09 May 2007

The Gospel in Spider-Man 3

by Dan Phillips

It isn't there.

Oh, wait; that's a terrible way to begin. Sorry, let's start again. Ahem:

What this is. This will be a spoiler-free reflection on some themes from the gargantuan smash movie Spider-Man 3. If you abhor spoilers as much as I, you can read safely, as I've fuzzed and vagued everything up sufficiently to discuss without ruination.

Background. I read Spider-Man comics from the start, and enjoyed them. I enjoyed the poorly-animated cartoon series less, and eventually just traveled away from comics. So I'm no expert on the Spider-Man "canon" since the late '60's, probably.

I liked the first movie, but I loved the second. I found it actually a very decent drama, whose protagonist just happened to be a super-hero. It had heart, comedy, action, conflict, pathos — very difficult to believe that the same man behind The Evil Dead (—not recommended!) helmed these movies.

But above all, it had Tobey Maguire, a fine actor who puts a believable, likable, fully-dimensional human being in the spandex suit. Some actors can't do justice to the words written for them; Maguire's face and body-language are so expressive, the words are almost more for our benefit. It didn't hurt that the supporting cast, both friend and foe, has always been equally strong.

Each movie has also had a moral center, such as the theme that "with great power comes great responsibility."

Spider-Man 3. This third movie in the franchise is no exception. In fact, it does a good bit of moralizing, while serving up all the other elements as well. Director Sam Raimi works wonderfully well with his talented actors to make very believable personal moments amid the heart-pounding action. But it's the moralizing that you and I will pause to consider.

This movie has themes of the folly of pride, of the agony of prioritizing, of the dangers of popularity; of vengeance, sin, forgiveness, and even arguably redemption. It features an American flag and a cross, at critical moments.

From a Christian perspective, what's not to love?

There certainly is a lot to like, and the enthusiastic reviewer for Christian Spotlight (warning: spoilers) says "As far as morals go, that is the strongest thing about 'Spider-Man 3' and all of the films in this series." She sees one of the main character embodying Romans 12:21 — "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." She gives the movie a moral rating of "Better than average," and with that I wouldn't disagree.

You feel a "but" coming, don't you? Here it is:

But the morals are groundless, and thus the forgiveness is man-centered and meaningless.

Before someone says (as someone always must say) the obvious, let me do it first: it isn't a Christian movie. Duh! Thanks! I agree! (A thousand pairs of hands move back from the keyboard, disappointed.)

Indeed, my expectations of Hollywood (I started to type "Hollowwood") are such that I'm plenty happy when a movie's morals are in any way Christianward. From that perspective, there is a lot to like in all three Spider-Man movies.

But get this:

At a pivotal moment, one major character intones words to this effect: "First, you must do the hardest thing. You must forgive yourself."

Ah. And there it all is, in a nutshell.

All of the "crimes" and "sins" in these movies are sins against man in the eyes of man. Which means they are not sins at all. (Douglas Wilson, whose greatest fan I've admittedly not been, makes this point wonderfully well in the opening of his debate with Christopher Hitchens.) No right and wrong, no sin. No sin, no forgiveness. No forgiveness, no hope. No hope, no purpose. Man the measure of all things = man the destroyer of all things.

And so while Spider-Man borrows heavily from Christian themes and imagery, it leaves out the central facet: it leaves out the Gospel. It leaves out the infinite-personal God who, as D. A. Carson says it so well, "is always the wronged Party in every sin."

It is just as plain and as true as that: if there is no God, there can be no sin, really. There can only be behavior that this group of people doesn't like... although that group of people actually likes it very much. So who's to say what is right and wrong?

We need to have our collective faces slapped by the starkness of David's outrageous confession, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight" (Psalm 51:4a).

What! God only? The title of the psalm tells us that David was writing on the occasion of Nathan nailing him over his sin against Uriah, with Bathsheba. What of Uriah, then, for one? What of Bathsheba, sinned against as surely as sinned with? What of the nation? What of the child? God only? Madness!

