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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'll start by saying I see alot of movies. The typical summer Ah-nold or other action hero movie has a repetitive plot idea that seems overdone. Give the main character a circumstance that requires him to kill as many bad quys as possible (all done to a rock sound track of course); say kidnap his child, kill a family member,etc..etc. This gives the character ( and the viewers) permission to do in as many of the bad quys / minutes of film remaining. Now, I admit, I have enjoyed more than my share of these movies.


But, heres my point. I think "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down" are different in that the extreme violence is not entertaining in any way. When I saw the D-Day scene in "...Ryan" at the movie theater it was so intense I curled in to the fetal position for that first half hour. "Black Hawk.." had the same level of intensity. I quess my point is that the real thing (veterans have praised these two movies for their realistic depiction of combat) is unbelievably horrible. I think these two movies deglamorize violence as entertainment. I would be more comfortable allowing my kids to see these two than a violence for fun movie.


One last point. These movie are based on accounts of actual events, the American military in combat. In both situations in which the movies were based on the real soldiers showed courage and a sense of duty that is almost beyond comprehension. Their stories are inspiring. I feel grateful to all of them, and to the movie makers who told their stories with such realism.


Mark
 

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I agree. Most violence in the movies is completely mindless, mostly consequenceless silliness that gives no idea of what violence really does. The nameless bystanders that get gunned down are forgotten as soon as their 12 frames of film have gone by. Movies such as the ones you mention give a real feel for what true violence is. People who don't believe that this can be a problem, even before our current high body count f/x movies, need look no further than WWI, where huge numbers of young men, completely ignorant of what war is and completely bought into the myth of honorable, gentlemanly deeds of honor on the battle field, walked straight into the ugliest, nastiest conflict of all time, made more so by the easy with which the machine could be fed new meat.
 

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The problem with these kind of movies (lets not forget schindler's list) is that I do not feel at all uplifted after seeing them. What stays with me is the intense violence and gore. The blood and guts of SPR made me not want to go see another war movie. In fact, Schindler's List completely cured me of ever wanting to see another holocaust movie again. All I can remember about the movie was the utterly indescriminate treatment of the Jews and I have to think to remeber that Schindler actually saved a lot of them. I'm still not sure I want to see The Pianist even though Adrien Brody won best actor.


Its not that I want to see glamorized, sanitized violence. I just dont want to see 2 hours of incredible violence like some guy wearing his buddy's brains or getting his head blown off. That's why I'd rather see another Das Boot than a BHD or SPR or SL.


And yes, I am in awe of the sacrifice and courage of the real people but I dont want to wallow in gory.
 

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I think we need to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Movies are fantasy. We go to see silly, glamorized violent action movies for the same reason we go to see spaceships buzz around in sci-fi movies or people bursting into song at emotional moments in musicals. It's a fantasy. It's a movie. It's not real life. It's not supposed to be.


The people who see an action movie and then get a gun to shoot all of their friends are those people who cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. They are disturbed, abnormal individuals. The fact that they are mentall ill is not something that reflects upon the fantasy they chose to watch. The vast majority of people who go to see a Schwarzeneggar movie are perfectly capable of understanding that they should not kill everyone they know afterwards.


Should movies be altered to accomodate the most weak-minded members of their audience? Is this a good thing?
 

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Indeed, what are we to make of films like John Woo's "Hard Boiled", where the violence is lifted to almost an art form, like ballet? Because I throughly enjoy that movie does it mean I cannot distinguish between its almost surreal approach to the portrayal of violence and the reality of what the same actions would be like in the real world? Most bad violent movies aren't bad because of the violence, they're bad because they're simply bad.
 

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I don't think we're talking about the old canard of violence in film causing more violence. If it's not too grotesque to say this, it comes down to a matter of 'taste'. I used to enjoy the Schwarzenegger 'let the bodies hit the floor' movies, and knew what they were - comic books turned to live action. Not to be taken utterly seriously. Now I see them and others - yes including John Woo's, as fairly silly and wildly unrealistic. Part of becoming crusty and old(er). I am much more interested in the BHD type films, because they are not a complete fantasy. To each their own.


