Ms. Dana Stevens, Slate's film critrix, plaintively wonders:
Why War Movies Leave Me Cold
I'm going to start with a personal confession that I hope will open out onto some bigger questions—not only about this year's movies, but about the ever-scarier world outside the theater. Here goes: I don't like war movies. Worse, I don't seem to get war movies. Even as the lizard part of my brain recoils appropriately from images of young men blasted to bits by bombs, my higher faculties inevitably shut down, and any cinematic subtleties are lost on me. It's as if I myself, as a viewer, were suddenly plunged into a war zone, where the world narrows to the question of sheer survival.
My thought process during your average war movie, if transcribed, would read something like this: God, war is strange. … Large groups of men in uniforms trying to kill other men in uniforms, in service of an abstract concept … How could anything so horrible have happened once in the history of humanity, much less be happening all over the world right now? … I wonder if the American death toll in Iraq has passed 3,000 yet … Oh s***, Giovanni Ribisi is gonna get it now. … Please don't show his guts.
By the way, this kind of dissociative disorder strikes only during the classic boys-in-the-combat-zone movie: a Saving Private Ryan, a Flags of Our Fathers...
What does it mean, this resistance to a genre that, I can objectively acknowledge, has produced so many powerful and moving and important films...?
Hmmhmmmh, that's a tough one ... What could it possibly mean? Oh, wait a minute ... I think I've got it:
It means: You're a girl.
(Also, it's probably particularly related to Ms. Stevens having a baby earlier this year, so the maternal oxytocin hormone is still flowing relatively heavily.)
More generally, why are film critics such idiots? Do they understand so little about human diversity because you pretty much have to be a raging egomaniac to think whether you liked a movie or not is of general importance?