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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  09:55:41  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
I suggested some videos to add to the Freethought Video Store section of the Internet Infidels website recently:
http://www.infidels.org/infidels/products/video/index.shtml

The videos listed are described as follows: "... collection of videos that are directly related to freethought, videos that have freethinkers as characters, or videos that would be of interest to many freethinkers."

I am posting my list of the following videos I submited to II website for your enjoyment. When possible I have tried to include a brief plot summary, IMDB link, my rating, and my comments.

Enjoy.

--DRAMA--

At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0101373
* PLOT: First-time missionaries Martin and Hazel Quarrier travel to a small town in the middle of the Brazilian jungle in order to convert the natives. They meet Leslie and Andy Huben, a more experienced missionary couple, and half-breed Cheyenne Indian Lewis Moon and his assistant Wolf, who have been employed by the Brazilian government to destroy the rainforest and drive the Indians off their land. Through their contact with the native people and their growing appreciation for the unspoiled environment, Quarrier and Moon find themselves questioning long-held beliefs and their assignments.
* MY RATING: 8/10
* MY COMMENTS: A good story with lots of interesting anthropologic detail and gorgeous photography of a seldom visited part of the world. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of this one before. Great movie.

Sister Mary Explains It All (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0250739
* PLOT: A bigoted, fannatical nun comes face to face with the lives she ruined through her teachings when a quartet of her traumatised former students crash her Christmas Eve church lecture.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: This movie was showing on Showtime (and other movie channels I think) before it was released by Blockbuster on VHS and DVD. From the results of my limited research it seems that only Blockbuster has this movie available for rent/sale. "Sister Mary Explains It All" has that "TV movie" feel at times but is well worth watching.
* BLOCKBUSTER: http://www.blockbuster.com/bb/movie/details/0,7286,VID-V 242396,00.html?

Frailty (2002)(Available on DVD - September 17, 2002)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0264616
* PLOT: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons."
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: "Frailty" shows the danger that fanatic religious zealots can have.

Iris (2001) (Available on DVD - August 20, 2002)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0280778
* PLOT: True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.
* MY RATING: 9/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great movie about the philosopher, Isis Murdoch, who seemed to express very humanist type principles.

Chocolat (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0241303
* PLOT: A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid religiosity of the community.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Shows intolerance and hate that can come from strict religious dogma. Shows atheists in a compassionate light.

Household Saints (1993)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0107152
* PLOT: Religious eccentric young girl hallucinates mystic visions.
* MY RATING: 6.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Interesting how it kind of shows how religious myths and legends can be created over several generations. The movie is slow at times though.

Inherit the Wind (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0196632
* PLOT: This is another re-enactment of the play about the trial in 1925 of a school teacher who dared to teach Darwinian theory in his classroom. He did this as a consequence of one of his student's request to know... The student was a lad named 'Stebbins', and the trial (dubbed the 'Monkey Trial') pitted the great attorney of the day, Clarence Darrow, against the often running presidential candidate, and famous orator, William Jennings Bryan.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: I have never seen the original, so I can't compare, but this was an entertaining and well acted movie.

Elizabeth (1998)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0127536
* PLOT: The movie starts with England divided by faith, Protestant vs. Catholic. The queen, Mary Tudor has no heir and her Catholic supporters fear the succession of her half-sister Elizabeth, a Protestant.
* MY RATING: 8/10
* MY COMMENTS: Frightening look at the Protestant vs. Catholic conflict of those days.

Focus (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0246628
* PLOT: In the waning months of World War II, a man and his wife are mistakenly identified as Jews by their anti-Semitic Brooklyn neighbors. Suddenly the victims of religious and racial persecution, they find themselves aligned with a local Jewish immigrant in a struggle for dignity and survival.
* MY RATING: 8.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great lesson in why religious prejudice and intolerance is unrational.

The Apostle (1997)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0118632
* PLOT: The Apostle provides a remarkable portrait of a charismatic minister with problems. The Apostle E.F., first known as "Sonny" (played by Duvall), has charismatic gifts and sometimes an uncontrollable temper. The viewer is challenged to make sense of the conflicting character elements.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: What makes this film so textured and complex is the interplay between psychiatric disorders and religious claims.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) (no release date for DVD yet)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0238924
* PLOT: A group of Catholic school friends, after being caught drawing an obscene comic book, plan a heist that will outdo their previous prank and make them local legends.
* MY RATING: 9/10
* MY COMMENTS: If your lucky you may be able to find this movie still playing at an "artsy" theater near you. This movie has a underlying theme that good communication and love toward children is always better than strict dogma.

