Friday, December 13, 2013

Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie - Review

This easily digestible documentary showcases how the middle-aged son of an once prominent singer found his niche in life as the "Blue Collar King", a talk-show host who was more hostile to his guests than his raucous audiences. In between all of the backstory and exposition about Morton, the makers also wanted to reveal how his trash television style of spreading the hate unleashed the floodgates of conservative media. As stated, this is very breezy to sit through and observe, unless of course you aren't aware of the sludgy syndicated shows of the late 80's or some of the most tumultuous topics of the day, most notably the rape case of Tawana Brawley. Retrospecting the two year life span of The Morton Downey Jr. Show is an astonishing rush of pure anger and sick entertainment, no matter what political badge you carry. When the film isn't focused on the show or the friends, fans, and employees of the chain-smoking iconoclast, the makers unfortunately try to spruce up the structure with absurdist elements like animated interludes, readings of the poetry he wrote after losing his dear friend RFK, and selected listens to his attempts at making music. These culminate with the film's ending credits, a takeoff of the famous opening to THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. They don't benefit the documentary much but at least they do what Morton did best: Shake your senses awake and create an unblown view on the American life.


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