Friday, March 11, 2011

Film Friday: The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side is an enjoyable film, which I highly recommend. It’s heartwarming, it packs a truly positive message, and it’s probably the most conservative film I’ve seen in decades. So it won’t surprise you that liberal critics hate it: “it’s racist!” Yeah right, what isn’t? Let’s discuss.

** spoiler alert **

The Blind Side involves a rich, white, conservative, Christian, Republican family who take in an abandoned black teenager. Through their loving efforts, they help this teenager get through a private Christian school, become a football star, and get a scholarship at Old Miss. This is based on the real-life story of Baltimore Raven Michael Oher, though not every part is accurate. The title, The Blind Side, refers to his football position, left tackle, which protects the quarterback’s blind side. The film is well-shot, well-paced, and will easily bring people to tears, but in a good way.

1. Yep, It's Manipulative, But Less Than Normal
One of the criticisms made against the film is that it’s manipulative. Duh! Of course it is, but it’s surprisingly subtle compared to most of what comes out of Hollywood today. For example, Michael must overcome various hurdles, such as a drug addicted mother, a borderline retarded IQ, the resistance of teachers who think he can’t learn, a lack of socialization, a lack of trust, racism, and a drug dealer who wants to hook him on drugs. But each of these hurdles is underplayed rather than overplayed. Moreover, we don’t get any of the cliché moments you normally get, e.g. where Michael runs outside into the rain crying that he’s not good enough or where a clichéd enemy tries to make him fail or where the mother (Sandra Bullock) falls to her knees weeping melodramatically. Ironically, the same critics who attack the film for being manipulative, also complain that Bullock remains too composed throughout the film and should have periodically wept like she’d just found a room full of dead puppies.

These same critics also whined that the story was sanitized: the white family was shown to be nice and happy and their Christianity wasn’t hypocritical. Oh heavens! Those darn teachers actually tried to help Michael rather than sabotage him! That never happens! Michael is made out like a giant teddy bear. Unbelievable!

The most obvious response to this is that the critics really need counseling. These critics, like many big-city liberals, smugly see Americans as alcoholic, racist, hatemongers, who date-rape their girlfriends, beat their oppressed wives and harass gays while hiding a plethora of sexual perversions. This may be the norm in New York City or Los Angeles, but it’s not what you find in the rest of America. What you find in the rest of America is pretty much what you find in this film -- people who aren’t perfect, but who try their best. Moreover, show me a film that doesn’t idealize. Does anyone really expect that everything good shown in a film must be balanced out with something bad? And if that’s the case, then why don’t liberals make this same complaint in films with liberal heroes? And don’t forget, this is a true story, were they supposed to make bad things up just to be “fair”?
2. No, It’s Not Racist
What really upset the critics was that The Blind Side didn’t fit their views on race. Almost every one of them suggested the film was racist:
● “The so-called ‘feel-good’ film functioning as a well-timed balm for the conflicted soul of white America. But rather than a clear-eyed look at the disparity between upper-crust suburbs and a cross-town ghetto, we get gloss of the highest order.”

● “It's so clichéd and so patronising and there's more than a whiff of racism.”

● “Institutional racism as inspirational melodrama, it's regressive entertainment, our very own Triumph of the Will.”
This is why the critics gave it a 53% rating. But the public didn’t buy that and gave it a 90% rating. They also spent $309,208,309 on it. You shouldn’t believe the critics either.

To liberals, the racism begins with the idea that a rich, white woman can educate a poor black kid. The very concept offends them. What’s worse, some liberals now object to allowing whites to adopt black kids, something they nonsensically claim is “genocide.” Moreover, Michael is shown becoming a happier, better person as he learns whitey’s ways, another racist idea in liberal eyes. They also think it’s racist that Bullock’s friends and family accept her decision to take in this black kid; several called this is a “whitewash,” i.e. failing to show the real racism liberals assume must be present is evidence of the director’s racist intent to hide the truth. They also see racism in the lack of racism in the teachers, because they know the reason black kids do poorly is that racist teachers pretend black kids can’t learn (see Waiting for Superman). . . coincidentally, the liberal belief in lowering standards for blacks actually is premised on such a belief. It also offends them that the black characters are all bad, e.g. Michael’s drug addicted mother, a black man who abandons Michael, a drug dealer, a lazy bureaucrat, and an evil NCAA woman who wrongfully accuses the family of taking Michael in for the sole purpose of helping their favorite college. In other words, they are offended because the whites are too good and the blacks are all bad, and that’s racist in their eyes.