My Son the Fanatic (1997)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0119743
* PLOT: Pakistani taxi-driver Parvez and prostitute Bettina find themselves trapped in the middle when Islamic fundamentalists decide to clean up their local town.
* MY RATING: (Not viewed yet)
* MY COMMENTS: (Not viewed yet)

The Contender (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0208874
* PLOT: An atheist female candidate is dealing with accusations of sexual scandal while vying to be appointed Vice President of the United States.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: More political than anything else, but there is an atheist lead character in this film.

The Virgin Suicides (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0159097
* PLOT: The lives of an eclectic group of men who live in an affluent American suburb in the '70s are forever changed by their obsession with five doomed sisters.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Strict religious parents drive girls to rebel and eventually choose tragic paths.

American History X (1998)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120586
* PLOT: A former neo-nazi skinhead (Norton) tries to prevent his younger brother (Furlong) from going down the same wrong path that he did
* MY RATING: 8/10
* MY COMMENTS: This film has a theme that I think would be of interest to most freethinkers. The theme is how racism, hate, and intolerance are all so dangerous, easily promoted but difficult in preventing and changing.

Monster's Ball (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0285742
* PLOT: After a family tragedy, a racist prison guard reexamines his attitudes while falling in love with the African American wife of the last prisoner he executed.
* MY RATING: 8.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: This film has a theme that I think would be of interest to most freethinkers. The theme is how racism, hate, and intolerance as part of tradition can be changed.

Darrow (1991)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0101666
* PLOT: The story of Clarence Darrow, the man who stood up to the American legal system.
* MY RATING: 6/10
* MY COMMENTS: Clarence Darrow (Kevin Spacey) is the agnostic lawyer who represented John Scopes in the famous Scopes "Monkey" Trial. This film covers the life of Darrow previous to the famous Scopes trial. Unfortunately, this DVD/VHS seems only available for purchase in Pal/Region 2 format.

Boys Don't Cry (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0171804
* PLOT: The story of the life of Teena Brandon, a transgender youth who preferred life in her male identity as Brandon Teena.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Freethinkers who are interested about the dangers of hate and intolerance should find this film engaging.

Pi (1998)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0138704
* PLOT: Max is a genius mathematician who's built a supercomputer at home that provides something that can be understood as a key for understanding all existence. Representatives both from a Hasidic cabalistic sect and high-powered Wall Street firm hear of that secret and attempt to seduce him.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great black and white indie film.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0180093
* PLOT: The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger.
* MY RATING: 10/10
* MY COMMENTS: I had to include this film since it received my top ranking. It may not include freethinking characters or even freethinking themes, but it is an excellent film that I think many will like (or hate). Not only is the horror of addiction a key theme in the movie, but greed, corruption, desperation, and the pervasiveness of media, among others, are themes included. Watching this film is a punishing (in a good way) but unforgettable experience.

Liberty Heights (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0165859
* PLOT: Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and rock and roll is pushing the Four Lads off the Hit Parade. Ben, a high school senior, and his older brother Van are exploring "the other": in Ben's case, it's friendship with Sylvia, a Black student; with Van, it's a party in the WASP part of town and falling for a debutante, Dubbie.
* MY RATING: 6.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Slow at times but worth watching.

Jesus' Son (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0186253
* PLOT: A young man turns from drug addiction and petty crime to a life redeemed by a discovery of compassion.
* MY RATING: 5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Dark humor. I didn't think this movie was that entertaining but freethinking friends of mine love it.

The Others (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0230600
* PLOT: A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: More of a thriller than a drama. I include this film in this list because of the interesting religious tension between the mother and children in the movie.

Stigmata (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0145531
* PLOT: An ordinary young woman is affected by mysterious wounds called Stigmata. When a Catholic Priest comes to investigate the so called "miracle", he discovers this woman may be possessed by someone...or something...and a message originating from the time of Jesus Christ.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Another thriller with an interesting twist at the end.

Vanilla Sky (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0259711
* PLOT: A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover.
* MY RATING: 8.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Without spoiling the movie let's just say the film deals with subjects that should be of interest to freethinkers.


