Today’s QOTD comes from reader/commenter doa766, who wonders: What movies do you find offensive that no one else does? Or, What movies do you see as offering a terrible message but no one else seems to notice it?
For example, I always thought the first Narnia movie was one the most offensive movies ever made, with Santa Claus giving a knife to a six-year-old girl so she can go to war, and a group of children marching to war with no training or any military knowledge other that a prophesy, but no one ever mentions this.
I’d probably pick It’s a Wonderful Life, which seems to me to be suggesting that totally subsuming one’s dreams and desires and needs to those of others is good thing, a noble thing, and if — in the end — you’re bitter at having lost out on everything you wanted for yourself, well, you won’t even be allowed the luxury of a moment of self-pity.
(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)
His Girl Friday; not the whole movie, but just the way they handwave the soon-to-be-executed murderer’s victim. Sure, the alleged “anarchist” isn’t exactly the worst guy in the world, and once they talk to him it doesn’t look like the fact that he killed a black police officer in the 1940s was racially motivated, but…still. He shot a guy, and that guy is mentioned in one throwaway line about how City Hall is overreacting for political points. It does bother me.
I hated Traffic. It was meant to be an intelligent overview of drug policy, but it was full of dumb plot maneuvers, like the drug czar who knew nothing about drugs, and the security agents who didn’t think to perform a basic check for poison in the witness’ food, and the badass top assassin who was captured and broken in about ten minutes. Some of those plot twists could have been turned into interesting irony, but since they weren’t, I felt as though large portions of the movie were insulting my intelligence.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait…
What the hell is wrong with you, doa? Did you not -read- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a child? Did you not want to -be- Susan or Peter or Lucy or Edmund*? Did you never picture -yourself- being handed a sword/rifle/lightsaber and going off to battle evil with nothing but pluck and prophesy??
What kind of childhood did you have?!?!?? ;-)
*Well, Edmund in Prince Caspian… Edmund in Lion was kind of a prat.
Wall-E, well I guess it was more creepy than anything. With it’s Psyco-like quality of dragging around and falling in love with a deactivated (unconscience/dead) robot.
Count me in for this as well. The fact that he spent the rest of the movie raising hell due to his inability to accept the fact that EVE had a job to do that didn’t involve him (when he wasn’t just being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk, like with that cleaning ‘bot) didn’t help matters.
But anyway, I’m offended – no, not offended, but certainly opposed to – every “technology=bad, primitive shit=good” story from Frankenstein, to Metropolis, to Return of the Jedi, to Jurassic Park, to Avatar.
Not the whole movie, but the throwaway scene in The Hangover where the guys *leave a baby in a hot car!* while they go in to the wedding chapel! It’s not as if we don’t have more than enough adults in real life who think it’s OK to leave a child in a hot car… maybe 10-20 American children die every year this way… so do we have to see film characters doing it too, with no onscreen consequences?
But every time I bring this up, nobody seems to think it’s a big deal. “It’s only a movie!” (but the scene wasn’t even funny, or necessary…!)
Funny, I was going to say 90% of the Hangover. I don’t understand how people didn’t just SEETHE with anger when they saw this movie. In the first 10 minutes, we had “fag” jokes, “retard” jokes, countless jokes about what emasculating harpies women become once they’re in a relationship, jokes about how much marriage SUCKS… eventually we get racist, sexist, misogynistic, and hate-filled portrayals of minor characters. There’s all kinds of sex without consent. And YEAH, a baby left in a hot car!
Just about everyone I know thinks I’m an asshole for hating this movie. In fact, in the middle of a recent fight, my roommate brought up my hatred for this movie as an example of everything that’s wrong with me. Well to paraphrase an old song, “If hating this movie makes me wrong, I don’t wanna be right.”
Didn’z we have this question before, or am I misremembering?
However, I can’t tell people on the internet often enough that I loathe “Keinohrhasen” written, produced, directed by and starring Til Schweiger, as it managed to totally offend my (!) feminist sensibilities.
