I have a love hate relationship with old films. I like to re-watch those that I consider classics, but I'm also weak with an odd since of depressive nostalgia, which sometimes keeps me from watching. I could write a whole blog just on that, but for now I will digress.
This is not going to be a review of the film, but more of an overview of keeping ourselves alert to the dangerous doctrine of man centered goodness and love, we see expressed in film that is intended primarily for a rated G through PG 13 audience. Let me just say for clarification, I have seen PG-13 that needed to be R, R that didn't seem like it needed that rating and R that needed to be rated much worse, so bare with me...
Now I don't believe in conspiracy theories for the most part, so this isn't about some Hollywood plot to brainwash us all into humanism. These films are made from a humanistic point of view, but only because they are not meant to be religious. Movies like Armageddon are focused on the "good" in man and our universal struggle to survive. They are secular because secular people make them-no conspiracy- but that doesn't mean the Christian should not be aware and careful in their evaluation of what they watch.
While many of these films have little foul language and no nudity, they nevertheless portray sex before marriage as okay. They view religion as generic, but not necessarily in a bad light, making them appealing to the believer who doesn't want to be legalistic, but at the same time careful about where they draw the line.
My wife and I also watched the film Message in a Bottle. Although most men wouldn't be caught saying they like what many call "chick flicks", it really is a good movie that can wet the eyes of even the strongest testosterone filled males. It's based on a Nickolas Sparks book and he is notorious for (secular) romantic greatness, both in his books and the films adapted from them.
Again, this movie had very little if any foul language, no nudity (although sex was clearly implied in 1 major scene and a brief underwear scene) and overall it was a great secular love story. Secular love stories though, do not see sex outside of marriage (especially if love is involved) as wrong. They also play heavily on emotionalism, the idea of soulmates, and other unrealistic views of love that appeal to our sense of need.
Whether or not any Christian should watch movies like this is of course up to the individual conscience. Obviously, we all know Christians watch much worse and if we truly were going to draw the line on any non biblical narrative, we wouldn't watch even these seemingly benign films (some of you may not and more power to ya!).
Other films including these originals and their spin-offs that I grew up with (or my kids) are Indiana Jones, Star Wars, X Men, and so on. Many of these are certainly entertaining, but promote a secular view of religion, new age (star wars), evolution (X-Men) and pre-marital sex (Indiana Jones).
So where am I going with this? I guess just to remind myself and the reader to be mindful of what we watch and approve of. For me, it was an opportunity to spend time with my wife, but I also took the time to discuss with her the silliness of a false view of romantic love and the worldliness depicted in the films (including sex outside of marriage). Overall, these are also basically clean films in comparison to what the industry puts out, but in comparison to what we should or should not watch according to knowledge, they are still worldly and its always good to remind ourselves of these things if we choose to partake.
I'm not sure where my conscience on things like this will take me in the future. With grand-kids now, we have to decide what we should and should not show them. Shrek is not a Christian film and is all about fantasy, but is it harmless to show the kiddos?
Lord of the Rings is full of violence and fantasy (in-spite of its Christian authorship) and is not a Christian film, but its message of good and evil and the chance to explain and explore its Christian roots can at least be a good conversation to have if you choose to watch the films. Others like Chronicles of Narnia would fit this label as well.
The main thing, is to always be aware of what you take in as entertainment. If you choose to watch seemingly harmless secular film, be on guard to its influence and you can even use things you see as spiritually wrong for useful discussion, which is what I have hopefully done here.