Gump Harder

The (perhaps unwitting) con-job Lee Daniels is running on the old guard movie press is kind of a joy to watch: His penchant for social-consciousness casts him as a helmer of Award Season middlebrow pablum, and the halo-effect of his Oprah connection seems to make many unable to discern that his films are actually sleazy, trashy, batshit-insane exploitation junk of the highest order. Seriously, go back and actually watch “Precious.” The only question is whether Daniels himself is a subversive genius in on his own joke or if he thinks his Hallmark-meets-Grindhouse schlock is serious drama, too – the guy is like Tyler Perry’s George Stark.

Anyway, Daniels’ big movie this year is “The Butler,” aka “Black Forrest Gump,” aka “We SWEAR This Is a Real Movie, Not an SNL Sketch.” Forrest Whitaker stars as a White House butler who has a front row seat to turbulent decades of American cultural change as he serves in the background of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and Reagan administrations. It already looks completely nuts, mostly due to a rosters of stars running the gamut from disastrously bad casting to ingeniously bad casting (JOHN FUCKING CUSACK AS NIXON!!!) – and this is only the early “hide all the ridiculous Lee Daniels stuff” trailer!

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