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November 07, 2007

Make Entertainment, Not Bombs

Jonah Goldberg on the weapons-grade fail of Hollywood's anti-war propaganda barrage:

To be sure, many of these films don't attack the troops directly. Some are thoughtful in their critiques, others less so. Regardless, this is still uncharted territory. "These movies certainly are more willing to be critical of the military and misconduct of individual soldiers. Certainly no such feature was made like these during ... the Vietnam War," Charles Ferguson, a political scientist and creator of the anti-Iraq war documentary, No End In Sight, recently told The Philadelphia Inquirer. But here's the interesting part: So far, these movies are tanking. Rendition opened on 2,250 screens, with three Oscar winners in the cast, and it was beaten its opening weekend by a re-release of the 14-year-old A Nightmare Before Christmas. Elah was a bigger bomb than those used in the "shock and awe" campaign. The Kingdom earned less than $50 million, and surely only did that well because it was marketed as an action movie rather than an anti-war one. Jeanine Basinger, a film historian at Wesleyan University, speculates that "these films are coming forward during the progress of a war and questioning it sooner may mean that the general public is rejecting what our leaders are telling us ... and want to know more about the war."

This is an odd, yet unsurprising, interpretation in an age when The Daily Show is a primary news source.

The public doesn't get to decide what movies are made. As President Bush might say, Hollywood is the "decider." The public determines which movies are successful. Perhaps the studios of yesteryear knew something today's moguls don't. Maybe Americans don't like to see America and her troops run down, even during an unpopular war.

Article linked at The Conservative Grapevine.


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