Interestingly, in thinking about this, I realized that a lot of gangster genre movies (as opposed to war movies in general) have always portrayed violence as consequential - Godfather, Goodfellas, Untouchables, Reservior Dogs, etc. Even the glib Pulp Fiction shows an accidental shooting and the horrendous mess it makes.
 

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I like the violence in movies precisely because it is not real. Not even over-the-top stuff like The Untold Story and Beast Cops. The day violence is restricted to movies, mankind will advance a little closer to perfection.


Sex, on the other hand, I would like to see taken out of movies and put back into my life. Honey, are you listening? (Why can't we clone a few million Ginger Lynn's? Mass produce Ho's and make every man happy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I quess that's another point. Perhaps showing the consequences of violence is what makes the difference, and that disconnection between the act and the consequences may be why we are so numb to violence. That was the one of the initial points I was trying to make in this thread. I know that they are movies, that they are fantasy and that they can be very entertaining. I suppose the bottom line for me is that after seeing these movies and putting them in the very real context of the real world today, for me violence as entertainment is lossing it's appeal. Again, this is not an attack on the kind of movies anyone likes to watch...just throwing these thoughts out.

As John Cussacks (SP?) character said in Grosse Point Blank:

"I've comPLETELY lost my taste for it"


Mark
 

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Quote:
The people who see an action movie and then get a gun to shoot all of their friends are those people who cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. They are disturbed, abnormal individuals. The fact that they are mentall ill is not something that reflects upon the fantasy they chose to watch.
I think that's a little simplistic. There is a lot of space between that and a general inculcation into kids that violence is consequenceless. It's not just about them picking up a gun and going on a rampage, it's also about them in their adult lives having to make decisions about how they want to apply their vote and their dollar to make the world into a place that they want to see.


And it also creates environments, such as the gangster world we have today. These are completely unlike a single unbalanced high school shooter. They are more the creation of a whole glorified culture of violence and weapons and vengeance that will in turn create the conditions where application of violence is highly likely.


I've heard/reada number of interviews of modern gangster types who say that they watch such movies regularly. Those movies, I assume, represent to them the kind of world they want, i.e. one in which weapons will give them the power or control that they don't otherwise have.


But, in general, the more dead bodies that a move has, that are on camera only long enough for them to hit the ground, the more it contributes to a desensitization of people to violence. Even worse, perhaps, is when you don't even see the dead people at all, i.e. it's not a problem to have an automatic gun battle in a crowded street because no one is going to get hurt, as apposed to something like Ronin, which shows a lot of innocents that get caught in such events, but still forgets them before they even hit the ground (literally) in most cases.
 

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I have to agree with Philba on this one. For some reason, Arnold type movies don't bother me at all. Put a BHD, SPR, pretty much any war movie or a SL movie in front of me and I can't handle it. It's just too real for me. I just don't like to be constantly reminded how barbaric we as humans can be. As a deterrent for my children maybe... but I still prefer "hollywood" type violence.
 

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Quote:
but I still prefer "hollywood" type violence.
which, I think, is part of the bigger problem. In the real world, there is no Hollywood type violence. And, even though we hear normal adults say "I understand it's not real," I think that on a subconcious level, that simply isn't true. It's the "Exposure to Violence" equivalent to the born-again virgin.:)
Quote:
for me violence as entertainment is lossing it's appeal.
Me, too. I used to really enjoy a good shoot 'em up like True Lies, but not so much any more.


IBthisquicklygetsbrokendowntotheold"whineyliberal"vs."realma nconservative"argumentinananosecond:D


Todd
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I think that's a little simplistic. There is a lot of space between that and a general inculcation into kids that violence is consequenceless. It's not just about them picking up a gun and going on a rampage, it's also about them in their adult lives having to make decisions about how they want to apply their vote and their dollar to make the world into a place that they want to see.


And it also creates environments, such as the gangster world we have today. These are completely unlike a single unbalanced high school shooter. They are more the creation of a whole glorified culture of violence and weapons and vengeance that will in turn create the conditions where application of violence is highly likely.


I've heard/reada number of interviews of modern gangster types who say that they watch such movies regularly. Those movies, I assume, represent to them the kind of world they want, i.e. one in which weapons will give them the power or control that they don't otherwise have.


