If Hollywood Were Really Brave

The Oscar night of 2006 brought us the unedifying spectacle of
George Clooney (whom I must say I truly admire when he shuts his yap
and acts) celebrating Hollywood’s bravery for being willing
to make movies like Brokeback Mountain and Good Night
and Good Luck
.

Conservative commentators have already pointed out
how hollow and laughable it is to suppose that left-wing political
correctness is in any way ‘brave’ in today’s Hollywood, so I won’t
re-plow that ground. Instead, I’ll propose eight movies I think
Hollywood would make if it were really brave.

############################################################

The Crescent’s Edge

This thinly fictionalized version of Salman Rushdie’s life on the
run stars Ben Kingsley as a beleaguered leftist intellectual forced to
question his own multiculturalist assumptions as he evades fanatical
mujahedeen who seek to kill him for having defamed the Prophet.

A Nightmare South of Market

Ray Liotta stars as an idealistic young doctor determined to halt
the spread of AIDS who crusades against the promiscuity and
needle-drug abuse endemic in San Francisco’s gay bathhouse scene.
Don’t miss Gary Oldman’s cameo as a homosexual Scoutmaster.

The Thin Green Line

Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson star in a gritty war film celebrating
U.S. special forces in Afghanistan, the men who took down the barbaric
Taliban regime. Audiences at Cannes and Sundance were deeply shocked
by its sympathetic portrayal of the modern American military.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

This faithful adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s 1966 SF classic,
starring Nicholas Cage as Manuel Garcia O’Kelly Davis and Mira Sorvino
as Wyoming Knott, challenges viewers to imagine a libertarian future.
Gripping SFX of meteoroid bombardment contrast with searching questions
about the legitimacy of government as the Lunar nation struggles to be
born. (Rumor has it that Paul Verhoeven was at one point forcibly
ejected from the set of this film.)

Never Again

In this sprawling family epic, three generations of Israelis fight
to preserve the Middle East’s only democracy from implacable and
bloodthirsty enemies on every side. An ensemble cast of unknowns
struggles with war, terrorism, and tragedy in a film that unflinchingly
affirms Jewish identity and doesn’t fear to confront Nazi and
Pan-Arabist atrocities.

A Tree Grows In Harlem

Morgan Freeman and Halle Berry star as a father/daughter team of
neighborhood activists who decide blaming Whitey isn’t enough and
challenge ghetto blacks to take responsibility for solving their own
problems. Villains (and victims of this film’s wicked satirical edge) include
recognizable takes on Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan,
but the enemy the two must struggle hardest to defeat is the
government bureaucracy set up to ‘help’ their people.

Unintended Conseqences

Roy Scheider stars as a dedicated sport shooter who vows to seek
justice after his daughter is killed during a no-knock BATF/DEA raid
on their home. This searing expose of contemporary American
law-enforcement abuses takes on both the madness of the “War on Drugs”
and the random but brutal persecution of civilian gun owners.

The Venona Diaries

Eric Bana stars as an Iraq-veteran-turned-academic who discovers
that the shadowy networks of influence set up by the KGB during the
Cold War are not only still active on U.S. college campuses but
solidifying an alliance with Islamic terrorists. Heart-pounding
action ensues as Bana races to head off the act of mass murder that
will seal the Marxist/Islamist alliance in blood.

############################################################

When I say ‘brave’, I don’t mean ‘brave’ as in “it would lose
money”. Any of these films could easily be a huge hit with actual,
you know, audiences. No. I meant ‘brave’ as in “the
self-congratulating limousine-liberal elitists who brought us this
year’s Oscar nominees would be out for blood if any of these
films ever got made”. It would be a fearless filmmaker indeed who’d
court their wrath.

