I enjoy a good movie. But I have to remind myself that so much of what I see on the screen is not what it seems. Much of it is illusion. Hollywood is the land of illusion. So I keep my critical faculties on alert when I view a movie – no matter how good it is. If we believe everything we see in a movie, then we will believe that …
> The ventilation system of any building provides a perfect hiding place.
> Men show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince with pain when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
> Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
> It is always possible to park directly outside any building you want to visit.
> Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds – unless the building is on fire and a child is trapped inside.
> It doesn’t matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts; your enemies will always wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have disposed of their predecessors.
I enjoy those tongue-in-cheek observations but, sadly, those are not the only ways that movies twist reality. You see, if we are not careful, many movies will subtly pressure us to believe that life is not a sacred and precious gift; that marriage is a consumer item rather than a life-long commitment; that the end always justifies the means – no matter how immoral and corrupt those means may be. If we are not careful, Hollywood will transform our worldview and the dividing line between reality and fantasy will become blurred and the choices we make will reflect an imagined world, not a real one.
I enjoy a good movie. But I will not allow the illusionary world in a movie to determine my values, my beliefs or my behaviour. Only one movie is that good – The JESUS movie!