Kevin Willis on liberal propaganda movies
I often debate the issue with lefties at the entertainment site, aintitcool.com, and I argue the number one problems is movies made with an ideological axe to grind (or itch to scratch) tend to be boring. The "atheist themed" Golden Compass will do in box office what a half-dozen of the current anti-war movies haven't, because movies like Lions for Lambs or In The Valley of Elah look, and are, boring and tedious. The trailers for Rendition made the movie look tedious. I wouldn't have gone to see it if it had been on the right side of the issue. Frankly, political policy is important to me, but I don't go to movies to learn about social security reform. I want to see a good story, a romantic comedy, or giant robots.
It's not a coincidence that modern liberals, making movies with ideological axes to grind, make boring and tedious movies. It's just a bad place to start. Even if they have a decent story, if the writers are trying to inject some of their personal politics into a movie (such as the line about no occupying force ever winning a war, spaketh by Tim Robbins in "War of the Worlds"), then that's usually the stupidest part of the movie.
But it's not just the war. Fast Food Nation completely tanked at the box office, making under $2 million dollars--it couldn't have been begun to pay for marketing. And it was a totally "America is Bad, Look we kill cows" movie, and worse that watching all the graphic images of cow slaughter is listening to characters try to insert liberal talking points into "conversation" like it's a PowerPoint presentation. And I could go on and on and on . . .
A followup post:
BTW, The Golden Compass will do good business, because it has Daniel Craig, and talking polar bears, and witches, and special effects, and all sorts of cook stuff, and isn't a bunch of eggheads sitting around talking about how stupid Christians are. But I guarantee you a lot of libs will see it as mainstream acceptance of atheism, anti-Christianity, etc. And then there will be the thoughtful Redford movie staring Meryl Streep as the reporter being harangued by Tom Cruise's fundamentalist paritioner. And that'll tank . . .
Lions for Lambs is tanking. Redacted (Brian DePalma's depiction of U.S. soldiers as murdering child rapists), for which DePalma has already won some awards (despite the fact many liberal critics have panned the film as godawful as a film) . . . Redacted will be debuting on HDNet (a cable channel with not a lot of market penetration) before it hits theaters, which seems to me a tacit acknowledgement that it's going to tank at the box office.
Again, interesting stories make for good movies. "America is bad" is not an interesting story. "I'm a Hollywood writer, and thus smarter and more moral than you rubes in flyover country, and this movie will teach you how to be smart like me" is also not an interesting story--in fact, it's a story that Hollywood has done way too much and it wasn't any good the first time.