Lost amid all the hype of Oscar weekend was the debut of HBO’s Taking Chance, in which Kevin Bacon plays an officer escorting home the body of a dead Marine. Chance surprisingly pulled two million viewers, HBO’s biggest draw for an original movie in five years. Naturally, this brings up the old “Is America ready for the Iraq War as entertainment?” discussion. From the Live Feed:
On the theatrical side, there’s been “Jarhead” [that's not about the Iraq War, actually - Ed.], “Stop-Loss,” “Lions for Lambs,” “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah,” among others. While networks have launched FX’s “Over There” and HBO’s “Alive Day Memories,” “House of Saddam” and “Generation Kill.”
Not all were failures, but none were considered breakout hits. Media stories frequently concluded that Americans do not want — or are not ready — to watch stories about the conflict.
It’s pretty naive to think that a film or TV series about a war that’s currently going on could be a “breakout” hit. Every good war movie (or TV series, though that’s rarer) for the last 50 years has been based on a war that’s already over. “Generation Kill” kicked ass (see clip below), and even I didn’t stick with it because I don’t like getting entertainment from a current war.
So the question should really be, “Why does Hollywood keep trying to make movies Americans don’t want?” Gosh, it’s almost like studio executives lack vision and judgment.
(Generation Kill’s best exchange begins at 0:25)