With “Non-Stop,” Hollywood doesn’t just jump the shark, it embraces it (BIG TIME SPOILER ALERT)

non_stop_poster-620x356Just yesterday, I pointed you to Roger L. Simon’s post arguing that conservatives are making a terrible mistake when they bail on the movie industry. Our intensely media-driven age, means that increasingly hard-left Hollywood is a superb propagandist that often provides the only information people get on a subject. The beauty of Hollywood propaganda (if you’re a Leftist) is that it’s so subtle. Hollywood doesn’t do clunky Soviet-era posters; instead, as Ben Smith ably demonstrated, it wraps core Leftist messages in rip-roaring good humor, gauzy tear-jerkers, or uplifting homilies. Polemics put people off; entertainment sucks them in.

We’ve gotten used to the Leftist tilt in entertainment over the years. We whine about it to each other (as I have here, here, here, and here), but that’s about all that we do. We accept it as not a necessary evil but an inevitable evil. That attitude encourages a certain passivity.

Sometimes, though, it’s worth making a loud noise, and that’s the case with Hollywood’s newest action flick, Non-Stop. The film has a high-profile star (Liam Neeson), lots of interesting cameos and co-stars, a big budget, and a clever plot about a well-disguised terrorist on a plane who is killing a new victim every twenty-minutes. (Thinking about it, for all it’s flash and newness, the plot is simply a re-hash of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.)

Superficially, it sounds like a fun movie for those who, like me, enjoy a well-produced, fast-paced thriller/whodunnit. Indeed, John Boot, writing at the conservative PJ Media, says that it’s a fun movie, and enjoys the way the ending is unexpected. (He also noticed the Agatha Christie parallel.) It’s that surprise ending, though, that has stirred outrage across the conservative blogosphere. You see, it’s not merely a surprise, it’s a “jump the shark” kind of surprise.

(For the uninitiated, the phrase “jump the shark” originated with the last season of Happy Days, when the show had gotten irrevocably stale. In an effort to jazz things up, they put the Fonz on water skies and had him jump over a blatantly mechanical shark. If a show has to stoop so low, it should already have been put out to pasture. Since then, the phrase is used not only to describe shows that should long-since have been shark chum, but also to describe plot turns that are too stupid to exist even in the magical entertainment universe.)

SPOILER ALERT. NON-STOP’S PLOT DENOUEMENT WILL BE REVEALED BELOW. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Judging by the movie’s review at Breitbart, John Boot is correct that Non-Stop’s creators managed to avoid having a predictable ending.  They did so, however, only by pushing a hard-Left world view that is going to be swallowed whole by every uninformed adolescent and young person who sees the movie.  That is, while one can appreciate that the ending makes for a good movie, it is so unreal — such a high jump over a such a hideous, faked shark — that it should be soundly castigated, rejected, and ruined.

As I mentioned above, the plot device is Agatha Christie on steroids:  people trapped in an enclosed space with a hidden killer bumping them off.  Today’s headlines say it ought to have been a Muslim, since they’re the ones using terrorism against the rest of the world.  If you’re a filmmaker who wants to add a good twist to reality, you make sure your terrorist is a well-disguised Muslim, along the lines of the British, Christian-born Black Widow who headed the grotesquely violent attack against a Kenyan shopping mall.

Having that kind of ending, however, would have failed to advance the movie’s real purpose:  propaganda.  Breitbart explains precisely what agenda the movie is pushing (and this is your last warning that there are spoilers ahead that will make watching the movie forever unnecessary):

Counting pilots and crew, there are around 150 souls on board. Marks has 20 minutes to figure out which one is the bad guy. Red herrings abound. Is it one of the many actors whose faces we recognize but names we can’t remember? People start to die. Marks is fingered as the hijacker. Who’s doing this? Why are they doing this? What is their motive?

Here’s the answer:

It turns out that the villain is not a hijacker but a terrorist — someone who wants to murder everyone on the plane to further a political goal.

You ready…?

The terrorist is a 9/11 family member. Yes, you read that right; the terrorist is a 9/11 family-member who lost a loved-one in the World Trade Center on that terrible September morning.

