Couple weeks ago I went through my DVD collection and pulled out all my Rated R movies. These movies were put into a box, leaving only the lesser rated movies. The purpose was to clean out any movies which did not uplift or teach a valuable and morally justifiable lesson.
After reviewing the films remaining and those removed, I quickly found that the R rating was no watermark for judging a movie’s content. Some movies I put back on the shelf. Some for the lessons or historical perspective or moral object lessons provided… Rob Roy, Saving Private Ryan…. among others.
And then I looked at the rest that remained… Films rated PG-13 and such “Safe” movies. Many were light minded, vapid, or every bit as deserving of an R rating due to content and language. Many had no historical lessons or held any moral justification. Many I felt were more spiritually damaging than some which had been culled.
I didn’t have time to finish the filtering… but will do so later. But my goal is to leave movies which have a purpose. Talking about this with my Bride, we determined that the deciding factor would be “What lessons do we want to our sons learning?” Movies, like literature often carry lessons for life. These can shape one’s views and opinions which can effect future moral decisions. Don’t try to tell me that Film is a weak medium and has no effect on Character. Film is visual literature and literature helps mold Character one way or another.
Take a look at the films in your homes. What lessons are you getting from them? How is that R Rating matching the lessons you want to share with your prodigy?
My Grandfather served in World War II. Saving Private Ryan, while a work of fiction, gives a very realistic interpretation of some of the things my Grandfather experienced or witnessed. The story it’s self walks through a series of some things that had actually happened in that war. And while no documentary feature, I feel it is a good example of that era in history. It also tells of of the moral of service and sacrifice and duty to causes higher than one’s self. That’s just an example of a rated R movie that is probably worth keeping. I’m keeping it.
Mormons as a whole try to avoid R rated movies in general. But I tell you what… I’d rather my kids watch The Patriot or The Last Samurai than Dumb and Dumber or Twilight.
Last night I took a couple of my boys to go see the Midnight Showing of THE HOBBIT.
This is a movie that I’ve been waiting for since I was a child. I don’t remember when I first read it… exactly… but I remember that I was very young. Before my family moved to Tacoma, I had already read it. I remember living in Tacoma, going to church the first time and meeting the other kids… and I remember going home and opening The Hobbit again and started reading it for the second time. I was… what 10? Maybe? I’ve read The Hobbit many times since. And The Lord of the Rings.
I’ve always enjoyed the cheesy, upbeat cartoon version too. But The Hobbit has always been one of my very favorite stories.
So I went to the theater with much expectation.
I was delighted.
Peter Jackson took a great deal of care in making this movie… Bringing in bits of Tolkien Lore that might not have been in The Hobbit, but are mentioned in passing in other books. Including The Necromancer. Which was done in a fantastic way that I really liked, showing Radagast The Brown, and giving him a bit of a bigger role in the story. On a side note, for the next movie, I really hope Peter Jackson throws in Beorn. A little known character that wasn’t in the Cartoon and largely forgotten… a man that can change into a Bear. Werewolf style. Beorn fights in the Battle of Five Armies after the defeat of Smaug.
While I hate dragons… Smaug has always been the model Dragon. He is intelligent, can communicate, but in the end he is a huge freaking monster that causes massive amounts of destruction on an industrial scale. A monster, treated as a monster. So far, the glimpses of Smaug, show that this is a Dragon done right. And not completely freaking wrong… like some other movies. Smaug is to Dragon what Bram Stoker’s Dracula is to Vampires. They way they should be. The set pattern.
The Hobbit has a lot of Levity. Lighthearted moments throughout. This is keeping with the Lord of the Rings precedent of showing Dwarves to be hard core Badasses, and funny at the same time. In the story, all the Dwarves get caught up in snares all the time… you can’t have a pack of badass Axe wielding warriors getting clobbered all the time without some humor. Tolkien didn’t write them out to be clowns though, and Peter Jackson found a balance. The Dwarves were very well done.
Also done well were the Trolls. Better than I had imagined them.
Peter Jackson… Thank you. After waiting for this movie for so long… You are doing it right.
There are a couple things that I can pick on. First, is the characterization of Radagast. Bird nest in his hair, poop running down the side of his face… that was nasty and unnecessary. Making him slightly touched though, explains why he was not used more in LOTR by Peter Jackson or Tolkien. The dog sled chase with the rabbits and wargs was kinda stupid, and I didn’t care for that.
