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Top Ten Conservative Movies of the last ten years
January 2, 2010 12:51 PM   Subscribe

This is a list of the ten best films of the last decade that have advanced a conservative message, ranging from strong support for the military and love for country to the defence of capitalism and the free market. These are all brilliant movies that conservatives can be inspired by, and which are guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another.

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based Conservative foreign affairs analyst and political commentator.

There are no shades of gray in The Hurt Locker, and this is a strikingly patriotic motion picture that has been embraced by an American public weary of the anti-Americanism churned out by Hollywood in its portrayal of the War on Terror – from Rendition and Lions for Lambs to Redacted and In the Valley of Elah. The Hurt Locker is by far the best conservative film of 2009, and one of the greatest of the decade.
posted by philip-random (167 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hotel Rwanda?

What?
posted by odinsdream at 12:53 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


WUT NO NORBIT???>?
posted by billysumday at 12:55 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


10. 300 (Zack Snyder, 2007)

No one could have expected a conservative great movies list to include a movie filled to the brim of a bottomless pit with ripped, oiled, naked men.
posted by stavrogin at 12:55 PM on January 2, 2010 [83 favorites]


Well sure you could argue that Bush is kinda like Batman, but Batman's solution to the Joker wasn't to tell the citizens of Gotham City to go shopping...
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:56 PM on January 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Black Hawk Down?

And, on the honorable mention list: Juno?
posted by box at 12:56 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I heard so many conservatives talking about how we should be stopping the Rwanda genocide, and how the UN totally stopped them from doing so.
posted by Caduceus at 1:00 PM on January 2, 2010 [28 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by empath at 1:01 PM on January 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


This clown just picked his favorite movies and made up hallucinatory explanations about how they promote conservative values. Here, let me try one:

It's an inspirational story about an entrepreneur who is determined to leverage libertarian principles in order to succeed in the liberal-dominated entertainment industry. I think every red-blooded American should watch Hustle and Flow.
posted by box at 1:02 PM on January 2, 2010 [40 favorites]


Nile Gardiner proves that Caitlin Moran isn't the only writer at The Times with a sense of humour.
posted by Edwahd at 1:02 PM on January 2, 2010


Sorry for posting this.

Juno was posted, because GO PALIN! SHE KEEPS THE BABY! But it's not for religious reasons, or because she thinks abortion is wrong and should be illegal. She wants it, but then the protester grosses her out enough that she decides to go through with it.

And as for 300, that's because the Spartans are exactly like our Don't Ask, Don't Tell military and the Persians are exactly like Modern Iran. And if we got into war with Iran, everyone would die.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:02 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, it's the Telegraph. Damn you, T logo. Oh well, congrats inaugural Telegraph humour columnist!
posted by Edwahd at 1:03 PM on January 2, 2010


I like What About Bob for its unflinching glance at mental illness in our country, and how we don't need doctors or institutions to dominate this problem, but the love of a traditional nuclear family. Clearly, our tax dollars are better spent fighting abortion and gay marriage than taking in mentally ill people from the streets into hospitals.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:04 PM on January 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


I'm surprised Twilight isn't on the list, tbh.
posted by empath at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


> No one could have expected a conservative great movies list to include a movie filled to the brim of a bottomless pit with ripped, oiled, naked men.

A friend of mine said 300 was the first simultaneously homophobic and homoerotic movie he'd ever seen.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [26 favorites]


I hate to break it to this guy, but the Joker succeeded in The Dark Night. It was Batman who lost. Dipshit.
posted by dortmunder at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


"They include films that Barack Obama should watch as he contemplates appeasing the likes of Iran and North Korea, or turning a blind eye to mass murder in Burma, Sudan and Zimbabwe."

Because Hollywood is a great place to go for fresh ideas about how to handle international politics? "You see, people of America, I was watching Lord of the Rings and it just came to me! I turned to my friend Sam, er, Joe and said...
posted by iamkimiam at 1:06 PM on January 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Kind of surprised to see this published by a UK paper, even if it's a conservative one.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:07 PM on January 2, 2010


Twilight's not on the list because if a woman can marry a vampire, what's next? A man marrying his dog, or ¡EW GROSS! TWO DUDES MARRYING?

(Sorry if the inverted exclamation point offended anyone's conservative principles on immigration)
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:07 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a sign of the sad state of our politics when movies about resistance against the brutality of a larger, evil aggressor are no longer seen as Leftist ideals.
posted by AlsoMike at 1:07 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


What! No American Carol?

And this guy calls himself a conservative?
posted by Max Power at 1:09 PM on January 2, 2010


10. 300 (Zack Snyder, 2007)

ahahaha

mmm yeah oil em up in they underpants. flex that shit. damn leonidas of sparta more like tom of finland. nile gardner look like a thumb with a face. work them protojowls shawty.one day u get proud neckflaps like a tru conservative.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


It is one thing to publish a list of great films loved by conservatives but this is a list of films some of dubious quality that may appeal to conservatives.
this may come as a shocker, but some of us to the left of center do not wish our country ill.
I too embrace the free market, or would if you can point it out to me.
posted by Postroad at 1:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


> There are no shades of gray in The Hurt Locker...

This idiot must have been in the bathroom during the scenes where:

a) the quote from Chris Hedges precedes the film: ""The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug"
b) the Iraqi citizen accidentally drives through a security checkpoint, almost gets shot and then is hauled off to fuck-knows-where as the Americans joke about it
c) Sanborn cracks up and admits he can't wait to get the fuck out of Iraq
d) the scene where James tells his infant son that he loves war more than he loves his family
posted by you just lost the game at 1:13 PM on January 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


Where's Proud American and The Christmas Sweater? This is just liberal bias hating on Walmart and Glenn Beck. THEY'RE WHERE REAL AMERICANS GET FOOD AND FACTS!
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:14 PM on January 2, 2010


Apparently a key point of conservative thought is "Badass Action Scenes". Perhaps with an undertone of "Scary Brown Bad Guys".

Sadly, this makes the last 10 years of policy make sense.
posted by yeloson at 1:14 PM on January 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


9. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)

"...is a damning indictment of the totalitarian surveillance society run by the Secret Police in East Germany."


So conservatives are against surveillance and wiretaps now?

7. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)

"...There are no shades of gray in The Hurt Locker, and this is a strikingly patriotic motion picture that has been embraced by an American public weary of the anti-Americanism churned out by Hollywood in its portrayal of the War on Terror..."


No shades of gray? Although the lead character was portrayed performing his job heroically, his obsession with adrenaline also needlessly endangered his fellow soldiers (they actually debate killing him) and destroys his marriage at home.
posted by sharkfu at 1:16 PM on January 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


box: " Here, let me try one... "

Land of the Lost - for showing that men and dinosaurs lived at the same time
posted by Joe Beese at 1:18 PM on January 2, 2010 [28 favorites]


The Neocon Narrative always includes America being always right and good, and in a world of dangerous enemies. It must always be this way. There must be no total peace ever, as it's the drive to fight our enemies that unites us. Even if we aren't physically fighting, there must be some tension, as in the Cold War or between us and Iran.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:18 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"........and which are guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another."

