All is right with movies

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

Here’s one of those non­sen­si­cal stud­ies you just have to savour. A right-wing en­tity named Movieguide claims to have proved that “con­ser­va­tive” films make more money than their pesky, deca­dent lib­eral ri­vals. They have sta­tis­tics. Movieguide – which sells it­self as “the fam­ily guide to movies” – pro­duced a 76-page re­port that sought to back up its ex­trav­a­gant claims.

The com­pil­ers stud­ied 91 films that met the con­ser­va­tive cri­te­rion and 105 from the (my words) filthy com­mu­nist cesspit. The fam­ily-friendly films chalked up about $59 mil­lion a piece, whereas the lib­eral movies could only man­age around $11 mil­lion.

“Most movie­go­ers want good to con­quer evil, truth to triumph over false­hood, jus­tice to pre­vail over in­jus­tice and true beauty to over­come ug­li­ness,” Ted Baehr, ed­i­tor of Movieguide, wrote in his re­port.

So what stan­dards are they ap­ply­ing? It’s an odd one. Hugo and The Artist pass muster, though they’re surely po­lit­i­cally neu­tral rather than con­ser­va­tive. Thor, that cel­e­bra­tion of hea­then val­ues, also gets into the tent, as does the rea­son­ably vi­o­lent Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble – Ghost Pro­to­col. You could ar­gue those. But why is Su­per 8 con­sid­ered a “lib­eral” film? It’s all very pe­cu­liar.

Movieguide con­sid­ers more than 20 cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing vi­o­lence, sex, re­vi­sion­ist his­tory, po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, fem­i­nism, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism, and ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. It hardly needs to be said that these are all seen to be bad things. Hor­ri­ble en­vi­ron­men­tal­ism! failed to set its own “do­mes­tic” box of­fice alight. Main­stream Amer­i­can films gen­er­ally take a lit­tle less than 50 per cent of their rev­enue in the US. Tintin took just 20 per cent of its $380 mil­lion at home.

It seems that Spiel­berg is, how­ever, suf­fi­ciently con­fi­dent to an­nounce de­tails of a fol­low-up. The great man has con­firmed that Peter Jack­son will di­rect the sec­ond film of the se­ries when he has fin­ished work on The Hob­bit.

“I wanted to do it,” said Spieberg, “but Peter has to be­cause we made a deal. I said, ‘I’ll di­rect the first one, you di­rect the sec­ond one’.” In­ter­est­ing.

Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble – Ghost Pro­to­col: it may be vi­o­lent but at least it doesn’t have en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists

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