Friday, 02 February 2018

Movieguide — Foot Soldiers in the Culture War

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With so much narcissism, political demagoguery, and outright filth coming out of Hollywood nowadays, it’s good to remember that not everyone in show business is a candidate for the Sodom and Gomorrah analogy. Movieguide is an organization that reviews films and television from a Christian perspective. Its mission “is to redeem the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists.”

Given the current state of the motion picture and television industries, it’s a tall task, although there is evidence that Movieguide has had an effect on Hollywood. According to its website, in 1985 when the organization was founded, a full 80 percent of movies released carried an R rating. That number is now down to 34 percent. Further, in 1985, only 6 percent of movies were aimed at families. By 2008, almost 40 percent of films were family-oriented.

Tonight, the organization will stage its 26th annual Movieguide Awards at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Terry Crews, one of the stars of the Fox show Brooklyn Nine-Nine will host the event.  The awards recognize excellence in film and television from a family-friendly perspective. 

The categories are not the stuff of the Oscars. Instead of the tedious “Best Actor,” Best Actress,” and “Best Motion Picure” awards, Movieguide’s categories speak to inspiration, faith, and freedom — all things in short supply in Hollywood. 

The Epiphany Prize to the Most Inspiring Movie of 2017.  The nominees are All Saints, Bitter Harvest, The Boss Baby, The Case for Christ, Let There Be Light, The Promise, and The Star.

The Epiphany Prize to the Most Inspiring TV Program of 2017. The nominees are Blue Bloods: Cutting Losses, The Crown: Veregangenheit, Last Man Standing: Take Me to Church, Little Big Shots: Tiny Dancer, The Long Road Home: Black Sunday, Part 2, and Victoria: An Ordinary Woman and The Queen’s Husband.

Other categories include the Faith and Freedom Awards for Movies and for TV, The Best Movie for Families Award, the Best Movie for Mature Audiences Award, The Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for Movies, and The Christie Peters Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for TV. All of the awards and nominees can be seen here: https://movieguideawards.com/2018-nominations/.

Movieguide also sponsors the Kairos Prize, which rewards screenwriters who produce uplifting screenplays with cash prizes and industry exposure. One prize is given to a first-time screenwriter and one to a professional.

In addition to the awards, Movieguide will release its annual "Report to the Entertainment Industry," which focuses on what type of content moviegoers and television consumers really want to see. 

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, Movieguide has established a beachhead in the culture war, fighting back against the pervasive leftist indoctrination in the entertainment industry. The organization began as a radio show, which became a television show before finally adding a bi-weekly magazine. The organization now boasts that it is broadcast in more than 200 countries.

Baehr has authored numerous books, including Amazing Grace of Freedom, The Culture Wise Family, and The Chiristian Family Guide to Movies and Video; Volumes 1 and 2. In addition to his work at Movieguide, he is a noted critic, educator, lecturer, and media pundit. He feels that it is his purpose in life to “be used of God to redeem the values of the media while educating audiences on how to use discernment in selecting their entertainment.” Baehr has also authored numerous essays on cultural issues, some of which can be read here: https://www.theculturewatch.com/.

Movieguide rates motion pictures both on their quality and acceptability for family audiences. Quality is rated on a basic 1-4 star system; 1 star being poor and 4 stars being excellent. The acceptability ratings are more complex and focus on how family and faith friendly a movie is. Acceptability ratings range from a -4, described as “Abhorrent: Intentional blasphemy, evil, gross immorality, and/or worldview problems,” up to +4, which is described as “Exemplary: Biblical, usually Christian worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.” Those ratings are explained in greater detail here: https://www.movieguide.org/what-the-ratings-mean/.

Movieguide is a 501c3 non-profit.  Anyone wishing to donate to the group can do so here: https://www.movieguide.org/donate/?utm_source=homepage.

Image: Screenshot from Movieguide.org

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