Monday, September 13, 2004

Hollywood Watch

The Wonderful World of Film
(links below)

Most regular film reviews, like those you'll find at Rotten Tomatoes, are subjective critiques of movies as works of art. They're written with the hope that the reviewer's taste and preferences will correspond to some degree with that of the reader (often this hope fails).

Most reviews from a Christian perspective, on the other hand, are more concerned with the worldview or ideas expressed in the story. Since entertainment media is so pervasive in our culture, the film industry can have a positive - or very negative - effect on the health of society. Granted, films are usually fiction, so they maintain their own reality; but people tend to identify with and accept the (often fictional) reality underpinning fictional stories, and this can be dangerous.

When watching a film, ask yourself the following: What are some of the noticeable elements of the worldview undergirding this fictional story? In other words, what "truths" about the real world is the filmmaker trying to convey? Are they, in fact, true? What kind of impact will these ideas have if accepted by the public at large?

Of course, film quality, at its core, is subjective (as is, for instance, one's ice cream preference), and movies should be enjoyed as the wonderfully entertaining works of art that they are. But caring citizens must be aware of and combat films that promote a false reality.

Thus, there are two types of film/art critiques: aesthetic critiques (subjective) and worldview critiques (objective). (Incidentally, worldview issues are free to play a role - as is anything - in one's aesthetic appreciation of a film.)

General movie resources:

IMDb.com
Movies.com
Moviefone
Rotten Tomatoes (large review compilations)
Box Office Mojo (box office analysis)

Christian, usually worldview-conscious reviews:

Focus on the Family's "Plugged In"
World Magazine
Movieguide
ChristianAnswers.Net

Also, see LIBERTAS, a conservative film blog, and Townhall.com links.

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