Friday, May 23, 2008

A tale of two movies

I'm sitting on the couch blogging and watching what appears to be one of the stupidest movies I've ever seen: "Mission to Mars." I suppose it might be a little better if we turned the volume up enough to actually hear what was going on, but just from watching it, it looks pretty bad. Two minutes into it I wanted to strangle half the characters, including Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins, who I normally love. The cable info gives the movie 2 stars but called it "an exceptional sci-fi saga, with stunning special effects," so I figured I'd give it a chance. Big mistake. It's not even stupid enough to be funny. Maybe with some Mystery Science Theater commentary - then it might be good.

On the other hand, when I was home this morning waiting for my doctor's appointment, I watched "Amazing Grace," the story of the abolitionist William Wilberforce. It was very good. It was sickening to watch how people were more concerned about business interests than doing the right and moral thing. But I know that still happens today. It doesn't seem as obviously immoral, but it happens. Of course, I'm sure that slavery didn't seem as obviously immoral then to many people. In the movie, people had to convinced. I still don't understand that.

There was this wonderful line in the movie by John Newton, the former slave trader who wrote the hymn, "Amazing Grace." (He was played by Albert Finney.) I can't remember it exactly now, but it was about how sometimes God doesn't work in lightning bolts and thunder; sometimes he does his work with a gentle drizzle - drop by drop by drop. I just love that.


sandwhichisthere said...

Slavery, like war, had been around for a very long time. It is hard to get people to reject something that has been around that long. It became horrid when easily distinguished people became slaves. They were dehumanized and therefore considered beneath moral conduct and any treatment of them was acceptable.
War is the same way. My Father once showed me a poster from just before the United States entered World War I. It showed a German soldier bayoneting a baby. If they killed babies they were not human and therefore anything done to them was acceptable. I remember, just before the first Gulf War, that the Kuwaitis gave testimony to the United States Senate that the Iraqis were killing babies. I said to myself that we were going to go to war. It turned out to be a fabrication but had the desired effect. Goebbels would have been proud of the Kuwaitis. I can see some of the same happening in our treatment of Mexican and Asian immigrants. They are still people. The difference is that they want to come here to become slaves. Life in their own countries is so much worse. Whatever happened to "Give me your tired and huddled masses, yearning to be free."? I guess someone forgot to put the word Nordic in. I wonder if Sam Walton ever wrote a hymn?

Kansas Bob said...

I loved Grace and really can't remember Mars. Last night we sat and watched a subtitled French movie about Rodin and had to turn it off after an hour.. it simply had no point and seemed to drone on.. it did get 3 unearned cable stars though :(

Heidi @ GGIP said...

I haven't seen Amazing Grace yet, although I have heard good things about it.

NoVA Dad said...

I, too, loved "Amazing Grace" and blogged about it after I had seen it. It's a powerful story, but I think the acting and music made the movie presentation even more remarkable.

"Mission to Mars" was one I could leave -- had I not been flipping channels when I saw it, I probably wouldn't have rented it on my own.

Wanda said...

Oh Kristen ~~ I love Amazing Grace, the movie. Tremendous acting, powerful story, and breaks my heart how people can treat each other.
Love and Hugs

LEstes65 said...

Oh I've seed that movie. I remember it came out with some other Mars type movie - the studios were obviously competing to get theirs out first. It would appear that, despite the amazing cast, this studio skimped on the script.