66 thoughts on “If Hollywood Were Really Brave

  1. I would eagerly await Never Again, Mistress, and The Thin Green Line if they were real and being made, and I would probably go see the other five as well. Which is a feat in and of itself as I only saw six movies at the theater in all of 2005, and a whopping zero in 2004. I LOVE movies, but there aren’t a lot I want to get out and see. 2005 was the exception; 2004 was the rule. So far in 06? Nothing. (Then again, it was May when Hitchhiker’s forced me to break my streak of not going to the movies…)

  2. > It would be a fearless filmmaker indeed who’d court their wrath.
    No, it’ll just be some people with modern technology engaging in sheer fun.
    How many times since Gutenberg has an elite fought to maintain a monopoly in the face of technology?

  3. Aw… They’re perpetually in the process of making The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. It’ll be released shortly after Ender’s Game and Starcraft 2. Hell they’ve been working on it so long that I got fed up and wrote an adaptation way back in highschool.

    An true version would be fun as hell, but I could stand to see the hokey tech/AI upgraded and Heinlein’s classic dirty-old man influence played down a wee bit. Jesus Christ man, we know you were horny and wee bit sexist, you didn’t have to rant about it in every frikkin’ book!

    Probably wouldn’t see the rest, as outright and conventional partisanism tends to ruin movies no matter what side it’s coming from (which is why Serenity/Firefly rocked and why Battlestar keeps veering into the stupid). But I might rent ‘em. Can’t say I wouldn’t enjoy watching Cory Maye’s relatives go on a crusade.

  4. >

    Not that they could destroy the United States any faster than the Cheney junta is. But could you point to some reporting on this? If it’s true, I’m a little hurt that they never sought to recruit me.

  5. >Probably wouldn’t see the rest, as outright and conventional partisanism tends to ruin movies no matter what side it’s coming from

    I agree with you, personally. But the point that Hollywood only objects to partisanship of a non-Left variety needed to be made.

  6. Excellent! I’d see all of these.

    Of course, the Heinlein book I always thought would make a good movie is The Door Into Summer — a simple thriller plot, which I’m sure could be easily screwed up by modern Hollywod with some lecture about the horrors of time travel.

  7. Perhaps we can get Parker & Stone to do them with puppets? _Team America_ is a hell of a lot braver than anything else Hollywood’s done in the last couple decades.

  8. The brave one, of course, was Jon Stewart, with his “I don’t have a joke here” joke. I still think most of the people in the room didn’t know what hit them.

    I don’t know what gauntlet a screenplay must run to be green-lit. But I can imagine that there are people whose sensibilities cannot be offended. So I imagine the only way to make those movies is to finance them privately. Like Passion of the Christ.

    This is where the libertarian is once again asked where his precious market forces are. Oh yeah, they’re all in Big Momma’s House 2.

    Actually, it seems that Battlestar Galactica has turned very anti-left, particularly this season, and particularly next week’s episode about the election. Is anyone else seeing it too, or am I out “bicycling”???

  9. I dont want to see hollywould’s take on “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, thanks. I’d love to see the story told on film, though.

  10. Darn it! Chris Smith beat me to the punch. My first thought on reading this post was that with cheaper video cameras and editing equipment, courting the wrath of the Hollywood bigshots would not necessarily doom an aspiring film maker’s career.

    One of the things that gives me hope for my civilization is the dynamism our system unleashes. The Islamicists may excel in murder, but no culture has ever matched ours in creativity.

  11. The movie I’ve been nurturing in the more Estonian corners of my soul is some kind of Gulag movie, to complement all of the Holocaust films that have been made. This would help get out the following points:

    1) Nazism isn’t a unique evil, neither in character nor in scale.
    2) Fascism and Communism are two sides of the same coin, and both are closer to being “left” than “right”.
    3) Totalitarianism is more the result of systemic, structural flaws than of the evil designs of some devil figure.

