Patterico's Pontifications

3/29/2008

More Evidence that Hollywood is Clueless

Filed under: Movies — DRJ @ 1:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From DeadlineHollywood, the box office numbers are in and the latest Hollywood war movie has not done well:

“I’m told #7 Stop-Loss opened to only $1.6 million Friday from just 1,291 plays and should eke out $4+M. Although the drama from MTV Films was the best-reviewed movie opening this weekend, Paramount wasn’t expecting much because no Iraq war-themed movie has yet to perform at the box office. “It’s not looking good,” a studio source told me before the weekend. “No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It’s a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that’s unresolved yet. It’s a shame because it’s a good movie that’s just ahead of its time.”

The Miami Herald published a review of “Stop-Loss” that recounts how the heroes come home from Iraq only to engage in endless drunken brawls. One goes AWOL to protest the stop-loss policy and another abandons his girlfriend for a foxhole in his front yard where he “curls up in his underwear, cradling a bottle and a loaded handgun.” And yet, here’s the bottom line from the review:

“While obviously admiring the valor and devotion of our fighting men and women, “Stop-Loss” makes no judgment about the rightness of the war in Iraq. But it generates a good deal of contempt for a system that rewards its soldiers by betraying them. A credit at the end of the film estimates that 81,000 soldiers have been stop-lossed back to Iraq.”

I don’t care how Hollywood producers feel about the war or Bush but they should be able to realistically judge what their market wants instead of endlessly trying to tell them what to think. With judgment like this, it’s amazing to me they can make a living.

— DRJ

30 Responses to “More Evidence that Hollywood is Clueless”

  1. The Hollywood producers and directors just don’t care, It’s only stockholders’ money, after all.

    Peter (c36902)

  2. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised.

    No, I’m not surprised at Hollywood, which has been a propaganda arm for anti-military bias for nearly 60 years.

    And no, I’m not surprised that they have clanged out… yet another…of the one note, repetitive, yawn-inducing visual screeds that bleats the same shopworn, tired and trite Socialist/Communist apologia.

    And no, I’m not surprised that some braindead zombie wrote a review that suggested that this mental tripe showed the “valor” of our boys in uniform (cowering in a foxhole in their underwear, drunk and half-insane)…but is instead aimed at “the establishment” that put them there. (“we love our drunken, brawling, gun-toting, inbred southern hicks in uniform, it’s the chickenhawk, republican, conservative, Christian politicians who send them there we don’t like”)

    No…I’m not surprised that the tepid response evoked the leftist Rube Goldbergesque logic of “we are in so much pain, we aren’t ready to confront these “truths” in “art” yet…

    No…I AM mildly surprised that the braindead zombie choir didn’t pass the hymnal around prior to opening weekend and show up, and arrive in droves all humming their one note Psalm.

    However, as the leftists have historically proven…they simply need to create an awards ceremony and nominate this tripe feast to get it to play in front of millions.

    They do this several times with celluoid tripe…heck, they do it with the farce they call the Nobel Peace prize. Jimmy Carter and Al Gore were dismal failures politically, but they got a Nobel mulligan. The Oscar, SAG, Cannes, Golden Globe mulligans exist for the tripe as art crowd.

    I would love to reverse the Socialist propaganda, to breathe fresh air into our cultural information stream, as well as our news gathering information stream. It’s polluted and diseased…and I see no end in sight. And, no…I’m not surprised.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  3. I think the judgement that “No one wants to see Iraq war movies” is (allowing for hyperbole) accurate. I certainly don’t. Who wants to be reminded of an ongoing failure?

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  4. Apparently movie reviewers are also clueless, according to the article.

    Timesdisliker (7c35b3)

  5. Shearer, you think you are cute, but frankly, you are not. Last week, I was in attendance at a party of local Iraq war vets. Their opinion on the Iraq war indicates to me that they would not be amused by you either.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. SPQR, so what is their opinion on the Iraq war?

