Are films political? Do they fall into left-wing and right-wing camps? I would imagine that not all films have an agenda. Some films can be considered "great uniters," in that they bring together agreeing audiences from all over, films like the $200 million hits I Am Legend (264 screens) and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (177 screens) or a critical favorite like There Will Be Blood (339 screens) that has pleased nearly everyone who has seen it. Of course, There Will Be Blood is about a snaky, sinister, blustery oil baron willing to sacrifice his family, country and humanity for the allure of black gold, which may or may not have a little something to do with current events. (Not to mention that director Paul Thomas Anderson dropped the word "Oil" from the title of the source novel and replaced it with the word "Blood.")

In recent years it has been determined that film critics are a liberal bunch, educated, well-read men and women of letters, who can see and comprehend the human condition in films from different cultures all over the world. Or, they're sometimes known as pompous, ponderous, pretentious, conceited, snooty know-it-alls, lacking in good old-fashioned horse sense. "Why can't you just enjoy the movie," is a question very often asked of critics. Rambo (201 screens) is a fascinating case. It's impressively violent, but very grim and not much fun. Rambo debuted and reigned during the Reagan era (Rambo: First Blood Part II grossed three times the amount of the new film, even with 1985 ticket prices). Bringing him back in a decidedly different political atmosphere didn't seem to work, though the film was screened for the press and earned a few good reviews. It's now starting a downslide, and it's still shy of breaking even on its $50 million budget.

categories Movies, Columns, Cinematical