    I hope such a film might also make a tiny dent in the current shamefully massive ignorance about the Soviet Union and its grim history. In fact, I already have the perfect book adaptation in mind: Rawicz’s “The Long Walk”, about Polish prisoners who escaped from a Siberian camp in 1940 and walked to India, through the Gobi desert and over the Himalayas. It’s got everything: action, tragedy, black comedy, scenery, even a girl. It’s probably too perfect to happen, though.

    W. Gillis: Thanks for mentioning Serenity. That beautiful, intelligent movie, and the fact that it got made, should give us at least some hope.

  12. Yes, yes!! Rawicz’s “The Long Walk”! But you’d need three hours to do it justice.

    It also has science fiction: the encounter with the yeti.

  13. Now, that sounds like a few movies that’d get me off the couch and to the theatre again – If and only if they are Mistress is made in the spirit it was written. Not like Starship Troopers which was butchered into an “anti-Vietnam” type movie.

  14. well well. now esr has decided to go up against michael moore, countering sloth with fairies and dragons. (oh my!)

    let the games begin!

  15. Dammit, when will Hollywood make a movie that exposes Nazis, Arabs, gays, and black people as being the bad and irresponsible people they so obviously are? Stupid Hollywood.

  16. >Yes, yes!! Rawicz’s “The Long Walk”! But you’d need three hours to do it justice.

    Agreed. An excellent idea; I should have thought of it.

  17. Another good movie to include would be a “Tora, Tora, Tora” style documentably acurate portrayal from both sides of the Vietnam war including a true portrayal of the Tet Offensive including the massive despair and near collapse of the NVA and VC that was only turned around by the American media.

  18. No. I meant ‘brave’ as in “the self-congratulating limousine-liberal elitists who brought us this year’s Oscar nominees would be out for blood if any of these films ever got made”. It would be a fearless filmmaker indeed who’d court their wrath.

    How much bravery does it take? It’s all verbal attacks, and they presumably work as publicity. No one died for making _The Passion of the Christ_.

    If you’re talking about real courage, how about a biographical movie about Mohammed?

    The nervy project *I* like to see is a tv series set in a torture rehabilitation section of a hospital.

  19. “(Then again, it was May when Hitchhiker’s forced me to break my streak of not going to the movies…)”

    And did you regret it? I think so… :-)

  20. I think I’d rather like good movies instead of brave movies. It’d be a shame to degrade movies to mere weapons in the Kulturkampf – nevertheless, it had already happened on one side, but if the opposing sides would also take up arms, then in a few years we would have nothing else but ideological films. And that would be a loss.

    I think the recipe for good movies would be that the meaning of computer graphics should be to create scenes that boost and enchance the effect of acting, instead of replacing good acting and allowing actors to be shallow.

  21. /* … instead of replacing good acting and allowing actors to be shallow.
    */

    If only the bad acting and shallow actors didn’t pre-date the computer graphics :-).

    Like many other people on this board, I don’t go to movies unless I think they’re good. If there’s a chance that they *might* be good, I *might* rent them, but I won’t see them in a movie theater. Yes, I saw Phantom Menace in a movie theater. But it was so bad that I rented the other two (or saw them in the dollar theater).

    There are clearly enough of us that market forces are creating more movies that don’t preach left wing dogma and that instead either try to entertain, or try to say “well, non-liberals aren’t *that* bad.” When they’ve been made well, both kinds of movies have been blockbusters.

    As they say, Fox found a great market niche — half of the nation.

  22. The reality TV show I’d like to see:

    “Crashpad”. Locate a 3 room apartment in a ‘Hub’ city like Chicago. Mix in young “reserve” pilots and flight attendants on layover. Mount cameras everywhere. MTV meets the FAA.

  23. Hello – long time lurker, first time poster.

    Shenpen – film has been an ideological weapon since the beginning of the artform. “Birth of a Nation” and “Potemkin” are two titles that spring to mind. The old Goldwyn line “If you want to send a message, use Western Union” is a handy piece of often ignored advice. To quote Oscar winner Paul Haggis (“Crash”) quoting Brecht “Bertolt Brecht said that art is not a mirror to hold up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

    BTW – I believe Tim Minear of Firefly/Serenity fame is working on the latest draft of “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” I find that reassuring.

