A conversation came up at church yesterday about movies. This is a fairly common topic among our young people and came up at this particular time because this Tuesday a movie night has been planned and we were discussing what to watch.
Because of the different people invited and all the different interests involved, as well as standards, the goal was to come up with something we would all enjoy. A couple of Disney animated films were brought up and I mentioned my dislike of most(not all) Disney's, and was accordingly accused of being prejudiced and having a lack of openness to different types of movies. I find this accusation rather unfair as I enjoy a very broad variety of movies and am open to watching just about anything,( I do of course have some standards). But when it comes to watching something new I always try to be very open, and put aside any preconceived notions I may have so that I can enjoy it for what it is and not try and read my own criticisms and ideas into it. I must admit that this can be rather difficult at times. There are some films that no matter how much I try and be open and enjoy them for what they are, it is simply not possible. And I have to say that many of the Disney "classics" are in this category. Come on, for the most part, they're made for 6-year-olds.
While I do sometimes enjoy animated films, (UP is a favorite).
Along with Monsters Inc. and Hoodwinked, for the most part I find them incredibly stupid. Also many of the ones made today use a lot of rude humor and dumb antics to make people laugh, personally I prefer something with at least some semblance of intelligence.
But it has me thinking, why do we watch movies? Well, for the most part it's pure entertainment, and for a lot of people they like being able to shut their brains off for a couple hours. Me, I like to keep mine running. But our culture is obsessed with the idea of not having to do anything, it's something that keeps us from being bored without us having to actually do anything, which is why so many movies today are mainly action with a little bit of a story to keep it all together.
Something that really helps me when watching movies is something my dad always asks when we are telling him about a particular one or when we sit down to watch one. " Do you see truth, beauty and goodness in it?" Basically this can be used in anything we are doing. Reading a book, having a conversation, or just thinking about things. Are we dwelling on things that are edifying and profitable in any way?
This is not to say that I think movie watching is a bad thing and that I don't like to do it. On the contrary, any of my friends and family will tell you that I am a big movie person, I love finding new good films and am always very excited when any of my favorite books are made into movies, though very often I am disappointed. And I like quite a variety...
... have always enjoyed Little Women(it's kind of a family thing;-)
But also very much enjoy the action and yes, the fighting in Batman Begins.
One of my all time absolute favorites is Pride and Prejudice, and while I know a lot of people have this thing about Keira Knightly I think she did a wonderful job as Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 version. The earlier A&E one I am not as fond of, as I think they rather dragged the second half and I'm not big on Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Like the Matthew Macfayden version much better. Absolutely love the cinematography and music in the 2005 one!
Another all time favorite is Lord of the Rings! It seems there are very few people who actually dislike this one, if nothing else you have to appreciate the effort and talent that went into this one. While there are quite a few things missing in the movies, was very disappointed that they ended the Return of the King so "happily". It is still a wonderful representation and for the most part quite accurate. And just beautifully done!
And of course the Chronicles of Narnia, I was so excited when they started making these, my mom read us the books when we were very little(I can not remember ever not knowing the story) and was so pleased that they were finally making a movie that might do it full justice. I think they could've done better than they did, but on the whole was very pleased with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Prince Caspian was rather disappointing, although I did know coming into it that it would be different so was able to enjoy it for what it was. I am most relieved at the change of directors for Voyage of the Dawn Treader, as I have never cared for Andrew Adamson. Hopefully they'll stay on the right track. The new director Micheal Apted did another of my favorites...
Amazing Grace, this was well made, well acted and best of all it's a true story! Historical movies always have a much bigger impact on me than fictional ones. Being able to sit there and watch something play out in front of you that you know actually happened! Send chills down my spine just thinking about it. It's one of the things that makes movies so wonderful, they can make history come alive and help you to see that these were real people who had feelings and struggles the same as we do. Or sometimes they can completely mess everything up, that is most annoying.
Empire of the Sun is another great one, I love it because it is such a different perspective on World War II. For the most part people focus on the German part of it and rarely do you see the Japanese/Chinese side.
But I also really enjoyed Valkyrie, which represented things from the side of some Germans, we often classify people in races by the most dominant overbearing ones, forgetting that there were those who were against Hitler's rule and opposed him. This one really made me think about that and again made the whole situation more real to me.
But then I also enjoy some Sci-Fi. And this is going to sound rather contradictory to everthing I've just said, I enjoy Stargate;Atlantis and can come up with absolutely nothing to justify it, it's purely fun for me. Even though at times far-fetched and rather stupid.
I also love Charles Dickens, my absolute favorites being Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, and Oliver Twist. Bleak House has got to be one of the most puzzling movies I've ever seen and I loved it for that, you have to think about things in order to keep everything straight! And no matter how much you try and just sit down and watch it without trying to figure things out, you find yourself sorting through the information you've been given and trying to find out"whodunit". And it has so many rich characters that you can't help loving or despising.
Also M. Night Shyamalan's films. They are so different and very thought provoking, my favorite being The Village. Seems dark but really is a neat concept and while it is "suspense", is quite a simple story that is easily relate-able.
Anyway there's a few of my movie picks, really I think we (as a family) watch quite a broad range. Like everything from Star Wars to Wives and Daughters to Master and Commander or Horatio Hornblower. And even a few Disney animated films, though nothing comes to mind at the moment.