The Good Book of Bad Movies

 Pages PREV 1 2 3
 

HyenaThePirate:
Had you stated THIS in your review of the book of Eli instead of "The Bible?! BOooooooo!" and ranting on about it in a manner that was both unnecessary and poorly supported in the context it was provided, then I don't think you would have received the criticism you did.

There is a difference between critical analysis of something and just straight bashing it because you dislike it. Sometimes that line might become obscured or so hard to see that a person can't cross it, but it's there. To be honest a review of a movie that actually turned out to be pretty darn decent to many people when you looked PAST the religious undertones (or overtones depending on your particular perspective) should have remained in the context of the FILM, but instead you scarcely touched on any OTHER aspect of the film. This aided the impression that you didn't like the movie because it was the kind of film someone of faith might walk away from feeling slightly inspired to continue believing in a God you do not believe in.

But we can all consider such thing, teachable moments. Disagreeing on a subject does not give one carte blanche to ignore or even insult the importance of said subject to others. One can be diplomatic in these things while still maintaining your own personal beliefs and exercising free speech.

I suppose one could call it "tact".

This is exactly what i was going to say. i think that your review was just a fluke, and you usually explain yourself well in your reviews. but that one just reflected you very poorly (of course, internet ppls are worse ;))

"you are a bigot"

haha woooooooww...

but you are right about lazy story techniques other than god... like there are:
Nazis are evil
Zombies eat brains
Aliens will want to kill you... no one knows why, it's just what happens
Megan Fox nude in ANYTHING will make a highly grossing movies and tight pants

but if that's true than there are lots of lazier ways to make movies.
I mean look at all the movies off novels and comic books... work's done!
That's why i relish any movie that isn't that, cause it's bottom of the barrel time for original movies

My only problem with your review of The Book Of Eli was that you seemed to think that it was dull due to divine agents being a part of the plot (apparently because you think that the involvement of God means that the conclusion of the movie is obvious.)

I draw an issue with that line of thought, because certain movies just HAVE forgone conclusions. I mean, look at most of the stuff Pixar has done. It was obvious that Nemo was going to be found, that WALL-E and EVE were to become lovers, and that the toys would get back to Andy again: but that didn't stop any of those movies from being the epic works that they were. Same goes for Avatar: anyone with half a brain will see the plot points coming from a mile away, but you can still enjoy it.

The fact that you've enjoyed other movies with similar easy-to-predict plots indicates to me that you CAN deal with forgone conclusions: therefore, the only reason that you find The Book Of Eli to be boring is because it implements a religious thematic to drive it's plot, instead of romance, the father/son dynamic, etc. You might be willing to say that there's a difference between The Book Of Eli and all of these examples in that the Pixar movies actually were GOOD movies with inevitable conclusions, but you didn't mention how The Book Of Eli handled the inevitability: you just complained about the WAY it was inevitable. That's why people got out their pitchforks and torches: it made you seem like someone with an axe to grind.

The only only only thing i have ever seen pull-off religon tye-ins is Fallout 3, only because that one verse completely got the story. Almost like a inside joke, thats not funny but we tell it because we remember that it might have once been humorous when we first heard about it. I feel like i just sucked something good out of a good game, but F3 is soo goodness filled that it can take it like a man.

scotth266:
You might be willing to say that there's a difference between The Book Of Eli and all of these examples in that the Pixar movies actually were GOOD movies with inevitable conclusions, but you didn't mention how The Book Of Eli handled the inevitability: you just complained about the WAY it was inevitable. That's why people got out their pitchforks and torches: it made you seem like someone with an axe to grind.

That's... erm... not true.

The way you define conflict in fiction is by how large the obstacle is relative to your protagonist. In Nemo, Marlin is a tiny fish who has to go all the way across the ocean to find his kid. In Toy Story, for instance, the conflict is smaller, but because the characters are toys, just crossing a few streets and escaping the neighbour's house to get back to their owner is just as much of a quest. In The Invincibles, however, the superpowered family needs a larger threat, so they're saving the world from a supervillain who not only has his own personal island and army, he has also single-handedly managed to outlaw superheroes.