"Madness" in the eyes of the man-centered, to be sure. But if there is no God, if there is no transcendent Law of God, then there is no sin. All we have is evolution playing itself out. We have one powerful collection of molecules using another collection of molecules to the loss of an inferior collection of molecules. There can be no basis for anything meaningful. Vanity, vapor, meaninglessness. Chasing after wind. No sin.

And certainly no forgiveness, and certainly no redemption.

But this is the world. It desperately wants what Christianity has to offer — but finds the price too high.

"Price?" you say. "But... say, you aren't going wobbly on sola gratia, are you, Phillips?"

Never. Never! The price is not an exchange. It is a consequence. If there is a real God of a god, such as the God of the Bible, then there is only one God. And if there is only one God, then it can't be me. Admit that He is God, and I of necessity admit that I am not.

And this, the abnegation of delusions of deity, the world will not have. The world bought the lying line in the Garden (Genesis 3:5), and it has been buying it — and selling it! — ever since. It is hopelessly tangled and snared in a web of its own weaving.

Yet here is the grand, tragic irony: it is only a real God of a god who can damn sin as sin, and sinners as sinners. It is only a real God of a god who can devise such a plan as the Plan of Redemption that finds its consummation in Jesus Christ. It is only a real God of a god who can pay the price justice demands to secure the forgiveness that grace and mercy would offer (Romans 3:19-26).

So, you see, my objection isn't so much against Spider-Man 3 which, as movies go, is a very good, fun movie.

My real objection is against the world, that shrinks in horror from the genuine Gospel of God, offering in its place the cheap, plastic, imitation, non-gospel that is the best it can provide.

And its best is so poor!

Conclusion: Spider-Man 3 is a fun, expertly-done movie. It contains a nice bit of moralizing. It preaches an appalling sermon.

Dan Phillips's signature

60 comments:

Nath @ Reformed Geek said...

"It isn't there."

I think that was a great way to start!

Thanks Dan.

danny2 said...

thank you thank you thank you.

we walked out of the theatre and i told my wife, "i liked the movie but i couldn't enjoy it because i kept thinking about how some hoser was going to use this whole movie as a sermon series."

thanks for giving me a piece i can link them to.

Eriol said...

It is curious to me that you admit that S3 is not a Christian movie but then go on to evaluate it on Christian grounds. Why, if you're going to Sodom for entertainment, should you be surprised if the movie has a Sodomite theme and message?

S3, like almost all movies, is simply a distraction for people - Christian or not - to avoid dealing with the harsh realities of life. Hard to blame a non-Christian for doing this.

To scrutinize S3 or any movie as you have done is akin to a theatre critic sitting in on one of your sermons and evaluating it according to the standards of drama: it is wrong-headed. A sermon is not meant to be a one-act play (many seeker-friendly churches notwithstanding) and a movie is not meant to be a sermon.

We need to be fair in our appraisal of the "artistic" efforts of others. Can you imagine how Rolling Stone might review some or any of "works of art" of CCM?

DJP said...

Thank you both.

TO ALL: I wish I'd said this right off. Please, in the comment section --

N O S P O I L E R S ! ! !

If you need to comment on a specific plot-element, preface it with a paragraph-break, then SPOILER WARNING, then another break.

I had to delete one (and apologize!) already, so please observe that.

Thanks!

DJP said...

Eriol, I evaluate everything on Christian grounds.

If, in the course of my sermon, I were to present a little play, a theater-critic would be perfectly justified to critique it as such.

And so, you may notice on a slower re-read, I evaluate the movie qua movie in one way, and its mini-"sermon" qua sermon in another.

jsb said...

And, like most Hollywood movies these days, it was about 40 minutes too long.

donsands said...

Those were some excellent thoughts, and so well put together. Thanks. I needed that.