Okay, this is not mine, but I have a friend who is passionately offended by Chicken Run which she views as an inappropriate take-off on concentration camps.
Me, I have trouble with Funny Face, where Audrey Hepburn is successfully talked out of being a beat-generation intellectual into being a fashion model by Fred Astaire. I mean, Fred should be ashamed of himself. It’s total abuse of his power and charm…
I absolutely cannot bear Oceans 12 and Oceans 13 (which is a shame beacuse the first one is good). Oceans 12 because it is unbearably smug (although Vincent Cassel carries no shame from this movie. Oceans 13 because of the way they treat Ellen Barkin’s character – I was really appalled.
It’s A Wonderful Life is actually my favorite movie, and I thought it was made pretty clear that everything George Bailey had in his life that worked (terrific wife/family, lots of friends, etc.) far outweighed what he missed out on. Plus, George can be a bit of a horse’s ass at times (mote how he treated the guy who was dancing with Mary and ESPECIALLY Zuzu’s teacher) so I thought he was a perfect everyman.
In answer to your question, the movie that offends me the most is Barry Levinson’s Diner. 1959 atmosphere is good and so are the performances of Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke, but I HATED the Baltimore Colts football quiz that Steve Guttenberg’s fiancee was forced to take or have the wedding called off. The poor girl spent all her time studying for it and we never even got to see her (indicating, I guess, that Guttenberg AND Levinson viewed marriage and women as something mysterious and scary.) If Guttenberg’s character thought that her not sharing his fanatical devotion to football was really a deal-breaker then he never should’ve gotten engaged to begin with. Filmmaker Nancy Savoca (True Love, Dogfight) wason the money in her discussion of this one!
you already used this question, I sent it to you months ago
I read the book when I was a kid but I don’t remember that part
my point is that on Narnia the good guys have the notion that just because they believe they fight on the right side then everything will turn out OK
so it’s justifiable to send small children packing to war because God or whatever will protect them since they’re the good guys, the same with Peter who suddenly becomes an expert swordsman with no training at all just because he’s the hero
that’s the same notion that drove people to crash planes into the world trade center
on the great and underappreciated Kingdom of Heaven (director’s cut) the people with that notion are the bad guys (remember “God wills it!” and “an army bearing the holy cross can not be defeated”)
One of my least favorites in this vein is A TIME TO KILL, which wants us to believe that because these guys raped and killed his daughter, and weren’t convicted by a white jury, the black father is allowed to take the law into his own hands and kill them himself. I could ALMOST make a case for this if he’d appealed this ruling all the way to the Supreme Court and STILL not gotten justice, but to blow them away after the first not guilty verdict is reprehensible… and is painted in an entirely “this is justice” light in the movie. This guy brings a shotgun into the courthouse and kills 3 men in cold blood – JUST LIKE THEY MURDERED HIS DAUGHTER – and we’re supposed to jump to our feet and applaud.
Murder is wrong, no matter what the circumstance. I nearly got lynched myself when I pointed this out in a film class I took a few years back, but I still hold that this is a classic case of two wrongs not making a right. A vigilante is a vigilante, regardless of skin color – we all submit to the authority of the law in this country, and if you think you’ve gotten a raw deal – as he clearly did in the movie – then there are legal avenues to address the injustice. Murder is never the answer.
Okay, bring on the brickbats…
on along came a spider the bad guy kidnaps a little girl and during the movie he kills like a dozen people that got in the way of his plans but at the end morgan freeman rescues the girl and it’s a happy ending
similar on The Dark Knight the tunnel chase, the Joker kills at least 6 cops but then he gets arrested by Gordon and everything it’s fine, Gordon gets promoted and applauded, when in fact he did a pretty awful planning job, the Joker was out on the open and even with Batman’s help he couldn’t prevent the joker from killing half a dozen cops before getting arresting him
if the Joker’s gang overpowered the cops then it’s the cop’s fault, more specifically Gordon’s
I’m so happy for this question — it seems like I am constantly being offended by movies that don’t bother other people.
