Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Liberalism Sucks On Film: Children of Men

“We can learn so much from this film,” said Amanda Tapping on a Sci-Fi Channel promo for Children of Men. Up yours. The only thing we can learn from this film is that liberal films tell the same lies no matter what their supposed premise. Children of Men demonstrates this perfectly. This film is supposed to be the story of what happens when humanity suddenly becomes sterile. But it’s not. This film is a standard liberal rant about racist white Christians who oppose immigration. It just uses the movie plot as a pretext.

What would really happen if humanity suddenly became sterile? Things would probably be pretty nice at first, as a shrinking population would mean less crowding and less competition for jobs. Fewer kids on your lawn. Sure, some people would be sad, but for most, life would continue unchanged. Then the bad effects would hit. A falling population would mean deflation: falling asset values, slowing economy, and fewer jobs. Whole industries would vanish as the young disappear. Soon it becomes hard to find people to do the jobs the young do today, like manual labor... retirement would end. No doubt, there would be a race to automate as much as we could, but as the human population dwindles, those who are left would struggle to fill their basic needs. This would be the point where society would have cohesion problems.

Children of Men doesn’t address any of that however, because that’s not why the film was made. This film was made as a statement against things liberals don’t like, and the science fiction question of sterility is irrelevant to what happens in the film. Indeed, nothing about this film would change even if the premise had been overpopulation, nuclear war, the discovery of immortality or the invention of transporters. This is “the liberal film” hiding behind a veneer of “what if humanity were sterile” and it ignores its veneer just like Elysium ignored the reality of immortality and Total Recall ignored the reality of whatever its plot was supposed to be about. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll find that these are the same movie with each just pretending to have a different premise.

Moreover, everything this film says is twisted propaganda meant to tell you how white Christians are racists and only liberal government can save the world:

Racist Whites: Throughout the film, there are heavy overtones accusing whites of racism. This should be no surprise as the director has stated he wanted to make a statement about all those rotten Europeans and Americans who don’t want immigrants in their midsts. Let’s debunk, shall we? Whites are the least racist people on the planet. They have opened their countries to tens of millions of immigrants of all races. They let in around three million more each year. They send billions of dollars overseas each year to help improve conditions. They’ve fought wars to save non-whites from oppression. Third Worlder’s don’t do that. Just try sneaking into Mexico from the south and see what happens to you. Think the Asian countries let in other races? They don’t. The Japanese even suggest to parents of half-Japanese kids that they leave the country. What about the Middle East? Do you think they’re tolerant of Jews, Christians, women, the wrong kind of Muslim? Do any of these people help the rest of the world? Hardly.

Yet, this film turns all of that on its head. Here the whites turn to fascism to keep these non-whites out. Why? Because that is what liberals want you to believe whites really want, despite all the evidence to the contrary. The fact that the baby is black and the people trying to kill the mother are white is not an accident either. Said director/writer Alfonso Cuaron: “The fact that this child will be the child of an African woman has to do with the fact that humanity started in Africa. We’re putting the future of humanity in the hands of the dispossessed and creating a new humanity to spring out of that.” Down with whitey. Essentially, this is a racist genocidal-snuff film. Who’s the bad guy here again?

As an aside, one of the real ironies of liberalism, which plays out here again, is that liberal films are typically condescendingly racist. Notice that it takes three of the whitest liberals on the planet to save the helpless black girl with the baby. The list of liberal films that use the racist “Noble Savage” or “White Man’s Burden” trope is a mile long and this one belongs on that list.

Evil Christians: Speaking of evil, the oppressive government has Christian overtones. Why? Well, because liberals like to think Christians are racist and oppressive. Of course, they pretend that Muslims aren’t oppressive or racist, so they are shown in this film actually protecting the woman and her baby. Let’s debunk, shall we? First of all, you’re an idiot if you think Europeans will turn to a Christian government. Christianity is effectively dead in Europe. And if you think some Baptist who wants to stop you from buying a condom is oppressive, but somehow militant Muslims who kill Jews and Christians, mutilate the genitalia of young girls, blow up schools that teach girls, and go to war with people of every other religion are not oppressive, then you don’t know the meaning of the word and you should STFU. This film wrongly pretends that atheist Europe is actually Christian and then it falsely swaps the traits of Christianity with Islam so it can slander Christians while wrongly idealizing Muslims... because that is what leftists want you to believe.

And again, note that no part of this makes any sense in the context of the movie. Christianity plays no role in the film except as a label. And real-world Christians would protect this woman because they advocate children. They would never try to stop this birth. That’s something militant, atheist environmentalists would do... but again, the film flips that to score political points.

People Are Not Animals: Finally, the film presents the public as savages. It makes them out as animals who turn to their worst impulses the moment they realize the world will end one day. This is total bull. Human history has shown time and again that people rise to the occasion in times of crisis. They become caring, selfless and noble. They help each other out, share what they have, and band together. The only time they don’t is when liberalism has robbed them of their morality and their motivation and they decide to wait for the government to save their butts. There is no reason to believe in this premise that people would turn violent or turn to fascism as this film assumes. There is no reason to believe that any government would collapse until the whole race became very old. But again, examining the question the movie supposedly posits isn’t the point to this film. The point is to score propaganda points and the basis of the film is irrelevant; the same film would be used for overpopulation or any other crisis.