This is part of the conservative mindset that has always confused me. Offending people seems to actually an important goal. It's not enough to feel that you are on the right side of history or morality or values. You must also say and do things that will offend others. Is the goal here really to offend people simply to delight in their unhappiness?

As to whether I, a proud left-wing liberal, am going to be offended by movies like Master and Commander, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Gladiator, The Dark Knight, 300, Juno, etc........ I can only assume that Nile Gardiner was stoned when he came up with this.

And his comment on 300 - "As he contemplates how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, Barack Obama should ditch his failed appeasement strategy and take some tips from the Spartans about standing your ground in the face of an evil tyrant." - makes me think he didn't even watch the movie. That wasn't standing up to a tyrant, it was admitting defeat and committing suicide so that someone else's army could run away. Letting the Iranians kill us doesn't sound like a good strategy for disarmament.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:19 PM on January 2, 2010 [30 favorites]


This is just more of the classic conservative bullshit game of claiming values for the conservative cause that are universally admired, as if liberals don't admire and embrace concepts like leadership (you know, because a president like FDR could never lead a nation in war), justice, heroism, bravery, and love for one's country. Actually I think American liberals demonstrate a far deeper understanding of and commitment to the fundamental ideas of the U.S. when they challenge the reactionaries who are so eager step all over the Constitution with their unwarranted wire-taps & etc & etc.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:21 PM on January 2, 2010 [45 favorites]


Also, in what universe is The Hurt Locker a film that "has been embraced by [the] American public"? These days, it's practically an art movie. It's grossed a measly $12 million in the U.S.. I'm sure people spent more on popcorn while seeing Avatar the night it opened.*

* none of this is meant to disparage THL, which I've seen and thought was great
posted by you just lost the game at 1:22 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, let me see if I've got the straight: writers need to find some shit to write about. I think I've got it.
posted by uraniumwilly at 1:22 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Conservatives love America unconditionally, while Liberals love America enough to encourage it to do better. I'd say "tough love," but I guess that's either a conservative principle, or liberals are too dainty to be tough. If you want someone to cuddle with Washington and feed him ice cream, go call up a conservative. If you want to get a healthcare plan, get a liberal.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:24 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


So conservatives are against surveillance and wiretaps now?

I suppose the British conservatives are - or at least they're against it when it's the Labour government that's advocating it.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:24 PM on January 2, 2010


And, on the honorable mention list: Juno?
There's a shockingly common right-wing reading of Juno that says that it's a pro-life movie because it shows that pregnant teenagers can have a baby, give it up for adoption, and suffer no ill-effects at all. Since teen pregnancy is no biggie for Juno, being forced to have a baby is just groovy and abortion doesn't need to be available.

I don't think that's at all the intended message, but you can sort of see how they get to it.
posted by craichead at 1:26 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, the "Hurt Locker" was critically acclaimed but it was hardly "embraced by the American public", unless what he means by that is that pretty much nobody saw it.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:28 PM on January 2, 2010


(or what you just lost the game said)
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2010


Isn't it a bit too soon to start the nominations for "Dumbest Movie Critic of the Year 2010"?
posted by _dario at 1:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can you imagine how easy it must be to not have to think, at all, in order to form an opinion? JUNO NO ABORTION, JUNO GOOD. WAR MOVIE HAVE MILITARY, MILITARY GOOD, WAR MOVIE GOOD.

It is the sort of uncompromising movie experience guaranteed to send pacifists and lily-livered liberals running for the exits.

See? Simple. Liberals are all wimpy half-people. Only brave, strong conservatives like Nile Gardiner could make it through a showing of Gladiator.

As he contemplates how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, Barack Obama should ditch his failed appeasement strategy and take some tips from the Spartans about standing your ground in the face of an evil tyrant.

IRAN BAD, MILITARY GOOD, SMASH IRAN WITH MILITARY.

What’s scary is that millions of people really think like this. If you don’t launch a full-scale invasion at every country that looks at you funny, you’re a limp-wristed pansy who hates the military and your country. “Support the Troops” means send them to kill and be killed. Oh, and if you support abortion rights, you’re a godless murderer.
posted by Garak at 1:30 PM on January 2, 2010 [28 favorites]


So let me see if I understand how Nile Gardner is recasting conservativism to mean exactly what he wants it to, instead of what it really means. The values he is proposing as being explicitly conservative, and not shared by liberals, as demonstrated by the words he picks to describe the films on his list as promoting a conservative worldview:

Patriotism
Good leadership
Heroism
Bravery
Sacrifice
Camaraderie
Pro-freedom
Pro-business
Opposition to terrorism
Opposition to genocide
Opposition to tyranny
Pro-soldier

Direct quotes the list uses to describe liberals:

Appeasement
Lily livered
Welfare state
Anti-American

He also strongly suggests that liberals must somehow be pro-communist, because he lists as film that looks at communism's legacy as being somehow explicitly conservative -- never mind that some of the most aggressive (and, I would say, pathologically) anticommunist behavior in the country, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietam War, were started by Democrats.

So this is pure political trolling passing itself off as a list of conservative movies. Who would do such a thing?

Nile Gardiner is Director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom ... His key areas of specialization include: the Anglo-American "special relationship," the United Nations, post-war Iraq , and the role of Great Britain and Europe in the U.S.-led alliance against international terrorism and "rogue states," including Iran . He was recently named one of the 50 most influential Britons in the United States by the London Daily Telegraph .

Oh. Well, that makes sense. I wonder what else he has authored?

The UN loves Barack Obama because he is weak
Rush Limbaugh: an essential voice of protest in America
Avatar: the most expensive piece of anti-American propaganda ever made
Climategate: the UN investigation will be a whitewash


And on, and on, and on, and on. Is there some reason that this, the latest in a long line of political hit pieces from a partsian hack, has been privileged with front-page status here on MetaFilter? Was his brilliant recasting of liberals as anti-American cowards really required here?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:35 PM on January 2, 2010 [63 favorites]


Man Gladiator and 300 and The Lord of the Rings sure are good films about the goodness of American militarism because of the obvious parallel of a handful of good guys fighting against enormous overwhelming military superiority.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:36 PM on January 2, 2010 [25 favorites]


It's on the front page because even MeFites need to point and laugh at the LOLNEOCON every once in a while.

Were he an intelligent conservative writing a boring article on how he feels the hero narrative mirrors the principles of the conservative movement, we wouldn't be having as much fun.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:38 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


How the fuck is Master & Commander a conservative movie? He must have missed the tension between Aubrey's patriotic hubris and Maturin's skeptical humanism. Oh, and how in the end Aubrey puts duty to country aside for that of his friend.

Or maybe liberals can't swim or something.
posted by boubelium at 1:39 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's on the front page because even MeFites need to point and laugh at the LOLNEOCON every once in a while.

