If you want some things to entertain you, you can go read Frank Rich doing a victory lap, or you can check out the complete list of conservative movies at NRO. Did you know that the Incredibles, Ghostbusters and Forrest Gump were conservative epics? I know! Me either!
Now 300, with the over the top HoYay and men running around in their knickers, I can see how that plays to the Larry Craig crowd. At any rate, have at it.
That Rich column is fantastic, especially when you contrast it with the front-page story about how Eric Cantor is the second coming of Gingrich.
I’m not sure which one should be more insulted by that comparison. Probably Newt, as he didn’t seem to be a drooling moron.
Actually, Forrest Gump seems a little too appropriate, in some ways . . .
No, I buy Forrest Gump as a conservative flick. All the liberal icons of the 1960s are portrayed as idiots and criminals — the Hoffmanesque antiwar protester, the misogynistic SDS activist and the Black Panther thugs — and Jenny’s involvement in their world of sexual liberation and drug use is what leads to her downfall. Meanwhile, Forrest remains true to Bear Bryant, the Army, and his mama, and he sails right along without a problem in the world.
It’s like a history of the 1960s written by New Gingrich. I’m surprised they didn’t show Martin Luther King punching out a nun.
I. Love. Pearls.
When I had a relatively well-paying job in the early 90s, my most opulent gift to myself was a strand. Need to dig them out of wherever they are stashed.
God. Those black pearls with the gemstones interspersed?
Nice to see Amazing Race back. Something to watch in between 60 Minutes and Flight of the Conchords. A promising Sunday so far.
The listing of Brazil is perhaps the most crazy. Unless, of course, they think that the movie is a promotion of that form of government.
calling all toasters
The ultimate conservative movie is "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Assuming that one is rooting for the body snatchers.
That’s Frank Rich, quoting Axelrod.
Someday, even (some of) the blogs will discover this truth. I find it to be so obvious that anybody paying attention must see it, but just as I went apeshit for the Obama campaign, I am always taking on those impossible crusades.
Eric Can’t-er; a good name for the leader of the Party of No.
And here I always thought it was "Deliverance". Ya learn somethin’ new ev’ry day.
The Rich piece was rich, but this sentence the richest.
The Grand Panjandrum
I chuckled all the way through that Frank Rich piece but this was the quip that got the LOL from me:
I’m pretty surprised that there are no Matt Sanchez movies on that list.
Toasters, the original Body Snatchers was actually about communism, so that would be a much less stupid pick than damn near anything on the NRO list.
And of course the original Day the Earth Stood Still was a retelling of JC’s story, but it was hippy peacenik Jesus, not the Jesus NRO would claim they like.
Groundhog Day? Team America? They just made that shit up.
For me, this sums up the conservative movement, and their stupid movie list, in one sentence.
It’s the "stopped clock right twice a day" theory of a political movement, I guess. See? Even the stupid people can say inadvertently smart and heartwarming things.
And therefore, I guess, those stupid people should be put in charge. I mean, that is the point, right?
two things: i remember watching Brazil on the teevee a long time ago and the movie ended BEFORE the scene when we come back to Palin in the torture chamber so it had a happy ending….i kid you not. I was stunned.
But you can make any move "seem" conservative (except perhaps China Syndrome), watch this:
#3 Dead Poets Society shows the corrupting influence and destructive power of the liberal fantasies of (a) free thinking and (b) breaking from authority. Here is a movie where the kids fail to learn how to understand the larger world as it really is in lieu of a fantasy world of hyper-real poeticism. In the end it destroys everyone it touches (including suicide) and its only real "force" is to allow for a nominal and impotent gesture of fealty to the fantasy when the young (deluded) men stand up on their desks. The destructive power of the liberal fantasy of education on display.
see, how much fun that is….
This has been suggested elsewhere but I thought of it first. I did. It would be relatively easy for someone with some time on their hands to write reviews of those movies that demonstrate how they are great liberal movies. I hope someone does it. Not me though, I’m just the idea guy.
Most movies about the Vietnam War reflect the derangements of the antiwar Left. This film, based on the memoir by Lt. Col. Hal Moore (played by Mel Gibson), offers a lifelike alternative
I just love that quote (re We Were Soldiers). In two short sentences it showcases exactly what is wrong with "the Right".
And apparently "the Left" has never forgiven Mel Gibson for portraying a revolutionary in Braveheart. As they say, who knew?
