Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Previously we discussed the new film documenting the life of college football great Ernie Davis. In trying to emphasize the racial barrier Davis broke, the filmmakers resorted to creating a false stereotype of West Virginians as racist barbarians. Is this not in and of itself somewhat racist?

Well, Hollywood is outdoing itself this fall when it comes to ugly non truths and prejudice. Oliver Stone directed a new release entitled W. We can be fairly sure that it follows history as accurately as any of Stone's other movies. The trailer itself is insulting. It describes a "trillion dollar mistake" as the highlight of a movie "based on a true story."

I doubt the Iraqis right now see the removal of the vicious dictator Hussein as a mistake now as they sit on the threshold of stable democracy. Even worse is the insult that such a statement directs at the hundreds of thousands of US servicemen who fought and sometimes died there. The trailer for this movie shows a flippant, foolish George W. Bush. Stone substitutes radical opinion for historical judgment and caricature for biography. Then he has the nerve to say "based on a true story."

Finally Hollywood treats us to Bill Maher's insulting satire of Jesus Christ. Why even bother discussing this. You are probably sick enough already. Hollywood needs to ask itself why the popularity of channels such as AMC, Turner Classic Movies, and Fox Movie Channel has skyrocketed in the last few years. It is here and here only that you see the classic war movies that emphasize the heroism of American soliders and celebrate the values that made this country great. Charlton Heston does not ridicule religion in The Ten Commandments, but celebrates the courage of one of the great men in history. In Planet of the Apes he attacks racism and authoritarianism in one fell swoop. No one needed to be insulted or lied about in these pictures. Where have you gone John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and others?

Hollywood has turned ugly. Out of all the hatchet jobs out there this month, Saw V looks like the best of the bunch. You also have to celebrate the courage of the conservative actors that joined together to lampoon Michael Moore in An American Carol. I hope that they will continue to work together, but in the future to make movies in the style of old Hollywood, grand pictures that celebrate this great country rather than attack it.

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