  24. Another one they’ll never have the guts to make is the one in which Islam is plainly shown to be antithetical to the existence of peace and cooperation in the world.

  25. How about a movie about a Palestinian who tries to convince his countrymen that suicide bombing is immoral? Call it “Mission Impossible”.

  26. Yup. And the good news is, Minear gets it. I’ve read an interview with him in which he acknowledges that one of the big problems with getting TMIAHM through the gauntlet to production is establishment-Hollywood types who will want to warp the libertarian thinking into some kind of Marxist screed.

    I’m also much reassured by learning that Minear was one of Joss Whedon’s major henchpeople on Firefly; he wrote, produced, or directed several episodes. A Firefly-like sensibility would fit TMIAHM’s narrative and Heinlein’s intentions extremely well.

    The coolest thing about the amazingly good Firefly movie was the anti-social-engineering message in the punchline. If TMIAHM is done in the same spirit, it will be done right.

  27. I’d pay serious legal tender to see a film about a filmaker trying to and eventually succeeding in selling any one of those film concepts to the H’wood big-moolah elite.

  28. My sister met Tim Minear a few weeks ago, and he sent her a copy of his Moon is a Harsh Mistress draft; I read it and thought it was pretty good. Don’t agree with all the choices, but most of the themes and major story beats made it through with only minor moviefication. And regarding the Marxist screed issue — there’s also the flipside, which is that even without any warping of the story, just having sympathetic characters walking around calling each other “Comrade” and “Gospodin” could lead to knee-jerk reactions from the right.

  29. >Speaking of movies, whatever happened to Nightmask?

    I wish I knew. Tamara went incommunicado on me last year after promising to show up for Penguicon and failing to appear. Could be she went off on a shoot somewhere. She’d been difficult to get a response out of before. Nice girl, but flaky. Very flaky. I wish her all the good luck in the world, but I’m not betting any money I’ll hear from her again.

  30. >How much bravery does it take? It’s all verbal attacks, and they presumably work as publicity.

    Hollywood is an incestuous place. Piss off somebody really powerful, and you are likely to find you’ll never work in this town again. Thing is, Clooney wasn’t even talking about a risk as big as putting your career on the line, so upping the ante to “movies that would wreck a Hollywood career” seemed enough.

    >If you’re talking about real courage, how about a biographical movie about Mohammed?

    Well, yeah. That’s the third level where the risk is real. I’d be especially impressed by a movie that didn’t edit out the detail that Mohammed’s fourth wife was supposedly ten years old at the time of their marriage.

  31. It takes more than cheap video cameras to make a high-quality movie. Anybody can get enough money together to make a movie, and this has always been true. The problem is, the movie you make could be Plan 9 From Outer Space.

    Which was financed by a Baptist church, oddly enough.

    The point is, getting the talent together is much, much harder than getting the money together. I know this because I have helped produce an independent film.

  32. You know, I always thought that Starship Troopers would have made a great Heinlein movie adaptation. God damn, I cam going to push Paul Verhoeven’s shit in with a sledgehammer if I ever meet him in person.

  33. >God damn, I cam going to push Paul Verhoeven’s shit in with a sledgehammer if I ever meet him in person.

    Not if I get to him first, Pete.

  34. The best example of an indie film gone bad is Manos: the Hands of Fate, which is arguably the worst film ever made. While there would be some groundbreaking indie films, Sturgeon’s Law will still hold.

  35. My point is that Hollywood isn’t a hegemony because cameras are expensive.

  36. >The best example of an indie film gone bad is Manos: the Hands of Fate, which is arguably the worst film ever made.

    Yes, that is the worst film ever made. I actually had a footnote to this effect in The Art of Unix Propgramming.

