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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:29 PM

Movie heroes stopped smoking. Could they stop shooting?

Action heroes all used to smoke, and now they don't. Even in period pieces where their not smoking would be absurd it gets made fun of. This stopped because of moral pressure.

Action heroes still shoot. Maybe they shouldn't. I'm not saying this would stop gun violence, anymore than smoking has stopped. I'm not even talking about non-violence, as cool as it is.

I teach fencing; I'd love to see a sword-based action movie come out. And there are plenty of martial arts movies where the hero has a taboo against guns. Why not make that be the Hollywood norm rather than gunfights.

I'm someone who has used guns professionally about half of my adult life, on farms and in the Marines. I am familiar with guns, I admire the engineering behind them, and I find them utterly tedious. (You have no idea how much cleaning they entail if you're not a gun person. Seriously.)

Imagine seeing a spreadsheet romanticized. That's kind of how I feel about guns being romanticized. We don't need to do that.

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Reply Movie heroes stopped smoking. Could they stop shooting? (Original post)
Recursion Jan 2013 OP
randome Jan 2013 #1
DollarBillHines Jan 2013 #2
OrwellwasRight Jan 2013 #17
DollarBillHines Jan 2013 #60
Travis_0004 Jan 2013 #3
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #4
randome Jan 2013 #6
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #23
randome Jan 2013 #26
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #27
randome Jan 2013 #28
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #31
randome Jan 2013 #39
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #65
baldguy Jan 2013 #5
TheManInTheMac Jan 2013 #7
Bake Jan 2013 #10
Recursion Jan 2013 #11
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #19
Recursion Jan 2013 #33
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #36
Recursion Jan 2013 #37
Xyzse Jan 2013 #64
nolabear Jan 2013 #8
derby378 Jan 2013 #13
nolabear Jan 2013 #56
derby378 Jan 2013 #61
randome Jan 2013 #20
derby378 Jan 2013 #29
randome Jan 2013 #48
Logical Jan 2013 #9
Incitatus Jan 2013 #12
OrwellwasRight Jan 2013 #22
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #14
LP2K12 Jan 2013 #15
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #16
Recursion Jan 2013 #18
OrwellwasRight Jan 2013 #24
Algebra Palin Jan 2013 #21
Recursion Jan 2013 #34
rrneck Jan 2013 #25
Recursion Jan 2013 #35
cherokeeprogressive Jan 2013 #30
JI7 Jan 2013 #38
In Truth We Trust Jan 2013 #32
Kaleva Jan 2013 #40
Recursion Jan 2013 #43
exboyfil Jan 2013 #55
JI7 Jan 2013 #41
MrSlayer Jan 2013 #42
Recursion Jan 2013 #44
MrSlayer Jan 2013 #51
Recursion Jan 2013 #52
MicaelS Jan 2013 #45
Recursion Jan 2013 #47
MicaelS Jan 2013 #50
LeftyMom Jan 2013 #46
Recursion Jan 2013 #49
MicaelS Jan 2013 #53
On the Road Jan 2013 #54
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #57
dkf Jan 2013 #58
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #59
LineNew Reply .
Go Vols Jan 2013 #62
Recursion Jan 2013 #63

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:32 PM

1. When actors get in a car, they nearly always buckle up, too.

Interesting proposition.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:41 PM

2. One word - Financing

The most difficult element of making a full-release movie is acquiring financing.

I can only imagine trying to pitch a mainstream action movie without some Shoot-'em-Up.

That being said, I wish there was a perfect world in which your vision could prosper.

Our society pretty much sucks, in my opinion.

But then, no one is asking for my opinion.
DBH

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:11 PM

17. Of course "someone" is asking for your opinion.

This is a discussion board!

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Response to OrwellwasRight (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:50 AM

60. Well...

I was thinking same...

Kind of like talking around a table...

Or a bar...

Maybe a songwriters round.

What is the definition of "discussion"?

