Given that The Undefeated is a clamorous, two-hour political infomercial for Sarah Palin and her (to my mind, inevitable) presidential run, I have to ask: Why, since the film is scheduled to open only in Palin-friendly cities like Dallas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and San Diego, was it specially screened for critics like me in NYC and L.A.? My guess is that we’re looking at a twofold strategy born of desperation. First, reviews in major publications will force Palin back into the conversation of coastal “elites,” now spending all their time mulling over Michele Bachmann and her swishy homophobic husband. Second, our presumed ridicule will be red meat for Palin loyalists, paid and unpaid, who’ll be spurred to come together yet again in the face of a common enemy. ...Yes, there is something undignifed in writing -- even reading -- about Sarah Palin. We are being used.
... This is, of course, the playbook that Palin has been using — by design or instinct or, more likely, both — since she burst onto the Wasilla scene, riling up the mob against those who oppose her decency and authenticity and the way she stands up for “ordinary workin’ folks.” ...
Some other reviews are out, today, too:
Time magazine's "The Undefeated: Her Holiness Sarah Palin;"Harry Potter gets more attention than Sarah Palin in conservative Orange County! Who could have known?
The Atlantic's "Sarah Palin's 'The Undefeated': Bad Propaganda, Worse Filmmaking;"
and The Atlantic's "Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange County."
Update: MOVIE|LINE has "Empty Theaters, 0% Positive Reviews Greet Sarah Palin Documentary."
Update: The N.Y. Daily News has "In some cities, it's Bellatrix Lestrange versus... Sarah Palin."
Update: MTV has "'Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2': The Reviews Are In!"
The last word comes from The L.A. Times' "Sarah Palin documentary 'The Undefeated' opens in Orange County; three pay to attend:"
... Right before the Palin doc at the Block started Thursday night, two giggling sisters planning on going to Disneyland in the morning arrived in Friedersdorf's theater.
"We looked online for the latest movie playing," one of the sisters told him. "But all the Harry Potters were sold out, and then we saw 'The Undefeated.' We don't even actually know what we're seeing."
Soon after the film started the sisters, like Palin when she was governor of Alaska, left early.