Saturday, February 21, 2009

25 Movies for Conservatives? Can you laugh any harder?

As further evidence of the derangement/meltdown of the Right since 11/4...and just in time for the Oscars...I submit my take on The National Review's Top 25 Movies for Conservatives. Yes, you heard me. Compiled by such phony turds as Jonah Goldberg and, um...I dunno, it posits that movies such as "Juno," "Ghostbusters," "Forrest Gump" and Whit Stillman's odes to Manhattan preppies are ripe for conservatives. WTF? you gasp? I gasped that quite few times myself. (See especially "Team America, World Police.") Ha!
Now, are these folk just stupid, or too blinded by lunacy to get the fact that Hollywood isn't liberal. Hollywood is apolitical. It's about image, marketing, lies, greed, stereotypes, legalized payola. Infantilization. Cartoonish, not realistic, sex and violence. Come on folks. You got the right idea, but the wrong enemy.
I checked my opinions with my pet wingnut, my old neighbor who is a major in the USAF. We would utterly despise one another but for a love of film, Belgian Beer, and old Hanna Barbera action cartoons like The Herculoids and Jonny Quest (indeed this dude is a dead ringer for "Race Bannon"). He couldn't fathom some of these choices, and was as angry as me over "United 93" being something only for conservatives. He alomost pilked his Trappist No. 12 beer over "Juno," "The Dark Knight" and "The Edge."
He asked why John Wayne's fairy tale version of "The Alamo" wasn't there. Indeed, he says the 2006 version with Billy Bob as David (not Davy) Crockett was more historically accurate and he chided his wingnut Texan brethren for condemning the movie. Likewise, you wonder why a historical/war film like "Glory" is never listed. You wonder for about 1.2 seconds.
So here's TNR's list, folks. Try not to drink as you read, else you will spit-up, and quell your wrath. Think of the right as zombies in a Resident Evil flick. It ain't their fault...