The other thing I didn’t like was the use the Giants. While it was mentioned in The Hobbits that Stone-Giants were throwing rocks at each other for sport – across the valley – it’s not intended by Tolkien that they were made of Stone. Or that they were the size of mountains. Or that they were killing each other. That’s not how I nor the Author imagined them. Gandalf suggested to the Dwarves that they find a friendly giant to help them… but this isn’t possible considering Peter Jackson’s vision of them. Small matter though, Giants.
Skyfall. Best. Bond. Ever. We have important character introductions, breathtaking action, and Bond getting down on an Enduro. I really enjoyed this movie more than any other James Bond I have ever watched. It was well paced, directed, and it just worked.
Also, Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever to have played the role. All other Bonds were cartoons. Daniel Craig makes Bond feel real. Human. He bleeds, he gets scars, he hurts… he gets his ass kicked… and then he Wins because he’s James Bond. The UK’s version of Captain America, but for the UK. Their Hero has Cuff Links and under-powered inaccurate pistols. Which is fine… and I envy England because in the US… we don’t have such a character. Jack Ryan? (Tom Clancy) or XXX? Captain America? No… I want an American Bond. Maybe that’s why I like Daniel Craig… that Bigger Hammer approach gives American’s something in common with Bond.
Either way, Skyfall is the pinnacle of the James Bond Universe.
Due to popular demand, Ronin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Zulu, and The Thing has been included, bumping a few movies.
Some guys have been asking why no Star Wars. Because primarily there is very little Baddassery going on. Han shot after Greedo misses, Storm Troopers miss too much, and Luke is a little biotch.
Update: Wild Bunch instead of Inception.
I think this is about as solid as it gets for the Top Fifty. Really, this list is now a Master’s Degree in being Badass. Each movie teaches lessons in about being a fucking Man, and not a sensitive metrosexual guy with a spare vaginia in his man-purse.
Hulu has their Criterion Collection. Most of it is Crap. If you want the list. THE LIST. Of movies that You Have To Watch. Here it is. It’s a Check List. If you have not seen one of these movies, you are Wrong and you need to correct yourself.
There are 3 Key movie elements that has become rather popular in most any movie these days in one form or another. If you have one of these Elements in your movie – Your Movie Sucks. If your movie has more than one, it really sucks.
Roller Coaster Scenes. Any Scene where the characters are in a run away vehicle of some sort, coal car, mine car, Sled, or just sliding down a long thing…. I hate Roller Coasters. Disney Animated Movies are famous for these things.
Costume Change Montages. The Character is trying on multiple outfits. As found in any chick flick, these scenes usually are book ended by Shopping Montages.
Hysterical Screaming Women. The woman character, regardless of looks or relationship to the protagonist, can do nothing but scream.
There is one movie that pretty much touches on all these elements to one extent or another, and I hate it. It’s classified as a Non-Movie. A piece of Film Garbage that is not mentioned or referenced – ever – due to the massive suckage.
I had to use a clip that didn’t have that stupid bitch screaming so I wouldn’t shoot my computer.
Bonus Element: Dragons. I fucking hate Dragons. Unless it’s Smaug. Or Management. Those are the only good dragons. Your Dragon sucks.
This list is for Horror Lightweights… Which means for most people living in Utah. But the Ogre lives in Utah and this list is something he might watch at 3 AM because he can’t sleep. *Yawn*. I’m bored and tired just looking at that Fail Roster.
Okay, The Ring and The Thing are right up there for great Spook Flix… but they don’t SCARE me. I’m not exactly sure what it is that really scares me… but there is one that stands out that scared the shit out of me.
There are two kinds of people out there… Those that have seen EH in the theatre… and those that have only seen it at home, safe, in your little box. Event Horizon scared the shiat out of me. 3 days later, I climbed a wall backwards trying to get away from my wife… because I was having a nightmare about EH. Uncle Musket did the same thing 2800 miles away after watching EH, three days later. Hell, I had nightmares and couldn’t sleep for a week.
The Woman in Black… with Daniel Radcliffe is a new movie out on disk that’s well worth watching. It has great Lovecraftian atmosphere and tells a good story. It’s scared a lot of people I know… and is now in my favorites list of Creepy Movies. You’ll have to check it out if you’ve not seen it.