Category Archives: Popular Culture

Best Halloween Films #28: Underworld (and sequels)

“…all that is certain is that darkness is still ahead. But for now, for the first time, I look into the light with new hope.”

Let me say up front, yes this is brain candy; it would never even make a top 1,000 list of movies if I were not limiting it to Halloween specific films. We all know the utterly preposterous flaws of both films so there is really no point to go over them. But let me at least sing its often overlooked praises that make it at least a fun film.

First off, unlike some movies and TV shows this was before vampires and werewolves stopped being badass. No glitter power vampires or werewolves who moonlight at Chippendale’s here. These vampires and werewolves will kill you without a moment’s hesitation and do it in superb Matrix style.

Second, just look at the cast. Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Derek Jacobi. It looks more like a Shakespeare review than a cheesy action film. It makes me wonder if the script looked a lot better on paper. I mean you have all the classic markers of great drama: betrayal and deception, star crossed love, generational intrigue, battle of good and evil. I’m not saying that Underworld is a truly great movie, it’s not…but I wonder in 20 or 30 years if you tightened up the script (especially the dialogue) and made the visuals a little less over the top, a remake might be a significantly better film…but I’ll admit any discussion of a remake is decades away.

Kate Beckinsale. Yes she’s easy on the eyes, but you also have to give her credit for bringing some depth to her character, which is quite a feat given how flat all of her lines are. It’s not an Oscar winning performance, but she does a lot with so little to work with.

It’s just stupidly fun. Admit it. It is. The action scenes never make the flaws that we are far too often these days of nonstop shaky cam chaos. Yeah they’re over the top, but compare it to Resident Evil, the Matrix sequels, or Revenge of the Fallen…all movies that if I have to watch I just fast forward past the action scenes because it’s all chaos, pointless and rather boring. The director, Len Wiseman, may not be able to save the bad dialogue but at least he doesn’t commit the sins of other actions directors of the last decade (which is probably why his Live Free or Die Hard is also so stupidly enjoyable)…(okay that most recent one was overusing the bad 3D effects, but so if everyone).

I have no illusions about how flawed these movies are, but they’re still enjoyable and a great set of Halloween films.

Now is there any deeper value to these films?  I’ll admit I’m going to be reaching and am probably just putting my own spin on this, but, hey, maybe they were trying for some depth.

Of course you have the fear of death that is the definition of the entire horror genre (it’s hard to not touch on this theme when you have immortal beings).  But again you have characters who don’t give into that, who see that there are things worse than death (like betrayal, lies, and making something false your life’s goal).  It also shows that life, even immortal ones, is rather shallow and pointless if you don’t have something to live for.

Unlike a lot of films nowadays it does manage to lay down the idea that there is good and there is evil, but that in dealing with any human (even if they’re supernatural beings, they’re still human in their behavior) action there is gray.  Usually I only get either pure black and white, or all gray.  It’s nice to know that some writers still know that you can have both.  But it also makes clear that evil needs to be opposed, I know it’s a radical concept that many people have a problem with, but it’s a fact, you need to kill the monsters (whether literal or metaphoric because of their complete lack of ethics and humanity) before they kill you because they can’t be reasoned with.

One could argue that there is some moral here about the corrupting effects of power and decadence, as seen in the overly exaggerated habits and lifestyle of the vampires in the first film, but I think they were just going with the Victorian feel of traditional vampire stories…and they have Derek Jacobi’s character in the second film being far richer and quite incorruptible, so it would be an imperfect theme.  Also being surrounded by that for centuries doesn’t corrupt Selene.  You might go as far as to say that this shows that corruptible people are corrupted by decadence…but that really isn’t that surprising or all that deep.  (Like I said, I’m reaching here and fully admit it).

4 Comments

Filed under Death, Fear, Halloween, Movies, Popular Culture

Best Halloween Cinema #30: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

So begins the list of the #30 best things to watch for Halloween (I by no means claim this is a definitive list and the ordering is rather arbitrary).

We start this month of horror films off with a TV show. But not just any TV show, the single greatest TV show in the history of human civilization (at least up to this point…Whedon could easily come out with something new that would surpass it in a few years). That show is of course Buffy The Vampire Slayer. High tragedy, high comedy, deep understanding of the human condition, skill in writing, acting and directing, and of course a hopeful view of humanity that forgiveness is possible and that people can grow and improve themselves. There is simply no show in the history of television that has dealt such profound philosophical themes without being heavy handed and with characters who were human and never just two dimensional cutouts who were allowed to followed a predictable pattern.

The reason such a great work of art gets put last in this list is that it’s really not a horror story. Yes there are vampires and werewolves and monsters of all stripes. But even though it has all the tropes of horror, it is not focused on death as any good horror story is, rather Buffy is focused on life, specifically the growing up part of life. And in this respect it works as a good counterbalance to everything that’s going to come after, but that does not mean it does not have its horrifying moments.

So let’s do a quick rundown of some of the more terrifying episodes.

The Gentlemen from “Hush”

“Hush”: Possibly the most horrifying episode of Buffy. Corpse like emaciated men dressed in 1920’s style suits come to town, steal everyone’s voice and rip out their hearts. It’s frightening for several reasons. The first is the villains, The Gentlemen. The scariest monsters are always the ones that look human but are just a slight bit off, the fact that they were so concerned with manners and courtesy in their actions toward one another just adds to the horror because it is so out of place when you’re about to cut out a live and awake person’s heart. The other reason that it’s such a terrifying episode is that it takes away from the characters something they take for granted: their voice. The idea of not having something we have been so dependent on that we take it for granted, like our ability to communicate brings up the simple question in our minds: “what would I do in that situation?” It’s not a pleasant question. We use our voice for so many things and the idea that we should have to live without it–not a pleasant thought. And of course there is the fear of death. Few episodes have shown people so helpless as this episode when being killed, they’re restrained almost immediately so they can’t run away; they have no voice so they can’t scream for help and then they feel everything as their heart is cut out. One of the things that frighten people so much about death is that they think it is something out of their control, that it will come in the night without warning or rhyme or reason and there is nothing they can do about it, and they are utterly powerless in the face of the unknown. It’s powerlessness against it that frightens them (it’s why waiting for the diagnosis of cancer is worse than the diagnosis itself, when you know what it is, you have a name, an MRI, an idea you can fight against or give into, it’s your choice—but when you’re waiting you still have no choice about anything). It is this powerlessness that the scenes of death in this episode capture so well, and remind most of us of our own fears of death.
Helpless: People run a lot in Buffy. But either they’re one episode’s extras whom we’re not really all that invested in, or they’re main characters and we know Buffy will save them. But when it’s Buffy who is doing the running because she has had all her powers taken away, that adds a lot more terror. The safety net of “Buffy will save the day” is gone, and being Joss Whedon, we never had any reassurance that he isn’t willing to kill main characters, so there’s not that usual safety net either.

“Restless”: There is something terrifying about the unknown and the bizarre to most people. If they can’t understand and make sense of it, it frightens them. So putting our four main characters in a rather symbolic and random dreamscape with an unknown assailant killing them, is quite terrifying. Oh and there’s cheese (if you’ve seen the episode you’ll get that).

“Fear Itself”: Finally my favorite Halloween episode in Buffy. The Scooby Gang faces off against a demon who makes them live out their worst fears and then face the fear demon itself. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This episode shows how foolish that is. Why? Because the fear demon is three inches tall, which is possibly the most insightful and genius representation of fear I have ever seen in of all of literature. Fear is something small, something insignificant, and something if you use reason isn’t worth worrying about…yet we let it control us because we refuse to look at it. If we did confront it head on we would probably find that most of our fears are so small and so insignificant that they can just easily be squashed and ignored.

Xander: Who’s the little fear demon? Come on, who’s the little fear demon? Giles: Don’t taunt the fear demon.Xander: Why? Can he hurt me?Giles: No, it’s just… tacky

Honorable Mentions:

None these are exactly great films (not that the top 30 are all Oscar Winners) but they get trotted out every Halloween and I would say they do meet my criteria of an unhealthy obsession with death.

Constantine: An epic battle between good and evil with a poorly executed story of redemption.  Fun but ultimately pointless.

Stigmata: It’s not exactly a horror film, (and I’ll probably deal with it later in my blogs about movies for New Agers) but with all the blood and suffering it has many of the tropes of a horror film.

Bless the Child: Certainly not as dense and preachy as the novel it’s based on, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still just a little preachy.  And then there is just the rather low quality direction.

The Shinning (TV movie 1997): You know the Nicholson/Kubric version of the film is actually well done, the problem is that it seems to completely ignore that there is actually a great book that it’s supposed to be based on. The TV movie, while not without its flaws was more true to theme and characters of the book and thus I prefer it to the older version.

Fringe: Again it’s not really about the fear of death, but there are some truly horrifying moments.  Like in the first episode where everyone’s skin is melting off, that’s frightening at levels I can’t begin to describe.  And that 3rd season episode where they guy is playing with a corpse and through levers and pulleys make it dance ballet, that’s disturbing at a level I seldom see.