"Life is like a box of chocolates, also."
Seems to sum up a party taking advice from Not Joe the Not Plumber.
you can make the argument that ANY movie from Dirty Harry to X-Men to The Incredible Hulk is conservative at its core if you understand the message to be that there are ust some enemies that you cannot defeat playing by the rules. They are too evil, too sinister, too strong. In those special cases, the traditional rules of engagement have to be suspended.
In many of those super hero movies there is a mesage about working together…blah blah blah; but ask yourselves this you liberal softies, in our world there are no fantastic superheros, so what else are we to do but bend the rules for the truly wicked villans.
voila..all superhero movies = conservative!
I have to give them the INCREDIBLES which, much as I love it I find very creepy on the question of "the superman" and his constant struggle against the little people who would tie him down. As the child of a scientist I’m disturbed by the transformation of the child who wants to be a super hero helper into a "mad scientist" whose stated goal of enabling everyone be heroic and serve mankind is transformed into a pathology (aka syndrome). The movie insists that we ought to want to live in an aristocracy, not a meritocracy and that accepting and exploiting our own gifts, even in closed competitive races with others who lack those gifts, is meritorious while any attempt to achieve parity for all is evil and doomed to failure.
I know this is way more thought than this post requires but one of the most interesting little oddities in the incredibles is the way the little boy is encouraged to race and win in competitions with other little kids. Sure, that’s his talent. But that is like entering your blonde child into a "blonde bimbo" competition over and over again, competing against brunettes, just so she can "win." Isn’t the right parental task there to encourage your kid to actually challenge himself to do something that is hard for him, or at least not to enter rigged competitions which he always wins? I was and am astounded at how the movie organizes itself explicitly around the "if everyone is special no one is special" argument when what it is really arguing is that "if my form of specialness doesn’t rule then I’m taking my ball and going home." That’s the conservative part, of course: they think that the special olympics "gives retards something to be happy about" and *that’s what’s wrong with it.* They think that a pedagogical system that doesn’t flunk *every kid but their own* is giving undue encouragement to life’s losers.
Well, I’d argue that Dirty Harry was conservative. Pretty much a Richard Nixon speech on "law and order" set to the screen.
Interestingly enough (and this is revealing my young age), I was in college when 300 came out, and while I thought the movie was just okay, my friends LOVED it. So we threw a 300 theme party, complete with the costumes and everything, and at one point, someone put on the joke song of "It’s Raining Men" with the shouts from the movie. That was replayed quite a few times that night (and several nights after that), and the irony of my rough and tough conservative jock friends being so drunk to sing out loud to that song is pretty strong, not only because the song itself is jokingly gay, but because all of the guys were walking around in black underwear with the girls in female togas.
I don’t get Ghostbusters (is it because they’re a private company and not a gvmt ghostbusting agency?)
However, Forrest Gump has been criticized from the left for ages for playing up conservative stereotypes of what happened over the last fifty years. On top of that, complete idiot = unrivaled entrepreneurial success is more or less the ideal fate Republicans envision for folks that lose welfare.
That and his white girlfriend getting beaten up at a Panther rally, but I guess her boyfriend was white too, right?
I couldn’t care less about any particular movie being undercover conservative propaganda, but it’s not like there’s no justification for The Corner to slobber over Gump.
The truly pathetic thing about the man-love for 300 is the historical illiteracy to claim those guys as "democrats." really? can no one google Sparta or watch the History Channel. Those folks were programmed in much the way the Right saw the Soviets. Sigh. Back to cartoon reality….
The Grand Panjandrum
With The Edge being proclaimed one of the best conservative movies, and The Hunt for Red October making the honorable mentions list is Alex Baldwin now a darling of the NRO crowd?
I don’t know if I’d go that far. It makes more sense, I think, to look at Forrest Gump the man as more of a blank slate at the beginning that is affected by the changes around him in some small way as they happen. Or if you want to be more general, his character doesn’t really seem to take the characteristics of one era too much, because he has to float through the rest of them.
Besides, if Newt Gingrich wrote the picture, he might have projected a little of himself into the movie, so Forrest would have cheated a few times while thinking about the wonders of tax cuts.
I have to disagree with you, I think Forrest Gumpp is actually a devastating critic of America in general, but in particular of the know nothing, anti-intellectualism of the right. It is made crystal clear that none of Gumpp’s (as a proxy for the US) good fortune has anything to do with his beliefs and actions, but in fact has occurred in spite of them, and in a reality he is a danger to himself and those around him. I am stunned they put it on the list.