Moreover, the point being made here is the old liberal trope that people are animals unless their worst behaviors are tamed by liberal, hippie government. Indeed, the only good people in this film are the white, pot smoking, unwashed hippies who run the underground railroad for immigrants. Give me a break. People who don’t bathe don’t bathe for a reason: they lack the motivation to attend to anything except their hedonistic pleasure. Not coincidentally, hippies are total hedonists. Their nobility stops and starts with the phrase, “Man, somebody (else) ought to do something...” This idea that these liberals would actually put forth effort and undertake risk to help people is Liberal Ex-Post Historical Jerk-Off Syndrome, where liberals who don’t lift a finger to fight the petty evil in their midsts today claim proudly that THEY would have stood up to Hitler if they had been there and THEY would have fought to free the slaves. Liars.

Notice too that the director doesn’t even have the courage to tell you what these hippie dipsh*ts would have done differently. Like all other liberal heroes, they just stand “against oppression” and they promise that they would have found a different way to handle whatever problem it was, without ever suggesting what that could be. That’s called a cheap shot.

And that’s what this film is: a cheap shot. This film is a cheap shot taken at liberal boogeymen who don’t exist in the real world. And to take that cheap shot, this film adopts a premise it never bothers addressing. That’s the real crime here. With plummeting birthrates around the world and urbanization, the idea of depopulation is a very real issue that cities and countries are coping with. Add in the fact that certain chemicals apparently are devastating sperm counts, and it’s not inconceivable that the human race might one day become sterile. Watching science handle that or watching society fail little by little would be much more interesting than watching the same liberal claim about white fascists hating brown immigrants in a different package. That would be a film we actually could learn something from.

68 comments:

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Nice takedown, Andrew.

Yeah, this movie sucks. They didn't even have credible strawman villains, so it's not quality propaganda.

just...annoying, in every way.

Anthony said...

Don't forget that not using a gun is a very noble thing despite the fact everyone around you is trying to kill you with one and that you essentially have to be a supreme dickhead to not use one to help the people who are counting on you.

This movie sucked so very much.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ben! I agree. As you say, even the strawmen villains made no sense... and that's despite the fact that everyone in the film except Owen and the pregnant girl are villains.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Run, don't walk to read the book on which this is based. I recommend P.D. James book to just about every one I know.

How Cuaron read that book and made this movie is beyond me. It shows also how little control authors sometimes have when they sell their work to producers.

ScottDS said...

To be fair, I haven't seen the movie since it was released, but I do remember enjoying it. Alfonso Cuaron can direct the hell out of a scene and he has a great eye.

I have not read the original P.D. James book on which this movie is based. If anyone here has, please chime in!

HOWEVER, I must hypothetically ask... why can't this movie take place in a universe in which the tropes you complain about (and rightfully so) are real?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I totally agree. In a world where everyone is killing everyone else for no reason whatsoever, to not use a gun to protect the most important person alive is asinine. It's reckless endangerment of humanity.

This movie really pissed me off throughout. It felt like a total slander aimed at pretty much everything that has made the world so great.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I haven't read the book, but I will check it out if you say it's good. I've often found that really good books get completely remade as films that have little to do with the book.

I think Cuaron made this film from the book because he had no intention of using the book as a basis for the film. His goal was to make the standard liberal hit piece and he just used the book/idea as a backdrop to it. As I say in the article, he could have made the identical movie no matter what the disaster was -- overpopulation, nuclear war, alien invasion, economic collapse, etc. That tells us the story is a pretext.

Anonymous said...

"Liberal Ex-Post Historical Jerk-Off Syndrome?" Ha! That's a good one, Andrew. I never saw it myself (I think I was buried in schoolwork and gaming at the time it was released) but it doesn't sound like I missed anything except for sore eyes from excessive rolling. Given the questions you raise about how a movie dealing with sudden sterilization could play out it's a real shame.

- Daniel

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, This movie is ugly to boot, so I'm not impressed with Cuaron. Nor do I see anything in this film other than generic direction. He also f*ed up Harry Potter III, so in my opinion, he sucks as a director.

As for your hypothetical, are you serious? So if I made a movie in which all non-whites died because they were violent thugs so we could start the world over with just glorious whites... you'd think that's fine?

Look, you can invent any world you want, but you can't invent a shitty racist world in which you slander real people and real cultures and then hide behind the line, "Gee, I was just thinking of a different universe." This is racist, leftist propaganda as much as anything the Nazis put out was.

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, This is one of those films that will leave you angry. As you watch it, it keeps slapping you across the face and you find yourself saying, "No, that's bullsh*t!" And it doesn't stop.