6 Comments

Filed under Art, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Death, Faith, Fear, Free Will, God, Halloween, Joss Whedon, Movies, New Age Movies, Popular Culture

Halloween, Movies, and Death

HalloweenIt’s October and that means Halloween. And Halloween means I pull out all of my favorite horror movies, which means I am suddenly surrounded by vampire movies (well I am surrounded by vampires all year long, but Buffy is hardly pure horror). But this brings up why is society so overly inundated by the undead lately. Vampires and Zombies are everywhere. Walking Dead, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Twilight, another Dracula, American Horror Story, World War Z, yet another Paranormal Activity, Resident Evil Part 8000: (subtitled: Jovovich really hopes someone will think she can act and give her a real job), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…do I really need to continue? Be it TV, books, movies we are literally surrounded by the undead. And it seems like there are a lot more of the nosferatu now than there ever has been. I remember growing up with the Lost Boys, Fright Night, that Dracula with Gary Oldman, Interview with the Vampire, and of course who can ignore Buffy (and of course there were a lot of other films and books that were ignored) but you can’t deny there does seem to be a lot more vampires and zombies now than ever before…and they’re certainly making obscene amounts of money. Now it could be that Hollywood just has found a formula that makes money and are running it into the ground like they do with anything…but it still just seems like it’s more than just that. So the question becomes why are people so enthralled with the undead?

I think I may know what it is. Society’s obsession with death. Now I know I’ve brought this up before, but I feel it needs reiterating. More and more people seem to have a bizarre, infantile obsession with death and as Stephen King once pointed out horror is the genre that deals with the fear of death. They fear it more and more. And I don’t mean in a rational, life is certainly better than death, sort of way. I mean in a way where death becomes an obsession. You see it everywhere else. You see people grieving over the departed far longer than can possibly be healthy. You see them clamoring for healthcare as if it’s a right like they were dying of a terrible disease this minute. It’s irrational. And it’s being manifested in this obsession with the undead, those who have eluded death, no matter what the cost. It’s not a conscious desire to cheat death in such a fashion, but it the subconscious association with the idea of not dying….

So rather than go into my usual rant against the preposterous fear of death (do you know there is Buddhist meditation that asks you to daily imagine a new way you could die in as much depth as possible so you will be able to handle the transition without a shock?). Instead I’m going to take my love of film and go over my 30 favorite Halloween pieces of cinema (I say cinema because some of these will be TV shows) and discuss how they aren’t the usual vicious obsession with death that most horror does.

Why 30 because I did want to save one day in which I deal with why some of the movies that won’t be making the list.

Zombie movies: Philosophically possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen (even worse when you consider that there has never been a zombie movie with even a half decent plot.) Zombies are more or less a metaphor for what people are like at our most basic level, an expression of pure violence and eating. (When actually if you want to see what people act like when their souls aren’t in control and just letting the body work on autopilot I would suggest you look at pop culture and OccupyWallStreet and certain political parties known for groupthink, yeah that one.). This is part of a large belief that we are all base animals at our core and I do not subscribe to that. On a side note, the only time I have ever seen the character of a zombie used well was in the TV shows Firefly and Dollhouse and the movie (Serenity) where the zombies (called Reavers and Butchers) were not the traditional zombies but described accurately as a perversion of humanity, not the thing we are all trying to keep at bay.

Old horror movies: They’re just too campy for me to respect. Yes, Lugosi and Karloff have their rightful place in history, but I just can’t take them seriously. (Especially since I know the books they’re based on and those movies butcher their source material).

Movies where vampires sparkle: Vampires have always been and are supposed to be metaphors for sexuality. There is just nothing sexy about a vampire who has been playing with glitter.

Slasher films: At their best they’re cheap morality plays which were best summarized by Seth Green in Scream. There is not much more to them than that. At their worst they’re just an obsession with gore and the worst in humanity. (There will be some notable exceptions to the list in the 30 movie countdown).

2 Comments

Filed under Fear, Halloween, Movies, Popular Culture

Movies (or TV shows) that understand Economics #3 Ducktales

 

Ducktales“You can never get something for nothing”—Scrooge McDuck

So just three days into this series on movies and TV shows that show valid economic principles here at the Conservative New Ager and the guys over at Breitbart.com run ‘SPONGEBOB’ CRITIQUES WELFARE STATE, EMBRACES SELF-SUFFICIENCY.  Stop stealing my ideas Breitbart.com, you can’t just rely on me to keep giving you good stuff.

Well we here at the Conservative New Ager can play the children’s cartoon and economics game too.  And the cartoons I pick are better.

As surprising as it may seem the show Ducktales actually understood economics fairly well…at least better than anyone in Washington D.C.

This isn’t just because one character happens to be a billionaire who prides himself on being a self-made man (duck?). But even just understanding the virtue of earning one’s way…no the cartoon actually understood inflation better than anyone at the FED.

Take a look. (Cartoons may not be your thing, but it’s only 5 minutes and it does show that everyone in D.C. is an idiot).

“That’s exactly what I’m afraid of: easy money. I don’t trust any dollar that I haven’t earned.”—Scrooge McDuck

So regrettably, even though my entire generation was given a lesson in the fact that you can’t print money without it causing inflation, no one seems to have learned this very important lesson.

(Or worse they’ve been idiotic Austrians who think that shiny metals are somehow not fiat money and also missed the more complicated point that the money supply has to grow with the economy).

And while I probably could find a few more good economic lessons in the show if I had time enough (and didn’t mind my brain turning to mush and seeping out of my ears) but I think the most important lesson (and the one I specifically remembered after all these years) is that you can’t just print money without it having massive negative consequences.

That’s right, even the writers at Disney know that Paul Krugman is a blithering idiot who is a detriment to human society.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Education, Long Term Thinking, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Paul Krugman is an idiot, Popular Culture

November, movies, and being thankful for property rights

It’s November…which means Thanksgiving (and Chanukah this year) and as with every year I remember this video about what we should all be thankful for:

Now I can give you one great educational video after another on the beauty of economics in action, like this one…

Or I can regale you with long and detailed, well thought-out arguments by Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Williams, or myself….but let’s be honest, you’re reading this blog, you already get it…but most people don’t get economics. “The Dismal Science.” Most people don’t know anything about it beyond that rich people are evil and that the Dow Jones number on Wall Street and the unemployment numbers are all you need to know about. Maybe also something about the debt. Maybe. And where do they get these terrible ideas (besides willful ignorance in an age of information)…why popular culture, of course.

And who can really blame them with such thrilling examples in pop culture as Justin Bieber telling a reporter that it was such a shame that his body guard didn’t have enough insurance to pay for all of his pregnant wife’s needs and had to pay out of pocket, which is why we need more government healthcare (shame that the bodyguard didn’t work for someone who, I don’t know, could afford to give his employees better healthcare). Or even when it’s not the functionally retarded you still see a complete lack of understanding about economics, as in the case of the show Once Upon a Time…the town has been there for 20 years, and no one from the outside world can find it, yet somehow the technology, the cars, the fashions, and even the news all seems to come from the outside world (that is one hell of a curse to constantly be providing all of those supplies and resources). I could list more examples of popular culture having no conception of economics than Scheherazade had stories.

Keynes

This is more or less how Hollywood sees economics…

This is a problem. Because while it is easy to get people to see the light of reason once you make at least one in-road…with the majority of culture showing something quite different than the realities of economics it becomes rather odd to see something correct. However, there are a few films and TV shows that show a bare minimum understanding of economics and over the course of this month, leading up to our wonderful Thanksgiving, I will be going over a couple dozen movies that actually do show the correct fundamentals of economics that when understood can only lead to capitalism.

I not only hope that you read and enjoy but that you begin to share a few of these to help others understand what real economics are is.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Movies, politics, Popular Culture

Things the Government and Hollywood can do to lower ticket prices

Movie ticket prices are high…as the Entertainment Editor of Elementary Politics I regrettably know this better than most 1888635_623836521024148_812367747072020643_nhaving to pay money to go see movies I actually know will suck (Go and read some articles on Elementary Politics…if we get enough readers I can probably get a press pass into films).

But there appears to be some doom and gloom on the horizon. The first is that, as we all know the last few years have seen deeper and deeper slumps in box office turnout. It gets even worse when you look at supposedly important names like Spielberg and Lucas* telling us that we can soon expect $25 tickets. Now I think $25 may be little overblown (even with inflation under the Obama), and might be a little bit of Spielberg forgetting the studios might not want to fund him because his last six movies have all been terrible. Still the fact is movie prices are still going up. And this comes with the rather idiotic question what can the government do to stop that…yes I’ve actually heard people ask variants of this question, because there are some idiots who feel the government needs to fix all of their problems.movie tickets

But rather than asking what can the government do, I’m going to ask the more important question what can the government stop doing to help reduce movie ticket prices? There are already a horde of policies and regulations in place that are helping to drive the price of your movie ticket up (along with the price of just about everything else) and if the government stopped doing these things you would have far more reasonable prices and far less inflation.