Mike in NC
Should have qualified for the NRO list merely for the fact that Jon Voight was in it. Man, that guy devolved into one serious wingnut, even writing anti-Obama screeds during the campaign.
How is Goodfellas not on the list?? a movie about the seductions of crime destroying and killing everyone. And in the end, the only way or Ray Liotta’s character to survive is to live like a schmuck in the suburbs. These guys do not even understand their own message!!
How is Passion of the Christ not number one??????
They picked We Were Soldiers? Seriously? What, they didn’t watch it all the way to the end?
I think what annoys me about them trying to claim The Dark Knight is that it’s such obvious bullshit. I mean they’re trying to claim that the big echolocation machine is the NSA wiretapping program and that Batman somehow vindicates Bush, but so far as I know most Democrats/liberals broadly agreed that we needed new technological and legal means to fight terrorists. The argument was over the fact that the executive branch wanted all this power with no oversight whatsoever. And to that end, Batman is the anti-Bush in that he requires Fox to operate the system, making Fox a de facto check on his power (to say nothing of letting Fox destroy the machine).
But then, reading through the list it seems like just another thing they imagine will really piss off liberals, so I won’t really bother with it.
On the other hand, my first thought at the invocation of Forrest Gump was mama fucking the school principal to get Forrest into school. Ah, conservative values.
Gordon, The Big Express Engine
These people are idiots. Do you have any doubt that Springsteen’s "Born in The USA" would appear on their list of Top 25 Conservative Rock and Roll songs?
@Napolean – I like your interpretation of Forrest Gump
last one: THREE Peter Weir movies on the list and honorable mentions: Witness, Master and Commander and the Truman Show (note that I used his Dead Poets Society earlier) . Never mind that i think he is one of the greatest directors of this generation (see Gallipoli, with mel Gibson), but his movies are NOT conservative. They are beatiful renditions of the human condition. Is Witness conservative because the Police are corrupt — that seems anti-conservative. Because the Amish are depicted with respect? (Other than Harrison Ford defiling an Amish woman.)
really, i cannot follow this — it hurts my brain
@Comrade Jake: They sure as hell didn’t read the damned book, that is for sure. And if you all have not, you need to read it and then you need to read Streets Without Joy by Bernard Fall.
I thought that the inclusion of "Metropolitan" was pretty fab. I mean, there must be so many red state Wit Stillman fans out there.
Then there were the also rans… great conservative movies like "Three Kings" and Wit Stillman’s "The Last Days of Disco" (I suppose that was Roy Cohn’s shining moment.)
What? The Truman Show?
The Truman Show is an allegory for falling away from religion. Just look at how Cristof is a heavenly body that Truman struggles against. Truman eventually finds out everything he understands about the world is false and goes out to live a life on his terms.
That’s MY movie. (not really but my interpretation is fairly well supported.)
Yeah, I got a good chuckle out of them obviously not understanding that.
But really, what are they going to do? It’s not like the ideology of modern conservatism actually makes for good art, and even NRO wouldn’t have a list of Red Dawn 25 times.
Oh, and I see in the also rans: ‘Thank You for Smoking’ (but not supporting Obama Christopher Buckley, looking at you…) and Serenity!!!
Oh, and don’t forget "The Island" MICHAEL BAY!
I’m sorta suprised that "The Big Country" didn’t make the list. It needs more Charlton Heston Films.
(Were there any on this list?)
I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of this to speak with any authority. I can say that the laws seemed to work pretty well for the few decades after they were established, and I definitely agree that most Democrats would be open to at least talking any sort of changes that might need to be made to the FISA laws and any other laws that deal with surveillance. After all, the times, both politically and technologically, are different. The difference between most people, both on the left and on the right, and the Bush administration and its few supporters is that the latter group seems to feel there should be no question of any authority in this matter, while the former thinks this is nuts for a bunch of reasons, ideologically and technically speaking.
As far as "The Dark Knight" goes, didn’t Batman give Lucious Fox the password to destroy the system once it was used? At minimum, this shows this movie to be the ultimate fantasy because power of that magnitude was voluntarily given up once it was used. If we lived in a world where such measures would be temporary, it’d be one thing, but we certainly don’t. That changes the nature of the discussion dramatically.