It's our daily hate, right?
posted by Sova at 1:40 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Master and Commander is conservative? The movie with a Darwinist scientist on board ship?
posted by octothorpe at 1:40 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Man, I feel like I'm the only person alive who hated Gladiator. Now I hate it even more.
posted by scunning at 1:41 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, the "Hurt Locker" was critically acclaimed but it was hardly "embraced by the American public", unless what he means by that is that pretty much nobody saw it.

Not so! You are after all, talking about one of the most popular movie of last year! Why, A quick look at Box Office Mojo revals that there were only 127 movies that were embraced by more of the American public in 2009. Audiences have embraced it nearly as much as they have embraced Capitalism: A Love Story.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:41 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gran Torino was only an honorable mention? That movie was celluloid Republicanism.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie is right, this list is just trolling. Really ought to be ignored.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:44 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clearly I have no understanding of what 'Conservative' means to conservatives.
posted by MrLint at 1:45 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also...Lord of the Rings? As I understand it, Tolkien's intent was for it to be an anti-Industrial Revolution allegory. Tolkien was anything but a 'conservative' by this guy's definition.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:47 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I haven't looked into that Capitalism film. Is that about Horatio Alger? Why isn't it on the list? In these days of bailouts and socialist healthcare, we need a kick in the pants to remind us who built this country. Other than the slaves.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:49 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's an inspirational story about an entrepreneur who is determined to leverage libertarian principles in order to succeed in the liberal-dominated entertainment industry. I think every red-blooded American should watch Hustle and Flow

For its treatment of the importance of family and celebration of the simple joys of life, not to mention the hard-headed dedication for truth and personal responsibility demonstrated by its heroine, the best conservative movie of the 2000s was Mamma Mia!
posted by Copronymus at 1:49 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there some reason that this, the latest in a long line of political hit pieces from a partsian hack, has been privileged with front-page status here on MetaFilter? Was his brilliant recasting of liberals as anti-American cowards really required here?

I felt it spoke to the real root of political "difference" as it currently, and annoyingly, seems to play out in North American discourse. That is, here's a bunch of movies stamped "conservative" by some idiot, at least half of which I, a so-called liberal (note the small "l"), really enjoyed and found no political offense in. I found this intriguing and suspected that it might just spur some interesting discourse as to the nature of this political "difference" and how, at least on some levels, it's deliberately manufactured.

And also, yeah, "because even MeFites need to point and laugh at the LOLNEOCON every once in a while."
posted by philip-random at 1:50 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Dark Knight himself, played to perfection by Christian Bale, is unwavering in his determination to defeat his adversary, whatever the cost.

Setting aside Bale's Batman voice, and how ridiculous it was compared to the years of brilliant work by Kevin Conroy, I have to admire how Mr. Gardiner skims over the fact that "whatever the cost" means being excluded from civilized society and living as a fugitive from the law.
posted by uri at 1:53 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


These are all brilliant movies that conservatives can be inspired by, and which are guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another.

Well I don't know about all that. Some of the films he lists are really good movies, and others are shit all on there own without any ideologic help.
posted by nola at 1:54 PM on January 2, 2010


I think Daddy Daycare is great for showing how important fatherhood is to a child's development. Any woman pondering a divorce should take pause and watch this film. After all, if two men can lovingly manage a roomful of children...

wait.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:55 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


>I have to admire how Mr. Gardiner skims over the fact that "whatever the cost" means being excluded from civilized society and living as a fugitive from the law

Like how the US goes against the UN and doesn't have a proper healthcare system?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:56 PM on January 2, 2010


9. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)

Because if there's one thing liberals can agree on, it's the pure awesomeness of totalitarian regimes!
posted by naju at 1:57 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


WHUT NO TEAM AMERICUH
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:00 PM on January 2, 2010


60 MeFi comments in one hour. I'd say this Telegraph columnist is on to something.
posted by Nelson at 2:03 PM on January 2, 2010


300

Soooo ..he doesn't see the irony in defending a movie where a small group of insurgents take down a big powerful empire trying to expand?
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on January 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


And also, yeah, "because even MeFites need to point and laugh at the LOLNEOCON every once in a while."

Well, if this is the level of their capacity for interpretation and the sophistication of their worldview, then I agree.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


And how was The Incredibles not included? At least Telegraph commenter wattyler pointed it out:
A comment on a triumph of conservatism over socialism. Super heroes, who use what makes them special for the benefit of society, are made to go into hiding by the resentful, less talented masses. For years they have to hide their natural born skills, in the name of equality, and mediocrity.

Then along comes the uber-norm who is super resentful. He wants to force everyone to be “Super” by the use of technology. He reasons when everyone is “Super”, then noone will be.

The Incredibles work as a family, using their talents together, to defeat the uber-norm (you will note that the villain dies by being dragged through the engine of his plane).

The tips it offers to conservatives: use your individual talents cooperatively, and have a proper family.

Together, we will defeat socialism.
See, this guy gets it. Equality is progress' greatest enemy. DEATH TO SOCIALISM
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:07 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wanted to say that he has no idea what offends liberal sensibilites, but then again, here we are.

Well played.
posted by graventy at 2:08 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


Juno is quintessentially a pro-Choice movie. What some (not all) Conservatives miss when they hear "pro-choice" is that pro-choice does not mean abortion, it means the right to have an abortion, or to have the kid and that that right should be left up to the individual. Which is exactly what kind of movie Juno was. It was an ok to good movie, with a good soundtrack. It wasn't really a political movie, hells bells why wasn't March of the Penguins on the list anyways? Weren't the con-Xtians all giddy over that "pro-familly" fluff bit?

just a fap fap fap piece
posted by edgeways at 2:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The list doesn't offend my liberal sensibilities. Unless slapping together a poorly-written list of a few random titles from his DVD shelf, and giving them some pretty weak re-selling is a conservative activity.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:11 PM on January 2, 2010


Juno is quintessentially a pro-Choice movie. What some (not all) Conservatives miss when they hear "pro-choice" is that pro-choice does not mean abortion, it means the right to have an abortion, or to have the kid and that that right should be left up to the individual.

Except for the scene were Juno explicitly states that she feels people should support her decision to give the baby up for adoption because it is somehow more noble and better. And the whole women's health clinic sequence, which might as well have been written by somebody who wants to scare people out of having an abortion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:13 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


How the fuck is Master & Commander a conservative movie?

Come on: A plump leader pushing around topless, buff dudes. Lash, rum, sodomy. What goes on below deck, stays below deck. It's modern Republicanism incarnate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:15 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not paying attention when you watch movies or listen to music (Born in the USA and American Woman spring to mind) is a core conservative value.
posted by srboisvert at 2:16 PM on January 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


Holy shit I hate this guy.

First: Know what I'm goddamn sick of? How a certain segment of especially ignorant, petty conservatives consider "offending left-wing sensibilities" a fucking virtue. What a pack of squalling children.