And yeah, it's a shame they made this film when the idea really is so full of potential. There is a really fascinating film to be made about this issue, but this film didn't even try to touch it. As I noted above, this would have been the same film no matter what the disaster they were facing, and that's a sign that the film has nothing to do with what the film is about. This is just propaganda.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Actually, if they were being consistent with their beliefs, shouldn't there have been at least a mention that the pregnant ladymight get an abortion, before having the baby?
Maybe have planned parenthood employees save the day, lol.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Leftists are remarkably good at compartmentalizing. They are also great at projection and that's what this film is: this is them projecting their own worst instincts onto other people and then putting them on screen.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, there's little doubt about that. This one sounds like it was just an obnoxious turd from start to finish. The book recommendations have me interested, though, so I'll keep an eye out for it. It wouldn't be the first time I picked up some good reading material from lurking here! =)

Good point on the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, too. Around the time it came out I didn't know much about Cuaron, though he did come off as a smarmy prick in the articles I saw about him. PoA is one of my favorites of the HP books so I was curious as to how it would be, especially when I heard that they cast Gary Oldman as Sirius (my favorite character from the series).

I went to see it but felt disappointed by several things afterwards, such as how Lupin's wolf form was so ridiculously over the top and how crazed Sirius sounded when he met Harry and the others. Before the reveal I pictured Sirius as sounding dark and menacing in that scene, but when I reread it after the reveal I figured he was trying to sound reassuring, but couldn't due to his ragged state. No doubt it would be a difficult scene to work convincingly both before and after the reveal, but a better director could have risen to the challenge. Between things like this and his repeated annoying loudmouth moments I don't regret missing more of Cuaron's work.

- Daniel

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, The first thing that struck me about POA was the tone. The first two films have been lush visually and rich in color... as all children's films are. They were also very British, which is what people liked about the films -- they were "ethnic British" in the same sense that "Downton Abbey" is ethnic British. People like that.

Cuaron first sucked all the color out of the film and stripped it of its rich visuals. Basically, he turned it from a kids series into a dark quasi-horror film. Then he removed the Britishness of it. All the little touches that said, "This is the British private school system" vanished. Why do that? It was like he was crapping on the series and on Britain... just as he does in his next film, Children of Men.

As an aside, I've actually gotten quite a few good book recommendations from readers. I just need more time to read all the ones I've gotten!

Anonymous said...

That's another thing that bothered me that I couldn't quite articulate before. The vivid colors and imagery of the first two movies left no doubt that you were entering the fantastic, magical world JK Rowling created. I still remember scenes like Hagrid showing Harry around Diagon Alley and the arrival at Hogwarts from the first film and Malfoy browsing the Nocturne Alley shop and the battle with the basilisk in the second. By comparison PoA really did feel dull and colorless visually. I never did watch any of the HP movies past that one, though at that point it was more because the books alone were good enough for me.

Yep, lurk around Commentarama long enough and you'll get a lot of great entertainment recommendations, both from the readers and writers. Seeing some of these Film Fridays has gotten me interested in seeing some of these movies, though I'm not sure when I'll get around to it. Book-wise a thread a while back mentioned the Flashman Papers books which caught my attention because I like historical settings. I ordered the first four books off Amazon after than and enjoyed them. I was laughing so hard at one scene from the fourth book that I was coughing afterward. I'm actually thinking of ordering the next four next payday.

Speaking of historical entertainment, me and another gamer friend with an interest in history and little patience for liberal BS were discussing all the sucker punches (Nolte did come up with a good term there) in the Assassin's Creed series and we actually both agreed it would be best to skip the upcoming 4. We were both getting tired of the liberal messaging scattered throughout it (and in my case I'm not amused by the anti-religious themes in them) so we figured we'd be better off spending our money elsewhere. Besides, at least in my case my backlog is big enough already. I don't need to pile much more on there!

- Daniel

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, The visual style was such a change that it just turned me off the films. Then they kept that style and it really ruined my interest in the rest. I kind of watched the next couple while I did something else and I never bothered with the last couple. I did enjoy all the books though.

Yeah, you get a lot of good recommendations here! :) I'm glad you've enjoyed the Film Fridays. I enjoy writing them. I like thinking about films and thinking about how to do them differently.

I get really tired of liberalism injected into games or films or anything. Fortunately, most games don't do that.

K said...

How Cuaron read that book and made this movie is beyond me.

He probably read the manual from the guys who rewrote the Tom Clancy novels and turned them politically upside down.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Hunt For Red October was fine. But by the time you got to Sum of All Fears, wow had they flipped the ideology around.

Anonymous said...

That's the impression I got from the later films as well so I figured I wasn't missing much. The books themselves are wonderful, though, both in terms of themes and the characters built. Though he isn't quite my favorite Snape in particular stands out as a very well-done, very complex character who was developed well throughout all seven books.

The thoughts on how to do films differently are always enjoyable to read, too. It really gets one thinking about how the films could have turned out, or if a filmmaker might pick up on those ideas and do something good with them.