I think it is because the guy who tries to shut the ‘Busters down is from the EPA.
Yep. And the machine was built such that it required a second person to operate. So if Fox had simply refused to go along with it, then the whole thing wouldn’t have worked.
August J. Pollak
What’s so mind-numbing about the list is that they seem to love any movie that depicts a government official as evil/stupid/corrupt, while at the same time loving any movie where a policeman or military official completely oversteps the bounds of his own authority.
Basically it’s a "conservative" movie if they can somehow claim the message is the government should have no power unless it’s to kill someone they don’t like.
I was going to say something about Forrest Gump (amazing how you can claim the movie was a glorification of simplicity over addressing the realities of a changing world when you simply ignore Gary Sinese’s character existed) but they had me at LOTR for #11:
Author J. R. R. Tolkien was deeply conservative
Jesus. Tap-dancing. Christ.
Eh, the problem with the list is that they can’t seem to see how others would view the movies differently. Most movies avoid any (obvious) sign of an agenda because that just scares away potential viewers.
Next they are going to talk about the hero Jason going after all those immoral, hedonistic teenagers regardless of the fact that he is the movie’s villain.
Brien Jackson at 33:
I couldn’t agree more. That was a chilling scene. But its one that, oddly, the movie doesn’t seem to have the nerve to judge. I remember thinking as I was watching it "this is a devastating criticism of everything that Forresst Gump thinks and its a devastating rape of the mother and yet the movie treats it as though its nothing special." It has no after effects on the mother’s character and we aren’t really put in the position of having our rage at the princple vindicated. Its just represented as totally normal and of course.
Oh yeah, Stand and Deliver? For fucking real? A movie about the value of public education in poor inner city schools poplated mostly by racial minorities? Really?
@aimai: It struck me as an interesting facet of his mother as a person, practical first and foremost. Her attitude seems not unlike John’s mother’s response to the Spitzer issue.
Ugh, boring start of the day at work. Sorry for all the spam.
Why isn’t Red Dawn higher on the list? Isn’t it the most watched RedState romantic film?
I think they knew they’d get laughed at something fierce if Red Dawn and Heartbreak Ridge went 1-2.
Still, you know that killed them. I think that’s why there’s so much obvious bullshit on the list. It’s like they decided that if they couldn’t fully extol the greatness of their boner movies they were going to take a lot of decent movies, call them conservative anthems, and really piss off the libruls.
I saw the movie a long time ago and I’m not its target audience. It made me very uncomfortable on a number of levels which I can’t quite remember anymore so I can’t say I remember exactly how that scene pissed me off. If I were to take a stab at it I think its because (as I recall it) the mother has yet to have been fully disillusioned about the world. She goes to the principal to ask for help and she actually expects help to be freely given out of christian or southern or gentlemanly principles. Instead she’s rudely shown her vulnerability, and that the world is going to be a hellishly brutal place. Sure, she steps up to the plate, as it were, and has sex with the guy to get what she wants. But its kind of a big moment in the movie, or ought to be. The moment when a woman realizes that every person she’s been interacting with is out to fuck her over? That the rest of her life is going to be selling herself, allowing herself to be used, just to get what her kid needs? Its a hugely ugly moment for any woman to watch, or any woman to go through–and I think its a first for her,in the story on the screen. And it just passes without comment or effect. It was either bad writing, bad directing, or disinterest on the part of the writer or director in giving anyone a realistic interior life.
give me zelig any day–now there’s a conservative movie!
Conservatives love "Forrest Gump" while liberals prefer "Rainman". The message in Forrest Gump is that if you just try a little harder, you too can become a multi-millionaire with numerous invitations to meet the President at the White House.
Why is Ben Stein on my TV?
I guess it’s just gone down the memory hole that ol’ Benny was telling us just a few months ago that there was nothing wrong with our economy or financial institutions, that the sub-prime loans were just a tiny part of the entire picture (which, in a very narrow sense, was true, but was completely beside the point), that All Will Be Well if we Just Clap Harder!
Why does this guy have a regular gig on a major network, spewing his brain farts every other Sunday morning to young and impressionable minds?
This is really grating on me for some reason. I mean, it’s just so absurd. I think it’s mostly the fact that thematic arcs and nuanced references themselves are so deeply anti-conservative, so watching these idiots try to draw them out of movies to suit themselves is just downright offensive.
Oh yeah, @ 26:
Just more proof that the right-wing loves fascism no?
