“Munich is not quite, at least on first blush, the unstoppable Oscar powerhouse that I first thought it might be,” admits David Poland in his current “Hot Button” column about his viewing of Steven Spielberg’s film last night (i.e., Monday). “But it is still the likely winner of this year’s Best Picture Oscar, in my opinion.” [I presume readers are aware that whenever a writer says “in my opinion,” it means he/she is feeling less than 100% resolved.] “It is serious…it is excellent,” Poland continues. “And it is about something important beyond its own storytelling parameters. Brokeback Mountain will have its supporters, but I don’t see it overcoming this film, which speaks to bigger issues, though the issues in Brokeback are extremely important to its constituency.” In other words, if you’re gay or female Brokeback may mean a lot to you, but if you’re a thoughtful two-fisted hetero guy you’re going to find “bigger issues” — i.e., more important content — in Munich, and probably even more so if you’re Jewish. And yet Poland’s first out-of-the-gate reaction to Munich…the first thought that seemed strong enough to merit mention…is that all the performances are strong (especially Michael Lonsdale’s “near cameo”). He states toward the end of the piece that “the theme of [Munich] is the dehumanizing nature of violence over time. No matter how well founded — in your mind or in reality — the ‘right’ to kill is, in order to maintain focus on the effort, one must dehumanize both their target and themselves.” Uhm…okay. But uhm…may I say something? Has there ever been an intelligent film about protagonists involved in killing people that doesn’t convey the idea, in one fashion or another, that violence is dehumanizing all around? Including (but certainly not limited to) Peter Weir’s Witness, Fred Zinneman’s High Noon, Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, Michael Mann’s Collateral and about 20 or 30 other films I could mention off the top of my head?