Tuesday, February 10, 2009

National Review Online: Serious Business

Attention: Hey everyone whose movie viewing habits are determined solely by arbitrarily-placed partisan values, your day has come! The writers of National Review Online have taken it upon themselves to count down the 25 Most Conservative Movies over the course of this week. Unfortunately for them the entire list has already been leaked, but their loss is the Train’s gain- I almost certainly wouldn’t have bothered to sit around and wait all week while they slowly reveal all of their choices.

So, one might ask, what made the list? Before seeing it myself I assumed it would be full of movies like The Birth of a Nation, or a filmed reading of Mein Kampf, but it turns out the “made in the last 25 years” stipulation rules both of them out. The actual list is perhaps even funnier, because most of the movies really shouldn’t be on it. Oh sure, I’ll allow the handful of war movies because of the state of arousal they induce among the military fetishists on the Right, but past that? Let’s see a few:

#20: Gattaca (1997)
I guess this here because it has a lot of science in it, and the science involved is sometimes bad, and liberals are often fond of science? I’m hoping when NRO catches up and posts the explanation they’ll have something about how global warming and climatology are basically the same as scary future eugenics.

#12: The Dark Knight (2008)
Is this the same Dark Knight where the warrantless wiretapping machine is unequivocally declared evil, where the character executing criminals without trials does so because he’s insane, and where abandoning your values to stay safe is wrong? They must have switched reels when I watched it, because with all of that going on I’d be hard-pressed to agree that this is an even slightly conservative movie.

#11: Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
Hahahahaha okay. With the single largest message of the trilogy being sharply environmentalist (maybe the NRO slept through the scenes with trees literally getting up and destroying factories?) because of Tolkien’s horror at the ravages of industry on the British countryside, I’m having trouble figuring this one out. I guess they saw people fighting, and didn’t realize that LOTR is pro-war the same way Catch-22 is pro-war (hint to conservatives: it is not).

#10: Ghostbusters (1984)
You see, the ghosts in the movie are metaphors for liberals, and Bill Murray is actually a conservative, and ectoplasm is created by raising tax rates, and…

#8: Juno (2007)
Apparently the one scene in which she decides not to have an abortion outweighs the premarital teenaged unprotected sex, strong language, and likely illegal relationship that the potential adoptive father pursues? Is that all it takes to become one of the MOST CONSERVATIVE MOVIES, just not having an abortion? Apparently it is.

#6: Groundhog Day (1993)
I have a theory for this one: this list was supposed to be The Bill Murry-est Movies of the Last 25 Years, and the other 23 Murry-less films are actually the mistakes here. Otherwise their justification will have to be something about how he improves himself and becomes a good person, and this will have to have some sort of hidden Christian undertones? Seems to me that the movie would work with Hindu or Buddhist thought far more easily, what with the character escaping from an endless cycle of reincarnation by means of achieving enlightenment (such enlightenment as a Hollywood character finds, anyway), but I suppose the NRO knows best.

#5: 300 (2007)
Here we see the return of eugenics, which were last depicted as an evil liberal obsession in Gattaca, but now they’re practiced by the good guys who throw babies off cliffs! You can tell they’re good guys because they talk about democracy a lot (they don’t practice it quite as much, but is that ever really a concern for conservatives?), and they kill stacks of proto-Persians. Also, anyone who opposes the war has been purchased by the enemy. 300 is a great action movie, but anyone who finds deep political meaning in it should be thrown off a cliff for the safety of our nation.

#4: Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump has an IQ of 75, and goes through life never understanding anything that happens around him. Please write your own joke here about how easily the cast and crew of the NRO can relate to him.

Well, the NRO sure can pick ‘em. Some of the rest are also fairly suspect- for example, I haven’t seen Team America: World Police, but I have a hard time believing there isn’t a pretty good case against its inclusion. I’m tempted to email them with some suggestions: the anti-science film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed featuring Ben Stein should legitimately qualify, as should the Ann Coulter-infused FahrenHYPE 9/11 and the award-winning Nailin’ Palin. No one wants to watch any of those, though, so I guess in the end I can see why they had to just make up a bunch of crap to fill out the list. You win this time, NRO.


  1. I was thinking a birth of the Nation too!

    But ghostbusters? Seriously? Because the city regulator wouldn't let them bust ghosts?

    Man, I guess this is what you do with your time after the tenets of you ideology have been attempted in the real world and failed spectacularly.

  2. hey jn, so late night i've been able to catch our old friend, JACK VAN imPE!!

    you should have seen him after the inauguration.....

  3. @JJ: Oh yeah! The main bad guy (aside from the ghosts) works for the EPA for some reason. That must be it.

    As for Batman and LOTR, well, Batman's about vigilantism (and what conservative doesn't love vigilantism) while LOTR is kinda racist. And in general have a less nuanced view of good and evil than would actually work in practice, which seems to be one of the stronger conservative tenets of the last thirty years.

    But yeah, Team America is literally a satire of everything they stand for.