Entertainment and Worldviews (Summer, 2014)
For those who would like to be familiar with the worldviews and messages in the books, films, and TV shows effecting a primarily Young Adult audience, I offer the following excerpts from some recent reviews. Keep in mind that my main goal is to look at how the story reflects and shapes the readers’ worldview. Click on the links for the full review. Your feedback is welcome!
“In places like Northern Ireland and the Middle East, we see this allegory unfold in the real world. People on both sides have stories to tell that explain their fear and hatred. Peace seems like the obvious answer, but if the other side sees overtures of peace as a weakness that lets them wage war, those who seek peace bring destruction on themselves and everyone they love.”
“I’ve heard it said that the reason we can portray evil with such depth and nuance is that we understand it. We don’t know how to portray goodness with the same clarity because we don’t understand it. We know what it’s like to give in to the worst angels of our nature; the better angels seem to hover just off our shoulder. True Detective understands evil both horrific and ordinary. What True Detective fails to provide is an equally compelling look at the goodness needed to counter it.”
“The closing narration describes Maleficent as both hero and villain. Isn’t that true of all of us? King David was an adulterer and a “man after God’s own heart”; Peter was Christ’s most blatant betrayer before he became one of his most ardent defenders. Paul killed Christians before he became one himself. Boromir gave his life to make up for his lust for the Ring. Is this not the human condition? Maleficent is neither an apostle nor a warrior of Rohan, but she is one in whom the battle between good and evil rages. She faltered, but she finished well.”
“The war within the characters rages more intensely than the war around them. Magneto can choose a better path if he so desires. The goodness in Raven can overcome the anger in Mystique. The cavalier, young, self-centered Xavier can choose to become a better man. And the Wolverine we saw in Origins and First Class can, in fact, cage the animal. People may not choose their nature, but on any given day they can choose whom – or what – they will serve.”
“The movie is pretty good in it’s own right. However, the screenwriters should have stuck with the book when they wrote the ending. True, the book does not have a happy ending, but the sense of nobility, sacrifice and commitment is much deeper. And check out J.W. Wartick’s post on both the book and the movie: ‘Truth, Human Nature and Sacrifice.'”