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August 16, 2005

Top Conservative Films?

Football Fans For Truth nominates five.

I'll meniton a couple more that I've already mentioned:

Blast From The Past. This one is almost jaw-droppingly conservative. Christopher Walken plays a slightly paranoid but thoroughly good father who builds a massive bomb shelter to protect his family against the inevitable Commie nuclear strike. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he and his pregnant wife (Sissy Spacek) duck down into the shelter, only to have an Air Force jet on routine patrol crash into their home... making them believe that the nuclear strike has indeed come. (Not sure why they have no radios down in the bunker; maybe they take care of that by saying that the crash destroyed their radio mast, and they're too far down to pick up any signals without it.)

At any rate, Brendan Frasier is born and lives his whole life in the shelter, until the suprisingly-old age of 34. He emerges from the shelter an anachronism, striding into the late nineties with the mores and attitudes and virtues of the fifties (well, the early sixties, which is the same thing).

Though clueless about a lot, this fish out of water has a lot to teach the surface-dwellers, including "Always listen to your parents," "Always show good manners," and "Always be ready to defend yourself against someone who wants to punch you." And, in a rare twist, he has nothing really at all to learn from the nineties-folk-- he's not racist nor a homophobe, and in fact likes blacks and gays.

His romantic interest, and her gay friend, wind up accepting and appreciating his moral code... after, of course, a long period of resistance and doubting his sanity.

Consistently funny and charming, with a great swing-dance sequence, a nice punch-up of a cad, an awful lot of hot just-under-the-surface sexuality without any actual sex, and Christopher Walken hilarious as ever.

Kate & Leopold. Basically Blast From the Past II, this time featuring Hugh Jackman as an accidental time-traveller bringing the honor and manners of the 1890's to an increasingly dishonorable and mannerless year 2000.

Some women think it's anti-feminist that Meg Ryan ultimately abandons the feminist future to live with her true love in the un-feminist past, but I guess that just makes it more conservative.

And, to be fair, the director tried to make her life and her job pretty dismal, but anytime you have a woman working in a very nice office at a very nice salary there will be feminists who object to the trade-off. And why she had to go back to his time, rather than him remaining in her time-- but who says it's always the guy who has to give? 'Sides, his absence from the past is screwing up the future timeline, wreaking all sorts of mechanical havoc (as he would go on to invent the elevator).

Bonus archconservative moment: The oily Josh Lyman (or whatever) from The West Wing plays a caddish and even oilier version of that character in the movie, and is thoroughly humiliated by Hugh Jackman in the movie's best scene. Too bad the rest of the West Wing cast wasn't also on hand to be pistol-whipped by Jackman.

Guarding Tess. Just one of my favorite movies, a little understated, but frequently funny and touching. Nick Cage is absolutely great as buttoned-up Secret Service Agent Doug Chesznik, who is assigned, against his will, to the dead-end job of protecting a former First Lady whose husband has died, a very disagreeable and unpleasant piece of work.

Things heat up when, improbably enough, she's abducted by what are presumed to be Middle Eastern terrorists.

Dirty Harry-esque Archconservative Moment: Agent Chesznik threatens to shoot a suspect who won't talk. And then he does more than threaten. He actually blows the son of a bitch's toe off. Not typical for a light comedy.

While we're on the topic of movies... I don't know if these are conservative, but they're surprisingly good, and on Pay Per View and DVD now. Assault on Precinct 13, Hostage, The Machinist, Saw, The Jacket, and Hide & Seek are all worth watching.

The Machinist starts off a little slow, but slow in an interesting way, and turns out to be very creepy and strange. Give it time.

The Jacket starts out even slower, and I almost turned the thing off a half hour into it, but just in the nick of time it gets interesting. Five more minutes of delay in getting on with things would have resulted in a pan for the sluggish first thirty minutes. This one, too, needs a little time, but unlike the Machinist, it isn't even terribly mysterious or creepy in its slow opening. Still, it does ultimately pay off.

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posted by Ace at 01:25 PM

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