Hollywood Buys "Antichrist"
  Country Music: Too Much Freedom-Loving?
  The Obscenity Blackout
News Columns
  Notre Dame Pacifier?
  Weak Knees at the White House
  Bias In Specter-Scope
  Media Reality Check
  Notable Quotables
  Press Releases
  Media Bias Videos
  30-Day Archive
  Gala and DisHonors
  Best of NQ Archive
  The Watchdog
  About the MRC
  MRC in the News
  Support the MRC
  Planned Giving
  What Others Say
MRC Resources
  Site Search
  Media Addresses
  Contact MRC
  MRC Bookstore
  Job Openings
  News Division
  Business & Media Institute
  NewsBusters Blog

Support the MRC

This column was reprinted by permission of L. Brent Bozell and Creators Syndicate. To reprint this or any of his twice weekly syndicated columns, please contact Creators Syndicate at (310) 337-7003 ext. 110





 L. Brent Bozell


Slim Cinema Pickings

by L. Brent Bozell III
October 20, 2008
Tell a friend about this site

There was a wonderful routine in the Bozell family when I was 11 years old. Every Saturday afternoon my mother would load her undiapered-aged brood, maybe six of us back then, into the station wagon for an outing to the local movie theater. What a delight. John Wayne and the westerns. Dean Jones and anything Disney. Gone With the Wind, How the West Was Won, Doctor Zhivago.

On any given Saturday afternoon, Hollywood laid out the red carpet for families, beckoned us in, serving us some popcorn and a soda, inviting us to lose ourselves, for a couple of hours, to the world of wonder and imagination.

But that was forty years ago, another era. All that sparkle is gone today.

Last Saturday afternoon we were alone, my little boy Reid and I, and the idea hit to bring my 11-year-old to the movies, our own father-son outing. What to see? I pondered, opening the paper for the theater listings. Here is what Hollywood, circa 2008, has to offer.

First, a gratingly long list of mediocre R-rated movies:

"Blindness" (rated R) Completely hopeless film about people catching an infectious disease of blindness and getting rounded up in a mental asylum.

"Quarantine" (R) Completely hopeless film about a TV news crew getting trapped in a Centers for Disease Control quarantine of a building where everybody catches a version of rabies and dies. (What is this, a trend?)

"Burn After Reading"(R) A dippy personal trainer gets caught up in a government plot, doesn’t know what he’s doing, and gets shot in the face, and so much for Brad Pitt.

"Body of Lies" (R) Leonardo di Caprio pretends to be a rugged CIA agent and we're lectured again about the moral rot of American foreign policy manipulators.

"Righteous Kill" (R): Serial killer takes out violent felons who've fallen through the cracks of the justice system. Nothing more than a ripoff from that perverted TV show "Dexter."

"Miracle at St. Anna" (R) Spike Lee tries to make a war movie without any wacko claims about the federal government blowing up levees in New Orleans.

"How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" (R) British satire of celebrity journalism, complete with a pig urinating on a woman at the British version of the Oscars. Ha. Ha.

"Religulous" (rated R). Who'd give two nickels to Bill Maher to watch him rant against God?

"Appaloosa" is a Western that I might enjoy on my own, but it's an R.

Then there's the PG-13 gunk to consider:

"Flash of Genius" (PG-13): Son, let's see a whole movie about the inventor of intermittent windshield wipers. I think I'd skip that even on a rainy day.

"Lakeview Terrace" (PG-13): Samuel L. Jackson plays a psychotic next-door neighbor-slash-cop threatening an interracial couple after he sees them having sex through the windows.

"Nights in Rodanthe" (PG-13): Richard Gere and Diane Lane in a sappy, adulterous, beachside soap opera, and I’d rather gargle Drano than watch that.

"The Duchess" (PG-13): a British costume drama about an unhappy arranged marriage. Interest level for an 11-year-old boy? Zero.

"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" (PG-13): Teenage indie-music nightlife hipster movie. Pass.

"Eagle Eye" (PG-13): This action thriller might have appealed to us, until critics suggested you'd need a full-frontal lobotomy to enjoy it.

In the PG category, we were left with "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" (if you're into diamond-clad talking mini-pooches), "The Express" (a “true” story with a completely fictitious scene of racist epithets at a West Virginia football game in Morgantown in 1959), and "Fireproof," which is an admirable independent Christian movie about a fireman gaining faith and saving his marriage, but that plot is of negative appeal for the average pre-teen boy.

The was almost one – one – possibility, “City of Ember,” until I read reviews that thoroughly panned it. A movie dominated by “unclear mythology and sci-fi gibberish” just isn’t worth an outing.

What in the world is the problem with Hollywood? Is it just incapable of producing a good, healthy, enjoyable movie for youngsters? I’m not asking for something on the level of The Sound of Music.

But on second thought -- why not? Hollywood has the talent. It has creative geniuses, both as writers and directors. It has extraordinary actors. Don’t any of them have children? And if so, aren’t they just as perplexed, and saddened that this once-great industry can no longer produce magic?


Voice Your Opinion!
 Write to Brent Bozell



Home | News Division | Bozell Columns | CyberAlerts 
Media Reality Check | Notable Quotables | Contact the MRC | Subscribe

Founded in 1987, the MRC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit research and education foundation
 that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate for office.

Privacy Statement

Media Research Center
325 S. Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314