On games, the fact that they're largely apolitical is probably why I've ended up sticking with them as my primary source of entertainment. Even in the story-based ones you don't find blatant liberalism as often as you do in other forms of media. That said, despite its political leanings I still enjoy the Metal Gear Solid games. The same friend I was discussing the AC games with said he's more lenient on MGS' plots because they're Japanese games and are a product of a very different culture than America's. Of course it also helps that nearly every game in that series has first-rate gameplay, too!

- Daniel

AndrewPrice said...

Daniel, What's interesting to me is how so many bad films could be fixed with just a minor tweak here and there if they cared. I'm really amazed that Hollywood isn't better at script-doctoring. This stuff isn't that hard.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I may not be fine with your idea, but I may find it interesting.

BUT to be fair, when a writer comes up with ideas like, for example, "What if black people were the dominant race?" you end up with shitty Star Trek episodes like "Code of Honor." :-)

As for Harry Potter, I know I'm not alone but I thought that series kicked into high gear once Cuaron made Azkaban. (Never read the books.) I agree that the films kept that ridiculously monochromatic color scheme and it got old by the sixth film. A case of, "The characters are going through dark times so the film has to be dark" taken to extremes.

5minutes said...

I respectfully disagree.

1. The "racist whites" is bull. There is an overtone of something, but it's not racism - it's protectionism.

2. The "evil Christians" thing? I never detected even the most meager hint of that in a movie that is ultimately an allegory of Christ's birth. Notice how at every opportunity to talk about the child, Theo says "Jesus Christ"? There's a reason for that. Heck, Theo Faron's own name means "God's Servant".

3. Finally, the whole "people are not animals" thing, I can kinda get with, except that this is not a movie about modern times with modern conveniences. Society is on the brink of collapse and like most post-apocolyptic movies, it attempts to address the question of what our value our humanity has. Cuaron (and to a lesser extend, original author P. D. James) is painting a world where there are different ways that humans deal with defining their own humanity, and in such a world, a significant number, like it or not, would return to our animalistic roots. Others (like the hippies) would ultimately just give up hope and go full nihilist. Others would go fascist and try to take control. Others would hope for more and seek out a savior. And while the movie doesn't provide any answers - the ending certainly leads us to believe that those who seek a savior will find one - one who could potentially even convince others from the other groups.

My $.02 anyway. Feel free to disagree. You'll be wrong, but feel free. :)

tryanmax said...

I saw this movie so long ago, I don't really remember it. All I can muster is that it was bleak and not very believable in terms of human nature.

Somehow, the reference to "white man's burden" makes me think of something that has bugged me for some time. While I agree there is a subtle bigotry to the story of the lone white man coming to the rescue of the noble savages, I also reject the idea that a protagonist must be of one's own race in order to be relatable. You hear this all the time--young people of color can't relate to these white action heroes; they can't see themselves in the lead role, only in the sidekicks.

That's total B.S. I was a teen at the height of popularity of Will Smith, Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, the Wayans, just to name a few, when Denzel was a solid action draw (he's still highly popular but shifting to drama is why I single him out), and when Gibson and Glover were famously buddied up. I saw almost all of those movies and never once was I unable to relate b/c the main characters weren't white. If anything, they were easier to relate to since most white action heroes had been around since my childhood and were firmly ensconced as "adults" in my mind.

So I am forced to ask once again, who's hung up on race?

----------

I just had to respond to the "Code of Honor" link. From the synopsis: "He tells Picard that on Ligon, the women own all the land and wealth, but apart from that they are subservient to the men."

And just how does that work, exactly? That seems like an extremely unstable and unlikely power dynamic, especially given the clearly sexist attitudes of the Ligonian men. I realize Star Trek doesn't deal exclusively in human nature, but that just boggles the mind.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott,

I may not be fine with your idea

That's the point. Your comment suggests we should be fine with it. But ask yourself who would be fine with the version I've given you? There would be riots at theaters and you sure as hell wouldn't have idiot actors running around saying "we can learn so much from this film."

but I may find it interesting.

I have to question this. I don't think a film is interesting when all of its premises are false and offensive. It's one thing to create a fantasy world or a fantasy scenario, but it's another to simply tag a group of people with rotten traits that aren't theirs and then try to make a morality tale about those very people.

"Gee, what if we lived in a world were all Jews did eat Christian babies. Now let's do a movie about how poorly Jews treat the Palestinians." Interesting or just offensive?

As for "Code of Honor," most of this stuff is ham-fisted because the people coming at it have a twisted view to begin with and lack the subtlety to tell the story better.

AndrewPrice said...

5minutes, I respectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement.

1. The film is about race. Cuaron even says so. And throughout, there is the constant drum beat of whites against browns with only a handful of good, extreme liberal whites standing up to the other whites to protect the browns.

2. The child is meant to be an allegory for Jesus (the liberals even call themselves the "Fishes", but the bad guys are presented as a fascist Christian state. Notice that even the British soldiers who attack the Muslims are all wearing crosses around their necks that they start kissing when they see the baby. And the guys they are fighting against, who protect the mother, are clearly made out as fundamentalist Muslims... right down to the banners, the head gear, the AK-47s.

