29 February 2012

The Avengers (trailer)

          Ok, so this is now the 2nd or 3rd or 4th trailer for The Avengers.  (Who is really keeping track of how many there are?)  So, before I start, you should probably watch it.  (Though, if you're reading this, you probably have already seen it).  But, here it is anyways:

     HERE is 2:24 of complete and utter awesome!

          With each trailer that is released, this movie becomes more and more epic!  It looks like this goes all out:  everything's exploding, everybody's fighting each other, everything's exploding some more!  This is definitely going to be an edge of your seat, thousand mph action flick!  It looks great.

          I'm not too familiar with Thor and his universe, but Loki looks great.  I'm really excited for him to be the villain in this.  He's classy looking but still menacing.

He even has a pimp cane!
He just seems like the guy who can outsmart the good guys.  He appears ruthless.  Loki just doesn't seem like the kind of guy you would want to mess with.

          Ok, now, let's move on to some things that bother me.  Number 1:  Mark Ruffalo.  I've not seen any of his work (except for Where The Wild Things Are but I don't think that counts) but he just doesn't feel like Bruce Banner to me.  I look at Robert Downey Jr. and I see Iron Man.  I look at Chris Hemsworth and I see Thor.  But, when I look at Mark Ruffalo, I don't see Bruce Banner.  I don't know; we'll have to see how it goes.  Oh, and I just stumbled on this:

That is pretty sweet.
          Let's move on to Cap.  Every time he appears on screen, his costume bothers me.  It just looks weird.  And I don't like it.  Let's compare it to the first costume:

The Avengers (2012)

Captain America (2011)
I'm sorry to say this, but the new costume just looks silly.  Having his neck covered looks dorky.  It looks like a "costume".  On the other hand, the one from Captain America looks like a uniform; it looks practical.  The top one looks like something you would where to a party whereas the bottom looks like something you would wear into combat.  I don't know why they feel the need to change everything all the time.  They should just stop.

          Finally, what is the thing at the end?  It looks like something left over from a Transformers movie or something.  Then again, I'm not familiar with the comics, so it could be something canonical.  But to me, it looks like they are trying to jump on the Transformers bandwagon.

         Oh, one last thing.  Why does Nick Fury have a bluetooth?

He looks like a tool.

          Actually, one more thing, Jeremy Jahns, does a pretty good job of reviewing the trailer as well on his YouTube channel.

     Click HERE to check it out.

          Though the trailer says 26 April, it doesn't come out til 4 May in the US.  Sad day.

     But that's just my opinion...

27 February 2012

Russian Souvenir

          So, this last year, I spent about 4 months in Russia teaching English.  It was a lot of fun and I got to see a lot of cool things.  However, this is not a travel blog, it's a movie blog.  So none of that stuff even matters.  What does matter is a souvenir that I bought.  Of everything I brought home with me, this is probably my favorite (and by far the cheapest).  It cost me 5 роблес, which is about  15 cents.  Here it is:

          It's a Rambo pin!  It says "Слай" which is Russian for "Sly" which is short for "Sylvester", as in "Sylvester Stallone", the actor who played Rambo in 4 different movies.  Yea, I thought it was pretty sweet and about had a heart attack when I saw it.  That is all.

     But that's just my opinion...

26 February 2012

The Pixar Story (2007)

          Essential plot rundown:  This documentary takes you behind the scenes of Pixar from its creation to present day.  This was a well made documentary.  It was really interesting and engaging.  And just like any well made film, it evokes several different emotions along the way.

          The thing I loved most about this story was the idea of pursuing your dreams.  It shows all of the problems and what not that John Lasseter faced, but because of his conviction to his dream, his goal, he was able to overcome all the obstacles and obtain what he wanted the most.  I felt it was a little inspiring.  The Pixar Story documents what went into establishing the company and all of the problems encountered while creating such films as Toy Story 2.  But, because John believed strongly enough in his dream, he accomplished.

