There were six movies in the running for the Oscars this year that are of interest to me as a geek: The Martian, about life on another planet; Mad Max: Fury Road, about dystopias; Steve Jobs, about one of the greatest geeks ever; Spectre, about secret agents; Ex Machina, about artificial intelligence; and Star Wars Episode VII, for obvious reasons.
Getting an Oscar is a well-recognized sign of your movie’s popularity, which is a well-recognized sign of your movie’s quality. We at the Correlation may have different definitions of quality than the judges of the Oscars.
Mad Max: Fury Road is rated R for intense violence and disturbing images. As Christians we take issue with those things. “I shall set no vile thing before my eyes” – Psalm 101:3. But as geeks, we are predisposed to love this movie for the exact same reasons: awesome action scenes, breathtaking visuals, and a fun dystopian story. Tis a frustrating paradox.
Ex Machina is rated R for nudity, language, sexual references, and the most understated and adorable violence I have ever seen. Nudity and sex are understandable in the story; it’s about a couple of sexually deprived nerds creating life, Adam and Eve style. The story is fun for geeks, and the Genesis parallels could be enticing to Christians. But this movie actually makes a mockery of God.
I would say Star Wars Episode VII is the best movie on this list, for both geeks and Christians. It is an expansion of one of the greatest narrative mythologies in history, and it is really, really good. It also involves faith in a higher power, good defeating evil, a weapon more powerful than a double-edged sword, and a cross.
And so the Correlation Award for Best Geeky Yet Christian-Compatible Movie goes to… Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
If this blog is still around next year, maybe we’ll do this again. (Hint: that’s your cue to spread the word so we have motivation to keep going until next year.)