1. First and foremost we need to ignore Senator John McCain (who never met a line of the Constitution that he felt like defending) in his call to regulate cable TV even more. And after that we need not regulate anything else to do with the entertainment industry. I’m sure there are probably a few (very few) laws that should pertain to the entertainment industry, but right now I can also guarantee you we have dozens, possibly hundreds we don’t need and that need to be scrapped before we need any new laws. At this point new laws and regulations only create new headaches and roadblocks for business, industry, innovation and creation.

There is a minimum level of laws needed in society. We are nowhere near that level and need to take a machete, a chainsaw, and possibly a nuclear weapon to the stack of laws we do have at present.

2. End all public funding at all levels for all kinds of subsidies, tax breaks, or incentives. This might seem counter intuitive for why it would raise the price of your tickets. Subsidies only ever result in getting more of something people don’t want. Movies make money when they’re good…so if the only reason you’re going to make it is because you can get a tax break or a right-off or a subsidy in creating content that is sub-par and will in the end reduce the profitability of the market…which in turn has to be made back by charging higher prices for tickets. (Not to mention it creates crap like NPR and PBS which despite its claims of being educational actually make people dumber).

3. Conversely taxes should just be lowered in general. Be it the flat tax or the fair tax, it is irrelevant, but if taxes were just lower you would find more money to invest in films, better, cheaper technology to make films, and lower costs all around for production. Tax reform always benefits everyone, without question, without exception.

4. Another obvious one: Get rid of Obamacare. If you don’t think the production companies and the distribution companies and the theater chains don’t plan on passing their massive costs of Obamacare onto to you through ticket sales, you’re delusional. If prices do rise to $25 a ticket, then Obamacare will be to blame for at least a third of that rise.

5. Sue China for copyright infringement. China has committed billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of patent and copyright theft. Certainly they’re not the only foreign offender but they certainly are the biggest. (It’s ironic that it is very likely that all the money we have borrowed from China was only made by not paying us for use of patents and copyrights) and the entertainment industry takes billions of dollars in losses every year because of this (losses they pass off to you). Now while the Chinese government per se isn’t doing the actual pirating, they have created, fostered and in many ways encouraged the environment in which such violations run rampant and it needs to stop. While this is an issue that hardly affects only the entertainment industry, that is one of the most obvious ways it affects you and if they tightened up their system (and god forbid paid what they owe) you would see profits over here soar and prices drop in response.

 

6. Conversely America’s copyright laws are a little insane. In a push driven mostly by Disney, Congress extended copyright law to insane levels. Currently it’s life of the artist plus 70 years or 95 years from publication for works owned by corporations. That’s insane. I know Disney has a lot invested in keeping Mickey to themselves…but guys you have to let go at some point. Copyrights do help inspire creation…but when taken to an illogical extension they can also hurt innovation and creation (don’t believe me, go and read some of the insanity that has come about because of the copyrights surrounding Superman). Correcting this problem would mean that soon theaters could get their hands on good old movies at a very, very low cost and show them at almost pure profit, which means they don’t have to make the other ticket prices as high just to break even.

7. Get rid of minimum wage laws. Every usher and every person behind the counter at every theater is being paid at least $7.25 an hour. They’re not worth $7.25 an hour. Based on the service I usually get, they’re not worth $3 an hour. But regardless of what I think they’re worth, it is a simple fact of economics that minimum wage laws hurt the economy. They cause fewer people to be hired, they prevent people from getting experience, they lower service and they drive up costs.


If you got rid of minimum wage laws you would see lower ticket prices. You would also see a drop in the unemployment rate and a massive rise in the economy at all levels.
8. Get rid of ethanol. Ethanol is possibly one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done in this country. It takes 1.2 gallons of fuel to create one gallon of ethanol. So not only is it a waste that causes your gas bill to rise (and thus the cost of EVERYTHING else to rise including your movie ticket) but you’re also wasting tax dollars on this because not only is it a Ethanolwaste, but we subsidize it as well. You pay for it to be grown and then you pay to use it…and it’s worthless. Another fun fact about ethanol is that the heavy production of it has caused the worldwide cost of corn to go up, which not only exacerbates issues of global famine, but probably doesn’t help the price of the popcorn either.

9. While Congress really should get rid of all subsidies and trade barriers let’s look specifically at the ones dealing with sugar. We subsidize sugar production in the U.S. (causing the price to go up) and have stiff trade barriers that prevent cheaper sugar from getting in. This in turn leads to just about everything at concession stands costing vastly higher amounts than it otherwise would.

10. Finally let’s end the government protection of the teacher’s union. What does this have to do with the cost of your theater going experience? In terms of cost not so much, in terms of getting your money’s worth a lot. If we had an even halfway decent education system do you think movies like Grown ups 2, R.I.P.D. The Internship or White House Down would ever have been made? I doubt it, because there wouldn’t have been as much of a market for them…yes intelligent, educated people can enjoy movies like this, but an intelligent educated populace wouldn’t provide a market for as many pieces of crap to be made. And the simple fact is that there is probably no bigger threat to American education than the teacher’s union. End all of their bargaining power, disband the unions (because professionals don’t have unions), and as far as I’m concerned try the union leadership for treason and give them the maximum sentence, because they have done massive and unforgivable damage to this nation in protecting their hack union members who have no business whatsoever being in a classroom.

Now that’s what the government should stop doing…but to be fair there are some things Hollywood should do.

PrincessBride

Why has this not been re-released? This would make more money than you can imagine.

1. Release old movies. Why has there not been a re-release of The Princess Bride in the theaters? Or Casablanca? There is next to no overhead cost and you would sell tickets like crazy. Disney, you could re-release a movie every month from your vault (even if we changed the copyright laws) and it would still take years before you made a full cycle.
I think people would rather pay money to see something older and good than new and dumb.

2. Stop paying actors outrageous salaries and start paying your writers better. As the last few years have shown, people aren’t going to see movies because of their favorite actors. If actors aren’t drawing people in then they’re not good investments. Neither is CGI. In the end the most surefire way to get people in the seats is to tell a good story. Pay your writers better.

3. Hollywood, get some goddamn accountants! Real accountants, not the crazy people who have made Hollywood accounting seem more complex than the US tax code. Get some people who will pinch pennies and tell you no, that’s a bad investment, no, the actor can’t have this many riders in their contract, no, we don’t need this lavish a catering truck at the shoot, no, no, no.

4. Stop hiring directors who can’t make money. Guillermo del Toro and Paul Thomas Anderson do not make money (in fact while some of their films have made a profit I believe they are in the red for their overall careers). (I personally don’t get Scorsese, I don’t think he’s ever made a watchable film, but at least he brings in a profit, I just don’t understand how). But time and time again you see Hollywood give too much money to hacks because they’re ‘great directors.’ If you want to make vanity pieces fine, do it on your own dime; don’t do it so the studio takes the loss and passes that onto the theaters and then onto me.

5 Support a la carte purchasing in cable. It will reduce your competition and the number of channels you need to advertise on (and it’s actually the advertising budget of most films that makes them take a loss not the production costs).These are just a few of the things the government and Hollywood can do, but in the end it boils down to two things, government needs to get out of the way and Hollywood needs to be focused on giving us a higher quality product.
*I say supposedly because let’s be honest, these two schmucks have more a reputation for making good movies than an actual history of making good films. I’m sure someone will take offense to that but go look at all the movies Spielberg has actually directed and take an honest look at how some of the worst films in history are on that list.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, China, Conservative, Corporate Welfare, Economics, Education, Government is useless, Movies, Popular Culture, Taxes

I hate Zombie stories…

Fox Mulder: How come when people come back from the dead, they always wanna hurt the living?

Dana Scully: Well, that’s because people can’t really come back from the dead, Mulder. I mean, ghosts and zombies are just projections of our own repressed cannibalistic and sexual fears and desires. They are who we fear that we are at heart. Just mindless automatons who can only kill and eat.

Fox Mulder: Party pooper.

Resident Evil.   The Walking Dead.  Warm Bodies.  28 Days.  Zombieland.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I am Legend (which is worse because the short story it’s based on is actually a very deep vampire story).  All crap…piles and piles of crap.

So this week I’m going to review World War Z, which is a bit of a problem because I hate zombie movies.  I like most of Brad Pitt’s work, but just from the trailers this does not appear to be his best work and this film has been mired in production problems. But to give the movie a fair shake, I need to vent my loathing for zombie flicks first.

The Zombii, originally a bizarre side point of African Vodou and Caribbean Voodoo, zombies were originally people killed and revived by a sorcerer called a bokor to be used as a slave for bokor.  Not that this has anything to do with Hollywood’s mindless version of the zombie, a mindless flesh and brain eating monster that seems to be animated by some bizarre virus.  Honestly when was the last time you saw a zombii that was true to the legend, a being animated by voodoo priest?  Weekend at Bernie’s II?  Clearly not a popular plot line with Hollywood…and if you think my complaining about not being true to legend is a just whiny and elitist just consider first we had non-Voodoo zombies, which gave permission for sparkly wimpy vampires and chip’n’dales werewolves.  See what happens when you corrupt the original legends?  See why this has to be stopped?  Why the line must be drawn here!

Zombies are dumbBut zombie movies are dumber for other reasons.