Of course, this is all crap. The problem lies with the critics, not the film. The critics want to believe that whites are racists and there are no bad blacks, except when they are forced to be bad by white oppression. Thus, they see the inclusion of bad blacks and the failure to highlight the secret white racism as evidence of racists trying to cover up their racism. But that’s twisted, and it tells us much more about what lurks in the hearts of these critics, than what might be hidden in the frames of the film.
3. One of the Most Conservative Films In Years
Finally, let me explain why this is one of the most deeply conservative films in decades. For starters, the family who take Michael in are conservative, Republican Christians. . . when was the last time Hollywood let that happen? And unlike most Hollywood portrayals, they are not obsessed with money or imposing their religious beliefs. In fact, they are a genuinely nice family. Moreover, they take Michael in because they feel a moral obligation to do so. Compare this with how Hollywood normally portrays Christians as hypocritical about their beliefs in charity and responsibility, or against the liberal view that charity derives from forcing others to pay for good deeds through government dollars.

Further, the film constantly makes the point that family is vital. We see this in the support both parents provide Michael from helping him with school to socializing him to giving him emotional support. And at the same time, we are shown how children are destroyed and left to fend for themselves in the world of drug addiction, single-motherhood with multiple baby-daddies, and ghetto culture which disdains education and personal responsibility.

The school also provides a plethora of conservative themes. The admission committee is swayed by the idea that good Christians would help Michael because it’s the right thing to do, not because they would profit by it. The teachers never lower their expectations for him -- in fact, that’s criticized as the reason he has such problems, because the public schools just passed him along. And they also are very flexible about finding nontraditional (read: not union approved) ways to teach him. There’s even a great NRA moment. And throughout the film, we are shown that hard work and responsibility are rewarded and reliance on others is not. Indeed, everything you see offers a conservative theme. (See my article on what makes a film conservative.)
The Blind Side is a heartwarming film every conservative should love. It’s the kind of film conservatives complain that Hollywood doesn’t make anymore. The story is touching and has a great message. The people are decent. And its values are thoroughly conservative. This doesn’t sit well with liberal critics who want to see a slam on white southern racists, but who cares about them? They need to sort out their own inner demons before they’re worth listening to. In the meantime, see the film. You’ll like it.

Check out the new film site -- CommentaramaFilms!


Tennessee Jed said...

It didn't surprise me that critics would try and diminish any film that appeals to conservatives. Does the film skip over any rough spots with the family. Probably, but that does not make a bad film.

If anything, I think it does a good job of causing Sandra Bullock and her family have to take a hard look at their own motivatrions and ultimately realizing they had to make certain they were acting for Michael's best interests and not just their own selfishness (e.g. exploiting his football prowess,)

When this film came out, it was reviewed at BH and much was made of a scene at the post office involving a picture of President Bush. When Sandra was making a complaint to a postal worker, the worker pointed to the picture and said "tell it to him." Personally, I didn't see that as a Bush slam. He was president at the time, it was humorous, and easily was something that could have been said.

As I get older, I find myself more and more enjoying these kind of pictures such as "Miracle" or "Secretariat."

Unknown said...

I haven't seen the film yet, but it's in my NetFLix queue. It looks like good family fare, unlike, say Wildcats in which the stereotypical simple but smart blonde female helps a (largely) black football team to find itself. I'm not sure liberals even really know what the word "racism" means.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree on all points. First, sure they could have spent time showing the rougher moments for the family, but why? Is every movies supposed to show bad to balance good?

