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Case Number 18131: Small Claims Court

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Outrage (2009)

Magnolia Pictures // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 20th, 2010

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum knows who your senator had sex with.

Editor's Note

Our review of Outrage (1998), published November 13th, 2002, is also available.

The Charge

Do ask. Do tell.

The Case

Outrage is a fascinating documentary from Kirby Dick, a man who has made provocative features like This Film is Not Yet Rated. It looks at politicians who pass antigay legislation. But there's a twist: all of the politicians themselves are having gay sex or at least are rumored to be doing so. Basically the movie does everything but follow Larry Craig into the bathroom and stick a camera lens up his stall while nudging his foot. It's the kind of film that you wonder how they made it without getting the pants sued off them, and I wonder if I can review it properly without getting this site shut down for slander. If for some strange reason DVD Verdict disappears soon, promise me you'll go out and watch Outrage at least once in our honor. The film is salacious good fun, and you'll get some sordid details about how screwy our government and media outlets are.

If you are a member of the GLBT community then Outrage is now officially on your "must see" list, and if you're not part of the rainbow coalition it will be just as fascinating. Not that Outrage tells savvy viewers anything they do not already know, but it illuminates the problem with politics and sexual identity. If a congressman is in the closet you can bet he will vote against the gay community, and it is a special strange hypocrisy that deserves to be dragged out into the daylight. What is amazing are the crazed votes that come out of these twisted folks who won't be who they are and will use hateful legislation to mask their own guilt. Outrage asks, how does this happen, and how long can we put up with it? We see Idaho Senator Larry Craig, Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, New York City Mayor Ed Koch, California Congressman David Dreier, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist get their dirty laundry aired out with and without their permission. The only lesbian who gets the shock treatment is Mary Cheney who is skewered for her poor timing and refusal to help her own community.

The DVD from Magnolia Entertainment is outstanding with plenty of back-up material in addition to the feature itself. Simply distributing this disc is a bold move, but then adding fuel to the fire? Wow. We get three deleted sequences, a tribute to gay activist Rodger McFarlane, a Tribeca Film Festival Q&A with Larry Kramer on the panel, another solo Q&A session with the director in DC, and finally a full length commentary with director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering. The transfer and audio frankly look and sound like a documentary, meaning the quality varies according to filming conditions and age of the elements. Overall it looks quite solid, but grain and distortion do appear periodically throughout the feature.

Yes, it's simply a "talking heads" documentary about how crooked politicians can be. But the fun thing is catching hypocrites looking like fools with their pants on the ground. It's fascinating to see the psychology of someone who would choose to not only deny who they are, but have to pretend to be the opposite for their entire lives. Kirby Dick is fast becoming a documentarian people should watch, because he is muckraking in places where even Michael Moore fears to tread. Outrage is a great DVD and feature that certainly proves the power of film coupled with the silliness of the political world.

The Verdict

Guilt ridden and left crying in a bathroom stall, this film leaves secretly gay politicians exactly where they deserve to be.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 96

Perp Profile

Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Spanish
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Documentary
• Gay

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Featurettes


• IMDb

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