A Movie Too Disgusting to Name

699 Baby Green Iguana Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Here’s a nice baby iguana instead of a foul movie.

Okay, I’m going to review a movie without giving its title because I don’t want to be blamed if someone winds up watching it. Suffice it to say that this film is about two sadists being sadistic to each other. Totally without redeeming value. I won’t even attempt to discuss the “star” of the show.

I wish I could unsee this movie. I wish I could forget I’d ever heard of it. I’d like my two hours back, please. And my living room could use a cleansing.

So why did I watch it in the first place?

Because someone whom we trust recommended it to us. Ai-yah, what was she thinking?

Why did we watch the whole freakin’ thing? Well, why do you keep on watching a fire as it burns a building down? Here we kept waiting to see what was the point of the thing. Nyah-nyah–there wasn’t one.

I’m told I take things like this too seriously. Well, sheee-yee. Was “Not disgusting” too high a goal for the film-makers to aspire to? Was “Harmless” too much to ask for? I’ll even settle for “Silly.” It would be a big step up.

Besides just venting, why am I writing this?

Because there really and truly is too much toxic crapola being pumped into our culture. It can’t possibly be doing us any good. I suppose a grown-up Christian has little to fear from it; but to grow up with stuff like this as your cultural diet can’t be beneficial. I mean, how much of this stuff can anyone absorb without losing his sense of evil?

I’m not asking for every film to be a classic. All I want is for a movie not to be a dumpster fire. If that’s setting the bar too high–well, I can’t help it.

 

9 comments on “A Movie Too Disgusting to Name

  1. Sounds like one of those existential movies that has no purpose on purpose (di you catch that?). I recently watched “Live Free or Die Hard’ a way over the top action movie starring Bruce Willis. The cable channel (I believe it was FX) had removed all the tons of “F” words in the original so I could watch it. When movies overdo the “F” word I am out of there.

  2. Just yesterday, I was thinking of the power of moving pictures. A filmmaker, or someone making any video, has immense power. The direction a camera is pointing makes a lot of difference. Turn a camera 90 degrees from a catastrophic event and the scene might appear peaceful. I have heard that protests which show citizens of Iran shouting “death to America”, may make it appear that there is a consensus of hatred of America among the Iranian people, but the camera doesn’t show that there is a much larger crowd all around them, avoiding the protest entirely.

    Name the situation, and it’s relatively simple to create a video image that is misleading, simply by aiming the camera carefully and editing creatively. I once did a job interview over a video link and the background was the model of orderliness and decorum, with a very complex piece of equipment centered prominently in the background. Had the camera been move 15 degrees to either side, it would have revealed all of the things I moved out of the way of the camera. Simply stated, I flattered myself by using a little, very simple, stagecraft.

    When I did that interview, it struck me as an object lesson on just how deceptive the camera can be. When you saw Rob & Laura Petri’s New Rochelle living room on the Dick Van Dyke show, you were seeing an illusion created by a set on a soundstage. Mayberry, North Carolina was actually in Southern California, as was Gilligan’s Island.

    Video has immense power of suggestion. By the way, so does music. Establish a pattern in a song and you can break that pattern occasionally and the listener’s imagination fills in the blanks. Our brains crave patterns, and will detect patterns from the most scant hint that a pattern exists. That is most likely related to the fact that we are able to see a rapid series series of still pictures as smooth, continuous motion. Movies, videos, etc. are an illusion, by definition. As such, the rules for illusions apply to movies and videos. Anyone that has ever performed a slight-of hand “magic” trick knows that there is a skill to making an illusion, and making a movie is much the same.

    Think of it like this, in the mid 19th century, the average person might experience seeing an illusion if they went to a circus or a sideshow at the county fair, but in our day, it’s quite possible to experience illusions during virtually every waking hour. Ok, not all illusions are harmful. We delight in animal videos, for instance, but we don’t take them as a source of hard information. If I see someone playing with a tamed tiger, I’m not going to approach a tiger in the wild and expect it to be tame … but that’s just me, and unfortunately, there are people incapable of making the distinction.

    As a less extreme example, a person might presume that anything they see on a “News Channel” and being a report of facts. Commentary, editorials, etc. may be part of a news program, but they are not news. Even if I happen to agree with the message of such content, I am constantly aware that this is opinion, and not to be confused with factual information, even if some facts are presented as part of the commentary. Even facts can be manipulated and, on occasion, I have had to change my opinions on certain matters, when the facts disproved my conclusions.

    Perhaps the most problematic aspect of the illusory nature of moving pictures is that they consistently fail to portray the consequences of actions portrayed in the movie. Violent actions, dishonest actions, immoral actions and some of the vehicle stunts portrayed in movies can have very severe consequences in the real world.

    When the Good Guy exacts vengeance on the villains, they rarely portray the legal consequences of these actions. Likewise when a hero breaks the law, perhaps for just reasons, but that does not guarantee at that the law will see it that way.

    Sexual activity in movies is frequently portrayed as being without consequence, but in the real world, broken families, broken hearts and serious disease are very real consequences that are not so easy to avoid. A number of years ago, there was a significant outbreak of HIV after an actor in a pornographic movie apparently faked the results of a disease test which is legally required for actors in that distasteful business. But, as one sows, so shall they reap, and sexual activity has great potential to spread disease, so no one should surprised that this happened.

