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    Your Highness (Movie Review)

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    Paeter
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    Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 13th 2011, 1:22 pm

    I'm going to keep this review fairly brief because frankly, I really don't want to spend any more time thinking about "Your Highness" than I have to.

    What could have been a comedic love letter to fantasy movies of the 80's turned out to be a picture of the genre with poop smeared all over it.

    "Your Higness" stars Danny McBride as the disgruntled, jealous brother of beloved and heroic first-born prince Fabious (James Franco). The solid cast, which also includes Zooey Deschanel and Natalie Portman, can't save this movie from continual, out of context, heavy handed and childishly crude sexual humor. The script reads like a strange blend of ancient high fantasy and modern 8th grade locker room. I'm not one for crude sexual humor to begin with, but it seems to me they could have gotten more laughs if their jokes had been more subtle, accomplished through innuendo while staying in a more consistent high fantasy tone. As it is, the jokes invade the movie over and over again like Chris Farley in a china shop. Hmm. Bad comparison. Chris Farley in a china shop would actually be funny.

    McBride, who wrote the script, said jokingly in an interview recently that the humor of film might be enhanced by the use of drugs. I would imagine he's right and that a drug induced haze may be the only way to make these jokes seem the least bit clever.

    There are two scenes that showcase some cool, slightly nostalgic looking spell-casting visual effects. These were a lot of fun to watch. And the creepy witch "mothers" in service to the evil wizard add some unsettling weirdness that I welcomed. But the heavy handed gags and a few minutes of brief "on and off" nudity that served no purpose except to objectify actresses ended up being just too much.

    As you can imagine, I think you'd have to work insanely hard to have anything worthwhile to talk about after this movie. I'm really wishing I'd never seen it. But if I can steer anyone else from it, I guess that's something.

    Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, violence and some drug use.

    Quality- 4.0/10

    Relevance- 3.0/10


    For information about my scoring system, visit- spiritblade.net/reviewscores

    Or listen to this review this weekend at- spiritblade.net/podcast


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    mindspike
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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  mindspike on April 13th 2011, 1:47 pm

    Thank you for taking this bullet for us.
    Your sacrifice will not be forgotten!


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 13th 2011, 2:49 pm

    mindspike wrote:Thank you for taking this bullet for us.
    Your sacrifice will not be forgotten!

    lol. You're welcome. It was bad, bro. Like when I saw "The Spirit". In both movies, five minutes in I was SOOO wanting to leave.

    I just started playing Fable 2 and would have MUCH rather done that. Incidentally, Fable 2 is a fantasy story that DOES know how to appropriately turn the genre on its ear with some humor. Too bad "Your Highness" didn't have more like-minded writers involved.


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Rickster on April 13th 2011, 8:47 pm

    I thought about seeing this but then I realized that the Highness in the title was a rfrence to drugs and I decided to skip it

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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 14th 2011, 9:37 pm

    Rickster wrote:I thought about seeing this but then I realized that the Highness in the title was a rfrence to drugs and I decided to skip it

    Wow. I TOTALLY missed that! Can't believe it never crossed my mind, especially after hearing that it was in part a "stoner comedy". Crap, that would have been a red flag for me to skip it altogether. Even after the movie I was still wondering why they went with that particular title.


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Hackmodford on April 15th 2011, 9:05 am

    Shouldn't we just avoid crude humor anyway?


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 15th 2011, 9:02 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:Shouldn't we just avoid crude humor anyway?

    I think you can make a biblical argument to avoid crude SEXUAL humor. Not sure it's air tight, but you can certainly argue for it from scripture. I don't know of a biblical argument against other crude humor like "bathroom humor".

    For my take on the issue see: http://www.spiritblade.net/brentweeks


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Hackmodford on April 15th 2011, 9:12 pm

    That's what I meant... crude sexual humor...

    So in that case shouldn't you have left the theatre?


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 16th 2011, 1:15 pm

    Hackmodford wrote:That's what I meant... crude sexual humor...

    So in that case shouldn't you have left the theatre?

