We aren’t going out to the movies tonight. I wish there were enough good movies playing so that we could go out every Friday night to the movies, now that we are empty-nesters, but there isn’t. But the tide may be turning, according to recent City Journal article, Conservatives in Hollywood:
ever more Americans are shunning Hollywood’s wares—and disgust with Left Coast politics, both on and off screen, clearly plays a part. In a time of declining moviegoing, what gets people out to the theaters, it turns out, are conservative movies—conservative not so much politically but culturally and morally, focusing on the battle between good and evil, the worth of heroism and self-sacrifice, the indispensability of family values and martial honor, and the existence of Truth. Hollywood used to turn out a steady supply of such movies—watch just about any film from its Golden Age of the thirties and forties—and it still makes them once in a while …. We may soon see a lot more of them.
The article analyzes the decline in box office receipts that has Hollywood reeling, and mentions Hollywood’s explanations for it, which are then refuted.
“You can date the recent box-office decline from the end of the summer last year, with the intensification of the presidential campaign,” notes conservative film critic and talk-radio host Michael Medved. “It wasn’t just Hollywood’s hostility toward President Bush; it was the naked, raw partisanship.” … “This is what many people in the movie industry don’t get: when you express hostility to conservatives, many Americans feel that you’re expressing hostility to them.”
The article then goes on to analyze the biggest grossing movies of the past several years, and highlights their conservative social and moral core. Movies such as Spiderman 2, The Incredibles, Cast Away, Lord of the Rings, Saving Private Ryan, The Passion of the Christ, March of the Penguins, Finding Nemo, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. There is also an interesting section that takes a look at last year’s movies that were to be blockbusters (so deemed Hollywood) that were total flops, i.e. Kingdom of Heaven, and, by applying the same analyzation of its social and moral core, shows why they flopped so big.
There is one movie from last year which doesn’t fit the mold: Cinderella Man. This is a solid conservative movie by an Academy Award-winning director, Ron Howard, which exemplifies the epitimony of the movie-making craft in every way. Story, writing, acting, directing, photography, sets, all top shelf (go rent it, it is a wonderful film). But it didn’t do well, either. I wonder if the reason is that Russell Crowe had his little phone-throwing fit a few days before the movie opened. People may have just had it up to here with overpaid spoiled brats and their antics, and not seeing the movie was the only power they had to express that sentiment.
But the brightest news is found at the end: the cultural shift quietly taking place in Hollywood, with conservatives filling the industry everywhere from actors and actresses (Adam Sandler), writers (Andrew Klavan), directors and producers (Mike De Luca of Dreamworks, Mel Gibson), and investors (Philip Anschutz, the money behind Ray, Because of Winn-Dixie, and Narnia).
Speaking of which, we have Because of Winn-Dixie on dvd, and that is what we will be watching tonight. I can’t wait! 🙂
Update: Well, we will probably put Last Holiday (another good review here) or Glory Road (another good review here) on the to-see list.
Another movie that I am recommending (although I havent seen it) is called “End of the Spear” It is a movie about the 5 missionaries who went into Ecuador (Nate Saint, Jim Elliot etc) and were killed. It is told from the natives perspective. I am looking forward to seeing and after reading your movie reviews thought you my be interested as well. You can check out their website: http://www.endofthespear.com
Thank you! I am eagering anticipating The End of the Spear, that is going to be my topic for this Friday’s Friday night at the movies post … I have already asked my husband to take me to it this weekend for my birthday (which is this week)! I can’t wait for that movie either!