The poor grasp of biology in Wall-E bugged me. Why would humans grow weaker over successive generations? That’s not my understanding of how evolution works. And why were all the people blobs? Even if everyone were living a sedentary lifestyle, some people would still be thin, and even fat people carry their weight differently.
Enchanted is a movie that I would never, ever want my hypothetical daughters to see. The movie seemed to be telling me that men want naive women who clean up after them.
I would have really liked Love Actually but for the anti-Americanism.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin crossed a line because I never ever find drunk driving funny. Ditto Roman Holiday, which starts with the character being drugged and ending up in a strange guy’s apartment.
MarinaB, it makes perfect evolutionary sense that our species will get weaker, because we refuse to weed out the “non-viable” among us. We go to huge lengths to save newborns who, without major mechanical intervention, wouldn’t survive, and we keep coming up with ways to keep us alive long past our natural expiration dates with surgery and pharmaceuticals. All of this does nothing to improve the strength of the species, and perpetuates the conditions down into succeeding generations. I’m personally happy about this – my sister was born 2 full months premature and wouldn’t have had a chance in hell if she’d been born even 10 years earlier, and I’m about to have some of my parts replaced by stainless steel – but I’m dismayed at the overall trend for our species.
I’m with you 100% about ENCHANTED, though – I wouldn’t let MY hypothetical daughters watch that or most of the other movies out today. The female roles are dismal at best, infuriating more often. And don’t get me started on television…
Saving Private Ryan
I found the premise of weighting one soldier’s life over that of the entire squad that went to retrieve him deeply irritating. It left me completely unable to appreciate anything about the film at all.
I thought Grease was horribly offensive. All of my childhood, my girlfriends would sing songs from the movie any chance they got– I didn’t actually see it until I was fourteen, and was appalled. It totally explained half of the horrible neuroses the insecure, fake girls at my school were suffering from. What do young girls learn from this movie? That the most important component to happiness is getting the guy you like- even if it means denying your own personality, compromising your values, and pretending to be someone you’re not. For chrissake, her virginity is the only thing standing between her and the asshole meathead she has a crush on who denies her existence when they get back to school because she isn’t popular enough. The best part? She sings goodbye to herself. SHE SINGS GOODBYE TO HERSELF before donning stretchpants and giving it up. Completely shudder-worthy.
Also, I agree that The Hangover was horribly offensive, especially to women.
DANNY: I like you, but you’re not cool enough.
SANDRA: What if I became a slut?
DANNY: Now that you’re not who you are, I can love you for who I wanted you to be.
Nearly every moment of “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” almost made me vomit. It was inexcusable for a movie that pretends to champion gay people to base its plot on the idea that gay people are so helpless (women, too) that we need these “understanding” oafs to be our champions. I’m probably not alone on that one, though…
Devil Wears Prada, though… It pains me to say it but that is a very offensive movie. For all the glamour, and the catty intrigue of the fashion world, it totally loses me on how Andrea allows her friends to treat her. Here she is, plotting the course of her life and willingly making the sacrifices necessary for success (all of which, btw, are over in a year. A single year!), but she can’t count on her friends or lover to support her through it. And when she starts to make the best of her situation, and, god forbid, enjoy her opportunities, her friends vilify and abandon her. Oh sure, they enjoyed the perks of her new career early on, but only until they started feeling neglected once in a while. As soon as that happens, she had better throw away a year’s worth of ambition and effort just to make her friends more comfortable. And the most offensive part? She internalizes all of this garbage and says that they’re RIGHT. That she should put her friends’ interests and her boyfriend’s perception of her above her own ideas, self-image, ambitions, and concerns. She’s ‘lucky’ that her boyfriend might still date her in the end, instead of kicking his ass to the curb. Good for her, empowered enough to quit, but only if she does so for herself, not because of what everyone else is projecting onto her.
