So I went to see the highest-grossing documentary of all time...

...and apart from the more obviously propagandistic elements (children playing in the streets of Baghdad before the outbreak of war), it was incredibly affecting. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. No, I'm here to talk about what will clearly be one of the finest films of this age or any other: Phantom of the Opera. They ran the trailer before the Michael Moore screening, and it got the biggest laugh of the night. (With due respect to Fahrenheit 9/11, which got much more applause.) Here's how: Lush trailer. Lots of action, swooping cameras, like Baz Luhrmann decided to stop making everything look so goddamn blotchy. Some Phantom-y theme plays in the background. (Yeah, you know the one.) Action, garish colors, lots of ugly looks from the Phantom (who is neither Michael whatshisname nor Robert Guillaume, but rather this guy), and a general sense that every shot in the film is either a crane shot or a tracking shot, a suspicious lack of dialogue or singing, and then up comes a card that says: A FILM BY JOEL SCHUMACHER which inspires a guy sitting a few rows behind us to say, in an incredibly disgusted tone, "oh, GOD," which subsequently brings the house down. Thank you, Joel Schumacher-hater; whoever you are, you lulled me into a false sense of lightheartedness which set me adequately off-balance, so that I was even more enraged by Moore's film. PS: Special to the members of the audience who hissed at Colin Powell - lay off the guy a bit. He's a good soldier who's been ill-used by this administration, and he takes whatever jabs at BushCo policies he can get away with.


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