Friday, June 21, 2013

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

Not that this will reassure everyone, but, hey, it's better than Twilight.  Aside from some silly caricatures it's kind of a smart, funny movie at a time that we've been inundated with movies about teenagers and young jobless adults coming to grips with various supernatural powers in a supernatural world.

The silly caricatures I mention do figure into the messaging that I really want to discuss here.  The worst is Emma Thompson's depiction of a Southern church lady.  We see her tormenting her teenage son over Bible lessons at the beginning, and afterward her son disparages her by wondering aloud to his friend how loving Jesus can make her so crazy.  This, dear reader, is how the Left sees the South, the Bible Belt, and most of church-going America.  In case you miss the point, this character later exclaims before the whole town that “atheists, homosexuals, liberals, Democrats, and Greenpeace" are, along with the movie's witches, the sort of “unnatural abominations” from which they are obligated to protect their town.  This caricaturish delivery isn't just limited to Thompson but is supported by the most superficial high school girls in town being the most religious.  They even pray in class, which the teacher reminds them is not allowed.  Is there anything political about "prayer in school" being depicted as something intended to offend and isolate?  The movie also ridicules the idea of evil being something promoted or led by a powerful spirit (i.e. Satan); spirits merely inform powerful wizard humans, silly!  They don't actually wield power of their own!  By the way, what is The Dark that claims some witches on their 16th birthday?  Is that some kind of sentient entity?

To be fair, the movie develops a meaningful spiritual theme, and even has a minister's sermon support that theme.  One of the most knowledgeable people in the "wizarding world" of this film is a woman who does in fact go to church and believe in God, but this curt nod is practically lost in all the attempts to compare religion unfavorably with the leftist notion of embracing the world and embracing ideas.  One of the few "muggles" in the town to be introduced to this dark underworld of magic, we are informed, claims the local library as her church, and her love of "ideas" she finds there is presented as much more valuable and cosmopolitan than the theological ideas in their local church.  Getting out of your parents' little town and getting that larger view of the world at a university filled with anti-conservative messages is what frees the soul from its shackles.  Otherwise, one might just end up like the ultra-stupid religious folks in the movie; or worse, married to one of them.

The filmmakers probably think they are being subtle and ironic by making the superficially good to be bad and the superficially bad to be Christ-like.  It is the irony that is superficial and anything but subtle.  Behold the face of evil:
Crazy church lady
Based on other movies  reviewed on this blog, I'll give it a 7.0 on the Lib-o-meter for its barely restrained secular liberalism.

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