Thinking about Ben Stein’s comment while doing last night’s dishes. Part of it really stuck me as odd and especially lame: his pride and joy that a black man, an elegant black man, holds the office of Prez of The Greatest Nation on Earth.
Did he just come out of a coma this morning? He’s had two years to adjust to the possibility, three months to integrate the probability, and a month to embrace the reality. What is newly noteworthy about Obama’s blackness that warrants the pointing out today?
What a gaboon.
@numbskull: Had I waited 4 more minutes to post I could’ve just linked back to you for further elaboration.
Mike in NC
Forrest W. Bush
I think I am surprised that a couple of their favorite "flog it" movies didn’t make the list – "The Green Berets" and "Patton" were omitted.
And these reviews are of interest.
Jerks. They’d love a world where us lowly proles "knew our place".
Sounds like the Bush Administration to me.
calling all toasters
It’s hard to believe that they missed the ultimate portrait of a Reaganesque hero: Being There.
I’ll use any excuse to repeat my favorite joke regarding 300. Sarah Silverman said the name comes from how gay it is on a scale of 1-10.
Obama’s popularity ratings.
Stein doesn’t want to look like the complete horse’s ass that he actually is.
Wait, wait…isn’t it a basic tenet of wingnuttery that Hollywood is full of EEEEVIL leftists and that only movies that are full of insidious liberal mind-programming are allowed to be made?
If so, then how is it that many of these great "conservative" movies are blockbusters and quite a few are described as "critically acclaimed"?
I watched _Forrest Gump_ so long ago that the details have entirely vanished, but I do recall disliking it because they had turned a book that was a ferocious indictment of the Reagan 80s into a essentially conservative paean, so I don’t think NRO is so off on that one.
Hmm, well, Incredibles does have those themes, but I disagree that they are the only or most important themes. The kid does win one race using his super speed. But it is clear that this is second best to being able to publicly use his powers to be a hero. At the end, they get to be who they are, and I don’t think the little boy will be bothering to win rigged races anymore.
Is that kinda like the ultimate family-values party with leaders who get off on diaper play with prostitutes?
Wait–so the movie caricatures a racist? That sounds kind of anti-racist. OK.
Conservatives actually admit this ailment exists? I guess so if it’s from a war identified with a Democratic administration. Except for Viet Nam.
Yes, everyone knows conservatives love foreign cultures, especially if they can be used as sticks to beat our decadent one with (see Dinesh D’Souza, The Enemy at Home)
Uh, by "blows away political correctness" you mean he says a lot of racist things, right? But you said he was a caricature of a racist. So are we supposed to admire his racism or what? Oh, and also–you did watch the movie all the way to the end, right? Because I think I missed the Dirty Harry movie where he renounces violence and makes the ultimate sacrifice so that "bad guys" can be dealt with within the law by publicly accountable institutions.
Wow, nicely put. I also enjoyed The Incredibles despite this theme. Give me "with great power comes great responsibility" any day.
There is some legitimate conservative art out there; "conservatives" just don’t learn anything from it.
The Rude Pundit had a post on Friday showing that NRO’s staff weren’t so impressed with some of these "best" "conservative" movies when they were released.
@eric: That would have been the bastardized "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil. Terry Gilliam had nothing to do with that cut and hated it, for good reason. I can believe that the NRO crowd loved that one.
@TR: Except Harry throws his badge away at the end, which is no doubt a huge buzz kill for the NRO crowd.
I saw Forrest Gump when it first came out, and despised it, as I thought Bob Zemeckis was condescendingly telling us peons that we should just be happy with what we have. How convenient for a guy who’d made untold millions off the Back to the Future series. (I always thought that his Used Cars provided a more accurate account of his world view.)
And I’d be careful about attributing political motives to Don Siegel, a director who seemed to be assiduously apolitical. Sure, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers can be read as an allegory about commie infiltrators, but it can just as easily be seen as one about HUAC collaborators as well. And although the first of the Dirty Harry movies seems to embrace a fascist police state, Harry Callahan is pretty much unambiguously portrayed as violent and racist and not at all likable and that the decadent society that produced such a thug has to rely on him for protection from an even more repellant psychopath. I’m not sure how that cuts politcally. (The subsequent films in the series, with which Siegel wasn’t involved, are more overtly fascist, especially the second one, Magnum Force, co-scripted by Hollywood right-winger (and Red Dawn director) John Milius, which zooms the hypocrisy inherent in the original to intentionally ridiculous heights. Basically it’s satire rendered numb by hack director Ted Post, which makes it more subversive. The rest of the series is pretty much run-of-the-mill police-state fodder.)