--ACTION/SUSPENSE--

The Matrix (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0133093
* PLOT: A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against the controllers of it.
* MY RATING: 9/10
* MY COMMENTS: "Welcome to the Real World". This movie reminds me of how "believers" need to open their eyes and see the real world.

Boondock Saints (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0144117
* PLOT: Fraternal twins set out to rid Boston of the evil men operating there while being tracked down by an FBI agent.
* MY RATING: 8/10
* MY COMMENTS: Fun movie with a great performance by Willem Dafoe. Pulp fiction type movie with some dark humor.

--COMEDY--

Road to Wellville (1994)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0111001
* PLOT: A story about the ins and outs of one unusual health facility in the early 20th century, run by the eccentric Dr. Kellogg.
* MY RATING: (not viewed yet)
* MY COMMENTS: (not viewed yet) Friends who saw it says the movie pokes fun at "New Age" medical quackery.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0190590
* PLOT: Three stumblebum convicts escape to go on a quest for treasure and meet various characters while learning where their real fortune lies.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Fun movie.

South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0158983
* PLOT: When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance & Phillip, they are pronounced "corrupted", and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Constantly poking fun at religion as usual.

Detroit Rock City (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0165710
* PLOT: A comedy about four teenagers in 1978 who try to scam their way into a KISS concert.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Surprisingly funny story that has parts that show the fear that some Christian parents have of rock'n'roll.

Dogma (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0120655
* PLOT: The last known descendant of Christ is called upon to save the existence of humanity from being negated by two renegade angels trying to exploit a loophole.
* MY RATING: 8/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great satire of the Catholic faith.


--DOCUMENTARY--

Punishment (History Channel)
* LINK: http://store.aetv.com/html/catalog/vp01.jhtml?id=43533&browseCategoryId=21094
* SUMMARY: See how mankind has treated criminals throughout the ages in the name of creating more humane societies.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Incredible look at some of the most unjust times of the Crusades, Inquisitions, witch burnings, etc.

Neanderthals (Discovery)
* LINK: http://shopping.discovery.com/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10000&storeId=10000&langId=-1&productId=11981&rel_productId=23151&search=Y&searchKey=2018808041
* SUMMARY: Follow the experience of a small clan of Neanderthals living in Dordogne, France, at one of the most important junctures in human evolution.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great show.

The Real Eve (Discovery)
* LINK: http://shopping.discovery.com/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10000&storeId=10000&productId=23151&langId=-1&search=Y&searchKey=2018808041
* SUMMARY: "The Real Eve" reveals that our shared genetic heritage links every living person on earth and traces the expansion of modern humans throughout the world.
* MY RATING: 6/10
* MY COMMENTS: The information in the show was educational but the music and cinematography were annoying.

Evolution (PBS)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/evolution
* SUMMARY: Travel the globe to examine evolutionary science and its profound effect on society and culture. From the genius and torment of Charles Darwin to the vast changes that spawned the tree of life, from the role of mass extinctions in the survival of species to the power of sex to drive evolutionary change, Evolution is fascinating and far-reaching in scope. The series also explores the emergence of consciousness, the success of humans, and the perceived conflict between science and religion in understanding human life.
* MY RATING: 8.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Excellent. Best series yet on evolution.

Neanderthals On Trial (PBS/NOVA)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/nova/neanderthals/
* SUMMARY: The film probes the enigma of our Neanderthal cousins and the roots of our own ancestry.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Well done film with great detail.

Missing Link (PBS/NOVA)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/nova/link/
* SUMMARY: A paleontological tour-de-force and suspenseful scientific detective story, the program documents the search for the ancestor of all four-limbed animals, including humans.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Educational program.

Hyperspace (Discovery)
* LINK: http://shopping.discovery.com/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10000&storeId=10000&productId=13420&langId=-1&search=Y&searchKey=1029051633
* SUMMARY: Look up at the night sky. Consider the mysteries it holds. Are we alone? Where did we come from? What's out there? Sam Neill (Jurassic Park III) hosts this three-hour journey to the farthest corners of space and time to explore these mysteries on a tour of the universe.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Some say this is the best series of its kind since the Cosmos series by Carl Sagan.

Triumph Of Life (PBS/Nature)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/nature/triumphoflife/
* SUMMARY: Despite overwhelming obstacles, life on Earth has evolved from the most humble of beginnings to a level of diversity that challenges human comprehension. The fittest have indeed survived -- even in places where no living creatures could be thought to exist. NATURE's six-part series TRIUMPH OF LIFE presents the remarkable story of evolution and its survivors.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Great series.