          It was also great to see all of these different people doing what they love for a living.  I'm currently a film student, so seeing these people doing this is inspiring and gets me excited to be working on projects.  I'd be watching and I'd think:  I soo want to work there!  That looks awesome!

          There were two quotes that really stood out to me.  I'm not sure where the first originated (when I googled the quote, Michael J. Fox's name popped up a lot) but it was said in the film.  It was:  Film is forever.  Pain is temporary.  I really liked it because it helps you overcome fears or whatever and grow as an artist.  The other quote comes about as a guy is asked what the formula is for a successful movie.  He responds something like this:  It's really pretty simple.  Everyone here loves films.  And they just want to make something they themselves want to see.  If you are making something you would want to watch yourself, you're going to put more effort, invest more into it.  And this will translate through to the audience.

          Overall, this a great documentary.  If you are interested in Pixar, animation, movies, entertainment, or anything else of the sorts, I highly recommend it.

     But that's just my opinion...

Nacho Libre (2006)

          Essential plot rundown:  A Monk struggles to choose between the monastery and the lucha libre.  The first time I watched this, I thought it was really stupid.  But I've seen it a couple of times since and it is really funny.  I guess it kind of grows on you.

          The humor in this movie is different.  It is definitely not for everyone.  I'm not even sure how to describe it.  But, for me it works.  However, there are a few instances where they used fart jokes/potty humor.  I'm not a big fan of that kind of that kind of humor.  And when if was used, it felt like they were dumbing down the movie.

          Jack Black does a really good job.  Him, his accent, the way he says his lines are all funny.  One thing that I liked about it was the fact that he toned down his "Jack Blackness" a little.  In a lot of his movies, he acts really crazy and what not.  But in Nacho Libre, not so much.  However, there were a few parts where Nacho starts singing and he unleashes some of his "Jack Blackness" (I'm pretty sure that's a real word).  He stars singing like the lead singer of Tenacious D and it really distracts from the character.  One minute you're watching Nacho and the next you're watching Jack Black.

          I really like the color of this film.  A lot of the shots were just cool looking.  The colors looked a little desaturated.  The whole film had an interesting look to it.  I liked it.

          So, overall, this is a funny, well made movie.  I thought all of the actors did a good job and the story didn't suck.  (I couldn't think of a synonym for "good", so my roomate suggested "didn't suck").  Though, I liked it, it is not for everyone.  This isn't a real intelligent review, but that's all you're getting.

     But that's just my opinion...

24 February 2012

Act of Valor (2012)

          Essential plot rundown:  Navy Seals must stop a terrorist attack.  This was an incredibly good movie.  As I was watching it I thought: I'll probably applaud at the end of the movie.  Just a small way of showing my respect for our troops.  But when it ended, I couldn't.  I was too emotional and the note the movie ended on deserved silence, not applause.

          Let's just jump in with the story.  The story was nothing special in itself.  A CIA agent gets captured, they rescue her, discover a terrorist plot to attack the US of A, and try and stop it.  The film claims to be inspired by true missions and what not.  But I wonder how much was and how much was creative license.  I don't know how often our troops stop terrorist attacks like that, but it felt like a normal action movie story.  I'm not saying that's bad; I'm just curious.

          The characters were portrayed by active duty Navy Seals.  Therefore, the acting is none to great.  It felt a little stiff and at times, distracted from the movie a little.  But, most of the movie revolves around missions so there isn't really a lot of acting for them to do.  And that is one of the things that stood out to me:  there is little to none character development.  There are two main Seals and they are each given a little history.  But there is no real development.  There is no arch to them.  I guess that can be attributed to the type of story.  Most of the time, they are on missions, so I didn't feel that there was room for them to grow.  (If that makes sense; it does to me).  However, I guess that the character doesn't come from an individual, but from the Seals as a whole.  You care for them, not because you know them and relate for them, but because they are soldiers.  Their character come from the fact that they are risking their lives to protect us and our freedom.  Once again, I'm not saying that this was a bad thing, just different.