And MarinaB –
Unfortunately, we don’t live in an environment of survival of the fittest anymore. One does not have to be fit in order to have his or her genetic legacy survive. As for body shapes, and the missing metabolic people – those space tourists weren’t just leading a sedentary lifestyle. They truly were not moving. Think of chained veal calves. You don’t see an occasionally thin veal calf. They’ve ‘evolved,’ more or less, to be soft and doughy and incredibly tender.
Miss March. Sometimes I hang out w/ pee brains.
It just beggars belief that people actually think this film is romantic. I mean, what makes Gere’s character decide to go back for Roberts’ is the guy in the hotel saying how hard it is to give up beautiful THINGS.
Women are not possesions!
Christina and Chance – I see your point about the environment not selecting against weaker people (and I am also happy about this on a personal level), but there was also nothing selecting against stronger people, so I still think there’d be more diversity. The veal calf metaphor is a good one, though. Maybe I’ll have to watch it again. If I still think it’s offensive, at least I’ll be able to look forward to the closing credits sequence.
And absolutely agreed on Devil Wears Prada. You know from the start that she’s going to quit the job in the end, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t also quit her unsupportive friends and boyfriend along the way.
Kate – The Americans in that movie were all so stereotyped and dumb, and there was really no reason to even have Americans in the movie, except to show how awful we are. The movie would have worked perfectly fine without.
If you’d stopped there, I would have let it go as a lack of understanding of the concept of “fantasy”, particularly “children’s fantasy”. That’s just sad for you. I might have said you were over emphasizing the “Christian allegory” of the Narnia books. I mean, a lot of people do that, so YMMV.
But then you went and said this:
The problem here is not the idea that religious fundamentalism can lead to dangerous behavior. Only a religious fundamentalist would argue that.
The problem is the direct line you want to draw from Narnia to 9/11. From an author directly involving his fictional characters in the fictional action of his fictional story, to real-life grown adults engaging in mass murder/suicide.
That, my friend, is offensive.
@Rocketscience: I agree generally with your issue concerning movies that are science = bad and primitive = good, however, I draw a different line depending on whether it is technology itself being shown as bad or if it is the people using the technology that are shown as bad.
When I was watching Jurassic Park, and the SCIENTISTS were saying anti-science things, I found myself wanting to scream, “It’s not the science, it’s the greed and hubris of the capitalist who thinks he’s on dinosaur safari!” Thus, it seemed like the plot disagreed with the dialogue.
At Doa: I’d compare giving the kids weapons to fight for good to the Children’s Crusade, in which thousands of children marched to take back Jersualem, got onto ships, and were sold into slavery by the captains.
@Sarah: While I agree with your specific points, Grease was not kind to the hero either. As I recall, it purposely showed him as insecure and giving into peer pressure in his treatment of the heroine. Which makes the ending a little odd, since it seems like for most of the movie the hero is in the wrong, but then he gets what he wants.
@Rocketscience: Apparently CS Lewis was at a book signing and a woman said to him, “I love your book. It teaches such good morals but without any of that Christianity stuff.” He had a good laugh.
I actually like some of these movies for the exact reason others hate them, so really it is often dependent on one’s own perspective. For example, I dislike the newly rebooted Batman particularly for its pseudo-dark themes and its not too subtle endorsement of vigilante fascism. The same is true of other superhero stories which always dwell on petty crime while ignoring the superhero’s complicity in lending stability to an oppressive status quo. As for films I really dislike, I tend to avoid watching them in the first place.
I’m going to agree with everyone who mentioned Wall-e. Why did the robots fall into really obvious generic gender roles, including Wall-e seeming to be physically attracted to the smooth, pretty, “female” robot? I’ll buy Wall-e having developed a personality over time, but why would Eve be able to develop enough of a personality to care about him?