The first being the spiritual side of things.  Back to the opening quote, “zombies are just projections of our own repressed cannibalistic and sexual fears and desires. They are who we fear that we are at heart. Just mindless automatons who can only kill and eat.”  I think there is something to this.  This is what we fear we are like when our higher reasoning is taken away that we are an utterly violent, completely unthinking, monsters. The Freudian ID on crack.  The problem with this is it serves one of the greatest lies about humanity that there is: that we are all corrupt. That we are all evil.  That we are all unworthy at our core.  Where you find fanatics on any side you find this lie, that at your core you are nothing but a monster and must subvert yourself to something else, specifically whatever the particular brand of fanaticism is.  Of course different for two reasons.  The first is that you are your soul not your body, and the soul is perfect, not corrupted, so this is the absolute opposite of the what is at your core…and to try and convince you of that is a very dangerous lie.  Okay you say, but what is the body like without the soul?  Still not like a zombie…because I can easily point to millions, billions of bodies that where the soul has little to no impact on brain or the body.  Most people. Most people ignore their souls, most souls try to be ignored, and the mindless, plodding people straight out of Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and the argument that you are nothing but the mindless zombie at the core is nothing but “a tedious argument of insidious intent.”

 

 

And if attempting to desecrate the soul of humanity wasn’t enough, there is always the second half to almost every zombie picture: the survivors. Let me run down the formula for just about every plot of survivors in every zombie movies. People band together for protection, one or more of those people is corrupt, they try to take over and you have an even smaller group of survivors fighting both the zombies and the evil humans. Yes there are variations, but almost without exception, the survivors follow a Hobbesian view of humanity, a war of all against all, where there is no reason or humanity governing people, just the survival of the fittest.  So the zombies are bad but real people are worse.  Yes, wonderful inspiring message.  I’m so glad this is the genre that has captivated millions, the belief that no matter how you cut it people are terrible.

And let’s not forget what a hopeful genre this is.  When was the last time you saw a zombie film with a happy ending? Never.*  The entire premise is that everyone will eventually be turned, no matter what they do, no matter how hard they try.  Human society will collapse, there is no hope, there will be no rebuilding or rebirth.

The Seventh Seal Death

When this is more hopeful than a zombie movie, then clearly the genre has issues…

I’ve seen Ingmar Bergman films that aren’t this nihilistic.

This genre is without any redemptive points.  Yeah there are a few that are mindless brain candy, but there is nothing worth focusing on here since every aspect of it is wrong, at a deep ethical and metaphysical level.  It’s reveling in fear and lies.  It shouldn’t attract the attention of so many people in so many venues.  Oh look there’s a documentary on the National Geographic channel about the Zombie Apocalypse. WTF?
People grow up and put this depressing trash and the philosophy that is at its core behind you!

Okay, that’s out, let us hope Brad Pitt shows me something more to this genre.

“No one knows why, but second only to eating the brains of the living, the dead love affordable prefab furniture.”

“IKEA,” chanted the dead.  “First we feast, then IKEA.  First we feast, then IKEA.”

–The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

*Okay there is I am Legend.  But, again, originally a vampire story…that and the movie sucked, does anyone remember when Will Smith made good movies?  And the short story has a much better ending.

1 Comment

Filed under People Are Stupid, Popular Culture

Before I go see Into Darkness…

EnterpriseI need to get it off my chest how horrifically, unbearably, atrocious the reboot of Star Trek was.   I’m not being hyperbolic, if you tracked down every single copy on DVD, Blueray, the original film and any other form it may exist in and launched them into the sun, the world would be a better place.

UglyassEnterprise

It’s bulky, clunky, disproportionate. It’s just ugly.

However, before I go into why I loathe this reboot, let me state a few things.  First, as far as I can tell the general rule seems to be that anyone who grew up first with the Original Series of Star Trek rightfully hates this abomination of a film—whereas the culturally bereft among you who grew up first on The Next Generation (or god help us Voyager or Enterprise) seem to be okay with mockery of all things Star Trek.*   Second let me say that I’m sure that even if I hadn’t seen all the Original Series before The Next Generation came out; by the time I was 6 I’m sure I had seen most of the Original Series (and all the movies that had come out by that point).  I’m a Trekkie.  Always have been, always will be.  My early teens were a bit more obsessive about the show than I am now (I have been to one convention 20 years ago, and I have no intention of ever going back, unless I have a booth selling copies of Destiny’s Knights and other fiction novels).

So that’s where my biases come from.

However that does not mean I was meant to hate it.  I could have easily loved the new version.  I liked the Tim Burton Batmans but I acknowledge that Nolan’s vision was vastly superior, and Daniel Craig’s more serious Bond is a major improvement.  If the Star Trek reboot had been better, or even on par with the original, I probably would have liked it…but it wasn’t. This film was inferior on every level.  And not just because it was from the writers who brought you such horrifically bad movies as The Island, The Legend of Zorro, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen…not to mention having been writers for Hercules and Xena (depending on when you grew up you might have some fond memories of the campiness of those shows, the writers of this movie didn’t write the episodes you have fond memories of).

Okay some people have covered some of the major reasons why this was a dumb film… but let’s cover some of the reasons not covered there.

StarTrekposter

Are they all trying to look evil or is just bad acting?

So three-quarters of the film is spent drilling holes into planets (let’s just ignore why a mining ship has more firepower than the entire Star Fleet).  A lot of time is wasted drilling holes.  Why?  So they can drop this plot device called red matter that creates a black hole wherever it is dropped.  So why not just drop the red matter on the surface?  A blackhole will still suck the entire planet in whether it’s on the surface or in the core of the planet.  And in general this is a major problem throughout the whole movie.  Star Trek has always skirted the laws of physics, but it has done it in such a way you usually don’t notice until the second or third viewing.   Usually the story of a Star Trek episode or movie (I’m not counting anything from Voyager) was good enough that you could suspend your disbelief enough to not notice the glaring errors in science.  Here you couldn’t do it.  Not in their crappy understanding of black holes, or theoretical time travel (yeah going through a black hole doesn’t send you through time it only crushes you…this isn’t an advance theoretical physics concept, this is high school physics), or even throwing out your own rules of how transporters work (yeah let’s beam them onto a ship with shields up going at warp speed…why?…because our crappy writers put us in this situation with no way to get us out beyond that little bit of insanity).  One of Star Trek’s long standing virtues was that it tried (tried didn’t always succeed, but it tried) to have a loose understanding of science…but not with this crappy reboot.

SpockandChapel

Do you see this woman? The character’s name is Christine Chapel. If Spock is meant to end up with anyone it’s her.  Might as well write Moneypenny out of Bond or Lois Lane out of Superman.

Oh and then there was the fact that every character is different.  EVERY CHARACTER (except Bones for some reason, way to go Karl Urban for actually doing some study of the character).  And what had changed?  Some captain no one ever heard of died and so did Kirk’s dad.  Yes I understand Kirk’s dad, played by Chris Hemsworth, is Thor, god of thunder…but even that strains belief that he would change how everyone turned out.  Let’s run down some of the differences.  Chris Pike has gone from a man who considered leaving Star Fleet and selling Orion Slave Girls to a sage like father figure who is a couple of magical powers short of Obi Wan and Gandalf.  Spock suddenly became hyper emotional, illegally marooning cadets, assaulting people on the bridge, kissing Uhura (WTF?)…so everything that people loved about Spock, the cold logic, the wry sarcasm, the only hints of emotion…all gone.  Uhura developed a personality.  Chekhov developed some useful skills.  Scotty turned into a comedian…with an ugly Ewok as a sidekick.  Wow, even if you believe in the butterfly effect, it’s a little hard to believe that Kirk’s dad had that much of an effect on the universe.  (Let’s also realize that this reduces all life to nothing more than a B.F. Skinner ideal of all there is is the conditioning of our environment, hell there isn’t even a genetic component to your personality, only the environment…and don’t even get me started at how this implies there is no soul, only a malleable thing conditioned by circumstance…thematically it comes off a tad cold and meaningless when compared to, well, any other incarnation of Star Trek.  Of course really you’d have to have a theme before we use the word thematically, something this movie lacked).

NewKirkSpock

I feel a battalion of tribbles could take these two down.

Oh and let’s talk about Jim Kirk.  The rebel without a cause, purpose, plan, brain, or clue.  And the punchline of numerous jokes throughout the film.  Part of what made the Original Series so good (beside the writing) was that the character of James Kirk (despite questionable acting at times) was, on the whole, an admirable figure.  Like the character of Horatio Hornblower whom Roddenberry used as a model, was a strict and disciplined commander, whom despite his appearance of bravado only cared for his ship and his crew.  This little punk was all ego.  And how the hell do you go from cadet about to be court-martialed one minute and, like a week later, promoted to Captain.   I’d follow him, how about you?  Quite frankly when I first heard Benedict Cumberbatch in the new trailer say he was better than this Kirk in everyway I rolled my eyes and said, ‘well, yeah, it’s not a high bar to reach.’  Nothing about this character makes him admirable, nothing.  You can like Shatner’s acting or not, but you have to admit when the script and directing were good Kirk was an admirable, likable, virtuous character.  This cocky little punk just needs to be punched in the face, often.  (Oh, by the way, Chris Pine will also be playing Jack Ryan later this year…yeah thanks for ruining another of my favorite characters.)