    And what will their opinion be if Obama is elected, pulls the US out, and everything we have tried to do there is washed away like sand castles on a beach when the tide comes in?

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  7. system that rewards its soldiers by betraying them

    Is that refering to stop-loss? Oh, man. What part of war don’t these people understand? They see soldiers as poor unforturates who didn’t realize what would happen when they signed up.

    MamaAJ (788539)

  8. The only thing that I wasn’t particularly surprised at is that a movie with a title like “stop-loss” failed to bring in the general public. Stop-loss, though no doubt a highly emotional phrase for the people who actually did their job and then got told they had to go do it AGAIN, sounds to me more like some sort of digestive tract remedy like kaopectate. I suppose the studio did all sorts of marketing research on the title, but it said to me “wait till the video comes out.”

    Is it the nature of war that a society has to sort of mentally process it before it can start making movies about it (that aren’t propaganda to get people to join up which I don’t necessarily oppose) or is it the nature of THIS war? People have been told “hey, just go shopping, we have it ALL under control, the surge is working” for so long that maybe they don’t want to HEAR that there is still an actual war going on.

    Or maybe it’s that many people don’t want to hear about how a bunch of soldiers who have done their bit keep getting sent back to do more (or are not allowed to leave). Maybe that kind of story makes them feel guilty for not joining up and shouldering some of the load (not that they were really asked to in the first place), and now someone who has already gone to battle is having to go back and carry their weight.

    EdWood (a43e70)

  9. EdWood, no – you seem as clueless as Hollywood. The public would go see a movie that celebrated the efforts of our military in the conflict.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Why would I bother to watch another boring pointless diatribe against the war? If I wanted communist propoganda shoved down my throat I’d invent a time machine and flashback to 1975 Moscow or 1965 Beijing and get it from the source rather than from the mindless drones of Hollywood.

    But calling the producers and writers in Hollywood “Useful Idiots” definitely doesn’t do them justice anymore. They do not live in the real world, and have no idea what the average American wants or is interested in. Look at the Oscars this year. Not one movie from 2007’s top ten money makers had a single nomination in the 6 major categories. (director, picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress). Now part of that can be attributed to the number of sequels which were big money makers, but a bigger issue was the fact that all of the nominated pictures were “message” movies, and most Americans absolutely hate and despise having to receive some sermon with their entertainment. Give us a fun and uplifting movie and we will attend in droves. But since just about everyone knows that Hollywoodland isn’t going to produce a movie that is positive about Iraq, we won’t watch it. Doesn’t matter how things are on the ground in Iraq, good, bad, ugly, we don’t care about that when deciding what movie to watch. We go to be entertained. ugly movies which portray our military and government as less moral and righteous than the cannibals of the Amazon go over about as well as delivering a freshly caught shark to the annual meeting of “Vegan’s for Healthy Oceans”.

    mvargus (a7c1ca)

  11. Mr. Shearer,

    I am assuming the Mr. from the first name (although I had an aunt named Charles, so I take few things for granted), what point are you trying to make?

    At 3:30 you seem to call the Iraq effort a failure, at 5:55 you seem to indicate something different. Perhaps not entirely different, but dissimilar enough that I honestly do not understand where you are going with this. Are you disagreeing with all positions just to be disagreeable? Are you attempting to be Socratic? Are you honestly interested in anyone else’s opinions or experiences? I’ll read your one-liners and pseudo-clever comments if they are furthering something, but put some substantive pixels on the page. Tell me what you are.

    Otherwise I must conclude that you are insincerely chumming for an angry response. If that’s what gets your rocks off, well enough. Just don’t expect it here.

    Uncle Pinky (5ba4c8)

  12. Apparently Hollywood believes we need a movie about George Bush (to be released before he leaves office)…and it is to be directed by none other than Oliver Stone.

