[Some of the] troubling productions in modern cinema are known as torture porn. Films such as the Saw series, Hostel, Wolf Creek, and The Human Centipede are designed to display, even celebrate human torment. Today’s trend away from moral-based horror and toward amoral pain for pleasure is something that should concern everyone, but the devolution of horror isn’t just a trait of Western cinema. (more…)
Since the first jerky, black-and-white images were cast onto a screen, film content has been the catalyst for myriad contentious arguments. Early concerns over social corruption led to restrictions on displays of sex and violence in movies. The desire to curb cinema’s darker influences led to the Hays Code (also known as the Production Code), a set of restrictions placed on film content. Filmmakers who sought product distribution were compelled to abide by the Code. (more…)
When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was initially released, expectations were not high. It was a huge-budget movie based on a theme-park ride populated by pirates. What should have been a flashy-but-hollow cinematic experience turned out to be a marvelous, intricately crafted movie worthy of praise. Johnny Depp’s inventiveness as the film’s most memorable element, the staggering, sly trickster Jack Sparrow, along with a well-tuned and layered narrative by screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio established The Curse of the Black Pearl as a firm foundation for a film franchise.
What was truly remarkable about the film was its odd story structure. If asked, most people claimed the hero was Jack Sparrow (“There should be a Captain in there somewhere.”), not only of the first film but also of the entire original trilogy. He was not. The story’s hero was (more…)
This is why I get irritated with so many online film critics.
Nate of Randumblog.com recommends Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides because “Blackbeard’s ship contained a Christian missionary who actually lived his faith.” Ack! Wrong!
(* spoiler warning *) There is a Christian missionary on the ship who espouses Christian ideals. The problem is he chucks it all away for a damp mermaid. Not quite Christian is it—that inter-species dating thing?
If I hear another Christian try to pry biblical meaning out of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, I’ll scream. Just because you’re a Christian and you like something doesn’t mean you have to pretend it’s more wholesome than it really is. (more…)
Anyone concerned with morality in movies can pin-point the moral messages in film. Key moments are stopping points—Morality Points—and they help us to both evaluate what is on screen and determine the filmmaker’s message.
Download FREE booklet: Morality Points.