Central Snark

Go Ahead, Make My Day by mattresspolice
Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 9:34am
Filed under: Pop! goes the Diesel

dieselAs you could probably guess from my post last week on movies with gay presidential subtexts, I don’t feel much of an obligation to maintain a semblance of accuracy in my writing. Of course, you’d know that if you’d read this, or this or pretty much anything else I’ve written either. One bit of truth did actually work its way into that post though: I have a serious man-crush on Harrison Ford.

make his dayHarrison Ford is one of an increasingly rare breed in Hollywood these days: the gruff, tough and taciturn man of few words. In this category I place Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Steve McQueen and of course John Wayne. If you substitute testosterone for thespian ability, you could also lump the likes of Stallone and Schwarzeneggar in with them.

These gentlemen have something else in common: they are all over 50. Most of them by quite a bit. Some of them have aged to the point where they are past caring about wrinkles and liver spots. Way past.

hunka hunka burning jonesSo who is the John Wayne of today? For that matter, who is the new Harrison Ford or the Arnold Schwarzeneggar? Today we’ve got waifish boy-men like Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Leonardo diCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Elijah Wood. Tom Cruise? Please. Tom Hanks? Swell guy, great actor, and about as intimidating as a dust bunny.

George Clooney is manly enough, I suppose, but more in the Cary Grant mold. Denzel Washington is so intense and riveting that you hardly notice he’s made the same movie six times now. But he’s in a class pretty much by himself.

russell croweSo a lot of hopes are pinned on Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe at this point. I’m not sure they can live up to my expectations, but they’re doing ok so far. Although I’d appreciate a little more Gladiator and X-Men and a little less A Good Year and Kate & Leopold.

I noticed that most of the men on my tough-guy list also share another trait: they’re politically conservative, at least by Hollywood standards. And the waifs, of course, are liberal. So maybe what we need is some kind of internship program for young conservative actors. I’ll let someone else work out the details, but I’m thinking some kind of committee that will interview actors and put them on one of two lists, depending on their political persuasion. Maybe color-code it, for clarity.

Actually, somebody is already sort of trying to do this. One of my favorite bloggers, a guy by the name of Wolfe (we conservatives love to pick tough sounding nicknames for ourselves) recently blogged about a site that classifies movies as “liberal” or “conservative” based on the political leanings of the cast.

We at CelebPolitics.com have cataloged actors’ political statements and campaign contributions. Based upon this data, we have created a system that rates movies on a “Conservative Friendly” scale based upon the movies’ actors. We tell you whether to see the movie at theaters, wait for it to come to video, or never see it at all!

I’ve scrutinized this site pretty closely and I’ll be damned if I can tell if they’re kidding. Either way, it’s pretty funny.

The movie rankings are beyond ridiculous. Dave is the #2 most conservative movie? Dave was, in addition to being insipid and dull, a typical bit of liberal fluff. Miami Rhapsody (at #18) is definitely left-leaning too (it reminded me a lot of a Woody Allen film. And apparently as a good conservative I should be burning copies of The Princess Bride. Half of the conservative movies are Stallone or Schwarzennegger flicks. Similarly, the liberal list seems to be mostly Michael Douglas’ resume.

woody allen in BananasThe clincher though is Bananas, a classic Woody Allen parody of U.S. policy in Latin America that ranks as the #84 most conservative movie of all time. You may recall this as the movie where the CIA has people fighting on both sides of the conflict because they don’t want to “take any chances,” and J. Edgar Hoover is depicted as a large black woman in a dress. Why is it conservative? Because Sylvester Stallone, who was completely unknown at the time, appears very briefly in a non-speaking part as a subway thug.hugh jackman

Personally, I have a hard enough time finding movies that don’t suck without adopting additional, completely arbitrary criteria in my film selection. Although if Hugh Jackman doesn’t stop making sissy movies, I may have to boycott him.



20 Comments so far
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forgive me, Diesel, for doing another totally crappy job “enhancing” your fabulous post with these decidedly unclever/unimaginative pictures. on the other hand, i’m guessing more than a few of our readers (female *and* male) will appreciate the eye-candy, along with this post!

couldn’t agree with you MORE on your assessment of George Clooney as a Cary Grant type — that was right on the money. as for Hugh Jackman? all i can say is this: how much macho can you expect from a song and dance man? no offense, but really, have you seen any of his Broadway stuff? don’t get your hopes up, dude, i see more “sissy” films in his future (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and i say it’s probably time for you to move on. Matthew McConaughy might be someone to keep your eye on… tho’ i don’t think he qualifies as a “conservative”, so on second thought, never mind. xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy

‘Morning, Diesel. I think you and I agree that, when it comes to casting, its time for Hollywood to take some risks and blaze a new trail:

Ladies and gentlement, I give you the next Incredible Hulk: Dakota Fanning.

Comment by Al

And, for my money, the Number One conservative motion picture of all time:

Tank Girl (1995)

It took that film to once and forever erase from my mind the ridiculous image of Michael Dukakis in a tank.

Comment by Al

Al: i’m laughing, because the same thing occurred to me — tomorrow’s “super/macho heroes” are today’s Dakota Fannings. i’m tellin’ ya, that screaming she did in War of the Worlds definitely qualifies her as a contender for a role as some annoyingly noisy-yet-gifted crime fighter… xox

Comment by snuppy

Way to go, “Snuppy, CSA.” Great casting idea!

