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  1. #1
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Why I cannot watch certain films...

    I have a problem. It's my problem and I'm sure a lot of folks here could care less about it. There's a couple of movies I've refused to see because of my family history. The first is "Driving Miss Daisey". Why because my father'd been a chauffer between the wars in Chicago. When he'd get drunk only then would he tell me what he'd endured in that job. Most chauffer driven cars then had no top or heat for the chauffers area. You froze, you got soaked to suffered, you wore that silly uniform no matter the conditions. My father endured that and worse. For that reason I never felt the need for viewing Hollywoods take on his misery.

    Fast forward to the current blockbuster "The Help"., My mother was a domestic who always did days work in the South and in the North. In the south it was much like depicted in the novel. In the North it was primarily for Jewish families in Queens. My mother didn't need to get drunk to tell us of her troubles. I ate the leftovers and the hand me down clothes. Again I have no qualms about missing Hollywoods take on my mother's misery. I want to discuss this movie and my feelings but I've a firm rule that I've never broken in all my years here... DON'T PUT DOWN MOVIES YOU"VE NEVER SEEN!!!!

    To comdemn without hearing or viewing is stupidty and ignorance and I won't do it. I will however pass along a review from a close friend of mine. Randy is a man I've known for about 25 years now. He's a Federal Judge, jazz enthisiast and a man who's opinion I trust. The following is his review.

    "I'm going to save you $9.50"
    You were right. The movie Help was an emotional and intellectual fraud. It was so disappointing that I could not recommend it to a soul, even if the tickets were free. It was overly dramatic, highly maudlin, over acted, sappy, and void of any fidelity. It is amazing how Hollywood can strip a good story of its essence, its soul, its intellectual mooring. We both agreed that Hollywood can **** up a wet dream, and they succeeded this time. In a sad attempt to deliver a good-feel movie, they ruin, what everyone says (my wife and clerk,) a well written novel. Par for the course.

    Sorry to have delivered this tragically disappointing news, but you had an idea."

    Well now you know my feelings and you have a friends first hands review. Decide for yourselves.

    Worf

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Hey Worf. I'm listening to the audiobook now and had all intentions of seeing the movie. Now you've given me cause to reflect and see things in a different light. I hadn't heard any uproar about this movie from the black community so I assumed that it was an accurate assessment of 60's life in the south and not too hurtfull if that's the right word.
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  3. #3
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
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    I feel you Worf, there are certain types of movies and scenes in movies that I have a hard time watching due to personal experiences and family stories about their experiences.

    Pride, The part when the other team would not compete, had this happen to my friends and me
    Tuskegee Airman
    Miracle at St Anna: both movies concerning the Attitudes of white Officers,
    Seen it first hand during my time in the military
    The Express, the Ernie Banks story

    I have shown most of these movies to my kids, to show them how being just good enough is not enough, you have to be one of the best just to be consider equal. The one thing I point out to my kids and to those that I have discussion with about race relations in America is that this is not Slavery times. But attitudes and laws were still on the books in many states up until the late 60's baring blacks from living in certain areas, being able to find good jobs and so on. I tell people all the time you don't have to own someone to make them a slave, but by denying them education, housing & work keeps them enslaved to a social and economic system that place a lower or no value on them.
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  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Worf type individual, I could not disagree more with your friend Randy. Yes it was emotional, but intellectual fraud, no way. I was moved by it(and that does not happen often), really enjoyed the story telling and the acting. I am a huge fan of Viola Davis, and her performance was spectacular.

    I read the novel, and found the movie on par with it.

    I have to admit though, my family history does not have the painful past that African Americans had in the past(and arguably the present as well), so I probably don't have the historical baggage of the past when I watch movies like this.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Worf I am the help. As a caregiver to the elderly in their home I can understand some of the feelings. The difference is I choose to do this work. I think I would resent it if someone thought it was all I could do in this life. Or it was the only job available to me. I wonder how much further along this world and nation would be if we respected everyone and their gifts equally.
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 08-24-2011 at 05:39 AM.
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  6. #6
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    I am an African American...no I am Black! And proud of it! I can understand Worfs sentiments and feelings. My mom passed away recently, and I wish she could have seen the movie before passing....She, years ago before my birth, had been the help. I know she would have watched it. And I know she would have had an opinion.

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  7. #7
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    stuff that I won't watch: lawyer/ court room movies. I live it. I don't want it as part of my entertainment/escape. The only exceptions that come to mind are To Kill a Mocking Bird and maybe a couple of documentaries. I re-watched the HBO doc Paradise Lost after hearing that the West Memphis 3 were released from prison last week. I've considered re-visiting My Cousin Vinny, but only for its comedic aspects.

