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Well-Loved Movies I Detest


bloodyminded

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The franchise had produced, at the time, two of the three or four top-grossing movies of all time before Reagan was even elected.
The second Star Wars was released in May 1980 in the midst of Reagan's ultimately successful presidential campaign.

This was before the Internet so God alone probably knows which progressive leftist journalist associated Reagan's proposed SDI with Lucas' movies.

However it happened, I'm sure that Lucas' great-great-grandchildren will love the connection. The residuals will pay their East Coast college tuition/living fees in 2050, and the obscure celebrity will make their lives easier: "She's the great-granddaughter of Melvin Laird."

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And maybe we all should be grateful that Reagan threatened a "Star Wars". In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell and in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. Rather than detente, Reagan refused to meet a Soviet leader until 1985, and even then Reagan walked away.

So, "Star Wars" and Reagan and "SDI" are terms mixed together - and the mix was for a greater good.

Edited by August1991
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The second Star Wars was released in May 1980 in the midst of Reagan's ultimately successful presidential campaign.

A far cry from your speculation that the franchise's success may be due to Reagan's election (three-and-a-half years after the wildly successful first movie), or to Reagan's "Star Wars" dubbed from the movie (as opposed to the other way 'round).

This was before the Internet so God alone probably knows which progressive leftist journalist associated Reagan's proposed SDI with Lucas' movies.

Since the number of truly progressive leftist journalists (at least in the mainstream news media) is and was vanishingly small, I doubt this was the case.

However it happened, I'm sure that Lucas' great-great-grandchildren will love the connection. The residuals will pay their East Coast college tuition/living fees in 2050, and the obscure celebrity will make their lives easier: "She's the great-granddaughter of Melvin Laird."

The residuals from the pre-Reagan Star Wars films alone are monumentally high. I find the idea that Reagan--despite being the Master of Morality and Creation in the minds of his acolytes--had much to do with anything here to be dubious.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got to this thread late and dunno if it has been mentioned, but add Adaptation to the list of hated movies.

It isn't the movie so much, it is Nicholas Cage in the movie that revolted me.

I came to the theatre prepared to hate Meryl Streep as usual, but I came to realize just how awful Cage is about halfway through. Everything done since just reinforces how wooden and one dimensional this guy really is on screen. Streep was not bad, for a change as she was not the prime character and controlled her narcissim long enough to suppress the urge to preen and put on an accent.

Two good things came of it: Chris Cooper again showed his consistent quality, and it was I think the first time I noticed Tilda Swinton, She is a bit of an acquired taste, but a really good actress.

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I believe that to truly understand any society, you have to put aside all your own particular beliefs, prejudices, and yes, sometimes even morals and ethics. To me slavery as abhorrent, but to the people who the characters of Gone With The Wind are based on, it wasn't. They, like people all through time, did not question the underlying premises and values of their society, and like countless societies throughout history, fought to preserve those values. Were they wrong, certainly from my perspective and from the perspective of a mid-19th century Abolitionist, damn straight. But, even as Gone With The Wind is just fiction and does idealize the South, in a way it tells a truth, like all great art, about how those people in that place at that time felt. If you want the slave's point of view, go watch Roots, though it too is every bit as stylized as Gone With The Wind, just in the opposite direction.

Absolutely right, TB! I too get frustrated with people who look at people in other eras only by the standards of today. It is ignorance at its best!

As a sidebar to the Civil War and race issue, you or others may be familiar with a book by Harry Turtledove, called "The Guns of the South". At first glance it appears to be a scifi/fantasy novel. Midway through the Civil War South African racists steal a time machine and use it to arm the South with AK-47s!

This might seem hokey and simplistic to some but actually it is merely a literary pretense to make a damn fine book on the actual history of the Civil War and the social values of the peoples involved! Turtledove is an american History professor. He uses characters in his book to bring home a clearer picture of how people on both sides of the war likely thought and reveals many things that are rarely mentioned today.

For instance, many southerners, including Robert E Lee, were abolitionists! The whole issue of freedom for the black man was not the main reason for the war. Rather, it was over an individual state having the right to choose or being subservient to Washington, DC. Although Lee himself did not agree with slavery he did agree more with state rights and in fact, very nearly accepted a military command for the North, turning it down at the last minute to follow his conscience south.

