"Almost too tasteless for words"
April 23, 2015 10:36 AM   Subscribe

The signature image in Little Boy, a colossal miscalculation in audience uplift, is of the title character stretching out his arms, scrunching up his face, and groaning with intense concentration. Small for his age, hence the nickname, 7-year-old Pepper Flint Busbee (Jakob Salvati) performs this ritual several times throughout the film, always when attempting to move an object with the sheer power of his belief. More often than not, it actually works: Onstage, during a magic show, he appears to slide a glass bottle across a table, Jedi-style. Later, in a far grander display of his apparent gifts, he wows a crowd of skeptics by seemingly creating an earthquake while trying to nudge a mountain. What Pepper really wants, though, is to bring his father back from the war. And so he stands on a dock and points his hands in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, defying the setting sun, focusing all his desire on one point in the distance, until…
Little Boy: The Film That Goes There posted by Iridic (197 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. I've seen the trailer for this, and thought it was just some lame "faith-based" heartwarming drama. But this...wow.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:41 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Life is too short for me to organize a hate-Meetup to watch this, but so very, very tempted.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:41 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


As I was reading the AV Club review, it slowly dawned on me.

Little . . . Boy . . .

Little . . . Boy

Little Boy

Wait. . . LITTLE BOY???
posted by Think_Long at 10:42 AM on April 23, 2015 [35 favorites]


What in the actual fuck?

Wow, hardline Christians are messed up.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


There are kilotons of things wrong with this movie, so it feels silly focusing on this, but, like, the little boy's nickname is Little Boy? What the hell kind of a nickname is that? What, was there already another kid in his class they called Nondescript Human?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:44 AM on April 23, 2015 [36 favorites]


Please, please let the soundtrack be titled "Human Music".
posted by Slackermagee at 10:46 AM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


There are kilotons of things wrong wit his movie

I see what you did there
posted by Think_Long at 10:46 AM on April 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Maybe there is an adult called Fat Man?
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2015 [36 favorites]


Holy shit, seriously?
posted by Lyn Never at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a very useful nickname when his neighbor "Fat Man" also wishes for the war to be over.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:47 AM on April 23, 2015


Wow, so it's kind of like the opposite of Field of Dreams?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


the title character stretching out his arms, scrunching up his face, and groaning with intense concentration.

...oh, so he... craps his pants?
[reads on]
Oh. Yeah. That's worse, much worse.
posted by naju at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2015 [42 favorites]


I guess I'm not surprised somebody had this idea, or even made a script of it, but who in God's name funds such a thing? How did this even get made??

I suppose that's what makes a trainwreck a trainwreck; all the normal fail-safes, the times when someone, anyone, should have said "Wait a minute, this is a bad idea." are bypassed. Or ignored.

*Googles*

Oh my god, Kevin James is in it. I guess he had to do something besides Paul Blart movies.
posted by emjaybee at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Arrgh, I'd wish destruction on you, Artw, but terrified of what I might unleash.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:48 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Right now I'm raising my arms, grunting and straining, toward the How Did This Get Made podcast crew.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:52 AM on April 23, 2015 [27 favorites]


They already named the sequel, it's The Bockscar Children.
posted by milk white peacock at 10:53 AM on April 23, 2015 [39 favorites]


Wait, is it... does the kid cause the explosion, or does the bomb? Does the film posit that there was no actual nuclear weapon in Hiroshima, just a child's pyrokinesis?
posted by Greg Nog at 10:53 AM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


"...making this a film that believes in a God that would vaporize countless people to demonstrate the power of belief to one spunky kid. That’s kind of sick, isn’t it?"

How come this plot line sounds familiar? Oh, wait, KJV.

Who layith with dogs riseth with fleas. I guess I'll just wait for the Rapture to straighten things out.
posted by mule98J at 10:53 AM on April 23, 2015


Maybe this is that Akira remake Hollywood has been threatening all this time?
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on April 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


Honestly, this is how Firestarter should have ended.
posted by maxsparber at 10:56 AM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


They already named the sequel, it's The Bockscar Children.

*slow clap*
posted by naju at 10:56 AM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe there is an adult called Fat Man?

That would be Sydney Greenstreet,,,
posted by jim in austin at 10:57 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


An impressive 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, though beaten out by the 2% rating of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

Rex Reed is the only critic with a fresh rating for Little Boy... which is not surprising.
posted by Jahaza at 10:58 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's an elaborate troll on fundamentalist belief in the power of prayer? Reminds me a little of "The Rapture", which was awesome.
posted by fungible at 11:00 AM on April 23, 2015


TOMATOMETER: 7%
Average Rating: 4/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 1
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Want to See: 88% want to see
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 2,672

♫ Springtime... ♫
posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 AM on April 23, 2015 [13 favorites]


He's a witch! Burn him!
posted by ckape at 11:01 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


So it's like if The Secret was weaponized.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


Not a good Rotten Tomatoes week for Kevin James then I guess.

Sometimes I wonder if someone has secretly found a way to monetize Internet befuddlement at something's existence and creates things like this and reaps rewards.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:04 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to me that displays of this kind of power are usually relegated to being in league with Satan or exercising witchcraft or some other damnable offense during most of Christian history, either through witch trials or fiction or whatever.

We've now reached that place where the New Age "think it and it will become" bullshit has merged fully with "pray for it in my Father's name and it will be granted" mysticism to the point where this movie gets made. "Whatever you have faith in, Jesus' father will grant you."

I'm even a hippie with more than a bit of magical thinking in my psyche and reading about this makes me want to get a feed bag to strap on my face so I won't have to be leaning over a toilet to catch all the vomit.
posted by hippybear at 11:04 AM on April 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


My first thought was that maybe there'd be some Monkey's Paw action where the kid brings his dad back as a zombie. I guess not. For some reason nobody ever asks me how these things should end.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 11:06 AM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

Snarky and bitter Mark Twain is best Mark Twain
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:06 AM on April 23, 2015 [110 favorites]


Wait, is it... does the kid cause the explosion, or does the bomb? Does the film posit that there was no actual nuclear weapon in Hiroshima, just a child's pyrokinesis?