Daryl said...

eriol,

You point misses the point. While nothing in the world is ultimately subject to the judgement of a film critic, everything is ultimately subject to God's judgement.
Yes, in Sodom you will find Sodom, but Sodom must answer to God. Otherwise you give up all grounds for either preaching the gospel (a divisive and therefore judgemental message if there ever was one) or determining whether anything pleases God. That is the tension we live with, we examine the world through Scripture but we also enjoy the pleasures of creation.

Hence Dan's conclusion, good movie, bad sermon.

Nauvoo Pastor said...

A hardy AMEN!!!!

Thanks Dan

Eriol said...

djp said:

"Eriol, I evaluate everything on Christian grounds."

As should all Christian, although a minority actually does or is, perhaps, even capable of doing so.

But to evaluate is one thing and to criticize or condemn publicly is another. What right do Christians have to judge someone else's servant? I believe Christians are to keep their own house clean and to judge one another, but not unbelievers. Is this not so? Do Christians struggle against flesh and blood or against an unseen enemy who holds captive and employs as sacrificial slaves those who are not - to use a common term - elect?

Warning a gullible and/or naïve flock can be done without demeaning the non-Christian proponent of the error. Hollywood has more in common with Samaritans than with Pharisees, do they not?

I do not disagree with your observations but only (what I believe to be) your misguided targeting of those who cannot achieve a Christian worldview. Are they not blind? Are the unenlightened to be judged because they cannot pierce the darkness? Perhaps if Christians spent an equal amount of time praying for the propagaters of such films as they do viewing or writing about them, said Christians would not be unduly harsh with them.

Should Christians cry about or castigate the sins of unbelievers? One's answer to this might make a difference. (I accuse myself as much, if not more, than you or others.)

DJP said...

Wow. Now I'm starting to get the feeling you didn't actually read the post through, Eriol.

But, anyway... < shrug > Sorry you didn't like it.

Doug said...

Dan, nice use of "abnegation!" Did you have to use a thesaurus for that or is that a word you use every day? Thank goodness for Dictionary.com!

BTW, I loved the movie, too. But, I, as well, cringed at the "forgive yourself" line.

DJP said...

Actually, I use "abnegation" all the time.

I did have to look up all the other words, though.

(c;

Webmaster said...

Hi, Dan. Good review.

I'm actually writing regarding the link to your "How Can I Know God?" page. That's an excellent article, but the colors are really hard on the eyes. Would you consider changing that color scheme?

Thanks, brother.

Eriol said...

I did "read the post through," as you say, but didn't understand the scrutiny, criticism, and judgment of non-Christians. That is my point; nothing more.

If someone disagrees do you always assume that they have misunderstood or failed to read? I am only attempting to provide a mild, gentle rebuke for what I believe to have been a negative post that was aimed at the wrong target, as I said before. (I'm beginning to feel a bit like the man in Jn 9.24-34 - if that's not too arrogant of me.)

Can one of your critics - since you are yourself a critic - ever be correct? What does humility require? I would think it would at least allow for the possibility of being corrected.

If you want to reject my evaluation, that's fine. I would have hoped, however, that you would have at least addressed some of the Scriptural points I made. Surely you are not resorting to shooting the messenger, are you?

DJP said...

Would you consider changing that color scheme?

Sure; webmastery is, well, not my mastery.

DJP said...

Of course, eriol. But when you keep complaining on the basis of what isn't there, and ignoring what is, then ignoring corrections, the most charitable guess is that you've not read closely.

philness said...

Wow, I had a cool thought to share concerning your great post Dan, but was completely destracted by eroil's comments. Perhaps I will cool down a bit and it will come to me again.

Daryl said...

Dan,

Great article.

Some theologian (R.C. Sproul I think) said something along the lines of "Pelagianism is the natural heresy of zealous Christians who don't value theology" (or something like that.) It seems to me that unless I am willing to look at all forms of entertainment in the way you have demonstrated in your article I will either get all huffy and not enjoy anything that isn't theologically perfect, or I'll get all wrapped up in the story and start making all sorts of applications to my own life that I have no business making.

I heard an interview with Os Guiness where he talked about playing a game with his son called "spot the lie". He gave him a quarter for every lie he could identify when they were watching TV.