But, in general, the more dead bodies that a move has, that are on camera only long enough for them to hit the ground, the more it contributes to a desensitization of people to violence. Even worse, perhaps, is when you don't even see the dead people at all, i.e. it's not a problem to have an automatic gun battle in a crowded street because no one is going to get hurt, as apposed to something like Ronin, which shows a lot of innocents that get caught in such events, but still forgets them before they even hit the ground (literally) in most cases.
I was about to post the same response, but you beat me to it. Well said Dean.
 

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I enjoyed BHD the first few times I saw it, eventhough there are some problems with the movie. I have a cousin who is a disabled former SEAL ( he almost never talks about the action he saw)and although there where no SEALs in BHD, I assume that it is somewhat similar to what he went through. Besides, I really like Ridley Scott movies. In any case, I had friends over last week who wanted to see what all the fuss about a front projection system was like. They asked to see BHD, boy was that a mistake. Having spent the day watching news from the war, the movie was completely brutal, like a two casket funeral (one large, one small). I have since made a new house rule. NO REALISTIC WAR MOVIES WHEN WE ARE IN A WAR!!
 

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I liked SPR and BHD just for its sense of realism.... not because of the violence. I mean, I watched it because I wanted to feel what the American soldier felt at that instance when they were running up the beach or defending a downed helicopter. Granted, some of the stuff is made up as nobody could possible know or remember what actually happened or how somebody died (I guess this is where the hollywood type violence comes in?).


But after watching these movies, I understand the respect veterans have for their buddies who have fallen in combat.... Especially during rememberance day or veterans day (depending on where you live).


I would rather watch these types of movies in all it's gory detail than watch some sicko slice the top of some guys head and eat the brains while the victim is still alive (read Hannibal).
 

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Violence as escapism entertainment should be rated NC-17.


Violence as realistic potrayal of a story, fictional or true accounts should be rated R.


Implicit and explicit sexual acts (bi, **** or hetero) as an integral, partial or of no consequence to the plotline should be rated as PG-17 (new catagory).


Nudity and or extensive foreplay (bi, **** or hetero) as an integral, partial or of no consequence to the plotline should be rated as PG-13.


Serious cussing as an integral, partial or of no consequence to the plotline should be rated as PG-13.


Stuff that avoids all of these stuff should be rated G.


My humblest opinion,



fuad

PS - the pie fecking movie should be rated PG-13. It's foreplay + dessert after all.
 

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As with most things, this is not about "this vs that", but about a balance.


I think that if people were to see only the Hollywood-style unrealistic violence movies, we risk that many people would never realize the harsh consequences of real violence. I think it would be dangerous. People (kids?) would not learn to also think about the consequences. People would expect reality to be like what they see in these movies. People would be ill-prepared to make informed decisions about the true weight and awfulness of violent conflicts such as war.


The realistic violence movies like SPR and BHD shows us how terrible violence really can be. I still have trouble watching these movies sometimes. The part that i find the hardest to watch in SPR (SPOILER ALERT) is after they storm the machine gun by the radar post out in the fields, and Wade (the medic) has been shot, and he's bleeding all over the place, and you really feel his panic, and you realize that it's not at all like in the Hollywood movies, where the hero takes a couple of bullets and grits his teeth and continues on with the mission.


These realistic violence movies give us something to measure the other movies' entertaining violence against. It enables people to recognize and realize that the Hollywood violence is just entertainment.


I don't believe that makes the Hollywood violence any less entertaining; I enjoy both types of movies. I believe that seeing both types of violence helps to make people more "educated" if you will, and appreciate each for what it is.


So in short: long live having both styles!
 

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Quote:
In fact, Schindler's List completely cured me of ever wanting to see another holocaust movie again.
The movie paled in comparison to an actual visit to Dachau, one of the Nazi Camps for Jews in WWII. Walking through the gates of this horrible camp I felt an instant weight on my shoulders. I could feel the cloud of oppression that still hangs over that awful, awful place.


To think that some people today question whether it actually happened, I invite them to tour Dachau and see (& feel) it for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gertjan,

(ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT) Thats one ,

but when the two soldiers are fighting and the ss guy slowly kills the jewish soldeir with the knife.....jeeze that kept me up for nights.

Those are good points and similar to what I was thinking. I thinking we may have invented an oxymoron here: entertaining violence.


Mark
 
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