War On ChristIanity, Part II
As I reviewed the published article in THE ALABAMA GAZETTE from May 2014, I had the realization that another front has been used to attack Christianity; the movies. From about the time that Clark Gable uttered his “d” word in Gone With the Wind, producers and directors have pushed the envelope with “mild” profanity to non-stop profanity, sexual innuendo to outright nudity and sex on the silver screen. This includes the gross violence on the screen.
When I was a kid most of the movies were family appropriate; now the family appropriate and especially kid appropriate movies are harder to find. There are a few sets of moviemakers that seek to provide wholesome entertainment on the big screen, but often these movies are neglected by the big name reviewers or given a bad review. I have avoided some movies where Christian reviewers pointed out the worldly or ungodly attributes. I belong to a men’s accountability group at Church. Each meeting we report to the other’s four things; how our Bible reading time is, how our prayer time is, how have we done with our “eyes” and have we answered truthfully about the prior three items. For men there are a lot of things we need to avoid seeing that pop up on the internet which includes stories on Fox News and other usually conservative news outlets about various entertainers, etc. Watching a movie with ungodly content is equally sinful to looking at lustful images.
When a movie with Judeo-Christian influenced content comes out it’s usually one that the Christian community supports. My wife, Jennifer recently attended a movie that she really enjoyed and I have asked for her review as a contrast to the secular reviewers.
I want to give you some of the worldly reviews; many of the big newspapers did not include a review at all. I sometimes use the Flixster app to locate a movie that my wife and I might see and often we rely on it’s attached reviews when we are unfamiliar with the movie. Flixster uses the Rotten Tomatoes reviews that said for this particular movie, 7% of the top movie reviewers and 14% of all reviewers gave this movie a good rating but 86% of the audiences gave it a good rating. The primary review seen of this movie on Rotten Tomatoes, say” Cheap-looking, unfunny, and kind of sexist to boot, (the yet to be named movie in this article) is a disappointment from start to finish.”
Christy Lemire of rogerebert.com says of the movie,
“depressingly regressive and borderline dangerous, in the name of wacky laughs. But it also wants to be “About Something.” It wants to inspire as well as entertain. It’s “The Hangover” aimed at Christian audiences, and if that sounds like an impossible prospect, well, that’s because it is.” She went on to say, “But the ultimate message here is unmistakable, regardless of your religious beliefs: A woman’s place is in the home, not out on the town”.
Rafer Guzman of Newsday called it “unintentionally grotesque” and “worthy of damnation.” New York Times, Neil Genzlingermay said that the character Allyson is “an insult to the millions of women who have much more to deal with.”
Finally, Jerry Roberts who reviews for Armchair Cinema and claims Birmingham, AL as his hometown where the movie was filmed says,
“There are no laughs in (you still have to wait on the name of the movie). None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Bupkis. Maybe there’s a smile, but that’s not exactly high praise. When you can say that about a comedy, it pretty much empties out the entire picture. Here’s a movie in which the only comic highpoint is a shout-out to Pinterest – it does them no favors. The directors here are The Erwin Brothers whose apparent goal is to bring the kind of Hangover-style antics to a Christian-based audience without all the immoral filth. It’s a nice gesture, but in restraining the comedy their movie comes off like a limp sitcom pilot – the kind that doesn’t get picked up. With this, and last year’s anti-abortion misfire October Baby, it is clear that the Erwin Brothers need to work on the filmmaking before they try to send a message. This time they’ve made a low-impact comedy so generic that it might as well have come stamped with a barcode.”
After reading the reviews by the professionals, I want you to read the review of the now named movie, “Mother’s Night Out” by my wife, Jennifer. My wonderful wife is a stay at home Mom and she definitely has an incredibly hard job. Regardless of the played out scenarios or the fictitious characters of this movie, I trust my wife as a reviewer both for content, moral direction and entertainment value.
I went to see the movie Mom’s Night Out with no real expectations. I heard two ladies at Bible study talking about going to the sneak preview and that it was funny. I did not know anything about the plot. Closer to the opening night, I heard a few people saying that they had heard the movie was getting bad reviews, but I didn’t see any of them and still had no idea about the plot. The actors that I immediately recognized were Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, and Trace Adkins. I recognized several others from the movie Courageous. The movie focused on a young, stay at home mother with three children, two of her friends and their families. She is writing a blog that is not doing well. Her husband is away a good bit because of traveling with his job. There were scenes that touched all emotions. Anger, fear, suspense, hilarity, heartwarming (to the point of tears). A couple of scenes that were particularly touching to me was when she was on the phone with her husband. Her daughter drew a picture of their family for her for Mother’s Day and brought it to her while she was on the phone. It only had her and the three children in it. She asked her daughter where her daddy was, and she pointed to an airplane at the top of the drawing and said that he was on the plane, like he always was. Dad hears what she has said. The daughter says she is going to finish the drawing as Mom continues to talk to dad on the phone. In a minute, Mom looks up to see that her daughter has finished the drawing on a wall in the family room. Later, as she is trying to clean upthe mess, she has to paint to cover the drawing. She paints over some of the scribbles, but ends up putting picture frames around the drawings her daughter has drawn of their family. Heartwarming, right? I teared up and wondered if I would ever be a good mother like that. Another scene was when Trace Adkins, who played a really rough looking motorcycle gang member, is talking to Mom. He tells her that he has never forgotten what his mother told him every night before he went to bed. She had told him that Jesus loved him and there was never any place he could run that Jesus wouldn’t be with him. It made me think about how important things are that we say to our children. The crazy scenes worked out like some thing from Toy Story when the toys are trying to make their way back to Andy. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Parenting is such an important job. Mom’s Night Out was a great movie. I would love to see it again, and would also recommend it to anyone…male or female!
My wife and several other ladies in her “Mother’s of Pre Schoolers “ Group saw the movie. From what I was told their take was totally the opposite of the “professional” reviewers. I don’t know the intent of the negative reviewers though one must consider whether such a review is an attempt to belittle a Faith based film. There is a big audience looking for Faith based films even if the acting or production is not exceptional. Amoral influence by filmmakers supports a way of thinking opposed to many Americans and we must fight back against those that seek to influence what God has defined as right and wrong.
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