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Klavan On The Culture

Damonic?

August 19th, 2013 - 5:54 pm

And I’m against guns too!!!

The redoubtable and physically intimidating John Nolte over at Breitbart’s Big Hollywood has a piece pulverizing left wing movie star Matt Damon after his new socialist sci-fi epic Elysium somehow failed to turn to capitalist gold at the box office. Thus the Noltenator:

For those wondering how Matt Damon (or anyone) could take away the title of “King of the Left-wing Flops” from George Clooney, just look at the numbers below. Matt Damon is 4-for-4 — four left wing flops in just four years. Not for lack of trying, Clooney has never achieved that. Clooney also mitigates the damage he does with mid-level budget films. Damon, on the other hand, likes his flaming balls of left-wing fail to be as spectacularly expensive as possible:

“Elysium” (2013): $56 million; $38 million worldwide – 3284 theatres - $115 production budget*

“Promised Land” (2012):  $7.6 million; $8.1 million worldwide - 1676 screens.

“Happy Feet Two” (2011): $65 million; $150 million worldwide – 3606 screens - $140 million production budget*

“Green Zone” (2010): $35 million; $95 million worldwide – 3004 theatres - $100 million production budget*

*add $50 to $80 million for promotion and advertising, then double the total for the amount a film has to clear just to break even.

“Flaming balls of left wing fail.” I mean, you gotta love the guy, right? Anyway, read the whole thing here.

Now, Nolte always makes me laugh and even occasionally picks up the tab for lunch, but you know what really gets me about this story? You won’t like it. It’s not red meat. It’s nuanced even! But here it is.

Damon’s a good movie star. So’s Clooney. Both are talented, obviously bright guys. Damon, I’ve heard from people who should know, is an all-around decent bloke. I’ve never heard anything bad personally about Clooney.

But the political stuff they do — it’s just so ridiculous. Why is that?  How is our culture failing or deceiving its creative class that such gentlemen as these should come to feel there is some virtue in creating art so in conflict with their lives and actions? Look, there’s always room for two political sides, I get that. I can understand disagreeing with the right about, say, abortion. It’s a tough issue. I can understand disagreeing with conservatives on gay rights. I disagree with them too. There are all kinds of discussions we could have, all kinds of compromises we might make.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"What pried them loose from the truth of their own lives, the truth of their own hearts?" A question that could apply to almost any profession EXCEPT actors. I spent the first half of my life surrounded by them and they have one thing in common (aside from the obvious strain of narcissism) and that is the fact they are all deeply dissatisfied because they're merely actors. They aren't artists or originators, they interpret the work of others at the command of others. It's hard for an egotistical human being, however well-paid they may be, to realize that they are just tools to be used by the creators and business people who control their lives. Their work happens to place them in a world of appearances, superficialities, make-believe emotions and untruth writ large. The truth - the real truth most of the rest of us are forced to live with - terrifies them. Their leftism is just another role in their life long search to please their handlers, their public and to be loved. But all the fans in the world can never take away their fear of facing their own professional vapidity.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I've said in other venues, I really don't care what Matt Damon's politics are. He is perfectly free to live his life the way he chooses as long as he isn't hurting anyone else. If he makes an entertaining film that I might enjoy, then I'll consider spending my money to see it.

However, if he makes a film (like the ones mentioned above) to dishonestly promote his political agenda, then I'm not going to drop a single dime on them. I'll even change the channel when they are on commercial TV.

Why? Because I find it hypocritical for him to decry the evils of capitalism while reaping a lifestyle based upon its fruits. I don't mind Matt Damon the actor playing a role. I don't care much for Matt Damon the political activist who knows what's best for me. Take care of your own business Matt, and stay out of mine.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
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George Orwell got it right in his 1936 book "The Road to Wigan Pier". Left-wing intellectuals condemn the capitalist system as a public penance for the enormous benefits it bestows on them. Of course they have no intention of giving up their privileges, but it's important to be seen as not wanting them.

http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/books/wiganpier-10.htm
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why should an actor think it's right to take a $20-million payday to make a $100-million movie touting socialism in the hopes of turning a profit in the free market?"

