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Hollywood vs. America: The Explosive Bestseller that Shows How-and Why-the Entertainment Industry Has Broken Faith With Its Audience Paperback – August 4, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
PBS film critic Medved's jeremiad charges that Hollywood is profoundly out of touch with the values and lifestyles espoused by most Americans.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Film critic Medved, cohost of PBS's Sneak Previews , presents a scathing indictment of Hollywood that is sure to be controversial. Asserting that "the dream factory has become the poison factory," he criticizes Hollywood movies for portraying religion unfavorably, glamorizing violence, and celebrating immorality. Martin Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) is among the films censured at length, and there are many others whose objectionable scenes are singled out, from Total Recall (1990) to The Prince of Tides (1992). Those who lament America's loss of what lately have been generally called "family values" will agree with Medved, while others are likely to dismiss his impassioned text as a windy sermon. A marginal purchase for general collections.
- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael looks at many different aspects of Hollywood and the media but he really takes a good look at how they handle the subject of sex. He points out how Hollywood has made sex a requirement for any movie to be "romantic." Because of his observations on this subject, it has made me review some of the movies I consider "my favorites" and I've made a decision to not watch them or recommend them anymore.
While he makes his Judeo-Christian views apparent in many different parts of the book, he also uses a lot of common sense when addressing many of the issues. He points out that some of us can watch a movie and see people brutally murdered and we sit there with no reaction at all. I have caught myself becoming "numb" to a lot of the violence in movies. Sure, it isn't going to make me run out and commit these acts, but it has become commonplace to see heads explode or people dismembered that a lot of us are not even aware of how horrific these scenes are.
He also points out that less than 5% of movies in the past 15 years show religion in a positive way. I couldn't agree more. Recently, there have been movies (Return To Me, The Apostle, Signs) that show how a long-suffering faith in God can bring you through everything. Why is it that Hollywood can't see that a lot more than 5% of Americans have a religious faith and would like to see more of that in films? It is a shame.
This is an excellent commentary on today's time. It does tend to get a little repetitive and tedious toward the end but he does make excellent observations and leaves it up to you to decide.
He argues his case so brilliantly, and demonstrates it so exhaustively, that his critics are are reduced to oversimplification, misrepresentation and name-calling.
Some reviewers have labelled his arguments simplistic, naïve and lacking objectivity. I think they have only skimmed through his book, or else read it with such bias that they can't see what he is saying. Many of them assume that because he criticises one movie for embodying a particular trend and praises another for going against the trend, he is making a blanket statement about the value of those films. It should be obvious that this is not the case, as he makes a point of praising the overall quality of some of the movies he criticises.
This book is a must-read for anyone who is seriously interested in understanding what is happening to the world.
In it, Michael Medved takes a long hard look at the stuff produced by the movie industry and shows that there's a pattern to it all.
It's not "greed" and "profit." Despite the attempts of numerous left-leaning folks to smear capitalism and the free market, it isn't "corporate greed" that drove the movies down into their current state. As Medved shows, lots of studios could have done much better at the box office if they had produced moral and uplifting films that respected (not "promoted," just "respected") the values held by the vast majority of Americans.
No, the movie industry is just out of touch with its market. And why? The culprit isn't "greed" but a false idealism.
What Medved shows in effect is that the moviemakers are playing to the chorus -- looking for accolades from their peers based on their alleged "artistic achievement." And that achievement is based on a view of "art" that most of us probably wouldn't find congenial.
Medved shows that there is an overarching pattern in what's been coming out of Hollywood for the last three of four decades. Its destructive "art" (with some exceptions that should have taught the industry something about its customers) tends deliberately to take traditional religion and morality as its intentional target, and regards the trashing of those values as a "success."
Disagree? Then let Medved convince you. Watch him summarize, e.g., Hollywood's recent portrayals of clergy and other religiously devoted people, and then ask yourself what would have happened if the movie industry had similarly targeted, say, gays and lesbians. If you give the obvious answer, then you'll know there's a powerful bias at work in the "entertainment" world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hollywood (and the entire media for that matter) is a propaganda machine...Read more