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:10 PM

3. If you don't like shooting in movies, don't see it.

I like action movies. If they hire Jackie Chan as the next james bond, and he uses karate I'm going to be pissed.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:13 PM

4. Isn't the whole point of an action hero to kill the bad guy?

What's he gonna do....hug him to death? Or would stabbing him be better? (there's plenty of stabbing in movies & real life going on...and I think it hurts a helluva lot more than being shot...from what I've heard, tho that may not be true.)

Bombs? Bombs are used plenty. I don't know if that's any better than guns.

Violence is a part of being human...maybe even being mammal. Guns are just one of the many tools that humans use for their violence.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:25 PM

6. Mainstream comics (I no longer collect) usually draw the line at killing.

It's a mantra to Superman and Batman, etc. Stop the bad guys. Kill no one. Sure, comics are full of other kinds of violence but if that much can be sustained in comic books, why can't the same be applied to 'action' movies?

Any movie can be interesting if it's well written. The problem is little attention is given to character development or even plot. It's far easier to write a screenplay about explosions and torture.

Maybe we need to start seeing these kinds of movies as 'uncool'.

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Response to randome (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:16 PM

23. You mean killings like these?

Killing in plays and movies merely reflects reality. It is part of the human existence and has been portrayed in theatre form for centuries or longer.

Hamlet:


Chicago's murderesses? (gun, arsenic, knife, strangulation) (and there's smoking, too!)


Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:


Shakespeare's Macbeth (sword, post)...go to about 3.0 for the finality of the fight scene:


And so on and so forth. Lots of excellent theatre and plays are based around murder, sometimes fiction, sometimes reflecting a real murder.



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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:23 PM

26. But here the story predominates. Hardly the case with James Bond or Saw movies.

I agree that violence is part of human nature. But to wantonly celebrate that violence is the purpose of 'action' movies and 'shoot-em-ups'. We could use less of that.

(Although I'm not sure what Cell Block Tango is about but I'll look it up.)

See my list of movies below that include violence but where the story and the characterizations come first.

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Response to randome (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:28 PM

27. Hard to write a narrative distinguishing types of movies as to wehther the violence is gratuitous or

the story worthy of having a murder or two.

I get what you're saying. But by your OP, I didn't get that from the OP that it was about Saw movies & that ilk. It's hard to describe the distinctions, and they're pretty subjective, anyway.

Smoking is considered acceptable in movies if it reflects the reality of the era being portrayed. A movie about the roaring 20's without smoking and booze would be ludicrous.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:31 PM

28. True, it would be ludicrous. It wouldn't be authentic.

But smoking pretty much disappeared from the movies when society decided it wasn't cool any longer.

Is there a way we can decide that gratuitous violence is no longer cool? I don't know but it's a question worth pondering.

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Response to randome (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:40 PM

31. No. Because it's SUBJECTIVE whether violence is gratuitous. You may think it is, while others

think it's not. It's not black and white, like...you're eitehr smoking or you're not. It's not a cut and dried behavior to cut out of a movie.

That would be like saying....it's okay to smoke if it isn't gratuitous. So if a female character in a movie smokes 5 cigarettes, that might be okay, but 2 more would be gratuitous? And who decides that?

In a free society, people have a right to watch trash. IMO, porn is as bad, if not worse, than violence. But it is legal, but regulated.

This is so complicated, and can't really be done without a lot of infringement on freedoms that may not do any good for society, anyway. As I said, murder in theatres has been around for centuries. It merely reflects the reality of our world. And violence is necessary in life. Without violence, this country would not exist.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:24 PM

39. I think most fans of 'shoot-em-ups' and 'torture porn' movies would agree that the violence...

...is gratuitous. That's why they buy tickets in the first place.

I agree not much can be done with laws or regulations that wouldn't have an overall negative effect. But can we get to the point where we voluntarily decide that these kind of movies are no longer cool? Just as we decided that smoking is no longer cool.

