War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes is a slow moving, masterful completion of the Trilogy started in 2011. The character development and visuals, focused mostly on: the eyes, expressions and emotions of the apes, is poignant and unforgettable. WITM loves the original the most out of the three, but this movie stands out on its own in a different, soulful way.

From a content standpoint, the violence is the only part to create concern, especially for younger children, who apparently are being taken to the movie regardless. Thankfully the violence avoids being graphic, since they must of anticipated the youth being present. Spoiler alert regarding violence: 1. There is one scene showing a mother and child ape lying on the ground murdered, 2. a few scenes of characters being shot dead with a pistol, or already shot in the chest, and 3. two scenes with a pistol being pointed directly at somebody’s head. 4. There is also a suicide by gunshot, which is understood and heard, but not directly shown when the trigger is pulled. 5. There are scenes of battle with humans and apes being killed (but nothing graphic), 6. one instance where a person is blown up, and his helmet is shown flying down from the explosion.

Franklin Graham Facebook Post

Interesting idea on taxing films that depict violence:

“Mr. President, you’re looking at the wrong place when it comes to the root cause of gun violence. Your executive actions will do nothing to change this horrific problem. You can take all the guns in America and put them in a pile on the Mall in Washington DC, and those guns will stay there and will eventually rust and decay. Not one gun will crawl out of that pile and shoot or harm anyone. It takes a human being, and a human heart bent on evil, to pick up a gun, load it, and pull the trigger. The problem we have in this country is sin. We have a government that has taken God out of society. Our founding fathers certainly did not intend this to happen. Your proposal will do nothing to stop the violence that is being glorified by Hollywood. Every night the networks, movie channels, and theaters are filled with programming that glamorizes gun violence—guns are used to shoot, to kill, and to splatter human blood all over screens across America. There needs to be legislation to curb this. I would propose starting with a heavy tax on the manufacturers of any film or game that graphically depicts violence. If violent films and games were taken off the shelves, I believe we would see a dramatic drop in gun violence over the next few years. As a nation we have turned our back on God and this kind of violence and bloodshed is a result. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The only cure? Jesus Christ. That’s what will make a difference in our nation.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Now with all the hype behind us, this movie will have to propel itself forward on its own merits. While we were pretty-well entertained by the film, we were also a little disappointed with its lack of originality and forced character placement and development. From a content standpoint, J.J. Abrams followed George Lucas to some extent in making this a children-friendly affair, however, he did not choose to sanitize the violence like Lucas did. Some of the violent parts were the following: a little bit of blood seen (related to violence), hitting, punching, stabbing and grazing with laser swords (done without being graphic or showing the entry point), laser-fire shown a little more violently, including burn marks on the body; and a disturbing massacre of a small village by some storm troopers. There are also a few scenes that may be too frightening for children around the age of five years old. There is almost no profanity (except 2 mild profanities), or nudity, sensuality, sexual content to worry about. So, violence will be the main concern, but not so much for older children who are ready and have parents who are willing.

Limitless, Season One, Episodes 1 – 7

Limitless, the television miniseries, is a spinoff from the movie Limitless (2011), starring Bradley Cooper. The movie and miniseries explores the fictitious drug called NZT, a mid-altering drug that allows a person to turbo-charge his or her brain partly by allowing it to access all its memory banks. The only problem is that for most people, it has very negative side effects.

Both the movie, and this miniseries, interestingly shows the “limitless” possibilities a person can have solving complex problems, which are usually hard to comprehend even with a team of brains working together on the problem.

We were watching this series because we liked the movie, and were not entirely impressed with the pilot, partly because the writers chose to create yet another police/FBI/detective show. However, we have come to enjoy it more and more each week and like the personality developed in main character, Brian Finch (Jake McDorman), maybe even more than Cooper’s Eddie Morra.

The content is pretty acceptable in our opinion in the first seven episodes, with only the moderate violence occurring in some of the episodes (including a murdered dead body being shown in a coffin-like box). The other potential concern in the movie, and in these episodes, is the idea of getting extra brain power by continually taking a drug in pill form.

Supergirl – pilot

The new tv miniseries, Supergirl, is a fairly good start. Of course, while there’s a little bit of been-there- -done-that in the script, we still found it relatively entertaining. On the content side of things, some parents may deem this show may not suitable for their children – the jury is still out since this post is only about the pilot.
Here are some of the things we found in the first show (some spoliers follow!):
— Two people drink liquor after someone announce they need a drink.
— A person describes an experience like the first time you ever kissed a person.
— A woman has a blind date in a bar.
— Someone blurts out, “You are a lesbian!”
— Supergirl’s first costume reveals her entire midriff.
— Superhero action violence: Someone fires a gun at a person and that person slams the gun-person to the ground.
— A woman wears an outfit that shows her nipples a little bit through the shirt.
— Superhero action violence: A battle between two superhumans….punches and kicks hard (some in the face) with intent to kill. A person throws someone around like a rag doll. A person throws and axe at another person and cut the person some (not much blood is seen). A person kills themself with a blade through the midesection.

A look into YA: Paper Towns by John Green

On behalf of those literary-hungry teens, or preteens, here’s a look into the content of one of the popular Young Adult books, Paper Towns (also released as a movie in the theaters on July 24th). Being new to this genre, we were surprised at the level of inappropriate content packed into the pages of not only this book, but many of the other YA books we’ve surveyed.

