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Post #7

INVASION OF THE F-BOMB (Date: May 21, 2021)

When did everyone start dropping F-bombs? - Chicago TribuneAm I being too sensitive….or is the f-bomb being used far too frequently by script writers today?  The infamous swear word is creeping into all genres—not just the ones you might expect to find it.  No, check that.  Not creeping.  It’s marching into them.

In the past two weeks, everything I’ve watched has contained usage of it.  The word is pervasive in MORTAL KOMBAT and THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD—prominent releases from major distributors (currently available theatrically and on HBO MAX).

KOMBAT puts the word alongside a generous assortment of other indelicate language–even including it in gory fight sequences.  But hey, this is based on a violent video game.  What should one expect?  Subtlety?

An important 12-year-old character is among those who nonsensically deliver the f-bomb in WISH ME DEAD, a lousy thriller masquerading as entertainment.  The usually reliable writer/director Taylor Sheridan (SICARIO / HELL AND HIGH WATER / WIND RIVER / YELLOWSTONE) strikes out badly here.

Rear Window - Authentic Original 27x40 Rolled Movie Poster at Amazon's  Entertainment Collectibles StoreWith the word still ringing in my ears from over usage in those disappointing stinkers, I approached THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (now on Netflix) with caution.  I decided to give the movie a shot—until an actor uttered that word.  Guess what Amy Adams says 4 minutes into the film?  Fulfilling my threat, I turned off the TV.  I did subsequently watch the whole thing (with more f-bombs)—which ends up being a mediocre rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW (1954).

Two very good series, MARE OF EASTTOWN and HALSTON, manage to punctuate certain scenes with invective.  It is selectively placed and not coming across as lazy writing.  Is it a good thing when the word exists in scripts and you aren’t noticing it?  Or can one continue to question whether its use is really necessary?

It’s not like the word hasn’t been overused in movies before.  Check Wikipedia and you will find a list of 138 films which use it (in various forms) in record numbers.  Two extreme examples from that list are: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013) which uses it 569 times during 180 minutes and UNCUT GEMS (2019)…560 times in 135 minutes.

I won’t advocate elimination of the word in films. Someone will definitely cry censorship.  But I would like to see more judicious use of it.  Is that too much to ask?  Give that some thought.

That’s the way I see and, in this instance, hear it.

Click here to read more about Barry Steelman!

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