          I thought the cinematography was really good.  There are a lot of POV shots that put you right there in the action.  I didn't feel that these were done as a tactic, trying to simulate a video game.  I thought they helped the story and were well done.  There were a lot of cool shots in this film.  And as for shaky-cam, that is common in action films now-a-days, there was only one spot that if bothered me.  Actually, I can't even remember if there was a lot of shaky-cam used.

          However, there was one thing that bothered me.  This happened in the climax, as the Seals were closing in on the terrorists.  One Seal does something in order to protect his squad.  And as I was watching it, it seemed a little unnecessary.  That looked like he could have avoided it, have done something else.  But, then again, I am not an expert on the military or weapons or anything.  So I don't really know if that would have really happened or not.  Maybe that part was just poorly edited.  Who knows.

          Overall, this was an amazing movie.  There were parts that had me on the edge of my seat.  There were parts that made me cheer our troops.  I even laughed.  There few a few scenes that brought a tear to my eye.  And as the movie ended, my two friends and I were all crying.

     But that's just my opinion...

23 February 2012

Despicable Me (2010)

          Essential plot rundown:  Gru attempts to steal the moon in order to show his competence.  This was an entertaining movie.  I was laughing throughout.  I only wished that I had seen it in 3-D.  The roller-coaster ride looked like it would've been cool.

          Like I said, this is a pretty funny movie.  There are a lot of funny lines.  Actually, I felt it was the funniest when it stuck to dialogue.  I thought some of the slapstick and other jokes fell kind of flat.

          I also really liked the story.  I like how he wanted to steal the moon and how that was tied in with his childhood dreams.  It really added to Gru's character.  Not only was he trying to prove himself as a villain, but he was also trying to prove himself to his own mother.  It really worked for me.  However, I wished there would have been more reconciliation between the two.  At the end, they are sitting together and his mom makes one little comment and thats it.  I wanted that to be fleshed out a little more.

          And then there was Vector, Gru's rival.  I liked his character; he was interesting.  But, he felt a little inconsistent.  I could never tell if he was a successful villain or a failure.  There are scenes where he does stuff and it makes him look very good at what he does.  But then there are scenes (mainly at the bank) that makes him look like a idiot.  How could you steal a pyramid and get all those defense around his house but not be able to make a piranha gun work?  I don't know, maybe piranhas are really tricky.  It just bothered me a little.

          However, my biggest complaint was the ending.  The girls are performing for Gru and his minions when all of a sudden it turns into a dance party.  I just really hate endings like that.  It totally ruins it for me.  (I think one of the Shrek movies does it too).  By having them dance, it shows Gru redeeming himself.  But all of that just goes out the window when it changes tempo.  The ending was building up only to have nothing happen.

          Overall, it was a really entertaining movie.  I felt that the dialogue was hilarious; the other attempts at humor, not so much.  True, there were some flaws that bugged me, but such is life.  I would recommend it.

     But that's just my opinion...

22 February 2012

Peter Rallis - Movie Buzz

          So, I stumbled upon this article on Twitter.  It is an interview with Peter Rallis, host and creator of the YouTube show Movie Buzz.  Movie Buzz is a bi-weekly movie news show.  Every Tuesday and Friday, Peter uploads a video with all the latest movie news, trailers, link and reviews.  I've been subscribed to his channel for a few years now.  He has some strong opinions but I find him entertaining.

     Click HERE to go to his YouTube channel.

          But anyways, in his interview he talks about how he created his show and how he got to where he is today.  He also gives some tips and advice about working with New Media.  (New Media is things like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc).  Here are a couple of quotes that stood out to me:

     "It’s who you know that gets you in and it’s what you know that keeps you there."

     "If you have some kind of talent, record it, or do something with it. You never know who’s going to see it."