    Good point. Take another look at the posted version of the above podcast link:

    http://spiritblade.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

    I'll reproduce some relevant parts here:

    Ephesians 5:4 “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.“

    The Greek for "filthiness" here means "that which brings shame" or "intending to stimulate sexual appetite or lust". The Greek for "foolish talk" here means "speech that demonstrates the lack of character in a person". The Greek for "crude joking" here refers to joking that intends to stimulate sexual appetite or lust.

    In these verses we see that our speech shouldn't be manipulative or deceitful. We shouldn't say anything that validates a lustful mentality. We should speak with the intention of being favorable to the sensitivities of others. Beyond that, we have a lot of freedom!

    You might notice that all of this is instruction about what we, personally, should or shouldn't do. They are not immediately related to fictional entertainment we might create or enjoy. In this regard, there are some other verses to consider:

    1 Corinthians 10:31-32 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God.”

    In Greek, the phrase "give no offense" as used here can mean either "do not offend" or "do not cause to stumble". So as we tell stories (or run role-playing games), we should aim to avoid offending those our fiction is intended for. We should also avoid creating anything that validates sinful thoughts or behavior, since this can cause someone else to "stumble". However, within these guidelines, there is still a wide variety of "unsterilized" content we can and, for the sake of good fiction, sometimes SHOULD include. (After all, there is nothing "glorifying to God" about boring, poor quality fiction.)

    When it comes to the kind of language we should allow ourselves to ingest in fiction, this is entirely based on the effect it has on our lives.

    Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


    The scriptural instruction seems pretty clear that we shouldn't use crude sexual humor ourselves. It's silent on the issue of hearing it. In that regard, I think Luke 6:45 should be applied.

    So in my case, with the particular kinds of crude sexual humor that most often cropped up (I remember the humor leaning toward masturbation and homosexual gags) I didn't think I was in danger of being negatively effected in my character. So I sat through it for the sake of doing a fair review.

    On another note, I can say that had the nudity been prolonged much more than it was, I may have walked. The challenge to where my eyes landed came much closer to causing a walk out than any of the humor. Likewise, if the verbal humor had been more objectifying to women, it might have triggered a walk out, since I've noticed that prolonged exposure to humor objectifying women can change the way I think of my wife in a negative way.

    So again, the name of the game is discernment and self-examination. (Though self-examination isn't done in a vacuum and questions like yours can help aid the process.) I ended up staying to do the review for "Your Highness" because it sat just inside my realm of personal tolerance. There were certainly pros and cons to weigh regarding staying or walking. It wasn't an action taken lightly.


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Rickster on April 16th 2011, 7:31 pm

    Does anyone know if it's true that if you walk out of a movie the theater will refund your money?

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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 17th 2011, 4:37 pm

    Rickster wrote:Does anyone know if it's true that if you walk out of a movie the theater will refund your money?

    Hmm. No idea. The closest I've come to a "walk out refund" was because I missed the beginning and I just exchanged my ticket for another showtime. Although my first job out of High School was at a movie theater, and there was one manager who threw free tickets at anybody who complained. (He was often taken advantage of by repeat complainers, too.)


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    Re: Your Highness (Movie Review)

    Post  Paeter on April 18th 2011, 12:04 am

    Y'know, I was thinking about my above post about discernment this afternoon and didn't want to give anyone the impression that I think I always discern entertainment content wisely for myself.

    For example, 6-12 months ago I saw a movie I was planning to review that ended up having more nudity and sexual content than I felt comfortable drawing anyone's attention to even with a negative review. So I skipped doing the review and found some other content for the podcast that week.

    The thing is, even though I thought to protect my readers and listeners, *I* didn't walk out of that theater, and since then I've regretted it, as the sexual images of the movie stayed with me afterward.

    Since watching "Your Highness", which came close to my "line" as I mentioned before, and in light of my experience with that other movie, I've decided on a "no review=no remain" policy. If a movie isn't worth drawing attention to in any way because of prolonged sexual nudity, it's not worth it for me to finish watching.

    This change in personal policy doesn't make up for my error. I have to depend on the grace and work of Christ for that. But it will be a step forward in "sanctification" for me.

    Anyway, just wanted to make sure you guys knew that I'm on this journey as much as anyone. I've got no illusions about that.


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