The Message Is…Don’t Leave A Message

John Kass is the designated tough guy columnist over at the Tribune, the guy who tries to act all salt of the earth while doing a bad Royko impression. Today for his column he uses his hard-working father as a tool against Hollywood “message movies,” as he calls them. See his father was a tough guy too, who lived through wars and suffering in Europe, and he never had any time for movies that attempted to recreate that war and suffering, you know, “message movies” that depicted these struggles all too unrealistically.

Kass was a liberal back then, he says, and he would watch and enjoy those movies, because he was, of course, a liberal, and that’s what liberals do. But his dad, he knew what the real thing looked like and smelled like, and those Hollywood directors couldn’t possibly understand that. Why can’t they just entertain instead of shoving all these messages in our face?

Are you getting Kass’ message yet? His father was right, of course, and as a silly liberal student he didn’t know any better. But you can be sure he does now. Because Hollywood keeps making those “message movies” and they all seem to be up for Oscars this year, and well, he’s tired of being lectured just his dad was.

Munich, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Brokeback Mountain… So much politics and gayness he can barely stand it! Why can’t they just stick to entertainment? You know, comedies, like The Dukes of Hazzard and Deuce Bigalo? They sure don’t carry messages, that’s for sure.

I had to write a quick note to Kass. It went like this:

OK, we get it: you’ve become your dad. And now you like shitty movies that have no meaning. Sucks for you.

3 Comments so far

  1. Ben2 (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

    I am in no way agreeing with either side here, but Hollywood’s numbers are tanking in theaters because the Oscars are nothing more than a bunch of people giving themselves awards.

    Combine that with how out of touch their themes are with America and the awards being given to “good” movies and not the ones everyone sees, and you see a bleak picture.

  2. nikkos (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

    Which movies do you think deserved Oscar nods, Ben2, that did not receive them?

  3. Danny Doom (unregistered) on February 3rd, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    it sounds like you agree with the Kass family, that the gay and political-themed movies of this year are too strong of messages and are out of touch.

    i think that this is a conservative line that has been pushed this year, the “Hollywood is failing because it is out of touch” theme. i think it is complete bullshit and simply reflects frightened people who don’t like the success of movies like Brokeback Mountain.

    Hollywood has always given itself awards, every year, that is what the Acamedy Awards are, along with the hundreds of other ceremonies. Nothing new.

    In 1970 an X-rated film (Midnight Cowboy) won best picture, in 1979 it was The Deer Hunter, and 1987 it was Platoon, both anti-war movies. Schindler’s List won. Million Dollar Baby won last year. These are all heavy message movies. Nothing has changed. It just seems to be a conservative talking point of late.

    Roger Ebert answered this question not too long ago:

    Q. If this was such a great year for movies, why are box-office receipts so far down from last year, even though admission prices are at an all-time high? Do you feel that there is such a growing disconnect between Hollywood and America that Hollywood had better wake up or face serious consequences?

    Cal Ford, Corsicana, Texas

    A: No, I don’t, because the “box-office slump” is an urban myth that has been tiresomely created by news media recycling one another. By mid-December, according to the Hollywood Reporter, receipts were down between 4 percent and 5 percent from 2004, a record year when the totals were boosted by Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” which grossed $370 million. Many of those tickets were sold to people who rarely go to the movies. 2005 will eventually be the second or third best year in box-office history. Industry analyst David Poland at has been consistently right about this non-story.

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