          I found this article helpful for anyone who is interested in New Media (whether as a consumer or creator).  It was also cool to hear about it  from the source.  I watch videos on YouTube and always wonder what their story is.  Well, enough of me rambling, I'll just link you to the article.

     HERE it is!

     But that's just my opinion...

21 February 2012

Sequels and Remakes

          Sequels and remakes are a hot topic among movie goers.  Everywhere I go, people are complaining that there's no originality in Hollywood or how Hollywood is ruining classic movies.  However, I disagree with that and embrace sequels and remakes.

          Let's start off with sequels.  The biggest complaint about these is that the story is tightly tied off in the first that there's no story to continue.  When I think of sequels, I always think of Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  If I had been alive and old enough to watch Terminator when it came out, I would not have been able to conceive what a sequel would even be about.  The story ties everything together fairly well at the end.  What would happen in a sequel?  (Ok, maybe I wouldn't think that.  And it's been a long time since I've seen it, so I'm not sure exactly what happens in the end).

          But, the point I'm trying to make is that, while Terminator was a good movie, Terminator 2 was waay better!  T2 is a sweet movie.  It gives Sarah Connor some great character development and introduces us to the T-1000.  Now, if somebody would have stopped the production because it was a "sequel", then the world would be short one awesome movie.  But, yes, there are sequels that do suck and shouldn't have been made.  However, sometimes what looks good on paper doesn't look good on screen.  So, I generally don't judge sequels until I've seen them, cuz I don't know if it will be the next The Empire Strikes Back or if it will be another Batman and Robin.  If a sequel is good, great, we get more of characters we love.  If it's bad, then don't watch it.

          And now remakes.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with remaking a movie (in my opinion) as long as they follow some guidelines.  Well, just one guideline actually:  wait enough time in between the original and the remake so that it introduces  a new audience to the story.  And that's my only criteria.  Here are some good examples of remakes (I'm not talking about the movies themselves, but the fact that they were remade):  War of the Worlds and The Day the Earth Stood Still.  Now the originals were made in the 50s, which was was 50 years before the remakes came out.  That is a good amount of time to wait.  If I had walked down the street when they came out and asked how many people had seen the originals, I would imagine that not a lot had.  I personally hadn't seen them.  I've always wanted to, but never made the effort until the remakes came out.  And that is what a good remakes does:  it uncovers a forgotten film and brings it to new light.  Also, these were SFX heavy movies.  With the advancement of technology, these stories were really brought to life.

          When I think of sequels, I think T2, but when I think remakes, I always think of The Thing.  I have not seen all of The Thing From Another World, but I have seen enough clips to get a feel for it.  John Carpenter remade it about 30 years later.  And it is an awesome movie!  The acting, the atmosphere, everything is superb.  But the the most impressive part were the SFX.  The alien in this movie is incredible.  And everything was all done practical (sans CG).

          So, a remake can do a few things:  1) It can arouse interest in the original,  2) It can be really good.  3) Or it can suck.  However, there is one thing that a remake can't do:  And that is ruin the original.  I cannot comprehend how people think that a remake can tarnish the original.  If if sucks, does that make the first suck as well?  No, it doesn't.  The only way a remake affects the original is by raising awareness.  Because The Taking of Pelham 123 came out a few years ago, I now know that one from the 70s even exists.  (Though I have not seen either).  There are a lot of popular movies that are, themselves, remakes.  A few are The 10 Commandments, The Departed, and A Bug's Life.

     HERE is a list of more classic movies that were remakes.

The Ten Commandments (1923)
The Ten Commandments (1956)

     But that's just my opinion...

18 February 2012

The Darkest Hour (2011)

          Essential plot rundown:  A group of Americans fight against invisible aliens in Moscow.  I'll just tell you up front:  this is not a well made movie.  Slightly entertaining, yes; well made, no.  This move didn't have anything going for it.

