Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Oscars...The Wrath of Phil!

Hey Kev,

You asked me when I was going to post something about this year’s Oscars, so here you go brother. You fell asleep during them, but I didn't even watch them, even though they were live on 4 different channels out here at once, and in 3 different languages no less.

Why didn’t I bother to watch? Well, I'm tired of the smarty-pants in Hollywood showing the world how they think Middle Americans are nothing more than a bunch of empty-headed buffoons. They did it last year with "Million Dollar Baby;" did you catch it? Check it out: they depicted the plucky female boxer character’s family from the "Red State" of Missouri as ignorant, selfish, and underhanded. To me, the irony-of-ironies is that at least two-out-of-three of those traits sound MORE like something you'd find in a Hollywood executive! This quirky version of Mid-West Americans, according to Hollywood, shows perfectly the type of "fools" who would be JUST dumb enough to vote for Bush, and TWICE at that! Naturally, they (we) MUST be evil...?

As I said, the irony is that the people I know from the hills and backwoods of Missouri would NEVER behave the way Clint Eastwood showed them in his film. It was a cheap shot and a completely unrealistic portrayal of people from that part of America. They could never have gotten away with it, EXCEPT to use those types of “uneducated,” “unthinking” and “EVIL white folk." And while Eastwood was at it, to make them epitomize the kind of oddball Americans Hollywood sees as “backwater,” he gave them all a strong hillbilly accent to boot. I easily understand why it won best picture last year, considering the attitudes of the people who do the voting. I was very disappointed that Clint chose this opportunistic avenue to get his second Oscar; I hope he doesn’t pander to the U.S.A. haters of the Motion Picture Academy similarly in his current film, “Flags of Our Fathers,” which is about the marines who fought on Iwo Jima in 1945. I would hate to lump Clint Eastwood in with the likes of George Clooney and Tim Robbins! So, don’t go there Clint!

The elitists in the film industry seem insistent on biting the hands that feed them—mine for one. Do they really believe that we will line up to watch movies that tell you and I how horrible WE are, how malevolent our country is? Fact is, not all that many people from the Red States are paying to go to see the movies that are likely to get nominated by the Academy. I know I don’t… Will I watch Syriana, or Brokeback Mountain...? Uh, not likely.... actually, make that a big FAT no! In fact, I haven’t seen a single movie that was up for one of the major awards this year. I guess they must figure there are enough paying moviegoers from the Blue States and the big cities, and that’s all they’ll need economically to keep churning out their “progressive” and "preachy" drivel—Fine by me.

But you know what? As long as the likes of Mel Gibson, Jackie Chan, Rob Schneider, and Ben Stiller keep churning out their style of fare, I’ll be just fine. Hey, All you actors out there in “LA LA Land,” do me a favor…keep your big mouths shut so I can continue to watch you act without getting turned off by your political spoutings! I don’t need to know what you think about the war in Iraq, or Hurricane Katrina to watch your movies. Actually, it’s just the opposite! I will probably choose NOT to go to the theatre or buy the DVD, IF you go out of your way to alienate me…you hear that Clooney? Put a sock in it, or risk MY WRATH! (...and others like ME!)


Ed said...

For me, movies have always been art and fiction married to a screen. I watched Million Dollar Baby and found it to be an excellent movie. Not once did I find myself thinking that it was depicting Missouri's residents in an unkind light. I similarly don't think all cowboys in Wyoming are gay, all mines in Minnesota are run by bigots, all cops are racists, all Asians can move like Jackie Chan or all men are as hapless at love as Ben Stiller's characters. I watch the movie not for a political message but to be entertained. I am always amused when people get so infuriated by the "political message" in a movie. I think you're reading deeper into it than necessary.

I know two other people here in bloggerland that share your philosophy about movies and they also liberally use "red states/ blue states" in their dialogues. My theory is that perhaps these people are so worked up about politics, that they see what they want to see or in this case, what they don't want to see when they go to a movie. I've heard and read a lot of reviews about Million Dollar Baby but yours is the first to put a political spin on it.

PhilippinesPhil said...

You could be right Ed. I might just be paranoid, but I suspect that if I watched the movie, and I was from Missouri, then I might not think so kindly of the ugly depiction, nor be as entertained as you were.

Just as you, I also started out getting into the movie, but I am so cynical of Hollywood movie makers that I automatically look for subterfuge. In this case, I didn't have to slapped me in the face.

I was thoroughly enjoying the film, UNTIL Eastwood threw in the backwoods villains from the Ozarks. It was completely unnecessary and gratuitous, an obvious ploy to appeal to the Hollywood left.

Ed, once you're aware of it, you will see that type of underhanded theme inserted into almost every film made these days. Personally, I'm sick of it. They do it partly because it's so much easier, safer and PC to make caucasions "flawed" in some way, more so then any other types.

For instance, isn't it odd that since 9-11, how few nefarious Middle-Eastern men and Muslims are portrayed in the movies? During WWII, Hollywood made tons of films showing the viewing public the face of the enemy, not as one to be understood, but as one to be fought to the bitter end.

Now, instead, we have guys like Looney Clooney showing us how evil the US government is. The terrorists aren't bad at all, just misunderstood; WE are the ones who are bad!

All these covert and not so covert slams at middle America and at the US government is Hollywood's way of lashing back. These people are extremely angry at two lost Presidential elections, and it's not lost on them who exactly put this administration into the Whitehouse. They are determined to SHOW US the error of OUR ways.