Hard to tell, but apparently the film implies some kind of cause and effect. Maybe God retroactively created the Manhattan Project at Little Boy's bidding.
posted by Iridic at 11:07 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


This looked like a horrible movie to begin with, but honestly, I really kind of want to watch it now, just for the sheer horror of it all. I mean...I mean...I mean...

There are Professional Movie Making People who Made THIS MOVIE.

I shall never write another script again.
posted by xingcat at 11:09 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm not surprised somebody had this idea, or even made a script of it, but who in God's name funds such a thing? How did this even get made??

My initial answer was going to be "It is currently the year 1946," but then I realized that was incorrect. So... yeah, no idea who thought this would be an acceptable thing to release in 2015.
posted by rabbitroom at 11:10 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Holy shit. I saw the trailers and thought it looked terrible, but I had no idea just how terrible. I think Remember Me might still beat it for most out there offensive/non-sensical ending though, because at least in this one they're already in the context of World War II. The end of Remember Me just comes out of absolutely nowhere.
posted by kmz at 11:10 AM on April 23, 2015


That poster: is the 'B' in the title upside down? (It certainly isn't kerned well with the 'O' next to it.)
posted by nushustu at 11:11 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


why is Emily Watson in this crap
posted by angrycat at 11:13 AM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


In the sequel, many years later, Little Boy's grandson Nicholas "Ninny" Leaven desperately wants his father to come home early from his job in Lower Manhattan so they can play catch...
posted by Behemoth at 11:14 AM on April 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


is the 'B' in the title upside down?

Someone dropped a bomb on it.
posted by Eyebeams at 11:14 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's interesting to me that displays of this kind of power are usually relegated to being in league with Satan or exercising witchcraft or some other damnable offense during most of Christian history, either through witch trials or fiction or whatever.

Ooh!

Pitch (and, in all honesty, this is a serious pitch I am making right here, free for the taking): Think Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie, but instead of a magically doting wife going around solving-slash-causing all the problems, it's God. We could call it Our Father the Car. Oh, and He's a '78 Cutlass.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:15 AM on April 23, 2015 [19 favorites]


Wait, is it... does the kid cause the explosion, or does the bomb? Does the film posit that there was no actual nuclear weapon in Hiroshima, just a child's pyrokinesis?

Are the filmmakers not aware that there were two atom bombs dropped on Japan? Does the kid have to pull off the squint-and-grunt trick twice, three days apart?

Is my mistake thinking about the film's absurdity at all?
posted by Gelatin at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


The E has the same low midline as the B, presumably as a stylistic reference to the comparatively small size of a gun-type uranium fission device.
posted by ckape at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


That poster: is the 'B' in the title upside down? (It certainly isn't kerned well with the 'O' next to it.)

Top-heaviness is a common theme in a lot of Art Deco typefaces. (See also the E.)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:17 AM on April 23, 2015


why is Emily Watson in this crap

This immediately made me think of "Breaking the Waves" and then wonder what this film would have been like if Lars Von Trier directed it.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:17 AM on April 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


Think Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie, but instead of a magically doting wife going around solving-slash-causing all the problems, it's God.

God to be played by Jeffrey Tambor. "I may have committed a little light ... genocide."
posted by sobarel at 11:18 AM on April 23, 2015 [33 favorites]


Maybe God retroactively created the Manhattan Project at Little Boy's bidding.

Science is the foolish daydream of unbelievers - all nuclear explosions are caused by praying kids, the nonfunctional bombs have just happened to be nearby.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


next up: a film about a bunch of jewish mathletes losing the state competition to a central european nation crack team of nattily-attired blond kids

The Final Solution, brought to you by Mel Gibson
posted by poffin boffin at 11:20 AM on April 23, 2015 [29 favorites]


i mean really what the fuck
posted by poffin boffin at 11:21 AM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


why is Emily Watson in this crap

probably because she cries well on cue.
posted by philip-random at 11:21 AM on April 23, 2015


Does the kid have to pull off the squint-and-grunt trick twice, three days apart?

No, that was just Jesus showing off again.
posted by bonehead at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


why is Emily Watson in this crap

To say nothing of Tom Wilkinson and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa!
posted by Gelatin at 11:22 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


So it's like if The Secret was weaponized.

I just saw The Secret for the first time a couple of days ago. This sounds more like some Fundies saw The Secret, recognized its roots in pagan magic practice, and decided they had to compete. And besides, it's been a few millennia since God flexed his fireballs and vaporized a couple of cities.
posted by localroger at 11:23 AM on April 23, 2015


Wait, is it... does the kid cause the explosion, or does the bomb? Does the film posit that there was no actual nuclear weapon in Hiroshima, just a child's pyrokinesis?

The Manhattan Project and atomic bomb story was created as a cover by the government to suppress the truth. There are no atomic bombs and never were.

After the incident the child was captured by the government and taken for experimentation. All of the "bomb tests" of the Cold War were either a result of experiments on the boy, or partially successful attempts to replicate his power in others. The Soviets did successfully steal the secrets of America's destructive power, but they weren't nuclear: they were able to partially replicate the boy's power in children of their own.

The power ultimately proved too difficult to reliably control and so the project was shut down in the early 90s, but what remains of the boy is kept in storage deep beneath several sites in the American West and Southwest, and in Soviet sites in the former USSR.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:23 AM on April 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


Science is the foolish daydream of unbelievers - all nuclear explosions are caused by praying kids, the nonfunctional bombs have just happened to be nearby.

What about the kid whose father was on the USS Indianapolis, which delivered the components of said "nonfunctional" bomb?
posted by Gelatin at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2015


If you hate this, don't watch their next movie Nancy King: Nan's wrath.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


a film that believes in a God that would vaporize countless people to demonstrate the power of belief to one spunky kid. That’s kind of sick, isn’t it?

