Losing Taste for Violent Movies

I remember watching semi-violent movies with friends and family just a year ago and not being disgusted at all. But today, a family member was watching Die Hard 2 from the beginning, and when I saw the shooting scene in the (non-denominational) church, I felt so offended that I could not watch it. I noticed that even the constant machine gun sound effects grated on my nerves. And I noticed the swear words—each and every one. I ultimately had to leave the room before the movie made me sick.

A Pentecostal friend of mine once described this feeling as “conviction.” I think a Catholic is more likely to use the term “conversion.” I am curious if anyone here has felt that they’ve crossed this threshold, where one becomes aware of all of the violence and obscenity in the media and finds themselves unable to tolerate it. If so, when did it occur? Can you chalk it up to any particular experience?

I’m finding that the threshold stays about one step ahead of me, just when I think I’m going to cross it. . . . . .well, you know.

If so, when did it occur?

It was somehow a blend of having kids and Catholic radio coming to town.

Can you chalk it up to any particular experience?

A bunch of them, but I’m only able to see them in hindsight.

Great thread idea, by the way!

With me it depends on the context of the violence. If it’s just thrown in at random, with no point, then I am bothered by it. But if there is a point to the violence, even if it’s extreme, then I’m fine with it. I’ve seen war movies that are uptra violent, but I see a point to the violence.
One of the more violent movies I’ve seen in a while is ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, but I see a point to the violence.
Take ‘The Passion of the Christ’. It’s one of the most violent movies I’ve ever seen, but I’m glad that it was that violent. It’s not something that should be watered down.

I agree with you. if the violence as a point. Then it is ok.

Not to go off topic. But i have heard historians say it was.

Very good point.:thumbsup:

I think if the film is historical, and the violence is true or along the lines of what really happened, it brings the audience to a necessary realization that we couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without the sacrifices we made back then (e.g. WWII films).

However, there is no excuse for all the language they throw in there. It may be somewhat “true to life” but it doesn’t help the plot of the movie. :slight_smile:

OP, I agree that the blood and gore in, say, SAW is just plain silly. I don’t watch that filth.

When violence is appropriate and a function of good confronting evil, I don’t have much problem (depending on how it is portrayed). Like you the rough language tends to be grating and a substitute for thoughtful dialog, or simply a space filler in the audio track.

I have more of a problem with serial killer horror movies with graphic violence/situations. I have read a lot of true crime books by FBI profilers, and while never a fan of horror movies, those books prevent me from ever considering those themes as entertainment.

Actually being true to life can help the plot. It gives it color. You expect someone to tell the story about the dog-eat-dog world of, let’s say, street gangsterism and yet tell them they can’t use swear words?

Now I’ve seen excessive use of the F-word and frankly, it is stupid. That don’t mean I can’t use it in moderation and with the right character. Heck, sometimes an excessive use is exactly what is needed to highlight how pea-brained and uncreative a certain character is (e.g. gangsta rapper/street thug).

I can’t stand sit-coms or most comedy shows any more - I used to think they were funny. Now I just think they’re amazingly stupid and rude. I think I just grew up. :slight_smile:

I still enjoy violent movies, but there has to be some kind of a story and a reason for the violence - as a previous poster said, it’s hard to portray the bad guys as if they were articulate and well-educated (although that has also been done, very effectively, as well).

I recently watched “The Expendables” and I enjoyed it. :slight_smile:

I agree with you except for “The Expendibles” - which I didn’t like at all.:smiley:

I used to like (for example) “Two and a Half Men”. Now I cannot stand it. All the casual sex and idiotic plots are just not funny.

I will agree, though, that violence (or sex or R-rated language, etc) can be necessary to the plot. I will accept it if the plot then has a lesson to be learned. DH and I recently watched “The Experiment” (Adrien Brody is great in it as is Forest Whitaker). There is a LOT of violence in this film. But the lesson learned is a tremendous one about humanity and how to try to bring peace into the world. If you watch this movie, make sure you listen to Brody’s character’s final words. Very moving, and important.

To the OP - I think you are correct about using the term “conviction” for Christians who are not Catholic. I have heard that a lot.