3. On the final point, the problem is that this film is in modern times. It's only set a few years in the future. It looks like the present. The causes are those of the present. It was meant as a message movie about the present. This film isn't saying, "Gee, we could become ugly people," it is saying "You are ugly people." That's a false message... bait and switch.

And there is nothing in human nature which fits the way Cuaron has these people act. Many societies have come to the point of near total collapse... exploded governments, invading genocidal armies marching through their cities, rampant starvation, etc. And people as a group just don't become like animals. A small number do, but not society as a whole. And certainly not modern Western societies. To the contrary, history shows most people being selfless at times like that. What Cuaron has done is take the worst possible examples of humanity and pretend this is what Western society really is underneath and then he's chastising us for being that way. That's bullsh*t in my book.

And I don't think he would like it any better if I did a film about his home country and showed everyone being a murdering drug dealer and then used those fantasy/slander Mexicans to criticize Mexico's treatment of foreigners.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I should publish my film book. It talks about the Noble Savage and the White Man's Burden tropes to a much greater degree.

The problem isn't just that a hero is of a different race than the people they are helping. The problem is the way the minorities are shown to be utterly helpless... neutered, stupid, and hopeless, until the white character comes along and teaches them to get along using our values.

Hollywood is crawling with these films. Most often they take the form of a group of minority kids who are failures until a white teacher comes along and teaches them the value of what they are supposed to be learning -- to soften the blow, the white character usually learns hip hop in exchange. There was actually one film (can't think of the name) which was highly criticized because a white character went to Africa where he solved an ancient feud between two tribes by teaching them basketball.

The problem is that the films specifically zero in on race by making the white character the only person who can help the minority characters, who are otherwise portrayed as incapable of helping themselves.

This is very different than Superman protecting a black family, for example.

djskit said...

I have to side a bit more with 5Minutes - My impression of this movie was that is was perhaps the greatest sci-fi that almost was made - but fell off the cliff with the ham fistted sermonizing (Homeland Security!) and leftist tropes. (Hippies Saving the World!)

The filmaking was brilliant - the scene in the car wtih the motorcycle attack deserves to be watched over and over again. The conveying of a sense of place, time and emotion stays with me to this day.

We almost had one of those movies, that, despite the leftest attempts, comes across as well done film, that speaks to the state of mankind (and men) in extraordinary cirumstances (one of the essence of sci-fi).

But they ruined it...my understanding of the book is that, if the same people made that movie, it would be a classic. But they are leftists, and they can't get out of thier own way.

AndrewPrice said...

djskit, That's my point actually. If they had made the film that fit this idea, it would have been incredible science fiction. But they didn't. Instead, Cuaron made a statement about Western xenophobia and immigration and he draped it in the veneer of this idea. He made leftist propaganda.

And you're right, IF you focus only on the heroes and their purpose, then this is exactly the type of film science fiction is meant to be. But the problem is the world in which the film is set is intentionally provocative and offensive, and the challenge they are facing is fake. So rather than achieving some incredible feat, they just become pawn in a political statement. And then they want you to extrapolate a political opinion from the film, which is based on total lies about human and Western culture.

tryanmax said...

I guess I wasn't really focusing in on white man's burden, it's just what made me think of the other thing, which has no name.

It came up again lately in a discussion about The Butler. The director was telling about how his son reacted to the film, who basically said, "That's great, Dad, but I want a movie about a black superhero." The idea is that, b/c Superman is white, he can't be a role model to people of color.

But if that's the case, why isn't the inverse true? I grew up around mainly white kids, many of whom were inspired by black rappers, Asian martial artists, athletes of all races, and I, per my example, had no trouble connecting with the ethnic movie action heroes of my youth. It's a total B.S. concept.

AndrewPrice said...

I agree with you and I think the word is "racism" or "racialism" (if that's a word). Basically, what you have put your finger on is that some people do see the world through the prism of race and they want "their own" role models and their own whatevers.

That is an underlying principle of identity politics, the idea that all things must be seen through the prism of race or gender or orientation or whatever. Thus, the same achievement already done by others, but now down by someone of "your race/gender" becomes a cause for celebration. Inversely, the lack of that accomplishment becomes an annoyance.

It's basically the perpetuation of race as a separate identity.

But that's different than the White Man's Burden trope, which is about whites (usually liberals) feeling smug about themselves by educating and protecting "inferior people". The name came from Kipling's poem, but the principle is alive and well in Hollywood.

Koshcat said...

I think this movie had already been done with "The Handmaid's Tale". It too was a liberal anti-christian jerk off session. It was so popular (not) someone felt it needed to be done again.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, This one isn't as blatant or heavy-handed as The Handmaid's Tale, but it's ultimately the same thing... a liberal message film that is meant to attack wide swaths of people unfairly. As with The Handmaid's Tale, this one didn't do well. Neither made back their budgets.

Koshcat said...