IntoDarknessCumberbatch

“I am better than you…in every way” No shit, Sherlock. Janeway and her bunch of losers were better in every way compared to this lot.

And then, of course, is the relationship these films had to their source material.  Nicholas Meyer (writer of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country…otherwise known as the good ones) said one of the first things he did when given the job of writing and directing Star Trek II was he sat down and he watched all the episodes of the original show.  Doing this he not only discovered the heart of the show was the friendship of Kirk, Spock and McCoy (utterly nowhere in this movie).  Was the original series inconsistent in quality and have some really bad moments?  Yeah.  If a Trekkie can’t admit that “Spock’s Brain” may have been the dumbest episode in the history of science fiction, they’re not looking at things rationally.  But the original series also had some of the best moments in science fiction history as well.  And what made the good movies good was that they respected and took from the best of the series, paying little homages to the source material all over the place.  Meanwhile I’m not convinced anyone associated with this film has seen anything beyond Futurama’s parody of Star Trek.   Nothing.  There is no connection to the original beyond a couple dead red shirts and Pike ending up in a wheel chair.

And before I end this let me talk about the preposterous villain for  a second.  So we have Nero, a Romulan commander.  But not the cool, cold, calculating Romulan Commanders we have come to love…no he’s in charge of a mining vessel.  But don’t worry his mining ship has more firepower than the entire Star Fleet…I knew the Romulans were a paranoid bunch…but really?  So his genius plan is to wait 25 years for vengeance, and apparently this guy, whose command skills were only good enough not to get him assigned to a garbage ship is able to keep his entire crew also hellbent on his personal madness for 25 year and nobody mutinies.  You believe that don’t you?

There is so much more that pisses me off about this movie, from horrible directing, bad acting, truly lazy writing, production values that think you should be blinded by light in every scene…I could go on.  It’s not really that I’m upset that they tried to reboot Star Trek, I’m upset they did such a poor job at it.  Just ask yourself this, if you took away the name Star Trek and changed all the character names…would you call this a great film…or would you compare it to other such sci-fi jokes as Wing Commander or whatever original movie is on SyFy this week?

*I’ve never actually met someone whose first exposure to Star Trek was Deep Space Nine, so I have no way describe their feelings toward the reboot

2 Comments

Filed under Art, character, Free Will, Movies, Popular Culture

Hope, the American Way, and the “Man of Steel” Trailer


So there appears to be some brouhaha over the newest trailer for Man of Steel.  I have seen complaints about this on no less than 3 different political web sites, which seems a bit much for a trailer, but since they want to make a federal case over it, it should be pointed out that their case is baseless.   Namely the problem seems to be with the following lines:

Lois Lane: What’s the “S” stand for?

Superman: It’s not an “S.”  On my world it means “hope.”

Lois Lane: Here it’s an “S.”  How about Super…ManofSteelsymbol

Now the first complaint is that this is changing the story, where it has always stood for Superman.  This is a silly claim, especially for a comic book movie, which is based on comic books that have been restarted so many times with so many variations D.C. comics actually had to come up with a storyline about multiple universes just to keep all the versions straight (still didn’t help).   When you’re translating a story from one medium to another it’s pure insanity to think everything can remain the same.  Further, yes you might be justifiably angry at those changes…but only if those changes make the story worse.  The new Star Trek stripped all the good out of the original series and created a cheap sci-fi film that would never have gone anywhere without banking on the greatness of the original…so there bitching about the changes is justified.  Conversely, Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy took the Batman story from a more simplistic action/detective comic and created one of the deepest most meaningful films ever made.  Those changes made the story better, and so whining about purity of the original story is just bunk.  Rewriting stories is a part of literature dating back to when Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides rewrote the works of Homer for stage, nobody in their right mind claims they ruined the stories.  Now it may be that whatever changes Nolan and Snyder have made to the Superman myth in this film may make it better or worse, we’ll have to see, but change is not necessarily good or bad on its own.

The other reason this is silly (and keep in mind I’ve never read a Superman comic in my life, and even I could find this out easily) is that in terms of the meaning of the “S” they haven’t really changed anything.  In the original film starring Christopher Reeve, the symbol stood for the House of El, the Kryptonian family that Superman is a part of. But what about the “Hope” thing?  Apparently some on the Right are having knee-jerk reactions to the word and thinking that this is intended to be a reference to Obama.  It’s not.  This actually is taken directly from the 2004 comic Superman: Birthright written by Mark Waid (Obama had only come onto the national scene at the 2004 Democratic convention in July, the comic came out in September which means it was probably written well before July).  I will shortly come back to why using Waid’s work as a basis for this movie is a very, very good thing.

Finally there are of course the constant complaints still going on about the line from the last movie “Find out if he still stands for Truth, Justice, all that stuff” and how the writers shoved away the phrase “the American Way” and the worry that this will still continue in this film (this of course ignores that the line came from Perry White, the most cynical character in the Superman universe who probably would find the phrase silly).

ManofSteelAfter this trailer I especially find this fear also fairly unwarranted.

Why?

Well what is the American Way?

Contrary to what many believe, it has nothing to do with land, or resources, or economic success, or military prowess, or scientific achievement. America is America because of our ideals.  The ideals of liberty, of meritocracy, that anyone can achieve by their own will.  Or as I have stated before:

We’re the nation that fought to create a republic where the haves and have-nots gave equal measure.  We’re the nation that fought our own citizens to free slaves.  We’re the nation that pioneered capitalism and law that gave liberty and opportunity and progress to more people than any other country in history.  We’re the place where “tired, the poor, the huddled masses” come to be energetic, successful and stand on their own feet.  We’re the country that conquers whole nations so that others may be free then tries to rebuild them and then leaves without tribute or power.  If you don’t think we’re the “shining city on the hill” you don’t know history, philosophy or human nature.  We’re not perfect, we’re not always right, but we are consistently the nation that calls for the best in humanity to put down the worst.

The American way isn’t a habit, or a land, or a race, or even the citizens of this particular country, it is an ideal that believes the best in humanity can always rise above the worst in humanity, that the individual left to their own devices will rise to the pinnacle of achievement and not sink to the depth of depravity.

And just in this trailer alone, we see that way, that ideal.

We see it in Jor-El’s statement

What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended?  What if a child aspired to something greater?

Are you going to tell me a line about how a single individual can rise above the shackles of whatever society throws on them, and achieve because of their own will and merit isn’t at the very heart of America?

Or perhaps Jonathan Kent’s:

I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason.  And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is.

The belief that life has a purpose.  It has been seen in philosophy since Aristotle, but it has never been realized until America.  And this quest to find meaning is a personal one, “you owe it to yourself,” not one laden down with obligations to family, or clan, or religion, or state, or culture, or history or whatever other un-American claptrap other nations have followed.

Or perhaps we should go to first trailer, with another line from Jor-El

You will give the people an ideal to strive towards.  They will race behind you.  They will stumble.  They will fall.  But in time they will join you in the sun—In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.

Shining city on the hill anyone?  The beacon of hope and light that America is supposed to be.

Oh I said “beacon of hope” which brings us back to the symbol and them taking that point from Mark Waid.  This is important that they are drawing form Waid’s version. Why?  I would direct you to an essay written by Waid in the book Superheroes and Philosophy entitled “The Real Truth About Superman and the Rest of Us, Too.” (It’s an excellent essay which you may want to read.)

The essay covers the thought process Waid went through when the head of D.C. asked him a simple question: “Why does Superman do what he does?  Why doesn’t absolute power absolutely corrupt in his case?”  He quickly found the stock answer of, because he’s Superman, to be unsatisfying to the employer who was hiring him to revitalize the franchise.

What follows is an argument that references two of my favorite philosophical beliefs.

The first is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Waid starts from the premise that even though an alien, he has the same needs in the same order as any human.  Physical needs then Safety needs then Emotional Needs then Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsAchievement needs then finally the need for Self Actualization.  (You’ll find that the American beliefs in liberty and capitalism parallel this order of needs quite well).  Now for Superman, the first two, physical and safety need, aren’t an issue at all.  So that leaves emotional, achievement and self actualization needs.  Now he might gain some emotional connections by just being mild mannered Clark Kent, but certainly not achievement or self actualization.  Which then comes to a question of how much does he need to achieve…and this is where Waid turns to another idea, a quote in fact (which I’m hoping against hope will make it into the movie):

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” [Italics on the last part added]

 

It is the realization that Superman is who he is because to do anything less would not lead to his Happiness, and that a central theme of the story has always been that we should all strive to the edge our abilities, as Kal-El does, not just to help others achieve their goals (You will help them accomplish wonders) but to also achieve our own Happiness (you owe it to yourself).

So this is why I’m happy they are pulling from Waid, with the concept of Superman being a symbol of hope, the city on the Hill, because it places the whole story in a very strong and correct footing of spiritual values and Aristotelian virtue based ethics.

Now while Waid, or Marianne Williamson who first wrote this in her book A Return to Love: Reflections on A Course in Miracles, don’t make the connection, it is only through the American Way of personal liberty and personal achievement that we achieve the heights of shining our brightest.  So I feel the need to again point out, that the American Way is being championed in this movie already, whether they say the words or not.

