At the Movies

November 14, 2011 11 Comments

Since I primarily review movies and television series, and am open to so many film discussions, I thought I’d share a little bit about my view of Hollywood’s constant bid to employ filth. All in an attempt to make us assume this is the “norm.” Some of you may already know my opinion on this (or rather my “rant”) but if not, then today’s a good day to let you know my rule as regards movies in general.  

As a child, my parents did guard against any “adult” movies. PG13 ratings were out without a question and movies that merely require “parental guidance” (according to the MPAA) still got a preview out of caution. Raised in a household where Christianity was at the forefront of teaching and discussion, my parents were not about to let me see anything that might promote something we didn’t believe in. As a result movies were pretty much limited to Veggie Tales, Anne of Green Gables and the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie collection. By the time I reached my teenage years and being such a romantic, I did always want to see the latest romantic-comedy (title that normally had a PG13 rating). My mom often watched them and if appropriate, we’d watch it. If not, I’d contently put on The Parent Trap for the billionth time.

As an older teen, things started to shift and for whatever reason we began “risking” movies: we’d read the synopsis, find something that sounded cute and rent it for the night. Some of the movies turn out to be genuine treasures (even with their faults), others end up to be trash. 

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The big difference in my situation when seeing the latest blockbuster that might have been pushing an R-rating is I didn’t see it with a group of my peers. Some of you might see this practice as “extreme,” but in adulthood I’m so sad to rent what sounds like an adorable movie, get done watching it and shake my head at the thought that thirteen-year-olds will watch this. Worse yet, that they comprehend it all.

Was I sheltered in that way as a girl? Yes, I was much protected. Do I regret it? No, I don’t because looking back, I didn’t need to fill my mind with the twisted scenarios Hollywood wants to encourage its audience towards. I remember being in the theater at a PG13 movie, and being embarrassed that a girl – no older than ten, was sitting in on the movie! It’s not a movie that should be for her and what’s worse, she and her even younger brother understand what’s going on.  

In recent years I’ve developed the mind-set that families should either make the decision to watch movies and “accept” the flaws or watch nothing because you aren’t going to find something that has nothing disagreeable in it. True maybe the movie won’t be rampant with profanity but perhaps it will be a conviction a character has that isn’t yours. I look for the good in a screenplay and sometimes I find it, sometimes there’s nothing good to find. Because of how I was raised, knowing right and wrong, now as a young adult, movies won’t influence or sway me to do wrong. What I do understand is that, sadly, many girls will let something on-screen influence their life…

Unfortunately, today’s society is very much about teen idols, whom young teens look up to. Whether they have no parental guidance or their parents simply enjoy using the movie theater as a “baby-sitter,” the scenario needs care.

Below I am listing how I “format” my reviews in order to give you a better idea of my reviewing style:  

  • Usually I begin with what led up to my seeing something or my first impressions of the movie.
  • The second thing I write about is the film or miniseries synopsis. (If it is a TV show, I give the plot outline for the first episode.) Also included in this two or three paragraph section are the names of the cast members with their character.
  • Next I discuss the pros and cons of the production. I share my thoughts on anything from the casting to the script and whatever else captures my fancy. You may also notice that I tend to write longer reviews; and that I nearly always talk about the characters in the story. The reason for the latter subject is because the characters are important to the outcome and structure of a story. Even though they are fictitious I often want to talk about what their behavior might suggest.
  • Lastly you will notice a smaller paragraph at the footnote which has the MPAA rating following a brief content guide. I share whether the movie has a lot of profanity, violence and/or sexual material. The movie will either be G, PG or PG13. Generally speaking, I steer clear of R-rated films. Television shows are different than movies, they determine their ratings by a different scale. They’re usually “TVPG,” “TV14” or “TVMA.” The first is self-explanatory while the second generally equals a “PG13” rating and the last is like an R-rating; sometimes even a step beyond that. 

Ultimately what is “right” for your families entertainment is up to the individual. Whatever your rules are as regards movies and television, maybe the best requirements are these; pop a gigantic bowl of popcorn, plop in front of the TV and let the story sweep you away. After that, there is only one thing to say; Enjoy the show! 

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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11 Comments

  • Ella November 15, 2011 at 2:43 AM

    Rissi, your upbringing sounds very much like mine. I did the Wilderness Family and those old classic Disney (like the Million Dollar Duck) a million times. Now…things are different. We still have standards, but we also try to find positive things in any situation.

    Like "The King's Speech." It's rated "R", but my family looked past the language and found a gem of a film…and I am so glad we did.

  • Rissi November 15, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    Given that we often share the same thoughts on movies, that doesn't surprise me, Ella. =)

    We rented a lot of old movies for a period of time, but nowadays, I rarely rent any. I have the movie collection of Deanna Durbin and have several Shirley Temple movies on VHS, but rarely do I watch them. (We also have a couple Jimmy Stewart movies – my dad gets a kick out of the movie, Harvey.

