Maybe it makes me a wuss, but I don’t care. I just have no interest in seeing violent films. Even though I host a blog about Mesoamerica and the Maya world, for example, I still haven’t seen Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. In the New York Times, I read — in a generally positive (!) review by A. O. Scott — that the new Rambo “is, for most of its fairly brief running time, a blood bath puctuated by occasional bouts of clumsy dialogue. There are beheadings, mutilations, disembowlings …” and I just lose any faint interest I might have had in seeing the movie.
Look, I live in Richmond, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I work in the Tenderloin in the city. Those are a couple of the more violent places in the world where war hasn’t actually been declared. At present Richmond is the third most dangerous in California and the eleventh most dangerous nationally. As for the Tenderloin, according to Wikipedia,
Seven of the top ten violent crime plots (out of 665 in the entire city as measured by the San Francisco Police Department) are adjacent plots in the Tenderloin and Sixth and Market area…. The area has been the scene of escalating drug violence in 2007, including brazen daylight shootings, as local gangs from San Francisco, and others from around the Bay Area battle for turf.
Why would I want to go to the movies to see violence when it’s around me every day? I believe the last few years have been among the bloodiest in the history of the cinema. It’s getting so there’s nothing I can watch anymore.
Until some nice European sex comedy comes out, I guess I’ll just go read a book — for whatever reason, I don’t mind reading about violence as much as actually watching it (or the increasingly convincing semblance of it that movies are serving up).