Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun movie: Paul Blart, Mall Cop

My dear wife, two youngest sons (ages 9 and 13), along with DAOD and BSIL, just watched and enjoyed Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

Comedy is often risky in my family. The more who are there, the more diverse the senses of humor. But eventually this movie had everyone laughing, shouting, groaning and talking back at the screen. Had to back up a couple of times because the laughter drowned out the next words, and that's all a really good sign.

I picked this flick for our weekly Burger Movie on the strength of reviews I'd read when it came out. Most recently I saw a review that tagged it as a family-friendly, funny Die Hard. That's accurate. In fact, there seem to me to be more than a few nods to the Bruce Willis thriller.

An aspect I really liked was how the movie treats the eponymous character fondly. He's a loser, but not a pathetic loser (like the horrendous lead human in Ratatouille). He's just a really nice guy who loves his daughter and mother, respects women, and takes his job seriously. Really, really seriously.

It's a pretty mild PG for some name-calling and mild violence. Maybe the PG-est scene is where Blart unintentionally guzzles a liter or two of what he thinks is lemonade, which turns out to be margaritas. The effects are horrific and funny, and provide an opportunity to make an observation about getting drunk.

But, see, both before and after the scene Blart stresses that he doesn't drink — and that this is why he doesn't drink.

In another scene a corpulent woman beats the stuffing out of Blart, her blouse getting pulled up (in no way titillatingly) in the process. But why does she beat him up? Because he won't hit women. Period.

Good movie, and fun. Six diverse thumbs up from the Phillipses and Allens.

CAUTION: there is some coarse, PG-language in the movie. It's not "G" for a reason. If that's a major issue, consult one of the sites that commonly itemize (though one of them relates a phrase I don't remember hearing, and the usually-very-conservative Christian Spotlight review gives it a positive rating).

Now, to keep up our Monday Funny Video tradition, here are a couple of Blart star, comedian Kevin James.

First, James talks about renting a foreign car:

Then about his struggle (?) with weight:

Finally, "phone number rhythm":


CR said...

I think Kevin James is absolutely hilarious. One of my favorite shows was King of Queens which I watched on DVD. Him and Jerry Stiller were hilarious together. I obviously don't watch all his movies but the Paul Blart Matt Cop was funny.

Thanks for the extra laughs with the clips.

Fred Butler said...

WOW. That was completely spoiler free. I feel like I can get this one and go in fresh.


Paula said...

Phone number rhythm - hilarious! I'd heard it before but thought it was Brian Regan!

Rachael Starke said...

I am totally surprised! The last couple of comedies Phil and I ventured to see at a theater where so utterly, horrifically bad ("Four Christmases" - so wretched we walked out fifteen minutes into it, and then a Jim Carrey thing we should have walked out of, but squirmed through) that we've pretty much sworn off the genre. And the title alone made me think this would be another of the same ilk, albeit in PG wrapping.

We just axed our TiVo/overpriced cable setup in favor of Netflix so we'll put it in the queue.

Euaggelion said...

No thank you. It has blasphemy in it.

There isn't too much out there that doesn't offend God, so I stay away from almost all movies. That is a personal choice of mine.

Would you watch a movie that uses your mother's name as a cuss word?

Would you watch a movie that uses God's name as a cuss word?

DJP said...

Really haven't found a way to put myself anywhere where I can be guaranteed that someone around me won't sin in some way.

Particularly since everywhere I go, there I am.

Euaggelion said...

Amen to that brother. I know the feeling, sometimes I feel like Paul in Romans 7:15-20.

Romans 7:18-19 NASB For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. (19) For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

This is a recent conviction of mine, I'm by no means a "legalist". I know I can't earn my way to Heaven, it's not by works but by grace. But, I want to do my best to glorify my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, my daily question is, "Does this glorify God?" I'm not trying to be perfect, because no one can be.

In the past few months I have become convicted of what I purposefully put in my mind with television/movies. I'm an IT person and there is a programming term, "garbage in/garbage out". You put garbage in, you get garbage out.

Like I said, it's a personal conviction of mine.

Susan said...

This does sound like a fun movie to watch, but considering I just spent some hefty bucks watching Harry Potter this past Saturday (with super-expensive popcorn and sodas, of course), I think I may have to skip.

(BTW, I can guess what DAOD and BSIL are based on the context, and I think I'm right. Specifically, though, what does DAOD stand for? [BSIL="Best Son-In-Law", right?])

NoLongerBlind said...

Answering for Dan,

DAOD = Dear and Only Daughter

DJP said...


And, that being the case, Kermit is likely to remain best, but I use it for Beloved Son-in-law.

Rachael Starke said...

"Like I said, it's a personal conviction of mine."

I'm a little tempted to pick a small, carefully modulated fight about that statement and a few others, but will defer unless Dan says it's okay. Dan's had an unusually large number of new and differently-opinioned commenters take his metas in some interesting places and I'm not sure if he's getting a little weary of it. i would be. :0

DJP said...