Even southern bigotry had its nuances. A Southerner might own slaves but hold no respect for his neighbour if his neighbour treated his slaves cruelly. There were limits based on simple human decency and Southerners were no more united all on one side of the fence than anyone in the North!

Obviously, the AK47s were more than enough to turn the tide for the South and allow them to win the war and stave off Northern rule but before the book can end the South is forced to confront the issue of slavery and make changes.

The book is way deeper than the average scifi novel and certainly serves as an excellent historical primer on the REAL issues and social values of Civil War times! Even if you don't care for fantasy but appreciate the history this book is a must read! Turtledove knows his military and political history cold and his extrapolations of the way things changed after the supply of better rifles than the North are both intelligent and sensible. He seems to fully understand how people of the time actually thought, showing us both the differences and similarities with people today.

If Army Guy hasn't yet read this book, he would no doubt be delighted at the realistic depiction of the life of the Southern infantryman!

Well worth the money!

Edited by Wild Bill
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Even southern bigotry had its nuances. A Southerner might own slaves but hold no respect for his neighbour if his neighbour treated his slaves cruelly. There were limits based on simple human decency and Southerners were no more united all on one side of the fence than anyone in the North!

Obviously, the AK47s were more than enough to turn the tide for the South and allow them to win the war and stave off Northern rule but before the book can end the South is forced to confront the issue of slavery and make changes.

seeing how many people still hate Obama because he's part black and that blacks didn't get full democratic rights in the US until the 1970's I doubt the southern states would have made any changes in regards to slavery had they won the war...
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seeing how many people still hate Obama because he's part black and that blacks didn't get full democratic rights in the US until the 1970's I doubt the southern states would have made any changes in regards to slavery had they won the war...

Not only is this patently false, it doesn't even make any sense.

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seeing how many people still hate Obama because he's part black and that blacks didn't get full democratic rights in the US until the 1970's I doubt the southern states would have made any changes in regards to slavery had they won the war...

I assume you can give us a cite or two that will show how the percentage of such people is high enough to make your premise true...

Just because a few folks can make a big show doesn't mean they are anywhere near a political majority.

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Absolutely right, TB! I too get frustrated with people who look at people in other eras only by the standards of today. It is ignorance at its best!

There is a utility in looking back and evaluating past events with a modern perspective, of course. For instance, a good question along those lines might be, 'did we learn anything?'

The problem with trying to gain a foothold on understanding the contemporary thought of past times, is what do you based it on or what sort of construct do you use to frame your references? I believe you will eventually succumb to the same selectiveness that has plagued historical narratives since folks decided the past was simply more than a ledger or chronicle. And that means your selections of important events or ideas will be based on your particular and current beliefs, politics, ideology and so on. That is, your 'standards of today' will inform your 'writing about people in other eras.' (or even what you select to read)

Case in point:

As a sidebar to the Civil War and race issue, you or others may be familiar with a book by Harry Turtledove, called "The Guns of the South" ...

He seems to fully understand how people of the time actually thought, showing us both the differences and similarities with people today.

And a couple of years ago I would have completely disagreed with you. However, Hayden White makes a pretty good case for historical fiction as a way of investigating historical ideas and events unencumumbered by the political requirement to express the modern accepted ethic used for selecting 'important' historical events. Buyer beware of course, but even if historical fiction gets people imagining what it must have been like, that has some value towards gaining some frame of reference for historical views and using those ideas to see what is presently going on.

If Army Guy hasn't yet read this book, he would no doubt be delighted at the realistic depiction of the life of the Southern infantryman!

Well worth the money!

I have stacks of books on the Civil War and by far the Shelby Foote trilogy is way out in front of all of them, no contest. Not only an engaging narrative about the lives and times of the participants, the battles and larger outcomes, but a compelling story of a familiar subject that builds to the supreme drama of an inevitable end. Of all the Civil War books I have, Foote's are the ones that comes closest to expressing the idea of 'brother against brother.'

Also well worth the money.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm late to the thread, but here's my 2 cents anyway...

I loved Gone With the Wind, the book and the movie (although I have always been bitter that I'm Melanie and not Scarlet). There's been some really good discussion about the historical context of the movie here, and the need to see a society as it was, rather than as we wish it had been, so I'll leave it at that.

The movie I've always found long, boring, and highly overrated is The English Patient. How anyone ever sat through that movie without falling asleep is beyond me, and yet it won an Oscar.

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