History of God (History Channel)
* LINK: http://store.aetv.com/html/catalog/s03.jhtml?search=History of%20God
* SUMMARY: Based on Karen Armstrong's acclaimed book, this feature-length film guides viewers along one of humanity's most elusive quests.
* MY RATING: 6.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Shows how myth and religion evolve throughout time.

Shape of Life (PBS)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/shapeoflife/
* SUMMARY: A revolutionary eight-part television series that reveals the dramatic rise of the animal kingdom through the breakthroughs of scientific discovery.
* MY RATING: 9/10
* MY COMMENTS: A must see for anyone interested in the rise of animals in evolution.

Scientific Frontiers (PBS)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/saf/
* SUMMARY: A wonderful program that continues to present scientifically accurate shows year after year.
* MY RATING: Of the various shows I have seen, they have been between 7/10 and 9/10.
* MY COMMENTS: On the "Scientific American Frontiers" website you can watch streaming video of, or read transcripts, for just about every "Scientific American Frontiers" program that has been archived. The programs are available to view in streaming windows media format. Each one is around 50 minutes long. ( http://www.pbs.org/saf/previous.htm )
The 3 programs I recommend the most are:
Episode 1210 - "A Different Way To Heal" - Debunks acupuncture, chiropractic, therapeutic touch, etc.
Episode 802 - "Beyond Science" - They discuss and debunk psuedo-science topics like: Miracle healing, dowsing, palm reading, Roswell, etc.
Episode 501 - "Life's Big Questions" - How did the Universe begin? How did the Earth get animals? Are we alone? (An interview with Carl Sagan too.)

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]

DVF
Skeptic Friend

USA
96 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  10:00:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send DVF a Private Message
quote:
Frailty (2002)(Available on DVD - September 17, 2002)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0264616
* PLOT: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons."
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: "Frailty" shows the danger that fanatic religious zealots can have


Um, in "Frailty" the religious nut who went around murdering people was vindicated at the end. The twist on the plot was that he really was doing gods work as revealed to him by devine revelation, and the rational brother who thought the father had just gone nuts and started killing people really was evil.

I generally don't mind religios themes in movies, as i think fiction is where they belong, but Frailty gets a "Completely fucked up" rating in my book.

"Know what, if you were in a building, and it was on fire, I'd rescue you."
- My Son 3/5/2002
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  10:29:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
quote:

quote:
Frailty (2002)(Available on DVD - September 17, 2002)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0264616
* PLOT: A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons."
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: "Frailty" shows the danger that fanatic religious zealots can have


Um, in "Frailty" the religious nut who went around murdering people was vindicated at the end. The twist on the plot was that he really was doing gods work as revealed to him by devine revelation, and the rational brother who thought the father had just gone nuts and started killing people really was evil.

I generally don't mind religios themes in movies, as i think fiction is where they belong, but Frailty gets a "Completely fucked up" rating in my book.

"Know what, if you were in a building, and it was on fire, I'd rescue you."
- My Son 3/5/2002



I agree the ending is pretty bad. It was like dark humor up until that point. It is still up to the viewer to really decide if they were just insane or having a devine revelation. The movie should just have had less evidence pointing toward the supernatural explanation. The movie could have been a great lesson about the dangers of fanaticism, but instead just confuses and angers some viewers.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]
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Snake
SFN Addict

USA
2511 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  11:13:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Snake's Homepage  Send Snake an ICQ Message  Send Snake a Yahoo! Message Send Snake a Private Message
quote:

I suggested some videos to add to the Freethought Video Store section of the Internet Infidels website recently:

I've never heard of most of those and not seen any. From the advertizing I didn't think I'd want to see 'Chocolat'. But thanks for the recomndations on all and I'll check into watching that one too.
The only one of that list that I actually have seen is 'Inherit the Wind' but the Spencer Tracy version. It was a long time ago and I was too young to understand everything but I think it was a good movie.
I'm so sick of hearing about movies that 'promote' god fearing characters. I was thinking of seeing 'Signs'(because it looked like a Sci-fi picture), that new movie that has been advertized on TV but just yesterday I heard a review that the leading character has some religious type conversion at the end so that kind of turned me off of wanting to see it.