Now, that's a legitimate gripe about this movie.

Calling it a commercial failure? WTF are you thinking???? That's denying reality and living in a fantasy world.

Total box office for Elysium is now at $95 million. That's far from being a commercial failure.

Trash talk the acting, the 'message', the production values, etc. yeah. Go for it. Denying reality? Now you're being crazy.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
better yet Matt boy does NOT Pay taxes on the $20 MILLION, it goes into his company coffer, he pulls a small humble pay check, say $200K which he pays taxes on- most of his personal items are paid by the CORP so he pays a lower CORP tax - another Lying FLUKING C--T in Hollywood - I REFUSE to ever watch his movies
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unless he's figured out how to do the double Irish sandwich that Google does, in which case I'd like to talk to his accountant, I doubt as he's figured out a way to avoid paying taxes via a corporation. If his corporation is paid, the corporation has to pay taxes. Not many ways to realize a loss on $20m revenues with $200k expenses.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are objecting to his use of the capitalism system? Klavan explained that - the hypocrisy of disrespecting capitalism while benefiting from it.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
NO I am rejecting his Socialistic ideology & condemning the rest of the right and left for NOT paying more taxes as he evades them- typical liberal he wants to use our money not his
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Commercial failure: negative return on investment.

You're considering only the gross, Warren. What's the net? If it is negative, or even if very low, yes, that's a commercial failure.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, they will go back to their gated communities after they pontificate. To a nice safe environment away from the common people. Second, what part of their life was ever gritty? For example did they spend some time in the arm services? Just my take.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
AND They are protected with body guards with GUNS
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
More pertinent question: Why would Hollywood production companies think it's right to waste a $100-million on a movie touting socialism in the hopes of turning a profit in the free market?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
simple when you ask a Liberal how much more taxes should the rich pay they say MORE? How Much More?? they say MORE MORE? When you tell them their taxes support the USG they argue NO it is the Gov's money not mine- so when you question the $100, they took it from left wing producers and investors so sorry SUCKERS
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Klavan, while I truly love your writing and usually agree with what you have to say, I'm afraid this time you got it wrong. Mr. Damon and his producers are being true to their beliefs when they make their leftist movies. In most locales the movie/television industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers by state legislatures pretending they're creating jobs. In my state, every movie and TV show filmed here is subsidized at 30%.

So, if Mr. Damon films his $100M movie here, we taxpayers get to contribute $30M of that cost. If the movie makes a profit, we taxpayers get nothing. In practice, Hollywood has become successful at socializing the cost of production while keeping profits private. Re-distributing money from the proles to the elites always has been and always will be the true goal of these leftist elitists.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You got it wrong; tax breaks are not subsidies. It is not money out of the pockets of taxpayers, it is simply less money paid in to local and state taxes.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know the difference between tax breaks and subsidies. These are subsidies. The state pays 30% of the cost of production to Hollywood millionaires and billionaires after confiscating that money from local taxpayers.

For us taxpayers it's sort of like an investment. Except with a 100% guarantee that we will never see a return and all principal will be lost.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blomkamp stole his idea from Gene Roddenberry. See "Star Trek: The Original Series" Episode 76 "The Cloud Minders."
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt either of them would be very nice to you if they knew you were a conservative who could never help them in their careers. My guess is that at that case they would be very nasty little actors.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Damon is a true believer - in telling everyone else how to live while he lives like a king. His proper place.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firstly, most actors never get too far into their own educational process. Secondly, a lot of them were public school educated. Thirdly, many of us are well aware of the quality of that type of education.

Ergo, why anyone would expect this to produce individuals capable of any kind of deep thought of logical, reasoned analysis is beyond me. Actors make natural liberals because so much of liberalism of feel-good, shallow simplistic policy that's not too difficult to grasp and disintegrates under close examination of any kind.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you can explain what is wrong with Damon and Clooney and other very wealthy hypocritical propagandists for the left then perhaps we can afford to have some compassion for their confused state. But in the absence of a clear understanding of their problem, and a solution , they are enemies of freedom and should be treated as such. The soldier who takes pity on his undefeated enemy seldom returns home (except in a bag) .
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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