Maybe, maybe not.

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Response to randome (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:55 PM

65. You might be right about that. But "The Lone Ranger" is a shoot-em-up. "The Halleluyah Trail" -

a really funny western comedy. "Blazing Saddles" "Dillinger" "Pretty Boy Floyd" - biographies. "Jesse James," "Calamity Jane" (a Doris Day movie).

So many shoot em ups that seem harmless to me, even tho they contain violence.

I know what you're getting at. Like "Saw," "The Hills Have Eyes," & things like that. But it's hard to cut them out w/o cutting out the good ones. I could do w/o Saw or The Hills Have Eyes, but seeing those movies didn't make me violent.

I think maybe looking at who the movies affect may help. I think it's young men between the ages of 12 and 30. If we could keep guns out of the hands of young men in that age range, and away from violent video games, we'd all be better off. But I don't see how to do that.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:20 PM

5. We live in a society where a film of one person loving another is considered pornography

But a film of one person shooting another in the face is considered wholesome family entertainment.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:29 PM

7. If you like sword-based action movies, there is a small franchise of just such pictures.

It's called Pirates of the Caribbean, but it mostly plays at small art-house theaters and film festivals.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:35 PM

10. Highlander!

In the end, there can be only one.



Bake

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:57 PM

11. I know! I tried to catch it at E street

but I didn't make it. Did Mr. Depp perform OK?

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:13 PM

19. Also...

The Three Musketeers, in several incarnations.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:14 PM

33. I got lesson signups after every one of those movies

Yes, there's some self-interest here.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:19 PM

36. LOL!

Now I understand...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #36)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:20 PM

37. Hey! The noble art of the sword deserves to survive.

Call me a romantic.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #37)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:42 AM

64. Definitely Agreed!

Perhaps, there is a place here where we can pitch story scripts.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:31 PM

8. That will never happen. Shooting is one of only about six things movies are about.

Shooting. Cars. Sex. Death by other means. Sports. Dogs. That's about it.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:04 PM

13. One of my favorite movies, CITIZEN KANE, didn't focus on any of the above

True, the protagonist died in the first few minutes, but of natural causes - nothing violent. In fact, the most violent act I can remember from the movie was a woman getting slapped. Once.

It was a true thinking man's movie, and even if you know about the symbolism of "Rosebud," the rest of the story makes it a damn good candidate for movie night.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:54 AM

56. I love Citizen Kane. But it's about death.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #56)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 10:56 AM

61. One of my favorite poems is Charles Baudelaire's L'HORLOGE

Roy Campbell's English translation:

The Clock, calm evil god, that makes us shiver,
With threatening finger warns us each apart:
"
Remember! Soon the vibrant woes will quiver,
Like arrows in a target, in your heart.

To the horizon Pleasure will take flight
As flits a vaporous sylphide to the wings.
Each instant gnaws a crumb of the delight
That for his season every mortal brings.

Three thousand times and more, each hour, the second
Whispers
'Remember!' Like an insect shrill
The present chirps, 'With Nevermore I'm reckoned,
I've pumped your lifeblood with my loathsome bill.'

Remember! Souviens-toi! Esto Memor!
My brazen windpipe speaks in every tongue.
Each moment, foolish mortal, is like ore
From which the precious metal must be wrung.

Remember. Time the gamester (it's the law)
Wins always, without cheating. Daylight wanes.
Night deepens. The abyss with gulfy maw
Thirsts on unsated, while the hour-glass drains.

Sooner or later, now, the time must be
When Hazard, Virtue (your still-virgin mate),
Repentance, (your last refuge), or all three
Will tell you, 'Die, old Coward. It's too late!'"

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Response to nolabear (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:14 PM

20. There are plenty of other movies to watch.

Cronos
The City Of Lost Children
The Fountain (Hugh Jackman)
Pi
Possible Worlds
The Fall

All movies I've watched recently with my daughters.