----------------
*Carabao forever

*SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SECESSION - YES

*All lives are movie settings, it's what channel you're on that counts. Zatikia

*Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
Homer Jaye S.
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  11:55:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
quote:

I'm so sick of hearing about movies that 'promote' god fearing characters. I was thinking of seeing 'Signs'(because it looked like a Sci-fi picture), that new movie that has been advertized on TV but just yesterday I heard a review that the leading character has some religious type conversion at the end so that kind of turned me off of wanting to see it.



I saw "Signs", and it was OK. If you can turn off any active thinking you may be able to enjoy it.

All the elements of the sit-around-the-campfire type scary story are there, but any real analyzing of the movie reveals plot holes and unrealistic situations.

Here is what Michael Shermer had to say about "Signs". (*** CONTAINS SPOILERS ***)

quote:

SIGNS AND CIRCLES

I just saw the new M. Night Shyamalan film "Signs," starring Mel Gibson,
about crop circles. Over the past two weeks I did a couple of dozen
interviews about crop circles--stimulated by the film's forthcoming
release and mega-Hollywood hype--and thought I should see what all the
fuss is about. Although the film was nicely produced and crafted in such
a way as to generate a few jump-out-of-your-seat scary moments, I was
generally disappointed. Not because the circles were portrayed as being
made by aliens, but because they really missed a great opportunity to
explore some interesting questions about how mysteries are dealt with,
what various believers and skeptics think about such mysteries, etc.
Sagan did a very fair treatment in Contact (both the film and the
novel), giving enough latitude with believers to lead Sagan biographer
Keay Davidson to call Contact the most religious science fiction novel
ever written (or, at lease written by a nonbeliever). In Contact both
believers' and skeptics' voices were fairly represented.

Signs was a big bust on this front. Crop circle believers fully admit
that most of the crop designs are human made as hoaxes and copy-cat
fakes. Like the serious UFOlogists who admit that 90 to 95 percent of
all sightings are fully explicable by natural phenomena, they construct
an entirely new world view based on the unexplained 5 to 10 percent.
These residual data are no problem for science because we know that no
theory can explain everything. (My analogy is that the L.A.P.D. can
solve, say, 90 percent of annual homicides. Are we to assume that the
other 10 percent have supernatural or paranormal causes? No, of course
not, because we all understand that the police cannot solve all murder
mysteries.) So why not show some crop circles being cleverly made by
people, but then leave a few to be contemplated by the audience as
possibly alien made (or, as some crop circle advocates speculate, as the
products of mysterious natural forces or extra-dimensional beings, or
whatever)?

Instead, Gibson's character, who lost his faith in God after the death
of his wife, finds his faith by the end of the film. But there is no
reason why he should have recovered his faith from what was presented.
So aliens made the crop circles. Are the aliens God or God-like (ala
"Shermer's Last Law": "any sufficiently advanced extra-terrestrial
intelligence is indistinguishable from God")? That is certainly not the
conclusion from this film. Does any paranormal or supernatural mystery
imply that there is a God? That doesn't seem to follow from the film
either. Maybe I missed something, but I just don't see the connection
between crop circles and religious faith (other than the obvious one
that believing the former has an extra-terrestrial or paranormal cause
requires a leap of faith tantamount to that of religious fait h).

I recommend waiting until the video is released, or maybe not even
bothering at all. Too bad. Another missed opportunity to educate the
public about how to think about weird things.


"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  12:04:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Thanks for doing that.

"Not one human life should be expended in this reckless violence called a war against terrorism." - Howard Zinn
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Lars_H
SFN Regular

Germany
630 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  12:28:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lars_H a Private Message
Interesting list. I only know half of the movies, but I will keep an eye open in case I ever come across one of them.

I kind of missed 'Contact' in the list. In my opinon the movie was one of the best treatment of the subject in a mains stream Hollwood movie.

And if you are going to include Matrix, you might as well include other Dickian style movies like Bladerunner. But I have to admit, that I am a bit vary of these type of Movies with a question reality moral, because some people take them to literal and really start seeing conspiracyies and deeper truths everywhere.

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James
SFN Regular

USA
754 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  12:57:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send James a Yahoo! Message Send James a Private Message
quote:
I am posting my list of the following videos I submited to II website for your enjoyment. When possible I have tried to include a brief plot summary, IMDB link, my rating, and my comments.

Enjoy.