Plus, I hate the incredibly heavy handed “stop being a couch potato and ruining the environment!” message. I agree with the basic sentiments, and I think everyone does. But there’s this underlying attitude that humanity is just a few Big Macs and iphones away from losing all creativity, curiosity, work ethic and self control. Wall-e has to teach the most highly ranked adult on the ship basic curiosity about the world! The whole movie has a really dim view of humanity. It sets the bar for its human characters’ growth so low that the message ends up being “basic human contact and surfing wikipedia on random are good!” I really didn’t need a movie to tell me that.
And as for that movie having a happy ending, all I could think was that there’s no way their destroyed bodies will ever be able to adapt to walking in earth gravity. Their muscles would have atrophied long ago. Maybe after months of extremely slow and painful physical therapy the younger ones could build their muscles up enough to carry the weight of their bodies, but even that’s a long shot.
I love most of Pixar’s other movies, which was part of why this one bugged me so much.
I hated the end of movies like Breakfast Club (which I enjoyed otherwise), where the interesting girl succumbs to a “make-over” to be more generic and therefore liked by the main guy. The slightly less slutty version of the Grease ending. B)
First of all, I totally agree in regards to It’s a Wonderful Life. I can see the uplifting message they were trying to convey but I can’t help sorry for this poor man whose entire life conspired to keep from his dreams. And yet the movie says I’m not supposed to. Go figure.
Anyway, as an answer to the question I’d like to present the children’s movie Catch That Kid, the American remake of the Swedish film Klatretøsen that I haven’t seen yet I assume transmits a similar message.
The gist of the plot is as follows: a 12 year old climbing enthusiast’s father is suddenly paralyzed due to a delayed reaction to a fall he took years earlier (yes, really). As is standard in Hollywood, there’s an experimental treatment that may save him that isn’t covered by insurance. Mom tries to ask the bank whose security system she designed for a loan but they turn her down. Hence, the “heroine” decides to rob it.
Yes. A 12 year old decides to rob a bank.
Naturally, the whole thing is played like a mixture of Mission: Impossible with Home Alone physical comedy and she manages to get the money but eventually they are caught. Tough break, right?
Wrong. The mother manages to convince everyone that it was part of a test of the security system. The money is returned but the case goes on TV and the family is showered with donations. Dad is cured and everyone lives happily ever after. The kid doesn’t get grounded or suffer any consequence whatsoever for the fact that she tried to rob a bank.
Basically what this movie teaches children is “As long as it is done for a good cause, crime has no consequences” and “Bankers are evil people so they deserve to get robbed: it’s not as if the money kept in banks belongs to other people or anything”. Utterly ridiculous.
Other worthwhile candidates (and children’s movies!) are Krippendorf’s Tribe (a college professor and his children bond over creating a fictitious jungle tribe to cover up the former’s misuse of grant money. Somehow this is supposed to be endearing while the people trying to nail him are portrayed as the villains) and Radio Flyer (children should not report abuse from their stepparents since that would make their birth parents unhappy. Best to construct a ramshackle “flying” machine and go off to God knows where). These are probably only partial examples since there have been one or two reviews that called these movies out on this (Radio Flyer got a particularly outraged reaction out of Siskel and Ebert)
Sorry, I meant to say Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin.
I guess I always took Wall-E as using exaggeration to make the points it wanted to. It was many many generations after we left earth, and everything was taken care of, eventually we will lose the ability to function without the automated aides. (I do agree that walking in earth’s gravity is far fetched, but I was involved enough in the movie by that point for it to bother me)
As for why Wall-E would suddenly go after Eve, because he’s obviously curious, but has had no companionship for the last hundreds of years, so when something shows up, that is sort of like him, and responds, he’s going to latch on.
