December 5, 2007

EVEN THE LEFT ISN'T ROOTING FOR CHARLIE THIS TIME:

Missing the elephant in the (screening) room (Patrick O'Hannigan, December 04, 2007, The Paragraph Farmer)

Writing in the (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC) Independent Weekly, film critic David Fellerath asks "Why are the Iraq War Movies Tanking?"

The underperforming films that Fellerath is thinking of include Redacted, which Fellerath uses as a centerpiece, but also Rendition, Lions for Lambs, A Mighty Heart, and In the Valley of Elah.

His answer to his own question boils down to "Nothing is shocking any more." Moreover, he opines, "Brian De Palma's Redacted illustrates why Iraq movies aren't as good as Vietnam movies."

Before reaching the conclusion that we're all jaded, Fellerath nominates a host of secondary reasons for the failures of what he also calls "global war on terror" movies. He means to contrast the current crop of failures with the allegedly significant cultural influence of films like The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Apocalypse Now. Fellerath also bows in the direction of M*A*S*H (the movie), Taxi Driver (!), and the Rambo franchise. Chuck Norris does not get an honorable mention.

Fellerath's list of touchstone films is odd in itself, but we'll get to why in a minute.


At least in the 70s and 80s directors had the built-in advantage of a media and film-going crowd that thought it was a good thing the North and Pol Pot were in power. Rather few think today that it would be good in Al Qaeda won.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 5, 2007 1:14 PM
Comments

Uh-uh. Much simpler.

There is no draft now, and cowardice is no longer the handmaiden of treason. This changes everything.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 5, 2007 4:47 PM

nobody made vietnam movies while the war continued. Thus these recent movies have tanked cause nobody wants to be reminded of a war they see nightly on TV, albeit at a lesser intensity than before. A few or so years after Iraq is over then the great movies about it will be made; and they should be great movies because the raw material (of volunteer american soldiers' courage and heroism)is so obvious to anyone who reads the accounts of the battles fought there.

Posted by: mike in europe at December 5, 2007 4:51 PM

Well, John Wayne did make "Green Berets" in the 60s. Which I think only proves your point.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 5, 2007 6:41 PM

"should be great movies because the raw material (of volunteer american soldiers' courage and heroism)is so obvious to anyone who reads the accounts of the battles fought there."

The fools could make movies about that right now but they won't, because it doesn't fit their anti-American narrative and might have a beneficial spin-off effect for the Republicans.

Posted by: John in VA at December 5, 2007 9:14 PM
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