If I could, Ed, I too would purposely stay oblivious to all this shiftiness. At least then I could enjoy watching movies again. If I could only stop being so sensitive I guess, and stop thinking that the left coast progressives are trying to convince me that two men humping in the mountains of Wyoming is actually normal behavior, and something that we should all accept and enjoy as perfectly watchable cinematic fare.

I don't think so... not me. Just goes to show you how insensitive and intolerant I am, yes? And no, I'm not a homophobe; I just don't want to watch them "do their thing." Thank God it's still a free country! I choose not to watch.

Kevin said...

Yeah, you know, I didn't see the same things you saw in "Million dollar baby". Teri and I watched it and dismissed it about 3/4ths in because the plot became so badly unbelievable/implausible. Everything that happened in the movie after the boxing injury would never happen in healthcare. We never even made it to any political implications.

Ed said...

I think if I looked hard enough, I could find a leftist and a rightist message in just about every movie. I think I will pass on that challenge. You know the saying... ignorance is bliss. I enjoy being blissful while watching movies.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hey Kev:
Probably if I was a boxer I'd hate the movie even more, just as i hate most war movies because they are so inaccurate; but when they showed Swank's family as so much cartoon-like trailer trash it just got out of hand, almost laughable. Actually, the whole movie was nothing more than a badly told cartoon. Almost all of it unlikely and virtually impossibe. I mean, what about the European "champion" female boxer, the one that sucker punched Swank's character and broke her neck..? Give me a break! The more I think about it, the more I realize that there was no subtlety in this movie at all. I've changed my mind Ed, "Million Dollar Baby" wasn't an affront to MIddle Americans, it was just an affront. I wonder how it won all those awards? I guess it worked for him in "The Unforgiven," so why not this one? "Over the top" is Clint's style I guess. Mystic River certainly was. Are all movies nothing more than hyperbole and I'm just NOW noticing?

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yeah Ed, you make a good point...."Oblivious is Best." I wish I had it in me... Rick, a little help please?! (He's my "head" doctor).

PhilippinesPhil said...

Knowing your background Rick... Special Forces Medic, doctor, EMT, psychologist, nurse, combat veteran, philanthropist...your opinion has a lot of weight with me buddy! You've lived in the world, you know what's out there; none of this stuff is hypothetical to you. YOU KNOW what's at stake. Drive on Rick!

Nick Ballesteros said...

Is that steam rising from your head, Phil? :-) Funny thing about the Oscars last year. The host played a video recorded earlier which was an interview with people walking the streets. He asked if they have watched Million Dollar Baby, or the one with Leo DiCaprio in it, and a host of other nominated films. About 98% said they didn't! But when asked if they watched White Chicks, a lot said yes and they enjoyed it tremendously. And this movie wasn't nominated for any category.

The irony of it all.

Amadeo said...

True, that movies are supposed to be essentially entertainment. Unfortunately, it is a lot more than that today. Even the Hollywood bigwigs are not shy about declaring that many of their movies are politically charged and carry political messages dear to their hearts.

Studies have shown that especially for the young minds, movies have become vehicles where life imitates art. One can cite countless instances where to rationalize bad or criminal behavior, one needs only to point to examples depicted in movies.

Of course, Hollywood bigwigs and actors are free to portray whatever their hearts desire. But this should give them pause to at least try to depict events truthfully and fairly, given the great impact their works have on the public at large.

Me? I continue to harken and watch the old movies. Especially the great Westerns that personify great sacrifices, rugged individualism, selflessness, and facing overwhelming odds in the wild frontiers.

And their dialogs are a world apart from the films of today. Nowadays, critcs fall over each other counting the number of cuss words in each film. They did this comparison for the nominated movies of the last Oscars. And the findings were outrageous.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Greetings Amadeo, I wouldn’t mind all the politically oriented Hollywood films except that they make few, if any, aside from the left-leaning, anti-American, pro-liberal types. (anti-American & liberal, sorry for the redundancy).

You’re right, movies have become more profane and violent, and so have TV, video games and music. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that this continuous bombardment of in-your-face-sex, foul language, deviant lifestyles, and blood is having a damaging effect on young people. They see it, copy it, and accept it as “normal.” Hollywood loves “normalizing” antisocial behavior and what easier way to do that than to reach us when we are impressionable.

You give the Hollywood “lefties” way too much credit when you think they would ever think twice about NOT depicting events factually. All they care about is THEIR message and it will always reflect THEIR version of reality. Part of their problem I think is that they see the world through such a distorted and murky prism that they refuse to see anything else but what they WANT to see.

Yes! The classic movies are the best…. NO reverse morality, little profanity, only as much blood and violence as necessary to tell the story, AND they portrayed romance between a man and woman without being nasty and explicit. You know, THE ONLY THING I agree with Farrakhan on is his assertion that Hollywood puts out an evil product that is destructive to our society.

You bring up an excellent point on language Amadeo. I blame the downfall of American vernacular on two things: 1) Hollywood films and 2) the gangster rap culture. When I was growing up I rarely heard the “F” word; even in high school I seldom heard it or explicit references to sexuality. As Hollywood and Rap normalized profanity and open sexuality all that changed. Now, kids as young as 9 and 10 in some parts of the country speak like “gangsters” and emulate the foul language of their heroes seen on HBO and on their friend’s DVD players. There is so much of Americana that I am proud of, BUT the profanization of our language makes me ashamed.