It seems to me that you've just given us a lesson in "spot the lie 101".

Thanks.

DJP said...

Thanks, Daryl; good calls. Those seem to be the poles between which folks swing, don't they?

Okay, Philness, you totally piqued my interest (as well as confirming my fears). Let me know when it comes back to you.

Trinian said...

It's a really good thing that I didn't go to the theater thinking it would be a decent gospel presentation - I ended up disappointed enough as it was after how much I completely enjoyed the second movie.

Preachers use the darnedest allusions, don't they? This is a pretty ridiculous one, but it still doesn't top some of the "Salvation from the Matrix" sermons I've heard.

janelle said...

Great article. I actually burst out laughing in the theatre at the "forgive yourself" line. It was so absurdly...Hollywood.

DJP said...

Were you the only one laughing, Janelle? (c;

(I more groaned; it wasn't what I was expecting.)

jen elslager said...

Thank you so much for this article! My sons are going to see this with their friends on Thurs. and you've given us some basis for discussion. Like a lot of teens, they tend to look at elements of a movie that seem Christian and justify the whole film. "You'd like it mom, someone prayed!" Now we can dissect it for what it really is.

DJP said...

I'd agree with you exactly, Jen. I liked the movie a lot, though 2 remains my favorite of the three. But discuss it, by all means.

centuri0n said...

It could be a Catholic movie. It has a main character named Peter who apparently has great power but is always wrestling with guilt.

Peter wears a funny hat.

...

Should I go on with that?

janelle said...

Yes, I was the only one laughing. My friends all rolled their eyes, and after the movie, they told me I needed to forgive myself for laughing.

LeeC said...

Eriol,
Dan wasn't condemning unbelieving filmakers, but instead addressing Christian moviegoers, that have a tendancy to jump on movies as being "Christian friendly".

Enjoy it for what it is, a secular film that has a good story, realize that it falls short where all non-Christ centered things fall short though.

Remember all the "Jesus is the Force" t-shirts at the start of the Star Wars craze?
*shudder*

I STILL find christians getting angry with me when I dissect the worldview Lucas tries to promote in his films. (And yes I am a big SW fan, and yes Lucas IS promoting a worldview)

LeeC said...

btw,
Please correct me if I misread you Dan.

Tom Chantry said...

Peter wears a funny hat.

We've needed that good laugh ever since the Frank Beckwith debacle broke - thanks!

Daniel said...

Dan J.P. - first, because I haven't yet seen S3 yet, but plan to - I thank you for exercising discretion in the matter of spoilers, both in your post and in your monitoring of the comments.

Secondly, I must confess, I feel thwarted somewhat by the comment thread.

You see, I had planned to gently rebuke you for making fun of dolphins in your post, but having read the comments first, I begrudgingly re-read your post to see if in fact you really were making fun of dolphins.

Turns out it was all in my head.

I suspect that the only reason I saw it in the first place is because I made the mistake of reading your post while weilding The Hammer of Moral Superiority™, and when one clings to this particular hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

Sewing said...

For sheer entertainment value, there's a lot of stuff from Hollywood that I like, from 1920s right down to the present day.

I cringe, however, when movies deliver a wrong moral message, not because I expect better from Hollywood, but because it seems safe to assume that many people in contemporary culture are in fact taking moral and ethical cues from mass entertainment. They sure aren't going church (or synagogue, or what have you) for their moral education, and while I think public school can inculcate some moral values (the importance of sharing and cooperation, and the wrongness of cheating), it's not a complete set without the spiritual element.

It seems on the face of it that there are millions of people drifting without guidance, living without any sense of meaning or purpose, relying on novels, plays, movies, music, art to give them that sense of meaning and rightness—not to mention all the folks in North American and European countries who have cobbled together self-made spiritualities based on what feels right.

For all these people, they're going to pick up on Hollywood's message, even if it's the wrong one.

philness said...

Dan,

It came back to me.