          This movie takes place in Moscow.  Why?  Cuz why not?  There is no reason for them to be in Moscow, other than it's something different and exotic.  Actually, that was the main reason that I wanted to see it.  I spent four months last year in Russia.  I got to spend some time in Moscow and The Darkest Hour was released shortly after I got home; so I was interested to see those places on the big screen.  But it didn't add to the story at all.

          Also, the whole beginning exposition was lame.  It explains who they are and why they are in Moscow.  But, once again, it doesn't add to the story.  It was like this happened in pre-production:  Head honcho walks into conference room.  "Ok, we want this movie to take place in Russia.  But we want American characters.  The first person to come up with a reason explaining why they are there will get $5."  After 10 seconds, somebody raises his hand and they use his idea.  They should've just made them tourists.  (While cliché, I feel it would have made more sense).

          So, the characters get a lame introduction in the beginning.  And that is the extent of their character development.  Not once did I care about these guys other than the fact that Natalie was really cute.  Some characters die, but I never really cared.  Nothing up on the screen--characters or story--had me engaged.  The characters were flat, the plot unoriginal.  Hell, this isn't even the first time that aliens disintegrate people (War of the Worlds and Transformers: Dark of the Moon).

          Speaking of aliens, they were pretty dumb too.  The fact that they were invisible was kind of cool.  But the heros discover a way to sense them really quickly and that's never a problem during the rest of the movie.  The aliens (when briefly shown) look really stupid.  They looked like Pokémon trapped inside of those gyroscope toy things.

          So, overall, it is a slightly below average movie.  There's nothing good about it.  But it isn't painful to watch.  Yes, that pretty much describes it.

     But that's just my opinion...

17 February 2012

The Fountain (2006)

          Essential plot rundown:  Tommy tries to save his wife from death.  I just finished watching this.  And the only thing I can say is:  Wow.  This was a really interesting film.  I'm not sure that I know what this film was about.  I feel like there is some deeper meaning, but I just don't get it.

          Let's start off with the music.  I've been listening to the score for about a year now after accidentally stumbling upon it on the internets.  And I absolutely loved it.  It is beautiful, mesmerizing and powerful.  And that is the main reason why I eventually watched the movie.  I hadn't read any reviews or even seen the trailer.  Just the soundtrack.  And I found it a lot more engaging than the film itself.  While I like the movie, I would say I like the score even more.  The whole time I was watching the movie, I couldn't help but notice the score.  (But that might be because I've listened to it a thousand times).  Actually, that is an exercise I would recommend:  pick a film score you really like, listen to it a lot and then re-watch the movie.  It's kind of surprising how much more prominent the music is.  I've done it with The Fountain and Let The Right One In.

     HERE is the song used in the ending of the movie.  The climax happens around 7:30.  I was literally waiting the whole movie for that part and when it came, it gave me goosebumps.

          I could talk all day about how amazing the score is, but this is a movie review.  Like I said before, the story is intriguing.  I'm not really sure what happened; I imagine a lot is open to interpretation.  I have my own ideas on how the three parts are connected, but they are superficial and probably the most obvious.  But, there were a few parts that felt a little slow.  I was tempted to look and see how much time was left, but I refrained myself (for personal reasons).  Considering the topics treated (death and eternal life), I was expecting a more engaging film.

          Finally, I just want to comment on the future part (pictured above) of the movie.  It was very aesthetically pleasing to watch.  It just looked really cool to see the tree floating through space in a bubble.

          Overall, I really liked it.  It dragged a little bit and I didn't know what was happening, but the music and visuals made up for that.  If you are a deeper thinker than me (I just see what's right on the surface), I highly recommend it.  If you prefer a clean cut story, I wouldn't recommend it.  I would tell you to go listen to the score instead.

     But that's just my opinion...

GI JOE: Retaliation (trailer)

          Ok, this trailer came about a while ago and I've been wanting to talk about it but just haven't had the time.  But, then I saw the international trailer today and decided that I just had to do it.

     HERE is the first trailer that was released about 2 months ago.

