’s about his fucking speed. Let’s see if Schumer is on schedule with that Patriot Act….

  9. Well, if 9/11 happened the way terrorist attacks unfold on 24 (the previous acting engagement of the woman playing Condi Rice) then the highlights of 9/11 would have been:

    midnight, 9/11: Federal agent Jack Bauer learns that terrorists will try to attack the WTC. For some reason he decides that he should decapitate somebody to further his investigation.

    2am, 9/11: Extreme anti-WTO anarchists simulataneously bomb every firehouse in Manhattan, to cripple NYFD’s response capabilities when the Twin Towers are attacked the following morning.

    3am, 9/11: Colin Powell is killed by a mole inside the State Department.

    5 am, EST, 9/11: Agent Bauer’s daughter does something really stupid.

    6 am, EST, 9/11: An airport security employee is killed and replaced with a guy who had plastic surgery to look just like the airport employee.

    7 am, 9/11: Fake airport employee smuggles automatic weapons into airport. No box cutters for this crew!

    9am-11am, 9/11: Attacks unfold as before.

    noon, 9/11: All support personnel in the US Al Qaeda cells (guys who forged ID’s, money launderers, etc.) are killed by Colombian drug lords.

    6 pm, 9/11: Bush, despite sky-high approval ratings, is impeached because he wants to postpone an invasion of Afghanistan for a few hours, so we can get more personnel into the region.

    7 pm, 9/11: The Senate tries and convicts Bush in the span of 45 minutes. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) casts the deciding vote after a long speech about how much she admires Bush (gotta get a good Judas factor).

    8 pm, 9/11: Jack interrupts a wedding reception because he thinks the groom is a terrorist. The maid-of-honor turns out to be the terrorist, and she tortures Jack with electric current.

    9 pm, 9/11: Jack escapes his torture.

    11 pm, 9/11: Bush is re-instated after Jack Bauer proves that Dick Cheney and the Illuminati conspired with South American drug lords who wanted the US to invade Afghanistan and take out rival opium dealers, so they had Al Qaeda attack the US.

  10. Incidentally, I noticed this in the trailer: there’s a scene where Bush announces his intention to go to war without seeking congressional authorization. An aide reminds him that “we still have the constitution” … and brandishes a copy of Cato’s pocket constitution.

  11. Not to be confused with Reno 911 of course…

  12. As for Cheney being an evil mastermind, one out of three ain’t bad.

  13. Filmed in Toronto, btw.

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    DATE: 01/25/2004 05:02:20
    [In] mourning, it is better to err on the side of grief than on the side of formality.

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