Saturday, October 06, 2007

Family Approved?

Soyo snooped around and found more irritating stuff on the people who adapted The Dark is Rising into (*shudder*) The Seeker. It seems that the movie has been "family approved:
Of course, "Judeo/Christian values" and "positive family values" are buzzwords enough to chase me away, but I decided to look at exactly how they were reviewing films. Perhaps the most telling thing I found was a section labeled "content" that detailed anything objectionable that might be in the movie. In a way, they functioned rather like fanfiction warnings. Some of it was pretty laughable, putting "kissing" under the sex category, and counting the instances of bad language without writing out the actual words themselves. So you had "D" instead of "damn", and the like.

Other things were predictable, but still on the disturbing side. For instance, warning for "mentions of evolution" in an informative IMAX movie about dinosaurs. (Granted, as the daughter of two biology-types, I think people who "don't believe in evolution", should get the fuck over it.) Another thing that really bugged me was the constant chatter about fathers in the movie reviews, but very little mention of mothers. Look, I get that there's a big problem with dads being portrayed as immature and incompetent in the media. I agree that that's a problem, and I want people to fix it. But moms are important too. And it's ALSO quite annoying that the media assumes women automatically know how to parent, and LIKE to parent, and that any woman behaving otherwise is some immature freak.

Okay, whatever, crazy fundie website "approving" movies. They're out there, and most of them are even scarier. But for this one, producers submit the movies to be reviewed. So Walden must have submitted what once was The Dark is Rising up for review.
Now, this is old news that the company is a Christian movie company wanting to make Christian movies (but for some reason they bought the rights to a Pagan book series). But this is just one more layer on that that drives the point home that it wasn't just plain audience pandering, it was an actual attempt to edit out vital elements from the series because they weren't "wholesome" in their opinion.

Sure, I've heard the rumor that they've dropped The Dark is Rising from the subtitle is dropped, but that doesn't change the fact that the rights to the movies are owned by these people who want to suck the joy and wonder out of everything they touch in the name of "positive family values." (Because, of course, the only families are conservative Christian families and the rest of us don't count, and so our family-friendly books need to be turned into conservative Christian movies to really be family-friendly.)

The worst part of the whole thing is not that we're getting a sucky movie that's not meant for the fans of the books. Its that we'll never get a good movie after this. They own the rights.


  1. Did I understand that right? "Mention of evolution" is used as a disclaimer in movie reviews, like "contains violence"?
    That's extremely scary. Even the intelligent design supporters just pretend that they have a better "scientific" hypothesis, but don't object (openly?) to discussing it.

    But things have already gotten so far that evolution is considered something dirty that has to be hushed up and not mentioned in front of the kids?

  2. Remember, elias, the only families that count to these people are conservative Christian families. In their eyes the rest of us are engaging in child abuse by offering a larger viewpoint, even if its just run of the mill science-accepting sane Christian.

  3. Sure, I see what you mean. I just hope that it doesn't spread and "normal" reviews start to use similar disclaimers just to be on the safe side.

    (I always am afraid of sounding arrogant when discussing things like that here from Europe. But there are a some signs it's also starting over here, and the catholic church is a lot less supportive of evolution than most people assume.)

  4. Elias -- Watch them like a fucking hawk, man!

  5. As a dad, it's a struggle to maintain a balance in the kids' media viewing. We love The Incredibles (overtones of adultery that the kids picked up on) but avoid Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame (the priest wants to rape the heroine that the kids picked up on). I'm glad for resources that provide element data that I can use in my decision-making, even the over-the-top ones that ding movies for(sheesh!)evolution. But let me make this clear - the decision to watch or not watch is mine.

    While I'm glad there are those that want to make family-friendly fare, I'm glad that the market is open to those that don't desire it. I don't think that 'positive family fare' automatically equates to a movie that sucks - I think that's the challenge for the filmmaker, should he/she choose to engage it. Again, I hold up The Incredibles as positive family fare - loaded with violence, sure, but my god, what a story!

    I hope they do justice to 'The Dark Is Rising'. One bad film won't kill the franchise - I hold 'Hulk' and 'Batman and Robin' up as examples.

  6. I've never read the books, so I don't really know anything about it. However, I'm beginning to wonder if the "Christian" movie group bought the rights BECAUSE it is a pagan series. They can't go after Harry Potter, but they can go after something, and...and bring all those deluded fans back to the light!

    Or, maybe I'm just getting too cynical in my old age.

  7. Yeah, hopefully these assclowns lose a lot of money on this. It's the only way they can be hurt.

    A 12-gauge would be nice but counterproductive... ^_^

  8. Violence is never the answer...but then again,what is the QUESTION?

  9. I, personally, would like to thank conservative Christians everywhere for protecting me from the evils of science.The only science I EVER need is G-O-D.Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm feeling a little ill.My yellow bile and black bile levels must be in dischord.Then I have to go draw underwear on Dr. Manhattan.Another busy day...

  10. Hmm. I'm a Christian, and I've loved this series since I was a child. In fact, I think the 'values' the book encourages are much better than the ones in that horrid movie they made. That -thing- doesn't come across as 'Christian' to me at all. But then, I suppose I'm not what you could call a 'conservative' Christian... =\