          So, first off.  Dwayne Johnson introduces the trailer.  Now, that gets me excited from the get-go.  He is pretty awesome.  Pretty much every movie he's done is good.  (Wait, was he in Tooth Fairy?...Oh, never mind then).  But just the fact alone that he's in GI Joe automatically doubles it's potential.

          Then the trailer starts.  That same guy as before is in it.  But then they are attacked!  And it reveals that the US President ordered them to be "terminated with extreme prejudice".  Which is AWESOME!  Now, the 1st one (while entertaining) was a crappy movie.  So, it's natural that they would want to "reboot" the sequel, give it a different feel.  And what better way to do that than to kill everyone off from the 1st?  Now, it doesn't show Marlon Wayans getting gunned down.  But I think it's safe to assume that the reason for the termination was to have an explanation as to why the old characters aren't in the sequel.  As oppose to just writing them out, the filmmakers put in a reason for their absence.  (And this reason is a lot cooler than the reason for Megan Fox's absence in Transformers 3).

          But, the best part happens at the end.  That one guy is like, "We can't trust anyone."  And Dwayne Johnson says, "There is someone."  And then Bruce Willis pops up out of an El Camino, guns blazing!  When I first saw that, I literally jumped out of my seat, slapped my leg (I usually slap things when I get excited) and probably bit my knuckle.  I love Bruce Willis!!  If I thought it looked way better because of Dwayne Johnson, it quadripled in awesomeness as soon as Bruce Willis' dome appeared on screen.

          However, there was something that bothered me about the trailer.  And that was the repelling ninja scene.  It just looked kind of silly.  But, you can't win them all.

          So, that was my initial reaction upon seeing the trailer.  But, then I watched another trailer and had some more reactions.

     Watch it HERE.

          As I watched this, I realized something.  This man:

is Cobra Commander!  There's just a glimpse of him in the 1st trailer and I just assumed he was a Viper or something.  But this is how Cobra Commander is suppose to look!  Not like this:

When I first saw that, I was like WTF?  Me and my brother joke around and call him "Captain Condom".  The mask in Retaliation is a much needed improvement.  Good job!

     Jon Chu talks a little about it on this HERE link.

          Another aesthetic improvement was the removal of Snake Eyes' lips.  (See top picture).  Why did he have those in the 1st?  Good question.  He looked retarded.


          So, this film looks like a vast improvement of the original.  This is what a GI Joe movie should like look.  It actually looks good.  Everything is better.  I'm excited to go see it.  It comes out 29 June 2012.  YO JOES!

     But that's just my opinion...
          (except for the part of it looking better.  That's pretty much fact).

15 February 2012

Hero (2002)

          Essential plot rundown:  A nameless warrior defeats three assassins in order to get close to the king.  I hate myself for not having seen this movie earlier.  It is one of the best films I have seen in a while.  I absolutely loved it.

          First of all, the story was beautifully simple, yet intriguingly complex.  (I'll probably be using the word "beautiful" a lot in this review, because that's the best way to describe the movie).  At first, the plot seemed pretty straightforward.  But as the movie progressed, the story became more and more captivating.  During the beginning, I was totally focused on the dueling.  However, about an hour into the film, I wanted to spend less time on the fighting and more on the story.  (Not saying that there was too much fighting, but rather, the story was that riveting).  I wanted to see what would happen next!  The movie focuses on themes such as revenge, sacrifice, and the good of the whole.

          Let me take a step away from the awesomeness of Hero and briefly address probably the one thing that did bother me.  Over the course of the film, there are a few people that make great sacrifices.  As I was watching, I couldn't help but think:  Wow.  They must be pretty committed to sacrifice that.  They are real heros.  But, then it turns out that they didn't make that sacrifice.  So, I felt like my emotions were cheated a little bit.

          Ok.  Not only was the story excellent, but the visuals were beautiful as well.  The cinematography, the art design, everything was stunning.  The phrase that came to mind as I was watching it was "visual poetry".  It is a gorgeous film.  You could randomly pick any frame from the movie and hang it up on your wall.  I can't think of anything else to say besides "beautiful".