Yeah but have you read the Old Testament? God is a total dick.
posted by Hoopo at 11:25 AM on April 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


And so he stands on a dock and points his hands in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, defying the setting sun, focusing all his desire on one point in the distance, until…

For maximum effect, I hope the filmmakers thought to include a similarly composed shot of a small Japanese boy standing with arms extended in a field somewhere in Hiroshima, praying to Buddha or the Sun or a monkey or whatever, just a split second before the big climactic explosion. And then the audience will be all, "Aww. Sorry, Japanese kid. But them's the breaks when you put your faith in a false god."
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:26 AM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


What about the kid whose father was on the USS Indianapolis, which delivered the components of said "nonfunctional" bomb?

Should have fathered a kid with God-based telekinesis if he wanted to come home so that's kind of on him really.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:26 AM on April 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


The Soviets did successfully steal the secrets of America's destructive power, but they weren't nuclear: they were able to partially replicate the boy's power in children of their own.

Not the godless Commies!

The power ultimately proved too difficult to reliably control and so the project was shut down in the early 90s, but what remains of the boy is kept in storage deep beneath several sites in the American West and Southwest, and in Soviet sites in the former USSR.

Wait, I've seen that movie...
posted by Gelatin at 11:27 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Rex Reed is the only critic with a fresh rating for Little Boy... which is not surprising.

Seriously. How does that man still have a job? In fact, considering how old I thought he was when I used to see him on TV way back in the 70s, how is that man still alive?
posted by dnash at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


For maximum lulz, pleeeeeeease tell me Michael Rappaport adopts the same accent he used in Justified.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wait, I've seen that movie...

i was sure that was going to be a link to Rocky IV
posted by poffin boffin at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I didn't know any better, I would say this is some sort of Hollywood response to the glut of semi-successful Christian films that have been released in the past year or so. Someone could have gotten it into their head to release a film that looks like all those other faith-based films, only to put on a twisted, fucked up ending so that audiences would turn away from the entire genre in disgust.

Should this movie end up creating a large cultural backlash, I'll expect this theory to be a talking point on FOX News soon after.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:30 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The idea of doing a feel-good version of the Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life" (from the Jerome Bixby story) is so stunningly perverse that it just might be worth putting together a meetup/hatewatch for it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:35 AM on April 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


is the 'B' in the title upside down?

Someone dropped a bomb on it.


Someone prayed us up the bomb.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:36 AM on April 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


BTW this is competing with the latest Adam Sandler project for most awful thing I've heard about all day.
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on April 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


My first thought was that maybe there'd be some Monkey's Paw action where the kid brings his dad back as a zombie..

Me too! That would still have probably been a terrible movie. But a better terrible movie.
posted by emjaybee at 11:40 AM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


How did this get made? Variety knows.

It's Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, along with a bunch of Mexicans who have experience with telenovelas — which is the only thing I can see that explains why they thought they could get away with something so absurd.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:40 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is a comment on the logic behind the use of the atomic bomb in WWII, with the boy's wishful thinking for the war to be over clouding his judgement, providing a parallel with the war fatigue felt by the Allies when considering the invasion of Japan?

Mebbe not.
posted by Thing at 11:41 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My (Southern Baptist) fundamentalist Christian mother once told me that God routinely sends plagues upon Africans (and starves them to death) because of their widespread immorality.

I have little doubt that most people in the Bible Belt believe that the atomic bombing of Japan was some kind of divine providence.

It's been 2500+ years since Plato and nobody has yet to figure out how you can reconcile an omnipotent deity with anything approaching a recognizable morality. A god who is truly in control of everything would be totally unrecognizable to humans as anything other that a genocidal monster.

Of course, this suits many religions just fine.
posted by Avenger at 11:42 AM on April 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


I've always been of the opinion that an interventionist god is a monstrous god, and stuff like this just confirms it. What a horrorshow.
posted by yasaman at 11:42 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


ArtW are you referring to all the Native actors walking off the Sandler set?

I wish the entire cast had done that to this movie.
posted by emjaybee at 11:43 AM on April 23, 2015 [18 favorites]


emjaybee: "
Me too! That would still have probably been a terrible movie. But a better terrible movie.
"

I was expecting a collection of kinetically impelled viscera and bone shards traveling at supersonic speeds, massacring all who got in their way, shattering buildings and sinking ships. Somehow, the slomo horrorshow that exists in my mind is more tasteful and I don't know how that could be.
posted by boo_radley at 11:43 AM on April 23, 2015


I believe the followup to this type of film began shortly after initial casting and was called Clean Green, featuring No Longer Grimy George Washington, with Bleached Ben Franklin and Once Again Honest Abe Lincoln with a special appearance by Alright Now Alexander Hamilton.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:44 AM on April 23, 2015


Artw, Pixels? You have to be specific, picking out the worst Sandler project is like finding a chocolate bar rolled in corn kernels from within a turd-stack.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:44 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Artw: "Maybe there is an adult called Fat Man?"

Like his Dad? "Pepper and his beloved pop (a pudgy Michael Rapaport, playing one of those idealized movie dads who’s really a kid at heart) disappear into elaborate playtime adventures"
posted by boo_radley at 11:46 AM on April 23, 2015


Emjaybee has it.
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


A god who is truly in control of everything would be totally unrecognizable to humans as anything other that a genocidal monster.

But, still worth asking of He can help you win that football game.
posted by sobarel at 11:50 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Of course she does, I wish I'd hit preview again, but I hadn't even heard of that one. Makes my comment seem not strong enough.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:50 AM on April 23, 2015


ArtW are you referring to all the Native actors walking off the Sandler set?

Wow, did Sandler somehow think the one thing that sunk A Million Ways to Die in the West was a considerably more insensitive and insulting portrayal of Native Americans? And/or its lack of Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice?
posted by rabbitroom at 11:51 AM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think it's cute that they named the bomb after the kid who got God to make it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:52 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mental Wimp: "I think it's cute that they named the bomb after the kid who got God to make it."

the kid sent god to the cornfield after too
posted by boo_radley at 11:54 AM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


After the incident the child was captured by the government and taken for experimentation.