Now, no one has seen this film yet, so it could either suck or make the Dark Knight Rises look like an F film student’s half-hearted attempt…or anything in between. I am merely pointing out that the complaints based only on this trailer are completely unfounded.  This movie appears to appeal to the best in this story, the core ideals that have let it rise above whatever flaws have plagued the various incarnations over the years.

8 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Aristotle, Art, character, Faith, Individualism, Marianne Williamson, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, New Age Movies, Patriotism, philosophy, Popular Culture, virtue

The best and worst movies of 2012

So I have had time to reflect on the few gems among the tripe from this year and once again prepared to offer my Top 10 List of movies of 2012. And like previous years,  I can’t find 10.

I was hoping for a full list this year. But The Hobbit ran too long, focused too much on dwarves eating, paid more attention to effects than character, and then didn’t have an ending. I wanted a dragon, goddamnit, not as a tease but as a character! The Odd Life of Timothy Green was cute, would make a good date movie, but I can’t justify it on a top list. Red Dawn was great in terms of the patriotism and mood, but I’ll admit the production quality, while certainly higher than the first, is still a bit shaky. Brave, while well done, is not as good as some of its other Pixar counterparts. And I know I may be the only one, but I find John Carter endlessly entertaining.

Now just as a quick reminder I have 4 criteria for great art.
Remember I have 4 basic criteria for great art.
1. It must be enjoyable (I have some kind of positive emotional reaction)…so that throws out most of the critic’s picks out.

2. It must understand human nature
3. It must use the tools of the medium well
4. It must have a meaningful and correct theme.

So here we go. The top 7 films of 2012. (For the movies that I’ve done full reviews of, I have them linked in the titles.)

#7. Cabin in the Woods

“Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of – Am I on speakerphone?”

Usually you wouldn’t see a horror movie on any top list because it’s a silly genre. But Cabin in the Woods is a merciless critique of the horror genre and all its stupid tropes. And it is done with wit, with skill and with a wonderful mocking of the horror genre.
This is obviously a little weak at meeting my 4 criteria, but it’s lambasting a genre that never lives up to them, so I think the weakness comes from the source not the material itself.

The Avengers6. The Avengers

“With everything that’s happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old fashioned.”

We all love this film. We all waited for the several years for it to come out. We doubted if it would be any good after we saw how bad Captain America was. But Whedon pulled it out and gave a film that was not only entreating but developed the characters in ways we had not seen in the previous films.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, comic book characters have replaced the myths and legends that pervious societies used to convey ideals of heroism and virtue, and for all the flaws of the individual Avengers, we see something to strive for in terms of human nature within them.

M Bond5. Skyfall

M: Not very comfortable, is it?
Bond: You gonna complain all the way?
M: Go on! Eject me! See if I care!

I would say this is both the best Craig Bond film yet, and the most mature Bond film of all time (I still say that GoldenEye is the best Bond, but that is certainly up for debate). The movie offers us a deeply moving closure to the Bond/M relationship, a chance for Bond to grow as a person, and of course all the final pieces of the Bond mythology (Moneypenny, Q, Martini’s shaken not stirred, not to mention the car from Goldfinger). And at last we had a Bond villain that was both frightening and over the top in the way only a Bond villain can be.

Its only flaw is that it didn’t continue with the plot that the last two films with the Quantum (SPECTRE?) organization. Just one line from Bardem of “I got information from your friends at Quantum, they really hate you Mr. Bond” or something like those lines, it would have kept the plot line alive without ruining the pacing of the film. I can only hope we come back to this plot in the next film.

Now some have complained about the pacing of this film, but I think it’s because they made this film a five act story instead of the three acts we have become so used to. It’s a more complex story requiring a more complex structure.

But this movie quotes my favorite part of my favorite poem. How can I not love that:

Though much is taken, much abides, and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are… One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

4. Trouble with the Curve

Trouble with the Curve
“Now get out of here before I have a heart attack trying to kill you.”

Not Eastwood’s best performance of the year (that would involve a chair), but it is still a great movie. It serves as a great counterpart to last year’s best film Moneyball. Moneyball showed up that in life we must adapt or die. Trouble with the Curve shows that any new innovation shouldn’t throw out all the old tried and true methods—that life is more than just numbers. That there needs to be balance. And it does this with three very unbalanced characters who together grow and learn from each other.

Okay those are the also rans who are on the list because a Top 3 would be rather sad…now let’s get to the three I actually had a hard time ordering.

3. ArgoArgo

“Bad news, bad news. Even when it’s good news, it’s bad news. John Wayne in the ground 6 months and this is what is left of America.”

This is the movie that the best director Academy Award should have gone to (stupid Academy). Affleck manages to have this movie go from a good thriller to a hilarious dark comedy and back to great thriller seamlessly. The skill required to take the tone of movie in radically different directions without making it jarring or seem forced is something most directors are smart enough to not even try. Affleck does it without flaw.
Maybe it’s that Hollywood hates Ben Affleck. Yes he’s made some very questionable acting choices (he’s not a terrible actor but he does pick terrible scripts on occasion). But between Gone Baby, Gone, The Town, and now Argo Affleck has cemented in my mind as one of the great actors of this generation. While I disagree with him on most politics I am more pleased that he is not running for the Senate because this means there will still be more great movies to come.
Anyway Argo is a great film. It shows the creativity of our people in the intelligence services. It shows the unscrupulous and inept people whom an anti-Semite like Carter surrounded himself with (oh, let’s leave them all hanging because of the optics on a mission). Affleck manages to gives us excellent characterization on a large cast for a movie this short. The only reason I would say that this is not the best film is that the theme of this film is not as momentous as the next two films.

2. The Dark Knight Risesdark-knight-rises-cast-1920x1080

“A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy’s shoulder to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”

Christopher Nolan outdid himself again with this film. In this retelling of A Tale of Two Cities we have a skillful critique of the philosophy that says all wealth is evil and an equally damning critique of those who would use this lie to gain power over. And to top it off they give us a philosophical discussion of the nature of fear, heroism and living the good life. I only give Affleck my call for best director by mere fractions due to his ability to switch tones in the film so well, but Nolan is also a truly great director who took a story that was little more than fluff and action and gave us three films of depth and soul. He made us care about Bruce Wayne the person, not just the costume, and he showed us what a hero is and can be.
This film should win best screenplay, but again I fear it won’t.

1. Les Miserables

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

Les Miserables Posters
This film does stand a good chance of winning the best picture award it so richly deserves. While I have previously commented on some flaws in the directing and editing this movie still soars above the rest. It gives us salvation and redemption, tragedy and comedy, passion and vengeance. And it does it in possibly the hardest form to work in, the musical. It is without question the best film of 2012.

So what was the worst film of 2012? Promised Land for bad politics? Lincoln for finally proving Spielberg has only hype left and no talent? Life of Pi for taking a book with an infantile understanding of religion and spirituality (I liked the points it made, but it made them so poorly) and let it be directed by one of film’s worst directors? Taken 2 for the plot line of, dad didn’t want daughter to go to Paris because it’s unsafe, but hey, let’s have a family get together in Istanbul, because that’s gotta be safe? Atlas Shrugged II for being even more poorly made than the first even though it had more money (oh please let them recast everyone again for the third)? Cloud Atlas for being a pretentious and tedious attempt to redo The Fountain? Zero Dark Thirty for breaking more federal intelligence laws than any other film in history? Twilight for, well, being Twilight? The Lorax for being useless bullshit? Safe House and Flight for making me realize the glory days of Denzel are over, and I have no hope of them coming back.

No this dishonor of worst film of 2012 goes to Prometheus. Prometheus? Yes, Prometheus. This may come as a bit of a shock. After all, while not the best prequel ever, it wasn’t that bad. It was a great thriller, kept me on the edge of the seat nearly the entire time. It had some pretty good character development. It was well done. So why is it the worst film of the year? Well first I thought the movie was flawed because it asked massive questions about the nature of life, the universe and everything…but it failed to provide even a hint of answer. Which made it unbelievably dissatisfying. But that was only why it wasn’t going on the top of the list. Little did I know when I first saw it that there were answers in the original script. I’m not going to go into how bizarre these answers are, (I only have two words and a link, follow at your own risk: Space Jesus ) but let me just say that if that was the original intent of Ridley Scott then this is by far the dumbest movie I have ever heard of. Ridley Scott has made some of the best films ever created… this is not one of them.

Which movies am I looking forward to?
A Good Day To Die Hard (Mindless fun), 42 (could be pointlessly preachy, I hope not), Oblivion (I’m still unsure what this is about), Iron Man 3 (mindless fun), Thor 2 (mindless fun), Much Ado About Nothing (Whedon does Shakespeare, need I say more), Man of Steel (Nolan please give me a fourth great superhero movie), Red 2 (mindless fun), Ender’s Game (this all depends on the visuals for the game).

As you can see not exactly a list composed primarily of deep films. So it will be a short list again next year in all likelihood.

