Occasionally I'm faced with a difficult choice at the box office, and I find myself wanting to take a stand at the ticket counter and say to myself: "Self, you are not about to hand over $12.95 for this" -- and I seriously consider doing the unthinkable: I refuse to watch a movie on purpose. Of course, this is about as close as I get to a personal moral code with my movie going habits, but it did get me thinking about what I call: Movie Morality. To explain: it's not a heavy political, ethical, or socio-religious thing. It's just sometimes, before I shell out my cash, I have a moment of contemplation and think: if we vote with our wallet, should I be thinking long and hard about where I place my vote?
My reasoning to avoid a movie can come from a pretty benign place. Take for example The A-Team, a movie that was generously described as brainless, and that's next to a TV show from the 80s so you know things are bad. But also as relatively harmless, and as the so-so reviews piled up, I just thought, "I've had enough checking my brain at the door and I'm tired of Hollywood being proud of stupid movies, and I think I'll wait awhile". But, sometimes the source of my reluctance can be a little more disturbing; take for example, the most recent recorded 'outbursts' of a certain Hollywood jackass? Can I bring myself to pay to watch someone on-screen who as a human being may turn my stomach? I'm not sure.
Which leads me to my final example. To put it bluntly (and efficiently): I am sick and tired of watching women being brutally assaulted and murdered for entertainment. Which is why I haven't been able to sit down yet and watch Michael Winterbottom's take on the 50's pulp novel The Killer Inside Me. The story of a small town sheriff taste with a taste for murder has been mounting up headlines about 'How far is too far'? As it turns out, watching **spoiler alert** Jessica Alba get her face pulverized in real-time might be it for me.
But before anyone gets offended, I'm not making a case for censorship here, because I'm just not that kind of gal. I'm all for movies that challenge the audience, just like I'm not saying every film to come out of the dream factory has to be Citizen Kane. But what I am saying is that we're all just people with a point of view, and the movies that we choose to see are informed by that same point of view.
But enough about me, I'll turn it over to you out there; do you have your own 'Movie Moral Code'? Sound off in the comments...