This morning, I read the movie reviews in our local newspaper. And I was furious.
Two of the worst movies out there each received a lengthy write-up, with rave reviews, lauding the “humor” and fine acting. Each of the two was highly recommended by our local reviewer, who gave them three stars. (The national reviews syndicated to our paper were even more generous….three and one-half stars.)
This effusive praise– for a movie about male strippers, which contains graphic nudity and explicit sexuality to say nothing of the language! A related article celebrated the assumption that women “will flock in droves” to see this trash….no doubt, it was predicted, attending with groups of “salivating” friends to share the event….
(Oh, give me a break…)
The other horrid movie is about, of all things, a teddy bear. I have seen the posters in a local theater of the fluffy toy bear, and I’m sure children have noticed it as well and expressed interest in seeing the movie. (Let us pray that their parents will notice the R rating and resist.)
A friend of mine is a movie buff, and she will sit through virtually almost anything. In fact, she usually goes alone as none of us will accompany her to many of the films she sees. Last week she saw the “teddy bear” movie, and told me that it was so awful that she wished she had walked out, and that she said an Act of Contrition upon leaving the movie theater. Although I wish my friend would be more discriminating in her movie choices, I appreciated her honesty about this travesty of building a filthy movie around a traditionally beloved children’s toy.
The same reviewers mentioned above, completely ignored the beautiful epic film, For Greater Glory, when it played for a full month in my town. It was not reviewed by our local critic, and was listed each week with a “no star” rating from the syndicate, which means they didn’t even bother to take it seriously enough to review.
Yet, it was an awesome movie, beautifully produced, and with superb performances, particularly by Andy Garcia and Peter O’Toole
After walking away from the newspaper in disgust, I signed onto my Internet homepage only to be greeted with the news that a certain starlet has a new “bikini body.” It’s always that way…..who wore the most daring dress to an awards ceremony, and other similar worthless information pops up as “news.”
Our entire culture is literally immersed in crudeness, rudeness and the sexual exploitation of human beings, most recently pregnant women… but that’s another post. You cannot escape unless you avoid all media, but even then, your soul will be assaulted if you walk through a mall or subway station or heaven forbid, go to the beach.
And then, there is today’s saint…..little Maria Goretti. What a contradiction this child is to our culture…only eleven years old when she was martyred for her purity. God surely thought of our day when He raised Maria to sainthood in 1950.
Let us ask her to pray for us, for our children and for our world. I wonder if there has ever been a time more thoroughly impure than our own, a time when the prayers of the innocent child, Maria, were so desperately needed.
How beautiful you are, virgin of Christ
–the Lord has given you the gift of perpetual virginity.
(From the Responsory for the Office of Readings, July 6)
Sketch by Helen Hull Hitchcock