Saturday, December 03, 2011

Why is it only ever conservatives who assert that a films politics have any bearing on its performance at the box office?

Oh for pity's sake...

Once again, conservatives are making noises about how Hollywood studios are pushing liberal propaganda, this time through children's movies. Of course, they mention that most about films that aren't doing terribly well, as if there's a cause and effect:

On its surface, Happy Feet Two is a cutesy sequel about a young penguin who is reluctant to dance. But could there be a radical left-wing agenda lurking below the arctic ice?

Some conservatives think so, The Hollywood Reporter reports, suggesting that the movie’s politics might be a reason why the film has been off to a sluggish start at the box office.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'm gonna go out a limb here and say maybe the film hasn't hit big because by most accounts, it isn't very good.

After Pixar head honcho John Lasseter revealed ahead of the opening of Cars 2 that the oil industry would be the “uber bad guy,” a blogger at wrote this: “We conservatives and believers in free markets are accused of being paranoid when we say the Hollywood industry is trying to indoctrinate our children with left-wing propaganda. But now movie directors and producers are coming out and admitting what they’re doing. I’m just glad I found this out before I allowed my kids to persuade me to take them to see the movie Cars 2.”

Cars 2 this year, by the way, took in 22 percent less at the domestic box office than its predecessor did in 2006.

And maybe, just maybe, that's because it was the first Pixar film EVER to get bad reviews.

The U.S. military and Christianity are also favorite targets for progressives who make family movies, wrote Christian Toto at Human Events, citing, among others, DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens and its character dubbed Gen. W.R. Monger.

Wait a minute. Okay, so the name is a not terribly good pun. But the character is heroic. He saves the other heroes at the end. Did this Christian Toto (that cannot possibly be a real name) even see the movie? Speaking of which-

Admitting upfront that I haven't seen it--anyone who has, you tell me if I'm wrong--but isn't there a case to be made that the 41.7 million-grossing Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is an anti-choice parable?

What I've heard is this: The human girl becomes pregnant by the vampire. Carrying the child to term will almost certainly kill her, so the vampire suggests terminating it, but the girl refuses. Finally, in order to save her life during the difficult childbirth, he finally turns her into a vampire.

So, great, girls: No abortions, no exceptions to save the life of the mother. Of course, in this case, there's a supernatural "Get out of the real moral questions free" card to be played.

My point here is not that this movie is conservative propaganda. It may or may not be. Nor is my point that I wish it had been shunned on that basis. My point is: Liberals don't do that. I ask you, when was the last time you heard or saw a liberal crow about the failure of some "conservative" movie or other creative work? I mean, under the assumption that its conservative "bias" is what killed it?

Like sure, I'm not unhappy that the Atlas Shrugged movie flopped (nor, I must say, am I especially happy about this). But I assume it flopped not because it preached the virtues of selfishness or whatever (hell, there've been three or four big hit movies about pirates) but because, again by most accounts, it was a laughably bad movie.

It's a subject of recurrent fascination to me that many if not most conservatives seem to be incapable of viewing anything but through the prisim of their own politics. We liberals, on the other hand, just like to go to good movies.

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