Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why You Should Watch The Next Batman Sequel: The Dark Knight Rises

Hollywood makes me sick.  For the most part they have no problem releasing, to much fanfare and Oscarage, movies that do nothing but criticize the United States, our policies or "the war".

I was a huge fan of Band of Brothers, own the BD set and everything.  So when news came out that Hanks and Spielberg were going to do it again with The Pacific I couldn't wait.  One half hour into it I was disgusted

First, in order to get their anti-American point across they decided to strip out any character development, which was what made Band of Brothers amazing. In order to create apathy within the audience towards the Americans you create a faceless, laughing mob of idiots as opposed to developed characters.  It doesn't need to be "Rah-rah, America's great! All soldiers are amazing", one simply needs to remember the characterization of Herbert Sobel from Band of Brothers.  With all due respect, he seemed incompetent and dangerous and was rightfully removed from authority.

One of the earliest scenes in the first episode showed American soldiers having fun with a Japanese soldier.  The Japanese soldier was trapped in the open and the Americans were laughing at him, shooting at him while purposely missing, "making him dance" so to speak.  They lost me right there.  I was sucker punched, and should have seen it coming, honestly.  Hanks and Spielberg probably couldn't sleep at night knowing they've made two WWII pieces that left people feeling good about "The Good War".  So why not start production on something that even drew criticism from the actual people portrayed in the film.  Read Sterling Mace's book and you'll get the idea.

So on to my point: Hollywood has no problem creating movies such as these that tackle the issue straight on, with all it's bloody, entrails filled "realism" to get across the message that "America is bad, mmmkay?". 

Why are movies with conservative views always wrapped up in fantasy?  Lord of the Rings, Batman, Incredible Hulk etc.  If any of this sounds familiar it's because Andrew Klavan's famous, "controversial" column from the Wall Street Journal already tackled this issue - but with better skill and clarity than I could ever hope to write.  Because it's been archived, here it is in it's entirety:
A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .

Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like . . . a "W."

There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?

The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love.

When heroes arise who take on those difficult duties themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness. We prosecute and execrate the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve. As Gary Oldman's Commissioner Gordon says of the hated and hunted Batman, "He has to run away -- because we have to chase him."

That's real moral complexity. And when our artistic community is ready to show that sometimes men must kill in order to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate their values in order to maintain those values; and that while movie stars may strut in the bright light of our adulation for pretending to be heroes, true heroes often must slink in the shadows, slump-shouldered and despised -- then and only then will we be able to pay President Bush is due and make good and true films about the war on terror.

Perhaps that's when Hollywood conservatives will be able to take off their masks and speak plainly in the light of day.

Mr. Klavan has won two Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. His new novel, "Empire of Lies" (An Otto Penzler Book, Harcourt), is about an ordinary man confronting the war on terror.
Emailing this to a liberal is one of my favorite pastimes.  I especially love mentioning that Nolan might be a closet Conservative to people at comic shops, or on other comic forums - it drives liberals nuts (careful, that's a Daily K0$ link, you might get some on you).  If you listen carefully, you hear nothing about this from Nolan.  Admitting you're a conservative in Hollywood is a death sentence, unless you've established yourself first.

Imagine that!?  The biggest comic book movie mega-hit out of Hollywood might have a conservative slant to it!  The mere image of their precious liberal comic book bus being driven by a conservative is enough to make them froth at the mouth and convulse with complete terror.

The best part?  They can't use their first three cards they typically use in a debate.

1) That's FOX News. (It was printed in the WSJ)
2) Well, if George Bush didn't put us in that position in the first place. (Irrelevant)
3) That's racist. (Irrelevant)

All they can do is go straight to ad-hominem.  It's great stuff.  And it's why you need to go see the next Batman movie when it's released.

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