Yes… I spelled it.
You see, yesterday I received an email questioning my motivation for reviewing the film, “Kick Ass.” Here’s just a snippet:
I have to question your motivation. Is it possible that your viewing of the film was not intended as a mission to expose and target the R-rated content of the film, but rather to satisfy your own curiosity about it?
First… I have to admit that I haven’t even seen this film. My good friend Todd who does movie reviews for us reviewed this one. And no, I promise you, it wasn’t “to satisfy his own curiosity.” It’s because I told him to review it.
Here’s the skinny:
Many of you are familiar with the fact that a movie bearing the title “Kick Ass” was released on video this month. This film is very popular with teenagers and even was nominated for a few Teen Choice Awards, including “Choice Action Adventure Movie.” As a matter of fact, the film beat all the competition when it was released on video. The Hollywood Reporter reveals:
Lionsgate’s “Kick-Ass” kicked aside all competitors on the home video charts its debut week, taking the No. 1 spot on the national sales, Blu-ray Disc sales and rental charts… “Kick-Ass” was the week’s clear Blu-ray winner, easily defeating last week’s top seller, Warner’s “Clash of the Titans,” which finished at No. 2, and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” which landed at No. 3. The title also tied “Avatar’s” record in Blu-ray percentage sales for a No. 1 release this year, selling nearly half of its units (49%) in the high-definition format.
Bottom line: Kids are watching this film, a movie rated R by the MPAA for “strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use – some involving children.”
Despite this rating, I heard numerous church kids talking about how much that they wanted to see this film. Many of them saw it. Nice that this kind of film is popular with the kids, huh?
Because of its popularity with teens and tweens, we went ahead and reviewed this film on our MOVIE REVIEWS page so parents and youth workers would know what to expect. This really bummed out one of our readers. More on that in a minute.
We don’t review every film that comes out. We don’t feel the need to review “Saw 17” … we think most parents know that this is probably one to skip. But we like to provide you with our two cents of films that have a large following in pop culture. Other Christian movie review sites do the same.
Regardless, I received an interesting piece of criticism yesterday by email. I felt compelled to share this particular piece of lunacy with you all. Here it is in totality, unedited, so I can’t be accused of misrepresenting this fellow:
I am saddened and extremely disappointed to see a review for the film “Kick-A**” on this very website. Aside from the fact that you have taken no steps to eliminate or hide the profanity present in the title for readers of this Christian resource (however pointless that may seem to some), the very fact that you felt compelled to post a review of this “trash” is beyond me. We as youth workers do not have to subject ourselves to every piece of mainstream entertainment just because our teens are clamoring to see it. Common sense should have indicated that the film is not intended for a teenage – or more accurately – Christian audience. This is not the first time that I have wondered to myself “What were they thinking?” upon reading movie reviews for objectionable films on this site. But in this case, the sheer lack of judgment has moved me to respond. In Christian love, I have to question your motivation. Is it possible that your viewing of the film was not intended as a mission to expose and target the R-rated content of the film, but rather to satisfy your own curiosity about it? Anyone curious about the film’s content could read any of a hundred mainstream movie reviews to determine whether or not the film is appropriate for their child to see. Simpler solution: look at the rating box, which includes a description of the content that earned the rating. Instead, you paid for the experience, making you a part of the paying audience that Hollywood is looking for when deciding whether or not to greenlight a sequel. Do you feel that your presence at the film could be seen as a witness to a lost teen? Would Jesus be satisfied with the argument that you were subjecting yourself to the film only as a service to better inform your readers? Please consider the perspective of a long-time – and perhaps former – reader.
Thanks for your two cents Pat. My response will be quick.
First. Please make sure you send your “loving response” to Dr. James Dobson also, because his Plugged In site reviewed the film as well. (I’ve always wondered about that Dobson guy!)
Second, Perhaps Christians should consider ‘picking their battles.’ If you find that you can’t even say the movie title “Kick-Ass”…. Wow! Personally, I regularly encounter kids that are addicted to porn, fascinated by Satan and completely comfortable with vile lyrics in their iPod. These kids need Jesus.
People need someone to tell them truth–they don’t need Pharisees telling them which words they can and cannot say. Honestly, this movie has much bigger issues than the word “Ass” in the title. If you read our review of the film, you’ll see what some of those issues are.
Thirdly, please call Zondervan, Tyndale and others, and see if we can get some of the Bible edited too. That book included way too many explicit references. Maybe we should start with these verses:
Proverbs 5:19 (NIV)
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
Ezekiel 23:19-20 (NIV)
19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
Crazy Bible. I wonder what the motivations of those authors were.
As for your threat to become a former reader… I just have to warn you… if the word “ass” disturbs you, it’s probably a good decision to stop reading any of my articles, blogs or books right now. Because I will always tell parents and adult leaders what Katy Perry says (and it’s much worse than “ass”), what Lady Gaga does, and I’ll even show some pictures if I think they’ll help adults realize what their kids are watching. (This is always a tough call– I always ask my wife, “Do you think we can show this picture of Christina Aguilera? Or might this be distracting to some?” It’s a hard balance: educating, but not distracting)
So thanks for your “loving criticism.” Please don’t read the article about Katy Perry coming out this Sunday (now up) on our Youth Culture Window page. You’ll pop a blood vessel. I promise!