    “Stone has said that the film, which will focus on the life and presidency of Bush, won’t be an anti-Bush polemic, but, as he told Daily Variety, “a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world?”

    Uh huh…can’t wait for that.

    Dana (fba430)

  13. SPQR I agree with mvargus more than I agree with you. But your theory will probably be put to the test eventually, just as soon as someone finds a screenplay that they think will make the war look good and them money. I think if one or several movies of the kind that you are talking about had been made earlier in the war, maybe there wouldn’t be movies like stop-loss kicking around now.

    EdWood (267ab5)

  14. James B. Shearer said, “And what will their opinion be if Obama is elected, pulls the US out, and everything we have tried to do there is washed away like sand castles on a beach when the tide comes in?”

    We already know what their opinion will be. Just ask the Vietnam vets and the former Vietnamese refugees what their opinion is of Jane Fonda and John Kerry. It might not make news in your community but Mao shirts and Red Chinese flags are not real popular in Little Saigon, CA. Neither are Democrats.

    tyree (a784fa)

  15. EdWood, mvargus is saying the same thing that I am.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. “…go from being an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the (Holly)world?”

    Oliver, I fixed that for you. I just knew this film was going to be a projection of yourself onto GWB.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  17. Like it or not you dumb hillbillies, ‘evil, out-of-touch liberal Hollywood’ is one of America’s best exports. California has the eighth biggest economy in the world, so ‘evil, out-of-touch liberal Hollywood’ must be doing something right, right? Additionally, we’re ridiculously blessed to be able to export our culture (as well as our ideas and principles) to a globe that actually craves it. Brad and Angelina have generated more goodwill for this country over the past years than idiot George and his dumbass wife have been able to.

    As for this particular, shitty movie, yeah, nobody wants to watch movies that shows Americans directly responsible for instigating and perpetuating such an unmitigated fucking disaster. The only stories worth telling about Iraq are about how the Bush administration is screwing all of us; the troops, the Iraqis, regular Americans, even the very idea of America. There’s nothing romantic or heroic about this war, no silver linings, and there isn’t a happy ending. Americans like war movies to have happy endings, or at least an ending where we win. The Iraq war doesn’t provide those things, and is therefore terrible subject matter for a film. That people will see, anyways.

    Levi (76ef55)

  18. I’d bet the $10.50 admission price that a movie like, say, Mel Gibson’s ‘We Were Soldiers…” would draw a big box office, easily bigger than all of the so-far-Iraq flops combined.

    Too bad Mr. Gibson has his own problems, could you imagine the draw if he produced, say, a movie about 2nd Fallujah? Or the SF and Northern Alliance in Afghanistan? Or the hunt for Zaraqawi?

    Anyone else, I can imagine the pitch meeting: “Yes, but who’s the REAL enemy?”

    –furious

    furious (56af6d)

  19. I liked Levi so much better when he was on a self-imposed ban.

    Steverino (e00589)

  20. A movie about the hunt for Zarqawi?

    That’s a turd. Nobody would see that shit.

    Levi (76ef55)

  21. Like it or not you dumb hillbillies

    Our elitist, racist friend returns.

    JD (a3d489)

  22. Levi:

    Exactly what “principles” and “culture” are embedded in, say, Hostel II?

    And way to insult your audience — good luck making box office with only mind-numbed Cali leftbots like yourself.

    When Cali stops shutting down art, music, or athletic programs in its public schools, when not closing or consolidating said schools outright, then maybe its dimmer residents can lather on about what an amazing export-engine paradise the place is.

    –furious

    furious (56af6d)

  23. “Brad and Angelina have generated more goodwill for this country over the past years than idiot George and his dumbass wife have been able to.”