Secondly, they question their own motives several times in the film to make sure that they aren't doing this for the right reasons. I think what bothered the liberal critics was simply the fact that a conservative family would be shown helping out a black kid without some evil motive on their part because liberals just can't stand the idea that conservatives aren't racists.

As for BH, that's always been a problem with many people on the right, they miss the big picture because they get caught up in some minor part of whatever the film or television show is. Thus, they get bent out of shape over something truly minor. In this case, the bureaucrat (social workers) does point to Bush and says "blame him," but the film makes it pretty clear that the people at fault are the people Bullock blasts -- the ones sitting around doing nothing when they should be doing their jobs. That scene actually is anti-liberal, as the bureaucrat comes out looking like the bad person. But too make people jump on any slight insult and now declare a movie liberal because of it. Oh well.

I'm liking movies like this more too as I get older. There's something really nice about just seeing a story about things going right for a change.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, It's well worth seeing. I don't think liberals have any idea what racism is. I think they simply use that as a generic charge for anything that involves minorities and doesn't promote liberalism.

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to see this one as well - hopefully sometime soon.

What really surprises me is that Sandra Bullock was able to win an Oscar for her performance. I'm really glad she did; I've always liked her as an actress.


AndrewPrice said...

TJ, That is a surprise for me too and I have no idea how she slipped through? I don't recall exactly who she was up against, but maybe it was a matter of the competition? Or maybe they hadn't seen it and they thought it was liberal?

In any event, it's well worth seeing and I think you'll like it. If you have particular thoughts on it after you see it, feel free to drop by and let us know! :-)

Ed said...

I started hearing about this being "racist" the moment the first trailer came out. I didn't see it because I don't care much for Bullock, but I'll check it out now. Thanks!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I'd read about that, but didn't see it as I wasn't paying attention to this film when it first came out. It makes sense if you grasp how "racist-happy" liberals have become. As I say in the article, the very premise bothers them. Then it only gets worse from there.

Joel Farnham said...


This story has personal meaning for me.

During the 70's my mother accepted 3 boys into the family. At the time I was a very young and didn't know what we were getting into. It wasn't like it was shown in the film. However, I had always wondered why my mother did it. I was young and just accepted it. As I grew older, I resented it. Now, that I watched this movie I understand why she did it. Hard as it might be believed, it was the right thing to do.

The right thing to do. This wasn't some liberal do-gooder thing. Liberals like to think of themselves doing good for the nation, or for others. The problem is they almost never actually directly selflessly do something good for others. They usually see something wrong then demand others, usually the government, to fix it.

This movie is about someone doing good for another person. Not demanding others to step up. Not demanding the government to intervene. Not crying in her pillow about how unfair the world is. Not organizing people to give money for the problem.

Also notice how easy it was to do. Accept them in your life and help them achieve their best. Until I see the majority of liberals do that, I don't want to hear from them about how I never care, or whatever.

Now, if you can't use your own imagination to visualize how rough the kid's life was, I suggest you lay off the marijuana. And here is one more thought. He changed them far more than they helped him.

Andrew, I knew you would like it.

StanH said...

It is a good movie., And you touched on the fact that these were not only conservatives, but from Memphis TN, Southern conservatives my goodness, everybody knows these have to be evil bastards. This movie without effort shatters many preconceived notions of the left, they hate it like they hate Sarah Palin, a blind irrational envious seething hate, you know – the liberal state of being. There is no logic or reasoning, just liberal automatons spewing their bile. Good review Andrew, and well worth a couple hours.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, You were right, I enjoyed it a lot! Thanks!

I agree entirely with your sentiments. First, I find it amazing how easily liberals downplay what these people did. This isn't some rich family who gives a little tax-deductible money they won't even miss to some charity, these people actually take a huge risk and disrupt their lives to help this kid. Seriously, think about what kind of commitment it was for them to take this teenager into their lives. That's huge, and people like this should be praised -- not snidely dismissed because the film doesn't show racism lurking in their hearts.

The film actually points this out subtlely when her friends talk about raising money for the projects, but clearly don't really care about helping anyone.