It is very hard to find a Black Sky!
posted by maxsparber at 11:54 AM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


From this Variety review:

"But the boy soon receives a consoling lesson in the power of belief ... from the kindly village priest, Father Oliver (Tom Wilkinson), who gives Pepper a list of the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy (“feed the hungry,” “shelter the homeless,” “visit the sick,” etc.) and tells him that if he fulfills it, the Lord may well be sufficiently moved by Pepper’s faith to bring his father home."


Guess what the final Corporal Work of Mercy is? Right: Bury the Dead.

Holy crap.
posted by Eyebeams at 11:55 AM on April 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Holy crap.

This should be the tagline on the poster.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:58 AM on April 23, 2015 [33 favorites]


Wow, did Sandler somehow think the one thing that sunk A Million Ways to Die in the West was a considerably more insensitive and insulting portrayal of Native Americans? And/or lack of Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice?

I'm pretty sure there was exactly zero Sandler involvement or content in A Million Ways To Die In The West.
posted by hippybear at 11:58 AM on April 23, 2015


I hear this movie... is a real bomb! Literally and figuratively. Do not go to the theatres. Do not leave your homes. Do not hope.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 11:59 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


ArtW are you referring to all the Native actors walking off the Sandler set?

I wish the entire cast had done that to this movie.


I wish the entire cast had walked off the set of every Adam Sandler movie ... except maybe Punch Drunk Love. In fact, if I was a little kid who could influence God, that's probably what I'd work on. How could the world not be improved?
posted by philip-random at 12:00 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


The top-heavy B in the poster has a weird, probably unintentional historical resonance.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


God clearly works in mysterious ways. When He isn't busy vaporizing a few hundred thousand Japanese people on request from a creepy Christian kid who squints a lot, He answers prayers from dummies and crooks like Tim Tebow and George W. Bush.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:05 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's been 2500+ years since Plato and nobody has yet to figure out how you can reconcile an omnipotent deity with anything approaching a recognizable morality.

Well, sure they have. It's not like a ton of bright people haven't thought about it. There's more than one way to go about it, but the usual conclusion is that a world where God uses his power to stop all evil or harmful decisions would be an intolerable tyranny, with no chance for humans to grow, develop and learn. If every time you tried to push the accelerator past 55 MPH a divine hand blocked you, or every time you tried to say something hurtful the words got stuck in your throat, you'd probably spend a lot of time thinking about what an unfair dictatorial nut job God was, assuming he allowed you to think that thought. Instead, you get intellect and free will and rant about what a dumb idea it is that someone could believe in a powerful God with all this evil going on around us all the time. It's certainly plausible that if there were a God, the consequences of him ending all evil would be worse than the consequences of him allowing it. I rather enjoy my free will (or the illusion thereof--I see you piping up in the back, philosophy majors!) and I'm reasonably content with how things are working out. For people who happen to be Christian, they believe that God literally came to earth to identify with the oppressed, show people how to live better, and set in motion the ultimate redemption of all things, so it's not like he's twiddling his celestial thumbs. Something's in motion.

You obviously don't have to believe it, and you might still think it's super dumb, but it isn't like there's no way to hold the idea of a powerful God and note the existence of evil without your head exploding. It's not all that different from the deep philosophical conundrum of "If my mom really loves me, why did she let me drive to the mall, knowing I might speed and then waste my money on dumb stuff? I just can't reconcile the notions of a powerful, loving mother with the dumb things my siblings and I keep doing!" Letting you drive to mall and be dumb is a better option than chaining you in the basement, tempting as that might be sometimes.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:07 PM on April 23, 2015 [23 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there was exactly zero Sandler involvement or content in A Million Ways To Die In The West.

There wasn't, but the movie Sandler is currently making from which the Native American actors walked is "a spoof of The Magnificent Seven and... will star Adam Sandler, Nick Nolte, Steve Buscemi, Dan Aykroyd, Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice."

If A Million Ways to Die in the West's failure didn't kill the "Western Comedy," it looks like nothing will.
posted by rabbitroom at 12:09 PM on April 23, 2015


Holy crap.

You see, this is the importance of framing. Tell me this movie is about a little boy who successfully implores God to wipe out a city and I'm sickened. But tell me it's about a little boy who shits atom bombs and I'm there.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:12 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


it isn't like there's no way to hold the idea of a powerful God and note the existence of evil without your head exploding.

What comes closer to making my head explode is the fact that this movie's climactic event, strongly implied to result from God's rewarding the child's good work, is the incineration of a city and its population, an arguably evil act that the film expects its audience to celebrate.
posted by Gelatin at 12:15 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hard to tell, but apparently the film implies some kind of cause and effect.

I'm going to have to watch this arent i

btw it's supposed to rain in St Louis on Saturday so if anyone wants to live-blog this together that might be a good time
posted by Greg Nog at 12:15 PM on April 23, 2015


The God I believe in isn't short of cash doesn't bomb the shit out of people, mister.

My apologies to Bono.
posted by tommasz at 12:16 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


the uncomplicated soups of my childhood: "I hear this movie... is a real bomb! Literally and figuratively. Do not go to the theatres. Do not leave your homes. Do not hope."

"If you are caught outdoors in a sudden showing of Little Boy, a hat will give you at least some protection from the event"
posted by boo_radley at 12:20 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there was exactly zero Sandler involvement or content in A Million Ways To Die In The West.

the comparison is because AMWTDITW is a western-old-timey "comedy" that is grotesque and unfunny because of the involvement of a grotesque and unfunny white guy who thinks he's god's gift to comedy.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:21 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I can't imagine even bit torrenting this madness.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:26 PM on April 23, 2015


What about the kid whose father was on the USS Indianapolis, which delivered the components of said "nonfunctional" bomb?


Another thing about a magical little boy is that it has got lifeless eyes, black eyes. Like a doll's eyes.
posted by delfin at 12:27 PM on April 23, 2015 [15 favorites]


Pater Aletheias - that's maybe an answer to why a God might allow humans the freedom to make horrible decisions (but not, while we're at it, as to why He might have created us with such a lack of intelligence and so many dreadful instincts and urges to start with...), but I think Avenger was getting at the old (but good) question of how to reconcile a benevolent omnipotent deity with evils that happen without any human agency.

