Monday, January 15, 2007

What is the deal with movies today?

I recently told Denise that most movies made after 1975, leave me cold. A case in point is the recent remake of Shaggy Dog. I liked this movie as a child so I decided to give its remake a try. From the beginning this movie made me grate my teeth. It starts out with gun toting personnel from an evil pharmaceutical company raiding a Tibetan village. They are after a dog that is believed to be 300 years old. They bring the dog back to their lab and try to discover the reason why the dog has lived so long.

While all this is happening, assistant DA Dave Douglas, played by Tim Allen, is prosecuting an animal rights activist, who is accused of torching a facility, owned by the evil pharmaceutical company. The twist is that the animal rights activist is also Dave Douglas’ daughter’s science teacher. She fully supports her teacher to the point of wearing t-shirts and going to protests.

Well, at this point, I could see where all this was going. Tim Allen would learn the error of his ways and would become an enthusiastic animal rights supporter. To reach this end, the Methuselah dog escaped from the lab, ended up at Tim Allen’s house, bit him and transformed Tim Allen into a dog. As a dog, Tim Allen learned that dogs and other animals are as intelligent as human beings and that the lab was indeed evil, because they experiment on animals. The movie ends with the tables turned on the evil pharmaceutical company and the animal rights advocates hailed as heroes.

What we have here is naked agenda disguised as a children’s movie. Seriously, what did the pharmaceutical movie do that is so wrong? They found a dog that has this amazing characteristic and they tried to learn how it all worked. Isn’t this what science is supposed to be about? How many people who work in Hollywood take life saving drugs that were developed because of animal testing? Do they think this testing should stop, even if it means the end of research into new medicines?

I would blow this all off if this was just an isolated instance, but this has become all too common. The recent movie Happy Feet had a basic message that humans should just stop eating fish, because our consumption of fish is destroying the environment.

It’s because of this in your face propaganda that I mostly eschew modern movies. As a counterpoint, here is the synopsis of the 1959 version of the Shaggy Dog, courtesy of IMDB:

“Through an ancient spell, a boy (played by Tommy Kirk) changes into a sheepdog and back again. It seems to happen at inopportune times and the spell can only be broken by an act of bravery....”

But by 2006, ancient spell becomes amazing, long-lived dog, evil pharmaceutical company is invented from whole cloth, and act of bravery is jettisoned. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the difference between 1959 and today.

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