As for films, probably Tarantino films. I enjoy them to varying degrees, but I never understand the amount of love heaped upon them.
so if you see a picture of a child soldier holding an AK-47 standing on some road in Africa that’s bad, but if you’re on fantasy land a 6 year old girl waving a knife in a battle it’s OK?
it might turn out OK on fantasy but on reality kids involved in arm conflicts are the first to go down, that’s why it’s offensive
motivations are the same on fiction or reality, the Santa Clauss on Narnia and the 9/11 hijackers share the believe that if you think a higher power is on your side and you’re doing His work then the death of innocents on your side or the other is justifiable, that’s why he has no problem with sending young children packing to battle or why the hijackers had no problem with murdering thousands of people
blind fanaticism takes many forms but it always shares the same roots
Maybe I’m biased because I was born with a congenital heart murmur but I just love it when people start talking like this kind of talk is somehow courageous…As if the process of somewhat seeing to it that “nonviable” people don’t reproduce is a process that has never happened in the Western world before…
And yes, the question of the day does seem a bit familiar. MaryAnn experiencing a bit of deja vu?
Things I find offensive:
1. The pro-adultery subtext of Shakespeare in Love and The Bridges of You-Know-Where. Geez, doesn’t anyone in these movies ever have sympathy for the deceived spouses?
2. The anti-working-stiff subtext in Terms of Endearment. I worked with clerks like the one that waited on Debra Winger’s character and I know from experience that that women was probably just as poor and stressed out in her private life as Ms. Winger’s character. But does she get a break? No. And the price of those items Ms. Winger refused to put back probably ended up coming out of the clerk’s salary to boot.
3. The surprisingly misogynistic subtext of The 40-year-old Virgin. Almost every woman except Ms. Keener and her daughter are treated like imbeciles–especially if they’re interested in sex–and we’re supposed to believe that most grown men would actually get turned off by the real-life equivalent of the Elizabeth Banks character. Yeah, right.
4. The not-so-misogynistic subtext of Roxie Hart which starts out being about the title character and ends up–SPOILER–being about a contest between two men. (If that’s not bad enough, there’s yet another Ginger Rogers movie in which the poor dear’s character is meant to feel guilty because she killed a would-be assailant in self-defense. Oh, those wonderful films of yesteryear…)
5. The wink-wink-nudge-nudge attitude towards alcoholism in CrazyBeautiful. Especially shameful is the scene in which it is implied that Ms. Durst character only drinks because she isn’t loved enough. As if anyone with an alcoholic friend, parent or spouse really needs a guilt trip on top of all their other problems. (Quick confession of bias: My last ex-girlfriend had a mother who was a hidden alcoholic.)
I’m sure there’s more but that’s it for now.
For what it’s worth, they did the same thing in the original movie version of The Front Page.
That’s the point though, the system would have never given him justice, not even at the highest level, if it were even allowed to go that far. That’s just the times they lived in. So what do you do then, just sit back and take it? You’re asking someone to have a rational response to their daughter being raped and murdered and her very obvious killers not being punished at all for it. I mean, I agree with your insistence that it shouldn’t have been hailed as a triumphant moment that he got off for killing them, but honestly, the system would never have given his daughter justice.
MAJ posted this same topic about a year ago, and ever since I’ve never been able to look at Wall-E or The Beauty and the Beast the same way again. Thanks for that…
I can’t think of anything that offends me, but I can think of a lot of films that I used to love but now wonder what I ever saw in them. Take Jerry MacGuire for instance. How did I ever like that movie? The two leads are codependent idiots. It’s just weird how life experiences change the way you react to things.
I’m amazed at the vastly different interpretations of a lot of these films I have from some people here though.
Anything from the genre of vigilante movies pisses me off, like Law-Abiding Citizen, or The Brave One, or the climax of Enough, or even the ending to Obsessed, because they all share the same general message: “breaking the law and going around committing murder is completely okay and acceptable if you’ve been wronged”. I hate that we’re supposed to be cheering these people on, because what should rightfully be an ambiguous action(how do you get justice in a system that won’t get it for you and is doing so yourself through violence ever an acceptable alternative?) just becomes, “hell yeah, kick those thugs’ butts, Jodie Foster!”
