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Monday, February 16, 2009

The latest victim to politicization: Movie lists

I found LOTS and LOTS of blogs posting the National Review's Top 25 conservative movies of the last 25 years (here's a blog with the full list).  I, like all of those bloggers, were perplexed with some of the choices.

The Daily Kos has a blog entry and lots of comments with suggestions for a top 25 liberal movies list.

So which of these flicks would make a neat hybrid list of cool movies to see whilst sorting them into their brand new liberal and conservative columns?

Hairspray (the original with Ricki Lake, not the musical).  John Waters inspired insanity about racism and wanting to dance on TV set in 1960's Baltimore.

Manchurian Candidate (again, the original with Frank Sinatra and the uber-creepy Angela Lansbury). Brainwashing, and some serious mother issues. Creepy and thought provoking.  The original was released in the early 60's, but there was a remake done with Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington out a few years back.

Erin Brockovich.  Great story about the power of one person, who was by no means an expert in her field, take on the big bad utility company whose irresponsibility ruined so many of the lives reliant on the utility for their livelyhood.  Not too melodramatic, either.

Little Miss Sunshine. Great story of a typical American family trying to reach up higher and learning, by movie's end, what is really most important

South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut:  Not for those with issues over curse words, gory cartoon violence and general irreverence.  But I laugh myself sick every time I watch, sing "Blame Canada" along with the cast and am overjoyed a movie pushed freedom of expression to new heights.

The Dark Knight (and Batman Begins, the one that precedes this): Heath Ledger just gave me a serious case of the creeps in this one.  Batman Begins does a good job helping the audience understand what motivates Bruce Wayne to develop and continue being Batman.

United 93: No bias one way or the other toward what happened and why on that fateful, brief flight back in 2001. Heroism, or doing what needs to be done whilst being scared silly, is neither liberal or conservative trait.

Gran Torino: No one watching Clint Eastwood from the 1950's to the 70's on TV or film would have guessed this man had so much more to say behind the camera than in front. I laughed and cried during the movie and a good lesson in doing the right thing is never the easy thing.

The Incredibles: Nuclear family as superheroes OR accepting yourself for what you are and working together to defeat a common enemy and protect the world from evil.  Something for everyone and the usual cool Pixar animation with good storytelling.

Ghostbusters:  This was on the conservative list.  I wish I was kidding you.  And here I just thought this was some escapist fun from the eighties.  Good escapist fun, but nothing thought-provoking.

While I'm at it, Ed Rampell was on Thom Hartmann's radio show earlier today with a partial list of 2008's "Progie Award Winners". To me, if you have to explain the names of EVERY award you issue, you may need to rethink the names of your categories.

A couple of Quick Takes on these awards and the interview I heard:  So, why wasn't the movie "Che" better recognized by the group who is presenting statuettes this Sunday?  Maybe because the movie is over four hours long and to watch it On-Demand from my cable system costs me $12?  How does "Che" wind up winning an Progie and get mentioned on a list of "worsts" in the same posting?  How does "Slumdog Millionaire" reinforce the status quo in Mumbai? When I saw it, I didn't overhear others in the theatre not comment on the movie's depiction of life in the poorest parts of that city.

And, outside of "Slumdog Millionaire", I did not see any of the movies mentioned in this posting, though "Waltz With Bashir" based on the trailers looks like something I might find interesting.  Not sure if that means I need to surrender my "liberal" membership card or that I just didn't want to burn the fossil fuel to drive into West L.A. to see any of these movies.

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