Here's how you do this wrong: by having your dude be more powerful than his enemies. Here's a surefire to make your dude be more powerful than his enemies: Have him be a godsent warrior.

I don't care what kind of godsent warrior, Christian, Muslim or Na'vi, that's a cop-out.

For the record, look at how Avatar dealt with the same problem (and note that the only religious people in the movie are the Na'vi, by the way, and my being an atheist didn't mean that I had a problem with that). Spoilers in case the one guy who hasn't seen Avatar is reading this:

The same can be said for many other movies, including The Matrix, Superman, E.T., The Lord of the Rings and a bunch of others. Bob's criticism is both technically solid and very reasonable without being an ideological statement.

Not that him making an ideological statement against religion or christianism would justify people's anger, either.

Noelveiga:

scotth266:
You might be willing to say that there's a difference between The Book Of Eli and all of these examples in that the Pixar movies actually were GOOD movies with inevitable conclusions, but you didn't mention how The Book Of Eli handled the inevitability: you just complained about the WAY it was inevitable. That's why people got out their pitchforks and torches: it made you seem like someone with an axe to grind.

That's... erm... not true.

The way you define conflict in fiction is by how large the obstacle is relative to your protagonist. In Nemo, Marlin is a tiny fish who has to go all the way across the ocean to find his kid. In Toy Story, for instance, the conflict is smaller, but because the characters are toys, just crossing a few streets and escaping the neighbour's house to get back to their owner is just as much of a quest. In The Invincibles, however, the superpowered family needs a larger threat, so they're saving the world from a supervillain who not only has his own personal island and army, he has also single-handedly managed to outlaw superheroes.

Here's how you do this wrong: by having your dude be more powerful than his enemies. Here's a surefire to make your dude be more powerful than his enemies: Have him be a godsent warrior.

I don't care what kind of godsent warrior, Christian, Muslim or Na'vi, that's a cop-out.

You missed my point. Yes, while the characters of all those movies have epic quests and trials to undertake, was there ever really any doubt as to how things would play out in the end? The only Pixar movie I've seen that ever really was even mildly unpredictable was Up, and even that was fairly within my expectations.

My point was that while you might KNOW how things are going to play out in a film, you can still enjoy it. That's the premise of most action flicks. You KNOW that GI Joe/James Bond are going to defeat their rivals, for instance: but you can still watch their movies.

Neo, from the Matrix (the ORIGINAL ONE, not any of those damn sequels), is the very definition of a God-sent warrior: a being predicted by prophecy that will hold powers over the very fabric of (virtual) existence. Yet The Matrix is still an enjoyable movie.

Being a God-sent warrior doesn't mean jack shit when it comes to power levels, or whether or not you'll even succeed in your tasks. All it means is that God's sent you to do something. Whether or not you fail or succeed is dependent on your own endeavors: if Eli, for instance, had sat down and said "fuck it, I'm not doing this bullshit any more", that would have been his choice. And yes, God was probably giving him a little more than a helping hand by if some of these spoilers are right, letting him see while he's blind, but that doesn't mean that Eli wasn't pulling his own weight, or that God would pull his for him.

Of course, it's up to the viewer to interpret that. I haven't seen the movie myself, so I can't vouch for how WELL the "warrior of God" bit is done: it's entirely possible that it was done horribly, and Bob would have been more than right to complain about it. After all, while the first Matrix handled the theme quite well, the other two... didn't. But Bob didn't mention the quality of the God-sent warrior usage: he just didn't like that it was used, and claimed that that was what made the movie bad.

EDIT: Hyena had a similar point to mine, in that Bob's focus on the issue, instead of mentioning other things that made the film bad, was what drew all the criticism.[/quote]

scotth266:

You missed my point. Yes, while the characters of all those movies have epic quests and trials to undertake, was there ever really any doubt as to how things would play out in the end? The only Pixar movie I've seen that ever really was even mildly unpredictable was Up, and even that was fairly within my expectations.