“Offensive” seems a little strong a word, but The Incredibles “Superior people being held back by the weak and cowardly jealous masses” thing struck me as distractingly creepy Randian claptrap.
I have known plenty of American’s who aren’t at all arch libertarians who thought that was great though. I guess that “everyone is special!” stuff got more of a hammering over there than I’d thought and everyone’s dying for breather.
(Incidentally, I don’t think veal calves are much of an example of evolution creating a sedentary animal. They’re no doubt selectively bred to be the sort that grows a lot of meat quickly. Humans have no similar selective action on their breeding. The sci-fi trope that we’ll turn into blobs of whatever in the future is a Lamarkian joke about our lives now (in the rich West anyway) and nothing more).
Did Saving Private Ryan’s treatment of that subject seem insufficient to you? The squad spends a lot of time in the movie kvetching about, debating, and struggling over that very point, essentially that they’re risking their lives to prevent bad PR for the Army. (And that premise is realistic; the US military pulled a lot of stunts for PR reasons, including the staged re-enactment photo of the Marines on Mount Suribachi – but that’s another movie.)
In the hands of a more cynical director, I suppose the same story could have come out as grimly ironic or tragically senseless. But Spielberg focuses on the sacrifice of the men who commit to the mission anyway, perhaps as a stand-in for the sacrifice of millions of soldiers who gave their lives for people and countries they didn’t necessarily have a reason to care about.
[SPOILERS] It also gives Spielberg the chance to set up Ryan as an especially acute case of the “survivor’s guilt” that so many soldiers feel. Capt. Miller’s last words are “earn this.” The elderly Ryan seems to be a perfectly ordinary man – did he “earn” his extraordinary rescue?[END SPOILERS]
Incidentally, I don’t think the Nolan Batman movies are pro-vigilante at all: for all Batman gets things done, his presence inspires other, increasingly theatrical and unpredictable, villains like the Joker to come out of the woodwork. And Bruce Wayne knows this is happening, which is why at the start of The Dark Knight he’s getting ready to retire and hand the crime-fighting stuff over to Harvey Dent, and at the end of the film he takes the rap for Dent’s crimes, because Gotham needs the idea of Harvey Dent more than it needs the reality of Batman.
I stand by my answer to this question when it was last asked – the gay brother in Wedding Crashers was my solid gold “Er, I can’t believe no-one else has a problem with this” moment.
As for a movie that I found irritating and offensive, I’ve always thought American Pie is insultingly crass. (I mean, before all the exceptionally crass sequels the “franchise” has produced.) The script nods in the direction of teaching the boys that there’s more to life than getting laid, and that women are good for more than sex . . . then they all end up getting laid anyway, under circumstances that range from creepy to ridiculous.
It’s also hardly sympathetic to any of the female characters. I guess Allyson Hannigan character comes off better than most of the rest, since she’s assertive about her own sexuality and knows what she wants, but it’s at the expense of being treated as a kook for the rest of the movie.
It also has the dubious distinction of coining the term “MILF,” and spawning the trend of cynical “unrated edition” DVDs. A sterling legacy all around.
The part you probably consider anti-Americanism (where the Prime Minister stands up to the obnoxious American president) is the part I almost cheered aloud about. I didn’t consider it anti-American as much as anti the types of Americans who think they can come in and push everyone else around. I, for one, still think the world would have been in better shape if Tony Blair had acted more like the Hugh Grant character and stood up to George Bush rather than backing him up on the whole Iraq debacle.
Not to put to fine a point on it, but, yes. The purpose of fantasy is to make real and/or permissible that which is not so in reality. How would you have written the story? Made the children older (and thus moved away from the target audience)? Kept the children out of the battle (and thus excluded your central characters from the central action)?
I’m really starting to question your ability to distinguish between the two.
Now you’re starting to contradict yourself. Earlier you claimed that Santa – and by extension, Muslims – believed that no harm would come to their chosen warriors. Now you’re claiming Santa sent them specifically to die for the cause.