Second: Lots of revenge fantasies on this list. Interesting.

Third: Lord of the Rings? Really? This chud must've missed the episode of Charlie Rose where Viggo Mortenson said that A) He was offended that people were comparing the War of the Ring to the War on Terror because that wasn't anywhere near the minds of anyone involved with the project and B) that if ANYONE was comparable to Mordor in the films, it was Bush's US. I suppose he didn't notice how the massive deforestation surrounding Isengard eventually cost Saruman everything. Also, he must've ignored Tolkien's multiple statements refuting any allegorical intentions in the original works. But I guess being uncomfortable with reducing the real fucking world to "good guys v. bad guys" is another one of those left-wing sensibilities that he aimed to offend. Well, nice shot Gardiner. You got me right in the logic center.

Fourth: Should I be surprised how lacking his ability to spot subtext is? The point of Black Hawk Down wasn't masturbation to militarism, but the folly of adverturism. Or how Gladiator, a story of an executive branch run amok, was released while conservatives were in control of and roundly fucking up every branch of the United States government.

Fifth: As dortmunder noted, BATMAN FUCKING LOST in the Dark Knight. And the whole movie was about the shortcomings of his black-and-white approach to the world. But, i suppose an inability to spot such shortcomings is rather a requirement for neo-conservatism, isn't it?
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:21 PM on January 2, 2010 [19 favorites]


I can only assume that the collective orgasmic response that conservatives had to 300 stems for their ability to overlook the whole "insurgents defeat world's largest superpower" theme in favor of the conservative friendly elements of Spartan society: a society of slave-owning suicide warriors with mandatory institutionalized pederasty. I mean, if it's not that, what else could it be?
posted by Humanzee at 2:24 PM on January 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


I can't believe the Aliens Special Red-State edition DVD (2003) didn't make the list.
posted by trondant at 2:24 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


60 MeFi comments in one hour. I'd say this Telegraph columnist is on to something.

Meh, there's just not a whole lot happening on the front page, and the grey is full of meetup threads, not entertaining flameouts.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:30 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


And as for 300, that's because the Spartans are exactly like our Don't Ask, Don't Tell military

Which is one of the reasons I didn't like 300.

A friend of mine said 300 was the first simultaneously homophobic and homoerotic movie he'd ever seen.

Which is the other reason I didn't like this movie (trying to drive in both lanes at the same time).

I hate to break it to this guy, but the Joker succeeded in The Dark Night. It was Batman who lost.

Have to keep reminding myself of this. For a brief time I got disheartened by the wingnuts' claims that Batman in The Dark Knight = GWB (and his administration) acting in response to 9/11. At least Batman knew he took his vigilantism to an indefensible extreme which potentially harmed innocent people worse than anything The Joker did (besides straight up killing innocent people). At least he knew what he did was in some ways more out-of-bounds than what The Joker did.

There's a shockingly common right-wing reading of Juno that says that it's a pro-life movie because it shows that pregnant teenagers can have a baby, give it up for adoption, and suffer no ill-effects at all. Since teen pregnancy is no biggie for Juno, being forced to have a baby is just groovy and abortion doesn't need to be available.

Wow, I disliked Juno because I read it this way (that is, I read it as an anti-choice flim) and I am certainly not right-wing.

I don't think that's at all the intended message, but you can sort of see how they get to it.

So what is the intended message?

Gran Torino was only an honorable mention? That movie was celluloid Republicanism.

Not really. (Spoiler warning) The guy kinda "saw the light" before the end and basically died for his "sins".

I should think the wingnuts would want to claim Iron Man (well, except for the part about Tony Stark being a total man ho).
posted by fuse theorem at 2:32 PM on January 2, 2010


I read this yesterday and can honestly say that I didn't understand a fucking word of it.
posted by ob at 2:42 PM on January 2, 2010


Like some other folks, I'm really baffled by the fact that he views these "small guy succeeds against the big guy" stories as somehow pro-American.


We've been Goliath for - what - half a century now? Something that many pundits have been very keen to point out, over and over (and that a lot of them must still believe, considering we're supposed to have the resources to attack new countries when we're still fighting in old ones).


The comments on his article give me a similar reaction -- one commenter in particular talks about how Democrats are the evil Big Guy, and the heroic republicans are standing up to them. Then they say the movies mirror this. Whaaa?
posted by ®@ at 2:46 PM on January 2, 2010


The guy kinda "saw the light" before the end and basically died for his "sins".

Which was utter crap. Our scowling racist shoulders the White Man's Burden reluctantly but obligingly to help the poor Hmong kid get his act together by teaching him such alien concepts as "work", and this, we are to believe, is the transformative experience that magically wipes away decades of bigotry? The 180 was way to jarring and unbelievable for me, personally.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:47 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I watched a few of these movies and now I am so offended I can't even tpye.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:47 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does "conservative" mean a damn thing anymore? I mean, I used to identify as conservative on a great many issues, but these talking heads on the TV are like freaky wing-nuts to me.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:48 PM on January 2, 2010


Apart from everything else that's been said about 300, it's movies like that which make me wonder if the US wouldn't be so gung-ho militarily if instead of flying drones around by remote control, launching laser-guided missiles from ships a few hundred miles away, or else wrapped up in kevlar body armour inside a tank with every imaginable kind of electronic surveillance & communication doodad known to mankind, the soldiers had to, you know, put on a loincloth & be prepared to hack somebody's limbs off with a sharpened lump of metal, while the other guys are trying to smash your brains into pulp with ornately decorated clubs that weigh a couple of hundred pounds, maybe with an elephant or eighty charging around and goring people or crushing them under their horrible feet, with intestines & blood & yesterday's breakfast forming a gory, stinky sludge which your sandals clog up in & you lose traction & roll around in the aforementioned slops as other guys poke & prod you with spears, but you don't even die quickly & cleanly, but bleed to death slowly as rats & crows feast on all the bits of your body that are no longer inside like they're supposed to be, but instead strewn all over the place like new years' streamers the day after a particularly messy & vomitous party.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:50 PM on January 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


So what is the intended message?
Inasmuch as the creators intended to have a message, I think it was basically about families: that good enough families are defined by whether they're loving and supportive, not by whether they're conventional. Juno's family is a good family. Vanessa and the baby are going to be a good family. Vanessa, Mark and the baby would not have been a good family, even though they looked good in the Pennysaver.

Now, I think the movie may have an unintentional anti-choice (or at least anti-abortion) message. But I'm pretty sure it's unintentional.
posted by craichead at 2:57 PM on January 2, 2010


if ANYONE was comparable to Mordor in the films, it was Bush's US

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!