If today was a typical day then around 1500 to 2000 people will have died on this planet from malaria, the majority of them small children. No one has been morally improved or learned a lesson from those deaths. No person's liberty would be infringed if God cured those people, or never created malaria in the first place.
posted by sobarel at 12:29 PM on April 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


I just started watching Fringe and this movie sounds like a bad episode of Fringe.
posted by pibeandres at 12:29 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't imagine even bit torrenting this madness.

OKAY BUT WHAT IF you seeded a torrent with this film's name and maybe the first 10-15 minutes of it and then it turns into ghostbusters 2
posted by poffin boffin at 12:32 PM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


but I think Avenger was getting at the old (but good) question of how to reconcile a benevolent omnipotent deity with evils that happen without any human agency.

You guys are probably pretty close to solving this one in this thread though
posted by Greg Nog at 12:33 PM on April 23, 2015 [38 favorites]


and then it turns into ghostbusters 2

You truly are the king of kings!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


the movie so bad it required an explication of the Irenaean theodicy
posted by theodolite at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [25 favorites]


Ok but if any of you go to the theater to hatewatch this, buy a ticket for a different, less-horrible movie and sneak into this one. Don't give them your money, it only encourages them.
posted by emjaybee at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


The closing credit music should be Shellac's Prayer to God.

There are two people here, and I want you to kill them.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


If a Metafilter thread about a crappy movie isn't the place to culminate millennia of human thought about the divine then I don't know where is.
posted by sobarel at 12:37 PM on April 23, 2015 [31 favorites]


The God I believe in isn't short of cash doesn't bomb the shit out of people, mister.

He does, but conveniently all eyewitnesses are turned into pillars of salt. Just you try blabbing now, salty!

(He also has a thing for drowning jillions of people at a time. But, oh, be sure and spare a mating pair of plague gerbils! They'll come in handy later.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:38 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


The closing credit music should be Shellac's Prayer to God.

I've gotten the second half of that song stuck in my head pretty much every time I read the news over the last few years.
posted by rabbitroom at 12:42 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


sobarel,

What Pater Aletheias was saying is that the discussion of the Problem of Evil is a very, very old one with an enormous amount of thought and discussion involved.

It's kind of a derail to delve into it in this thread. If you're interested, that Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy link goes into detail about a number of different approaches and possible answers that have been developed over time.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:54 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Even aside from reconciling an benevolent omnipotent deity with evils that happen without any human agency, the real horror of this scenario comes from a god that will grant one child's prayer for untold death and destruction over the equally sincere and probably more agonized prayers of others to save the lives of their friends and families. There's actually a really interesting story in exploring prayer and entreaties to god as a sort of monkey's paw scenario, in really digging into the implications of "the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God." To instead treat prayer as a sort of magic lamp that grants wishes if you only ask nicely enough and want it enough is just insulting and ultimately horrifying. If you believe in an interventionist god, then you have to ask about all the times they don't intervene, for you or for others.

Anyway, if I had seen this movie as a kid, I'm pretty sure it would have immediately made me an atheist, as opposed to my otherwise slow slide into apathetic atheism through my late teens and early twenties.
posted by yasaman at 12:54 PM on April 23, 2015 [16 favorites]


Here's another review that's rather less frothing. The filmmakers aren't trying for the usual audience, much less Metafilterians.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:56 PM on April 23, 2015


I'm convinced this is some kind of experiment in machine intelligence, that they fed a list of glurgely narrative elements and historical events to an algorithm and it came back saying this was the sure-fire combination of all the most emotionally resonant tropes.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:57 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wait isn't this just enders game set during ww2?
posted by Carillon at 12:58 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Little Boy"? That's the name of the Hiroshima bomb. What an unfortunate coincidence.

*reads the linked posts*

Holy shit.
posted by brundlefly at 12:59 PM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh, I know Sangermaine. I've trudged through it all, for all the good it's done me. I shouldn't even have commented, but the "Mom letting you drive her car" analogy irked me.
posted by sobarel at 1:01 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


You obviously don't have to believe it, and you might still think it's super dumb, but it isn't like there's no way to hold the idea of a powerful God and note the existence of evil without your head exploding. It's not all that different from the deep philosophical conundrum of "If my mom really loves me, why did she let me drive to the mall, knowing I might speed and then waste my money on dumb stuff? I just can't reconcile the notions of a powerful, loving mother with the dumb things my siblings and I keep doing!" Letting you drive to mall and be dumb is a better option than chaining you in the basement, tempting as that might be sometimes.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:07 PM on April 23 [7 favorites +] [!]


No, it's more like "If my mom really loves me, why did she douse my children with gasoline and set them on fire?" which is a question that deserves a better answer than "Lo, these are great mysteries. Let us celebrate your mom's eternal love together!"
posted by Avenger at 1:05 PM on April 23, 2015 [26 favorites]


your mom sounds fucked up dude
posted by Greg Nog at 1:12 PM on April 23, 2015 [41 favorites]


Pre-quel:
A little German girl in 1933 wishes the whole world would know how evil Adolf Hitler is. Her name? Holly Kost.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:13 PM on April 23, 2015 [14 favorites]


Indeed. There's no way to recouncile a triple-omni god and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome except through handwaving. "And then, profit!"
posted by tavella at 1:13 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


A little German girl in 1933 wishes the whole world would know how evil Adolf Hitler is. Her name? Holly Kost.

And her friend, Crystal Nacht.
posted by maxsparber at 1:21 PM on April 23, 2015 [20 favorites]


Ambitious youngster Billy Calley learns to praise the Lord and pass the buck in the faith-affirming blockbuster Me? Lie!
posted by milk white peacock at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


From what I was able to gather from the review, the boy wishes (grunt, squint) that some Miraculous Event will bring his father home, and it that event turns out to be the destruction of Hiroshima. And the boy knows it, apparently.