    I think I saw Million Dollar Duck once but don't remember a lot about it.

    We saw The King's Speech too and while I did think it was excellent (Colin totally deserved his Oscar), it was one of those hyped-up movies that wasn't quite up to par with my raised expectations. Usually that doesn't sway my opinion one way or another – if everyone is bashing something, it doesn't affect what I think of it or vice versa. Still it was a wonderful film… I actually wrote a review of it, but everyone else has posted about it, so I never did get mine published.

  • Trinka November 15, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    My parents have always been rather protective of what my siblings and I watch, but they will let us see many movies. They usually only let us watch PG-13 movies if, say, they're guy movies. :P But that's alright with me, I'm glad I'm not filling my mind with…*stuff*.

    I like the way you do your reviews :)

  • Anonymous November 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    (Drat, Blogger ate my comment.)

    I also grew up in a very conservative family — and in doing so, learned to have standards. Even when I wandered for a time into secular entertainment and watched stuff I shouldn't have, I still knew it was inappropriate and had lines I would not cross. I'm more conservative as I get older, though — and less tolerant of anything inappropriate in movies. If the goodness doesn't outweigh the offensive, I generally don't care for it.

  • Ella November 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    You grew up watching some the same movies I did.
    I like how you review movies because it gives me insight on a movie,but it doesn't spoil it.

  • Rissi November 15, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Trinka – I tend to like comedies or romances better than most genres but I do like a good thriller. The Jason Bourne trilogy is among my favorite "guy" set of movies and I love Taken starring Liam Neeson. And, I agree with you, Trinka; we do have to be careful in what we watch.

    Thanks for your encouragement. =)

    Charity – I'll confess… even if a movie has a lot in it, if I like the cast or the movie has an adorable plot, I like it. When I saw Just Go with It, I laughed so hard, but I know I wouldn't have enjoyed it half as much without ClearPlay. Anytime I come across a wholesome well-told story, I am delighted by it. It is partially the reason why I so enjoy Hallmark's movies – yes, they might not have the best acting or production, but their stories are so sweet! I am definitely a conservative movie-watcher but that doesn't mean that I cannot find the good in movies and find them entertaining.

    Is Blogger giving you trouble!? That is totally not acceptable! ;D

    Ella – I still like all of those movies, but I rarely take the time to watch them. One series I am still collecting and watch is Five Mile Creek, it's sappy, but I still love it. =)

    Thank you so much! I appreciate your encouragement. =)

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com November 16, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    I like that your parents were selective and discussed things with you. Bravo!

    I hope to be the same type of parent.

    Great post.

  • Jeanine (Wayfaring Girl) November 16, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    I love how you review movies as well! Just stumbled upon your blog and it is always so lovely to meet another lover of period drama films!!!! Love this! and I totally get the sheltered parent approach to viewing movies. I grew up on Little House on the Prairie and then the Waltons and movies and shows from the 1930s-40s and 50's or some classic period drama films. But looking back I'm actually glad they did that and would probably do something similar if I ever have kiddies. There is too much filth and innuendos even in the "kids' and 'tweens' shows these days. It's really unbelievable!

    Anyways, I look forward to reading more from you :)

  • Charity November 17, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    I think we all have guilty pleasure movies, or films we like in spite of their faults. I wouldn't own "Water for Elephants" otherwise. ;)

  • Rissi November 17, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Juju – me, too! I have no regrets that my parents chose to be so selective. I think it is an excellent practice for parents to implement. Still to this day, I enjoy talking about things with my mom and because of how I was raised, I think I am definitely more aware of just how important parent's are in setting boundaries for their children – entertainment is so filled with filth that it's disheartening even for someone like me who has no children. Glad you enjoyed this!

    Thanks bunches for following me! I always enjoying reading your comments. =)

    Jeanine – thank you!

    I have to chuckle at myself because I've as yet to review many costume dramas and yet – I Love them! I did review a couple and the reaction was good, so I should post some "new" ones. =)

    I watched a lot of Little House and The Waltons too. They were basically wholesome, but I remember watching one of the latter show's episode and being surprised at one of the mature topics. You are so right in saying that there is too much innuendo in movies/shows that are targeted towards teens and pre-teens. It is a sad scenario!

    Thanks bunches for visiting my blog! I look forward to your future visits – and hope that you share your thoughts again. =)

    Charity – totally agree with you. ;D As long as the viewer is able to recognize the "wrong" in movies, I see no lasting harm.

    Oooh! And I still have to see Water for Elephants! Perhaps in the next couple of weeks I'll get it rented! I was SO excited that my local video store isn't closing – that makes it so much easier to rent the new releases!

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