What do I have no intention of seeing?
Star Trek and Hangover III

7 Comments

Filed under Art, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Popular Culture

TV Shows for Conservatives (and everyone else)…a show all must watch!: Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld

Remember when I said we should help expose middle ground people to conservative ideas not necessarily through hard line news and books on economics, but through things that have conservative themes…

Red Eye w: Greg Gutfeld

Well I give you Red Eye, a news show funnier than the Daily Show, wittier than Colbert and it’s so sharp it if were a were a pair of scissors I would warn you to not run with it.

The show consists of conservative Greg Gutfeld, possibly the only man as funny as Dennis Miller, his repulsive side kick, sequential hermaphrodite, liberal Bill Schultz, and the pre-game, halftime and post-game wrap up with libertarian, TV’s Andy Levy.   (Think there were a lot of inside jokes there, there were…like Fluffy McNutter and Pinch).  Then the cast will be joined by 3 guests who span the political spectrum and while they discuss the news they say some of the most outrageous things you’ll ever here on TV.  This is show Ann Coulter goes on so she can appear the most calm and polite person in the world.

New York Times Correspondent Pinch

Still smarter than Red Eye guest Paul Mecurio

You should TIVO this thing religiously (3AM Eastern on FOXNews…yeah they have to bury it that late at night with some of the things they say) and once you get hooked you will never stop watching.

Fluffy McNutter Red EyeAnd then you need to introduce everyone you know to this shows…and slowly they will not only get balanced discussion on issues (from some very unbalanced people) but they will laugh until they cry.

Don’t believe me….
You can listen to them call former CIA agent and President of Security Firm Diligence Mike Baker the father of ugly racist children who must be put down…and Mike seems to not disagree…

Every night halfway through the show the guests are told if they got anything wrong by Red Eye Ombudsman TV’s Andy Levy’s in the Half Time Report

Sometimes we have guest Ombudsmen which leads to moments like this from Jesse Joyce and Dana Vachon

Every episode used to include a Gregalogue…it’s a monologue with Greg…and if you don’t agree with Greg then you are WORSE THAN HITLER!!!!!

Mike Baker’s halftime always include a bizarre number of charts…

Here are the Best Moments of 2011…I personally love Andy’s apology to rapper Chris Brown.

And then there was the first time Bob Beckel  was on Red Eye which included some of the strangest moments in Red Eye (and quite frankly TV’s history).

Lines such as:

“I get all my strength and wisdom from my love of cats, Bob.”

“Drugs, I can’t do them anymore but you still can.”

“I was just going to say I locked away a whole kilo of cocaine in a safety deposit box with 25 thousand and I can’t find it. It’sbeen 12 years.”

Fox often tries to take this clip down (can’t imagine why with admissions like that, but this page seems fairly stable if the video above isn’t working.

And who can forget the “Lightning Rooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooound”

Or you can see the Old Spice Guy pick up Ann Coulter for a Valentine’s date.


And the regularly has the lovely Jedediah Bila (beauty and brains) who regularly makes the correct point that anything Obama does is grounds for his impeachment.

And at 2:20 on this video we find out what Andy really thinks of Bill…

Also you have Paul Mecurio,regular guest who in all the years I have watched him, has yet to say anything even vaguely intelligent.  Monkeys at typewriters will produce the complete works of Steinbeck before Paul says anything even remotely intelligent.

And if you’re still not convinced…here’s a full episode.

Leave a comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Capitalism, Conservative, Humor, politics, Popular Culture

Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part III

It’s been a month since the election…and as you can tell from the limited number of posts, I’m still kind of depressed Obama won, America Lostabout this (and overworked at work, but that’s another story).  I’m still shell-shocked that people could be that stupid—even I, who believe the masses are idiots, can’t fully comprehend that people are so fucking stupid as to vote in a tyrant not once but twice.  It baffles the mind.  If you care about only what you can get you should have voted for the guy who would guarantee a higher chance at raises and better jobs: Romney.  If you cared about other people you should have cared about the guy who would have done the most to improve the middle class: Mitt.  If you care about character it would be the guy who personally does charity whenever he can: Willard Mitt Romney. Intelligence, that would be the guy who got his J.D. and MBA in the same 4 years: The Governor.  Experience, class, vision, leadership, surrounding himself with qualified people.  On every criteria you can come up with it’s a no brainer, but, but, but…

People are really fucking short sighted, envious and dumb.

But are we just powerless to do anything? Are we at the mercy of party leadership to pull us out of this tailspin the country has voted itself in (dear god that’s a depressing thought)?  Luckily no.  Unfortunately I’m not promising anything easy either.

So what can we as individuals do?

Well first I would like to turn back to the exit polls.  Now looking at ethnicity or gender or even age is pointless because there is nothing we can do to change that.   People are what they are.  (Yes, age changes, but it’s not like we have any actual control over it).

2012 exit polls education

Now education can change (complete shocker that Obama the no intelligence/no high school bracket and the no real world experience/postgraduate bracket) but unless you’re a parent most of us can’t really affect people’s education.  If you are a parent, I might suggest that you state you’re not paying for any kind of college education unless they get a degree in the Math/Science area and thus have marketable skills (if they want to get a dual major and have a liberal art as well, well you can negotiate) but parents do not pay for Sociology degrees they are worthless and breed dumb liberals.

2012 exit polls single

Next we turn to gender and marriage status.  A lot of to do was made about women in this election, but as you see it wasn’t really women so much as single women.  And I have seen conservative writers talk about how the single women pose a threat to liberty as they seem to look to the government for the security nets…but it if you look at the data single men are also pretty dumb. The conclusion I’m drawing here isn’t that women are liberal, it’s that single people on the whole are liberal and need to be stopped.  (Yes, I as a bachelor, may not want to throw stones in a glass house, but I’m not as dumb as my fellow singles who voted for Barry…but if you are or know any single, intelligent, conservative, spiritually open women in the Phoenix area…well…my email address is posted…).  Now does this mean we should all go out and get married without standards or relationships, that marriage is an end unto itself. No.  One of the reasons we have a high divorce rate is that people don’t take the time to plan and make sure they’re making a right choice.  So really unless you want to start playing matchmaker which some of us are more qualified than others (this would certainly not be a skill of mine).

2012 exit polls religion

And then we see that Obama did well with the non-religious crowd* and Romney did well with the religious crowd.  Let me put these last two points in context. It doesn’t have as much to do with faith or companionship.  For a lot of people it is an issue of safety.  If you have a spouse, if you have an active church community you have someone you know you can fall back on if things go bad, if you don’t have these things, then the psychology of most people is to seek something you can fall back on: the government.  Now I would rather people evolve and see themselves as their fallback (or at least maybe God) but if we’re going to get there we first have to have an economic system that allows people to take care of themselves (i.e. we need to get rid of liberals and progressives at every level).

So what does this have to do with religion?  Well it means that if you’re a member of a church you need to encourage, push for, and if necessary demand, that your church be more active in the community—charity, public works and improvement projects, fundraisers not for the church but those honestly in need. This should have nothing to do with demonization or dogma.  Only about helping the community and strengthening the bonds of community.

If you’re not in a church, say a New Ager, it couldn’t hurt to find a non-pushy church out there and see if they would like help with those charity projects.

If you’re in a church that does do these kinds of charity projects then see if you can invite people you know to help, don’t proselytize, don’t make it about belief, only about helping others.  (Also may I suggest making your charity functions known to the local middle and high schools—students, especially college bound students, are more and more looking for community service on their resumes—and let them know their parents are invited as well).

This has nothing to do with dogma, it has to with a core tenet in every religion I can think of, charity, community, compassion.

Show people that government isn’t the only source that they can fall back on.  Look at it this way, the way people talk about others often shows how they themselves think.  I call it the “I am the world” fallacy, and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes, we all are.  We tend to make assumptions about the way people act based on our own habits and thoughts.  Conservatives naturally tend to think that the government isn’t needed because we ourselves are more generous and just assume everybody does the right thing.  Liberals assume others are avaricious, cruel, irrationally selfish, and miserly not because they’re saints and know everyone else is stingy, but because they themselves are not compassionate at their heart—they fear they will have no one to fall back on because in their heart of heart they know they won’t help other either.  (Liberals give to charity less than conservatives and they volunteer a hell of a lot less than conservatives, see Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks).

But if we get people who might not usually attend church to come to charity events we can show them that people do care for people and that we don’t need government to care for us…and maybe we can even show them there is personal joy in compassion and charity.  Trust me, a person who does charity out of the joy it brings them never votes liberal, liberals give out of guilt not joy.

So get your church (or any other group that has the resources) involved in the community (if you’re not doing at least 3 events a month, it’s not enough), invite people to come just for the charity aspect, and watch their belief that the government is the only one looking out for them disappear (also with more human contact and larger social circles we might fix that single problem listed above).

Also this process will help destroy that one thing that Obama did well in “He cares about people like me.”

2012 exit polls key points

Charity and a strong community teach us that we are capable of caring for people who aren’t like ourselves.

But that can’t be all we have to do.  Liberals have done a great job with controlling the media.  News, movies, TV shows, you name it there are liberal messages.  But we cannot give in on this.