I've seen interview footage of Colonel Paul Tibbets, who flew the plane that dropped the Bomb on Hiroshima, assert that he had no qualms about the attack, but he was an adult, and an experienced military man for whom dropping bombs from airplanes was his job. Yet as far as I can tell, the film doesn't explore what burden such knowledge might impose on a little boy at all.
posted by Gelatin at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2015


I did like the part at the end where Little Boy looks directly at the camera and says "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."
posted by gwint at 1:28 PM on April 23, 2015 [28 favorites]


I did like the part at the end where Little Boy looks directly at the camera and says "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

I used to say that to the ants in the sandbox all the time.
posted by philip-random at 1:31 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


but I think Avenger was getting at the old (but good) question of how to reconcile a benevolent omnipotent deity with evils that happen without any human agency.

You guys are probably pretty close to solving this one in this thread though


benevolent

Solved.

(credit: gnostics)
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Snarky and bitter Mark Twain is best Mark Twain

Pretty much all Mark Twain is snarky and bitter Mark Twain.
posted by holborne at 1:38 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's been 2500+ years since Plato and nobody has yet to figure out how you can reconcile an omnipotent deity with anything approaching a recognizable morality. A god who is truly in control of everything would be totally unrecognizable to humans as anything other that a genocidal monster.

It isn't at all hard to conceive of the idea that suffering here may have a dramatically different meaning if there's more to existence than mortal life, and that's a popular add-on with more or less omnipotent deities (in fact, suffering and death here can have a dramatically different meaning through *human* reframing; if you look closely at the problem of evil it starts to become less clear whether it's really about any concept of God and instead of assessments about the human condition and whether or not life itself is a blessing or a curse).

There may not be any such omnipotent deity, and if you reject it, fine, but if you're going to evaluate the concept itself for morality vs monstrosity, make sure you're not doing it piecemeal. Either that, or don't take up the pretension that you're speaking for most people when it comes to what suits their religion just fine.
posted by weston at 1:39 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm often unsure how the existence of a benevolent god is compatible with the existence of his followers.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Treating the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima as a happy ending for the little boy is tasteless, but "treating a grand-scale tragedy like a miracle" is really just taking miracles seriously. If God is present in all things, that includes tragedies, not just unexpected comebacks from cancer after the patient's friends pray overnight. And I like the idea of treating answered prayer as a wish on a very powerful monkey's paw, a genie who fulfills your prayer according to its own alien values. Of course, I haven't seen Little Boy and am not defending an ending that celebrates the boy's father surviving without even considering the millions of people God just killed. But this is a lost opportunity for a film that asks hard questions about whether fulfilling our short-sighted, selfish wishes with omnipotent miracles is a wise decision.
posted by Rangi at 1:43 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


little boy meets tsar bomba
posted by Existential Dread at 1:44 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stop now: halt your homicidal curse
And beg the gods to forgive you for it.
Has it occurred to you
They may hate you enough to grant it?
Sometimes the gods accept our prayers
Just for the opportunity it gives them
To punish us in full, at our own request.
-Racine, Phèdre (tr. Ted Hughes)
posted by Iridic at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Maybe there is an adult called Fat Man?

And I suppose this adult has a sidekick named Jake?
posted by jonp72 at 1:53 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


From what I was able to gather from the review, the boy wishes (grunt, squint) that some Miraculous Event will bring his father home, and it that event turns out to be the destruction of Hiroshima. And the boy knows it, apparently.

In a sane movie this ending would be a Twilight Zone/Monkey's Paw style twist. "Yes, your father is coming home. However..."
posted by brundlefly at 1:58 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have this film idea. There's this little boy in Roman times. His father is a legionnaire who has been sent to a foreign land to suppress unrest. He wished for his father to be returned and goes to one of the priests of Jupiter. The priest of Jupiter tells him to make sacrifices and carry around a phallus and do other Roman religiousy things. Every day, he looks out over the Mediterranean wiliing his father to come home.

One day, in the place where his father lives, the guy who was leading the unrest - some dude named Jesus - is finally caught and executed. His father's legion is allowed to come home.

The power of worshiping Jupiter is proven once and for all.

Oh, and the kid has this genetic issue where his joints are largely frozen, so he walks around with his arms completely spread out. He is given the cruel nickname "Crucifix," which is also the title of the movie.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:59 PM on April 23, 2015 [19 favorites]


I often drive by a billboard that promotes "Actors and models for Christ," as if Christian culture wants to climb further and further into its own navel. This movie reminds me of that for some reason.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:59 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't get all the complaining. The whole thing seems quite Biblical to me.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 2:07 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


the Problem of Evil is a very, very old one with an enormous amount of thought and discussion involved.

Really, though, how much of that enormous amount of thought and discussion resulted from just not wanting to accept or not being able to conceive of god's nonexistence, and working backward from there?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 2:09 PM on April 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


emjaybee: “I guess I'm not surprised somebody had this idea, or even made a script of it, but who in God's name funds such a thing? How did this even get made?? ”
I feel the same way. I've got a friend who recently earned a master's in screenwriting. He's got good projects just sitting on his desk because the world is not clamoring for the work of a forty-something rookie, but this turd gets made?
posted by ob1quixote at 2:16 PM on April 23, 2015


Ideefixe: "Here's another review that's rather less frothing. The filmmakers aren't trying for the usual audience, much less Metafilterians."

"More nuanced than God's Not Dead" is a low bar to clear.

And this sequence of events, if it was in a movie featuring Penn and Teller I would have thought it's a bit of a cheap shot, so it's downright startling to hear it's in an ostensibly "pro-faith" film.
posted by RobotHero at 2:17 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


this turd gets made?

Deathbed: The Bed That Eats People
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:21 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe there is an adult called Fat Man?
In the AVClub review in the OP, the father of Little Boy is referred to as "pudgy". Since seeing that, I've been trying to figure out if that's an intentional nod too. Which is... also kinda messed up? But perhaps in a way I can't quite put my finger on...
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 2:24 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, today I learned that the British carried out as series of weapons tests codenamed Operation Kittens.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:28 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, Death Bed is like the prequel to Under The Skin.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:32 PM on April 23, 2015


I didn't read the article, but went to look at the poster from the FPP.

I didn't get it.

I didn't get it.

I looked more.

I didn't get it.

I looked again.

I remembered the description with overlooking the Pacific towards the setting sun.

