Comments about ‘Matthew Sanders: Reframing the debate on Hollywood's violent profits’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 7 2013 5:15 p.m. MST

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John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Sanders is absolutely correct. Modern Hollywood has become little more than a left-wing organization bent on destroying every traditional moral value that forms the basis of this Country's historic greatness. Tarantino has led this charge.

Modern Hollywood has an open and stated agenda of promoting recreational violence and recreational sex. Ideed, violence is glorified as not ony acceptable, but absolutely desirable. Sex is also portrayed as a purely recreational activity that should be engaged in at any time with any person whenever the urge arrises. In addition, Hollywood would have the public believe that the more deviant the sex is, the better it is.

Sadly, Tarantino and his ilk have swayed a large portion of the gullible public. Even sadder still, the ignorant hordes are now immitating the attitudes and behaviors that are portrayed in these vile and pernicious movies.

It is time for all patriotic Americans to speak up. Remaining silent will allow our society to devolve into nothing more than violent anarchy, in which sexual deviancy reigns supreme.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Very interesting. I simply cannot understand why so many people who should know otherwise attend garbage movies and watch televised trash.

My own kids, who are strong LDS members, all went to see Jack Reacher. They said afterward that its extreme violence was very disturbing. They were amazed it is rated PG-13 and complained about that, too.

When I asked why they went to see it, their reply was that they "needed a break" and it was the only movie available that night in Tooele. All I could do was shake my head.

I remember a time when the LDS church published lists of recommended and not recommended movies and TV shows. Why did they stop? Was it because of all the snide comments made around the nation? I notice that even the Baptists no longer make similar lists.

But what might happen if our churches -- of all varieties -- would speak up -- very loudly.

If movie attendance dropped sharply, would Hollywood get the idea?

Or have Americans of all kinds simply become desensitized?

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Rant rant rant. I'm done.

Of course you don't need to watch these movies you can watch cowboy and Indian films from the 30's like John Wayne's "Stagecoach" where nobody gets killed cause it was 80 years ago and everything was pure and good then and they would never have shown someone getting killed....

If Hollywood is the source of all your problems then YOU are watching too much TV. FOX I presume.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

[more profitable, child-friendly G and PG rated]

I am so tired of hearing this sorry myth. They can be more profitable, but they are usually more expensive, bigger risks, and massive failures. When family movies bomb, they can destroy a studio/publisher. With R-rated movies its easier to recoup an investment through late night TV, foreign markets, and niche viewership. They can also be sold for longer. Family/kids movies show their age fast.

Seriously, this is like the 5th or so article on the DesNews in the last few weeks calling out Tarantino by name. He isn't even the edgiest director out there. His movies play it safe by having bad guys kill bad guys.

You can see far more violent, sexual, and disturbing movies here every January at Sundance. Remember, Tarantino got his start through the Sundance screenwriting program.

These movies and games are here to stay because a lot of people like them, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.

The world is healthier and safer than its ever been, a fact that doesn't mesh well with world views that rely on "prophecies" that it should be getting worse.

Wally West
SLC, UT

Reservoir Dogs & the Vampire movie w/ Clooney were QT's best and they were average.

re: one old man 6:47 p.m. Jan. 7, 2013

"My own kids, who are strong LDS members, all went to see Jack Reacher. They said afterward that its extreme violence was very disturbing. They were amazed it is rated PG-13 and complained about that, too."

I dislike Cruise but thought it was a great movie. The violence IMO was no any worse than Nolan's Batman trilogy. Then, I must be one of the few where dialogue affects me more than visual carnage.

re: Screwdriver 7:37 p.m. Jan. 7

I love Fox's Sunday night lineup but Wall St is a bigger thorn in my side than Hollywood.

Maudine
SLC, UT

So, we are all about personal responsibility until it comes to what your children are watching - then it is everyone else's responsibility to make sure they only watch what you approve of....

All those access sources mentioned have two things in common: they are paid services and they have parental control options. Children don't have access unless the parents participate in providing it.

It is not Brad Pitts' job to raise your child.

And G and PG movies - not such huge money makers anymore - usually because they are so vapid parents can't stand to watch them.

If you don't like what Hollywood has to offer, don't watch it - but stop demanding they parent your child.

Voice ofReason
LAYTON, UT

I'm so tired of people who deny empirical reality, and do it with an arrogantly condescending flair. It has basically become consensus that the "lower" the movie rating, the greater the average profitability and the greater the likelihood of being successful, i.e. making a profit at all. Mukkake is making claims contrary to reality. Actually, it is R rated movies that age badly; viewership and profit figures bear this out time and again. Don't believe me? Look it up yourself. Or look in the bargain bins at your local Wal Mart, and then look at the full price shelves. Violent "adult", i.e. R & PG-13, movies dominate those huge $5 or less bins, sometimes only months after leaving theatres, and the Disney/Pixar/family movies sit on the $10-20 shelves for years. It's not even close.

And seriously...you're trying to defend Tarantino as NOT edgy!? Well sure there are more violent directors..."playing it safe" isn't exactly the first words to mind of any honest Tarantino viewer, fan or not.

And wanting more socially responsible movies does not equal asking "Brad Pitt to raise our child". Did I really have to actually say that?

Normal Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

My secretary is taken to every violent new movie that comes out by her husband. Years ago she would complain that she had to go with him, but now she sees Django Unchained and says she's seen way worse - all while counseling everyone else in the office not to subject ourselves to the horrible scenes in the movie. I don't think it's any surprise that she's less sweeter than she once was.

Maudine
SLC, UT

@ VoR: "... we should reframe the debate to focus on the needs of children. ... It is time to come together to consider the minds of our children."

