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Al Gore’s Inconvenient Infomercial: A Movie Review

Who is the chubby, aging baby boomer waddling through airport after empty airport, wearily tugging along his 2-piece luggage roller? Hey, it’s not Michael Moore (again). Why, for heaven’s sake, it’s none other than a bored, disgruntled Al Gore, Jr. – the Man Who Personally Believes He Coulda/Woulda/Shoulda Been King! Well, at least Saturday Night Live believed him. Instead of ruling the Western World with a Green Fist, he’s starred in a new movie persuading us to stop using up so much energy. Meanwhile, Al Gore Jr. cruises about foreign capitals in one gas-guzzling, chauffeured Mercedes after another, pondering one very deep thought after another while solemnly tapping away on his Mac Powerbook.

Earth to Al Gore: Actor Steven Seagal already nailed down the slick but glazed ‘poseur look’ about nine movies ago. Is “An Inconvenient Truth” a documentary about Global Warming, or Al Gore’s microphone-grabbing, spotlight-snatching platform to whine about, and revisit, his presidential election loss, six years ago? Is former Veep Gore really hoping to educate film audiences about the very serious dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gases and abrupt climate change, or conniving to create a multi-media white paper for the Democratic Party’s energy agenda? We’re not sure, actually. Perhaps, it is because Al Gore, and the film’s executive producer Davis Guggenheim, were themselves confused as to the direction in which they were heading with this narcissistic political propaganda. C’mon, a former high-profile Vice President of the United States shuffling through airport security like the rest of us hoi polloi? If so, then why didn’t the alarm bells go off? For those who missed it, in one scene Gore wore a belt buckle the size of a small dish, when passing through the airport’s metal detector. And it didn’t screech? Right! Or how about the scene where a pompous Al Gore (sans bodyguards) was hailing a cab in Manhattan, but no one recognized him? Well, perhaps that part was realistic.

Who really cares about Al? Was the former #2 man doing a for-the-people inspirational routine, along the lines of “He Walks Among Us,” so that we’d buy his punch line about self-sacrifice at the end of the movie? The man, who at one time claimed to have invented the Internet, more carefully documented his alleged 30-year personal campaign to help bring Global Warming to a screeching halt. Amazingly, he didn’t include footnotes with his film speech. We’re sure Gore was anticipating the “I invented the Internet” jokes and dutifully prepared his track record for audiences. He shamelessly dredged up memories of his old Harvard science professor, Roger Revelle, whom he once called into congressional hearings to have the scientist warn about CO2 emissions and rising water temperatures. How seriously can we take ‘Scientist’ Al Gore? In a Washington Post article (March 19, 2000), Al’s grades and scores were questioned, during the presidential campaign, and the assistant headmaster at Gore’s private school, St. Albans, reportedly “chuckled at (Gore’s) science results.” He had scored so poorly. Gore’s one constant, his glibness, manifests in this quasi-documentary. Mostly it’s a political infomercial, but for whatever reason Gore was so fervently pitching and hyping Al Gore was never made clear. He hasn’t quite grasped how serious the earth’s climactic changes could impact our civilization, other than flicking through multiple photos of receding glaciers and a few other tidbits.

Gore mentions we might have 100 million refugees if sea levels rise, as if those many would actually survive. In contrast, Dr. Lovelock, author of “The Revenge of Gaia,” is forecasting the demise of billions of people under the same “earth is melting” scenario. Whom do we believe? We vote Lovelock, not Gore. After all, the politician admits, in a recent Rolling Stone magazine interview, Lovelock has forgotten more science than Gore has ever learned. Whatever gravity the poseur portrayed during his supercilious narration, and in his deep-thinking (but awkward) poses, Gore nullified these moments with clumsy flashbacks to the 2000 presidential campaign. (Well, Gore reportedly did a lot of drugs in college, so we guess he's entitled to his flashbacks.) While he claimed in his movie to have moved on, the man still sounded downright bitter during this pre-campaigning film farce. His movie oozes contempt for the man who defeated him, and offers the same ill will toward anyone distantly related – family, business or otherwise – to the man who is now President of the United States. For those who helped keep him out of the White House or dissed him? He repays his enemies in a way only a screenwriter could: Gore adds his enemies to his movie.

Gore’s rapid-fire “subliminal images” are cleverly aimed at Florida and the 2000 presidential campaign. Take that Senator Katherine Harris! Guess which state gets submerged first when the polar ice caps melt? You got it, Florida. Of all the lakes in the world which are drying up, Gore selects Lake Chad. For those who have forgotten, it was the notorious “chads,” which cost Gore the presidency. Darn it Al, will you let it go? It’s been six years, you know. You LOST the election! Film goers should wonder why an ex-tobacco farmer, and erstwhile U. presidential candidate (going 0 for 2 on presidential campaigns), has only NOW come out against fossil fuels because of Global Warming. What’s his agenda? To educate the public? If that is the case, then the filmmakers should have focused on the matter at hand – the earth is getting hotter, and we need a solution. Dr.

James Lovelock’s mandate is simple: Nuclear energy is the single solution. Listen up, Hillary Clinton – you might have enjoyed Al’s ramblings, and said so in your pretentious New York Press Club speech last May, but where is Gore’s actual solution to the Global Warming crisis? The self-righteous Al Jr. offers no solution in his movie. Even when asked by an audience in China for his solution, Gore spouts non-sequiturs – political rhetoric, but no word of a solution. The movie director deftly cuts away before Al can look even sillier, while we wonder why Al offered no solution. The film shows images of a nuclear reactor, a wind farm and running water. Was the blustering Al or his bewildered movie director hoping the audience would choose a solution for them? At least Ross Perot, in his infomercials, had some solution for the ills then facing America. Al has none. Zippo.


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