Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Christians and the Movie Industry

Most people I know enjoy a good movie. What makes a movie "good," though, is subjective. I think Spider-Man 2 is an awesome film, but there are some reviewers out there who think the film is a piece of schlock. Conversely, I thought Fellowship of the Ring and Napoleon Dynamite were garbage, but there were a lot of people out there who loved them. It's like the old saying: One man's trash is another man's treasure.
When it comes to Christians and movies, though, it gets dicey. Some Christians would argue that there are certain films that they shouldn't watch, while others will watch any flick, no matter what ratings or content advisories it has. Still others will refuse to watch a flick, no matter what the rating, just because of one or more of the actors, like those people who refuse to watch Finding Nemo because Ellen DeGeneres does the voice of Dory.
What do I think about it? Well, as those of you who know me very well know, I have never willingly watched an R-rated movie in my life, and I have no plans of doing so. I don't say that with disdain or shame; I say that with pride. Why are movies rated R, anyway? Nudity, sexual content, graphic violence, strong language, and/or drug material, all of which I hate. I would say it was probably because of how sheltered I was growing up. I mean, I didn't even know the f-word until I was 11.
However, am I going to say that no Christian should watch anything rated R? No way! Some Christians were probably not so sheltered growing up, especially those whose parents were not believers. I could say that sites such as Plugged In Online argue that no Christian should watch an R-rated film, but they also said that no Christian should watch X-Men or the first Scooby-Doo live-action movie, and those weren't even that bad. Some Christian critics say that movies (as well as games, books, TV shows and music) that depict graphic violence or sex encourage people, especially young people, to do as they see in the movie. However, I'm sure most of my guy friends have played first-person shooters, and they have no intention of going on a mass shooting spree. Yes, sure, some people (i.e., Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold) supposedly got "inspired" to do as they saw in the game. However, I think their problem was that they didn't realize the difference between fantasy and reality, and now they're eternally paying the price for it. It took me a long time to realize what was real and what wasn't; I thought completely fictional things like The Magic School Bus were real…at the age of nine. (It's an autistic thing.) Besides which, it's not just M-rated games that are the problem. One of the teachers at my college told me that a kid somewhere in the US got in legal trouble for jumping on turtles, like Mario and Luigi do in Super Mario Bros. That kid obviously didn't realize that Mario games are fantasy, and not to be imitated. There are movies, games and TV shows of all ratings that could get you in trouble if you tried to imitate them. You have to realize something: they're not REAL! If you're over the age of 7, you should be able to realize that. If you're well past that age and can't, you're asking for it. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Any comments?