Sarah Palin documentary 'The Undefeated' opens in Orange County; three pay to attend
Sarah Palin met her match at the AMC theaters in Orange County on Friday morning. The clear victor was a bespectacled wizard named Harry Potter.
The Palin documentary "The Undefeated" opened at the stroke of midnight at the Block, the mall off the 5 freeway in the city of Orange.
According to Conor Friedersdorf, an associate editor of the Atlantic, he and two sisters appeared to be the only people who paid to attend the California premiere.
As Friedersdorf approached the cinema he noticed that "the crowd was either showing ironic solidarity with Christine O'Donnell, the 'tea party' candidate who is not a witch, or else everyone was there to see the Harry Potter movie playing on a majority of the theater's 30 screens."
Friedersdorf took his seat and did not have to worry about anyone kicking the back of his chair, that's for sure.
"Inside, the theater was empty. I sat there alone for 20 minutes, at which point an usher stuck his head in the door, gave me a quizzical smile, and said, 'How come you're not watching Harry Potter?' Then he left me by myself again, and without any good answer," Friedersdorf reported.
Perhaps right-leaning Orange County moviegoers read the early reviews?
In Friday's Times, film critic Robert Abele says the movie "is really a troop-rallying campaign infomercial as imagined by Michael Bay: hero-worshipping, crescendo-edited at a dizzying pace, thunderously repetitive and its own worst enemy as a two-hour, talking-points briefing."
The Orlando Sentinel's Roger Moore didn't seem to enjoy it either.
"It’s an infomercial of almost comical omissions. Here’s what ISN’T in 'The Undefeated' — Palin’s many gaffes on the campaign trail in 2008, gaffes which continue today, her deer in the headlights moments during debates, her disastrous Katie Couric interview and her cash-in-quick reality TV soap opera family. The movie skims over the reasons she quit her governor’s job just as the going got really tough and glosses over the flood of ethics complaints that dogged her. There is no 'Bridge to Nowhere.' You leave out that stuff and it casts doubt on what you’ve chosen to include and how you may have slanted her Alaskan record," Moore wrote in a review on which he awards the film 1.5 stars out of 4.
Currently there are eight reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for "The Undefeated"; none are positive.
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.
-- Tony Pierce
Photo: A poster advertising the Sarah Palin documentary "The Undefeated" at the film's premiere in Pella, Iowa, on June 28. The documentary traces Palin's rise from mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, to state governor and her rise as John McCain's running mate in 2008. Credit: Brian C. Frank / Reuters.
Andrew Malcolm is on vacation through Tuesday.