Similar to what you were saying about David’s sin (in the Psalm 51 passage) being directly against God rather than against himself or Bathsheba or Uriah, we see that in v12 David does not use the words ‘his salvation’ but rather uses the words YOUR salvation (God’s salvation). Both verses take the attention off ones self and directs them toward very God of very God.

And then of course in this same Psalm 51 passage (not directly related to your post) another point or side point of which is probably obvious to most is that David is not asking for salvation but rather he is asking for the joy of Gods salvation to be restored once again upon him. He had salvation all along and because of this salvation; that was previously given him, he was able to be broken and able to approach God the originator of his salvation.

I hope that all made sense. And I hope that someone(s) might show the love and coddle to eriol’s waywardness. Frank?

Sewing said...

Psalm 51 is so deep and so moving. I've used it in prayer a few times, especially in the days and weeks after the Lord saved me. And truly, what does the Lord seek? Not the sweet smell of burnt offerings, but a broken and contrite heart, all the better to turn back to God and enter into deeper and more profound servanthood to him.

DJP said...

DanielYou see, I had planned to gently rebuke you for making fun of dolphins in your post, but having read the comments first, I begrudgingly re-read your post to see if in fact you really were making fun of dolphins.....

THANK you for my best laugh of the day.

Sewing said...

...And Cent, you may be on to something with the Catholic analogy. I've seen scholarly lit crit essays and books that had farther-fetched premises than that.

C.T. Lillies said...

Catholic movie[snip]Peter wears a funny hat.

Oh thats just wrong...

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2

Caleb said...

DJP This is a great review. I appreciate how you speak of Hollywood portraying 'good' morals, but since it is apart from a biblical worldview they are not 'good' at all. Apart from the Cross, these 'good' actions based on morals will be grounds for condemnation.


daniel - your comment was hilarious and I hope everyone sees it for what it is, a joke.

Tom Chantry said...

...your comment was hilarious and I hope everyone sees it for what it is, a joke.

No chance. All accross America the sarcasm-challenged are reading and rereading - desperately searching for what they missed!

Jeremy Felden said...

Dan,

Loved the review. I just watched a RC priest on TV say that we not only need to forgive ourselves, we also need to forgive God for not making us perfect. I was gobsmacked. Is this the next big thing?

DJP said...

Oh. Dude. Wow.

Eriol said...

(OK, one last try and then I'll go away. Promise. I don't think there's really much of an audience for me here anyway. But I am ever hopeful, perhaps foolishly so.)

First, forgive me: I have forgotten one of the lessons and common criticisms of my writings in some of my rhetoric classes, i.e., that I assume too much information, insight, and/or sophistication on the part of my readers. I do not mean that in a condescending way, either, for the fault is with me in thinking that anyone can follow my own internal, unexpressed flow of thinking on something.

Pardon me, too, for what I expect to be the length of this comment. It is clearly necessary for me to go back and (a) prove that I have read the post (which I have printed out and read at least four times now), and (b) demonstrate how I got to the point I was attempting to make.

(a) “It isn’t there. Oh, wait: that’s a terrible way to begin.” Actually, it is a wonderful way to begin: it is a clever and captivating hook. But you knew that.

I appreciate your fuzziness and vagueness.

I, too, began with Spiderman from the beginning, enjoying the character and stories alongside the likes of Ironman and Submariner. Marvel was (is?) wonderful. But I eschewed the cartoons and parodies, as well, thinking that whoever did that was missing the beauty of the form.

I cannot say that I greatly liked either of the first two S movies to any extent, although I did enjoyed the second one more than the first. I have not seen the third but that it is not relevant to the points have sought and seek still to make.

Tobey Maguire is a adequate actor, although I would not put him in the same class with DeNiro, Edward Norton, or Denzel. He may become that good, though; we can only hope.

You wrote: “Each movie has also had a moral center, such as the theme that ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’” Considering what you will say later in the post, this is surprising and (to me) somewhat contradictory. How can a non-Christian film have a moral center? By your own argumentation, it cannot.

