Pop culture can often leave conservatives and right-of-center folks behind. We may love movies — but they don’t always love us back. Just take a look at Hollywood’s output. The vast majority of it plays to the Left.
To make matters worse are the comments and public outbursts from Hollywood’s biggest stars. Especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, these people typically have nothing positive to say about red states or anyone who doesn’t vote with them or agree with them.
Still, it’s certainly not a contradiction to be a conservative and a pop culture lover.
Movies influence our nation’s culture perhaps more than anything else. Clint Eastwood’s grimace on the big screen has influenced generations of men, while John Wayne’s backbone in the face of danger turned his name into an adjective.
Movies can inspire, thrill, and show us different walks of life — along with a multitude of other things any side of the political aisle can enjoy.
However, since that right-leaning or conservative movie lover in our lives may be a bit harder to shop for this holiday season, here are some gift ideas to consider.
‘Rocky’: The 40th Anniversary Collection
What patriotic American doesn’t love Rocky Balboa? He encapsulated the American dream as an underdog fighting for a dream in the 1976 original, then went on to fight Russian boxer Ivan Drago during the Cold War. He quickly became the representative of American values and hard work. He’s still kicking, too, training a younger generation in last year’s “Creed,” which earned Sylvester Stallone an Academy Award nomination. This year is the original film’s 40th birthday, and it’s being celebrated with a new set that collects all seven films — perfect for some holiday binge watching.
‘Mission’ by Robert Matzen
It’s not a movie, but this book is a gift any lover of old Hollywood will enjoy. ‘Mission’ recounts actor Jimmy Stewart’s courageous military service and how it influenced his Hollywood comeback in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” With the Christmas classic celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, this is a great companion story to the movie — and also a reminder of the grit that Hollywood’s leading men were once made of. Author Matzen told LifeZette in an interview that his research came from talking with people who had served with Stewart. The book reveals how Stewart had to “recreate his career on the fly” in the form of “It’s a Wonderful Life” after returning to Hollywood from his time in the military. The book will give viewers a new appreciation for the man and the film.
Hillary Clinton may be a fading memory, but that doesn’t mean her actions should be. Arguably the worst of those was her handling of the events in Benghazi in 2012. Director Michael Bay displayed the heroics of the veterans that put their lives on the line, despite little to no support from Washington. The 2016 release is a testament to our men and women in uniform — as well as a silent indictment of a Washington that finds itself and its thinking too often separated from the front lines.
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Any movie lover worth their salt knows the name Joe Eszterhas. He’s the highest paid screenwriter to make his way through Hollywood. With films like “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls” in his filmography, his experience as a writer in the trenches of Hollywood is arguably unmatched. Over the last few years, Eszterhas has recounted his days in Hollywood in books like “Hollywood Animal.” He’s also publicly gone through a conversion to Christianity, which he told of in “Crossbearer.” Still as full of vinegar as ever, Eszterhas released a new website this year in which he shares his sharp writings on everything from politics to Hollywood.
As a bonus, he’s also been releasing unproduced screenplays. So this is a perfect gift for any conservative Hollywood lover looking for a sharp take on the filmmaking system and Tinseltown tidbits from a master storyteller. In an interview with LifeZette, Eszterhas echoed statements from other Hollywood conservatives about a leftist bent in the town. The Trump supporter, however, predicted that a victory by the real estate mogul would prove good for balancing Hollywood and the culture. “I think if Trump wins, you have a town that’s essentially filled with cowardice, and some people will be ready to come out into the open … It might make things a little more balanced,” he said before the election.
At 86 years old, Clint Eastwood has not lost a step. After having the biggest, and perhaps most controversial, hit of his career with 2014’s “American Sniper,” the Man with No Name set his sights on another real-life hero — Captain Chesley Sullenberger. “Sully,” starring a better-than-ever Tom Hanks, told the story of the 2009 Hudson River emergency plane landing by Sullenberger that captured the nation’s attention.
In the face of personality-devoid blockbusters and Oscar-bait movies with aggressive social agendas, “Sully” is a thrilling film that delves into what it means to be a hero. It’s an artistically sound ‘thank you’ to first responders, New York City, and those who choose to put their lives on the line to save others. This awards contender is being released just in time for Christmas on home video on Dec. 20.
‘There Goes My Social Life’ by Stacey Dash
It’s tough being a conservative in Hollywood, as any right-leaning movie lover knows. A prime example is “Clueless” star Stacey Dash. In “There Goes My Social Life,” Dash tells of her career in Hollywood and how her recently outspoken conservative leanings have negatively affected her chances at jobs. It’s an insightful look at the bias of Hollywood and one actress’ attempts to buck the norm.
We all love Charlton Heston. From “The Ten Commandments” to “Ben-Hur,” nobody commanded a screen quite like the late actor. The new “Ben-Hur” took a big chance by remaking one of Heston’s essential films. While it didn’t make too much of a splash at the box office in a disappointing summer, it won some positive reviews from conservative critics.
It’s also from producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, a faithful producing couple that played up the aspect of the story involving Jesus Christ. Hitting home video on Dec. 13, “Ben-Hur” is a movie that likely deserves a second chance with conservative movie lovers. It’s the rare big-budget, faith-friendly picture targeted to a right-leaning audience. You don’t see that every day.