1. The Lives of Others (2007): Set in East Germany in 1984. So? This is 2008.
2. The Incredibles. (2004): Yes, the animated film. Don't ask.
3. Metropolitan (1990): White upper class’s answer to Spike Lee (or Quentin Tarantino), Whit Stillman's debut was an amusing study of 1980s New York preppiedom. Remember he did "The Death of Disco," with Chloe Sevigny too? Hint: Stillman's limousine liberal, guys, not a prep school douchebag. Could a hedge fund manager pen dialogue as snappy as that?
4. Forrest Gump. (1994): Tom Hanks—and Mykelti Williamson—would shit. Forrest is named after Nathan Bedford Forrest. Cool for rednecks, I suppose. And Jenny died of AIDS. Served her right!
5. 300 (2007): This, I can believe. But watch out for the ol' homo warrior erotica, boys. LOL
6. Groundhog Day (1993): WTF? Bill Murray, like Tom Hanks, would shit.
7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006): Will Smith, likewise, would shit. Possibly even Chris Gardner himself! LOL. Black man cheerfully suffers and lifts the world by his magic bootstraps. Now that's our kind of negro!
8. Juno (2007): Can you see Diablo Cody twisting her thong in knot over this one? I won’t call it a WTF moment because Juno decides not to have an abortion. But hey—she decides. Choice. Get it? LOL.
9. Blast from the Past (1999): They claim this comedy is the antidote to Revolutionary Road, thus showing that the 1950s were A-OK. Goofy Brendan Fraser emerges from his parents’ fallout shelter to find 1990s nightclubs. Whew.
10. Ghostbusters. (1984): I have nothing to say.
11. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (2003): Peter Jackson (and Sir Ian McKellen, who can’t marry his partner of 15 years in Cali.) would shit, too. Maybe after drinking cough syrup and chasing it with meth & absinthe I could see Sauron as Saddam Hussein…snicker…Barack as Gollum. Lawd…
12. The Dark Knight/Batman (2008): WTF? About three million G4 watching fanboys are scratching their heads. Cautionary tale on drug use and bohemian gentrified living, perhaps? (Heath). OK, Christian Bale could, given his insane rant, sub for Glenn Beck or that CNBC clown/ Joe the Plumber hero for disgraced mortgage brokers, Mr. Santelli. LOL
13. Braveheart (1995): Maybe it’s the Mel thing, because, like "300," it ain’t history.
14. A Simple Plan (1998): Um…I didn’t know these loons liked indie flicks other than Kirk Cameron/Left Behind/"Christian" stuff ?
15. Red Dawn (1984): Commies (Russkies, Cubans, Sandanistas) invade Patrick Swayze (tehehe…but ok, he’s sick so I’ll stop laughing) and Charlie Sheen’s (hohoho)’s hood. Teenagers become high school Viet Cong. I loved this movie. Where’s C. Thomas Howell these days? LOL
16. Master and Commander (2003): The Royal Navy, ca. 1801, based on the O’Brian’ novels. Inspiration for War of 1812 battle scenes in my own upcoming novel Yella Patsy’s Boys. It was great. But what was so rightwing about Russell Crowe in a fucking chapeau-bras and oh so tight breeches? And didn’t Paul Bettany’s character presage Charles Darwin? Big no-no…
17. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005): C.S. would not have loved Rev. John Hagee, and my liberal Episcopal priest and her hubby, the Associate Rector, said it was "delightful." So the Lion is Jesus. Last I heard, Jesus loves all of us.
18. The Edge. (1997): This was going to get a WTF, but, OK, David Mamet’s become a wingnut. Is that any reason to embrace this silly movie? (actually, Mamet’s not so much a conservative as he is a misanthrope, per his close friends who surmise he may have even snuck a vote for Obama). Anyway, Bart the Bear reprises his “Legends of the Fall” role as mankiller; Anthony Hopkins is a billionaire, if that counts as right wing but he seems pretty erudite. Alec Baldwin is a lefty scum, I thought? He says the word “Charles” about 300 times, making him akin to the drumbeat nonsense of a Rush or Hannity—perhaps that’s the hook? And a whiny, dreadlocked over educated negro gets eaten. Sounds good.
19. We Were Soldiers (2002): Vietnam flick. Mel again. OK, this is a memoir piece recalling the battle of Ia Drang in 1965. Stand-up North Vietnamese Army, not sneaky Cong irregulars as the foe. I loved this flick, too. Frankly it was “The Green Berets” sans John Wayne’s Disneyesque bullshit. It was like any WWTwo flick. Gimme some R. Lee Ermey in “Full Metal Jacket,” though….
20. Gattaca. (1997): WTF? Gore Vidal plays a creepy bureaucrat. Other than that, Lawd!
21. Heartbreak Ridge (1986): Clint Eastwood at his best. Another WWTwo-type flick. But the black dude—Sweet, Sweetback’s baby boy—steals the film.
22. Brazil (1985): Terry Gilliam (the artist responsible for the weird graphics in Monty Python’s Flying Circus) directed, and he’d shit, too. He did "12 Monkeys" after all. I thought this was a rage against the corporate-controlled state? My bad.
23. United 93. (2006): Wonderful metaphor for the insouciance underpinning much of this derangement. OK, so why ain't it No. 1? It's 9/11, right? Muslim/Arab demons doing their most demonic deeds, right? Only an asshole would claim this film as a province of the right. This is about ordinary people thrust into the most extraordinary crucible. It’s about all of us, and Greengrass wanted it to have the documentary feel because any mawkish music score or big names or melodrama would destroy the simple valor. Shame on these creatures for saying it doesn’t belong to us all. Us all--Americans, remember?
24. Team America World Police (2004): Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, creators of those iconic marionette shows The Thunderbirds and Stingray, Captain Scarlet actually liked this satire and weren’t fans of Tony Blair’s alliance with W. Couple with that the absurdity (see above) of Trey Parker and Matt Stone—the demon geniuses of South Park—as wingnut heroes and yeah, yet another WTF? moment is born. Parker and Stone go after Sean Penn et al. sure. Who wouldn’t?
25. Gran Torino (2008): Clint Eastwood directed “Bird,” made the evil Japs look human in “Letters from Iwo Jima” and forever destroyed the rightie John Ford/John Wayne mythic Western in “The Unforgiven” (now we know how people defecated, screwed/got VD, spoke and had gun control for real in the 1880s). Yet for some reason these assholes think having him in a film makes it a must-see for their ilk? I ask you this: did they actually see this movie, or just the bait-and-switch trailer?


Lisa said...

Good job, Mr. Chambers! They need you on Bill Maher's show on HBO!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "Glory" always seems to trip them up.

This whole list is whack. No shock here. What about The Green Berets indeed? Or Heath and Mel in The Patriot? Star Wars? Indiana Jones?

My old college roommate's father's Charlton Heston collection of The Ten Commandments, Khartoum, 55 Days at Peking?

Neocon Jews don't like Exodus because Paul Newman was too liberal I guess.
Gone with The Wind? I guess Lawrence of Arabia makes Arabs look too strong, but then again they are the House of Saud and conservatives love them.
Arnold in Commando, if not T1 and T2, despite him kissing Rae Dawn Chong?
Or Do the Right Thing. Black folks loosing their minds. Fits perfectly.
You have a nose for the appropriately strange, Nat Turner.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add--Wall Street? But that's an attack on capitalism thus a non-starter?

The Sean Connery 007 films?

The original Thing, e.g. gay liberal egghead scientists want to "reason with" a killer alien in the Arctic, while brave Army men kill it?