So there are a few things we can do.  The first is that we can try to pull their funding.  Here at the Conservative New Ager we’re going after that Goebbels style propaganda wing MSNBC.  We encourage people to write to their advertisers and pull their ads.  It works.  If a company just gets a hundred letters asking them to make sure the shows they are advertising on are only reporting the truth, they will either pull the ads or they will use the power their money buys them to get results.  We have already heard from P&G and UPS.

The next thing is that we need to expose people to the truth.  I would recommend everyone use all the social media they have to expose their friends to the truth.  Now you don’t have to repost a thousand articles every day, but don’t be afraid to share something for fear of losing a friend.  For everyone you lose you’ll likely help push a two or three that much closer to the truth.  (And if you’re like me you don’t have many liberal friends left anyway, it’s the middle we’re trying to win, not the ones beyond hope).

Also if you get a real newspaper (there aren’t many left: The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times…if it uses AP articles don’t bother) take it to work and leave it in the break room every day.  It can only help expose people to the truth.

But on that note we need to share the media that is conservative we need to focus on the stuff that isn’t the news and isn’t explicitly political.  Liberals have tried to infect every book, every movie, every show with liberal messages and just habituate people into thinking in liberal terms.  The problem is that most good literature is more conservative in its themes.  Self sufficiency, rational thought, ethical behavior, connection to God.  These subtle themes are in literature everywhere, even when it’s written by artists who are liberal themselves.  George Orwell was a socialist, but 1984 and Animal Farm are scathing critiques of the very state Orwell would likely have supported.   Given time, the truth will out, as a conservative writer once put it. What conservatives make the mistake of doing is trying to give people Atlas Shrugged and Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell.  It doesn’t matter that we enjoy those, those books only preach to the choir.  If someone isn’t open to those ideas, if they’ve been indoctrinated to think conservatives are evil, Rand was psychotic, Coulter is vicious and Sowell is an Uncle Tom, it doesn’t matter if the facts are there, their emotional reaction to those works will prevent them from seeing the facts.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t share books and TV shows with friends, family, acquaintances. I’m sure we know lots of people who are not conservative but if they were introduced to those ideas the logic and reason of it would come out.  That is why I am putting together a list of books, movies and TV shows that depict the conservative themes and that we agree with, without being explicitly conservative.   The Individual, reason, ethical behavior, long term thinking, the truth.  These are things that bring people close to conservatism.  I would take a look at this list (and keep coming back as I hope to keep adding to it).  Lend these works out to people who you think might be open to them.  Give them as gifts for any holiday and any excuse you can.  And then discuss them with the person after they’ve read or watched it (never give out something you’re not familiar with already!  You don’t want to get caught where they make some silly liberal interpretation and don’t have a comeback for it).  It seems silly but ideas have power, and once they’re in a person’s mind they spread not just to affecting the other ideas of that mind but in the way they behave to others and the way they influence the ideas of others.  And if they get more conservative in their thoughts introduce them to the more explicitly conservative works…but don’t start with those, they’ll just shut people down.

Finally it’s the old stand-bys.  Write a blog or letters to editors.  Donate to organizations that promote your beliefs (right now I would focus on Heritage and Freedomwork because they do not seem overly obsessed with the social issues which are dragging this party down and giving the left too many easy targets), volunteer for campaigns, get involved.  We have four years where we can do next to nothing to save the economy or well being of our allies across the sea.  Nothing.  We have this idiot tyrant in charge and he will wreck the place as much as he can through a combination of stupidity and malice.  Focusing too much on that will be somewhat fruitless for us as individuals—but as individuals we do have the power to influence those around us and help bring them to our side.

*Also Obama did exceedingly well with people who aren’t not affiliated with any religion but are spiritual  you know, the kind of people the Republicans and Reincarnation was written specifically for.  If you know some of these people, could it hurt to give them a copy?

3 Comments

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Art, Ayn Rand, Books, Books for Conservatives, Books for New Agers, Capitalism, character, Charity, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Faith, Fear, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Literature, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Movies, Natural Rights, Obama, Patriotism, People Are Stupid, philosophy, politics, Popular Culture, Republicans and Reincarnation, Spirituality

The Great Greg Gutfeld at The Reagan Library

The first 8 minutes is dead air, but if you skip that it is a great speech by the most under-appreciated personality on the right.

Leave a comment

Filed under Capitalism, character, Conservative, Evils of Liberalism, GOP, Government is useless, Humor, Patriotism, People Are Stupid, politics, Popular Culture, Ronald Reagan, Tea Party

It’s Halloween and that means Halloween Movies

So last year I did a series of blogs on the best Halloween movies…I present to you the list (with a little revision) and links to all of the original blogs…

Halloween, Movies, and Death
#30: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
#29: The ‘Burbs
#28: Underworld & Underworld: Evolution
#27 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
#26: Stir of Echoes
#25 Flatliners
#24 The X-files
#23 Little Shop of Horrors
#22 The Monster Squad
#21 Scream
#20 Pitch Black
 #19 Tremors
#18 The Mummy
#17 Beetlejuice
#16 Se7en
#15 Sleepy Hollow
#14 The Frighteners
#13 The Sixth Sense
Tied for #11 The Evil Dead II &
Army of Darkness
#10 Interview with the Vampire
#9 Fright Night
#8 The Lost Boys
#7 Alien
#6 Ghostbusters
#5 Young Frankenstein
#4 Dracula (1992)
#3 The Silence of the Lambs
#2 Psycho
 Cabin in the Woods (Tied at #2 but not in last year’s list)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the Greatest Halloween Film Of All Time

Enjoy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Death, Fear, Halloween, Movies, Popular Culture

The Most Patriotic Movies #26: The films of Michael Bay

“We will never forsake freedom”—Optimus Prime, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Okay let me say upfront that some day I will be writing a series on the top 20 directors of all time.  Michael Bay is not on that list.  Michael Bay isn’t on the list of honorable mentions either.   Michael as a director, has many flaws…some directors can save a bad script or a push a bad actor to the point that you wouldn’t know either was bad.  Michael Bay is not one of those directors.  Pearl Harbor, The Island, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (how exactly do you have a movie called Revenge of the Fallen, when the character named The Fallen is in the movie for what a whole of 10 minutes?).  These movies suck beyond the telling of it.  Now when things work (i.e. decent script, decent actors) his films are enjoyable and re-watchable…no one will ever say his work is on par with Casablanca, but it’s fun and even probably worth buying before it even hits the five dollar bin at Wal-mart.  But if he has one great quality it’s that his films are patriotic.

So what makes his movies patriotic?

Well there is first the fact that he almost obsessively puts the America flag into scenes with our heroes, no matter what the film.  You see the stars and stripes you see heroes.  During the President’s speech in Armageddon I counted at least 7 flags in a speech that isn’t 3 minutes.  Bay has the correct amount of respect for the flag (infinite) and the proper understanding of what is means (it is a symbol of heroism and the good guys).

Could we get another flag in that shot with the special forces team coming into save the day?

Pretty much the last scene in the film and what’s still flying even though the entire city of Chicago has been reduced to rubble?

Okay, the size of the flag there is standard for an astronaut’s uniform…but still it’s would be hard to make that more prominent…and these are just a sample…Bay’s films are filled with flags all over the place.

Second for all of his flaws, Bay understands good and evil and doesn’t shy away from the basic concept that sometimes the way to deal with evil I “we will kill them all.”  Yes we’ll try talking, sanctions and diplomacy and whatnot but sometimes you realize as in the case of Bay after three Transformers films it’s just time to plant a giant battle axe into Megatron’s head and blow Sentinel to hell…because it’s just not going to end any other way or in the case of America, you can sink a nation’s entire navy, destroy all their overseas holdings, fly thousands of leaflets over a city telling people you need to leave the city NOW!…and in the light of this you there are still sometimes when you’re faced with costs of tens of millions of civilian lives plus maybe a million soldiers because the country in question is too dumb to know when to call it quits…you know it’s just time to nuke two cities off the map (we should have followed it with taking Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, and wherever Mao’s army was concentrated, but we had a coward in the Oval Office and also we only had three of the things at time and we wasted one in New Mexico…Sacramento would have been such a more useful choice).  Sometimes you just have to go the whole way and bomb the enemy into oblivion (again we should have tried it in Russia, China and Iran), because their stock in trade is absolute evil (before some liberal wants to say that my claims about the Japanese is unfair, look up the phrases “Rape of Nanking” and “Bataan Death March”…you’ll wonder why we didn’t ship the entire Japanese hierarchy from Hirohito to the lowest ensign to Nuremberg and hang them all.)  There is good and there is evil, and America at its best is one of the few countries that has ever really understood this…and Michael Bay also understands this one.

Finally, of course, Bay had endless respect for the armed services.  Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, all three Transformers the U.S. military is shown to be just the biggest bunch of bad-asses who are more than worthy of your undying respect.

Throw in some not so subtle insults at Obama in Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon it just gets even better.

Again, unless something miraculous happens, Bay will never be up for an Oscar, but he is still a enjoyable story teller who will always show America as the good guys.

1 Comment

Filed under American Exceptionalism, Art, Conservative, Foreign Policy, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Patriotism, politics, Popular Culture, Tyranny