David Kahane (who in real life is a Hollywood screenwriter) writes about Antiwar Falling: Hollywood’s bad investment, and lists the year’s flops:
Shoot ‘Em Up
In the Valley of Elah
Grace Is Gone
And last year’s flops:
A Mighty Heart
Of this list, I’ve only seen Shoot ‘Em Up.
SEU – a videogame plot about a sharpshooter who hires a lactating prostitute and can continue to shoot the bad guys while engaging in intercourse, skydiving or delivering a baby, all the while yielding the organic carrots of death – is so bad (how bad is it? you ask) that I am now cured of seeing Clive Owen movies.
Clive, dude, you gotta get back to being an actor. You are exactly my ideal guy when it comes to looks but this fan needs more than looks to like a guy.
But I digress.
Robert J. Avrech, also a screenwriter, who blogs at Seraphic Secret points out the propaganda value of these films (emphasis added),
The per theater average of Elah indicates that only the earnest, dopey Sundance fanatics turned out for the first weekend—all 85 of them. The film is a stench of red ink, a jihadist enabling loop of anti-American sedition.
However, Elah will do a very brisk business in the black market souks in Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
You think I’m kidding?
There are consequences in the Arab/Muslim world to producing such movies. Jihadists use them as recruiting tools; they are proof that we infidels are so corrupt, so decadent that we don’t even bother to defend our own values. These movies show the jihadists that Islam is fated to rule over the infidels.
I saw Shoot ‘Em Up at the duplex Garden Theater theater in downtown Princeton, where Sicko played for five weeks last Summer. Before SEU started, they showed previews for The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition. Avrech and Kahane predict that these three films will also flop.
Surprisingly, the Garden Theater was playing 3:10 to Yuma last week (they’re now playing In The Valley of Elah). When I saw 3:10 to Yuma the only other two people in the theater were two young men (I assume they are Princeton University students). They loved it.
3:10 to Yuma is an excellent movie marred by excessive violence and by a script that unfortunately has the good guys make a huge stategic mistake in order to allow the three central characters to reach a final conclusion.
Writing about 3;10 to Yuma Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, however, finds a parable about integrity:
This nation was created by those for whom responsibility, accountability, honor and decency were more than just words that are entries in a dictionary. Those words were lived by and held in great esteem. The merits of those qualities were taught in schools and preached from both religious and secular pulpits. An individuals politics were always secondary to hard earned integrity and credibility. Our founding fathers may not have been perfect, to be sure, but this nation grew and matured as we learned the lessons and values they embraced.
In 3:10 to Yuma, Christina Bale’s Dan Evans is a troubled, failing, and literally and figuratively crippled man, who is uncertain of his ability to actually function as a man. He fears failing his wife and perhaps even more significantly, failing his son. Russell Crowe’s Ben Wade is a failed man, whose failings can be reasonably inferred to stem from the failure of his parents to raise him from being a boy to a man. Men contain and control their aggression and devote themselves to caring for those who are less able to take care of themselves. Watching Russel Crowe/Ben Wade and Christian Bale/Dan Evans in their interplay as one helps the other become something he could never become on his own is exhilarating. Watching as Dan’s maturation as a father enables Logan Lerman, playing Dan’s 14 year old son William, to become a man before our eyes is equally moving. At the end, Dan, or perhaps William, has become Will Kane.
I predict that until Hollywood films go back to recognizing integrity as a core value of our nation, the flops will continue to hit the screens.
Special thanks to Jeremayakovka for the links.