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December 8, 2007
War Films that are doing well
Much has been made about the box office poison that the slew of recent anti-war movies proved to be. Have the American people lost their taste for war films? Not by a long shot:
But Americans haven't lost their taste for war footage. They've just found a better place to see the type of war film they actually enjoy watching. Some of the hottest videos on YouTube are of actual battles that have taken place in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is footage that often hasn't made its way onto the nightly news or CNN--although some of it has--but it's largely unadulterated film that shows American soldiers in action, bringing the full weight of American military might to bear against the enemy. And in most of these films, it's clear who the enemy is. The one uniting factor in all these films? Americans are portrayed as the good guys and the bad guys - clearly identified as such - are being killed.
Some of the are amateur productions and others are professionally produced, such as two films that have drawn about 700,000 viewers each: "Insurgent Snipers vs. U.S. Marines," put together by the History Channel, and "Iraq Marine Battle Fallujah." In the latter, U.S. Marines are seen assaulting Fallujah. The film, just 4 1/2 minutes, plays to the tune of Dire Straits' 1985 hit "Brothers in Arms," and is a better tribute to the men who fight the nation's wars that anything Hollywood has put out since John Wayne's 1968 film "The Green Berets."
Another film, this one billing itself as "Iraq War (The Great Footage Ever!)," was posted in February and has already drawn more than 1.3 million viewers.
As the author of the piece, Brendan Miniter makes clear: "It's of little mystery now what kind of war films consumers want to see. Most of them involve the good guys winning."
John Wayne is never around when you need him.