Mordor = China
Isengard = Iran
The Shire = England
Minas Tirith = Helsinki, Finland
Minas Morgul = Tallinn, Estonia
Rivendell = Sweden
Rohan = Kazakhstan

Man, you liberals and your crazy anti-American ideas!
posted by MikeMc at 3:00 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The list is ridiculous, for all the reasons everyone has pointed out . . . but I found it so refreshing that it omitted The Passion of the Christ. I prefer my liberal bashing without the super duper Christian religious flavoring.
posted by bearwife at 3:02 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


the obvious parallel of a handful of good guys fighting against enormous overwhelming military superiority.

Many have noted the irony of this, but crucial to the conservative worldview is the narrative that they are the little guy fighting against a monstrous, corrupt, and conspiratorial regime. Doesn't matter if they control all 3 branches of the American government, they are fighting against the massive hordes of heathens/homos/socialists who want nothing more than to destroy Christmas and force everyone to have gay abortions as part of government-mandated death panels supported by 90% tax rates. The feeling of being simultaneously the minority (poor Spartan against the horde of darkies Persians) and the majority (they are the True Scotsmen/Americans) both defending the values of the good ole' days and carrying the light of freedom into the future is key to Conservative politics today, at least in the US.
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:04 PM on January 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


Ubu: Going by all the millions of men who have willingly charged forward into wars with little more than the equipment you described, my guess is no, it wouldn't change a damn thing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:04 PM on January 2, 2010


I should think the wingnuts would want to claim Iron Man (well, except for the part about Tony Stark being a total man ho).

The story of a weapons manufacturer who, when he sees the effects of his business up close and personal, decides his company won't build weapons anymore? Honestly, I'm surprised by how many republicans do like Iron Man.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:10 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


But I'm pretty sure it's unintentional.

It's absolutely unintentional.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:17 PM on January 2, 2010


That was a funny article. Thanks for the laugh.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2010


I wouldn't say the list so much offended my liberal sensibilities, as tickled them, just like when that column said Stephen Hawking would be dead if he were born in Britain.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Explaining the collective orgasmic response that conservatives had to 300:

The Spartans (in the movie, at least) were white men. All other factors are irrelevant.

Reverse the racial assignments, and they'd be rooting for the Persians.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I found it so refreshing that it omitted The Passion of the Christ

It made the honourable mentions, so didn't really count as being omitted, imo.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:30 PM on January 2, 2010


The story of a weapons manufacturer who, when he sees the effects of his business up close and personal, decides his company won't build weapons anymore?

Actually, his company continues to build super-weapons (the suits), which are necessary to fight evil. But he takes his company private to prevent the super-weapons falling into the hands of shady (or swarthy) characters who may use them for evil. Like a lot of Hollywood movies, Iron Man is really confused about its feelings towards capitalism and ends up with a Randian/fascist combination of idolatry towards the heroic entrepreneur and terror towards uncontrollable markets.
posted by stammer at 3:32 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is part of the conservative mindset that has always confused me. Offending people seems to actually an important goal.

Contemporary conservatism. Once, of course, it was the conservatives who held that politeness was a virtue, and that one should be careful to avoid offensive language and so on, and it was conservatives that complained about art that was offensive or seemed designed to shock.

Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom

That would be the Margare Thatcher who regards Pinochet as a hero? I guess murder, rape, and torture are freedom.

Man, I feel like I'm the only person alive who hated Gladiator.

I didn't hate it, but I was dissapointed how weak it was on a second and third watching. It's a great epic impact film the first time, but after? Meh.

Tolkien was anything but a 'conservative' by this guy's definition.

Tolkien was hugely conservative - he was negative about technology, change, irreligion. He was progessive (for his era, anyway) on women in academia, but generally very conservative indeed.

The fact there's a wing of modern leftist politics that are a pack of modernity-hating luddites does not change this.
posted by rodgerd at 3:32 PM on January 2, 2010


Please tell me this is satire...
posted by bstreep at 3:33 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm really baffled by the fact that he views these "small guy succeeds against the big guy" stories as somehow pro-American.


Umberto Eco will explain it to you:
8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.
So even though America has the largest military in the world, the Americanists must persuade themselves that they stand alone against an overwhelming tide, and that every story that contains that element is really their story.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:35 PM on January 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


I agree with Jimmy Havok, but would add that, in addition to "small guy succeeds against the big guy", these stories also usually have an element of "disciplined masculinity violently eradicates foppish decadence", which isn't pro-American per se but is certainly right wing.
posted by stammer at 3:42 PM on January 2, 2010


Like a lot of Hollywood movies, Iron Man is really confused about its feelings towards capitalism and ends up with a Randian/fascist combination of idolatry towards the heroic entrepreneur and terror towards uncontrollable markets.

That's actually a really interesting point. I don't think we're looking at the heroic entrepreneur so much as we are the heroic artisan/inventor, though, who exists within a capitalist system that has been thrust upon him. In the beginning of the film, he's a hedonist who's more interested in the money his skills can make him (without any thought given to the consequences of what he's building) than anything else, but he becomes obsessed with non-profitable invention when he sees what happens when his work goes out into the world -- and also, possibly, when he sees how much more fun he's having keeping it to himself. So in a sense Stark still is a pretty self-centered individual by the end of the movie, even if he seems like much less of a douchebag. All that said, though, I've never been sure at all we're supposed to be 100% on-board with Stark, who reads to me as a morally ambivalent and politically disinterested figure.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:45 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak


I think this hits the nail on the head for me. What I'd been having trouble with was the idea that we're somehow both Goliath and David. The phrase "stand up to Iran" stood out to me. Really? Which people really believe that Iran could beat us in a fight, with or without a nuclear weapon? Do people really believe that?

If anything, Iran getting a nuclear weapon fits more perfectly into a "David v Goliath" framework ... We're trying to stomp a number of very dangerous Davids before they get the one thing that could have actually hurt us.
posted by ®@ at 3:46 PM on January 2, 2010


These fucking people .... It always comes down to hobbits and military worship with these dweebs. Wanking to hobbits and half-naked soldiers, that's what "conservative" means today, I guess.

The 2010s aren't going to be any different than the 2000s, that's already becoming horribly clear.
posted by kenlayne at 3:48 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


From the bit about Dark Knight:

Featuring some of the most striking set designs since Blade Runner, Nolan’s towering vision of Gotham City looked glorious in IMAX, and was a ground-breaking cinematic achievement.

The people of Chicago would like a word with you. After their done, the people of Hong Kong would like to point out that their city is actually real.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:48 PM on January 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Master and Commander is conservative? The movie with a Darwinist scientist on board ship?

Creationism isn't really a conservative meme in the UK and this is a UK published article, neither is religion generally, which is the likely explanation for the absence of the Passion of the Christ.
posted by biffa at 3:58 PM on January 2, 2010


UbuRoivas, the horrors of war don't mean a lot to conservatives in this country: "Supporting the Troops" doesn't mean looking after them or equipping them properly; hence the fact that they have to scrounge for armor on scrap heaps while KBR destroys billions of dollars worth of supplies and equipment in burn pits because they can buy replacements on a cost-plus basis. "Supporting the troops" means supporting the agenda of those who send the troops into the meat grinder.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:04 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was about to ask how Master & Commander... conservative? But then I read this part "a British warship that hunts and ultimately captures a far larger French adversary during the Napoleonic Wars".