    Oh, you want to know why? Well, it had to do with the Plan 9 operating system.

  37. Starship Troopers did have Denise Richards in it though which makes it easier to watch. Admittedly she’s a terrible, terrible actress (except in Drop Dead Gorgeous where she seems to fit naturally in the role); that’s my elemental weakness against blue-eyed brunettes kicking in.

  38. Gorski is currently filming something called “Bloodmask”: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0331341/

    http://www.bloodmaskthemovie.com/

    What are the chances this is “Nightmask”, only with the esr character played by Ted Raimi?
    (no, wait, Ted Raimi plays “August” http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001646/)

    Here’s the full imdb entry for “bloodmask”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0496251/fullcredits

    From ESR (http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=175):
    The plot is a sort of space opera with horror elements about a multispecies galactic future in which vampirism is a scourge that affects every species. The part she had in mind was Klaaghu, an initially sinister-appearing alien who dies heroically bringing evidence to the anti-vampire resistance. After reading the script, I agreed that of the available roles, that one seemed like probably the best fit. It’s a nice juicy bit part; Klaaghu doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but he does get dialogue and a dramatic scene.

    From the script for Bloodmask (trivial to find on the movie website, above, page 14):
    BANG! His communicator goes flying as he turns and grabs by
    the throat a small, cloaked ALIEN.
    KLAAGHU’s face is hid by an alien rebreather. He is thrown
    against a post or wall by Murnau. In a moment, Murnau
    recognizes the lame creature, but he’s rather contemptuous of
    it.
    MURNAU
    Klaaghu.
    Klaaghu’s EYES open wide with fear. His breathing becomes
    erratic — he cannot reply because of his terror at Murnau.
    He fears Murnau as he believes in reincarnation but that
    Murnau’s ability to die and be reborn in the same body means
    that Murnau will know and recognize him when Klaaghu is
    reborn in a different body.
    MURNAU
    Why are you following me?
    Klaaghu chokes out a reply.
    KLAAGHU
    Honorable Colonel Murnau – I… I
    have something for you.

    [...]

    MURNAU
    (irritated)
    What is wrong with you?
    Klaaghu looks at Murnau almost pathetically. Klaaghu produces
    a SWORD for Murnau.
    KLAAGHU
    This is all I can give you to
    protect yourself. I hope it serves
    you better than it served me.
    Klaaghu opens up his CLOAK, revealing a great green
    luminescent STAIN of his blood.
    Klaaghu crumples to the ground, leaving Murnau standing
    alone, with the object in one hand, and the sword in the
    other.

    [...]

  39. the Marxist/Islamist

    On a side note, as far as my analysis goes, we are not talking mere fiction here. A few Indian columnists are already crying foul on China’s ties with their green comrades. Well, why don’t we add: “Maoists”?

  40. > I actually had a footnote to this effect in The Art of Unix Propgramming.

    Actually, I learned about Manos: the Hands of Fate from reading that very footnote. I have not seen the movie, but from reading several reviews, I understand why people label it “the worst film ever made.” Did you see the uncut film or the MST3K version? The military should use the uncut-film in torture-resistance training, because everything else will seem trivial by comparison.

  41. ESR, wan’t there a Muhammed the prophet biopic made back in the early 70’s? I wasn’t all that sentient back then but I seem to recall it starred Anthony Quinn and that it was closed down immediately due to threats and protests. Heh, shape of things to come.

  42. Please let Hollywood leave scifi classics alone. They don’t know how to make a decent Science Fiction movie from a book anymore. The last decent scifi adaptations were AC Clark’s Space Oddesy movies. And before that Soylent Green, The Forbin Project and Farenheit 451.

    Starship troopers bore only superficial resemblence to Heinlein’s work, Blade Runner (while entertaining) I found totally disconnected from “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and the list goes on. They can’t even do heroic fantasy right having totally mutilated RE Howard’s Conan and Kull books and lets not go near HP Lovecraft’s themes.

