The National Review's List of "The Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years" Vs. the National Review's Film Reviews:
So the folks over at the National Review magazine (motto: "The zombie corpse of William F. Buckley will eat your brain") have put together a new list to demonstrate that pop culture relates in some tangential way to conservative "values." And, as it was with their list of the greatest conservative rock songs, it's one more pathetic step down the stairs into the basement of irrelevance. Christ, going to the movies with these fuckers would be like going to a strip club with a serial rapist: out of 25 films, at least 18 are ones you could call "violent," and maybe 3 are what you could call "romantic," none of them sexy (except, of course, for 300). This means that, on average, conservatives would rather masturbate to shit gettin' blowed up real good than to a hot ass.
Mostly, though, it's another sad exercise, another trip into the depressed, depraved state of mind of conservative America, against whom the entire world has turned (there's only one foreign film). Most of the nonsensical list involves twisting the meanings of movies in a way that'd make Chubby Checker go "Whoa, slow the fuck down." And then there's just the giant bunch of "fail" in the thing. For if the best you can come up with for a quarter century of movies is Red Dawn, a movie so jingoistic that it made George S. Patton get out of his grave and slap the fuck out of writer-director John Milius, then your culture is bereft, indeed.
But perhaps the best gauge of how this is a completely worthless exercise in grappling for self-meaning is to go back to the National Review's own archives, where its film critics offered up harsh words about some of the movies on the list:
Groundhog Day: "Yet why should poor Rita be forced to relive this miserable day just to give Phil a chance to evolve from crafty Casanova into selfless swain?...This sexual shell game, these moral tergiversations, attest to the film's queasily exploitative values. In the end, all is contrivance..." John Simon, April 12, 1993.
United 93: "[R]eal art, especially art that takes on events whose wounds are still unhealed, needs to do more than stir up strong emotions in its audience. United 93 buys its power cheaply." Russ Douthat, May 22, 2006.
Team America: World Police: "The movie is not a clear success, being too crude, for one thing. (By 'crude,' I don’t mean dirty, which it is, to a revolting extent. I mean not clever enough.) In truth, the movie, slam-bang and brief as it is, is a little dull." Jay Nordlinger, November 8, 2004.
Forrest Gump: "[T]he movie captures only the random side of [life] fully, and two and a quarter hours of randomness can wear pretty thin. If a millionaire decides to run around for a couple of years, wouldn't he at least have a backpack? I can respect an idiot savant, but not one who doesn't brush his teeth for three years. Even fantasy has to play by some sort of rules, however fanciful...[Technology] can be a lot of things, but is rarely heartwarming. Yet that is what the movie strives to be. It emerges, rather like its hero, idiot-savantish." John Simon, August 29, 1994.
You might think that Groundhog Day is about a selfish asshole learning to not be a selfish asshole, you might think that United 93 is not really about any political agenda, you might think that Team America is a nihilistic take on the worthlessness of ideology, and you might think that Forrest Gump is just a piece of shit, but, then, you wouldn't be a proud writer for the National Review.