Tuesday, January 22, 2008

High standards (in which I say how horrible two Oscar nominated movies were)

This past long weekend my husband and I had a chance to see a couple of movies. Let me just start out by saying that we are not "movie-buffs" or "film-goers", but we *are* extremely picky (me more so) about movies we will watch, *and* we like a good movie. I mean, you have to be picky, in this day in age. We don't like junk. Give me a movie that has a redeeming message...that's what I want. I've got enough bombardment of the world around me to want to be exposed to it in mere entertainment. Plus, I'm a mom of four, and my time is limited. I don't want to spend what free time I do have on worthlessness.

I usually recommend movies on this site. And I usually won't recommend them unless they are unique, redeeming, and enjoyable.
I know you mamas have just as much time in your day as I do. You don't want junk!

That's precisely why I am not recommending the two movies we saw this weekend.

The first was the much hyped There Will Be Blood. I heard the rave reviews of Daniel Day-Lewis, who I think is a fabulous actor, and the costumes and the set and the music. No, these things did not disappoint. In fact, the whole first half of this movie was amazing. It had me interested and captivated. It had my heart pounding. However, in the end, the epic Hollywood movie I was expecting, turned out to be an embarrassing farce. Shame, shame. A movie that beautiful shouldn't be a farce, in my opinion.

The second movie we watched was Into the Wild. I totally wouldn't recommend this movie for the unneccesary gratuity we had to fast forward through, the movie just wasn't worth it. This movie is a film version of the book Into the Wild. Basically, it was depressing to me that Hollywood would even consider this young man as an inspiring model for people. That was how he was portrayed, anyway.

People often complain to me that my standards in movies are too high. They complain that I won't watch anything. (I won't just watch *anything*!) Or a movie they liked, I don't really care for.  This change was not overnight, this change occurred over many years. As the years went on, my standards in media became higher and higher, the more and more I came to know the true Standard. I guess that explains when in the past certain things about movies would not bother me, but today they do. They only way I can fully explain my high standards when choosing great movies is that when you have Jesus as your One True Standard for everything, it changes all things.


Dawn said...

I think it's great that you have such high standards for what you view. I will take your advice and NOT see Into the Wild (which I was thinking about seeing).

Beck said...

I read Into The Wild and thought that the young guy was such a self-centered bonehead that I had NO interest in watching that movie. I'll probably see There Will Be Blood, though - just because I love Daniel Day Lewis's work.

Andrea said...

I felt the same way about the guy in "Into the Wild".

I *love* Daniel Day-Lewis' work, too. He was so good in this movie, but I just wish the movie was better.

tonia said...

Ditto the comments on the kid in "Into the Wild." huh? What is inspiring or even compelling about him? I found him sad. I read recently that people treat the bus - which is still "in the wild" - as a shrine and go and visit it.

blind leading the blind....

I hear you on movie standards. I wouldn't say I follow the standards I was raised with: no drinkin', no cussin', no smokin', no dancin'...but if I'm going to watch a movie I want it to be well-made (this leaves out most "christian" films LOL) and have a compelling, redeeming story-line, or at least, give me a glimpse into the heart and minds of people I don't understand.

I really enjoy your foreign and independent film recommendations. Once you put them up I go and bookmark them on netflix so I can get around to them when I have a chance.

Thanks, Andrea!

Terry said...

Mu husband is really looking forward to seeing "There Will Be Blood." I'm sure we'll still end up seeing it, so maybe I'll come back and compare notes. As for "Into The Wild", I always thought that the whole idea of this young man was one of self-centeredness. While I understand the need for a young man to find his own way, the very thought of one my children thinking the only way to accomplish that is to cut themselves off from every thing that made them who they are is deeply disturbing to me. Of course, I haven't read the book or seen the movie (only read ABOUT them), so maybe I misinterpreted the point of his journey. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.

Kendra said...

Andrea, thank you so much for taking the time to review movies for us. We rarely make it out to the theater for the very reasons that you have. It is just not very often that there is something worth watching.
With a nursing baby our time away is pretty limited, and I would usually rather spend it across the table from my hubby in a nice restaurant and skip the hollywood junk. That is, unless there is something really good out.

L.L. Barkat said...

You and me. I have a hard time finding ones I like.

Elise said...

Amen! The One True Standard is much more consistent and careful than the movie guides...
And I'm glad to hear your takes on those movies- now we know! :) And we trust you, from all of the positive reviews in the past, of course.

Anonymous said...

Mary Brooke
My husband and I were enthralled with the "7 Up" series of documentaries tracking children from different classes in England all through their lives.

nichole said...

You know I was just thinking along the same lines about the media and standards. This isn't related to movies, but to TV. We recently got cable and therefore my dear daughter (who is 8) wants to look at the Disney channel. Well some of the stuff on there is outrageous to me. I really think some of it isn't appropriate for young children at all. Yet I know that I feel this way because I am measuring this against what I know is True. Sorry for long comment, but I understand exactly what you are saying. We must be oh so selective in what our eyes behold.

Sarah said...

I just found your site recently, which was on the Sara Janssen's blogroll. I'm enjoying it!

I agree with most of your standards for what you personally look for it movies (a redemptive story, *quality* writing/acting, etc.) Just based on what you've said, you may be interested in Jeff Overstreet's movie reviews. If you're not already familiar with him, he is a believer who is a freelance writer and primarily does movie and music reviews. He has done a lot of writing for "Christianity Today." One of the things that really sets him apart from other Christian movie reviewers is that he truly looks for the artistic and redemptive qualities in movies. He does not make a knee-jerk reaction to a movie just b/c it may have some content in it, as many other Christian movie reviewers do. My husband and I are huge movie fans, esp indie/arthouse movies, and we highly respect Jeff Overstreet's work. Just thought you might be interested.

Anyone, I feel silly now b/c I don't know his website off the top of my head and it would seem logical that I would hyperlink it here, since I just gave a huge spiel about him!! I'm sure one could easily find it by googling it.

Thanks for you blog...looking forward to more reading in the future!

Anonymous said...

Andrea, I have loved every movie I've watched that has been recommended by you. I, too, have high standards specifically because I have so little time to just SIT and WATCH. If I'm going to watch a movie, it better improve me somehow - either by teaching me something I didn't know, or inspiring me to be a better human being. We have found ourselves reaching more and more for documentaries and movies based on true stories. While the true stories can sometimes be sad, they usually do inspire somehow, or, at the very least, teach a tidbit of history or facts about a famous person, that we can learn from.