    Of course I realize I’m apparently just a hillbilly but really, is it a fair assessment to compare two gorgeous glams who flit to and fro through across the globe doing good deeds (all the while looking stil gorgeous) with the sitting POTUS who is making decisions re vexing little irritants like war, despots, tyrannists, terrorists, etc? How does one even begin to believe these are on comparable level…

    Also, even though Laura Bush is not a glamor puss like Angelina, one would be foolish to underestimate not only the goodwill she has rendered throughout the world but the many causes she has lent her name to and supported throughout her time in the WH. Google is your friend for this.

    Dana (238c4e)

  24. Exactly what “principles” and “culture” are embedded in, say, Hostel II?

    Hostel II wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I’m thinking along the lines of stuff like Titanic and the Harry Potter flicks. I mean how genius is that, Harry Potter isn’t even an American invention, but Hollywood gets to make the movies and rake in billions all around the world.

    Sorry they’re not making as many torture-fantasy films about Jesus as you’d like!

    Levi (76ef55)

  25. Of course I realize I’m apparently just a hillbilly but really, is it a fair assessment to compare two gorgeous glams who flit to and fro through across the globe doing good deeds (all the while looking stil gorgeous) with the sitting POTUS who is making decisions re vexing little irritants like war, despots, tyrannists, terrorists, etc? How does one even begin to believe these are on comparable level…

    Being President doesn’t preclude you from making America look like the good guys. It’s not that hard, I mean, we are the good guys. President Clinton didn’t have too hard a time with it, he even had a whole little tryanny thing he dealt with, and hey what do you know, it didn’t turn people around the world against our country!

    George Bush had just as good an opportunity to generate goodwill as did Brangelina, but he decided to start a war for no good reason.

    Also, even though Laura Bush is not a glamor puss like Angelina, one would be foolish to underestimate not only the goodwill she has rendered throughout the world but the many causes she has lent her name to and supported throughout her time in the WH. Google is your friend for this.

    There’s not a whole lot I totally write people off for, but ‘staying married to the dumbest American ever for decades’ is definitely one of them.

    Levi (76ef55)

  26. Bet the Big Hollywood Money is still steamed about Mr. Gibson keeping all the gross from Passion — he cleared, what, $500M? And so disappointed all those riled-up Cossacks didn’t go out and burn down synagogues in reprisal.

    Given how essentially derivative the Hollywood creative process is, couldn’t the suits at Paramount simply have re-packaged say…

    Three Kings or Blackhawk Down? Except that they couldn’t portray American soldiers as psychopaths or helpless dupes for their foreign box.

    I mean, jeebus, give me a suit and a Blackberry, how hard can it be? I think the Cali export engine may be a little overrated.

    –furious

    furious (56af6d)

  27. I mean, jeebus, give me a suit and a Blackberry, how hard can it be? I think the Cali export engine may be a little overrated.

    That ‘overrated’ engine is picking up the slack for all the manufacturing jobs we’ve lost and how far behind we’ve fallen on tech development, so don’t pretend like we don’t need these ‘evil, out-of-touch liberal Hollywood elites,’ because face it, we wouldn’t have much going for us if it weren’t for them.

    Levi (76ef55)

  28. You wouldn’t have much going for you if it weren’t for all the illegals toiling in the Central Valley fields or LA garment sweatshops.

    furious (56af6d)

  29. sigh. Film makers insist on not letting the details of someone’s else’s life get in the way of their narrative – the uber message they want to beat over the collective heads of that stupid, stupid audience that just refuses to “Get” it..just like their parents!! (opps – sorry about that last part.) Gee, do you think it matters when – say, I write a story about a newspaper reporter and I get all the details wrong – would journalists be impressed when I show intrepid cub reporter stopping the presses and using liquid paper to change an article on the presses to give the TRUTH? yeah sure, whatever.

    Californio (eb3dd0)

  30. They lost millions with such antiamerican anti conservative junk like LIONS FOR LAMBS,VALLEY OF ELIJA and THE GOLDEN COMPASS i hope some of them go bankrupt and have to file chapter 11s

    krazy kagu (10add8)


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