Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Hollywood needs to be punished for this.
Right where it hurts most: In the pocketbook.
Nearly every week, I head to the nearest Cineplex to take in one of the newly released films to review for my “Popcorn and a (World)View” column.
But not this week.
Every seven days or so, Hollywood gives us between one and a handful of major new releases that appear in theaters across the country. Usually, I can find one in the bunch that isn’t overtly offensive, sex-laden or pushing a thinly-veiled, leftist political mantra.
But not this week.
Even though that one film I find often contains elements I wish weren’t there (like profanity or excessive violence), I’m willing to sit through it, even avert my eyes during certain scenes if need be, and can discuss the story’s merit or demerit to our society by writing a film review.
But not this week.
For there are some weeks – whether because it’s a down time on the calendar for movie-going, or because the new releases are simply smut – when I’m not willing to spend $8.50 supporting any title on the marquee (my apologies to those in larger cities where the cost of a ticket can be up to twice that!).
Just like this week. I’m not willing to spend even the price of a matinee ticket on the new releases hitting theaters, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “Promised Land,” the leftist screed from the used-to-be-an-actor, now Bostonian activist Matt Damon.
And next week won’t be much better, with an R-rated comedy and a violence-packed, R-rated “Gangster Squad.”
And the week after that: A pair of R-rated, cuss-filled shoot’em-ups and a horror flick.
It’s a sad commentary when the movie I’m most looking forward to this month is “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” That’s some pretty low standards, right there.
Of course, “Zero Dark Thirty” will be expanded shortly, so I’ll have something to review in the coming weeks, but with hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to the movies that are made each month … this is the best Hollywood could do?
Some Christians, I know, have written off Hollywood altogether. They haven’t gone to a film in theaters since “The Passion of the Christ,” and even that one they felt guilty about.
This is a week where Christians and discerning audiences should just … stay … home. Rent a movie instead, if you must (Hollywood doesn’t really count those dollars in its movie-making decisions). Let the crickets in the theaters do the talking.
But sadly, on those weeks when my job requires me to go review a film I’d rather not patronize, I too often see Christians – and various people who otherwise also ought to know better – standing in line, looking at the marquee, asking, “Which of these movies should we see?”
Answer: “None of them!”
Do your research before you go to the theater! Don’t spend $8.50 of your budget and God’s provision patronizing some offensive offal, just because it’s what’s showing this week! Take your 10 bucks, 20 if you were planning on purchasing popcorn, and buy a book instead.
If audiences aren’t willing to punish Hollywood when it produces dreck, then like a naughty child who is never disciplined, the movie industry just becomes a spoiled brat.
On weeks like this, it’s time Hollywood had its allowance taken away.