    The following also needs a brave director/producer:

    A Planet For Texans (aka Lone Star Planet)

    This screenplay adaptation of H. Beam Piper’s classic, starts Val Kilmer as the unflappable Steven Silk, an junior diplomat who is appointed as ambassador in the hope that he will be assassinated, thereby justifying the forcible invasion and conquest of the Planet. The crux of the story is the trial of the previous ambassador’s assassins — actually paid killers hired by an alien empire also planning invasion — under a legal system that considers the killing of a practicing politician to be justifiable homicide. Fem lead by Isabel Glasser. Former ambassador Hickock – Ben Kingsley, Natalenko – Maury Chaykin

  43. >A Planet For Texans (aka Lone Star Planet)

    Good one! Yes, I’d pay to watch the Hollywood elite’s reaction to a movie in which proposing an income tax is treated as an open-and-shut justification for shooting the proposer like a rabid dog. Just as it should be…

  44. A good scifi/libertarian short story that would make a good movie is A.E. Van Voght’s “The Weapon Shop.” It is an entertaining and compelling story about the importance of dissidence and the responsibilities of gun ownership, and the relationship of gun ownership to freedom. The story revolves around the appearance of an illegal Weapon Shop in the kingdom of Ishtar. The main character, who is initially a loyal supporter of the Empress and is mistrustful of the Weapon Shop, is wronged by government corruption, and his livelihood and life are ruined. When he goes to the Weapon Shop to buy a suicide weapon, the owners help him by setting right the injustices committed against him. His livelihood is restored; he learns several shocking truths about his family, and he becomes a proud dissident and gun-owner.

    I have not yet read the novels; I have only read the part of the story that is included in the anthology “Science Fiction : Classic Stories From The Golden Age of Science Fiction”. The Amazon page for the book is http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1578661064/sr=8-1/qid=1141872899/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5838843-2782416?%5Fencoding=UTF8

    The part of the story that I read was a complete story, and it is short enough that it could easily be adapted into a two-hour movie. While I think the story resolves too neatly, and I do not like how the Weapon Shop ‘magically’ solves the main character’s problems, the tone of the novel gives a rather accurate, at least to me, sense of the libertarian viewpoint.

  45. Sorry for double-posting, but I just thought of something to add.

    I am only referring to the short story “The Weapon Shop.” I am not referring to either of Voght’s two novels, The Weapon Shops of Isher or The Weapon Makers.

  46. Rumor has it that the El Nino that started in the spring of ’97 had its initial temperature rise within hours of the final editing cuts prior to post production of the Starship Troopers movie.

    The fact that Bob Heinlein was cremated and his ashes dispersed into the Pacific Ocean is merely a coincidence.

  47. I should like to see a big-screen adaptation of Snow Crash, with a soundtrack by m-flo, whose vocalist, Verbal, would make a perfect Sushi K.

    A Snow Crash movie is like every young movie-watching geek’s dream that will never come to be.

  48. Another lurker – turned – poster;

    / A Snow Crash movie is like every young movie-watching geek’s dream that will never come to be.

    ANYTHING by Neal Stephenson would be eagerly anticipated, spoken from this young, movie-watching geek’s perspective. Of course, the only proviso I’d have with that might be “…provided Stephenson did the screenplay.”

    Nice list, ESR. Esp. TMIAHM. Gives a geek shivers.

  49. Coming into the conversation a little late, via Robert Thompson’s Daynotes (http://www.ttgnet.com/thisweek.html) but I have to say I’d actaully get off my butt and go to six or seven of these. For that matter, The Thin Green Line might actually fly, given the political views of Willis and Gibbson. Anyonw know their agents?

  50. If TMIAHM was done right, it would be great. However, if Hollywood does ever make it, you will surely find out that the Loonies rebel because the government is not providing them with a wonderful set of social programs, completely missing the actual point of the first half of the book.

