The Sunday Paper (Style Section)


Brian De Palma.jpgOne of the lead stories in's Entertainment channel at the moment is titled "Why Anti-war Movies Bomb." Here's a snippet:

Americans have little interest in being told by the likes of director Brian DePalma how terrible their sons and daughters are while they are still dying in foreign lands. So people are staying away from these movies in droves.

How bad is the bloodshed at the box office?

DePalma's "Redacted," a film about American soldiers who rape an Iraqi girl and murder her family, opened Nov. 16. Through Nov. 25 it had pulled in just $44,651 in domestic ticket sales, according to the Web site

"In the Valley of Elah," about an Army cover-up of a soldier's death, has made $6.7 million in domestic ticket sales since opening Sept. 14. Robert Redford's "Lions for Lambs," about political machinations over the military campaign in Afghanistan, has made $14 million domestically since opening Nov. 9.

In contrast, the year's blockbuster, "Spiderman 3," pulled in $151 million in its opening weekend alone. More-adult fare such as the teacher drama "Freedom Writers" made $36.6 million, while the romantic comedy "No Reservations" made $43.1 million


So is Hollywood guilty of misreading the mandate? Or are these just bad movies?

Whatever the reason, I must admit I love it when the people show the entertainment machine how the game is played. You can just imagine the headscratching and gnashing of teeth going on among those who greenlighted these dogs.

The article ends with a thought that is dead-on:

No one is arguing that Hollywood must make pro-war propaganda films. But a few stories of heroism and courage to balance the dark message hammered relentlessly in the movies made to date would be nice.
It would be more than nice. It would be real . . . not Hollywood's wheelhouse, of course.

Read the entire article here.

(Photo: Director Brian De Palma, courtesy

-- Ward

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