Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Robert Downey, Jr. and Bruce Willis Injured My Hearing

I have never been a person that complains about excessive violence in movies, although as a rule I tend to stay away from action movies or movies that have a generally violent theme. I care about the images that I put into my mind, and people getting beaten up usually doesn't fill me with sweet emotions. During the past two weeks it seems as though I have been exposed, albeit willingly to a lot of violence through movies. I have witnessed tremendous amounts of bludgeoning and quite frankly I'm starting to feel as if I were the one being bludgeoned.
There are three movies that stand out as having a particularly strong impact on me due to their violent content. RED with Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary Louise Parker et. al. This was not a movie that I would normally pick, and I didn't, but I did agree to go see it. I enjoyed this movie even though it was incredibly violent; the violence was a key ingredient to making this movie work. There were moments that I felt that I had seen enough blood, and heard enough explosions to last me a lifetime. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed RED, and amazingly enough I didn't tune out once to take refuge in my cozy mental spaceship.
Monday afternoon we inaugurated a week of snow days in Atlanta with Get Smart. I was in my spaceship throughout almost the entire movie as I have a general aversion for cliched formula American films; fortunately it was free. I willingly admit to possessing heightened sensitivity, and you may think that I am going overboard by saying that Get Smart's violence disturbed me deeply. At one point, a piece of paper was stapled to a person's head. For some reason the movie was rewound and we came upon the head stapling scene again, I simply had to look away. I found the scene pointless and so very violent. Okay if you have seen the movie, you could argue that there was a point to that scene, but couldn't they have come up with something less upsetting for me? I don't want to see any body parts stapled, EVER.
Lastly, my husband and I watched Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr. last night. I liked the movie, and I love the actors, however, I felt that the violence was extreme and commonplace. I can still hear the sound of fist hitting flesh ringing in my ears. On a lovely Sunday evening at home with my family, the last thing that I want is the sound of fist hitting flesh competing with Bach's Goldberg Variations.
Okay, so maybe I do feel like complaining about violence in the movies. If violence must be used then I think that it should serve some artistic purpose. Of course I would not consider any of the movies that I have listed as art. If they fit your definition of art then great, you are less judgmental than I am and probably have more satisfaction and less strife in your relationships. I have listed what I consider to be examples of commercialism not art. I enjoy a little commercialism now and then, it's just all the hitting, kicking and soccer punching that I could do without.
To conclude my fortnight of violence I have rented season four of the Mary Tyler Moore show. After twenty-four episodes of Mary my mind should be thoroughly cleansed of all cinematic debris. I bid farewell to furious fists, Minneapolis here I come!


  1. Mom this is awesome.. and i know you loved get smart!!

  2. Love you, love that you commented. Did not like Get Smart. I must be a convincing actress;)

  3. Did you see the BBC version of Sherlock Homes? It was smarter, less violent and so much more Sherlock-ian, to coin a phrase.
    Love that your Alex commented. Adorable!
    p.s. I envy your watching of Ted Baxter and Betty White. They were hilarious!

  4. For some reason, stapling something to someones forehead almost sounds worse than just shooting them. I haven't watched the other two movies, although I saw the previews to Robert Downey, Jr.'s Sherlock, and that will never be on my list of must sees. I agree with La Belette Rouge - BBC version of Sherlock Holmes (in modern time) is a winner. I enjoyed all three episodes. Enjoyed this post.

  5. Clipped Wings, thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed this post. I felt tremendous after I wrote this, there are actually no words to capture the momentum that I felt for a couple of hours after writing it, and I enjoyed writing it. However, a couple of hours after posting, I received an email from someone saying that they didn't really enjoy reading this post. I wasn't sure that it was necessary to let me know that, and it sent me into a bad state worrying that my writing had been offensive. Her one tiny sentence affected me terribly, I am still reeling. So thanks again for letting me know that you found it enjoyable.