On The Right Of The Aisle

« January 2006 »

Memo to Don Feder: YOU ARE DUMB.

The world did not need a list of the top ten "conservative movies" of 2005. Just like it didn't need a list of the top ten "liberal movies" of 2005. Of course, the difference is that nobody gave us a list of ten liberal movies. Because the only people making lists of liberal movies are, well, conservatives. And they only list one a year, and this year it was the cowboys kissing.

But Don Feder has seen fit to give us the top ten conservative flicks of 2005. Of course, first he has to define them. That's where we start getting in trouble. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Let’s start with what it isn’t." - Ah. So you don't know. Got it. We've all used THAT rhetorical trick before, and we all know what it means. It's like upping the font half a point to make sure your paper is two pages long. Nice try. But after eliminating the Schwarzenegger/Norris/Van Damme oeuvres we'd all think of, he does go on to provide a reasonable definition.

"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."

That's fair. Boring shit. I'm comfortable with that. Conservatives can have the life-affirming movies of faith like The Passion and Sister Act, and we'll take the fucking cowboys. But then he gives his list of the best conservative movies of the past decade, and includes:

Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King - I'm not sure why this one gets the nod and the other two don't. It's chock full of fruity elves, women in combat, and piles of man-hobbits rolling around on beds. Sorry, Don, but every time an evil army gets defeated, you don't get to claim it as a Cold War analogue.

The Patriot - I didn't think ANYBODY wanted to lay claim to this one, but I guess some people can judge a DVD by its title.

Both Spider-Man Movies - These would be the films that conflate power and responsibility? Or the first movie, where the villian is an evil corporatist with ties to the military-industrial complex? Whatever.

But maybe he'll do better this year? OK, we all know he won't, because if he did, we wouldn't be here, but let's pretend. I mean, he starts out with "Cinderella Man", which has family and adversity and head-punching. And moves right on to King Kong... wait.

"On a deeper level, its characters exemplify feminine virtue, masculine heroism and romantic love." - Um, that'd be romantic love between a WOMAN AND A MONKEY. Somebody page Rick Santorum. Hell, we're not even supposed to be related to monkeys, if you listen to conservatives. But Don wants us romantically involved with them on a deeper level.

#3 on his list is "The Island", which isn't a shitty Michael Bay movie about organ-farming clones, but is instead some kind of pro-life memoir.

#4 is Narnia. Which is almost too easy. #5 is "The Great Raid", which is about World War II, which apparently the conservatives got in a bad trade for Jane Fonda in 1964. #7 is "The Greatest Game Ever Played", which is about golf, so, OK, I'll give him that one. If there's one thing we've learned from Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff, it's that CONSERVATIVES LOVE TO GOLF.

#8 is "Little Manhattan", which I haven't seen, or heard of, and may not actually exist. #9 is "Coach Carter". I mention it merely for completeness' sake, before moving on to #10, "Memoirs of a Geisha", and #6, which my counting readers may have noticed I skipped over, "Batman Begins".

Now, I can see certain conservative elements in the Batman mythos, but strangely, FEDER CAN'T. He doesn't give any reason why it's a conservative movie, he's just glad it was better than the last one. And while we're ALL glad it was better than the last one, I'm trying to figure out how "a truly dark knight, trained in martial arts and mind-control in the Far East" and "Ra’s is a mirror image of Batman, where the fight against evil is perverted into a self-righteous, ego trip." give the movie a conservative message.

Oh, and Memoirs Of A Geisha is conservative because, apparently, there's not much fucking in it. Instead, it's an uplifting story about the power of love, and isn't creepy at all, especially the way Feder describes it.

"It’s touching to see a child form an attachment that lasts a lifetime... focus on the story of a little girl who falls in love with a man, and endures much for the sake of that love."

Feder's own screenplay, "Mighty Joe Young Fucks An Underage Hobbit Golfer During The Battle Of Normandy", is currently in turnaround at Dreamworks.