I got it.

I wished I hadn't got it.

What. Is. Wrong. With. People..
posted by seyirci at 2:38 PM on April 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


hippybear: "It's interesting to me that displays of this kind of power are usually relegated to being in league with Satan or exercising witchcraft or some other damnable offense during most of Christian history, either through witch trials or fiction or whatever.

We've now reached that place where the New Age "think it and it will become" bullshit has merged fully with "pray for it in my Father's name and it will be granted" mysticism to the point where this movie gets made. "Whatever you have faith in, Jesus' father will grant you.""
Funny, Christianity has such a long history of assimilating and overlaying itself onto the cultures it eventually dominates* that it should be no surprise that New Age gobbledygook has been appropriated, even though it's contrary to earlier condemnations of magic. But then again, many holy people are claimed to perform miracles through God's divine influence, so maybe the movie is trying to say God wanted this to happen and the boy was the channel? Urg, no matter how you cut it.

*for example, the letter of Pope Gregory to St Augustine about methods for converting the British.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 2:38 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've seen interview footage of Colonel Paul Tibbets, who flew the plane that dropped the Bomb on Hiroshima, assert that he had no qualms about the attack, but he was an adult, and an experienced military man for whom dropping bombs from airplanes was his job. Yet as far as I can tell, the film doesn't explore what burden such knowledge might impose on a little boy at all.

Did you ever read The Lucky Strike?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:47 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Believe The Impossible...
See the invisible
Row row!
Fight the power!

Touch the untouchable
Break the unbreakable
Row row!
Fight the power!
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:58 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


The God of the Old Testament makes sense when you remember that he's the god of the Jews and no one else. All those Kenites and Perizzites, Rephaites and Canaanites and so on that lived in The Promised Land were shit out of luck because they weren't descended from Abraham. That's why Yahweh let them die.

This movie seems to take a similar Old Testament approach to God, except that here he's the god of New Testament Christians. If you believe in him and follow his rules he just might make your wishes come true. But if you don't believe in him... well, He doesn't care about you. If you have to burn in nuclear fire to bring a little boy's father back, then so be it.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:06 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


God is not an Atomic playboy!
posted by clavdivs at 3:09 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Really, though, how much of that enormous amount of thought and discussion resulted from just not wanting to accept or not being able to conceive of god's nonexistence, and working backward from there?

Reasoning starts with a handful of premise. The fact that this body of thought also did doesn't really reflect poorly on it.

What's more, the comment that kicked this exchange off *accepted* the key theist premise for the sake of invoking the problem of evil that could come along with it. Rejecting that premise is one thing (for which there are reasonable arguments); accepting it and then deprecating or otherwise refusing to admit an entire body of discussion that goes along with it is another.
posted by weston at 3:11 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ideefixe: "Here's another review that's rather less frothing. The filmmakers aren't trying for the usual audience, much less Metafilterians."

A fair point. So what audience do they have in mind?

When film makers use a trope as gratuitously offensive as this, and invoke an event as morally questionable yet not currently at the forefront of public awareness as the bombing of Hiroshima, which they must have known would cause a big backlash without necessarily bettering their film's box office, I think it's reasonable to look around for a non-obvious agenda.

The only thing I could come up with is Iran.

Iran is going to be a huge issue in the coming Presidential campaign, and one of the most crucial elements of that issue is, in the absence of a peace deal -- or after an already threatened Republican repudiation of such a deal should it be fully achieved -- likely to be whether we or Israel will attack Iranian nuclear facilities, very possibly with nuclear weapons.

I'd say most Americans currently find such an eventuality almost unthinkable, and that selling it to us is going to be an enormous undertaking, and also that this film is the kind of subliminal propaganda that might help in that effort, at least with right-wing evangelicals.

Keep in mind that co-executive producer Mark Burnett is a Falklands war veteran, coproducer of Stars Get Their Stripes, and executive producer of that hugely popular Bible TV series which included a dead ringer for President Obama in the role of Satan.
posted by jamjam at 3:18 PM on April 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Really, though, how much of that enormous amount of thought and discussion resulted from just not wanting to accept or not being able to conceive of god's nonexistence, and working backward from there?

not a believer myself but in eighth grade geometry proofs we typically referred to these as "givens"
posted by invitapriore at 3:22 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't stop thinking about this fucking movie and the fact that it exists.
posted by angrycat at 3:31 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can't stop thinking about this fucking movie and the fact that it exists.

Maybe if you pray hard enough something dramatic will happen to make it go away.
posted by localroger at 3:43 PM on April 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


Maybe if you pray hard enough something dramatic will happen to make it go away.

Specifically, pray to Jupiter. It worked before.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:02 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The filmmakers aren't trying for the usual audience, much less Metafilterians.

Yeah, Metafilterians, it's not for you. Checkmate, "critics."
posted by straight at 4:07 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are some truly terrible, terrible Christians with far too much influence in this world. I despise each and every person involved in this vulgar film.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:14 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


even the little kid?
posted by philip-random at 4:24 PM on April 23, 2015


A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that it would take approximately 11,000 scrunchy-faced praying children to raze a continent.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:24 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


This sounds like something I would genuinely enjoy.

I am perverse on a level most people find uncomfortable, however.
posted by clarknova at 4:25 PM on April 23, 2015


This thread rules
posted by stinkfoot at 4:25 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh wow, we're supposed to believe that's what the middle initial in "Jesus H. Christ" stands for?
posted by comealongpole at 4:26 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


(*) I'm assuming (as I generally do in real life) linearity in the effective power of prayer.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:27 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread rules
I did that with the sheer power of my belief. Oh, and I pointed my arms at it and wiggled my fingers.
posted by pibeandres at 4:28 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


it would take approximately 11,000 scrunchy-faced praying children to raze a continent

It would only take fifty if they practice scrunching their faces in the Teller-Ulam configuration.
posted by localroger at 4:28 PM on April 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that it would take approximately 11,000 scrunchy-faced praying children to raze a continent.

