Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inglorious Entertainment

If there is one topic that might get Christians stirred up, it would be the topic of entertainment. There are many forms, such as music, books and movies, and there are many preferences such as mystery, comedy or adventure. It's a gigantic subject with multiple layers and facets and variables that there's just no way one little old blog post can cover it all, and I don't intend to try.

A few days ago in conversation the new movie Inglorious Basterds was mentioned. Someone said they avoid Tarantino flicks, while someone else said they simply loved this new movie. I fall into the camp that generally avoids Tarantino movies, simply because what he's known for (over the top violence, graphic sex scenes and massive cussing) isn't what I call "enterntainment". I've seen parts of some of his movies but I don't think I've ever sat through a complete film. For me, it's just too much and I find myself feeling disgusted, embarassed that I'm watching it in the first place and quietly asking myself "okay, so why ARE you watching it?" I know it may sound silly to some people but the question begs, if Jesus were to walk into my game room and sit down on the couch with us, would we watch such movies together and enjoy them? Sometimes folks like to dance around that "silly" question because they know the answer and don't want to be accountable to it. We do enjoy our movies, don't we?

As for Tarantino's newest flick, I have not seen it and don't have any desire to. I read the plot line when it came out and had no interest. I read that Brad Pitt was in it, and had even less interest. I've never been a Brad Pitt fan, and while he's done some decent roles, he's most disgusting and creepy when playing a "bad guy" and when he's in those roles I'm rather anti-Brad Pitt.

While I have not seen this movie (and don't plan to), I did read a review that really stood out to me. Posted at Christian Spotlight on the Movies:

"Please, my Christian brothers and sisters, do not see this movie. I wasted seven dollars last night on a ticket for Ingourious Basterds, and I had to leave the theater about thirty minutes in. The violence in this movie is sickening. In intensity, it can be compared to “Gladiator” or “Braveheart,” but I found it much more offensive because it was intended comically. The audience in the crowded theater I attended laughed hilariously as men were scalped, strangled, beaten to (literal) pulp, and otherwise massacred. To me, this encouragement to laugh at horiffic war crimes was enough reason to avoid the movie in itself. However, I didn't actually leave the theater until the sex scenes began. When a somewhat graphic- and completely uncalled-for and unexpected, sex scene occurred my friends and I left the theater. Please, if you value your Christian witness and are serious about filling your mind with pure, noble, excellent, and irreproachable things, do not go to this movie." —Kira Williams, age 18

Now, opinions being what they are (highly subjective and all that), some have said that they watched the movie and didn't find it "all that bad". I wonder what that means, considering it's a Tarantino movie and he's definitely not known for any kind of restraint. Have we become so numb to this kind of entertainment that it really doesn't bother us anymore, or cause us to feel conviction at all? Not pointing fingers here, the question applies to me too, for certain. This young sister in the Lord quoted above has not only given us older believers some very sound exhortation to live according to the word, but she's also pleading with us not to wallow around in this kind of inglorious "entertainment" and be better examples of Christ in our culture.

I wonder how we'll respond?

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