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Case Number 05984: Small Claims Court

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Buried In The Sand: The Deception Of America

Westlake Entertainment // 2004 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Maurice Cobbs (Retired) // January 15th, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge Maurice Cobbs hasn't been this horrified since he tried to sit through How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.

The Charge

Witness the graphically brutal reality the left denies and the media hides!

The Case

Holy moley.

I'm not really sure how to begin reviewing this…thing. I'm not sure what the DVD's purpose really is, I'm not sure why it needed to be made, and I have no idea what sort of person would buy this (although I'm fairly sure that it isn't the sort of person I'd like to have over for dinner). "The program you're about to see," cautions host Mark Taylor, "is disturbing." That's certainly one word for it. Others might include "horrific," "tasteless," "gruesome," and "barbaric."

There aren't many DVDs that I cannot watch all the way through in a single sitting. This is the only one to date that I've been unable to completely finish. Unless you're some sort of sociopath, I doubt that you'll be able to, either. According to the official website, executive producer Rob Cartee says that Buried in the Sand "directly counters some of the messages contrived by Michael Moore in Fahrenheit 9/11…No matter how horrifying it is to watch, we need to see the truth in its entirety to fully comprehend and acknowledge what is essentially a Middle Eastern holocaust. Without question, it is the moral obligation of all nations in a position to do so to effect change."

That's all well and good. It's not such a difficult thing to show that in his "documentary," Michael Moore's presented image of an idyllic pre-invasion Iraq is—let me be as polite as possible here—not entirely accurate. However, I submit that it could be done without exploiting the horrific suffering of the Iraqi people, and in any case, Buried in the Sand doesn't do much to respond to or counter any claims by Michael Moore. Moore, and Fahrenheit 9/11, are alluded to only in the vaguest possible sense, none of Moore's allegations or premises are addressed or questioned, none of his conclusions are challenged, and no evidence of Fahrenheit 9/11's factual inaccuracy or misleading statements is given. Instead, Buried in the Sand restricts itself to what is essentially a series of lectures punctuated by unedited, graphic footage of fingers and tongues being cut off, people being beaten to bloody pulps, and hostages being otherwise tortured, beaten, and executed—hoping, perhaps, that you will be so repulsed by the brutality visited on the innocent by Islamic terrorists and thugs that you will leap to your feet, hurling your TV dinner at the screen, and exclaim, "By God! Those butchers deserve to die!"

But that's not exactly the reaction that I had to seeing fuzzy footage of people's heads being sawed off, or the charred bodies of Americans being dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge. I already thought that terrorists were barbaric. Buried in the Sand only makes me think that the people at Westlake Entertainment are barbaric as well. And curiously, I wasn't even remotely moved to cheer at the footage of our troops gunning down enemy combatants. Seeing an enemy combatant get blasted by superior firepower isn't as cool in real life as it is in a John Wayne flick—but I wonder if the Westlake crowd are aware of that distinction. This movie takes political debate and issues of national defense and security and reduces them to a movie-serial level, making this seem like nothing so much as a particularly bloody episode of a G.I. Joe cartoon. There may be some people who are drawn to the titillation of Actual Live Human Suffering—and I hope I never run into any of them. But after watching the third hostage screaming through a bloody beheading, I turned off the DVD player.

I was struck by the inclusion of a "Screening Copy Only" tag that lingers across the center of the screen for lengthy intervals. Who, I wondered, would like a bootleg copy of this disc? Perhaps I could send out a few as late Christmas gifts. I noticed that the DVD cover listed such special features as "Factoids" and a "Photo Gallery" (of what, I shudder to imagine), but I'll never know if it's really there or not, because the disc would not allow me to access any sort of main menu—even when the credits roll, the disc simply starts all over again. Joy. I wasn't even allowed to access the other audio options advertised. Pretty shoddy.

I'm right up front among those who think that narcissistic bunkshooters like Michael Moore need to be exposed for the hucksters they are—but snuff films aren't the way to do it. Even though there were some points made that I actually agreed with, there cannot be any sort of justification for this, the sleazy sludge of documentary journalism. This sort of gruesome, irresponsible rubbish panders to the very worst, the very basest in the human spectrum of emotion. As such, there is only one proper place for it: the garbage can.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 0

Perp Profile

Studio: Westlake Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Bad
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• Factoids
• Photo Gallery


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