Friday, January 06, 2006

A Conservative View: Best movies of 2005, and the Ickiest TV Moments.

Here are two posts from Human Events:

Top 10 Conservative Movies of 2005

by Don Feder

It wasn’t a particularly good year for conservative cinema. It rarely is. Yet alongside the cavalcade of ideology, mediocrity and stupidity that is Hollywood today, a few gems shone forth dazzlingly.

What is a conservative film?

Let’s start with what it isn’t. It’s not about men with bulging biceps and even bigger guns. It’s not cartoonish action heroes. It isn’t revenge tales masquerading as heroism.

Conservative cinema does more than entertain; movies that do no more are visual candy. It instructs and inspires.

Conservative films celebrate virtue. They tell timeless tales of individuals overcoming all manner of adversity to achieve true greatness. They’re about honesty, loyalty, courage and patriotism. They’re concerned with conservatism’s cardinal values – faith, family and freedom.

If I were to list the best conservative movies of the last decade, they would include: “Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King (2003)” “Open Range” (2003), “LA Confidential” (1997), Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot” (2000), and “Spiderman,” I and II (2002 and 2004). But also some quieter films, like last year’s “In Good Company” and “The Family Man” (2000) would make my list.

Here, then, are my choices for Top 10 Conservative Films of 2005.

1. Cinderella Man

The miraculous, 1930s comeback of boxer James J. Braddock became a metaphor for America’s struggle to get to its feet after the pounding it took in the Great Depression.

In the 1920s, Braddock was a heavyweight contender. After a series of setbacks, by the early ‘30s, he was a has-been, living with his wife and children in a basement apartment and working on the docks (when work could be found).

The threatened loss of his children, combined with an unexpected second chance, put Braddock back in the ring. As the title bout approaches, his trainer neatly summarizes the situation, when he describes Braddock as “old, arthritic” and with “broken ribs that haven’t healed.” Still, his love of family and belief in his profession drive him on. Russell Crowe as “the Cinderella Man (as Damon Runyon dubbed him) and Renee Zellweger as his worried but steadfast wife are more than appealing.

There’s a hero to cheer, a villain to pelt with debris and vintage sets. As Braddock’s manager, Paul Giamatti delivers an Oscar-quality performance.

The boxing sequences are the most realistic ever put on film. Director Ron Howard delivers a knockout with “Cinderella Man.”

2. King Kong

“King Kong” is the blockbuster movie of the 2005 holiday season. How often is a remake better than the original? Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” beats both the 1933 original and the eminently forgettable 1976 remake.

Superficially, it’s a fine action film. On a deeper level, its characters exemplify feminine virtue, masculine heroism and romantic love. The movie describes a hopeless romance and makes us care for its computer-generated title character. With a great cast (especially Naomi Watts as aspiring actress Ann Darrow – Fay Wray’s role in the original), Jackson’s “King Kong” satisfies in every way.

3. The Island

Reviewers despised it. Audiences treated it as just another sci-fi flick. But “The Island” is a forceful and compelling pro-life statement, a fact which didn’t escape the notice of critics. (The reviewer for the Hollywood Reporter fretted, “These filmmakers have, perhaps unwittingly, delivered a film certain to give succor to the religious right.”)

The plot: Led to believe they’re survivors of a world-wide contamination, human clones are raised in an underground complex. The clones are walking “insurance policies” for their wealthy “sponsors” – organs ready to be harvested when needed...

You can read more HERE.

Now for TV. Icky is right, some of these are gross...

TV's Ickiest Moments of 2005

by L. Brent Bozell III
Posted Jan 6, 2006

It is a rite of passage for some TV critics to take stock of the worst of the past year's television. Entertainment Weekly Online, no nest of prudes and scolds, has compiled its own list of the "10 moments that made us squirm the most."

Some of them were the kind that might be missed by most on pay cable. On HBO's miniseries "Rome," a woman convinced her lesbian lover to seduce her own brother as part of a plot to destroy Caesar. On HBO Signature's serial-killer drama "Epitafios," the show's star killer opened his victim's mouth with hooks and fishing wire, then tossed in an asphyxiating throatful of coins. And on HBO's "The Comeback," a washed-up actress punched her sitcom writer so hard he vomited, which caused her to vomit, don't you know.

It never ceases to amaze: People pay good money for this smelly garbage.

In some cases, people aren't buying. Paris Hilton's sex-kitten commercials for the Carl's Jr. chain's Spicy Barbecue Burger still rankled the critics with their ridiculously erotic hard sell. Who was convinced that anorexic Paris was really excited to eat a burger as large as her head? And in the middle of washing a car? Why would a pampered heiress do that? The shameless CEO admitted it was "all about sales." After fortunes were spent on paid advertising, and millions more in free news publicity, the gimmick failed. Sales were unmoved. All the chain bought was public disdain.

They weren't the only failures. Britney Spears and her new husband Kevin Federline made home videos for the UPN series "Chaotic," grossing out the critics with staged makeout scenes with Britney tugging at her shirt to show cleavage. It ranked 197th last year. It bombed.

Much worse was Bravo's reality series "Being Bobby Brown," following around has-been pop star Brown and his wife, Whitney Houston. The second episode included Brown recalling an incident in which his wife was constipated and he had to put his hand up her behind to remove feces for her relief. Houston proclaimed, ''That's black love!'' Whitney Houston used to be the class of pop music, and now she and her husband are just the clowns. The Bobby show had half the viewers of the Britney show -- but little Bravo was encouraged. They just aired "A Bobby Brown Christmas."

Some gross episodes trashed by Entertainment Weekly were just exploiting the weak stomachs of viewers...

You can read the rest HERE.

1 comment:

Joubert said...

I'll put Diary of a Mad Black Woman on my Netflix list.