RE: The Dark Knight
Via Todd Alcott, who is awesome. Also, Spoiler alert, as if you haven’t seen this thing.
Wishing for the strong, always-right, never-wrong hero of their imaginations? Sound like anyone you know?
So LOTR made the list of conservative movies. Guess it doesn’t matter that everyone involved with the project is a flaming liberal (Ex: the openly ghey atheist Ian McKellan and Cindy Sheehan’s BFF Viggo "No Blood for Oil" Mortensen) and that Peter Jackson made sure to distance himself from Bush-ism during the movie’s media blitz. I guess the conservative label is based solely on the warmongering aspect of the story, but how can these idiots not realize pacifism and liberalism aren’t synonymous when they just spent an entire presidential campaign telling us "the most liberal senator in DC" was a friend of radical hippy terrorists? I guess they tuned out the pro-environmentalism messaging. And they must’ve fast forwarded all the scenes where the good guys refuse to use the enemies ultimate weapon for fear of becoming as bad as the enemy they’re trying to defeat.
I’ve often thought a pretty excellent counterpoint film to "300" would be about how that particular war ended.
Sure the Spartans died in a heroic fashion against the enemy, but Xerxes was ultimately defeated by an Athenian named Themosticles. Despite having tepid support from his generals, this civilian was able to rally the people, outwit Xerxes, (hmm.. who does this sound like?) and crush the Persian navy in a decisive battle.
Also notably, without having to sacrifice his life.
That, and his not being a humper of little boys like those creeps in Sparta seems to make him a more endearing figure to this reader.
The reason "Red Dawn" is so low is Iraq, at this point they’re having second thoughts about extolling the virtues of a homegrown insurgency in the face of a powerful invader.
And also because Bill Murray makes a joke about academia. Take *that*, ivory-tower-dwelling LIEbrul elitists!
Well, from the list we can deduct that conservatives live mostly in a fantasy world (Ghostbusters, LOTR, 300, Groundhog Day, etc) and that nothing of importance happened in conservative cinematography before 4 A.R. (Anno Ronnium).
The Dark Knight – Batman? They’re seriously trying to claim Batman as a conservative icon? The guy who rejects the comfortable hedonism of a billionaire playboy’s lifestyle in favour of a thankless crusade to protect the innocent and fight the corrupt elites who control his city?
Give me a fekking break. The point of The Dark Knight is that Batman would give it all up tomorrow if he could just trust in elected officials to do their job and not sell out the little guy for money 24/7. And when he thinks he’s found that guy, it’s all destroyed by the chaotic force (the Joker) his outside-the-law ‘War on Terror’ drives the Gotham Underworld to turn to for panicked self-preservation.
Or, in the more longwinded version. If Bruce Wayne had dropped his Batman fantasy before it started throwing up real-life wannabes, and instead used his financial and poltical influence to get behind Harvey Dent’s within-the-law crusade a bit earlier, then he’d have been married to Rachel, and Dent would never have been involved with her. He’s happy, Dent is undistracted, and the Gotham Underworld would have dealt with a crazy loose-cannon like The Joker themselves, because facing a traditional law-enforcement threat is a very different paradigm than a no-rules war with some tooled-up, vigilante superhero who appears to be illegally well-connected to the Police.
And at the end, Batman accepts the burden of being an outcast and a renegade because he has the courage to also accept that – however necessary his outside-the-law methods might be under exceptional circumstances, making them an unofficial part of the official toolbox just corrupts and gets people killed. And should – not – happen.
The Dark Knight is a virulent rejection of the conservative world view, not an affirmation. Dickheads.
Maybe "Dirty Harry" isn’t listed as high as you might think because Inspector Harry Callahan tended to bob and weave through that film series.
The first is certainly a conservative wet dream. A long-haired killer whose belt buckle forms the peace sign is allowed to walk because Harry tortured him under the lights of Kezar Stadium, thus making his confession and the murder weapon inadmissible as evidence. The snotty D.A. and a legal academic deliver this news to the seething Harry, meaning our renegade cop must do the job on his own.
