Sunday, February 29, 2004

I saw "The Best Two Years" last night. Great show. Beautfully done.

It was very funny, but not a comedy. It was very spiritual, but not a seminary film. I recommend it. The best LDS film since Brigham City.

In fact, I think I even liked it better than "God's Army". It was certainly more true to MY missionary experience than GA was (not to be taken that I didn't think GA was representative of YOUR mission experience. But then, nobody died on my mission, and certainly none of my companions did).

But this movie once again proved the point of my previous point, though in a roundabout way.

This show was rated PG. There was no swearing. There was no violence (except for one scene where the elders blow off a little steam and wrestle a bit - certainly no blood). There was no nudity at all (of course - not even a scene of someone sitting on the throne).

Now, I'm not saying that it's for kids. I wouldn't take my young kids. Not because they would be exposed to anything wrong, but because they would be bored. There's nothing here to interest kids. It's a story of grownups interacting. I can just hear my six-year old saying, "Can we go home and watch Scooby-Doo?"

But it got a PG rating for "Thematic Material".


So, what material here needed "Parental Guidance"? Again, I feel like a lot of the LDS movies are being held to a higher standard by the ratings board.

Oh, well...

Maybe that's not entirely a bad thing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

More R-rated Thoughts

OK, I know that at times I can let the paranoia and the conspiracy theories get to me. Normally, I’m a skeptic. But today, well… I don’t know…

I’m thinking about “Saints and Soldiers”. It’s a new film, made by LDS filmmakers. It’s done really well in the film festival circuit. It was especially praised at the 3rd LDS Film Festival.

And then it got an R rating.

Instantly, ripples swept through the ‘net. Would this kill the movie? Was it possible for LDS filmmakers to make an R-rated movie and still keep their temple recommends? The LDS film community was shocked. The producers appealed, and the appeal was denied. A myriad of articles and postings started appearing on the ‘net and in the media. Should members of the church see R-rated shows? Has the ratings board lost their minds? What really defines the difference between PG-13 and R?

Well, look at who the ratings board is made up of. Representatives of all the major studios. People who have a vested interest in maintaining their power base. People who are aware of the movement that’s starting to happen in LDS film. What better way to kill the independent movement than to give their films ratings that would alienate their own audiences.

Look at the stink that went up when Brigham City got a PG-13 rating! Yet every week Hollywood spews out some new drool that slides past that same ratings board. Go figure.


Just a thought…

Mark Hansen

Friday, February 20, 2004

No Passion for Me, Thanks…

Any of you following religious movies lately has heard of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ”.

Any of you who hasn’t been on the Moon, or hiding in the cavity of a rock lately has heard of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ”.

In the recent weeks, as the release date approaches, there has been a great cry in the LDS circles on the net as to whether or not we should watch this movie. Some say that its R rating preclude it.

“The Brethren have told us that we shouldn’t watch R rated movies.” The intone. “I don’t care how artistic or brilliant the movie is, I’m not going to watch an R rated movie!”

Others say, “But the scriptures are brutal and bloody. Life is ugly. There’s no sex or nudity in the film!”

“Doesn’t matter! We have to draw the line!”

“But we’re supposed to think for ourselves!”

“But the Brethren have done the thinking for us! Obedience will be rewarded!”

“But then you’re letting the Hollywood’s corrupted ratings system think for you!”

“Bla, bla, bla,…!”

“Yadda, yadda,…!”

Well, I’ve decided that I’m not going to see the movie.

And my reason? It’s not because of any blind obedience to an arbitrary standard set up by corrupt and manipulative power brokers (I’ll blog on THAT some other day). It’s not because I want to make a stand for my own individuality and think for myself. My reason?

I’m chicken.

Yeah, you read it right. I’m chicken. Buck, buck, buckaw.

I’m sorry, but that movie just looks too intense. I have enough drama in my life (both real and imagined). I don’t need to pay money to go get more. This is why I chose not to see “The Return of the King”, but went to “The Home Teachers” instead. And I had a great time. At this stage in my life, I need LAUGHS! Yes, I would rather watch an overweight priesthood slacker fall through the ceiling in a wedding dress than the final conflict of good versus evil.

I read the books years ago.

I know how it ends.

I don’t need to see it again.

Same thing with the New Testament.

So, if that’s blasphemy, I guess I’ll have to answer for that at the end of my own passion.

Mark Hansen


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