It gets worse…

After 9/11,  this 9/11 family member-turned-terrorist then joined the military but found himself disillusioned by the pointless wars.

And now…

The 9/11 family member-turned-terrorist is upset because America hasn’t done enough to ensure there will never be another 9/11. And so he figures that if he can get an air marshal blamed for a terrorist attack, America will wake up and anally probe us before we’re allowed on a plane, or something.

It gets worse…

The villain’s sidekick is a member of the American military willing to murder 150 innocent people for a payday.

It gets worse…

The one passenger on the plane who is forever helpful, kind, reasonable, noble, and never under suspicion is a Muslim doctor dressed in traditional Muslim garb including a full beard.

Screw you, Hollywood.

Non-Stop didn’t stop at just jumping the shark.  Instead, it embraced it and then made mad, passionate love to it.  The filmmakers weren’t going for an element of surprise; they were sending a message to those credulous,  uninformed Americans churned out by America’s public school system:  Americans are bad; Muslims are good.  Ignore the headlines telling you otherwise.*  Hollywood knows better.

So what can you do?  Well, I don’t recommend giving out spoilers unless people ask for them.  Otherwise, you will be deservedly hated.  However, to the extent that word-of-mouth is the most powerful advertising any Hollywood movie has, start mouthing off.  If someone you know, in real conversation or on social media, expresses an interest in it, you can honestly state something along the lines of “I heard it was stupid” or “It’s supposed to be really bad.  I’d never pay $14 to see a really bad movie.”

As a sort of tag, given that the movie stars Liam Neeson, I can’t help but remember that in January 2012, Neeson expressed a serious interesting in converting to Islam.  Maybe he’s done it already and this movie marks his coming out.

______________________

*The usual disclaimer:  Not all Muslims are bad.  Most Muslims aren’t bad, but to the extent that almost none of them take a stand against the terrorists in their midst, the silent majority are complicit in the Muslim-inspired terrorism taking place in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Eurasia, the Middle East, and Asia.

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Comments

  1. biancaneve says

    I’ve already posted the spoiler on facebook.  This movie deserves to be spoiled because it’s already rotten to the core. 
    When people go to a movie they give the movie studio the benefit of the doubt that the movie will be entertaining and have a credible ending.  People should be told that this movie violates that presumption, and if you have to tell the people the ending in order to get them to understand why this movie is bad, do it.

  2. says

    “and this is your last warning that there are spoilers ahead that will make watching the movie forever unnecessary”
     
    Is this supposed to be a warning or a bonus?
    “The usual disclaimer”
     
    Your usual disclaimer seems to apply to the Left as well.
     

  3. JohnC says

    *The usual disclaimer:  Not all Muslims are bad.  Most Muslims aren’t bad, but to the extent that almost none of them take a stand against the terrorists in their midst, the silent majority are complicit in the Muslim-inspired terrorism taking place in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Eurasia, the Middle East, and Asia.”
     
    Something I read once:
    Muslim terrorists are snakes and moderate Muslims are the grass.

  4. Libby says

    Ridiculous!
    I take it you’ve not heard about last summer’s “White House Down.” This is who the terrorists are in that movie. ****spoilers*** The terrorist leader is the outgoing head of Secret Service WH detail angry at president for his soldier son’s death (but mad because the prez wasn’t using the full force of the military in the WoT – a neocon, get it?). He puts together his team by recruiting the people that appear on the president’s daily briefing as the most dangerous terrorists. Seems a clever until you see who they define as the worst of the worst (hint: not a single Muslim): a team of disgruntled US servicemen, a disgruntled (white, male) former NSA super-hacker, patriotic redneck white supremacists (Tea Party *wink, wink*), and Blackwater-type defense contractors. Oh, and the surprise twist at the end is that the white, conservative Speaker of the House is in on it in order to step in after the president and v.p. are taken out so that he can derail the president’s impending peace agreement with Iran [*snort*] in order to prolong the WoT, which is so profitable for his defense industry campaign donors.

    • says

      I stopped going to the movies because I’m cheap.  I stay away from the movies because they’re appalling.

      Still Roger Simon is correct that disengagement is dangerous, unless we’re able to offer a colorable alternative.  We’re all disgusted by these movies, but the teenagers still go for the action, and they get their values warped along the way.

