White Power pamphlet National Review has for some reason decided to get into the film review bidness, and of course being the intellectually dishonest rest stop on the Information Super Hiway, they decided to review the movies that have ruined/destroyed art, because: Hollywood liberals. Or something.
What becomes kinda obvious is that the NRO is not grading on any sort of art curve, but just on reflexive dogma: does the movie sell Wingnuttian ideas y/n? If the answer is no, then the move sucked. And when you see this list of movies that destroyed art, your first response might be, “But I saw them in the bin at the going out of business sale at Blockbuster,” but then again, all of them made more money than Rick Santorum’s ghastly films.
Here’s the intro, so maybe it can shed some light on their criteria:
Since 2004, the year that film culture split along moral and artistic lines, political and class biases have been exhibited in films that became more and more partisan. This rift was furthered by a compromised media, where critics praised movies that exhibited cynicism along with political bias.
The link goes to a NRO article that wonders why Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was such a critical belly flop, and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 was boffo box office. I could make the claim that Chimpy’s second stolen election might have something to do with cynicism in the air of 2004, but that would just be cynical of me to bring it up.
Anyway, here’s some of movies (from least sucky to the #1 suck in Wingnuttia) and why they suck as defined by the NRO:
- Lincoln (2012) — Spielberg succumbs to Tony Kushner’s limousine-liberal cynicism to valorize Obama-era political chicanery.
Shorter NRO: Spielberg should stick to lovable aliens with glowing dildo fingers and leave history to telling us how the slaves had it pretty good.
- Che (2008) — Steven Soderbergh gives Hipster Hollywood its own four-hour rebuttal to Oliver Stone’s JFK.
“Sniff. At least JFK had a happy ending…”
- The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) — Ass-kicking espionage disparaged American foreign policy while making money off it.
Because foreign policy in 2007 consisted of Dick Cheney playing Risk. Everyone knows that.
- Slumdog Millionaire (2008) — an Oscar-winning tale of game-show greed as an answer to systemic poverty.
Shorter NRO: Tax cuts. All they needed were tax cuts.
- The Hangover (2009) infantilized privileged adulthood, a celebration of chaos and irresponsibility.
Bacardi Lifetime Achievement Winner Peggy Noonan wrote an entire WSJ column in which she referred to herself as Tenderfoot, and rides a horse in Wyoming. You are on thin ice here, boys.
- Frost/Nixon (2008) — Political vengeance disguised as a dual biopic that prized showbiz egotism over conflicted public service.
Shorter NRO: Forty+ years later, and they are still defending Nixon? These people hold a grudge.
- United 93 (2006) reduced the pain and tragedy of 9/11 to the inanity of a disaster movie.
Shorter NRO: Everyone knows that the greatest glory of Chimpy McStagger’s awesome adventure should be treated with kid gloves, and only mentioned with head bowed in silent rooms somewhere.
- Wall-E (2008) — Nihilism made cute for children of all ages who know nothing about cultural history or how to sustain it.
Nihilism? Protecting the environment so that there might be a planet is nihilism? No wonder I never considered being a philosophy major.
- 12 Years a Slave (2013) distorted the history of slavery while encouraging and continuing Hollywood’s malign neglect of slavery’s contemporary impact.
Shorter NRO: “But what about the happy slaves that had it sooooo good?”
- The Dark Knight (2008) used the Batman myth to undermine heroism, overturn social mores, and embrace anarchy.
- Good Night and Good Luck (2005) — George Clooney, president of the corrupt canon, directed and acted in a dishonest fantasy biopic of TV-news icon Edward R. Murrow to revive blacklist lore as part of a liberal agenda.
Not to split hairs, boys, but isn’t this list a blacklist?