But unpredictability is not what decides engagement, that would be suspension of disbelief. In a movie you're not thinking about the ultimate outcome of the protagonists' plight. If the movie is good, you're caught up in the moment. It's not about whether Nemo will be found, it's about how Marlin will escape the sharks, or free the fish from the net because suspension of disbelief supports the fiction that the outcome is not predetermined (which is also why movies can be enjoyed more than once).

This is a very well researched dynamic that is caused on purpose in storytelling, and that is what gets diminished when God sends the main character to do his bidding.

Neo, from the Matrix (the ORIGINAL ONE, not any of those damn sequels), is the very definition of a God-sent warrior: a being predicted by prophecy that will hold powers over the very fabric of (virtual) existence. Yet The Matrix is still an enjoyable movie.

No.

Neo is told time and time again that he is not, in fact, the Chosen One. Of course you know he is. If you paused the movie the first time you were watching it and you thought to yourself "is Neo going to turn out to be the Chosen One despite what the Oracle says or what he himself thinks?" you'd probably answer "yes". But watching the movie, these instances of doubt are planted so that Neo doesn't become the Chosen One until a very specific point. If you notice, the second Neo resurrects, the second Trinity explains why she knows what he is, the movie ends. In fact, in the next two movies, the problem Bob mentions is exactly what happens. Neo is now the Chosen One. He is basically unstoppable, so what's the point? This, again, happens in Superman and in a bunch of other similar stories. You need to work to prevent it if you want to bypass it.

But Bob didn't mention the quality of the God-sent warrior usage: he just didn't like that it was used, and claimed that that was what made the movie bad.

I took his statements to imply that a Godsent warrior is only a problem when it's not done right, just like a Deus ex Machina is only a problem when not done right. Had the movie not been full of religious or, more specifically, Christian undertones, his generalization in a passing remark in a five minute spoken review wouldn't have driven any criticsm. If he had said of The Matrix Reloaded "the problem with Neo is that once you know he's the Chosen One you know he's going to win every fight, so it stops being exciting", which is what he said about Eli, it wouldn't have raised a single eyebrow, not even with fans of the movie. And, of course, we would all have known that it could be done right because the first Matrix did it. Likewise with all the complaints about Superman movies not being intense for the same reason. Nobody adds a disclaimer saying "unless it's done very well" just because Superman 1 and 2 are generally considered to be good movies.

I understand your point and agree with you. But did you just compare The Crow to The Boondock Saints?

I agree with you to some extent MovieBob on the subject. I won't go into where I disagree with you for now, but the recent movies that had their directors add christian elements into the film itself seem to only do it to avoid making a more detailed explanation of the universe surrounding the movie and looks like lazy storytelling. Even though some of them have done it right, it's being done to death as you mentioned before in your Legion review.

I also thought your review on the Book of Eli was good. Not that I have a problem with characters on a mission from God, but the mission needs to be better explained with the details matter. There's only two characters that were in a movie that an explanation of their mission wasn't in need of much explanation and forgiven. And these were the two...

...and they were indeed on a mission from God. LOL

as much as I want to say " The passion was good! TBE (The Book of Eli) actually sounds like a good film idea,read a friggin' book, you Idiot!", I like to think I can be a bit more mature than that. I wish to why you hate religous movies and or games. Whats next,you and/or Yatzee saying some something offensive about the bible? With yatzee however, it's somewhat ok, because the way he says it will actually be funny. Leave my people alone,MB.I like your stuff, but stay way from religous stuff.

Bob, you shoulda sued the arse off of your boss at the time. Firing someone for believing a film to be anti-jew and for symaphising with them is probably a breach of right to religious freedoms or something.

I've personally not seen "The Passion" as religious films and religion in general doesn't interest me (nor most Brits, if studies are to be believed - we apparently pay lip service at best to religion), so I can't really comment on it. I've heard people say its anti-jews and people who've just said its alright, so who knows.