That's exactly what liberals are like. They don't grasp at all what charity or morality are. They think charity is getting the government to take money from other people to throw at some cause that makes the liberals feel superior. They don't contribute anything personally, and they would never volunteer any real time toward helping anyone.

It truly offends me that liberals would think this film is racist. Adopting a kid of any race, especially one who has been abandoned, and trying to get them a head start in life is the most non-racist thing I can think of, and it's something we should be encouraging. We should be encouraging everyone who can to spend time helping out the less fortunate. To smugly declare it racist just makes me angry and makes me want to ask (1) what have you liberal bastards ever personally done for anyone and (2) are you seriously telling me they should have left this kid sleeping on park benches because it's racist to help him? How f***ed up are you?

Kudos to your mom. I've known a few foster kids and kids who ended up living with other families for one reason or another and I know how hard that can be on the family. So we really should applaud people who take others in and help them, and it says a lot about them.

Thanks again for the recommendation!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Stan, and I agree -- it's well worth a couple hours to watch this film.

"Irrational" is the best way to describe the response of these leftist critics. Seriously, if you asked:

"should rich people take poor people into their homes, pay for their school, encourage them to get involved with athletics, buy them clothes and a car, and help them get into college?"

100% of liberals would not only respond "yes", they would probably even add "we should force rich people to do this... it's only right."

But then you mention that the rich people are white and the kid is black and that the rich people did this because they felt it was their Christian duty, and suddenly liberals start screaming "racism" in the identical scenario?!!

How does that make any sense? The only way it makes sense is that liberals don't care at all for blacks or kids or the poor, they thrive on hate and they would rather this poor kid died in the streets than admit that rich, whites can be good people -- especially southerners.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Stan, It's also very telling that they can't even let a single movie go by without demanding that their racist ideas be injected into it upon pain of declaring the film racist. Unbelievable.

StanH said...

For that very reason, I believe real America is growing extremely tired of liberals in general.

Liberals are boring predictable sycophants, who never, ever divert from the narrative, most especially when they think it hurts America.

AndrewPrice said...

True Stan, and I know I'm sick of hearing from them. They just repeat the same tired, boring, wrong talking points over and over, and yelling racism every time a conservative mentions anyone of another race is just another tactic to them. At this point, they have nothing to offer.

Tam said...

Obviously libs aren't familiar with the law of diminishing returns. Cries of racism wore out their effectiveness long ago. I don't even hear it anymore.

And, I also liked the film. I think one of the best scenes was when the parents asked the daughter how she felt...if she was intimidated, afraid, threatened...because if having Michael in their home actually destroyed their family, they would have looked for other options for him.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, first of all I cried throughout this entire movie. It's like "Rudy" to me. I will add more when my eyes dry up...

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, The laws of diminishing what? You mean you can't just keep calling everything racist and get the same effect? Or taxing everything more and more and keep getting the same payoff? Hmmm. This is an interesting theory you have, but it sounds like some crazy conservative conspiracy theory! ;-)

Seriously, I agree. I barely hear their claims of racism anymore, and they never bother me in the sense of making me upset at the target of their claim -- it just bothers me that they keep making the false claim over and over.

What stuns me here is that you have a truly noble act, the kind liberals would have praised a decade ago, and now they are trying to smear it as racist because it doesn't include enough slander against the family?! Give me a break.

I liked that scene too. I especially liked that they said they would look for alternative ways to care for him, rather than just dumping him back onto the streets. That was really telling.

My favorite thing in the film was Bullock's character. She was sharp, funny and clearly strong-willed. It was fun to watch her. And I think my favorite scene was when she explains to Michael how to protect the quarterback. I really burst out laughing when she called the running back "this umpa lumpa". LOL! Either that or the NRA comment, which was really hilarious!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'll admit to some of that too. They really did a great job of bring out the emotions -- and in a good way. It was always because something truly inspiring happened, not because we were tricked into it. This film really made you feel good about how good people can people. I was really impressed.

