[Editor’s Note: This list is arranged in no particular order. Read Part I here.]
6. “Nuclear weapons are awful.” – Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
There are probably a few inventions that have saved more human lives and prevented more suffering than nuclear weapons. The wars since World War II, when we quite properly dropped two A-Bombs on Japan and ended the slaughter, have been a mere shadow of what they would have been without our thermonuclear arsenal. That’s just a fact, and all the posturing about the “insanity” of deterrence in this inexplicably beloved movie can’t change that. You should love The Bomb.
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Of course, Dr. Strangelove provides a better idea than nuclear deterrence by wholeheartedly embracing anti-missile defense. Nah, just kidding. The film advocates nothing except ironic detachment, essentially abdicating any responsibility and simply complaining about a strategy that, well, worked. And let me be blunt – it just doesn’t hold up after all these years. There, I said it. Except Slim Pickens – Slim will always rock.
7. “Greed is not good.” – Wall Street (1987)
Oliver Stone makes his third appearance on this list with a searing indictment of the financial industry that overwhelmingly supported the Democrats in 2008.
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Like most liberals and leftists, Stone is either unaware of the difference between greed and enlightened self-interest or he simply does not care. But sadly, he has managed, for a whole generation of half-wits, to make the face of capitalism Gordon Gekko instead of Adam Smith.
Note that Stone recently released a sequel to Wall Street, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (2010). It cost $70 million to make but only grossed $52 million. That’s okay, though, because Oliver Stone isn’t in it for the money.
8. “True courage means helping out the Nazis.” – The English Patient (1996)
John Nolte recently dissected the utter moral bankruptcy of The English Patient, but this astonishing film deserves another mention here. Basically, the film approves of its hero’s selling out information to the Nazis in order to preserve his chance to score with his lame girlfriend. I’ll rephrase that, because you probably think you read it wrong – this critically hailed motion picture’s position is that when you are given a choice between helping or not helping the Nazis, you should follow the instructions of your penis.
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The problem isn’t that some screenwriter spews this kind of poison. It’s that there are so many moral illiterates out there who mistake it for morality. The English Patient was praised high and low for its profundity; in fact, at its heart it is nothing but a sickening, despicable ode to selfishness. Greed may not be good, but apparently horniness is a virtue. If you really dig a chick, so what if a few thousand guys battling Hitler get wasted? Gimme a break.
At least The English Patient has a happy ending – the traitor gets burned up and dies, so it has that going for it. You get to at least leave with a smile.
What’s astonishing about the Bourne films, other than the fact that anyone watches these tiresome action retreads with a hero who cannot be defeated, deterred, or killed and a cinematographer who doesn’t own a tri-pod, is how the CIA is alternatively omnipotent and impotent. When the plot requires it, the CIA can do anything it wants, right up until the plot needs it not to be able to. Then it becomes less effective than the TSA on Quaaludes.
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There have been a hundred films about the CIA, most picturing it as some sort of super spy force that has its wicked claws in pretty much everything around the world. We wish! The idea that American intelligence has an army of killbots designed to hunt down and eliminate our enemies at a moment’s notice would be totally awesome. Sadly, the reality is more likely that any action request would get routed through three bureaus, six directorates, and a suite of lawyers before someone leaked it to the New York Times while the bad guy sips champagne with his hookers in a villa in Caracas.
10. “The central tenet of Christianity is preventing teenagers from dancing.” – Footloose (1984)
As Hollywood understands it, Jesus brought the Ten Commandments to the people on a magic carpet largely because he wanted them to stop enjoying themselves. And the first and most important commandment was that no Christian can ever dance. It’s right there, written on the side of the Ark of the Covenant that Indiana Jones found.
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Now, perhaps you missed these theological insights at Sunday school, but you gotta understand that the Hollywoodoid’s understanding of the religion embraced by most Americans is rather limited. They know that Jesus is somehow involved, and that he has superpowers and can probably fly, and that everyone who is religious is repressed, and that to Christians all sex is bad. Why red states like Utah seem to actually have a growing population while God-free blue zones like San Francisco are withering away is a question they never ask.
Now, Christians often complain that Hollywood doesn’t understand them, but they shouldn’t feel bad. Hollywoodoids don’t understand any religion – they don’t discriminate in their ignorance. Well, there is one religion they do understand and embrace wholeheartedly – leftism. And if hackneyed lefty tropes constitute their sacraments, their pinko deity must be well-pleased.