--DRAMA--

Chocolat (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0241303
* PLOT: A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid religiosity of the community.
* MY RATING: 7.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Shows intolerance and hate that can come from strict religious dogma. Shows atheists in a compassionate light.


Thanks, Dimossi. I had seen the advertising for Chocolat and had heard some favorable reviews. I'll have to look for it.

quote:
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0171804
* PLOT: The story of the life of Teena Brandon, a transgender youth who preferred life in her male identity as Brandon Teena.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Freethinkers who are interested about the dangers of hate and intolerance should find this film engaging.


I had heard about this, as well. Again, I'll have to look for it.

quote:
Vanilla Sky (2001)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0259711
* PLOT: A successful publisher finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident with a jaded lover.
* MY RATING: 8.5/10
* MY COMMENTS: Without spoiling the movie let's just say the film deals with subjects that should be of interest to freethinkers.


Didn't really want to see it when it was in the theaters last year. I might look for it.

quote:
--COMEDY--

Road to Wellville (1994)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0111001
* PLOT: A story about the ins and outs of one unusual health facility in the early 20th century, run by the eccentric Dr. Kellogg.
* MY RATING: (not viewed yet)
* MY COMMENTS: (not viewed yet) Friends who saw it says the movie pokes fun at "New Age" medical quackery.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0190590
* PLOT: Three stumblebum convicts escape to go on a quest for treasure and meet various characters while learning where their real fortune lies.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Fun movie.


I'll have to look for these two as well. Your reviews do much better justice to them than their ads did.

quote:
South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0158983
* PLOT: When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance & Phillip, they are pronounced "corrupted", and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Constantly poking fun at religion as usual.


Seen it. If you've seen every episode of the series, you've basically seen this. Although, seeing Saddam Hussein as Satan's SO really explains a lot.

quote:
Detroit Rock City (1999)
* IMDB: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0165710
* PLOT: A comedy about four teenagers in 1978 who try to scam their way into a KISS concert.
* MY RATING: 7/10
* MY COMMENTS: Surprisingly funny story that has parts that show the fear that some Christian parents have of rock'n'roll.


I had seen ads for it. Again, I just might go looking for it.

quote:
Scientific Frontiers (PBS)
* LINK: http://www.pbs.org/saf/
* SUMMARY: A wonderful program that continues to present scientifically accurate shows year after year.
* MY RATING: Of the various shows I have seen, they have been between 7/10 and 9/10.
* MY COMMENTS: On the "Scientific American Frontiers" website you can watch streaming video of, or read transcripts, for just about every "Scientific American Frontiers" program that has been archived. The programs are available to view in streaming windows media format. Each one is around 50 minutes long. ( http://www.pbs.org/saf/previous.htm )
The 3 programs I recommend the most are:
Episode 1210 - "A Different Way To Heal" - Debunks acupuncture, chiropractic, therapeutic touch, etc.
Episode 802 - "Beyond Science" - They discuss and debunk psuedo-science topics like: Miracle healing, dowsing, palm reading, Roswell, etc.
Episode 501 - "Life's Big Questions" - How did the Universe begin? How did the Earth get animals? Are we alone? (An interview with Carl Sagan too.)


I love that series as well. I have tried to play those videos off their site, but my ad blocker is a pain in the ass with blocking java even when I don't want it blocked.

Again, thanks for the reviews, Dimossi.

________________________
Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life.

Two more years...Two more years...Two more years...Two more years...Two more years...

*whine*
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  13:39:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
Man, I hate these lists compiled by kids who think all the greatest art and literature and films were produced in the last 5 years.



@tomic

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  20:37:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
quote:

Interesting list. I only know half of the movies, but I will keep an eye open in case I ever come across one of them.

I kind of missed 'Contact' in the list. In my opinon the movie was one of the best treatment of the subject in a mains stream Hollwood movie.

And if you are going to include Matrix, you might as well include other Dickian style movies like Bladerunner. But I have to admit, that I am a bit vary of these type of Movies with a question reality moral, because some people take them to literal and really start seeing conspiracyies and deeper truths everywhere.





Thanks. I would have definitely included "Contact", but it was already on the list I was submiting to. ( http://www.infidels.org/infidels/products/video/index.shtml )

Check out that list for many good freethought type movies that I didn't include.