I have to side with Bob for the most part. I might be an atheist, but I also spent 12+ years in Catholic school, a good part of my undergraduate degree studying religion historically and philosophy, and still have many friends and relatives who are theists. And I really hate movies that pretentiously claim to be deep or edgy because they're about religion and then proceed to deal with religion in the most superficial ways.

Faith is reduced to repeating pithy little quotations or practically idolatry, the way "sacred" objects are fetishized in these types of films. That isn't religion, that's magic.

Now, if you want to make an action movie where the good guys get magic powers from God and the bad guys get magic powers from Satan or whatever, I'm cool with that. But to slap it with a controversy-baiting tagline like "RELIGION IS POWER" and pretend you're making a deep theological statement just makes a showcase of your ignorance. This is why I found The Prophecy to be great, silly fun but found Stigmata to be ignorant and offensive--to my intellect and to other peoples' faith.

What crackpot biased review company were you working for?

McShizzle:

Just to be clear, although Tolkien was a devout christian The Lord of the Rings has nothing to do with christianity. If it has influence'd it, it is very little. The inspirations for the story were drawn from Celtic, Norse, and Germanic mythos. Tolkien himself expressed disdain at the allegory used in the writing of his colleague C.S. Lewis

Thanks for the reply. I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree strongly on two points:

1) Of course LotR is a complex, non-allegorical story. Of course it takes imagery and ideas from Germanic mythos. That doesn't at all undermine my point about it: it is a Christian story. Its morality is Christian - self-sacrifice for the greater good, sin and redemption, deontological ethics; the wider mythos of Middle Earth is profoundly Christian (Eru Illuvatar, Valar/Maiar and thus Sauron, Saruman and Gandalf being, effectively, angels, etc); its characters are profoundly Christian. This is most strikingly true of the Hobbits; Frodo and Sam, especially, in imaging the officer/batman relationship Tolkien and Lewis both experienced in WW1, talks very strongly about Christian morality and belief in a time of war. Categorically, unequivocally, a non-Christian could not have written the precise same book as LotR; I'm not referring to "quality" there at all, so much as "qualities". Without Tolkien's Christian belief it'd be a lot of philology and mythical tropes stuck together in decent prose.

2) Lewis too dismissed allegory as a top-rate storytelling device. But Tolkien's objection was both a) something of a misunderstanding of Narnia; it is not an allegory, as Lewis made clear, and b) more about the apparent "childishness" or patronising quality of the stories.

You know, Bayonetta's angels have beaks and are covered in feathers. And yet they're FAR more interesting than anything Legion could come up with. Kudos on more fine work, MovieBob.

Casual Shinji:
But yeah, it's not the source material that's to blame, it's the writer. When people make religious based movies, they take the easy way out by saying, "God is good, the Devil is evil and that's that". They don't look at the individual characters and what makes them tick.

Satan as a character is horribly simplified in movies. He's always depicted as a fist-shaking angry man instead of the corrupted and clever trickster that he is in the bible.

Except that if you really read it rather than going by what people say is in it there is not much there regarding Satan as character in the Bible. He is NOT the serpent in the guardian of Eden so much of the whole trickster angle gets thrown out on its ear.

Also, there is at least one oral tradition that has Satan as the sufferer of a nervous breakdown. In this story the Lord commanded all the Angels to bow down to none but Himself. Later the Lord created Man and regarded his creation so much better than his angels that he commanded them to bow before Man. Unable to reconcile this new order with the Lord's original order Satan and bunch of other angels lost it and attacked the Lord. There goes the corrupted idea on its ear as well.

Also the Old Testament Lord is hardly good either--condoning murder, rape, genocide, and whole sale slaughter in His name. In fact one branch of Christians (Gnostics) held that there were TWO Lords--an imperfect and ultimately evil one that created and ruled this world and the one that sent Christ and created the universe.

But when you get down to it supernatural evil in movies are generally portrayed in an almost Snidely Whiplash manner when they are not a mindless killing machine in the Jason or aliens mold.

Um, necroing a thread a month after it has died?

For shame.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here