          The music was also really good.

          Maybe there were more than just one thing that bothered me.  Another was some CG water.  There's a shot in the beginning of Let Li running in slow motion through falling water.  You can see the individual drops splatter on his face.  While, the concept is good and it looks kind of cool, it sill looks CG and a little weird.  The same thing can be said about the candle flames at the end of the movie.  They are flickering in the wind, but they just looked fake to me.

          But, overall, this was an incredible movie.  The story was engaging, the visuals were superb and the music was great.  Well done, well done.

     But that's just my opinion...

13 February 2012

Transformers 4

          There has been rumors of a fourth Transformers movie, but now I guess it's official.  I, personally, am very excited.  I'm a big Transformers fan.  The 1st was a solid action movie.  The 2nd was entertaining in its visuals, but was lacking in plot.  The 3rd was good all the way around and was the best of the three.  So, if they build off of the 3rd, the next one should be epic.

          So, according to the internets, Transformers 4 will not be a direct sequel, but rather a re-makesque "evolution".  The impression I get is that it will take place in the same world, but will not be a continuation of the same story.  For me, this is exciting news,  I think it would be sweet to have another trilogy.  Honestly, no one really cares about the characters (except for Optimus Prime).  So, take him and place him in a different storyline.  There are so many different characters and stories and lore that could be implemented in another movie.

          Personally, I think they should lose Sam and company.  But keep Lennox and the military.  Make the whole movie focus on NEST.  As for the villain, the most obvious one is Unicron.  They could essential remake The Transformers: The Movie (1986) and have Unicron rebuild Megatron as Galvatron.  That would be cool.

One of the greatest movie villains of all time

          So basically, I'm stoked for this.  There's so much material that they could easily make another move (or three).  As long as they keep the momentum from the 3rd, a 4th should not disappoint.  As of right now, it will hit theaters 29 July 2014.

     Click HERE or HERE to read the articles.

     But that's just my opinion...

The Ratings Conflict

          For one of my classes, we had to write an essay about some form of conflict.  I chose to write it about R-rated movies.  For those of you unfamiliar with Mormon culture, it is a common practice to avoid rated R movies because of their content.

What are my favorite movies?  Well, they are Robocop, Pan’s Labyrinth, Leon: the Professional, and Let The Right One In.  What do these movies all have in common (besides being awesome)?  They are all rated “R”.  Now, in the Mormon community, that is a pretty controversial subject (if I do say so myself).

I don’t know how it started, but there is a fairly strong belief that R-rated movies should be avoided.  I have heard quite a few people say:  That looks good, too bad it’s rated R.  However, in my whole life as as a member of the LDS Church, never have I heard a person in a high position of the church counsel us against R-rated films.  But, what they do say is to avoid movies that are “vulgar, immoral, inappropriate, suggestive, or pornographic in any way.”
And what is considered inappropriate or vulgar will be different from person to person.

Movie ratings are assigned by the MPAA, which is a group of people.  Who are these people?  I don’t know.  But, what I do know is that their ratings are subjective and are not consistent.  I have read about how some movies got a specific rating but were later changed because of an appeal by the filmmakers (even though no content was changed).

I’m not saying that we should go and watch every movie made, regardless of rating.  But what I am saying is not to let some random group of people decide what you watch.  You look at the content and decide for yourself whether you should watch it or not.  There are a lot of good R-rated movies.  Example:  I watched The Road about a year ago and the whole time I was watching it, I was thinking about how grateful I was for the Plan of Salvation.  I put myself in their position and thought about what I would do.  It help me realize the hope that comes from knowing the Plan of Salvation.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at is don’t let some arbitrary rating deter you from watching a movie.  Yes, ratings do give you an idea of the content, but not of the context, which can change things.  But, use your head, look at the content and judge for yourself whether or not you should see a specific movie.

But that's just my opinion...