Here is what we found for the first 100 pages of Paper Towns (305 total), so you can extrapolate the amount for the other 205 pages. There may be some items below that some consider to be a spoiler for the story, but we think most will not.

Content Count:

Inappropriate Language and Profanity:   72 instances
Romance, Sensuality, Sex and Nudity:   25 instances
Violence, Blood and Gore:   2 instances
Miscellaneous Possible Offensive Sections, including Alcohol and Drug Use and Frightening Sections:   1 instance

Content Details (parentheses indicate page number):

Inappropriate Language and Profanity: Used God’s name in the wrong way (UGNIWW), “damned”, “sh*thouse rat” (6), God’s name is spoken irreverently (14), “hey faggots”, “don’t sh*t me around” (17), “sh*t” (18), “it’s a sh*tty job” (20), “suck donkey balls” (21), UGNIWW (27), UGNIWW twice (28), UGNIWW four times, “sh*t”(29), “what the hell”, “bitch” (30), “sh*t” (33), “damn” (36), f-word, UGNIWW (37), “asshole” (38), “dumb bastard”(39), UGNIWW twice (40), “skinny ass” (41), “why the hell” (43), “sh*t” (44), name calling: “sniveling, repulsive, idiotic…snaggletooth, fat-assed bitch”(46), f-word, “no sh*t” (47), UGNIWW, “what the hell”, f-word (49), UGNIWW twice, “my big ass”(50), “my-boyfriend-is-an-ass” (54), “how the hell” (55), UGNIWW (58), “faggot” five times, “hell”, “pissed me off” (60), “pissed about it” (61), “sh*t” (62), “badass” (63), “damn” (66), UGNIWW, “asshole”, “sh*t” twice (67), UGNIWW three times, “grow some nuts”, “sh*t”, (69), UGNIWW (70), “sh*t” twice, UGNIWW (74), “holysh*tstickers” (87), “assholes” (88), UGNIWW, “badass” (91), “sh*t” (98), UGNIWW (99)

Romance, Sensuality, Sex and Nudity: urine in blood “due to chronic masturbation” (13), “she’s hot” three times, your mom is hot (implied), “I wish my cheek had penises” (14), “worlds only virgin with pubic lice” (16), “when we…hook up” (an ongoing definite reference to sexual activity) (23), “are you having cybersex”(25), a woman jokingly says that their male companion is their lover (35), “hook up”, “she’s hot” twice (37), “the less hot they hot they find me”, [person’s name]…would get to have sex with both”, “she may be hot” (38), “daughter is currently having sex with [person’s name]” (40), “it’s a penis” (referring to photograph taken), “you shouldn’t screw [person’s name] boyfriend” (41), “The Jolly Green Giant’s gigantic jolly green phallus” (54), a young man jokes about his sexual prowess (65), “he was talking to her breasts” (76), “hooked up with her…write me a term paper on the look and feel of [person’s name] breasts [six adjectives are used to describe a breast] (88), “I didn’t hook-up with her” (89), “are you saying that she’s playing with herself” (93).

Violence, Blood and Gore: A dead person is described, “He was encircled by blood; a half-dried fountain of it poured out of his mouth” (5), “killed himself with a gun” (7).

Miscellaneous Possible Offensive Sections, including Alcohol and Drug Use and Frightening Scenes: As a prank, someone shoots urine out of a water cannon at people.

“Lone Survivor”, “Fury”, and “American Sniper”

Wilder was onto something (see last post).  We have a question for the makers of these war movies: Why did you believe it was necessary to use the f-word nearly 150 times for Survivor, 108 times for Fury and 115 times in Sniper? And that doesn’t even include the other profanity. Does war turn people into ultra-foul mouthed servicemen?

One reviewer we saw on the web said this about Fury, “I enjoyed the 3 battle scenes in the film, but was overall turned off by the profanity. It was as if every second word was profane, and became a distraction, in trying to enjoy the film.”

Gene Wilder’s interesting comments….

In the first few minutes of this video below (recorded in 2013), he explains why he stopped making films:

Interviewer: You haven’t made a movie in twenty-two years I think it is….Why is that?

Wilder:  “……Umm….the uh, the swearing and the loud bombing…..after a while, they (the film offers to him) were dirty and once in a while, a nice good film, but not very many…..I didn’t want to do the junk I was seeing….swearing, so much swearing going on….You know, if someone said, “Go f– yourself”, well if it came into a meaningful place, (then) I understand it….but, if you go to some of the movies, I don’t want to say which ones, when they’re swearing, I can’t say day and night, I can just say most of the screen….Can’t they just stop and talk..instead of swearing?  And, uh once in a while it comes in handy, but not running all the way through the film, and that put me off a lot.”

Exodus: God’s and Kings

It looks as though Ridley Scott is going to give us another historical-slasher film.

” (Christian) Bale said: ‘No matter how many films you’ve done it never stops being so much bloody fun riding on a horse, slashing through people and having some fights……‘That’s straight back to being eight years old.’ ”

This comment about having fun “slashing”, like an eight year old, can make a person of faith wonder if Mr. Bale realizes any of the gravitas and sacredness of the character he is playing.  We also wonder if he knows that the real Moses, as recorded in the Bible, didn’t have anything to do with raging battles between armies — the Egyptian army at the Red sea wasn’t chasing an army, but a large group of homeless Jews.