Always with the conservatives and the France hating!
posted by haveanicesummer at 4:04 PM on January 2, 2010


Conservatives can have my Master and Commander when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
posted by stargell at 4:04 PM on January 2, 2010


Going by all the millions of men who have willingly charged forward into wars with little more than the equipment you described, my guess is no, it wouldn't change a damn thing.

Ah, but we have TV cameras now.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:05 PM on January 2, 2010


How the fuck is Master & Commander a conservative movie?
Come on: A plump leader pushing around topless, buff dudes. Lash, rum, sodomy. What goes on below deck, stays below deck. It's modern Republicanism incarnate.


Phew! Talk about overthinking it!

It's the weevil joke that makes it a conservative movie.
posted by Pinback at 4:10 PM on January 2, 2010


Part of the reason you'd still see articles like this even if war was a matter of hacking somebody's limbs off with a sharpened lump of metal is that the guys writing this crap aren't going to be the ones doing the hacking.

That's why "support our troops" almost always equals laying the keels of air craft carriers, and almost never equals veterans benefits. You can't fantasize about bombing the shit out of the next bad guy dejour with a degree in engineering you got at some state university after hitch in the army.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:13 PM on January 2, 2010


the guys writing this crap aren't going to be the ones doing the hacking.

Why on earth not? This guy just screams hack.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:15 PM on January 2, 2010


The Dark Knight himself, played to perfection by Christian Bale, is unwavering in his determination to defeat his adversary, whatever the cost.

That's funny. Apparently I need to see this, because I saw another movie with the same title a few years ago that was really great because the entire movie was about Batman wavering about the costs entailed with beating The Joker at his own game.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:22 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


. . . hells bells why wasn't March of the Penguins on the list anyways? Weren't the con-Xtians all giddy over that "pro-familly" fluff bit?

just a fap fap fap piece.



Dude, you fapped to March of the Penguins? I'm no one to judge, but that's just sick.
posted by The Bellman at 4:39 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


For a brief time I got disheartened by the wingnuts' claims that Batman in The Dark Knight = GWB (and his administration) acting in response to 9/11.

I don't remember the part where Batman, having heard about the Joker, promptly attacks the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus because, fuck, they look like that, and he's still pissed that he didn't get to ride the elph...elmh... heffalump when he was a kid.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:40 PM on January 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


I found it so refreshing that it omitted The Passion of the Christ.

That lily-livered, death-penalty-opposing claptrap?
posted by Navelgazer at 5:12 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Creationism isn't really a conservative meme in the UK and this is a UK published article, neither is religion generally, which is the likely explanation for the absence of the Passion of the Christ.

No doubt that Darwin's ideas drew opposition in their country of origin. But Creationism has, however, enjoys a life that would not be possible without America's unique brand of superstition. Its inclusion (by way of the supporting actor's major character trait as a naturalist) is genuinely odd for a "conservative" movie.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:14 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want a list of conservatives politicians in power who actually practice the free-market capitalism they preach.

Otherwise, conservatives can just STFU about free-market capitalism.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:26 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


So even though America has the largest military in the world, the Americanists must persuade themselves that they stand alone against an overwhelming tide, and that every story that contains that element is really their story.
you've just described any political group. both the left and the right in america have huge persecution complexes even though both of them get a decent run.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 5:35 PM on January 2, 2010


These Fantasy Conservatives are a hoot. Whatever game they're playing, they're not playing it on this planet.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 5:41 PM on January 2, 2010


you've just described any political group institution: political group, government, religion, corporation or sports fans.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:44 PM on January 2, 2010


(FTFY)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:44 PM on January 2, 2010


Personally, I really want to see a big budget horror-thriller film that shows the Obama administration destroying America. I'm thinking Roland Emerich direct. We'll need someone with CGI experience to make the hoards of union thugs and long lines to Medicare doctors.

It'll be a satire of right wing paranoia for normal people (non-teabagger, not a jab at intelligent conservatives), and a straight thriller/horror film for wingnuts. Some paradoxes will need to be worked out. For example, Obama will have to be both weak and submissive to all foreign nations, but also be a Marxist tyrant who wants to destroy America from the inside and a lunatic who wants to destroy Israel. And he'll also need to both destroy and expand Medicare, because he hates old people and loves big government.

I mean, seriously. Is this the best they can come up with? I get they want to use optimism and whatnot because it worked for the other party, but that's because liberals are fundamentally more optimistic. Right now, the GOP is an opposition party, and when they're against a president who isn't widely hated (unlike Bush), they need to sell fear. And not just "I wonder how they'll pay off the debt" fear. They need "Roving death squads from ACORN will kill me for being old and sell my children on the Health Care Sexxxchange" fear.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:48 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


He left out Borat? The movie is teeming with messages about how great our nation is.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:23 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this Satire? This is Satire, right? Being smart is hard work.
posted by GilloD at 6:33 PM on January 2, 2010


Man, conservatives are like those obnoxious teenagers who think every song with the pronoun "he/she" (depending on gender) is about them, regardless of how dissonant the subject matter.

I get why someone would make the comparison between Batman in The Dark Knight and GWB, the whole going over the line and violating people's rights and privacy to defeat a villain who is terrorizing the city. I get the level of hero worship neocons have regarding GWB (and Reagen for that matter), but the point of Batman is that he's a fucking psycho. Lucius Fox, one of his closest friends and confidants, threatens to walk when Batman unveils his doomsday Bat1984 machine, which he only builds because he's obsessed with defeating evil. I don't believe that Bush's fanaticism was as well intentioned, mainly evidenced by the fact Cheney didn't type his name in at the end of the term and have the PATRIOT act implode.

Also, as a few people pointed out, The Dark Knight was kinda The Fall of Batman: Joker brought him and Dent down to his level. "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."

Finally I liked Gladiator better the first time when it was called Ben-Hur.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:38 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That list made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Essentially, a film is on this list if:

1) an extremely small number of white people kill lots of ethnically diverse peoples or, occasionally, white people with foreign accents (300, Black Hawk Down, Master and Commander)

2) it is a fantasy film where the good guys win (because Liberals love it when the good guys lose? The Lord of the Rings)

3) If totalitarianism and the violation of civil liberties is criticised (because it was the extremely liberal Bush Government that started wire tapping and throwing people into Guantanamo without trial? (The Lives of Others)

4) If a terrorist loses, because we all know which side Liberals are on (The Dark Knight)

And so on...