Plenty of violence in these movies but the story predominates and that's the difference.

The movies you're talking about are the 'easy', cookie-cutter movies that Hollywood is too lazy to improve upon. Keep giving them your money and that's all you'll experience.

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Response to randome (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:32 PM

29. You could even make a case for the original MATRIX film using that criteria

Lots of violence, sure, but the story is ultimately one of awakening, growth, courage, sacrifice, and transformation.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:31 PM

48. Sure. Then there are the 'Saw' movies. Torture porn by anyone's definition, I think.

Can we somehow see films like this as 'uncool'? That's what I wish would happen.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:35 PM

9. Well, movie plots usually don't need smoking, many need guns. n-t

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:02 PM

12. Many of the action heroes are cops or soldiers. I don't see how that would work.

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Response to Incitatus (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:15 PM

22. MOST cops go their whole careers without shooting in the line of duty.

It is a myth that cops are always in firefights. There are many ways to do police work without shooting people.

And there are lots of other ways to portray violence: hand to hand combat, batons & baseball bats, swords, knives, teargas, poisoning, falling through glass windows, pushing people off roofs, smashing people's heads with rocks, I could go on and on.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:07 PM

14. A very interesting and welcome question.

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:09 PM

15. It'll be fine...

Keep the guns.

Neo can stop bullets.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:11 PM

16. It wouldn't work well in most cases, TBH.

For one thing, a hero doesn't need to smoke to look cool.....but in most cases, he probably will need to shoot some villains if he wants to complete the mission; and Hollywood doesn't like to make films where the hero fails.

I guess we could just see more fantasy films, though, if you really wanted the film industry to listen.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:13 PM

18. As far as I know Jackie Chan has fired a gun zero times in his movies

I may be wrong.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:16 PM

24. Excellent point. nt.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:15 PM

21. well, that would be absolutely boring. . .

unless said action hero is using a katana.

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Response to Algebra Palin (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:16 PM

34. Ooh. I teach iaido too.

Make it so.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:19 PM

25. In the Jason Bourne movies

Matt Damon's character does everything he can to not shoot anybody. He only responds with violence when he has to. And in Unforgiven, the horrible causes and results of violence make it one of the best movies ever made.

Most "shootemups" are intellectual junk food. They're bad for ya if consumed to excess, but there is really no way to outlaw their content or consumption. It takes education, and time to acquire it, to cultivate good taste and everything that goes with it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:16 PM

35. Unforgiven is my favorite Western ever, bar none (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 10:34 PM

30. Hollywood didn't get a single mention yesterday.

Wonder why... didn't Joe Biden meet with reps from Hollywood?

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #30)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:24 PM

38. maybe Research showed it didn't matter, i mean look at Japan, they love shitty american action

movies and they aren't going out shooting each other after watching them.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:06 PM

32. one way to curb it if not eliminate is to apply a gratuitous violence tax with proceeds earmarked

for mental health and victims of gun violence funds

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 PM

40. I can't picture the opening scene of "Saving Private Ryan" as being one big pillow fight.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:26 PM

43. And I don't want war movies to end

Iraq still needs its movie, as does Afghanistan.

That said, I'd like to see a cop movie where the cop like 99.9% of cops doesn't shoot anybody, but still solves crimes.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:09 AM

55. You mean like

Columbo? He is not a cop but also Quincy. Now days even the MEs carry and use guns (I don't watch them but the CSI franchise). Guns are sometimes used in the original Law and Order but not that often.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 PM

41. Smoking is banned in a lot of places

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:25 PM

42. People don't smoke in movies?

 

That's news to me.

And, no. We cannot, nor would I want to take shooting out of movies.

Why are we even talking about these things?

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:27 PM

44. We're talking because I asked

I said in the OP I don't think this would reduce violence.

I'm just somebody who has carried guns for a lot of his professional life and would like a movie about people who carry guns but don't use them.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #44)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:34 PM

51. Ok.

 

Would they ever threaten to use them? Or would the moral of the story be that they have guns but solve conflicts without brandishing them?

