Watching Movies with Psalm 19 in Mind

I just Googled “Moonrise Kingdom movie reviews” and Google found for me 3,160,000 results. The reviews range from the New York Times to random individual blogger sites. Wow. Why does our Beggar Blade staff even bother adding another one to the millions? (Sorry Johnathan Kruis, I didn’t find your review when I browsed through the links.) Sorry to be depressing.

But I have an answer! I don’t think what we do here is insignificant. The Beggar Blade staff envisions this news paper to be more than just a source of news, but a place where both readers and writers can think critically together. This is the reason we decided to continue to publishing movie reviews this year.

To answer my own question, the writer’s perspective is what makes our movie reviews different from the millions of others out there. Solomon told us that there is nothing new under the sun, and Google makes that pretty obvious. Yet the uniqueness of a movie review comes not from what is being reviewed, but the perspective that the writer takes in his/her critique and the angle he/she writes from. In the Beggar Blade, our writer’s angle depends on his/her worldview, which is uniquely Reformed Christian.

I like to compare movie reviews to literature analysis essays. In a literature class, every student can write an analysis of the same novel, but each analysis will take a different angle because each writer comes with his/her own perspective. Some essays might be about the characters, another might be about a specific theme, and others might be about the structure. There are so many elements of fiction that students can dig into. If we take the same approach in reading and writing movie reviews, then they shouldn’t have to be boring and redundant. Multiple reviews of the same movie, if critically analyzed, can all be engaging.

You may agree with me here, but maybe you don’t really like writing literature essays, or reading them for that matter. At this point you’re about to go back on Facebook. But, hold on; let me explain why these reviews even matter. Maybe our movie reviews aren’t superfluous, but why are they important?

I like the saying “All truth is God’s truth” because when we apply that, we can grow in our faith from almost any part of culture. In regards to movies in particular, I can watch a movie about tragic, failed love, and I am reminded of God’s true and unfailing love for me. Seeing the love of this world makes me even more amazed by God’s love. Most movies contain elements of immorality and lies, but as Christians, we know the truth. We can find the truth in movies and grow from it. In a Beggar Blade movie review, I would like to see authors drawing out the truth in films and critiquing the lies.

God has given to the world common grace. All people know the truth of God’s existence and rule whether they acknowledge it or not. Humanity is totally depraved but not utterly depraved. We can still find truth and beauty in our culture to appreciate. This brings glory to God because he created the world good. There is sin in the world, yes, and sin displeases God, but truth brings glory to him. Creation sings God’s praises, according to Psalm 19. Creation is not limited to the mountains and sky; God created humans as creative creatures. Our creations are also part of God’s creations and therefore they glorify God.

So, the reason I write this article to all my readers, rather than just to my writers, is because you can watch movies this way too. Don’t wait until Johnathan Kruis writes a review on The Perks of Being a Wallflower to see it yourself and think critically about it. You can do that now.