    Vehicle stunts are a source of dangerous misinformation. The Dukes of Hazzard was a television show in the ‘70s that seemed to mainly consist of car chases, a young lady wearing very short cutoffs, a comedic stereotype of a southern sherif and endless car chases which frequently culminated in a spectacular car jump. Cars don’t jump well, and pound Dodge Chargers which approach 4,000 in weight jump very poorly. The fact Is that most of those jumps did serious damage to the cars used in filming and probably would have severely injured the occupants, unless they had special safety equipment. I have to wonder how many people have been injured because the illusion of a car stunt in a movie or on TV led them to take an unrealistic risk.

    1. When the first plays were put on in ancient Athens, Solon objected to “all those lies” (and illusions) spoken and performed onstage. “We will have them spilling over into our business!” he said. But no one listened.

      True enough–but fiction also has power to do good.

      The problem is when they can’t tell it’s fiction anymore.

    2. Solon had a point. I’m not going to condemn fiction, or drama, but I will state that there is a lot of potential for trouble, when everyone is exposed to continual entertainment. I’ve seen people speak harshly to the real people in their lives, because they interrupted the viewing of fictional characters in a TV show. That seems a bit imbalanced to me. I would think that a real, living, breathing person should always be more important than some flickering image caused by electrons.

      People quote and paraphrase movie lines, and emulate the behavior of characters they see on TV. In many cases, I think that the line between reality and fiction is blurred in their minds.

      Sometimes I think I should just just shave my mustache, buy a flat hat and shop for a horse & buggy, 🙂 because the older I get, the more I admire the Amish approach to life. They are not anti progress or anti technology, but they are not interested in being connected, literally or symbolically, to the world at large. It makes for a different set of values, and I appreciate the fact that there are people willing to forge their own path and whom live without the near addiction many people have to technological gadgets.

      Too much of any good thing is still too much.

    3. “Near-addiction” is putting it too mildly.\
      But at least now there are two books out there discussing this very thing. At least someone recognizes the problem.

    4. Like so many things, it’s quantity that determines when the line between good and bad is crossed. If someone drinks a fine Scotch on a Friday night and does so on moderation, they will do no harm to their body. If someone drinks frequently and, especially, if they do so immoderately, they will harm themselves.

      High tech is not, in and of itself, bad. I’m using a pretty high tech device to write this reply, and it’s not harming me in any manner. I am in the middle of a huge, and complex project involving many people from around the globe. Within the last fifteen minutes, I was using technology to collaborate with someone halfway around the globe, and that’s a good thing. It saves time and facilitates communication.

      That is, however, a much different matter than a group of people sitting together at a table, each using smartphones to communicate with people that aren’t present. Lack of face to face interaction, in my humble opinion, is just asking for trouble. There are no secondary indications, such as tone of voice, facial expression, posture, etc. when using text messages. The bonds formed by text communications are not the same as the bonds formed by face to face communications. There is something about physical presence that can’t be replaced. I’ll refer back to my earlier comments about illusion. When you are standing in front of someone, that is not an illusion.

      To expand upon my comments about the Amish; they live a life with much different sensations than our own. If you plow using horses, that is a far more engaging experience than plowing with a tractor. There are scents, such as the perspiration of the horse and the scent of the freshly tilled ground, that you probably wouldn’t even come close to experiencing in the air-conditioned cab of a huge tractor.

      I used to work out of doors and I can tell you that I miss it a great deal. Spend 8 hours out in the weather and you experience a lot of pleasant things. Seeing people face to face, a visit from a friendly animal, the breeze, the changing of the seasons. Beyond that, you could observe a lot that is happening around you. You see people going about their business, hear the unique vocalizations of kids bursting onto a playground, or the happy voices of people at a swimming pool. It gives us perspective, that no matter how important our activities are, there are others around us, going through their day, and their activities are just as important as our own.

      There also the sense of satisfaction that your work is contributing to the lives of these people and the fact that a mutually beneficial exchange is taking place. In the jobs I am thinking about, I played a small role in providing services to these very people and each of them contributed a small amount to my overall wages.

      People that work directly with the land see a cause and effect relationship that is impossible to ignore. This is, and remains, an essential part of life, for all of us, no matter what we do as an occupation. We have to see results, or we will not be effective in our work. I knew a fellow that made $85,000 per year as a programmer, back in the ‘90s, when that was a LOT of money, but he left his job, because none of his projects were ever put to use.

      IMHO, technology has become too preponderant and has robbed us of many experiences we may never have taken note of in the past, but which are still vital to our lives. I love to go outside with the line trimmer, smell the cut grass and experience the various sensations of something as simple as pushing a two-wheeled device over the surface of my yard. The extra effort to push it over a rock or through a rut. The sound of the line as it cuts the stalk of a weed, or the difference between walking into the breeze or away from the breeze. A few years ago, I did some work on the roof of my house and really enjoyed the breeze, the sensation of being 15 – 20 above ground level and the sights which I could see from the top of the roof. If I could go back to the simpler times when such experiences were part of my everyday experiences, I would gladly toss all of this computerized technology aside.

      Sadly, the silicon master beckons and I must go and serve my technological overlords.

    5. You’ve hit on several more reasons why I like to write my books outdoors. Squirrels, assorted birds, the odd deer, the occasional tiger swallowtail or monarch butterflies–and people going about their business. These stimuli inspire me.

      This morning, surrounded by beautiful September weather, I had occasion to write about a severe winter storm. You’d think that combination wouldn’t work, but if you did, you’d be wrong. I think it works just fine.

    6. That actually makes sense. I live in a world of multi-factor authentication, iris scanners and even man traps. In my workplace, there is nothing natural. My office has some slight exposure to natural light, but that’s it. It’s hard to be inspired in such an environment.

      Your books always bring to mind the great outdoors, so your source of inspiration seems to be effective.

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