Posts Tagged ‘simpsons’

#31 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – The Incredibles

December 21, 2009

We have taken the list of the Top Money Makers of the Decade and we are doing the “Question Entertainment Lightning Round”
I hope you like it. Let us know your thoughts.

See them all at

The Incredibles

The Simpsons Movie

September 3, 2009

What Is It?

The TV series started in 1989 and is still on the air. The characters were actually invented for skits on the Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. This has been a long time coming. The dysfunctional yellow cartoon family, with heart, that started the Cartoons for adults (mostly watched by teens, then marketed to younger kids when their fan base wanes) craze that has given us Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and direct rip offs like “Family Guy”.

How was it?

It was like a well done episode of the show. It did not just fill the time in the screen, but used the extra time and extra large screen to do more of “what ever a Simpson episode does.” The fact that it was a movie let them put in more crude things and more violence and socially unacceptable behavior than they seem to feel they can do on TV. For example, in the show there is an episode that deals with Homer doing drugs, in the movie there is a shot of the bus driver with a bong and there is no further comment. All in all this is just what I remember from the show in a bigger way. (The stuff with the punk band “Green Day” at the beginning is very clever.)

Was It Good For Kids?

While, it’s a cartoon with silly meal prize tie ins at fast food stores, the reality of it is, that the film was made for adults and older teens. There is a bedroom scene with Homer (Dan Castellanetaand) Marge  (Julie Kavner) being assisted by “Snow White” style animals, Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright) skateboards naked, there are gay police kissing, drug and alcohol use and misuse, lots of weapons, and references to anatomy. The popular cuss word is “God” and the tension of the final confrontation is broken by Marge (one of the two main characters we can respect) yelling G…D…. There is a lot presented as irony here that kids will pick up as suggestions.

Look at for a complete break down of the elements shown on the screen.

What about spiritual issues?

Oddly, there is only one reference to the Simpson’s sanctioned Buddhism, and it’s not even from Lisa (Yeardley Smith). Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer) is still the sole “Good Christian” (apparently, an average evangelical, until the writers are unsure of what an evangelical would do, then he’s a Catholic). He is actually the voice of reason and the example of true fatherhood throughout the film. However, that seems to just be an amusing coincidence. Young teen, Bart (Nancy Cartwright), gets drunk when he thinks that he prefers someone like Flanders over his cool, but clueless, Dad.

The Church scene is pivital. Homer states that it doesn’t matter that they are late to talk about this “phony bologna God”. While they are in church, Grandpa (also Dan Castellanetaand) is struck by a light from the window, and starts to give a wild prophesy, while falling on the ground and convulsing. When Marge tells Homer to help, Homer exclaims that he cannot because, “There aren’t any answers in this book!” Yes, he is holding the Bible. The joke here is not “Look how dumb Homer is, he thinks the Bible has no answers and that God is not real.” The joke is “Look how dumb Homer is, he doesn’t know that you are not supposed to admit those things in church.”

I very much dispise this view of the church (particularty when I see it in the church itself). The Bible is useless but someone’s personal religious experience is “right” or “real”. In actuality, any experience we have should be checked against the Bible for interpretation, not the other way around. 2 Timothy 3:16 Romans 3:4

And just in case you get confused and think that despite the Bible slam, Grampa’s prophesy makes this film Pro-God, Homer is later rescued by a large chested Medicine woman (Tress MacNeille), who aids him with his self revelation, through mysticism.

What is your recommendation?

This is a funny movie with some good ideas and a lot of bad ones.

Though, I must say that I was fairly warned. The movie opens with Homer Simpson rebuking the viewing audience with the words, “If you ask me, everybody in this theater is a giant sucker! Especially you!”

Who am I to argue with the experts?

South Park

August 30, 2009

spblucWhat Is It?

A guy once hired two other guys to do a video Christmas card. The result was a bunch of sloppy construction paper cut out kids. They meet Jesus who has them bring him to the mall, where he picks a fight with Santa. The kids realize that it’s better to be Jewish because the meaning of Christmas is presents, and Jews get 8 days of it.

This video circulated until the guys were offered a series on Comedy Central with the same construction paper kids. Now we can watch them, almost daily, be rude, be nasty and kill Kenny (in every episode).

How Is It?

Lots of people like this show, so I guess it hits an audience. Still it seems like a bunch of kids who have just realized that their parents are not listening. So they can impress their friends with crude words and gags that you know you are not supposed to use in polite conversation. Of my short sampling, most of the stuff I saw was purposely stupid. The “Passion of the Jew” episode just recycled the popular criticisms of the Mel Gibson film. The Passion of the Christ movie helps one kid realize that Jews are evil so the child dresses like Hitler. The Christians are stupid so they all follow the kid thinking his German curses are Aramaic praises. Later a pastor explains that Passion plays were invented simply to increase hatred of the Jews. (This gives viewers a feeling that they have researched the issue, and now know what they are talking about.) Meanwhile the other kids go to meet an insane Mel Gibson to ask for their money back for this terrible film. Sure, maybe they are being rebellious by dissing Mel, but really they are just kissing the boots of the rest of Hollywood. The “Christians Rock Hard” episode is actually amusing criticism of the easily criticized Christian music industry (Christians only listen to it because they are told to or because it says Jesus enough, even when the references are pointless or incorrect.) The South Park movie…. I got through 15 minutes of the insulting of Christians and Jews, kicking a baby for fun (because that’s so naughty, it’s funny) and the kids bribing a homeless man to get into a movie with poorly done cartoon kids cussing like mad. (I guess that was supposed to be ironic.) I hear I missed Kenny dying and going to heaven (which is just a bunch of naked women) and Saddam Hussein sodomizing Satan (a pun I suppose). This is not the deft social criticism of “The Simpsons“, this is just crude for the sake of giggling at things that should not be said by kids.

Is It Good For Kids?

Not only is it going to teach your kids all kinds of things that you don’t want them doing or saying, it’s also done very poorly. So, on top of everything else, it will lower their wit and help develop bad taste in entertainment.

What About Spiritual Issues?

There are a ton of them. The kids are always making fun of Christianity and Judaism. Though their criticism of Christian pop and punk music may well be true, without the other side, it’s just propaganda.

Worse than that is that Jesus and Satan are regular characters. Satan is powerful and mean. Jesus is a skinny wuss with a lisp. At one point Satan challenges Jesus to a boxing match. Jesus can’t hit, but Satan takes a dive and wins a ton of money by being the only person who would bet on Jesus. This is not the all powerful ruler of the universe. This is not even the man consumed with zeal for God who makes his own whip before dismantling a makeshift mall. (John 2:15 & 2:17)

What Is Your Recommendation?

You know, if someone in class was drawing mean pictures of your buddy, you wouldn’t like it. Here we have Jesus as a wussy fairy, and Christians everywhere list this as one of their favorites.

Even without Jesus and the constant insulting of faith (Jude 1:10), it’s still inappropriate, and just inappropriate for the sake of being inappropriate.

The opening “warning” says that, due to content, this show should not be viewed by anyone.

This is the only entirely true statement offered by South Park.

If you still want this kind of entertainment, I would suggest either watching “The Simpsons“, which is at least intelligent and funny, and often pro-family on top of being rude and anti-Christian, or finding some poorly disciplined 12 year olds who think their parents can’t hear them.