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Hollywood's mega-liberal darling, Matt Damon, is back at it again in his latest film Promised Land, delivering a theatrical effort that is so far-left, providing little more than junk science platitudes and a radical environmental agenda, that even his anti-fracking cohorts aren't singing its praises.
In other words, Promised Land delivers about what one could expect from today's Hollywood elite.
Damon isn't one to let reality stand in the way of an agenda, vociferously claiming his new movie is an even-handed portrayal of the energy-extracting process of fracking, and a fair assessment of the natural gas industry in general.
In an interview with Big Hollywood, filmmaker Phelim McAleer, co-director of the documentary film FrackNation, points out Damon's agenda is rather transparent.
“Everyone knows he’s anti-fracking,” McAleer said. “If he said, ‘this is my passion project,’ he’d get a much better response. He’s killing his own film by being dishonest.”
And indeed, weekend results show that there are flops, and then there's Promised Land, pulling in a mere $4.3 million despite Damon's star power, in what the Los Angeles Times refers to as "lackluster" and a "bad start".
So what is it about the film that makes it so widely disliked?
First, the junk science involved in getting Damon's anti-fracking message out is so shady, that even mainstream liberals are having a hard time supporting it. Second, typical Hollywood hypocrisy immediately puts the film behind the eight ball - Promised Land was financed by a charter members of the OPEC cartel.
The result? Typically environmentally-friendly outposts in the media have even resorted to hanging Damon out to dry in this latest effort. The Huffington Post for example, ran an article in which the economic benefits of fracking are pointed out as "remarkably apparent".
Raymond Learsy writes:
“What has also become remarkably apparent is that we are dealing with an American resource that is in such abundant supply that it portends to become a major game changer for our economy, bringing thousands upon thousands of jobs into the field and to ancillary industries that are supplying the infrastructure hardware.”
The benefits of fracking are not solely financial in nature either. Learsy goes on to explain that despite the vocal complaints of environmental activists, fracking would reduce emissions by higher levels than other energy sources, and would reduce "in significant measure our need to import fossil fuels."
Even the New York Times had to admit the film's bias, claiming "it admirably tries to represent both sides of the fracking debate, even though its allegiance is clearly to the antifracking position."
Perhaps worse than the false front in terms of science that Promised Land pushes however, is the overall hypocrisy that the project is wrapped in. Damon's studio is bankrolled by a company called Image Media Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi of course, is a charter member of the OPEC cartel.
Learsy explains that the film is essentially a propaganda tool of the OPEC-friendly company to keep their monopoly of oil and gas prices in check.
"Promised Land is meant to frighten Americans, and whomever, to resist the development of shale gas in their communities. No mention here of the long suffering communities of Pennsylvania who have celebrated an economic renaissance through the development and extraction of natural gas from the vast Marcellus Gas Formation.”
Lachlan Markay of the Heritage Foundation adds:
"The company is wholly owned by the government of the UAE. The UAE, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has a stake in the future of the American fossil fuel industry."
All of this has resulted in a movie which simply does not make the cut scientifically, or entertainment-wise, is immediately bombing at the box office, and is being mocked in the media with the title, "Good Will Fracking".
John Hanger, a democrat and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, calls Promised Land "pretty silly entertainment" that "doesn't pretend to deal with the real issues."
Hanger adds, "the movie sticks to caricatures, with the gas company supporters cast as dishonest, landowners as greedy, and drilling opponents as ‘selfless saints.’”
A dishonest movie pushing a specific agenda out of Hollywood? Say it ain't so.
Perhaps the town in which Matt Damon and his anti-fracking crew filmed the movie explains the hypocrisy in the most effective and basic terms. Promised a ‘Promised Land’ that was actually fair, they’ve taken to social media to express their frustration. The 'About' page on the "Armstrong County Promised Land Pride" Facebook site reads:
"They filmed this movie in our backyard. They said it would be fair to drilling. It's not. We're pissed."
As well they should be.
Follow Rusty on Twitter @rustyweiss74