Incidentally, and to tangent off of Paul’s comment, here’s something to realize: The Narnia books are not tracts. They are allegories, and they are subtle enough that you could miss it. People tend to assume Lewis was preaching here because among his other writings are Christian apologetics. If you think you can’t write a Christ allegory without trying to convert the heathens, I would point you toward The Matrix and Star Wars prequel trilogies.
My sister works in a school and she is sick of the parents telling their kids how perfect they are, when they are monstrous little terrors. That’s what I thought that dig in the Incredibles was about. Parents should reward their kids for effort, not for success. Running was easy for that little boy and maybe that’s what his mother was trying to teach him. It’s no good telling your kids that they are special, when they can’t read or write or spell and make no effort to. My sister tells me she’s had parents go beserk with her, blaming her, when she mentions their kids have problems.
I really hated that earn this at the end of Private Ryan too. How’s anybody gonna do that? but the guy seems to have lived a good life, with family and friends and people still loved him so that’s the best he can do.
I think people are being a bit harsh on Grease. First of all, it’s initially implied that he will change for her, as he’s wearing the dorky cardigan at the end, he’s not so afraid to be seen out with her in public. Second, she looks so uncomfortable with the cigarette… so maybe they’ll meet in the middle. They’s a high school romance anyway so they’ll either marry young, earn no money and hate each other. 2- Marry he becomes a mechanic, she becomes a dr, he resents her for earning more money and cheats on her and they hate each other or 3 – they break up five minutes after the credits or a week before she starts college.
Anyway, I’ll always love Rizzo.
But Knightgee, my point is, he didn’t wait to see what the system could do for him, he anticipated the system’s failure and took the law into his own hands. As I said in my original post, if he’d waited until the system reached “absolute fail” and THEN blown them away, he might have had my sympathy, but doing it on spec, as it were, isn’t right.
And let’s remember that the system he accused of being stacked against him, and used as his excuse for killing those 3 men, is the very same system that acquitted of the murders. He – or rather his lawyer – elicits so much sympathy from the jury for what happened to his daughter that they literally let him get away with murder. So… it’s a bad system when it lets THEM go, but a good one when it lets HIM go? Maybe if his lawyer had been given the chance to argue the original crime as passionately before a non-local jury or judge, those 3 men would have been convicted. But we’ll never know, because he didn’t give the system a chance. Maybe they would have been found guilty, and even given the death penalty, and the end result would have more or less been the same, but he took the law into his hands and personally meted out what he considered to be justice, and no, that’s not okay with me.
I’d rather trust my fate, and maybe my life, to a system that, while admittedly not perfect, is designed to be as fair and impartial as possible, than to a person with a gun who correctly or incorrectly believes I deserve to die for something I did to them. The problem with the vigilante approach is that it eliminates the possibility of appeal; he shoots, I die, and if it turns out later that – oops! – he was wrong and I DIDN’T do what he’s accusing me of having done… well, that’s just too bad for me, isn’t it. That’s not justice, that’s anarchy, and anarchy is only fun when you’re watching it up on the screen.
Back to the Narnia debate here, I have just one comment. When I was a kid – and ever after – I have seen the children in such fantasies as role models. They teach that even ordinary people can be heroes. As a kid, that meant that, rather than being weak, lesser, and easily dominated, you can stand up for yourself and for a just cause. Such stories also clarify what a just cause might be. (The best ones show different sides to the issue – think Harry Potter’s foe Voldemort. He’s not just an straw man evil entity, and we learn how he came to be evil.) Anyhow, I’ve always loved imagining myself in the story, being brave and not shrinking from the difficult challenge.
As for Lucy and her knife, consider it was not meant to be an offensive weapon in battle. Her important gift was the vial of restorative potion. And by the way, she was dubbed Lucy the Valiant when she became a queen. I’ve always wanted that for me, too.