I can work with this concept.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #51)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:36 PM

52. I'm jumping back to the cleaning idea

Show a firefight, but show in real time how long it takes to clean the weapon after.

It's just a de-romanticization idea. To me a gun is about as romantic as a chainsaw; I associate both with manual labor in high temperatures.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:30 PM

45. So why is killing people with guns bad, but killing people with swords OK?

Because a sword takes "real" skill and gun doesn't? No, because if you were a Marine, you know that isn't the case. No, you're just trading the romanticizing of guns for the romanticizing of edged weapons.

Don't get me wrong, I love films with sword fights, no matter what country they originate from. I also happen to love films with gunfights. I think the best gunfight ever put on film was the last half hour of Open Range. That was even better than any of the Spaghetti Westerns, and I never thought anything would top The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

If every gun is civilian hands was picked up and destroyed, then Americans would revert to killing each other with edged weapons, most popular of course would be pocket knives. Then we would have another mortal panic about knives, like we did with the stiletto switchblade back in the 1950s. There would be cries of

"We have to do SOMETHING to get these terrible knives off the streets. No one NEEDS a knife outside of their home. "

The fact is humans enjoy killing one another. We have been doing for thousands of years. The only thing that has changed is the method.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #45)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:31 PM

47. Neither is OK, and this isn't a violence reduction plan

Check my posting history if you think that.

I like thought experiments, and I find guns very very boring because I've spent half of my adult life cleaning them.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:34 PM

50. I agree with you that cleaning guns is a PITA.

That is the reason I don't go to the range more often.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:30 PM

46. In the late 70's and early 80's the media was under pressure to reduce shootings in movies and TV.

What did they come up with?

Explosions. Think every episode of The A Team.

You don't actually show anybody getting hurt or dying, you just imply it by showing their previously established location going boom. Fireball effects look real good on fancy big screens too.

There's some debate over whether that sort of depersonalized media violence actually had a worse effect, but I'd guess if everybody starts shouting about guns in movies we're in for another explosion trend.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:33 PM

49. Don't forget robot enemies

I still can't believe Cobra Commander would pay that much for robots that can't hit anything.

Again, I'm not trying to save the world. I float thought experiments.

An equally interesting one would be a movie full of gunshots that shows in real-time how long it takes to clean the weapon after. Actually that would be even better.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:40 PM

53. You do know the original Cylons of the ORIGINAL ..

Battlestar Galactica were supposed to be insects or reptilians in armor, right? But ABC thought that was too violent so they changed them to just robots who killed off their creators long ago. I can just imagine the meeting:

"Can't we just make these thing robots instead?. No one would care about killing robots, but if we kill bug or lizards every week, some bleeding heart might start a protest."

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 11:51 PM

54. There are Always Alternative to Guns

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 12:59 AM

57. Um, no. Some people don't want to watch lameass Disney movies. nt

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:04 AM

58. Maybe they can have drawing and quartering like Braveheart.

 

Or burning alive like the Last of the Mohicans.

Ironically guns seem so much less gruesome to me. The two examples above made me sick to my stomach.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:22 AM

59. Personally, I'd like to see wars fought with knives by the old farts who get us into them. nt.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:39 AM

62. .

September 27, 2012, 9:00 a.m.

Film characters are smoking more on the big screen and studios that have pledged to clamp down on such portrayals remain among the worst offenders, according to a new study.

There were nearly 1,900 portrayals of smoking and other tobacco usage among the 134 highest-grossing films at the box office in 2011, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

The total number of "tobacco incidents" per movie was up 7% from 2010. Among films rated G, PG, or PG-13, and thus more easily accessible to younger audiences, that figure increased 36%, the researchers added.


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-smoking-movies-20120926,0,4210411.story

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:40 AM

63. Interesting. Thanks (nt)

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