Snowman said...

On behalf of duffers who love film, I apologize.

The missives for each movie entry in the original article are either nonsensical or self serving. I realize you feel this commentators push the nonsensical and self serving all of the time but often the do present cogent ideas for debate. I'll admit here, they don't and should stick to policy. Maybe they want to relate to "everyday people" more?

Anonymous said...

Good point about #25 Gran Torino, and why isn't United 93 #1?

WTF? is right!

field negro said...

Great post yawdie ! But you forgot "Falling Down."

lincolnperry said...

Damn, you good Field...thats a seminal classic Falling Down!

I'm goin match your outcome might have a bottle of Makers MARK OR Woodford Reserve headed your way!

Deocliciano Okssipin Vieira, aka Ochyming said...

you wrote:

… are these folk just stupid, or too blinded by lunacy to get the fact that Hollywood isn't liberal.

Stupidity is self induced blindness, even Albert Einstein stumbled on its own by refusing the possibility of such things asf black holes, even with his own work screaming so.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What about "Massa and Evander"? Very popular with the religious right I hear.

As is "A Quantum of Wallace." George Wallace, not Wallace Fard.

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82Tiger Asks:

Professor in regards to your latest movie rant – “Me thinks you protests too loudly"

I suspect reading someone of a rightist political bent finding enjoyment or meaning in a film you passionately admired, thoroughly enjoyed, or even have mildly tolerated seems to have profoundly irritate your psyche. Isn’t the purpose and point of film to illuminate and entertain ALL PEOPLE – Not just right or left leaning people? Movies that do both deserve to be consider on people’s top lists…

Every left hook you take at knocking a movie on this “Top 25 Movie List” has right counterpunch to snap back at you! As an artist you know or should know, that the best and worse thing about film like all other types of art is that everyone gets to be a critic. WE as critics vote first with our money (the populist vote), and then later with our opinions (the intellectual critic). And every critic, whether you like um or hate um, has unique motivations to find meaning and call a film they love their “own.” So I guess I prefer the honesty of an artist who says I don’t care why people like my art only that they continue to buy it…

Isn’t that is the best part of watching a good to great film – It asks each of us to form an opinion or take a stand on an issue?

Lisa said...


Why does your boy need to apologize or tone down calling out this madness? It's about time someone started exposing this stuff from the rightwing. It's not tit for tat because there's never been an analogy to Rush and Fox News (or the National Review) with their constant crazy bullhorn blasts. You keep talking out your neck about going after left and rightwing wingnuts. It's never been some equal fight, SoCal. There's nothing to debate or analyze when you got these crazy articles like the one in the magazine. Maybe if the movie article was tongue-in-cheek that would be different. Frankly I think the blog was mild, and funny. Why so sensitive?

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82Tiger -

Re Lisa: First thanks for your feedback. I am amazed when anyone takes the time to respond to one of my missives. That said - Please don’t miss quote the tone or substance of my missive to the Professor… I never said Nat needs to apologize or tone down his messages... I laugh louder then anyone when I read his rants and he's on a roll! I simply made an observation as to why the National Review movie choices might piss him off – Having right wing nuts like or endorse a movie Ol Nat likes might get under his skin. As if liking the same movie as a right wing nut is going to turn our Professor into a frothy Hannity loving, Limbaugh lackey!!! LOL

There is nothing wrong with ANY person, group or publication (political or other wise) putting out it’s own best (or worst) list on music, movies, or the arts. And if they spice up the title for the readership so what's to de mur? You and I both know our Professor has penned plenty of his own lists of likes and don’t likes over the years!

If you pick ANY publication - The National Review, Time, Newsweek, Cosmo, Maxim, RS, Blender, Vibe, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Robb Report, SI, Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, or even Cigar Aficionado. They along with Thousands of other news and culture magazines pump out their own best of & worst of lists for their readers.

As to an example with film - AFI and Time Magazine put out their own much-ballyhooed Top 100 Movies of all time so what’s the problem when some body or group wants to do the same??? If hear YOU correctly its the National Review calling their list the Best 25 “Conservative” movies that rubs you raw?

Do you honestly believe that because readers of these mags (rags?) have preconceived expectations of the tone & political content of the publications they read - Therefore mag publishers of these lists don’t need to use what you see as additional ugly or inflammatory labeling???

If that’s the case please excuse me now so I can contact the people at and let them know that they don’t need to be telling us so much with the titles of their best of lists. I am sure in the future they will jump on board with this idea and start only referring to their annual and all time best lists the just movies and TV’s shows! :)

Ether Blade said...

If you haven't seen Gran Torino go see it. It will have your eyebrows raised and you will laugh at some parts I did. Some of the things that he said were crazy.

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