    (Oh, and I'll add to the list most movies with Sandra Bollocks.)

    I don't think you have to watch a movie to know whether or not it's right for you. In fact, I recall posting on Glen Garry Glen Ross a while back and your saying that you couldn't watch it because of past experiences with the cut-throat sales world. Although I think it's a great film, I certainly get your personal aversion to its subject matter. Nothin' wrong wit dat.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin View Post
    stuff that I won't watch: lawyer/ court room movies. I live it. I don't want it as part of my entertainment/escape. The only exceptions that come to mind are To Kill a Mocking Bird and maybe a couple of documentaries. I re-watched the HBO doc Paradise Lost after hearing that the West Memphis 3 were released from prison last week. I've considered re-visiting My Cousin Vinny, but only for its comedic aspects.

    (Oh, and I'll add to the list most movies with Sandra Bollocks.)

    I don't think you have to watch a movie to know whether or not it's right for you. In fact, I recall posting on Glen Garry Glen Ross a while back and your saying that you couldn't watch it because of past experiences with the cut-throat sales world. Although I think it's a great film, I certainly get your personal aversion to its subject matter. Nothin' wrong wit dat.
    Hey Dean, Do you watch Suits on USA network on Thursday nights at 10:00:? I really enjoy it cause you see what happens before they get to court.
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  9. #9
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    Hey Dean, Do you watch Suits on USA network on Thursday nights at 10:00:? I really enjoy it cause you see what happens before they get to court.
    Aarrgghhh!!! No, I don't. I find it hard to convince myself to give these shows a try. I've probably missed a lot of very good courtroom dramas and legal mysteries, but so far it's a chance I'm willing to take.

    There are several good arguments against my stubbornness, e.g., I should know something about the legal shows that potential jurors are watching, I could learn something, and I could watch The Good Wife with my wife.

  10. #10
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Great...

    For all it's problems and foibles... THIS kind of discourse (intelligent, heartfeld and above all reasoned) is why I visit and post here on an almost daily basis. I don't know what I'd do without you folks. Recove and Frenchmon.... thanks for sharing. SirTT, John and Deano, thanks for providing persepectice and Jack... thanks for being Jack in Wilmington!!! You guys are aces in my book.

    Worf

  11. #11
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Interesting to see this come up as I just listened to a radio show discussing this movie a couple days back and I have to say I was mildly curious just as far as interested in how they addressed these issues in the movie until I heard the radio show. Pretty much made me lose any desire to watch. I don't feel the general topic is or should be off limits at all. I just think if these topics are to be addressed a fuller picture needs to be painted.

  12. #12
    Kam
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    filet - o - fish Kam's Avatar
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    **SPOILERS** (for what they're worth)

    So I saw The Help over the weekend and had mixed thoughts on it. Viola Davis was fantastic in her part, she killed it and, while I have been fairly lacking in my movie watching this year, she better get an Oscar nod for that work!

    Now to the other side, I thought the overall tone of the movie was waaaaay too light. I'm a fan of the 'if it's not on the page it's not on the stage' mentality which covers this point. If you didn't have any other knowledge of what the times were like in Mississippi, then after watching that movie, it didn't seem all THAT bad. It was definitely portrayed as bad, but... meh, not really all that horrible. So the one line that rang false (not out of conviction of acting, but by story/direction) was when Octavia Spencer (fantastic as well, but who, I felt, was pushed too much in the wrong direction towards comedy for her character as Minnie) talked about life being hell. By what was SAID, it sure was. By what was shown, it sure wasn't hellish at all.

    Now I'm not saying they had to show her getting beaten or anything, but the ambiance and tone and score used throughout (thomas newman felt a little like randy newman than his usual gravitas, needed more Road to Perdition and less Disney-ish feelings). Scenes where Minnie sent her daughter to do the same job she was doing felt like they were brushed over for fear of being TOO heavy and instead came across as flippant or 'this is just how it is and that's ok' feel.

    In any case, at least the movie is creating a discourse, which is a good sign!
    /create

  13. #13
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101 View Post
    [Well now you know my feelings and you have a friends first hands review. Decide for yourselves.
    The wife and I saw it last week. While I never read the book, my wife did and pointed out some differences. Her take is different from Randy's though. Overall, I found it quite depressing.

    My Mom grew up during the depression in Meridian where many white families had "Help". She became more like the Skeeter character, however, in that my three brothers and I were never exposed to that kind of environment. She was "The Help" ! Like Skeeter, she was also a big Kennedy supporter. We lived in Philadelphia when Kennedy was shot and drove to Washington to see him lie in state at the Capitol. I have only vague memories of that cold day...

    rw

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