I keeping hoping for the day the studios stop greenlighting LEPHJOS or have them go straight to DVD where they belong. I'm tired of hearing how tough the studios are having it with movies not making back what they cost.

AndrewPrice said...

LEPHJOS, LOL! Now we have an acronym. Next we need a cure!

Kit said...

"I just had to respond to the "Code of Honor" link. From the synopsis: "He tells Picard that on Ligon, the women own all the land and wealth, but apart from that they are subservient to the men."

And just how does that work, exactly? That seems like an extremely unstable and unlikely power dynamic, especially given the clearly sexist attitudes of the Ligonian men. I realize Star Trek doesn't deal exclusively in human nature, but that just boggles the mind."

--------------------------------------

Here is how that society works: The writers had a very poor understanding of how matrilineal societies work and when they heard that in a matrilineal society "inheritable property is transferred through the mother" they confused that with "property is controlled by the women".

Patriot said...

Andrew....I watched this movie a few years back and promptly forgot all about. Mainly for many of the reasons you so ably articulate, yet most likely because it made such a little impression on me that I didn't want to waste any more of my limited, active brain cells, to remember anything more about it.

I think I saw it because of 2 reasons (now that those cells have been activated): One was due to the picture of the old power plant in England that appeared to be the same one used on the Pink Floyd album, and Two was because of Clive Owen. He has a good screen presence and usually doesn't mail it in.

Or am I conflating movies, albums and actors again?!

Individualist said...

"Like all other liberal heroes, they just stand “against oppression” and they promise that they would have found a different way to handle whatever problem it was, without ever suggesting what that could be. That’s called a cheap shot."

If you solve the problem then you have nothing to rally the useful idiots ... er... troops around.

Individualist said...

You know it is funny but I think if they tried to make the DR Suess movie about the Sneetches today that it would probably be thrown out before it was allowed into production.

How dare they put stars on the sneetches without stars? What, do they think the starless sneetches need stars on thars to be accepted in your "star"ry socieity. What message does that send to young starless men about their starless condition.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew you said: "where liberals who don’t lift a finger to fight the petty evil in their midsts today claim proudly that THEY would have stood up to Hitler if they had been there and THEY would have fought to free the slaves. Liars"


Naah, because they would have been to busy lacing up their jackboots to join the scrap. Scratch most liberals and you find a totalitarian underneath, not very far down either. In December 2008, one of my recent grads visited me at Christmas break, still giddy over the Obama election. You should have heard him gushing over how he had undying loyalty to this superman he just had the pleasure of pulling the lever for (I'm barely exaggerating here). He told me he couldn't wait for the first order of business in the new Congress was to try George W Bush for TREASON!

Scary thing was in another reality I could see him with his brown shirt and armband screaming "Juden Raus." or waving his Little Red Book in the faces of the enemies of the Cultural Reveolution.

Funny, in the last few years he has failed to continue his correspondence with me, and doesn't answer my emails that usually have the following meme, "Hey didn't Obama jus _______; Didn't you use to hate it when George Bush used to to this!

His silence speaks wonders. Best served cold as the Spanish would have it.

PikeBishop said...

Andrew: Got to disagree with you about Harry Potter: POA; Chris Columbus basically just "directed the books" in the first two films. He is the safest director alive.

I liked a filmmaker putting his own spin on thinks and mixing things up a little, bleeding out the color, all the clocks and pendulums throughout and the fact that for the first time you saw the kids in regular clothes such as jeans and sweaters instead of their, often impractical, wizarding garb.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, When it comes to STNG, the answer is always that the writers didn't understand what they were talking about.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, That is indeed this movie. The power station is the Battersea Power Station in London, and it was used by Pink Floyd on the album "Animals"... an excellent album indeed.

When I first saw this film, I felt insulted and then underwhelmed. The whole thing turned out a mess and I was happy to forget it. What made me revisit this was that the Sci-Fi Channel shows it periodically and they ran this stupid promo with Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary) where she says "We can learn so much from this film" and that makes me want to punch her.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, The disingenuous part is that they have no solutions. Liberalism on film is all about attacking. They NEVER offer a solution because real world solutions are messy, and theirs are particularly messy. So they just point fingers and say, "You're bad people" without ever telling you how they would have solved the problem. It's a cheap shot.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Liberals are brown shirts... always have been, always will be. They want to create utopia through the use of government power and that necessarily means forcing people to do things people aren't naturally doing. And when people resist, liberals get nasty. That's their history. All rhetoric to the contrary is just for public relations, but is not to be taken literally.

On Potter, I need to disagree and here's why: Harry Potter is a children's story. When Cuaron did his thing, he ended that. He converted it into an adult film about children. He fundamentally destroyed the nature of what it was. If he wanted to do that, he should have gone off and made his own versions and not crapped on the version that was being made.

And taking them out of their magic world, is like gutting the story. That is what drew people into the books and what people enjoyed about them. That's like saying, "Thank God he dropped all those dragons and wizards from The Hobbit and made them more like real people today."

djskit said...

