Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Best In Show – The Morals of the Story

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Rating:
 3 out of 4
Writer:  Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, and others.
Director:  Christopher Guest

Best in Show Plot Summary In A Sentence:                 

This mockumentary follows the relationships and adventures different pure bred dog owners go through in their regional and national competitions to become “Best in Show.”

The Morals of the Story:                                             

The things that are genuinely very serious and important to some people are genuinely very silly and hilarious to other people.

If you put people who really care about something into a close social setting with people who really don’t care about something, comedy and/or conflict will likely follow.

What’s important to you, is not very important to many other people.  What’s important to others, often isn’t important to you.  The comedy or pleasure in life is how we deal with that opposition.

Watching comedians try to improvise and think up “important” or funny things to say in front of video camera, with no accompanying laugh track, can be funny when edited well.

Many of us memorize very complex and useless things. 

Many of us do things for our loves that we absolutely hate to do.

Dogs sometimes tend to take on the social strengths and weaknesses of their masters.

Many people and animals would not shine if not for sophisticated social systems and companionship.

Life may be happier and more pleasant when you find a social companion (man or animal) that matches your sensibilities and wants.

Many of our funniest traits are our weaknesses that we don’t see in ourselves.

The things that frustrate some people are the same things that make others laugh.

Some people treat their pets better than their friends . . . for good reasons.

Listening to a commentator who is not an expert on the topic they are commenting about can be very funny to people who are experts on the topic.

There is something intrinsically funny about “a best dog” beauty contest.  Judging dogs based of their physical characteristics is somewhat oxymoronic because most people don’t primarily value their dogs based on the perfection of their physical characteristics.

Humorous Highlights:                                                 

There is such a thing as a stupid question.  (Buck Laughlin)

Inappropriate and irrelevant metaphors can be funny . . . whether the person saying them knows it or not.  (Buck Laughlin)

Dogs in costumes = A fun time.

Clichés and Assumptions The Story Challenged:         

Absolutely none.  ;-)

A Question For You Is:                                                

What other moral, humorous, or innovative ideas did you find in this story?

Best in Show on IMDb 

Best in Show on Wikipedia

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Spider-Man 2 – The Morals of the Story

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Rating:
 4 out of 4 stars
Writers:  Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon  
Director:  Sam Raimi

Spider-Man 2 Plot Summary In A Sentence:                

Peter Parker (Spider-Man), faced with the demands of school, work, his love interest Mary Jane, and super-villain Dr. Octopus, debates and decides what battles he will stop fighting and what battles he will continue to fight.

The Morals of the Story:                                             

If your ordinary life is not meeting all your aspirations and your community’s needs, you can consider creating an alter ego to pursue those goals.

Anyone doing any worthwhile activity is at regular risk of failure.  (Peter Parker at his job, at school, with his girlfriend, and saving the world)

Your talents and powers are not simply a list of aptitudes.  The level of you skills and abilities are in large part dependent on your choices to remain skilled and to use your skills for purposes you genuinely support. (Spider-Man losing his web-shooter and wall-clinging abilities as he doubts his choices and reasoning)

When your friends disappoint you, give them a chance to explain before judging them.  (Peter not attending Mary Jane’s play as promised because he is being a super-hero to someone else)

If your loves ever pressure you to stop helping others, listen to their advice, but don’t turn a blind eye to helping those in need.

It is better to be poor and honorable, than to be rich and dishonorable.

Brilliance should not be coupled with laziness.

Intelligence is a privilege, not a gift, and you have to use it for the good of mankind.

Aspire to find a “Life’s work.”  If you’re going to choose a “life’s work,” it should be a worthy one.

“Love should never be a secret.  If you leave something as complicated as love stored inside, it can make you sick.”

When you are deciding what to do, give more consideration to your actions that help the others the most.

If you expect someone will let you down, you’re more likely to interpret their actions incorrectly.

Your father’s successes and failures may help or harm you.  But they are not your successes and failures and you will define your own successes and failures.

Your failures alone will not determine your pursuits or your abilities as much as your sense of purpose.

You always have a choice whether to pursue moral actions.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Ordinary men can become super-heroes by the quality of their actions.

No matter how good a path you choose, some of the people close to you will still be disappointed in your choice.

If you can’t make the love or your life happy, might as well work to make everyone else happy.

If you see someone in imminent need of help, and you don’t provide aid, you are not a hero.  Further, you are immoral.

If you do something wrong that hurts someone you love, admit your mistakes.  (Peter admitting he let the man escape who killed Uncle Ben)

Sometimes you get harmed or killed for doing the right thing.  (Uncle Ben fighting off the carjackers)

There are beautiful things very close to you that you have never recognized.  (The supervisor’s daughter living next door to Peter)

Forgive others when they admit their mistakes, show true remorse, and commit to not repeating the same mistakes.

Everyone is a role model, whether they wish to set a good example or not.

There is the potential for a hero in all of us.

Some heroes give up pursuing their own dreams to help facilitate others’ dreams.

Our abilities are improved by a strong focus on what we want.

