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An Unlikely Weapon Review


OK
In one of the iconic photographs of the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese General Nguyen Nygor Loan is shown shooting a Vietnam guerilla in the head at point blank range. The horrific grimace of the captive and the cool and perfect aim of General Loan captured the moment of death of the prisoner at 1/500th of a second. The photograph caused a worldwide sensation and brought the Pulitzer Prize and fame to the AP photographer, Eddie Adams, who is the subject of Susan Morgan Cooper's laudatory but diffuse exploration of Adams's life and work An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story.

The film commences as Cooper follows Adams prowling around his East Village stomping ground, grousing about fame and his achievements. Adams certainly doesn't take himself or his life too seriously as he grumpily comments, "We all want to be the best. I don't know why. I mean, what's the difference? Nobody really gives a shit. So you wonder why we put so much into something. Because we are all going to die. We're disposable. And who really gives a shit, you know?" Later on in the film, he comments on his famous photograph: "When I saw the picture I wasn't impressed, and I'm still not impressed." Cooper has her work cut out for her when her subject doesn't even want to be bothered talking about his work or when he demeans it as meaningless.

Continue reading: An Unlikely Weapon Review

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media Review


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Noam Chomsky, toward the beginning of Manufacturing Consent, tells someone that he can't imagine why an audience would want to watch him talk for an hour. Heh, I wish! Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick give us nearly three full hours of Noam Noam Noam, largely interviews conducted directly with the famed linguist/political meddler, and outtakes from public interviews he gave throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the result of following him around the world. Unfortunately, putting Chomsky on a pulpit for three hours isn't really the best way to get his message across (a deep and thorough indictment of politics, the media, and corporate leadership). A little more context and some judicious editing could have given the film longer legs.
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