Tag Archive: theater


There Will Be Blood and The Golden Compass show that religion is a touchy subject in film. The religious and parental banning of books and films has been a constant battle against artistic integrity. There really is no art without politics.blbig.jpg

There Will Be Blood features an outstanding performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as an pioneer oilman in the 1920s. The film assimilates Daniel’s growing business to the budding career of a fanatical televangelist-like preacher, Eli. I think this article got the message half right. It pits Eli and Plainview on opposite ends of the spectrum, one a self-serving atheist and the other a radical Christian. A few characters, like Plainview’s son H.W. , manage a middle road of virtue.

The movie upset a small percentage of movie-goers because of its negative display of Eli as a religious figure. Essentially the message is that evil exists on both sides of the spectrum. H.W. and his wife are morally sound people who chose to live a moderate life. The couple are involved in a church which appears from the short clip of their wedding to be Catholic.

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Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials series and an “outspoken British atheist”, is accused of being “anti-God, anti-religion, or anti-Christians”. The story, The Golden Compass, follows a young girl, Lyra Belzqua, as she attempts to save her kidnapped friend and unravels the corruption of the Magistrium. The movie did not fare too well in theaters, which Christian fundamentalist like to take credit for. The protest centered around the idea that children may not have the cognitive capacity to recognize the difference between the corrupt “Magistrate” and its connection with the Vatican leaders.

Critics feared the possibility of a sequel because the last install The Amber Spyglass evidently kills a character named God. The author claimed the intention was to show the corruption of religious groups when they gain absolute political control. The character God in the book is supposed to represent a false deity.

I love this quote from comedian Jim Gaffigan, “Have you ever read a book that changed your life? -Neither have I.” Movies have the same idea.

The point of film is to see a new perspective of an issue, not completely change everyone’s mind. If a person’s opinion can be swayed by a two hour presentation, namely a film, it was not that important to them in the first place.

Edit: A lot of readers seem to be looking for Daniel Day-Lewis’s personal religion. He was born Jewish according to this thorough biography. I am not sure if that is merely his heritage or his religion. There was no mention of whether he practiced the faith or not. He lives quite a turbulent life with a diverse dating record and a avid hatred of the press.

I decided to further investigate into his life and religious affiliation in an updated post, Daniel Day-Lewis On Religion.

Meet the Spartans is a perfect example of why there are no new ideas in the media or entertainment industry. Even the most innovative ideas have some source. Creatures from horror movies, romantic comedies and twist endings may seem new but are only modernized classics. It is no surprise that there is now an entire chain of movies that relies on that concept.

Most people over the age of 13 think that spoofs are a bad concept. They have a few “ha” moments, if they get lucky, but taking something a lot of people have seen and tearing it apart only appeals to a select few. Why would I have any interest in watching 300, to begin with, if I am just going to watch a spoof? Not every movie has to be intellectually stimulating or some timeless classic but nobody is going to sit through a movie if it isn’t appealing or entertaining.

Meet the Spartans

The latest installment of the spoof genre, Meet the Spartans, is no exception. Its predecessors, Scary Movie, Date Movie and Epic Movie, became a competition to see which filmmaker can be more obscene. There were no attempts at scriptwriting, with the movie being a word-for-word copy of 300 with a stupid gay joke, sexual reference or celebrity appearance added every third line.

I really don’t think I need to state much evidence to my argument that spoofs are social commentary at its worse. They pretty much speak for themselves. As a society, we indulge in a lot of silly obsessions: celebrity watching and a cruel sense of humor including dick and fart jokes. I am not saying those don’t have their place, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith has made quite an entertaining career out of the latter, but I am saying these jokes are more enjoyable with some kind of plot behind the movie, even to a twelve-year old boy. Half an hour or more of dick and fart jokes is painful for any self-respecting person to sit through.

I am not saying it is wrong to make fun of trends or celebrities. Britney, K Fed and Paris all deserve some heckling. It isn’t smart to give them more attention than the opening line on late night show, however.

Speaking of spoofs, I read this article on censorship and thought it was quite entertaining.

I’m No Perez Hilton

Movie Kisses

After some deep consideration I decided to reboot my efforts to make a half interesting blog. That being said I realized the plights of my social and academic life interest only myself and a select handful of my good friends. I do live in a world saturated by the ever changing media world. I am a viewer, a distributor (that might be a stretch in some people’s eyes) and a student with high hopes of some kind of career dealing with the media.

Although my job 99% of the time is full time babysitter to a bunch of sixteen year olds , I am required to be an articulate critic and manage some promotional material. I find a lot of the time I can notice something in a movie, play, song, etc that others don’t and I have wanted a platform where I can make my arguments.

I am not a history buff pointing of the number of historical inaccuracies in The Patriot, to which there are a lot. I am not arguing that the movie industry has to be correct about every fact, it’s entertainment, not a history or science classroom. I just know when something doesn’t feel right.