BTW - I hesitated when puting the Matrix on the list. But I wanted to have a few Freethinking action movies and I was finding that I certainly didn't know of many. I guess the Matrix could be shoehorned to fit whatever philosophy you may have.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]

Edited by - dimossi on 08/08/2002 20:42:08
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  20:41:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
A couple other movies suggested for freethinkers in another thread:

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0098032
"Disturbing, thought-provoking story of a lesbian girl raised by religious zealots."

Grey Zone
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0252480
"A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkomando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone."

Anyone seen either of these?


"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  20:49:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
quote:

Man, I hate these lists compiled by kids who think all the greatest art and literature and films were produced in the last 5 years.



LOL. I never said these were the best movies. Only movies that may be of interest to freethinkers because of their freethinking themes, characters, etc. I do admit though that I haven't been really into movies very long (only about the past 5 years....hmmmm that is how long I have been married ). Anyway if you know of older (classic) movies that belong on this list, then by all means list 'em on out.

BTW - At 32 years old I think I am beyond the label of "kid".

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]
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Snake
SFN Addict

USA
2511 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  23:35:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Snake's Homepage  Send Snake an ICQ Message  Send Snake a Yahoo! Message Send Snake a Private Message
quote:

quote:

Man, I hate these lists compiled by kids who think all the greatest art and literature and films were produced in the last 5 years.



LOL. I never said these were the best movies. Only movies that may be of interest to freethinkers because of their freethinking themes, characters, etc. I do admit though that I haven't been really into movies very long (only about the past 5 years....hmmmm that is how long I have been married ). Anyway if you know of older (classic) movies that belong on this list, then by all means list 'em on out.

BTW - At 32 years old I think I am beyond the label of "kid".


LOL, yes @, I was going to say he's over 30, according to the profile.
And yes again, there are so many more better movies from before the 80's, I too wish people would remember them.
Speaking of which, I just bought a copy of Dr. Strangelove.
Haven't watched it yet and it's been years since I last saw it. Looking forward to a re-treat of laughter. How appropriate at this time to see a movie like that what with then news of what Bush is going to do.

----------------
*Carabao forever

*SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SECESSION - YES

*All lives are movie settings, it's what channel you're on that counts. Zatikia

*Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
Homer Jaye S.
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@tomic
Administrator

USA
4607 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2002 :  23:54:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit @tomic's Homepage Send @tomic a Private Message
Whoops, I thought you were cutting and pasting another list

My tastes should be aparant soon enough but I would add:

The Life of Brian
The Loved One

"Connections" for you PBS afficianados

Naked Lunch
Videodrome
Dead Ringers

The classic and odd TV series The Prisoner

Dr Strangelove

Our Man in Havana

Frontline (more from PBS)

Brazil

Well, that's enough off the top of my head.






@tomic

Gravity, not just a good idea...it's the law!
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Mr. Spock
Skeptic Friend

USA
99 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2002 :  05:32:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mr. Spock a Private Message
One of my favorites is Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. I can't imagine that it wouldn't be on the list.

I see that @ mentioned The Prisoner series. I bought the boxed DVD set a few months ago, and loved it (and have been lending it to everyone I trust well enough to give it back). BBC programming is SO much better than what is usually broadcast in the US for a variety of reasons. Some of my favorites include Rowan Atkinson's various shows and those of the Rik Mayall/Ade Edmunson team. (While it is impossible to find in the US, the show "Bottom" is a must-see for anyone who likes raucous and raunchy comedy).

It's funny--I'm 32 as well, and don't recognize hardly any of the films listed. Thanks for the update. (I haven't been a regular moviegoer since the early 90's and remember going to see Last Temptation of Christ, fighting off the picketing fundies while waiting in line). I have been so involved with catching up on all of the cool shit made before 1990 that I have little spare time to see anything new.

Perhaps I'm living in the past (a fact which might be indicated from my appearance. Many people mistake me for a hippie; which is OK, since it is fun to disabuse them--e.g., my name is Mike, not man or dude. I have to admit that I like the long hair, threadbare clothes and heavy metal T-shirts if for no other reason than it pisses off the ever so hip youngsters).

"The amount of noise which anyone can bear stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity." --Schopenhauer
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dimossi
Skeptic Friend

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2002 :  06:33:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit dimossi's Homepage  Send dimossi an AOL message Send dimossi a Private Message
quote:

One of my favorites is Mosquito Coast with Harrison Ford. I can't imagine that it wouldn't be on the list.



Thanks for the tip. I'll have to check that one out.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." [Philip K. Dick, science-fiction author]
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