Yes, but which continent? There's 2.97 million square miles, for example, in Australia while there's 17.21 million square miles of Asia. By my calculations, that would be 1 child for every 270 square miles of Australia or for 1565 (rounding up) square miles of Asia.

Actually, maybe I'm working on the wrong paradigm. Faith-based math and science suggest that all normal continents are intrinsically the same, but Jerusalem and other holy Christian locations (like 'merica) are considerably more massive.

EDIT: It would only take fifty if they practice scrunching their faces in the Teller-Ulam configuration.

My question was addressed here.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:30 PM on April 23, 2015


What if the child was on a space station, looking downwards at the Earth? One at a far enough distance might be good enough to take out a hemisphere!
posted by Kevin Street at 4:32 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


One child would be sufficient if it's not the power of God enabling these miracles, but rather dynamopsychism.

Shoot sevens, Little Boy.
posted by delfin at 4:32 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, but which continent?

Calculation was based on Europe, because LUXEMBOURG TOOK MY FATHER FROM ME.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:33 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Scrunchy face it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.
posted by chris24 at 4:36 PM on April 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yes, but which continent?

Calculation was based on Europe


So that would be one child for every 358 square miles. Not going to lie, that's pretty impressive for seven year-olds. I'm going to now have to recalculate how many seven year-olds I could take in a fight - the new answer is "none."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:37 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I will pay good money to see the struggling-through-adversity bromance-movie sequel as long as it features both Little Boy and Magneto.

Very good money.
posted by clarknova at 4:42 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


a film that believes in a God that would vaporize countless people to demonstrate the power of belief to one spunky kid.

Lou Grant was right.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


It might have been more dramatic if there had been a little Japanese boy simultaneously praying to some (presumably heathen) god at the same time and the prayer beams met over the pacific ocean to this general effect.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:48 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


You never could beat me, Egg Shen.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:51 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am still reeling from emjaybee's link to the article about the terribly racist Adam Sandler movie:
Approximately a dozen Native actors and actresses, as well as the Native cultural advisor, left the set of Adam Sandler’s newest film production, The Ridiculous Six, on Wednesday. The actors, who were primarily from the Navajo nation, left the set after the satirical western’s script repeatedly insulted native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.

The examples of disrespect included Native women’s names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, an actress portraying an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe, and feathers inappropriately positioned on a teepee.
WTF!!! Who in their right mind would think this was in any way OK?
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:59 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


My first thought was that maybe there'd be some Monkey's Paw action where the kid brings his dad back as a zombie. I guess not.
My first thought was that he'd telekinetically drag his father back through thousands of miles of jungle, air, and forest at supersonic speed to stand in front of him - before the bloodied, battered, and shattered body mewls a plaintive, "why, son, why?" and, bursting into flames from the heat of atmospheric friction, collapses at his son's trainer-clad* feet.

And, just before the credits roll, the audience learns that his father was whisked away right at a pivotal moment where his singular act of compassion would have cut the war short, saved millions of lives, and permanently prevented such terrible conflicts from ever happening again.
For some reason nobody ever asks me how these things should end.
Me neither. Odd, isn't it?

(* product-placement opportunity right there…)
posted by Pinback at 5:01 PM on April 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


even the little kid?

hell yeah, but this is my default setting.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:34 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Boy, there's a lot of crappy, infantile movies lately.
posted by Chitownfats at 5:49 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Little dude's gonna be a handful when he hits his teens...
posted by um at 6:35 PM on April 23, 2015


just wait about ten years when he starts dating, and the popular girls reject him.

And then eighteen years later, worried about the administration's lefty leanings, he faces toward Dallas, and lifts his hands...
posted by happyroach at 6:38 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


the phlegmatic king, that top-heavy B article you linked to is truly moving in the context of this horrible movie. Given that the whole point of the B is that the people who put it up in Auschwitz deliberately flipped it as an act of silent protest, it seems quite plausible that some anonymous poster designer may have done the same thing. It would be interesting to track down exactly how that poster font came to be.

And I can say both from my experience and the polling, there certainly are huge numbers of Americans who still believe in the necessity of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They're often the same people who believe in the necessity of torture and the death penalty, and that God must condone all existing evil for the greater good of humanity. The fact that these things are widely believed, and have been for a long time, or that they are respectfully treated in history textbooks or Stanford encyclopedias, does not make them any less stupidly wrong.
posted by chortly at 7:09 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Poor kid. Needs a dose of this.
posted by mono blanco at 8:06 PM on April 23, 2015


WTF!!! Who in their right mind would think this was in any way OK?

A pig-ignorant, over-privileged, white man-child backed by wealthy investors who cynically and correctly believe American audiences will shovel money at them to watch cheaply-made movies featuring adolescent humour.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 PM on April 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


So basically any movie executive in Hollywood.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:18 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


How did this even get made??

Cocaine. Fucking mountains of fucking cocaine.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


Cocaine wears off. Self-satisfaction is a much more powerful drug.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:55 PM on April 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like the idea of a kid's messed up wishes coming true, 'cause they're little monsters - I know I was at that age. But you're never going to do it better than that Twilight Zone episode (the Simpsons came close). As a work of unintentional nihilism this sounds amazing. Like the reverse of Grave of the Fireflies or something.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:19 PM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man you think this is crazy wait till you hear what Jesus did to a fig tree that wasn't even in season.
posted by Carillon at 12:10 AM on April 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


> Grave of the Fireflies

Now there's a double bill that practically sells itself.
posted by ardgedee at 4:36 AM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now there's a double bill that practically sells itself.

GotF was actually released on a double bill with My Neighbor Totoro.
posted by Gelatin at 4:58 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Please tell me I'm not the only person who remembers Spy Magazine and the feature, "The Secrets of the Trash Cans of the Rich and Famous," when they'd hypothesize about who owned the trash they went through.

I can only assume someone went to Stan Lee's Rejected Projects trash, found Little Boy with HUGE XXXXXXs drawn through it and a note saying, "Kids with mutant powers...maybe there's something there?"
posted by kinetic at 5:16 AM on April 24, 2015


I really, really hope Totoro came second.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:42 AM on April 24, 2015 [5 favorites]




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