Monday, March 8, 2010

The Most Offense Movies I've Ever Seen

Mark Driscoll (pastor of the Mars Hill mega church in Seattle) really hates Avatar. He calls it the, “most demonic, satanic film I've ever seen.”

Anyone else saying, “Huh?”

I think Matthew Paul Turner does a pretty good job explaining why the guy has suddenly turned nuts, so if you want my reaction to that statement, then just read his, because that’s how I fill in a nutshell.

But it did get me thinking; what films have left me utterly offended (not necessarily because they are demonic)?

In no particular order, here are the top three films that left me offended by the credits (and by credits, that, sadly, means I watched the entire movie):

In and Out – the movie is about a teacher who is outted on live TV after one of his former students wins an Academy Award. Why I was offended? Because the message of the movie is a guy who does things that the stereotypical gay male does (sews, goes to plays, reads, etc), then he’s gay. At no point in the movie does the character seem to have any attraction sexual attraction for men—unfortunately, no one tells him that you are not gay just because you do things that some gay men do.

An Education – I was horrified by this movie about a teenage girl who falls for a much older man; if there was a prerequisite for being a pedophile than this one would have to make the cut. It takes place in the 60s where apparently parents are okay with their 16 year old daughters hanging out with 40 year old men. It’s creepy. Critics have raved about it’s a coming of age movie, which horrifies me even more—it’s more like a movie about a girl getting manipulated than coming of age. I think rape is a better way to put the sex that they had. By the end of the movie she’s not more mature, and she’s certainly not more womanly—she’s a young woman whose been stripped of all her innocence, but is still 100% immature and making all the wrong choices.

Expelled – I’ve already stated my disgust for this movie. You can read it here.

Avatar won’t be making anyone convert to some New Age religion anytime soon; these movies, however, could easily make people more arrogant towards Christians (by watching Expelled), have no conception of complexities of admitting you are homosexual (by watching In and Out), or show how to come of age merely means to have sex (by watching An Education)—I find all of these things worse than Avatars supposed new age message.


  1. I think that "An Education" has been profoundly misinterpreted by a lot of critics, and you're choosing to look at it through their eyes in terms of whether or not to be offended. It's creepy on many, many levels, but I think the movie comes off less as a "coming of age" and more of a documentation of how manipulation happens. It's slow: a person sinks into it, and, yes, a more mature person could have seen through David's disguises, but how often do we allow ourselves to be manipulated because we think we know better than anyone around us? I found the movie's performance remarkable if interpreted in that case. And knowing what else Nick Hornby has written, he's definitely examining the concept of manipulation in relationship much more than a coming of age of a young girl.

    Critics and marketers turned that movie into something far different than it should have been -- the poster itself speaks to that: a romantic image of David and Jenny in the grass makes the movie look profoundly different than its actual content. I definitely thought it to be one of the best movies of the year.

  2. I definitely agree, but I just couldn't get past how disturbing it was; I guess I just like movies that entertain. If I want a complex character study that makes me think, I prefer a good book--perhaps a Hornby one...

  3. Yeah, I definitely see that. If the movie had gone much further than it did in the relationship - I mean, actually showing more than it did instead of just talking about it - I may have been more disturbed, and on some level, you're supposed to be. But then again, I'm the type of person who expects my movies and my art to upend some part of my worldview, to challenge me to think about something, and leave me a little offended and disturbed. I'm okay with being offended as long as it has some sort of higher purpose (challenging me) to it. I take much more offense at those things which offend needlessly/purposelessly - like "The Ugly Truth," which is a ridiculously misogynistic, terribly crude, and all-around terrible movie, with a less than honorable message.

    I'm much more offended by comedies that see offensive stuff as funny (and therefore legitimize it) than I am by dramas that cover the same material, probably because, by nature of the genre, drama gives a person a chance to examine the issue at hand, which is much hard to do when you're trying to make someone laugh.

    You've got me thinking about why I get offended at some things and not others, though, so, kudos. :)

  4. What I thought was funny about The Ugly Truth was women loved it, and men were forced to see it. And yet it was a very pro-male movie.

    It told women the truth (?) about men: they will treat you horrible and perhaps occasionally beat you and cheat on you, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it--so just accept it.

  5. Which I thought was a terrible, terrible message. Ugh. I admit, I watched it, and laughed at a couple points, but I definitely skipped over parts (saw it on Netflix watch instantly), and thought it to be a terrible movie. "An Education," at the very least, raised questions about how "mature" you have to be to make decisions about relationships, and how a whole community can fail people. I found that profoundly interesting.