Anonymous said...

Racist! (Just kidding) :-)

I haven't seen the film but I read this review earlier at work (such as it is) and I couldn't help but wonder: what makes a Christian character? I'm probably opening a can of worms here, or perhaps the answer is right in front of me but I was grappling with it earlier.

Is it word, or deed? As a Jew, I'd like to think we also have the charity/hard work/"be excellent to each other" thing down pretty well. There are no doubt many movie characters somewhat like Sandra Bullock's but they aren't necessarily Christian, or religious at all. Are they still Christian characters?

And as a film student, I have to wonder how someone could convey a character's Christianity without, say, going over the top, or dropping cliches. Sure, you could show a character in church or saying a prayer but that doesn't necessarily inform the character, any more than Counselor Troi being defined by her love of chocolate.

(Apologies for any blatant displays of ignorance above!)

Joel Farnham said...


Christian Character is a lot of things. Mostly it is the Golden Rule. Unless you are a Masochist, it means treating others as you would have them treat you. It means turning the other cheek for the man to hit you again. It does not mean you can't get angry. Witness Jesus getting mad at the moneylenders at the temple. It does not mean eye for an eye. It does mean justice. It means forthright in thought and deed. It means being forgiving first. It does not mean coddling. It does not mean excusing. It means helping instead of hindering. It means stopping your help when it starts to hinder. It doesn't mean slothful. It doesn't mean condoning it either. It doesn't mean lying down and taking pain.

It means all these things and more. The really odd thing about liberals is that if you presented any one of these thoughts without adding Christ to the mix, they would agree and then try to force or expect others to do them. Christians don't do that.

Most Christians fall down on these, but the aim is still the same.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You ask a good question.

First, I didn't use "Christian" in a generic sense as a substitute for "good." Because you don't have to be Christian to be good. I meant it in the specific sense of "person of the Christian faith." This character is Christian because (1) she says she is, and (2) she says she bases her choices on her Christian faith. They also send their kids to a Christian school. That's why she's a Christian person.

And coincidentally, Bullock initially turned down the role because she was uncomfortable playing a deeply religious character and apparently was concerned about coming across fake.

Secondly, the reason this is significant is because of the way most Christians are portrayed by Hollywood. Normally, when Hollywood introduces a Christian character, they are presented as borderline violent extremist nuts who hate everyone and go around proclaiming that God will bring his wrath on all you dirty ____ (Jews, blacks, women with jobs, etc.). They are presented as intolerant and hateful and distinctly without charity or good will. They are usually presented as stupid and sexually repressed and often as closeted homosexuals or child molesters.

That's why it's significant that a film out of Hollywood would present a Christian character but not present them as the Hollywood stereotype.


AndrewPrice said...

If you're asking a broader question of what makes a person a "good Christian," that's a matter for a lot of debate. The more fundamentalist you get, the more it becomes about believing specific dogma. The more toward the other end you get, the more it becomes just about being kind to other people. For most people, it's somewhere in between.

In terms of film school, if you want to show someone to be a Christian, you need to do something to let the audience know it, just like you would need to with Jews. With Jews, for example, you often see the cap, you often hear them mention a rabbi, or you often hear them use well-known "Jewish" words or expressions like "oy-vey" (sp?).

With Christians, its more tricky because of the way Hollywood has abused the character. Consequently, you have to walk a fine line between showing them to be a Christian and starting to set off the bad-stereotype alarm.

I would recommend subtle reference to their faith. For example, one of the best instance of letting the audience know a character was Christian without saying it was Ernie Hudson's speech in Ghostbusters -- "I love Jesus's style." Or they could say a prayer to themselves at a key moment. Alternatively, you could hang a crucifix over their bed or put a Bible in a prominent place -- just like you could stick a menorah on a shelf for Jews.

The real key is to avoid having them walking around declaring everything the will of God and acting judgmental. That's the stereotype.

BevfromNYC said...

If anyone has any doubts about why Sandra Bullock won the an Oscar for this movie, you haven't seen it. She actually gives an extraordinarily nuanced performance. It's her lack of of overt emotions that make it great.