She could play “The Banshee.” Oooo, my blood’s curdling already…

Comment by Al

Al: i see her character described something like this: Pert, yet powerful. The Banshee screams and faces melt. hey, why not? (come to think of it, this should be a character in NBC’s show, “Heroes” — i’d rank “Banshee” right up there with “woman who hears really well”, wouldn’t you?) xox

Comment by snuppy

I swear, Orlando Bloom grew that beard for Pirates of the Caribbean just to show he could. Kinda.

And thanks for pointing out, Diesel, that Hollywood today is one large, loud, expensive man card violation.

Snuppy? contender for a role as some annoyingly noisy-yet-gifted crime fighter… Y’mean like Kim Possible? Or Totally Spies?!? 😉

Comment by oceallaigh

Oh Diesel, you are missing the major contender,
though more in the muscles than acting chops school,
Vin Diesel.
Then, if you are going to count Hugh Jackman you should also consider Jason Statham.
But really, all the best hardasses in Hollywood these days are girls.

Comment by logo™

Snuppy – You did a fine job of enhancing. Maybe if I didn’t wait until 8:30pm on Monday to start these posts, I’d have time to do it myself.

As for the Hulk, my money is still on Al Gore.

Oceallaigh – “one large, loud, expensive man card violation” pretty much sums it up.

Logo – I deliberately left Vin Diesel off to see if anybody would notice (and btw, I came up with my moniker before anybody knew who Vin Diesel was). Personally, he doesn’t do much for me. XXX was just godawful. I couldn’t even watch the whole thing.

But you are right about Jason Statham. How could I forget him? He may in fact be the #1 contender. And actually Daniel Craig and Clive Owen are in the running too. Which brings me back to my contention that the U.S. is losing its dominance in action movies. Now if we start importing action movie heroes from France, then we’re really in trouble.

Comment by Diesel

the only reason i didn’t mention Jason Statham was because i figure LBP will swoop in later and do so, herself! but of course he’s a contender. and, i hate to break it to ya, but Matt Damon was pretty awesome in the Bourne Identity (1 & 2) — he was one tough dude, over and over and over…….. and over….

and over………

i’m glad you didn’t mind the “enhancements”, i just love the ones you do, because you also come up with such terrific captions — ’tis a gift you have, i tell ya, a GIFT! as for that green-faced Al Gore? yeah… he looks good in green, i’ll give you that. xox

Comment by snuppy

I think there is hope yet for some of these ‘waif-like’ younger men – think Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a shame he’s known as ‘that hunk in Titanic.’ The boy has some serious skillz.

Comment by Robin

I coulda loved George Clooney- if he would just shut his pie hole. Really when these actors spout off about politics it just gets on my last nerve -Sean Penn anyone?
Even though he is not a major motion picture star, I love Vincent D’Onofrio! Best of all, I have no idea what his political leanings are and I don’t want to know. He stays off the radar and he is a total hunka-hunka burnin’love.
Skinny waifmen– no thanks.

Comment by Claire

Robert Mitchem – now there was a badass.

Comment by LAMPSHA

Claire, I’m laughing on the “shut your pie hole” comment – it does get tired, doesn’t it?

Comment by LAMPSHA

Snuppy – I’m sorry, but Matt Damon isn’t fit to shine Clint Eastwood’s boots.

Robin – Don’t get me wrong; some of them are good actors, but they’re always going to be boyish.

Claire – I’m with you on George Clooney and Vincent D’Onofrio. V.D. is a little too quirky to be the strong, silent type, but he’s fascinating to watch.

Lampsha – Robert Mitchum is another great example. Who’s today’s Robert Mitchum? Vin Diesel?

Comment by Diesel

i didn’t say i thought Matt Damon could shine anyone’s shoes, just that he was pretty darn good as a tough guy in the Bourne Identities. oh, and The Departed — cuz, damn, he was good (reallyreally good)

i also adore Will Smith, and think he’s mighty fine in “action” films, and, i’m fascinated by Vincent D’Onofrio (seriously, he was amazing as the giant bug in the “Edgar suit” in MIB, and he’s the “smartest man on TV” as Bobby Goren, on L&O: CI)

as for anyone coming close to Robert Mitchum? not gonna happen. he was too cool for school, as were many of his contemporaries. ’twas a generation of “tough guys” unto itself, right? sigh.

oh, and i may not have the “popular” view on this subject, but, um, i happen to agree with most of George Clooney’s views, and think he’s helped shed light on some extremely important subjects, especially of late (this plight of the people in Darfur, for one…) he’s a very smart man, and i don’t think his views should be discounted just because he’s pretty. xox

Comment by snuppy

Jason Statham – cool looks, cool moves. Not much charisma. The Transporter could be his magnum opus.
Hugh Jackman – I think most guys have their reservations about saying Hugh is manly.
Vin Diesel – Oh please. How can one be manly and so narcissistic at the same time? Coincidentally, I also turned off XXX partway through.
Russell Crowe – Master and Commander, eh? Nice try.
Michael Dukakis in a tank – LOL. Good times.

I’m thinking the whole “girls who kick ass” movement in cinema and TV has passed its peak. The Charlie’s Angels movies pretty much killed it. Even so, I have all kinds of respect for Michelle Yeoh – who’s currently working on a movie with Vin Diesel. *sigh*

Comment by Glacial Spain

Will Smith is the Jimmy Stewart of this generation.

Comment by Robin

Okay, Diesel, I told you I didn’t comment on this post, but now I am…because nobody mentioned Christian Bale! C’mon, people.

Comment by Joel

Ok…that is true…weakened manhood all over teh screens in Hollywood and try as I might…I can´t pick out a decent, manly and inarticulate brute we so love.

Comment by Penguin

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