by Paul Bond
Patriotism and traditional values, like those displayed in "Thor," "The Artist," "Soul Surfer" and "Hugo," are what moviegoers want, says a group that will honor such films at an awards gala Friday.
This year’s annual report sells for $1,000 and the price includes tickets to the Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala at the Universal Hilton Hotel. The report praises such 2011 releases as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Battle Los Angeles, Moneyball, We Bought a Zoo and Hugo while heaping scorn on the likes of Super 8, Red State, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Bad Teacher and Happy Feet Two.
For two decades, that has been the message that Movieguide has been pushing, and on Friday when it celebrates its 20-year-anniversary with an awards show airing on The Hallmark Channel, the organization will present a 76-page report designed to back up its assertions.
The Movieguide report rates movies using more than two dozen criteria, such as whether a title promotes capitalism or socialism or if it promotes or denigrates biblical principles. Violence, sex, political correctness, revisionist history, environmentalism, feminism, homosexuality and more hot-button political issues are all taken into consideration.
This year’s report concludes that seven of the Top 10 films of 2011 scored high on Movieguide’s index and, therefore, qualify as films with “strong or very strong Christian, biblical, moral and redemptive content.”
Movieguide identified 91 movies in 2011 that scored high in “conservative/moral categories” and they earned an average of $59 million apiece. On the other hand, it identified 105 movies that scored high in “liberal/leftist categories,” and each of those titles earned an average of just $11 million.
The average movie scoring four stars from Movieguide earned $53.5 million while the ones that scored just one star earned $10.6 million.
Exceptions abound, of course, notable ones being The Hangover Part II and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, hit movies that earned $581 million and $702 million worldwide, respectively, but are panned by Movieguide as films that promote “fringe worldviews” and “obscene behavior.”
“Most moviegoers want good to conquer evil, truth to triumph over falsehood, justice to prevail over injustice and true beauty to overcome ugliness,” Movieguide editor Ted Baehr writes in the report.
Friday’s awards gala, where the report will be made public, is hosted by Baehr, sponsored by the Christian Film & Television Commission and will be emceed by actor Dean Cain. Scheduled presenters include Joe Montegna, Corbin Bernsen, Kevin Sorbo and Pat Boone.
Nominees for Best Movie for Mature Audiences are:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Seven Days in Utopia
The Tree of Life
Nominees for Best Movie for Family Audiences are:
The Adventures of Tintin
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
Mars Needs Moms
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Puss in Boots