Say a Prayer for Hollywood

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Hollywood is in deep trouble.

Years ago people used to say to me that it really didn’t matter what folks in Hollywood said or did. No one says that to me anymore.

Those of us who are old enough to have witnessed and who fully understand the pivotal role that Hollywood plays in American culture know all too well that Hollywood has completely lost its way.

Over the past few decades there has been an intellectual, social, and moral slide in which Hollywood has actively engaged. The result has been more corrosive on our society than anyone could ever have imagined.

The good news is that we have reached the tipping point, and it has arrived in the form of a movie. The film is called “Habit,” and it is a sinister work that attacks the God of our founding, the Lord of our ancestors, and the Holy One of the ages.

In this blasphemous production, God is a woman.

This alone is enough to offend many people of faith. But the religious-minded among us have found ourselves in this position many times in the past, times in which we merely suffered the affront, chalked it up to free expression and artistic license, and politely rose above it.

In this heinous production, God is not only a woman, but a promiscuous one.

In the tradition of many religious people, promiscuity is a failing, albeit a common one not unlike myriad other stumbles, but nevertheless a serious failing on the part of the individual. Needless to say, when people of faith stumble, they seek forgiveness from The Author of Perfection who always was, is, and will be unblemished.

In this distorted production, God is a female who is attracted to multiple other women.

For people who adhere to the scriptural content of the Old Testament as well as those who embrace both the Old and the New, The Divine Designer created man and woman, and sexual attraction is specifically an innate desire that rests within earthly beings.

In this sacrilegious production, God is a drug dealer.

Here again, believers hold fast to the truth that the God of Our Fathers is sinless. To imply otherwise takes His Holy Name in vain and is a grave offense against Him and against those who worship and adore Him.

And so it is that everyone who is still watching what Hollywood is providing as entertainment for us, in all of its various forms, gets to pick a side.

“Habit” stands as a virtual line in the sand. We are either for its release or against it. We are either willing to tell any company that would facilitate the circulation of this egregious product that we will no longer consume any of its entertainment fare or we fold and give them yet another pass. And we either stand for God or turn our backs.

God’s nature and His identity as God-made-flesh are central tenets of the deeply held beliefs of more than two billion religious people around the globe. Hopefully in this tipping point, God’s side of the scale will be the one that prevails.

Several organizations are now seeking the film’s cancellation. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and the Christian Film & Television Commission (CFTC), recently told The Christian Post that “Habit” crosses a line “that should not be crossed.” The Movieguide site is promoting a petition by the CFTC on CitizenGo.org, which as of this writing has more than 210,000 signatures from people who hope to stop this movie in its ugly tracks.

Another petition, which was started by OneMillionMoms.com, a division of the American Family Association, has been signed by almost 70,000 people.

“Habit” does not yet have a release date or distribution deal. However, with the entertainment industry’s track record, it is likely that those who have invested substantial sums of money in the production of the film will move forward in some fashion with its release.

We need to say a prayer for Hollywood and for our culture.

In the meantime, we need to keep a watchful eye on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and other platforms. In this digital era, films go straight to home theaters.

That’s where God’s side has to be willing to be a cancel culture all its own.

Adam McKay’s Oscar-seeking ‘Vice’

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Filmmaker Adam McKay has unleashed a cinematic hit piece just in time for Christmas.

McKay is first and foremost a comedian, whose stand-up helped him lock in a gig as head writer for “Saturday Night Live” for two seasons. He additionally formed a creative alliance with actor Will Ferrell, which opened the pathway for his directing of zany comedic romps including “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.”

One of the biggest turning points for McKay, though, came in 2015. He experienced critical acclaim and a whole lot of ataboys from his peers for his Oscar-winning movie “The Big Short.” The political dramedy about the 2008 financial crash was the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay and received four other nominations from the Academy.

Like so many modern-day stars, who have parlayed their success into full-fledged liberal activism in exchange for the secret promise of more accolades and awards, McKay’s latest outing, titled “Vice,” is a biopic of the hateful and distorted kind.

In the film, he re-writes the historical annals of Dick Cheney, who served as Secretary of Defense (1989 to 1993) during the presidency of the late President George H.W. Bush, and who went on to serve as Vice President of the United States (2001 to 2009) in the administration of former President George W. Bush.

As a self-identified Democratic socialist and an endorser of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, McKay detests most Republicans, but he appears to have a special animus for one of Hollywood’s primary targets of vilification; that is, Cheney.

The filmmaker was seemingly intent on presenting Cheney’s rise to power from a left-wing perspective and was likely simultaneously motivated to win the affection of fellow GOP-haters within the film critic community and award granting organizations. He assembled actors from his prior successful ventures and enlisted others as well to create a project that is intended to please both film critics and Oscar voters.

To realistically portray Cheney, actor Christian Bale had to undergo a physical transformation through the use of facial prosthetics and weight gain.

Nominated five times without a win and viewed by Academy members as overdue for an award, actress Amy Adams plays Cheney’s wife Lynne. Adams’s role requires her to mature in age as she transitions from a college-years wife to a vice president’s spouse.

McKay’s strategy has already yielded awards season results. With six nominations, the liberal fictional treatment of Cheney’s life in “Vice” has resulted in the highest number of nominations in the upcoming Golden Globe awards. The movie has also garnered nine Critics’ Choice Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award noms, as Oscar talk ensues.

An intriguing thing has coincided with the release of the film, though. Despite praise given for the performances of Christian Bale and Amy Adams, many establishment movie critics are expressing disappointment with the biopic and even some hostility. The critic community apparently loathes Cheney more than McKay does, and some have panned the movie for being too soft on the former vice president.

A Daily Beast review calls the film a “baffling tonal hodgepodge” that “at best marginally humanizes Dick Cheney and at worst lionizes him…” And a review in the San Francisco Chronicle states that “the failure of “Vice” is a failure on its own terms. If Cheney is really as bad as McKay believes — an empty shell of ambition, a destructive and malign force in American life — he warrants serious moral horror, not a smirky treatment that assumes, going in, that we all agree.”

Despite the fact that McKay channeled plenty of hate into “Vice,” his final cut appeared to move in two different directions. Apparently McKay’s humor background and sensibilities compelled the filmmaker to insert a sufficient amount of comedic material, but it may have served to undercut the perception by some that it met the appropriate attack mark.

McKay’s end product seems to be a conflicted work that is caught between comedy and drama, and the movie characters are thereby left without discernible motivations, floating about in a farcical superficial storyline.

Also, by presenting an all-powerful Cheney and an empty-suited Bush, the film unwittingly takes the 43rd president off the hook for the list of wrongs of which the left maintains the Bush administration is guilty.

Audiences get their first glimpse of the former vice president as a heavy drinker and brawler, who is expelled from Yale. He is being cajoled by his wife Lynn into changing his life.

Soon a revved up ambitious Cheney works for a future Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who is portrayed in an overly cavalier manner by Steve Carell. Cheney learns the political ropes from Rumsfeld and ends up conning the clueless caricature of G.W., played with zero depth by Sam Rockwell.

The “Vice” version of Cheney easily persuades the supposedly simpleton GOP nominee Bush into an arrangement that hands excessive power over to Cheney, allowing him to be the de-facto leader of the free world. Soon enough Cheney and his cadre of neo-cons slowly take over the reins of the presidency.

Although the movie starts out by informing the audience via an onscreen message that “Vice” is a “true story,” people in the know, including former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Michael Brown, have pointed out that the film’s central theme of Cheney being the so-called man behind the curtain that called the shots for a feckless president is plain old fiction.