This article is terrible. I am not saying there aren't good films with Conservative values, but I liked a lot of these films and felt they reflected my values, and I am a liberal minded person. But then my head isn't so big that I feel I can stamp political ownership over them.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 6:38 PM on January 2, 2010


I'm really disturbed by anyone who wants to make a "Top Ten Conservative" any-sort-of-art. Are we back to Platonic ideal of determining art solely by it's effects on society and the speaker's agenda? If a film is revolutionary and progressive it's good; if it's counterrevolutionary and anti-progressive, it's bad? (Of course, for conservatives, I speak of "progressive" in the sense of "progressing society in the neocon way.) I think it's kind of screwed up to view all movies through this lens. I enjoy looking at subtext, hypocrisy, and effects of art, but my view of "Good" and "Bad" doesn't have to be tied to pieces of art that advance my agenda.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:43 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, it’s Nile Gardiner. He’s actually a lifelong follower of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who advocates incinerating gay people in a fun new theocratic order. Did the mass wedding thing and everything.
posted by johngoren at 6:53 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


p.s. Moon, that is, not Mr. Gardiner, advocates the incineratin’.
posted by johngoren at 6:54 PM on January 2, 2010


Actually, Dark Knight does advocate an extreme right wing view.

Harvey Dent is Gotham's good guy hero person, crusading against crime and gangsters and what not. Then, he gets turned into a bad guy, Two-Face, who goes around murdering people and generally being evil. But Batman determines that Gothamites still need to believe in the good guy Harvey Dent. If they start to doubt the moral purity of their hero, he reasons, support for the crusade will falter. And Batman is all about the crusade. So he lies. He takes the blame for murders committed by Two-Face, exonerating Dent and insuring that the hero myth persists.

This is just a slightly more complicated version of Leo Strauss's philosophy. Strauss argued that it's a good thing when governments lie to their citizens to get them to support policies they would otherwise oppose. The general public, he contended, has to believe that their government is something more than just a paver or roads and a collector of taxes; it must be a force for freedom, an agent of the gods, or have a fourteen inch dick. It has to be a hero. And its enemies (whoever they might happen to be this week) must be equally larger than life villains; evil personified, fanatical haters of liberty, insane kamikazes bent on world destruction... take your pick. If deception and over-simplification are necessary to convince John Q. Public all this is so, then that's fine.

Supposedly, this philosophy has had a significant influence on the neocons like Paul Wolfowitz who pushed for the invasion of Iraq. But whether it did or didn't, it still strikes me as an extreme right wing ideology and one reflected pretty clearly in Dark Knight. This, incidentally, is why Gordon's speech (explaining Batman's decision to take the fall) at the end of the movie leaves us scratching our heads.. Nolan can't have him come out and say "People are sheep. We have to make sure they remain ignorant of what really goes on in the world," so he just spews some "Batman is such a badass" stuff.
posted by Clay201 at 6:58 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


It'll be a satire of right wing paranoia for normal people (non-teabagger, not a jab at intelligent conservatives), and a straight thriller/horror film for wingnuts.

I really think the time is right for an Illuminatus! movie, fnord. You'd obviously have to update it, but not really that much.
posted by empath at 7:01 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Like, you have some kind of showdown brewing between Iran and the US over an island (give it some silly arabic sounding name, rather than Fernando Poo), and basically the beginning is still the same -- a left wing magazine gets blown up, a cop starts to investigate it, they find the conspiracy files -- you just make a mish-mash of Alex Jones and Tea Party stuff, maybe focus on 9/11 rather than the kennedy assassination and the whole thing ends at a giant rave in europe instead of a Woodstock-like festival. You can still end it with them resurrecting Hitler.
posted by empath at 7:16 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Clay201, I disagree with some of your assessment, if only because it invokes the government more than I would. Batman recognized that he and Dent represented 2 opposing ways of fighting the crime and corruption in Gotham, where Dent's was superior to his own because it was out in the open and allowed for publicly accountable justice. The concern was that, if Dent's actions in his final day were exposed (and the film makes a great case of those actions really being the actions of The Joker by proxy and not of the Harvey Dent that we had come to know, and who represented peace-by-way-of-justice) then his ideal would be greatly endangered, not at the risk of the government, but at risk of wide-scale vigilantism coming to the fore again.

In other words, Batman takes the fall so that his modus operandi can take the fall, because no matter how badass, vigilantism is inferior to justice and due process. I, too, can see where conservatives saw the parallels between Batman and GWB, but where the miss the point of the movie is that Batman himself didn't see those parallels as a good thing, and did what he did at the end to make that point clear.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:21 PM on January 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


As a far left liberal, I don't take offense at a single one of those movies. No, in fact, I like all of them.

I do, however, know of several liberals who would be offended by them. This is because liberals tend to think for themselves and be different.

I don't know of a single conservative who would be offended by them once they were pronounced conservative movies. This is because all conservatives are exactly alike and think whatever the hive mind thinks.

The mistake conservatives make is to think that liberals all think the same way.

The mistake liberals make is to think that they can get anything done once they're in power, since they all disagree with each other.

FACISM WINS AGAIN! GO BATMAN!
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or Fascism. Take your pick.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2010


The time has always been right for an Illuminatus movie fnord, although a TV mini-series (say, ten parts fnord) would be more the point fnord.
posted by philip-random at 7:23 PM on January 2, 2010


Finally I liked Gladiator better the first time when it was called Ben-Hur.

Actually, it's a remake of The Fall Of The Roman Empire from 1964.
posted by rfs at 7:25 PM on January 2, 2010


So the trick to getting traction as a conservative writer is to twist pop culture into defending your beliefs?

Look for my new book "McNulty is a force that gives us meaning: How 'The Wire' shows the successes of Conservative policy."

It shows how even the formerly poor welfare recipients have been able to lift themselves up thanks to Reagan's economic policies and start their own small businesses.
posted by drezdn at 7:25 PM on January 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


he doesn't see the irony in defending a movie where a small group of insurgents take down a big powerful empire trying to expand?

Like the American unit during the Iraq War that called themselves "Wolverines!" Uh, no. We weren't the Wolverines, the Iraqi resistance was.

the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak

We had to invade Iraq because they were an imminent threat, but the war was going to be short because they're totally weak.

I liked a lot of these films and felt they reflected my values, and I am a liberal minded person

Me, too. I liked most of the movies on the list.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:27 PM on January 2, 2010


See Omar is a metaphor for George W Bush and Marlo represents the Liberal media, but the lying reporter also represents the MSM. McNulty represents Jesse Jackson. Bodie represents Dan Quayle, Bubbles represents America, Prop Joe represents Obama. Prez is Sarah Palin while Herc is John McCain (he even looks like him!)... Snoop is Canada or something.
posted by drezdn at 7:27 PM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not as smart as you take me for. I'll need to read the Illuminatus, but in the meanwhile, I'll just pretend you guys are inserting politicians and pundits into Azumanga Daioh. Obviously, Sarah Palin is Tomo, and Yomi is McCain.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:43 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can not tell you how pleased I was to see 300 listed... and, if not that, I was hoping for Watchmen..

the irony... Snyder is more liberal than Obama... and the right wants to love the movie... sweet!
posted by HuronBob at 7:54 PM on January 2, 2010


I'll just pretend you guys are inserting politicians and pundits into Azumanga Daioh. Obviously, Sarah Palin is Tomo, and Yomi is McCain.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:43 PM on January 2


technically the top ten conservative movies of the decade are incest anime porn but these were the first ten gardiner could think of
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:05 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


incest anime porn

Triple Oxymoron!
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:24 PM on January 2, 2010


"guaranteed to offend left-wing sensibilities in one way or another.".