The significance of an “American flag” eludes me. Surely you are not suggesting that America is God’s chosen nation. Could it have had an English, Canadian, Israeli, or French (since the election) flag and still have the same impact at “critical moments”? But, really, this is beside the point, too.

Certainly I could go on with what I agree about. As I said before, I am in agreement with almost all of the content; I wonder only about the appropriateness of criticizing unbelievers for doing the best they can do with the obvious limitations – spiritual blindness – with which they are afflicted.

(b) When you mention and quote the reviewer for Christian Spotlight, I think you have found a legitimate target for criticism, i.e., another believer. Had all your observations, criticisms and objections been directed at her, I would have no problem with the post at all.

I do wonder, though, how you can say you agree with her “better than average” moral rating of the movie and then immediately say, “But the morals are groundless, and thus the forgiveness is man-centered and meaningless. How can something meaningless be better than average (unless, of course, one is referring to one of my blogs)?

Ah, but again I digress. I could make points about all sin being only against God. If that were truly the case, if David was not being hyperbolic at that point in his poem, then why would Jesus say, “If your brother sins against you . . .” or Paul tells us to forgive one another? All sin certainly is against God, too, but we do sin against one another. But you know that, too, even if you did not say it.

No, my point is about judging the world and whether we are overstepping our bounds when we do so. You wrote, “My real objection is against the world, that shrinks in horror from the genuine Gospel of God, offering in its place the cheap, plastic, imitation, non-gospel that is the best it can provide.”

Again, why object to them doing the best they are able to do? And, to raise my former question in hopes of getting a reply,

"Should we criticize and judge the works of non-Christians for there lack of our worldview and basis for morality? Do we have that right?"

That's all I've been asking from the start.

Eriol said...

Sorry about all the typos. I hope it is still readable, if not coherent (as some might argue).

Jeremy Felden said...

Dan,

I took a bit of my lunch break and found the guy who made me shoot coffee through my nose. Here is his website. At least Spiderman isn't ordained.

DJP said...

Ohh, please, stop!

0c:=

lawrence said...

hey, good post. Although I don't agree w/ much of what eriol said, I do agree w/ what she said about sinning against others (the comments that Jesus and Paul made.) What did you think about that particular paragraph?

DJP said...

I think it was already answered in the article. It was actually a major point, developed at some length.

danny2 said...

people obviously forgive one another in the sense that they can choose to reconcile their personal relationships (this is the horizontal plane).

but the moral infraction itself, is only against God. they are His moral standards, so He is the one offended, and of course, is the only one capable of forgiving.

otherwise, the pharisees would not have been offended when Jesus said He forgave the cripple.

[and the concept of "forgiving oneself" is only found in psychology and is nowhere to be found in Scripture...not even hinted toward.]

eriol,

i believe dan's point was that the gospel is not in the movie spiderman3. i'm pretty sure he admits that this is not surprising, nor does he expect it out of the secular world.

i believe what dan was speaking of were comments like this:

"SPIDERMAN 3: Yes, I saw it. Yes, I recommend it. Basically tells the whole Gospel."

this comment was on a pastor's blog. i believe phillips is calling us to show discernment and not get carried away in this kind of silliness.

enjoy the movie. don't claim it as Christian.

SB said...

Good Post

Thanks Dan

Highland Host said...

Aha! I completely agree (having seen the film yesterday). A good, fair answer to those who try to find 'the whole gospel' in Hollywood's latest blockbuster. And I got Dan's point that it can't possibly be there.


******SPOILER ALERT*****

I had to comment on this, as it was to me the most flagrant example of modern moral relativism in the picture. I was left with the nagging feeling that Sandman's motivation (paying for his sick daughter's treatment) was somehow meant to justify him before the audience. Why? Do the ends suddenly justify the means (means including attempted murder, flagrant disgregard for human life, etc.)?

There IS religious imagery, used in a liberal Catholic way (Christianity in the movies is usually Romanism), but let's think critically here.

Thomas said...