But in "Magnum Force," the foes are a group of fascist motorcycle cops who are taking the law into their own hands. Offered a chance to join, Harry refuses and cites an actual case from South America (I believe it’s Brazil), where the coppers were functioning as judge, jury and executioner to the damage of society overall.
In "The Enforcer," Harry continuously argues the crimes are not the work of black militants. Instead, they’re a loose affiliation of low-life terrorists looking for money. "Sudden Impact" shows Harry intimidating a mobster into having a heart attack at his granddaughter’s wedding, but nothing too overtly political. Ditto for "The Dead Pool."
Undoubtedly the cons love "Gran Torino," but just two years ago, asshats like Michael Medved were going after Eastwood hammer and tong for "Million-Dollar Baby" because it embraced euthanasia.
How sad and pathetic to hold up every cultural item in sight for liberal or conservative bias rather than to just enjoy the work itself. I’m waaaay liberal but love "Dirty Harry" as a slick, effective and efficient thriller by a great director, Don Siegel. Hell, I think "Red Dawn" is a hoot, but likely not for the same reasons as our rightwing brethren.
The heroic Spartans euthanized sick babies. This was explicitly illustrated at the beginning of 300. Yet all the wingers who’ve slobbering over Leonidas’ spear don’t seem the least bit troubled by this aspect of Spartan society. What part of the pit full of dead baby skulls did they not understand?
Gee, I’m starting to think the Repubs aren’t all that sincere about the whole "culture of life" thing.
Decline and Fall
@Gordon, The Big Express Engine:
NRO published their list of top Conservative rock songs in 2006. No "Born in the USA," but "Rock the Casbah," "Who’ll Stop the Rain," and "The Battle of Evermore" are great WTF picks. For my money you can’t beat the description of "Sympathy for the Devil" as "The Screwtape Letters of rock."
Decline and Fall
My moment of supreme horror in that list came in (predictably) K-Lo’s entry for Juno:
Because no pregnant teen should be portrayed as self-confident. That might lead to pregnant girls thinking they might be able to endure the most trying experience of their lives.
@Decline and Fall:
Jeebus Cripes! U2, John Mellencamp, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols (The fucking Sex Pistols!), and Bob Dylan made the list of conservative rock songs. And The Beatles are listed twice. Obviously the politics and intentions of the authors are irrelevant to these tools.
Their intro implies Johnny Cash was a "shut up and sing" conservative who hated political music. (I guess they’ve never heard his pro-hippy song "What Is Truth?") This is probably news to his friend Bob Dylan. Oh wait. I forgot. Bob Dylan is a conservative rocker according to the music enthusiasts at NRO.
I’m not sure that I quite agree about the Dirty Harry series. Certainly the second two films suffer from hard core nonsense, but The Enforcer begins to break the pattern a little, and both Sudden Impact and The Dead Pool are chock full of moral ambiguity. I’ve always thought that Clint’s move away from simplified politics began with Tightrope and accelerated quickly after White Hunter, Black Heart: he saw the ‘bigger picture’ about humanity.
Magnum Force and many aspects of the later DH films (up to The Dead Pool don’t reflect a lot of this growth in surface ways, but you can see changes in Clint, for sure.
All this would be way too nuanced for the NRO crowd, who hate Clint now for Million Dollar Baby, if nothing else. I would imagine that his reaction to their take on Grand Torino would be one slow shake of the head.
Now that I think about it, Ghostbusters is probably included mainly because pockmarked, balding Bill Murray gets a piece of Sigourney Weaver.
Ghostbusters seemed like a really conservative movie to me: the arrogant jerk from the government regulatory agency can’t see reality and therefore does more harm than good, and everyone is saved by private enterprise.
On the other hand, a major city is almost destroyed because the government won’t listen to scientific research which conflicts with their religious beliefs. So it’s actually a Republican movie.
The list isn’t quite as ridiculous as that "Conservative Rock Songs" thing they had a while back. I’d agree that Forrest Gump and The Incredibles are conservative films — Gump unthinkingly reflects a lot of right-wing clichés, and The Incredibles is deliberately libertarian. The Ghostbusters listing is harder to understand, unless a villain in the EPA is enough to make a film conservative.
I saw the top Conservative Rock Songs a few years back, and threw up my hands in despair when they listed Led Zep’s "The Battle of Nevermore" because – get this – of the line "The tyrant’s face is red". Gettit? gettit? I will never read a Top Conservative * List again. Not when I could spend that valuable time picking my nose.