Spider-man is just a kid who chooses to get involved in solving other people’s problems.

It’s important to remember there are always bigger problems than what you are concerned about in your immediate world.

You will not be able to solve all your problems through use of force.  In order to solve some problems, you will have to learn to persuade your enemies to change.  (Spider-man convinding Dr. Octavius in the end to stop his pursuit of a controlled fusion reaction)

“Sometimes, to do what’s right, we have to be steady and give up the thing we want the most . . . even our dreams.” – Spider-Man

No matter what wrong we have done, we can change.  We can all choose to not die a monster.  (Dr. Octavius)

Humorous Highlights:                                                 

When introducing new fusion technologies, maybe demostrate them in a car fuel cell or long-lasting battery instead of a 4-armed robot that must attach to your spinal cord in order to work.

When designing an “inhibitor chip” to subdue an artificially intelligent robot attached to your neck, protect it with more than just a tiny blue glass chip in reach of the robot’s arms.

Clichés and Assumptions The Story Challenged:         

Super-hero movies are immature morality tales.

A Question For You Is:                                               

What other moral, humorous, or innovative ideas did you find in this story?

Spider-Man 2 on IMDb 

Spider-Man 2 on Wikipedia

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Meet The Parents – The Morals of the Story

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Rating:
4 out of 4 stars
Writers:  Greg Glienna, Mary Ruth Clarke, Jim Herzfeld, and John Hamburg
Director:  Jay Roach

Meet The Parents Plot Summary In A Sentence:                                           

Gaylord Focker plans to ask his girlfriend to marry him, but first he spends a few days meeting her parents and trying to gain their approval.

The Morals of the Story:                                             

In a comedy, consider inserting humor when it is not expected.  (The lyrics sung while the Universal Studios and Dreamworks logos are shown)

There are beautiful glances, expressions, and personalities that your loves show you that they don’t show others.  (The opening credit video montage)

Never put your engagement ring in checked baggage.

Sometimes a key to comedy is not playing along with stereotypes.  Sometimes better comedy is found in showing the absurdity and errors made by people with stereotypical thinking.

When you are caught in a lie, sometimes it’s better to admit the lie than to fashion a fictional story that tries to support the lie.  (Greg’s “Milking the cat” story)

Sometimes humor is found in taking the maxims others give you and taking them to their extreme application.  (“Circle of Trust” and a friendly “competitive” pool volleyball)

In the short term, people tend to be close to your presumptions of them.  In the long term, their true colors are revealed.

Always give your loved ones a chance to explain before abandoning them or calling them a liar.

There are good reasons to lie sometimes.

Give your loved ones the benefit of the doubt.

Humorous Highlights:                                                 

The comedy is consistently based on Ben Stiller’s character, Gaylord Focker, repeatedly trying to answer his father-in-laws questions in ways he thinks will please his father-in-law (rather than in the way he honestly believes) . . . only to discover he still keeps choosing the wrong answer.

People who follow the letter of the law, to the exclusion of common sense, are both funny and wrong.  (The airline gate attendant who won’t let Greg board the plane because all rows 9 and higher are boarding, and he is in row 8 – when no one else is boarding the nearly empty plane.)

Clichés and Assumptions The Story Challenged:                

“Comedies of manners” are no longer in demand in the 21st century.

A Question For You Is:                                               

What other moral, humorous, or innovative ideas did you find in this story?

Meet The Parents on IMDb

Meet The Parents on Wikipedia

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Curious George – The Morals of the Story

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Rating:
4 out of 4 stars
Writer:  H. A. Rey

Curious George Plot Summary In A Sentence:               

A man brings a curious monkey out of the jungle and into “civilization,” and the monkey and the man explore the new worlds and consequences created from those decisions.

The Morals of the Story:                                               

Curiosity comes from a desire to find answers to questions and a want to learn.

It is not inherently bad to be curious.  It is natural and normal to be curious.

Our sense of curiosity often supports our sense of playfulness.

Unmitigated and unexperienced actions to answer our curiosities can sometimes lead us into danger.

Young people (and young animals) can’t be expected to remember and follow all the warnings and instructions they have been given.  They will make mistakes in exploration of their curiosities.

Sometimes when you try to do things beyond your aptitudes, you will fall, and others will be needed to rescue you.  (Curious George trying to fly like a bird)

Don’t punish your children (or charges) for being curious.  Reward and shape their curiosities.

Humorous Highlights:                                                 

When you are taken away from your home, community, and country by a strange man in a yellow hat, sometimes the best thing you can do is make friends and explore your curiosities.

If you give a monkey a pipe, he will smoke it.

If you give a monkey a phone, the odds are he will dial the fire department.

Monkeys and bright balloons = a high flying good time.

Clichés and Assumptions The Story Challenged:         

Children have an evil nature and want to get into trouble.

Curiosity killed the cat.

You should punish people for exploring their curiosities.

A Question For You Is:                                               

What other moral, humorous, or innovative ideas did you find in this story?

Curious George on Wikipedia 

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