  5. Matt_SE says

    First off, I agree with your article: this is absurd. Like “White House Down,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Sum of All Fears,” etc.
    The one group Hollywood won’t blame is that one that deserves it: Muslims.
    Which segues into your disclaimer, “…to the extent that almost none of them [Muslims] take a stand against the terrorists in their midst…”
    “Good” Muslims are actually bad Muslims. To the extent that they don’t engage in the barbarism of the “extremists,” that is the extent to which they aren’t following Islam. They know this, which is why you never hear them criticize; they are poorly-practicing, impious Muslims who have no doctrinal leg to stand on. It would be like asking a lapsed Catholic serial adulterer to criticize the Church’s position on marriage. Nobody is going to listen to them.
     
    Think about it. What other movement, when taken to extremes didn’t have its internal critics? Even Communism had Trotsky et al.
    Not so, Islam. Why is that?

  6. Matt_SE says

    Also, as I’ve said before “socialism is its own cure.”
    Breitbart himself was turned by the extravagant illogic and hypocrisy of the left. Before him, a generation of budding leftists were disenchanted by the revelations of the Nazi-Soviet pact. Soviet citizens were well aware of the cartoonish version of reality promoted by the state.
    Propaganda is transient. Reality is omnipresent. And between the two, humanity has evolved only to account for the latter.
     
    Coupled with this are the situations that lead one into questioning the narrative. Obama lied about almost everything he promised his administration would stand for. This leads the observer to question the positions that are allied with leftism, like the whitewash of Islamism.

  7. Matt_SE says

    One final thought:
    Like Obama’s invocation of God while praising Planned Parenthood (and one other recent incident), I’m getting the drift that this is a kind of psy-op. The left takes a perverse sense of pleasure in mocking the right, much like sadists and online trolls.
    It is at once a self-esteem boost to the followers to parade their dysfunction (of course, they don’t see it quite that way), and a psychologic attack on the opposition by dumping on them publicly.
     
    This is where the laughable plot twists of “Non-Stop” come in. It doesn’t matter if the messages are ham-handed and Orwellian, just like it didn’t matter if anyone took Obama seriously when he labelled the Nidal Hassan murders “workplace violence.” The point of the exercise was to be deviant publicly. The point was to pretend the aberrant was normal, thereby justifying the left’s self regard.

  8. Tara S says

    Sigh.
     
    Aside from Disney — which has made some missteps, but which is still usually good fun — it’s almost impossible to find decent stuff coming out of Hollywood. I’m looking forward to <i>Captain America 2</i> and the 2015 Ant-Man film, and a friend and I are going to see <i>The Monuments Men</i> sometime in the next few weeks, but aside from those and some upcoming Disney flicks I can’t see a single movie on the horizon that I’d be willing to pay money to see.
     
    (Well, I’ll probably try to see the Paddington Bear movie that’s coming out this December, but I have a sinking suspicion that it’s going to be horrible. Apparently the main villain is a taxidermist. <i>Ugh.</i>)

      • Tara S says

        I don’t really keep up with new things coming out of Japan — anytime I’m in the mood for a movie or show with that sort of feel, there’s a ton of older stuff that I’ve never seen. For instance, I’ve been thinking of trying some of Studio Ghibli’s films… Any recommendations for newer Japanese works?

  9. Libby says

    Book, while I hadn’t seen a move in theaters for a long time, now that my son is older we do go out to see movies that are more enjoyable on the big screen, such as Gravity (3D), Transformers (3D), and Ender’s Game.
     
    While we’ll  skip the Lefty garbage, I still choose to support good, conservative entertainment, such as by going to see “Act of Valour” on opening weekend (since these numbers are heavily tracked). A lot of conservatives do this, which is why “Lone Survivor” is successful as well as TV offerings like “The Bible,” “Duck Dynasty” & “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” This is also why conservative books often top the NYTs book lists.
     
