J. & C.'s Movie Reviews

Our Notes on Movies Made Public

The Moral Minefield of Movies

Posted by J on August 14, 2007

We attend the movie theater twice a year at most. This is for a number of reasons, chief among them is that a $10 ticket is a vote in favor of Hollywood fare that may turn out to be at best idiotic and at worst immoral. DVDs, cost effective as they are, have excellent tools for the purposes of censorship — namely the STOP and EJECT buttons. A case in point is our recent trip to Ratatouille. The projectionist put the wrong movie through the reels, and so we ended up seeing previews for R-rated movies, featuring the graphic liaisons of a male gigolo (Good Luck Chuck) and the umpteenth sequel to Halloween. From what we could see, our matinee audience consisted of grandparents and children, none of whom seemed to flinch at shot after shot of half-naked females and the glorification of a resurrected murderer. (To be fair, one parent got up and left with a young child, though we debated whether they complained or went to the restroom.) We had a word with the manager, but the movie theater treated us merely like upset customers returning a broken TV. When Good Luck Chuck and Halloween XII debut, the theater will likely feature them.

Far from being the funhouses they’re marketed as, movie theaters and video stores are moral minefields. An honest Christian could not operate a movie theater in good conscience these days. He might run, say, a drive-in theater for families, but that would limit showings to three a year during the summer season. Otherwise, he would be forced into peddling current releases, the majority of which celebrate violence and pornography. The same goes for video rental chains and retail stores that sell DVDs. Retailers who profess Christ ought to get out of the movie-selling business altogether, not because if they limited their selection they couldn’t make a profit, but because little they could sell would edify their fellow Christians.

We therefore advocate two things: step as cautiously as possible in movie-watching, and know the Bible as well as you can. God’s story shows you how to examine man-made stories, and it will not let you be indifferent to previews for R-rated fare. We advise this knowing that, unless you are Amish, you will probably watch at minimum several dozen movies in your lifetime. Be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.

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