"Naah, because they would have been to busy lacing up their jackboots to join the scrap. Scratch most liberals and you find a totalitarian underneath, not very far down either."
WINNER!

PikeBishop said...

Ah Andrew, a "children's story?" Au contraire, a good story that can be enjoyed by children and adults!

And something aimed at children does not have to be "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" or "Pollyanna."

I teach high school now, but spent some time teaching 6th grade and let me tell you, children are way more adaptable and able to handle deeper and darker themes than you think. Just because something is "for children" does not mean it has to be childish.

Also I noticed, and my own experience as a child backs this up, that kids have a very, very accurate BS detector. They know when they are being pandered to or treated like kids. On another thread I talked about how, even as a seven year old, I thought a lot of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was over the top and silly. And that was a "childrens story."

Seeing Harry and Hermoine in jeans and sweatshirts made a greater impression on more elementary school kids and tweens than you would think. Yes, they are magical kids at a fantasy school, but they are still teens, just like those in the audience, trying to find their way in the world, a dark and scry and very un-Chris Colombus world, and that meant a lot more to that audience than you think.

Respectfully, PIKE

AndrewPrice said...

Pike,

A good story can be for children and adults, but the problem is that the while the first two worked for both, the later ones only work for adults.

I am a firm believer that children are capable of much darker material than modern society thinks. Things like the old Disneys are a classic example. But this is not that.

HP was written as pre-Young Adult fiction -- around 8-12 years of age. And its audience through the first two books and films was the same audience that is still watching Pixar and things like the first two Harry Potters and Percy Jackson and the such... older grade school kids. Those stories can have violence, they can have evil, and they can have ugly themes... but they are always presented with an air of unreality. Starting with the HP 3 film, that air of unreality vanished (it didn't from the books). The films became talky, dark, violent and very realistic. If those films were novelized, they could not be sold to the same audience, they would be sold to the next level up... or higher. In fact, starting with 4, the film rating actually went up from PG to PG-13.

That is Cuaron fundamentally changing the nature of the franchise. You may prefer it, but that doesn't change the fact it's a fundamental change that now excludes the very people to whom the first two books and films were aimed.

It would be no different than Peter Jackson deciding to make the final LOTR film into a gritty, realistic bloodbath like Game of Thrones. We may like it better, or not, but whether or not we like it, it is a betrayal of the audience who brought the property to that point.

On the costume change, the problem is that you have lost the point to the films. You are sucking out the magic from a film that is about magic. Again, that's like LOTR saying, "Let's drop this medieval crap... people relate better to 20th century gang wear. Don't worry, they'll still fight with swords, but they'll walk around in hoodies."

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, I don't think it's a coincidence that Cuaron's film did about $200 million less than all the other films.

T-Rav said...

So the takeaway here is that Cuaron is just a terrible director, and probably a terrible human being.

I've watched most of Children of Men and although I didn't find it blatantly offensive, it was entirely forgettable, which is not what you want for your movie. The whole angle being discussed here reminds me of a conversation we once had about True Blood, how it could have been a really interesting take on how humans would deal with the existence of vampires, but instead ended up being a multi-season ad for gay rights and crap. Sounds like something similar's going on here.

Koshcat said...

As for the last two HP movies, in my opinion it could have been made into just one. The seventh one I thought was very good. The eighth and final movie was a let down. There were so many more things they could have done but it felt lazy. There was one change that pissed me off. In the final book, Neville kills the snake during the final stand off when it was thought that Harry was dead. He asked for the sword, it was given to him and he used it to kill the snake. Neville has finally come of age and is now a hero in front of everyone. But in the movie they drag it out with a fight between the snake and Ron and Hermione. It was dumb, it was unneccessary and it ruined Nevilles moment in the sun.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, plus, no one wants to see Anna Paquin naked.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, Money. I say again... money. To kind of borrow from Contact: "Why make one film when you can make two at twice the price?"

I started having problems early on with subplots being dropped and heroic actions being re-assigned. By the time they came to end, I'd actually stopped watching the films.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't know if Cuaron is a terrible director as he has his moments, but I get the sense he's a real racist ass, and I wouldn't hire him to direct a film of mine because of his economic track record.

On that point, it will be interesting to see how Gravity does actually. As with his other projects, the critics are lavishing his rear end with their lips, but the premise sounds pretty dull. It could go either way.

shawn said...

Late to this party.

Did not see Children of Men and it doesn't sound like I missed much.

Regarding Cuaron and Harry Potter. I liked the film, in that I liked the story, but I agree that he made needless changes to both the school (Hagrid's home is now on the side of a hill and the school's quartyard is changed and the kid's aren't wearing wizard robes) but Cuaron's muted color palatte is just horrible. It can be argued that the changes were made because the world was becoming "darker" thanks to the resurgance of Voldemort, but Chamber of Secrets was plenty dark tonaly, while still having a saturated color palatte.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I hate his color palette. It strikes me as a film-school gimmick. And it doesn't help that everyone else was doing the same stupid thing around that time. There are quite a few films from that period which are unwatchable because they are shot entirely in blue-grays and brown-grays.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

T-Rav, plus, no one wants to see Anna Paquin naked.