    What we can’t change from the outside is how Hollywood reacts to these conservative successes. They’ve structured their industry so that crappy anti-war films that don’t even clear $1 million in theaters are nominated for awards (and continue to get made) while “Lone Survivor” is dismissed. They see a success like “The Bible” and use it as justification to make other Bible-themed movies injected with Leftist values (like “Noah”). They corrupt conservative shows like “24” by hiring Jeanine Garaffalo, etc. Conservative sci-fi writers Sarah Hoyt & Vox Day have been covering how Lefty sci-fi writers are currently attempting to purge any non-Left views /writers from their genre.
     
    So while we can do our best support movies, TV and books that share our values, how do we outsiders battle the active censorship that is working to prevent these products from ever getting to market? Especially when they actually want conservatives to react loudly (such as religious folks) as part of their marketing strategy.

  10. Charles Martel says

    Speaking of Muslim holy men, I remember when Kevin Costner remade “Robin Hood” back in the early 90s. I knew it was going to be one of those tedious deconstructions of a great old story when one of Robin’s sidekicks is a wise, saintly, black Muslim (Morgan Freeman) who has accompanied him back to England after a Crusade. Of course the guy was insufferably adult and patient with the stupid English white men who were living with one foot in the Stone Age compared to the dazzlingly advanced and enlightened Islamic Eden he hailed from.
     
    Even worse was the woman they cast as Maid Marian, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who appeared as a harpy wearing the perm from Hell and played Marian as though she were Gloria Steinem—all venom and whine, and not a whit of grace or tenderness. It was role that cried out for the greatest permed pro of all, Adrienne Barbeau (pbuh).

  11. says

    “So while we can do our best support movies, TV and books that share our values, how do we outsiders battle the active censorship that is working to prevent these products from ever getting to market?”
     
    Destroy their copyright monopolies and tax cuts, as well as their unions. As always with the Left, to break the back of their power requires hitting their logistics, not their active stormtroopers at the front.
     
    “Of course the guy was insufferably adult and patient with the stupid English white men who were living with one foot in the Stone Age compared to the dazzlingly advanced and enlightened Islamic Eden he hailed from.”
     
    An eden produced by enslaving inventors, farmers, and tradesmen. The Arabia numerals with 0 came from conquered India. Higher mathematics came from conquered Persia. Camels and trading came from Arabia. The Islamic Empire’s civilization was on par with camels and sand caravans, trading the works of art between East and West. Their Eden was only the result of invading other people’s kingdoms and taking what was theirs, as Muslim sex slaves. The Indian ritual of burning the widow with the dead husband came from the time when they were fighting the Islamic Horde. Originally it was the testament of necessity, where lovers would rather die together than be split apart. England’s problem was that they were trying to reproduce everything Roman, locally. Which can’t be done, since they didn’t have Roman slaves or Greek philosophers chained up in their dungeons telling them what to do. Damascus steel from Syria and Indian steel from Indian, were both things created by older civilizations which the Mohammed girl seducer conquered via the armies of Jihad. The fact that humans don’t know this history, is why they abdicated their status as humans and become cattle. The Left’s cattle. Islamic Jihad’s sexual slaves, camel slaves, dog and goat sex slaves.
     
    Tara,
    Since I don’t know which genres appeal to you, I’ll list a few of my favorites.
     
    Since Japanese movies are the short story form, which the West also has, to get the deeper experience requires going into the long form of story telling.
     
    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/anime-recommendations-2/

  12. says

    it wraps core Leftist messages in rip-roaring good humor, gauzy tear-jerkers, or uplifting homilies. Polemics put people off; entertainment sucks them in.
     
    You have got to be kidding, Book. Any author that believes that about the Left or Hollywood, has never witnessed the power of True Art. Never have they seen the proper construction of propaganda if they think that is subtle in Hollywood rapist land.

     
    How low has the American soul fallen when its intellectuals think that is uplifting.
     
    Almost everyone else you know — be it family, friends, business associates and, most especially, your children — is not (avoiding Hollywood).
     
    My neighbor’s dog isn’t eating off the kitchen counter and table either. Doesn’t mean I have to join it. Humans are supposed to have higher standards. Standards, which it seems Hollywood has eroded in the US, even amongst conservatives. You don’t even realize what Quality is any more.
    R Simon never even used the word “tax” or “monopoly” on his second page draft of his “plan”. Which means it’s total failure for him, even on an intellectual level, not even an artistic level.

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