How movies mislead

It’s not exactly “misleading”… It’s called Hollywood Science.
There’s a trope on it even.

Let’s face it, logic can and will be thrown out the window in favor of cool effects.
Sometimes is makes you facepalm, and wonder WHY they couldn’t have thought of something more accurate, but still…

It doesn’t bother me too mcuh, I just shake my head and move on.
And sometimes get a laugh out of it.

Anyway, to everyone who’s gotten into the moral aspect of movies…

Here are two more examples of how movies mislead.

Women haul off and hit people, be it men or women, sometimes in the jar or eye, with a bare fist with no damage to their hand. They just walk away. (Jerry MacGuire, Bringing Down the House) I’m pretty sure in real life a woman’s hand would be damaged.

When someone, especially a woman, has a responsible job and they fall in love and/or become involved with someone, they no longer work! Her (or his) live revolves around being with that person and dealing with any issues between them or having great dinners. Work seems to magically disappear and making sure you have a job pales in comparison to making sure you have this person in your life.

And let us not forget that every window in Paris has a view of the Eiffel Tower!

Oh, and all detective offices are bathed in low blue light and are filled with civil servants wearing $2500 outfits.

Seriously, entertainment has the ability to mold our culture. What were once considered vices are held up as normal, maybe even praiseworthy, behaviors. The youth, the primary market for movies, are seeing these things and are influenced by them.

I never said there is nothing to worry about. I was merely explaining why movies, TV, media, etc. put out the kind of stuff that titillates, shocks, and gets attention–because it makes them big money. They appeal to the lowest common denominator and push the licentious lifestyle because it suits their agenda. Where in any of that did I say it doesn’t matter? :shrug:

As to being deceptive, that’s a part of the game. Hollywood doesn’t care about the truth–it cares about image and how to get people to believe their warped sense of right and wrong is correct. At this point in time most of what is put out is a cesspool not worth a moment’s consideration or money. My dh and I see one or two films per year because the rest of what’s offered is pure dreck.

And yes, young people are extremely naive because they aren’t taught real values at home or even in our churches. It’s why they’re so easily misled by the glitz and glamor and lifestyle Hollywood pushes. We adults have the obligation to make sure they are properly taught and so able to resist such temptations, but we’re fighting against the mainstream that is constantly pushing immorality as normal.

I cited “The Passion of the Christ” because such a film would never have been made a generation ago. For good or ill, such a graphic presentation of Jesus’ sufferings would never have been shown. But now days, with the level of violence in film, it had to be that graphic in order to bring people in to see it. How many would have gone if it had been as “tame” as previous depictions of the scourging and crucifixion, we have to wonder.

Fudging science isn’t the only way Hollywood lies in films. They lie in every aspect from special effects to moral values. The special effects don’t really matter–that’s just appealing to our love of the sensational and relatively harmless, but lying about moral values is extremely damaging to mind, soul, and spirit. That’s the kind of deception we really need to be concerned about.

I purposely avoided Passion of the Christ because of Hollywood’s ongoing desire to show graphic violence. Is Saving Private Ryan a better movie because you get to hear machine-gun bullets tear into bodies or see men on fire or men blown in half? People who have never sustained a serious injury or had a mortar round go off near them have no real idea. Real rifle fire from about 10 yards sounds like firecrackers going off.

God bless,

I will say that TPOTC had real spiritual depth to it. The violence rather took away from that, IMHO. It didn’t need to be as graphic as it was because it would still have given us a better understanding of what Christ suffered for us without the more gruesome depictions.

SPR unwhelmed me, frankly. I didn’t get the whole point of the film. If all they wanted to say was that war is useless they could simply have posted a sign on the theater marquee to that effect. The same people who espouse that notion don’t seem to understand they wouldn’t have the freedom to make such a statement if the men and women who died fighting in WWII (and other such conflicts) hadn’t won it for them with their blood. It was just another Hollywood agenda movie that left me cold.

I think Steven Spielberg made SPR as a tribute to those men and he wanted to give a new generation a taste of what it was like. War is never pointless. Had things gone differently, there might be a different flag flying over the United States.

God bless,

Naturally, each person views films with their own set of values/world view. I don’t know what Steven Spielberg intended, but it didn’t come across as a tribute to me–just my own take on it. Of course, the men and women who fought and who died certainly did so for the very best of reasons. I’m just not sure the Hollywood mindset would think so. In “The Longest Day” the climb up the sea wall in which allied troops took out German guns was deliberately portrayed as being completely pointless by erroneously showing there were no guns, and therefore those who died died for nothing. But there were guns there and their sacrifice wasn’t for nothing. The filmmaker deliberately misled the audience just to push his personal feeling that all wars are pointless. He certainly didn’t understand that if the soldiers hadn’t made their sacrifice, guns or no guns, the Nazi Swastika would have been flying over his head instead of the Stars and Stripes. It’s that kind of lying by filmmakers I find most disturbing, as should we all. Yes?

