Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Banality Fair Reviews The "Left Behind" Movies, Part 4

Some loose ends.

1. Product Placements: Sometimes, events overtake the market, drastically reducing the price of goods and/or services. For example, the crack epidemic in the 1980s dropped the price nationwide of a blow job from a prostitute from an average of $40 to $20, practically overnight.

There was a recent article in the New Yorker about changes in the advertising industry, about how advertising on broadcast television is becoming less effective. With the advent of digital cable and satellite TV, less are tuning into broadcast television. As a result, companies are looking to advertise more in non-traditional media, such as product placement in movies. The result is cheaper and manifold ways to advertise your product.

While product placements in movies are not anything new (remeber the ads for the safe and delicious Marlboro cigarettes in the second Superman movie?), there has certainly been an explosion in product placements both in movies and on T.V.

I wonder how much Honda paid the producers of "Left Behind" to insure that most of the driverless cars careening out of control when the rapture comes will be Honda Odysseys.

2. Anti-Semitism: The most offensive aspect about these movies was not the brow-beating evangelical vibe. It was the insidious way that the movie was anti-semetic. For example, there was this whole subplot about how the anti-christ maneuvered his way into the position of secretary general of the UN. He was bankrolled and supported by unscrupulous "international bankers." There was this bizarre scheme by the bankers to install Carpathia, the antichrist, in power to facilitate a plan to unify world currencies. The plot is never fully explained and (*spoiler*) the bankers are killed by the anti-christ as he consolidates power.

It is hard to ignore the notion of evil "international bankers" conspiring with the antichrist to consolidate power to empower themselves. It conjures up all the disgusting stereotypes about Jewish people as "improperly" engaging what was considered many years ago to be the unChristian practice of usury and money-lending. Disgusting.

In "Left Behind 2: Tribulation Force," the esteemed Rabbi Ben Judah helps save the day by being convinced by Kirk and the gang that Christ really is the Messiah. I guess it was up to Kirk and his evangelical gang to show Jewish people "the way."

Weird observation: For some reason, when Kirk went to meet Ben Judah in Jerusalem, they met in a cafe that had goats roaming around freely. I've been to Jerusalem. There are no free range goats hanging around in cafes. Hot women with rifles, yes. Goats, no. It is a pretty "modern" city. I am searching for some sort of symbolism, but the best I can come up with is ignorance and confusion.

3. Violence: I have already talked about the fiery deaths in the aftermath of Rapture. The movie also features hundreds of planes being supernaturally destroyed, prophets burning people with fire shooting out of their mouth, and a bloody shootout in the UN (where the anti-christ kills the afore-mentioned bankers). What could the "Left Behind" producers do? They had to "keep it real."

4. Kirk Cameron: Man or Mannequin?: In honor of the passing of Johnny Cochran, I will refrain from taking a cheap shot at Kirk Cameron today. (Mannequin).

1 Comments:

Anonymous BareShevaRabbit said...

"Buck Williams"-Wm. F Buckley
Not only do goats not free-range in J"lem proper, our Capital, but; they mis-costumed the "Rabbi" (as is typical of those who have only a remote awareness about Judaica) and the Hebrew was not close to biblical Hebrew.
Such details are, naturally, of no concern to those who are seeking to talk at the under educated and uneducated.
As I've explained to missionaries that "love me"; if you do not know what brings me joy or pain, then; how can you truly love me.

5:53 PM  

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