  51. Eric,

    Couldn’t help but notice you invoke Paul Verhoeven in the above. His “back-handed compliment disguised as an homage” to Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” (also known as “Magnolia”) admittedly showcased just how much of a jerk Tom Cruise is, but really blew compared to the much better “Short Cuts.”

    Also, Verhoeven’s directing ruined “Boogie Nights.”

    Which brings me to my point: most of the time I’ll reject seeing a movie if the director has illed me more than once in the past. Another idiot who springs to mind here is Ron Howard. He was fun in Happy Days, but as a director? Nope.

  52. > How about a movie about a Palestinian who tries to convince his countrymen that suicide bombing is immoral? Call it “Mission Impossible”.

    One of the films receiving top honors this year is _Paradise Now_, which does show that suicide bombing is immoral, but not in the unambiguous terms that you seem to want. The movie is about how one palestinian suicide bomber decides to abort the mission while the other commits the act. The person seeking to stop the bombing is the Palestinian woman working for peace, but she seeks to stop the bombing by being emotionally connected and reaching out to the suicide bomber as a human. It isn’t a simple cut and dried, “this is evil” prescription. It shows the helplessness that Palestinians feel and the anger at being powerless to fight back. It also makes the point that people who commit suicide bombing are real people with complex motivations and conflicting relationships. It stops you from being able to deamonize suicide bombers and makes you try to understand why they do what they do. The underlying subtext is that we can never be any hope for peace until we begin to see the other side as human. Unfortunately, that is not a message which most American audiences are willing to accept. They want more simplistic pap about righteous good decimating nefarious evil.

  53. I would go further. I would accuse Hollywood of abandoning the nation that gave it birth. In an hour of need, they cling to fanatical leftist ideals because of the sting of a lost election and the self-righteous mindset that fame seems to bring rather than exposing the threats to the country that allowed Hollywood the freedom it uses.

    Right now, movies like the Verona Diaries NEED TO BE MADE. Not because of some political stance, but because these operatives are the very enemies of free speech Hollywood must oppose if they intend on surviving.

  54. ANYTHING by Neal Stephenson would be eagerly anticipated, spoken from this young, movie-watching geek’s perspective. Of course, the only proviso I’d have with that might be “…provided Stephenson did the screenplay.”

    —-

    Assuming, of course, that Stephenson could ever be bothered to turn in a mere 180 page script…at ~250 words per page. The man writes the most gallingly overpadded books I’ve ever seen…and he has NO clue how to end a story.

  55. >The man writes the most gallingly overpadded books I’ve ever seen…and he has NO clue how to end a story.

    Haven’t read any Harry Turtledove lately, have you? He pads worse than Stephenson does, though not by much. Stephenson has no peer when it comes to weak endings, though :-).

  56. Let’s see a contempary version of Capra’s “Why We Fight”.

    Of course, I don’t expect a boys choir singing “Onward Christian Solders” again but the original had solid facts on its side and presented them accurately and convincingly.

  57. I’d like to see an adaptation of Michael Z. Williamson’s ‘Freehold’ (Incidently, probably the best bit of Libertarian SF to come out since L. Neil jumped the shark).

    And IIRC Bruce Willis is pushing an adaptation of Michael Yon’s writings as a movie. And he’s got the pull to do it right (And the will, Willis is a huge fan of the US military and an Iraq War supporter).

  58. >since L. Neil jumped the shark.

    When do you consider this to have happened? He’s always been too much of a strident tub-thumper for my taste — what changed recently?

  59. These would all be great movies. But they can’t be done in Hollywood not because they’re chicken, but because nobody there could even understand the plots you described. (Except for the parts that involve shooting guns. They like that stuff especially when it comes with poor gun handling by actors who protest gun ownership off the set.)

    Oh, and you forgot to insert gratuitous sex — the Hollywood types like that. Though, I suppose the screen writers will have a field day embellishing “A Nightmare South of Market” with sex.

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