***spoiler alert****
Though this scene was in the commercial for the film, it's actually a good example.

She is showing Michael the guest bedroom where he will be sleeping. He says, "I've never had one before"
She says, "What, your own room?"
He says, "No, a bed."

She shows no outward emotion, but what is in her eyes when she smiles and throw out "Well you have one now", says everything. She refuses to show shock or pity, but you can see in her eyes that the minute she leaves that room, she's going to her big walk-in closet in her bedroom, close the door, and bawl her eyes out.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Well put.

Two points, first: I think you're absolutely right about the liberals v. Christian thing. I've always found it strange that liberals can claim to believe something, but the moment someone says they believe the same thing but because of their Christian faith, suddenly (1) that belief becomes a matter of stupidity or ridicule and (2) the liberal automatically assumes the Christian is lying.

Point two: When Hollywood does try to do a positive portrayal of religious people, they far too often make them out as meekness defined -- weaklings who are practically begging to be bullied. I HATE that! This is often the standard way they play priests or monks (Buddhist or Christian), and it's incredibly untrue and insulting. Religion talks about being good to each other and turning the other cheek and all of that, but (as you point out) there are limits on it -- religion is not a suicide pact

. . . unless you're in a cult. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Andrew - good call on Ernie Hudson's line in Ghostbusters.

The cap is a yarmulke (I had to wear one myself recently) and you spelled "oy vey" correctly (no hyphen). :-)

I think when it comes to putting a cross or Bible in the background or something like that, part of me reacts with a big, "Yeah, so?" Meaning, will the character actually act that way or is it just a crutch, like having a character wear a Yankee baseball cap so the audience knows he/she is from NY, even though it's not really relevant and has no bearing on the story.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, True. That was a tremendous bit of acting, and she keeps pulling moments like that throughout the film. I was very impressed with her, and I'm not normally a fan of her acting -- though I like her screen presence.

In terms of "wonder how she got the Oscar," I think the point was more that she played a character that a majority of the critics hate for political reasons, and thus people are surprised that the critics would vote for her -- not that she didn't deserve it because of the acting job she did.

Joel Farnham said...


I think I know why the liberals are upset at this movie. The racism they think is automatic wasn't on display. They automatically think whites hate blacks for no good reason. Blacks hates whites because they are keeping blacks down. Which to them is a good reason to hate white people. Unless they see someone overcoming their automatic racism, they don't believe it.

They don't believe white people, especially conservatives, see black people as people. It is the liberals version of original sin.

Now-a-days, if you don't pay obeisance to your obvious racism for being white, your truly can't be non-racist. At least according to liberals. Also, to liberals, blacks are automatically non-racist for being black.

There wasn't any apology for being white and rich in that movie. This is why they called it racist. In their eyes, the movie didn't acknowledge their version of original sin.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm glad I spelled it right! :-)

On the Ernie Hudson line, that's one of my favorite moments in the film because it really says and does so much in one short thought. For example, it gives you a ton of depth into Ernie's character with little more than the way he says it. Secondly, it suddenly makes the whole film much more serious, right before the ending because it raises the stakes and the tension. Without that moment, the film would stay at more of a cartoony level -- goofy guys catching ghosts. But with that line, you suddenly get a sense that what's happening really does matter to humanity.

In terms of the crosses and the Bibles being a crutch, they are, but then so is a briefcase or clown shoes. It's just something to tell the audience something about the person without having to spell it out.

If you're talking about how to present them as such without using those crutches. Then I would say, (1) make them a good person who believes in peaceful resolution of issues, tolerance and charity, and try to incorporate references to it in the dialog, like in The Blind Side or as Ernie Hudson does, (2) incorporate it into daily rituals, e.g. have them say prayers or say grace before eating, or (3) make it part of the plot, e.g. have them pray for guidance or express guilt for sinning, etc.

Does that help?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think that's true. The critics see this story as racist precisely because the whites aren't shown as racist, nor are they shown overcoming their racism before they adopt the black kid.

