Monday, March 15, 2010

Hollywood: It's A Mystery To Us Why Iraq War Films...

...tank at the box office.

One of the great mysteries of the age, it is.


wally said...

I know from past blogging that it's no mystery to you, but what do you make of the fact that the two movies cited in the article as failures, "The Kingdom" and "Brothers", don't seem to be particularly leftist in intent, and "The Hurt Locker" is the least-attended movie ever to win Best Picture?

Bob said...

@wally: I'll link Carl Koslowski's review of Brothers to help me answer this question. Note that the headline of Koslowski's piece features the word "surprisingly" to describe the pic's lack of troop/America-bashing. That implies that the usual scenario is lots of both, so it's not surprising that Americans, having been offered an endless diet of such shit sandwiches, in this case refused to dine based on expectation alone.

Koslowski further mentions that The Kingdom, which also was less poisonous than most, also had more success than most.

As for The Hurt Locker, I don't know how many reviews you read or what source they came from, but conservative and military blogs were quite conflicted about the movie's accuracy, and the US Army withdrew official support of Hurt Locker over a scene in which an Iraqi detainee is abused by US troops. So even Bigelow isn't immune to Hollywood's usual treatment of the military in Iraq movies.

I'll summarize thus: Hollywood and the MSM aren't the only sources of information about movies and entertainment anymore, so they can't hoodwink or bamboozle the entire audience into believing a movie is worth seeing, as they did in the past. The red half of the country increasingly has its own alternative media that is able to call bullshit on what the MSM and Hollywood try to feed us, so we are warned in advance. Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood, from which comes the Koslowski review, is one such source. That site has an entire subsection dedicated to media reviews; I was just looking through many of them while searching for the Koslowski piece, and was again impressed at the even-handedness shown in the reviews when Hollywood made a reasonable effort to leave its biases out of movies.

In fact, any of Breitbart's "Big" websites - - Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism - - along with Newsbusters - - will give you a look at how the red half of the country sees things.

wally said...

Hey, it was your own cited article that labeled those two movies as box-office disappointments, not me. And the movie-going public was ruled by its preconceptions in the case of Brothers, but not in the case of The Kingdom? How does that work?

As for The Hurt Locker, the military criticism was not on a conservative-liberal axis, but was about the exaggerating of the main character for dramatic effect. You're not trying to claim that The Hurt Locker had a liberal bias, are you?

Bob said...

@wally: different types of movies, too, Wally. Brothers appears to be more of a post-war drama, á la The Deer Hunter, while The Kingdom appears to be more of an action flick. Bear in mind I haven't seen any of these movies; I rarely watch more than one or two films a year at the theater, although I occasionally watch them on cable. And it is fact that the US Army withdrew technical support from Hurt Locker after it became apparent that Bigelow,, were not prepared to edit a scene of detainee abuse from the film. So was Hurt Locker guilty of liberal bias? Don't know, since I didn't watch that film either, but it sounds like Bigelow put stuff in, such as the detainee abuse scene, to please anti-war types.

wally said...

I did see the movie, and I recommend it to you too. It provides a much-needed look into what feels like authentic experiences of our troops on the ground. In my opinion, and you can take that for what it's worth, the detainee scene was an integral part of the main character, who was something of a loose cannon, beginning to realize the consequences of his own behavior. The other members of his squad were horrified by it. It was not an indictment of our troops in any way.

Borepatch said...

Three quotes from TFA:

If Matt Damon can't sell an Iraq war film, perhaps this is a lost cause for Hollywood.

Because a war film could never win Best Picture Oscar in this day and age. Oh, wait ...

"It didn't help that the big kahuna (Alice) was zapping business from everyone," Rocco says.

Because if they came out with a decent war flic, it's not like I'd go on another movie date with my wife.

"But maybe (war) is something that's in our face so much every day, people aren't wanting more of it in their movies."

Maybe Rocco isn't wanting more of it in his movies.

Let's play with numbers, shall we? According to Wikipedia, the Call Of Duty series has grossed over $3B (that's "B" as in "Billion" dollars). The lifetime gross of ALL the Star Wars franchise films combines is a little over $2B.

Nah, maybe people just don't want to see it any more.