A war movie (or anti-war movie?) that I thought was excellent was Letters From Iwo Jima. But I have no idea if it was misleading.

I couldn’t watch the bloody scenes in the passion either.

I’m reminded of something JRR Tolkien said about the fantasy genre, that it was completely opposed to drama (and I suppose film by extension) because the whole point of fantasy is to portray something that is not normally possible (magic, elves etc) and when you watch a play or see a movie, deep down inside you know that dwarf is just a midget with a fake beard and plastic axe. One can’t expect a movie to have a logical explanation for everything it portrays, but it sometimes just gets to me. If everything wasn’t so dominated by the entertainment industry I suppose it wouldn’t matter.

Sure it doesn’t in the long run that people think air pulled down from the upper atmosphere fast enough will be super cold, but it does matter that the majority of people think Pius XII was at best a coward and at worst a Nazi, and all because of a play… a PLAY! All the wartime articles by the NY times lauding his Christmas addresses, Einstein’s praise of the Church’s actions, the honors given to him by the state of Israel, the experiences of survivors… all brought to naught by a work of fiction.

And don’t get me started on the birth of a nation. That movie really helped get the KKK back up and running in the 20s.

[quote=Della;7255744I cited “The Passion of the Christ” because such a film would never have been made a generation ago. For good or ill, such a graphic presentation of Jesus’ sufferings would never have been shown. But now days, with the level of violence in film, it had to be that graphic in order to bring people in to see it. How many would have gone if it had been as “tame” as previous depictions of the scourging and crucifixion, we have to wonder.

Hi Della,
The ironic thing, to my mind, is that the violent scenes in TPOTC are only a filmic method by which to give us some idea of the reality of a scourging and crucifixion. It was not done to bring punters in as in any number of SAW-type gore fests. It was done to show the significance of the Precious Blood. We have to look at the movie in this way in order to see the connection of the Jewish Passover and Christ’s Passion. By His Blood we are saved. There is nothing misleading about this.
God Bless,

I suggest everyone get a copy of The Ten Commandments (1956). I know people who have been at war. With body parts found in bushes and on trees. We don’t need to see that in a movie. We don’t need that.

As a person who has had some contact with Hollywood and screenwriting, I understand that reality is often rearranged to construct a compelling story on screen. I get that. It is very important that an “entertainment” medium like film have reasonable limits.

God bless,

No, TPOTC was not misleading. That wasn’t my point in citing it. Only that such a violent depiction would not have been allowed a generation ago. For good or ill, graphic violence is taken for granted these days.

I don’t really think we needed the graphic depiction in the way it was presented, though. There are many ways to get the idea across without actually showing the full horror of such despicable acts of torture.

I took film production classes, including directing, and so I have some idea of how such scenes can be done by suggestion just as powerfully as showing the “real” thing. Indeed, the implied horror is often much most effective than showing the full “reality”. It’s an art form not a documentary. Today’s filmmakers seem to have forgotten that.

I suggest everyone get a copy of “The Best Years of Our Lives,” the best “war” movie (specifically ‘post-war’ movie) ever made. Head and shoulders above SPR - though, yes, if we “support the troops,” we do “need” to see what they went through to better appreciate their sacrifices. (I know veterans who are still resentful their stories weren’t told until SPR, as though the horrors they lived through were belittled into a John Wayne lunchbox: not respectful at all - SPR and BYOL are much more respectful depictions of our nation’s veterans.)

I’d also say “The Pat Tillman Story” (still showing in theaters) is pretty darn accurate, given how his family participated in the documentary and corroborate all the allegations of how the Pentagon despicably stonewalled their search for the truth.

Best Years of Our Lives also has a good message about marriage.

There is a real difference between “true story” movies and regular action-adventure movies. There were also the propaganda movies, recognized as such, that were produced by Hollywood. The John Wayne lunchbox movies were movies, not documentaries.

Movies can range across a broad spectrum. Hollywood has produced romance, musicals and elaborate cartoons like Snow White. Each of these movies engage realism at different levels or turn it into a cartoon version. At their best, they capture human beings reliving some experience and touch on a number of personal issues along with world events or place us in a fictional world that also touches on our own humanity.

Once movies cross a line into presenting dysfunctional living as fun and enjoyable, they create another type of fantasy and even allow for a negative kind of voyeurism. That is not healthy and should not qualify as entertaining.

God bless,

I always thought that movies did villains a favor. Darth Vader is a homicidal maniac responsible for the deaths of billions of people, but he comes off as sympathetic and heroic. Real world monsters like nazi functionary Adolf Eichmann, who did the grunt work of organized murder and died laughing at his handiwork, are described as the “banality of evil”. Well, at least Eichmann was hanged.

banality of evil

Uh, Darth Vader wasn’t a real person…


If that’s a question, I’m sorry you had to find out the hard way. The point is that movies often make the villains more interesting than heroes. The biography of real world monster Eichmann would be less interesting than even one of the Star War prequels.

Next you’ll be telling us the science behind Doctor Who isn’t sound …

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