To the critics, that's a "whitewash" because the film ignores the horrible truth that all whites are racist. In fact, several critics used the term "whitewash" to express this very idea.

Translating that to human, it means that the critics have a prejudice, i.e. they assume whites must be racist, and when the film doesn't live up to their prejudice, they assume that the purpose of the film was to present an idealized version of rich white people to delude people into thinking white aren't racist. In other words, they see it as racist propaganda. That's why you see the reference to things like Triumph of the Wills in the reviews.

Anonymous said...

Does that help?

I think so. For the time being, anyway. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Glad to here it... for the time being. ;-)

T_Rav said...

I have not seen this movie yet, but practically everyone I know has, and they universally agree it's just great. (I know, I know...dump on me for not seeing the movie, etc.) My sports-minded friends in particular rave about it. And since I'm currently attending Ole Miss, I can attest that it gets a lot of attention and praise from the local community and the Memphis region in general.

T_Rav said...

Also Ed, how can you not care much for Sandra Bullock? My God, man, did you not see her masterful work in the epic that is "Speed 2: Cruise Control"??

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, It's actually not much of a sports film. There is some, but not a lot -- at least not much on field sports. One thing that's really interesting/funny is they get real NCAA coaches coming through for recruits -- true legends like Fulmer and Nick Saban. Those are some very entertaining scenes.

Speed 2, yeah that was epic! EPIC!!

Tennessee Jed said...

Just adding to Scott's question about Christianity, and why so many on the left have gone "open season." As we know, the European colonists who came here and founded the USA were overwhelmingly of the Christian faith. Much of our ethics is based on Judeo/Christian view of God, with the obvious difference being Christians believed Jesus was the song of God, the Messiah. Hence, they believe in his teachings and the New Testament. Like Jews and Muslums (I don't know about eastern religions) there are all flavors of Christianity.

The fundamental teaching of Jesus is three kinds of love: 1) eros 2) filias 3) agape. The first is between man and women. The second is brotherly love for your fellow man. 3) is selfless love of god and man.
Mortals, born in original sin cannot reach agape, but strive to do so.

Like most religions, Christianity has evolved in practice. Back in the 1700 and 1800's there was a strict vengeful God. That view has evolved. Some believe the bible, literally while others look to the grand concepts.

Liberals often aim at Christianity because it is associated with power in this country. Christians were slaveholders etc. Liberals think of themselves as modern day Robin Hoods and like to point out what they see as hypocricy. The counter is that government seizure of an individual earnings is no longer charity. We could probably go on forever, but your eyes would glaze over. Just one more angle ;-)

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I can think of some people here in the SEC who would be apoplectic if they heard you describe Nick Saban as a "legend" :-)

Whatever the case, I just know that it appeals especially to people who are big into sports. Perhaps to clarify, when I say that, I mean people who have grown up being involved in basketball or football or so on, and whose families and close friends have been like-minded. I think it touches on themes of community and relationships for them (whether they would put it that way or not).

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's true. I think the bias on the left against Christianity is based on rebelling against power. They blame the current power structure for everything bad in the past. And since they see that power structure as being created by white, male Christians, they have internalized anti-white, anti-male and anti-Christian prejudices. I would actually say that this is similar to people who begin to hate bands or movies that their ex-spouses liked when they go through a nasty break up.

In terms of Christianity, you are correct again. There is a lot of complexity to the question of "what is a Christian" and "how do you act like a Christian." In many ways, the answer to that depends on who you ask. Some see it as much more about doctrine and others see it as much more about just basic behavior. And even within Christianity there are differences about whether you can be a Christian and hold certain beliefs, etc.

So it really is a very hard question to answer in the abstract. But in terms of Hollywood's interpretation, they tend to skip right to the nastiest stereotypes available and even then add a few layers of unpleasantness.