- Jeremy

... but have YOU forgiven him yet?
- Lord have mercy

LeeC said...

Highland Host,
But of course. He's not really evil, just misunderstood.
Besides, everyone knows that the marketing dollars are with Darth Vader, not Luke Skywalker.

Although I think Spidey doesn't have to worry too much about being upstaged like that.

Mike Morrell said...

I agree with the thrust of your insight/critique here, except when you go into "All of the "crimes" and "sins" in these movies are sins against man in the eyes of man. Which means they are not sins at all."

Do you really believe that "horizontal" sins are impossible, or simply not possible without the "vertical" relational transgressions against God?

To me using Psalm 51 is weak. I read David's "outrageous confession," like many other Psalms, as indicative of the inner process of the psalmist rather than a prescriptive norm from On High (unless you are prepared to defend Psalm 137's dashing little ones against the rocks as godly behavior!). David seems to be in denial in this passage, desiring "repentance" but still trying to invoke his royal authority, ie, "this is between the monarchs--me and You, God."

The New Covenant, however, tells us a better story. It says that our love and reconciliation to brothers and sisters in Christ is the indicator of our love for God; forgiving one another and living in right relationship with each other is tantamount to living in relationship to God.

So while "SM3" skimps on important gospel dimensions, I wouldn't call it wrong to accentuate forgiving ourselves and others.

DJP said...

On the premises revealed within the movie, nothing can be categorized as sin — which is (I find myself saying again) a theme developed at some length in the article.

Of course I "defend" Psalm 137. A Christian, to say nothing of a 5-Sola Christian, I affirm the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture. So making myself a judge of the affirmed content of Psalm 51, and rejecting what it affirms, really doesn't work for me.

thelyamhound said...

Not a Christian, but I find this discourse interesting. Strangely, of all reviews/discussions of the film, this is the one that most inspires me to see the thing.

Evil Dead is a mixed bag, but it led to Evil Dead II, still Raimi's true masterpiece, a spatter-burlesque of epic proportions. Bruce Campbell nearly crowned himself heir to the legacies of Buster Keaton and Jacque Tati with that one.

Of course, none of y'all are necessarily meant to be the audience for that, so, yeah, I guess it's not necessarily recommendable here.

Cheers!

Sewing said...

Highland Host makes a good side-point, that most of the religious imagery in movies is of the Catholic variety. Makes sense, as let's face it, iconoclasm makes the interiors of Protestant churches visually pretty boring—because our eyes are to be lifted heavenwards and not to created objects. ;)

The same way, whenever someone lights a cigarette in a movie, he or she uses a Zippo lighter, because of the nice sound effect, naturally.

Mike Morrell, David has been brought to the depths of despair in Psalm 51. Even animal sacrifices—the remedy that that Lord himself has commanded—won't suffice. The only thing that will satisfy God is pride brought low, a heart broken so that the Lord can rebuild it. And yes, we sin against our fellow human beings, but ultimately we are offending God in our conduct—on top of which, our fellow human beings are his creatures.

Highland Host said...

Although my all-time favourite Romanist movie moment is the remark by a protestant New England pastor in 'The Patriot' (starring traditionalist Romanist Mel Gibson) that he and his congregation are praying for the souls of two dead men. Classic.

DJP said...

Agreed. That's a diet-coke-spitting moment.

Arthur Sido said...

Seriously you found it enjoyable? Moral issues aside, I was awfully disappointed in Spidey 3. Too many plot lines, too many characters flitting in and out, and many of the special effects seemed mediocre at best. I found myself glancing at my watch more than once. I don't mind long movies, but really it didn't do much to keep my attention. I will still buy it on DVD tho'

DJP said...

Yes, I did enjoy it, though not as much as the second. I'll probably see it at least once again in the theaters — not seventeen times, like Fellowship of the Ring! — and see what I think. If anything, I probably enjoyed it slightly less than I might, due to a dimwit audience.

Remarkable, isn't it, how a good audience can enhance the experience... and vice-versa?