Sunday, February 15, 2009

Man, We Make Our Own Movies

I remember when I was about ten or eleven years old, I saw a copy of National Review sitting on the coffee table at my grandparents' house. The cover had a picture of John Wayne storming the sands of Iwo Jima, with a headline touting the "Best Conservative Movies of All Time."

Well, it looks like that particular cover article, like wars in Iraq and Presidents named Bush, are ideas so nice that NR's editors thought they should be done twice. And so, hot on the heels of the magazine's much-mocked list of the best conservative rock songs, there's been an long-awaited update to that ancient feature. Jesse at Pandagon has a good take on the silliness, and I think that I've gotten a handle on the criteria that would make a perfect conservative movie:

  • Have a character who grows and/or accomplishes things.
  • Be based on a fantasy novel.
  • Take place in a dystopian future.
  • Have the bravery to criticize such sacred cows as Michael Moore and Sean Penn.
  • Be a war movie about heroic revolutionaries.
  • Be a war movie that puts a positive spin on Vietnam.
  • Celebrate vigilantism.
  • Star Clint Eastwood.
  • End with bad guys getting punished.
I'm especially enamored of that last one. A Simple Plan makes the list on account of its "crime doesn't pay" message. By that token, you could include every film noir ever made, since [spoiler alert!] the crooks never get away with it.

I must say, I'm glad I don't rely on the media I consume to reinforce my political beliefs. It's nice being able to watch a film, read a book, or listen to a song without wondering, "If these words, sounds, and images were granted suffrage, which candidates would they support?"

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