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C'mon Hollywood #112

12.22.2006

... don't be scared of religion!
by Sturdy

My grandpa used to say there are three things you never bring out at the dinner table; religion, politics and your schlong. Yes, my grandpa was a wise man, even if he never followed his own advice. But while my grandpaís words of wisdom may be sound for dinner parties and family outings, they're not so great for Hollywood.

It seems Hollywood is afraid of being crucified if they support a movie about religion. I understand that thereís a certain amount of risk when you make a movie that either directly or indirectly deals with something biblical, but if thereís one thing weíve learned from Mel Gibson, itís that religion sellsÖand not to call him crazy. But you canít overlook the fact that PASSION OF THE CHRIST made tons of money at the box office. If nothing else, that shows that people are in need of a religion-based film. Whether you believe them or not, there are a plethora of great stories in the Bible that would make great films. Christians will turn out in droves to see a movie that will ďteachĒ them something, so itís surprising that Hollywood hasnít taken advantage of this market yet.


Richard Gere as King DavidÖno thanks.

Christianity is the easiest group to market to, since churches will get involved whenever thereís a Christian-based film, but if Iím not mistaken, there are other religions out there. I canít think of a movie based on the life and teachings of Buddha or Joseph Smith. There are plenty of Buddhists and Mormons out there that would gladly pay money to see a decent film about the founders of their religion. Also, there are enough Scientologists out there to make a movie based off Scientology well worth the investment. And no, BATTLEFIELD EARTH does not count, since it was an obscure reference (if any at all) to the popular religion. But itís amazing there havenít been more films about Scientology since so many of Hollywoodís top stars follow the religion.


I donít care what you say, this movie had nothing to do with religion.

Also, religion based horror movies have a history of being good too. THE PROPHECY is one of my all time favorite ďhorrorĒ films and itís based on religionÖkind of. STIGMATA is another decent horror film that has roots in religion. And seriously, is there anything more scary than religion? Itís one thing to suffer great horrors on earth, but religion deals with eternity. Yes, it would suck to have your still-beating heart ripped out of your chest, but it would suck more to have ripped out every dayÖforever. Religion can be funny too. Donít believe me? Check out KEEPING THE FAITH or DOGMA. Good stuff.


A perfect religion threesome.

I feel Hollywood has a history of chickening out with sensitive subjects. Iím happy theyíre finally venturing into the realm of race, as seen with CRASH and BABEL. However, now itís time to embrace the publicís need for more religion in films. And whatever you do, donít throw a lame group of actors together and hope it makes money, ala NATIVITY STORY. Thatís the worst thing you can do. You still have to follow all the rules of making movies, which means you have to find talented actors, good screenplays and passionate directors. That, and a little bit of marketing and a timely release, and you should easily make your money back.

Tags: Hollywood

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