And for me, the “conviction” or “conversion” was when I began to discern a calling to join the Franciscan Sisters as an Associate. Interesting …

Thanks for the great thread! :thumbsup:

Key word, “excessive.” :slight_smile:

Excessive can vary though. ;):cool:

LOL, I suppose.:smiley:

Not sure if this is the same thing, but I went through a period of intense doubt and darkness a few years ago, and when I came out I was waaay more sensitive to this sort of thing. For example, I used to listen to the news shows on NPR all the time, morning and evening every day without fail. I had done so ever since I was in second grade all the way through high school. Now I hate it. I can’t stand it even if it’s just on in the background. The baseless slander they sling at the Church and the pope is horrible.

Has anyone ever noticed that all the big disaster movies make a point of killing off all the religious guys early on? In the Core Rome gets fried by lightning, and in 2012 all the people in St. peter’s square are killed by the rubble of the basilica falling on them in some impossible way. I suppose you could argue that the point of showing these scenes is that Rome is the “eternal city” and some big cataclysm ends up destroying it, but you know it’s also because they want to give God the cinematic finger. I remember reading somewhere that a good rule of thumb is that Hollywood people are all either secular Jews or ex Catholics.

Anyway, yes this has happened to me. I also began to cringe at modern protestant style praise and worship music at mass. I never was super crazy about it, but now I hate it with a passion.

I tend to agree with you up to a point about unnecessary and Gratuitious Swearing in Movies----but one has to admit sometimes even the Language (however Vile and Rancid it is) can have a “context.”

Great example----GoodFellas.

Still one of the Most Violent, Disturbing Movies EVER----and also one of the Most Profanity-Filled----but there IS a Context to the Profanity. Mobsters use Swear Words as Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, Nouns, and Pronouns.
It also underscores the Evil, Despicable Amorality of these Guys’s Personalities and Actions. :thumbsup:
Most Profanity in MOST Movies is Unneccesary and Gratuitious, but within the Right Context, it Can Be and IS Effective.

You have to look at what was done in movies prior to 1970. It was possible to show gangsters and war and lots of people dying without seeing blood squirting everywhere and body parts and people cussing and swearing.

As the years passed, I remember seeing my first movie where blood flew after a guy was shot. Alien was a good movie but it could have been great without Ripley yelling profanities. Gradually, what was suggested became more and more explicit and graphic.

Let’s look at Saving Private Ryan. In Germany, viewers thought the beginning came close to showing what actually happened. In the United States, a combat veteran said that if it wanted to be realistic, it would have to be an order of magnitude beyond what it was.

Terminator 2 was almost great but the profanity kept getting in the way. I know there are people who ignore it but it bothers me. A comedian recently said that “There’s no such thing as bad language.” Who appointed him “Man in Charge of What Everybody Thinks?” Huh?

Seriously. Let’s look at this closely. Are we becoming insensitive to the profanity, the blow 'em away violence with blood flying everywhere? Do stories really need that?

Speaking as a professional editor and writer, the answer is no. I have helped create worlds and characters for the media company I work for. I was in creative meetings for a computer game. I was pointing out the elements of storytelling for a college graduate who wants to write screenplays. For people who have never been struck by a bullet, there is little physical reaction. We wince or go - “Ow. That must’ve hurt.” But we don’t feel the impact and the pain.

The Star Wars movies did not have the profanity. When the one on one fighting got intense, you felt heightened emotion. I think that set of films was solid science fiction and solid storytelling, whether you like Ewoks or not.

I don’t want to close my eyes at the bad parts either. I’m tired of accomodatimg myself to the media. It’s better to abandon media that has gone too far. I remember when the first Dirty Harry movie came out. It seemed like he was justified in simply taking out the bad guys with “The most powerful handgun in the world.” But it soon became obvious that it was a kind of a series of revenge films to avoid justice and to just kill those evil men where they stood. This kind of anti-hero was not a good trend. The man who works with the law in part but then takes it into his own hands to provoke becoming judge, jury and executioner.

Instead of being passive, we should consider what we’re watching for our own good.


That is exactly the same thing that I was describing in the OP. :slight_smile:

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