It's amazing how obsessed these guys are with "offending liberals"
posted by delmoi at 8:48 PM on January 2, 2010


Triple Oxymoron!
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:24 PM on January 2


Or triply redundant. (-_-')
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:05 PM on January 2, 2010


So what is the intended message?
Diablo Cody is so clever! Listen to her clever dialog! It's clever, and edgy! She's so awes!
posted by jeoc at 9:26 PM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I call shenanigans. "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" isn't even on this list.
posted by Graygorey at 10:21 PM on January 2, 2010


GET R DONE
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:34 PM on January 2, 2010


Health Inspectors are part of big government. Besides, pathogens never hurt anyone but lilly-livered liberals.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:41 AM on January 3, 2010


Clay201 & navelgazer: I think you've both got great points on the presence or absence of straussian neoconservatism in Dark Knight, and I wish we had Chris Nolan here to ask about it because I think it's all part of a larger agenda that Nolan sets up at the end of the first movie. Nolan is fascinated by obsession. All of his movies are about obsession, and it always ends badly (well, haven't seen Followers so I could be wrong about the "always").

So I think it's an ongoing struggle that we'll see played out more in the 3rd movie. If he ever makes it, now. (Which he probably will. $$ will out.)
posted by lodurr at 7:16 AM on January 3, 2010


incest anime porn

*sigh*
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:24 AM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obviously, Sarah Palin is Tomo, and Yomi is McCain.

I guess this would mean Chiyo is Obama. But then ... who is Osaka? I'd say Dan Quayle but that's a very dated comparison.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:26 AM on January 3, 2010


Osaka hangs out with Chiyo a lot, and Biden is kind of Obama's odd friend. So, Biden.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:40 AM on January 3, 2010


Oooh, or Gravel's a good pick, too. Compare.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:45 AM on January 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


YES. I was going to say Les Kinsolving could be Osaka, but Gravel seems perfect.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2010


Clearly, Joe Lieberman is Kimura.
posted by Caduceus at 12:02 PM on January 3, 2010


I was quite surprised to see Avatar this weekend and hear the words 'you have to fight terror with terror' spoken during a scene where what very much looked like the American army using 'shock and awe' tactics bombed the fuck out of an indigenous people armed with bows and arrows.

And this in the most mainstream, highest grossing film of the year.

People just like to see the underdog win, I suppose.
posted by Summer at 12:54 PM on January 3, 2010


Summer, you should be ashamed. The America in Avatar is set in the future, IE Post-Nobama. Any true conservative will argue that America deserves to fail. Any underdog will stand in the place of the Original America and become New America in their hearts.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:08 PM on January 3, 2010


Summer - me too. In addition to "fight terror with terror" they actually used the words "shock and awe." I thought in the theater - this is too far, this is too political. It will be rejected.

But so far, it is a big hit with my otherwise mildly conservative, not-too-politically-active facebook friends. Which is a decidedly unscientific sample, but I think the fairly liberal message is sneaking past.

I don't even think my devotedly liberal husband got the Venezuela reference.
posted by jeoc at 8:07 PM on January 3, 2010


But so far, it is a big hit with my otherwise mildly conservative, not-too-politically-active facebook friends.

Well if this list is any indication then conservatives are really really good at missing the point of movies.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is MetaFilter's collective humor detector broken?
posted by 6550 at 11:06 PM on January 3, 2010


"His vision of a mighty battle between good and evil in the realms of Middle Earth was brilliantly transferred to the screen by New Zealand director Peter Jackson, perfectly fitting a post 9/11 world where the forces of freedom found themselves pitted against a barbaric enemy."

If you can read that without laughing then you are not my friend.
posted by tehloki at 11:32 PM on January 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


But jeoc - the Na'vi were a nice Native American/tribal African hybrid. If they'd been a bit more advanced and somewhat Middle Eastern that would have been a step too far. As it is, Avatar is about the sins of the early colonials, just with better weapons.
posted by Summer at 1:46 AM on January 4, 2010


jeoc, in those particulars, Avatar is definitely more fodder for that old tried & true subject of debate in SF circles: Is SF about the future or the present? Avatars weapons & tech look cool, but much of it is stuff we'll be using in 10 years, not 150. Our "Venezuela" is not theirs. I may not like Cameron as a guy (hell of a movie-maker, though), but he is pretty smart, and I think he must get all that: It's all there on purpose, to give us a means of relating it to the present somehow.

So, maybe they'll figure it out. Question is, will they feel cheated, or will it make them think?
posted by lodurr at 3:40 AM on January 4, 2010


Probably not.
posted by box at 11:13 AM on January 4, 2010


I read an interview with Cameron in which he said the reason the technology is so dated was because of planetary issues that made more advanced tech impossible, so they retconned all this old stuff to work on the planet. Moments later he convinced that that was all just horseshit he had made up so he could show dragons fighting helicopters.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:27 AM on January 4, 2010


I read an interview with Cameron in which he said the reason the technology is so dated was because of planetary issues that made more advanced tech impossible, so they retconned all this old stuff to work on the planet. Moments later he convinced that that was all just horseshit he had made up so he could show dragons fighting helicopters.

But obviously both explanations are true. I remember loving the pilot for the new Battlestar Galactica because they came up with an explanation (networked computers are too dangerous) to have low-tech computers that both 1. made sense in story terms, and 2. made the show more dramatic and interesting (no computer saves the day with super-tech, reasons for ships to have pilots rather than be automated, etc.)

BATMAN FUCKING LOST in the Dark Knight.

Yes. That movie actually broke the entire concept of Batman for me (the traditional "Batman scares superstitious and cowardly criminals" concept, not the modern "Batman always wins because he's better prepared" concept). Every single time Batman tries to scare someone into submission in that movie, he fails, because everyone is more scared of the Joker. Which leaves Batman with two options:

1. Be more evil and sadistic than the Joker in order to be the scariest guy in town.
2. Give up trying to use fear and beatings and "enhanced interrogation techniques" (hanging a guy upside-down from a great height and threatening to drop him is one of the classic Batman moves) to get what you want.

I think I can still enjoy watching superheroes get into fights with supervillians, but I doubt I can ever again watch a scene where the protagonist beats up or threatens a thug to get information and think of him as a "hero".
posted by straight at 12:33 PM on January 4, 2010


Rush Limbaugh: an essential voice of protest in America

This says it all, as they say. Holding Rush up as a model of "essential" protest is the height of absurdity. I love absurdist art but in real life it's a nightmare.
posted by juiceCake at 10:07 PM on January 10, 2010


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