Thursday, November 29, 2007


If you are a romantic at heart; if you loved watching the old Disney movies about Snow White, Cinderella, about Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, Thumper, and all those cute birds/mice/rabbits that help make dreams come true - then you definitely want to go see the movie Enchanted. It is a marvelous mix of animation and live film, of comedy and romance, of 'inside' jokes and throwaway lines that, if you are familiar with those Disney greats, you will find yourself nodding. laughing, saying, "yeah! I know where that came from!"

As we were driving home from watching it, I remarked to Bonnie that it is the sort of movie that used to come out at this time of year, that perceived 'family time' between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You could count on a colorful, animated, full-length movie, or a film with great songs about Christmas, or something that made you want to go out and do something for others, simply for the sake of doing.

But now, it seems that the movies that come out at this time of year are filled only with the color of red - as in blood, gore, violence, and over-the-top depravity. They focus on people killing, simply for the sake of killing. They devote story lines to depravity that is elevated (almost) to a lifestyle the viewer should emulate. They are filled with songs that degrade women, that exult about cruelty, that speak of unspeakable acts as if they are, or should be, everyday events in our lives.

(And often, we are told by the promoters and the reviewers, these sorts of images, these sorts of actions, are 'okay' because someone is giving an Academy Award performance, or someone has written a 'gritty' script, or a Grammy-worthy song.)

I've been thinking about the contrast in movies at this time of year because I have gotten a couple of emails concerning a film that is about to come out called The Golden Compass - a fantasy with magicians, witches, alternative worlds, etc., etc. And the emails are all about how
the movie should be boycotted (if not banned outright) because it is un-Christian, based on a trilogy by an avowed atheist. So? It is a fantasy - about a fantasy world, about polar bears that can talk, about people who can fly in the air.

Yet, there hasn't been a whisper from these folks who are so concerned over values, Christian living, families about movies like American Gangster or Hitman or any of the others of this genre.

Why is that? How can we become so concerned, so outraged, so up-in-arms over films that are simply fantasies, but not over movies that are simply disgusting?

I don't know; I don't have any answers. But as one who has seen both American Gangster and Enchanted, I know which one I will go see again, which one I will recommend to folks, which one I will buy when it is released as a DVD.

And it's not the one that stars two actors who have received Academy Awards.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

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