A Voice in the Wilderness In Defense of "Mere Conservatism"

4Jan/12Off

Ten Movies RJ’s Excited About in 2012

By: R.J. Moeller

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I love movies. I would say "Who doesn't?" but I actually know people who don't love seeing movies and their apathy makes me want to tie their shoelaces together when they're not looking so that they trip when attempting to walk away from the conversation about seeing movies I'm having with other, more interesting people.

The year 2012 is a big one, and not simply because the Mayans say so.  We have a presidential race that will heat up with each passing day.  I have to get my driver's license renewed, which is always a big event.  And a slew of interesting (and hopefully really good) movies are slated to be released.

I don't know about you, but I love to find out what flicks are on the docket in coming months and so for your convenience I've assembled what I consider to be the 10 most intriguing movies that will be released in the next year.  (They are in no particular order.)

1. Dark Knight Rises (July)  This is easily the most anticipated flick of the calendar year.  It's the third installment of The Dark Knight trilogy from director Christopher Nolan.  Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes.

The trailer is outstanding, the cast stellar, and the chances that this one is bad are the same that the Chicago Cubs won't be wretched this season.  So rest assured, Batman fans!

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2. Prometheus (June 8)  From legendary director Ridley Scott (the man who provided me with three of my favorite films of all time: Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator) comes his first sci-fi movie in over 30 years.  A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.  The trailer for this bad boy has got me excited.

Oh, and the creator of LOST (Damon Lindelof) co-wrote this as well.  Too many talented people involved for this one to stink.  I hope.

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3. Moonrise Kingdom (May 25)  Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) is back at it again with this new film set to come out in May and co-stars the likes of Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, and Tilda Swinton.

moonrise-kingdom-may-2012-release-dateThe only description I could find is as follows: "A pair of lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them."  I suppose I'm hoping more than guessing that this one is good.  I loved Anderson's earlier work, but is in danger of becoming utterly irrelevant (at least to me) with another flop.

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4. Neighborhood Watch (July 27)  This comedy starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill is a complete toss-up in my mind.  "Suburban dads form a neighborhood watch group to get time away from their families, only to discover a plot to destroy Earth."

jonah-hill-ben-stiller-and-vince-vaughn-in-neighborhood-watch_480x335It could be the next classic comedy in the line of Old School, Wedding Crashers, Superbad, etc.  Or it could be pure rubbish.  Real hot garbage.  Either way, it's a summer comedy with three of the funnier dudes on the planet in it.

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5. Argo (September 14)  Ben Affleck's acting and directing talents could not be further apart.  He is terrible in front of the camera, but (so far) magic behind it.  I loved The Town and Gone, Baby, Gone and Argo sounds very promising.  The plot?  "As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador."

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) co-stars and the buzz around this film is all positive.

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6. Gangster Squad (October 19)  I am obsessed with gangster movies.  Especially old ones starring guys like Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney that you can only find on Turner Classic Movies Channel.  Gangster Squad is a chronicle of the LAPD's fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s and I have a great feeling about this one.

Gangster-Squad-Movie-With-Emma-StoneIt stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone.

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7. Skyfall (November 9)  Okay, so I'm giving the Bond franchise one last try before I turn my back forever on it.  Daniel Craig is a fine actor and action star, but they haven't nailed down a decent script in years.  There's a new director for this latest Bond effort (Sam Mendes) and hopefully a fresh pair of eyes will lead to a quality product.  There aren't any photos or clips from this film yet, but here's a (very generic) description from IMDB: "Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost."

And, if you happen to be interested, here is the press conference where the new cast and director were announced at this past November:

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8. World War Z (December 21)  Brad Pitt stars in a new zombie film next Christmas season.  It's what the holidays are all about!  The only description of this flick I could find, however brief, actually got me excited about the possibility of this movie being good.

"A UN representative, writing a report on the great zombie war, interviews survivors in the wake of World War Z."

World_War_Z_book_coverI also learned that the script for World War Z is based on a graphic novel of the same name.  If turns out anything like The Walking Dead on AMC, I'll be happy.

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9. Lincoln (December)   Our nation's greatest president.  Director Steven Spielberg.  Lincoln portrayed by the best actor of this generation, Daniel Day-Lewis.  Need I say more?

lincoln-daniel-day-lewis__111201074218The only fear I have is that uber-liberal Spielberg does to the Civil War what he did to the Arab-Israeli conflict in Munich: namely, play the moral equivalency game.

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10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)  I've been waiting for this movie since I first read the Tolkien classic as a 6th grader.  The entire production team from the Lord of the Rings trilogy returns and there is absolutely no way this movie is anything short of a masterpiece.  Even if it's bad, I'll tell people I love it.  If you couldn't get in to the Lord of the Rings movies or books, The Hobbit is the key to unlocking a world of imagination and story-telling you never dreamed of.  Get yourself a copy of the book, and prepare for December 14th.

So that's it, folks. The 10 movies I'm most excited for in 2012. What do you think? What did I miss? What did I foolishly include?


4Jan/12Off

Steven Hayward

The R.J. Moeller Show is proud to present a candid conversation with AEI scholar and Regan historian Steven F. Hayward.

img-steve-hayward-official_144135365566.jpg_item_hero_bw.jpgHayward writes on a wide range of public policy issues. He is the author of the Almanac of Environmental Trends, and the author of many books on environmental topics. He has written biographies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill, as well as a new publication from Values & Capitalism, Mere Environmentalism.  Mr. Hayward is also a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.  He contributes to AEI's Energy and Environment Outlook series.

101949289You can find all things Steven Hayward here, including articles, columns, and blog-posts.

Stream the episode below, or find us on your iTunes!

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The basic ideas, ideals, and values that generally define and characterize the central tenets of what today might be termed "modern conservative thought."

We believe that a proper understanding of history, economics, and theology leads to certain conclusions. Many of these are the same conclusions our Founding Fathers arrived at in constructing a "more perfect union."

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