Aiee. You know, Rachael, I'm always interested to hear what you think. And Euaggelion's been quite fraternal about his convictions.

< ponders >

All right. Let's give it a try.

But I reserve the right to clear everyone out of the pool if I don't like where it's going.

Rachael Starke said...

:) Well thanks. And I'll backtrack a little more and say that I truly don't want to argue at all, but just question two ideas that Euagellion referenced and that I heard a lot growing up.

The first is the idea that a work that references sin in any form is the equivalent of endorsing that sin or enticing someone to enter into that sin. I had a similar case with a family member who is a very conservative Christian to whom I sent the first book in the Mitford series (Jan Karon, Christian author, not Dorothy Sayers, but good themes and zero that I thought would offend.) She told me that she threw the book out because one of the characters took the Lord's name in vain. Never mind that this was an unsympathetic character, and one whom I'm pretty sure the author was trying to demonstrate really was likely not a believer (even though she was the church secretary). Just - she said it. That's bad. It went in the trash, and I'm offended you sent it.

My struggle with that argument is that the Bible sometimes references people's sin with little or no comment - like the vengeance of Jacob's sons for the rape of Dinah. (And again, I'm open to being corrected, if that was actually a good thing they did.) Do we then throw out those sections of the Bible? The whole thing? (I speak as a fool.) And what about Shakespeare? Or Chaucer? Or John Donne (pre-conversion)? (And I am in no way trying to equate "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" with "The Canterbury Tales", btw. :) )

But the other issue was this statement:

"That is a personal choice of mine."

put right next to these:

"Would you watch a movie that uses your mother's name as a cuss word?

Would you watch a movie that uses God's name as a cuss word?"

That seems to be somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, he is expressing a conviction that is "personal." But on the other hand, the obvious answer to the questions he's asked is "Yes. I would watch that movie. I did like it and I'm here recommending it to others." And thus the implication that you're endorsing our collective intake of garbage. That doesn't seem to be an expression of personal conviction. That kinda seemed like an accusation.

But I may be wrong. I think the practice of mercilessly dissecting a line in a blog post or comment as if it was Holy Writ is a pretty uncharitable thing. So I hope I haven't fallen prey to that myself, and feel free to let me know if you meant it differently than I read it, Euangellion. Wouldn't be the first time. :)

I wrestle with this issue of how to engage with culture as a child of God (and how to teach my girls!)in a way that doesn't fall into either the pomo, emergy trap that sees "redemptive" elements in a movie like "Sex and the City", or the trap that calls Michaelangelo's statue of David pornographic. And I really wrestle with how to find that balance alongside other Christian family who have thought things through but come to very different conclusions than me.

So I'll get out of the pool voluntarily and Euangellion can run over and cannon ball me.

Aaron said...

Decent movie. Do my eyes decieve me or did somebody use the wrong word for scene?

DJP said...

"Wrong word" in the movie? Possibly.

ScreenIt says they used the bad "s"-word. Chr Spotlight doesn't. We didn't hear it. So... hard to say.

Aaron said...

Dan check par 6 for "seen"

DJP said...

Oh. Typo. OK, fixed.

Aaron said...

I'm with you Rachael. Maybe we can only watch movies that are the ones where perfect people act perfectly with perfect doctrine while praising God.

Btw, amazingly I got fox news in my hotel room in st Vincent (where I found my maid singing hymns while she cleaned). There was a segment about the origin of summer words and I learned that bikini comes from bikini island where we tested atom
bombs. The bikini was designed to awe you visually and was apparently so risqué that the inventor couldn't get anybody but a stripper to model it.

Euaggelion said...

I was not trying to be condescending and apologize if that is how it came across. I just wanted Christians to think about what we are purposefully putting into our heads and our children's heads. And if we are honoring our Lord and Savior with the choices we make.

Buy no means was I trying to imply I am "holier than thou" or that it's "my way or the highway". I had heard someone say, "Would you watch a movie that used your mother's name as a cuss word?" and it convicted me into thinking about the choices I make for entertainment. And I wanted to pass on that same thought.

I did not post here to argue, just to get brothers and sisters in Christ to think about stuff like that.

I apologize if I have offended anyone. And I will cease to post. And again I apologize.

DJP said...

Dude, nobody's saying not to post. And I said you had a good spirit, in my opinion.

R was just asking and observing, not attacking. No need to retreat, you're fine and welcome here. I think I get your point, and Rachael will as well: it was a question that pierced your conscience, and you passed it along to us. Nothing wrong with that.

Rachael Starke said...

Oh dear. Brother, truly, no offense taken at all. Just an attempt at iron sharpening iron without poking any eyes out. It's one of those tricky topics probably best had while enjoying an excellent piece of protein and a beverage of some type, which would be great to have if you ever find yourself in San Jose. :)