I’d had high hopes for this year’s Oscars. Two of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen–The Passion of the Christ and The Phantom of the Opera–were technically eligible. Both were given negligible nominations, and neither received an award.
Hollywood says it tried to avoid controversy. But it gave several nods and awards to pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia and anti-morality films like Vera Drake, Kinsey and now, I see, Million Dollar Baby. My wife and I had seen the trailer for the latter film before Phantom. What makes it worse is that the trailer has *nothing* to do with the movie’s ultimate point. . . . It shows Clint Eastwood’s character as a very devout Catholic. It looks like it’s just one of those “prayerful Christian-sports” movies like Rudy or something. . . .
No, it’s a typical example of Hollywood’s idea that religious people should be “compassionate” (their euphemism for “selfish”) and kill the disabled.
So this is the movie that did so well at the Oscars!
Meanwhile, the most recent Newsweek has a very lovely article about how the Holy Father, despite his dire illness, “continues to impose his will on the Roman Catholic faithful,” while being so cruel and negligent as to not have a Living WIll! “How will we know when we can pull the plug on this mean old tyrant?” is the article’s tone.
And, speaking of Newsweek and superficially Catholic movies, a week or two ago they had a little blurb on the movie Constantine, referring to it as “Roman Catholic” in spirit. This is another I saw the trailer for.
The line between Gnosticism and “Christian fantasy” is often ambiguous, especially when a work makes no specific reference to Christianity but is vague enough to be interpreted as having “Christian symbolism” (Star Wars, for example).
Ironically, the line of demarcation becomes much clearer when the work is more overtly or seemingly Christian. . . . Take The Exorcist. For the most part, it depicts phenomena that truly occur. One priest succumbs to the Devil, but he is weak-willed and philosophically liberal–that such a priest should succumb is a perfect example of *why* the Church is selective in assigning exorcists. In fact, the movie is much more accurate in depicting Catholicism than it is in depecting psychology and psychiatry (at least by today’s standards).
And even though the exorcism is successful, there is still the sense that the Devil is more powerful; especially given the sequels. . . ..
While the Million Dollar Baby trailer deceitfully gives the impression of a movie about honest Catholic faith, the opposite is true of Constantine.
Following up on the Matrix movies, Keanu Reeves seems to be the king of Gnostic movies. In this case, he carries crucifixes and holy water, but practices necromancy. In the trailer, he is approached by a woman (played by the actress from the Mummy movies) who wants his “services”. He puts her through some near-death ritual so she can commune with spirits the way he does. . . . The tag line is that “Heaven won’t take him. Hell wants him. Earth needs him.”
If he is doing good, why won’t Heaven take him?
And in either case, the implication of the trailer itself, much less the movie, is that both Heaven and Hell are enemies of Earth.
So, basically, one year after The Passion broke records and shocked Hollywood, this is its response:
Lure faithful and unwitting Christians to movies that claim Christianity but undermine their most fundamental values.