A classic example is in Stephen King's last movie The Mist where the "Christian" woman immediately decided that the monsters were the wrath of God and decided that they needed to sacrifice the non-believers to the mist to appease God. There is nothing Christian about that, yet that's well within the stereotype Hollywood applies.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, It definitely has a sports appeal -- in fact, several people now rank it as one of the greatest sports films. But for people who don't particularly like sports, they should know that there are very few minutes of actual sports going on. There are maybe 5-7 minutes total.

Nick Saban not a legend? Are you sure? LOL! I love the SEC precisely because the rivalries are so strong. Out here people barely know Colorado has a team. But in places like Tennessee and Alabama and Mississippi, to wear the wrong color shirt is to invite tar and feathers. I really get a kick out of watching that.

In terms of Saban though, the guy is a snake. But then so many of them are. I understand they actually named a sewer processing facility after Lane Kiffin after he fled Tennessee. Perhaps I should have said, Lou Holtz -- who is in the film as South Carolina's coach at the time.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Great review, Andrew!

I concur this is a very good flick.
I also concur it's surprisingly conservative without caveats or that annoying asterisk that lefties attach to anything portraying conservatives or that has conservative principles in it.

I'm not surprised at the usual lefty critics, pundits, blogs, the LSM, etc., projecting racism into this fine movie (and the true-life story).
Once again they prove that they are the one's that are racist.

I also think they are pissed that a conservative family actually helped Michael rather than the dead-end govt. programs the left champions.

And it made some public teachers look bad (because according to many proregressives there ain't any bad public teachers).
It's heresy to besmirch any public education saints. Apparently, the Blind Side crew didn't get the memo.

Or maybe they were afraid the real life Michael would come after them? LOL! Just kidding. I don't wanna cheapen the terrific work they did.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Sandra Bullock and the film receive academy awards though. :^)

Andrew, what did you mean by manipulative? I didn't feel like I was manipulated even a little bit after seeing it.
I got the impression they were merely wanting to tell the story as best they could without the preaching and propaganda that has become so commonplace in so many films (created with pro-leftist propaganda in mind, such as virtually all the Iraq war movies).

I know you didn't mean manipulative in that context (or to that extent) so that's why I'm asking.

Anyhow, not much to add that hasn't already been said. This was another movie I thought could've been a bit longer but then again, whenever I enjoy a movie I almost always think it should be longer, lol.

Like Alan Jackson sings: Too Much Of A Good Thing Is A Good Thing.
You may detect a pattern emerging here. :^)

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I was surprised to see Bullock win because it's not the kind of film with the kind of message that normally wins with liberal critics.

I really was struck how not-liberal this film was. It showed religious people, whites, Republicans, Southerners, and private schoolers as good people, unhateful, unbiased, etc. These aren't messages Hollywood normally condones.

Manipulation -- just the usual stuff you find in these kinds of films. . . long, depressing shots with the depressing music until the characters decide to do the right thing and then suddenly the music, the lighting and the pacing changes -- things like that. Nothing unusual and certainly nothing content-wise, i.e. I don't mean they were trying to manipulate you in the story as so often happens, just in the filming techniques.

Yep, I'm detecting a pattern! LOL!

(By the way, I've moved all the film articles to the new site where they should be easier to find if you'd rather comment on them over there.)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks Andrew, that makes sense to me now. I was looking too deep and overlooking the obvious, lol.

Thanks also for your work on the other site! I'll comment on your other reviews over there. Eventually I'll be caught up. :^)

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome! And thanks Ben, I'm hoping to expand the film-related offerings over there once I officially "open" the site -- just have a couple bugs to work out.

I've always wanted to talk more about films in general, but there isn't room in our schedule at the main site, so I thought the new site would be a good idea -- plus, having a new site lets me re-arrange the tags and the such to make it easier to find things.

Anonymous said...

After reading these comments, one would get the impression that liberals hated this movie because it depicted Christians in a flattering light. I don't believe it. I am a liberal, a democrat, and a non-Christian and I LOVED the movie and the book. You guys are too sensitive. This is a wonderful story that has universal appeal, and to me, represents the best in humanity.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, We're not being overly sensitive, liberal critics and liberal websites said those very things.

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