Have you watched the show? :-) (Nothing beats the casual Lizzy Caplan nudity in the first season IMHO.)

Ahem...

Re: True Blood, I guess it's a guilty pleasure and I keep watching it even though I'm nearly past the point of caring.

And I never quite understood the gay rights angle. Don't get me wrong, it's there, but if they really had an agenda, wouldn't they portray all the vampires (i.e. the oppressed minority) as saints.?

Instead, we get good vampires and bad ones, and good humans, and bad ones... and werewolves... and fairies... ad infinitum!!

AndrewPrice said...

I haven't seen it actually. Sadly, my schedule is too busy to add another series.

Also, everyone knows that vampires turned gay after Twilight.

Individualist said...

"Also, everyone knows that vampires turned gay after Twilight. "

Andrew

Is that why they shimmer in sunlight instead of burning up... hmmmm....

tryanmax said...

Scott, I did watch the first couple seasons. But I have to insist, what is the trade-off here? I really don't feel like I came out ahead.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Yep. That's how you can tell the straight ones from the gay ones.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

My comment was meant more tongue-in-cheek (especially since nudity was being discussed). :-)

But like I said, I'm kinda past the point of no return with the show. The only difference is you stopped whereas I kept going. Why? I have no idea. I guess I don't like giving up on something. (I gave up on Heroes a couple years in and have no need to finish it.)

tryanmax said...

Careful with your expressions, Scott. When discussing True Blood, tongue in cheek can mean a lot of things.

I don't remember exactly when I quit Heroes but there was a lot of messed-up time travel stuff. I think everybody had lost and regained their powers at least twice by that point. I'll give it credit for one thing, it jumped the shark with time travel first.

AndrewPrice said...

I struggled to get into Heroes. And by the time I thought about giving it a good solid try, everyone was running away in droves, so that kind of killed that.

El Gordo said...

Thank you! Everyone told me Prisoner of Azkaban was the best Harry Potter movie. At last I´m no longer alone in thinking that it was weak. The tone was off, it was loud and frenetic. I had liked Cuaron´s previous movie, Y tu mama tambien, but that was just a surprising little Mexican film from which I didn´t expect anything.

I had also liked Amores Perros by Cuaron´s friend Inarritu. Until I heard him whine on the commentary track how the fall of the Berlin Wall made him very sad. What is it with middle class Mexican directors being commies? Are they trying to pass as smart and sophisticated? It´s not working.

El Gordo said...

"Don't forget that not using a gun is a very noble thing despite the fact everyone around you is trying to kill you with one..."

The schizophrenic relationship liberal Hollywood has with guns is a fascinating topic in itself. Like cellphones, guns would end many a movie after about fifteen minutes. So no character (apart from the villains) must have a gun. Or they have guns but they somehow don´t have any effect. Or they can´t be used. It just proves how useful guns (and cellphones) actually are.

My favorite example comes about ten minutes into Avatar, when our "hero" is running around in his ten foot Navi body carrying a correspondingly huge automatic weapon, which must be the 22nd century version of a .50 caliber machine gun. And when they encounter a big predator ... the rounds have no effect and the animal eats the gun. Ha ha. Because on Pandora life is made of solid neutronium. No wonder Neytiri´s boobs looked so firm.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, You are not alone. A LOT of the Harry Potter fans I knew were really turned off by the third film and where happy when another director took over the fourth.

I have not seen Y tu mama tambien, but I did enjoy Amores Perros. I didn't hear that comment from the director, but I'm not surprised. Being a commie seems to be the in thing down there for their elite.

Hollywood and guns are an interesting issue. While Hollywood claims to be anti-gun and their stars speak out against guns, they definitely rely on selling gun violence as the be-all, end-all solution for disputes. In fact, I'd say that they are pimps for gun violence.

John Johnson said...

Hello Andrew. Thank you for an awesome entry once again. I have seen only 25% of this movie as I felt it was utterly boring. How dare I call myself a Science Fiction nut? I'm a worm, I know right? :)
Having read your entry now, I'm sure I won't give it another try (I gave it two tries already!).

But please allow me to post some criticism. Don't kick me though, we worms have developed a natural fear for shoes... :'(
My criticism is that you didn't need to defend non-liberalism in this capacity. No need to debunk anything. Also, I hope someday you'd spend some attention to atheist non-liberal crawling creatures like myself. Not all of us are Christians you know .

Thank you for your time. Off I go now digging oxygen holes for this lawn. I'm sure I can evade this bir

AndrewPrice said...

Hi John, I have no problem with atheists at all. I know quite a few and they are all good people. I don't like the militant ones, but then I don't like the militant Christians either. I'm a firm believer in letting people have their own beliefs without trying to judge them for it.

Yeah, I honestly don't think you're missing anything by not finishing this film. It's never true to its own topic and it just feels preachy: "you Europeans are all evil... except the hippies!"

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