A slew of anti war and other left wing political films, such as Lions for Lambs, have tanked at the box office. Indeed a film by Brian De Palma, Redacted, which depicts American soldiers as crazed rapists has become the biggest movie bomb in history.
Apparently we’re due for more of the same in 2008, with Hollywood performing that definition of insanity in trying the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. Such gems as Stop Lost, about a soldier refusing to return to duty in Iraq, are due to appear and likely quickly disappear from the big screen.
Is the reason these films are failing the fact that movie goers are tired of Iraq? Or perhaps they don’t like political films in general. I should like to do an experiment and propose green lighting a series of political films that do not come from the extreme left. Here are some ideas:
Michael Moore – The inside story of a documentary film maker who, though the use of clever editing and other duplicitous methods creates a series of critically acclaimed political films of questionable accuracy. It would be viewed as a satire, but would in fact be based on a true story.
The Copperhead Caucus – The story of how a group of Senators and Congressmen attempted and failed to prevent victory in Iraq. I see Sean Penn as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Susan Sarandon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Also based on a true story. The title is a reference to a group of Civil War era politicians and activists in the Union who demanded a negotiated peace with the Confederacy.
Haditha – How a group of Marines were falsely accused of participating in a massacre in a battle in Iraq, but were eventually cleared. Again, based on a true story (See the pattern emerging?)
Petraeus – A biop of the General whose strategy looks to bring about victory in Iraq, a big budget epic. The film will focus on the campaign in Iraq and the sniping the General took from politicians at home. Rebecca de Mornay has a cameo as Hillary Clinton.
The Latter Day President – (This could become a true story if Romney becomes President.) About how a Mormon becomes President of the United States despite efforts by his political opponents to smear and besmirch his faith.
Great Gipper’s Ghost – A semi comedy about how the ghost of Reagan returns to give advice to a young, aspiring politician. Lots of wry commentary on contemporary politics from the great man himself. A possible twist: the politician’s liberal opponent finds out and tries to have him declared insane.
Yes Mr. President – Based on the British TV series Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. About how an idealistic American President and his constant battles with not only a hostile Congress but the entrenched federal bureaucracy.
Strangled in the Cradle – How a Cindy Sheehan type character finds herself in Midland, Texas in the late 1940s and throttles the young George W. Bush in the cradle (based on a true fantasy expressed by the real Cindy Sheehan.) She returns to the present to find things much different and far worse than she expected.
These sorts of films have very little chance of being made. But if you are a studio head, producer, director, or famous actor reading this and are in the mood for something really cutting edge, I can be reached through A/C. Let’s do lunch. Then let’s make movie magic.