"... why don’t actors, screenwriters, directors, producers and distributors of games and movies make the moral and economic choice to invest in and inspire the next generation?"

"... I appeal to the civic virtue of self-governance. ... the entertainment industry should redirect its collective creative brilliance to elevating and inspiring our children to achieve the highest ideals of humankind."

Hmm - needs of "our" children, minds of children, invest and inspire, elevate and inspire - sounds exactly like raising children. Why is it Hollywood's responsibility instead of the parents'?

rfpeterlin
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In an era where the Hollywood elite are financing their insane lifestyles off of productions that numb our awareness with violence, and then those same elite are horrified with the idea of an armed citizenry ... I say, lets bootstrap controls on the mass media with any gun control!

These movies are far from obscene and profane. The viewers are emotionally abused and assailed ... but the firearms manufacturers are to blame when impressionable people choose to re-enact something they saw in a movie, where as the weapons manufacturer is to blame when a firearm is used.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Hollywood is a business.

With very few exceptions, they play to the bottom line, as most businesses do.

Do you really think that movie makers make a conscious decision to produce film A when they know film B will make lots more money?

Many believe that everything in life should be geared to a 10 year old. I am thankful that it is not.

Geez people. Go see the movies that you want and stop ranting about movies that you don't.
It's called choice.

George
Bronx, NY

@vor
your anecdotal experience s not the same as impiriical evidence. A leafing through the movies at your local store gives you an idea of what that store owner believes his local customers want and nothing more.

Maudine
SLC, UT

Adjusting for inflation, etc., the #9 highest box office grossing movie of all time worldwide was Toy Story 3, #12 is Alixe in Wonderland (2010), #18 is Lion King - the rest of the top 20 are pg-13 or r. That is empirical evidence. Hollywood makes pg-13 and r rated movies because they sell - not just in the US, but worldwide.

@ Normal Guy: So your secretary has a husband who forces her to participate in activities she doesn't enjoy instead of respecting and honoring her and you think it is the activities that are changing her behavior? Did you ever stop to think it may be her relationship with her husband that is the problem, not the movies?

Gladiators, bull fights, Wild West shoot outs, sitting on the sidelines watching the battles of the Civil War while eating a picnic lunch - humans have long had a fascination with watching violence. Statistical evidence shows a decrease in violent crimes. This is reality. Violent movies have not changed society for the worse.

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

[Violent "adult", i.e. R & PG-13, movies dominate those huge $5 or less bins, sometimes only months after leaving theatres, and the Disney/Pixar/family movies sit on the $10-20 shelves for years. It's not even close.]

Thank you for proving my point. Violent movies from decades ago are the ones being manufactured, not family films. What you see in that bargain bin is tiny portion of movies ever made and there are so many that aren't in there.

Disney keeps its films valuable by using the "Disney Vault". They keep the supply low and the demand high. Disney also has a lot of family films that almost killed them, and it takes them years to recover the costs.

Also, violent movies are usually the ones that get "special editions" or "director's cuts" years later (usually to be more violent). Even now Jurassic Park is the one getting an expensive 3D conversion, not E.T. or Goonies. Meaning these properties are valuable enough for reinvestment.

There is no empirical reality to "lower-rating=higher-profit". Its cause and effect. A wide release movie looks for a wide release rating. A niche release; a niche rating.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

There is no limit to the level of hipocrisy in Hollywood. And yes, inexplicably producers and directors do make violent, sexy movies even though they know they are less profitable because they have an agenda

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

Those who feel threatened and powerless in their own lives/society are at great risk for committing violent acts. They, like the mentally ill and the emotionally disturbed, are the humans committing these horrendous crimes.
Can our society conjure up a plan to keep violent entertainment away from these folks?
Fame and fortune awaits the person with a logical, workable plan.

m.g. scott
LAYTON, UT

I just think it is funny that Hollywood would take the position that their violence in films has no effect on human behavior. If that were true then why do they promote political candidates with the hope that their media influence would cause someone to vote for the candidate (usually Democrat) that they want elected.

one old man
Ogden, UT

JCS is sometimes correct in what he posts here, but his obsessive hatred and fear of the ephemeral ghosts of "liberals" that haunt his dreams destroy any validity to what he has to offer.

In reality, it is not just those "liberals" (whatever that might be) that contribute violence to our society. I must ask if he has stopped to consider that the supposedly "conservative" FOX network constantly features some of the most raunchy and violent TV that pours into our homes.

And it certainly is not "liberals" who are constantly telling us we need more guns.

With all due respect, JCS needs to learn to look at things from more than just one very narrow and obsessive viewpoint.

oldschool
Farmington, UT

Seldom have a I read such a well-written and well-conceived editorial.

Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

Why is it that saying Hollywood has moral responsibilities somehow magically becomes “parents want to abandon their responsibilities”? I know this is a shocker, but responsible parents don’t want to abandon their children to Hollywood, but they ALSO want Hollywood to be more responsible. Can't we pretty please have both?

George, it’s one anecdotal experience in support of, not in place of, the overwhelming empirical consensus. Here’s two studies I found in about 30 seconds online, more time would yield others:

“Film Profitability Study 2012”, The Dove Foundation, 2012 (updated annually, widely considered the industry benchmark on the subject & quoted by safely liberal entities everywhere)

And since some minds may not have enough room for anything but liberal/progressive sources:

Sundaram, Sridhar (2006) "Profitability Study of MPAA Rated Movies," Seidman Business Review

And actually, here are the REAL top 20 grossing movies’ ratings of all time, adjusted for inflation:

7 G
9 PG
3 PG-13
And exactly one R (The Exorcist)

This ground has already been plowed, people. R-rated movies just aren’t nearly as historically profitable as G, PG or PG-13 movies.

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