These days people are more than ever looking at what they eat. Health and fitness are a part of the mainstream. You (almost) can’t go out eating without a discussion on what you should eat to be healthy. Everybody has an opinion on how a great diet looks like. There is a common understanding that what you consume is important for your bodies well-being. The same understanding is missing for your minds well-being. Regarding movies (and other media) people consume any piece of trash. (Following I will use movies in place of media in general; radio, Internet, newspapers etc.)
What Influence Movies Have
Advertisement is an obvious way how movies try to influence us. Ads before movies and during breaks tell us what to do; buy their products. As you can imagine they are successful. With new technology consumer behavior changed. Watching ads is outdated. So they found new marketing ways. Instead of presenting the product in ads they put it in the movie. For example, car manufacturers pay huge sums to see the movie hero drive their car. A movie becomes a 2 hour-long advertisement for the car.
This idea is much older. Not long after the invention of film nations used it for propaganda. All nations did and still do it. Prominent example would be Leni Riefenstahls “Triumph of the Will”. Such movies were strong weapons in the Nazi arsenal. They lured the population into believing the Nazi world view. A good example today would Navy NCIS. It‘s a perfect example for military propaganda.
The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment.” – Jacques Ellul
The point is, movies have great impact on us. Nations and organization are using them to influence us. We have to choose wisely what we watch!
Watching Wrong Role Models
I mentioned on many occasions how important role models and mentors are. We learn by seeing. Monkey see, monkey do! We do the same with actors and roles. Sometimes it is a conscious decision. Who doesn’t wants to be like James Bond. Sometimes it is an unconscious decision. I think it should always be a conscious decision.
In the year 2005 How I met your mother became a huge hit. The role of Barney Stinson became a role model for many guys. They see him hook up with many women in the show. Something all men crave. The problem is that the rules of the show don’t apply to life. So guys see him being a clown, lying to women and being childish. They imitate his behavior in the hope they will also have a scripted life. It doesn’t work.
This wouldn’t be a problem, if Hollywood would produce movies with manly role models. Instead, they picture men as childish and women as grown-ups. There are just few movies a year with manly role models. The crux is to choose the right ones.
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” – Adolf Hitler
How To Choose What To Watch
What should you avoid watching? What are the criteria for manly movies?
It is hard to judge a character or a movie before you see it. But, there are some indicators what you will see. Comedies and stoner movies always show the protagonists as lovable losers which in the end get the girl. Not manly! Action movies are a sure thing when the lead is a man. Comic and fantasy movies seem to be a sure thing. But look at the audience. They are made for teens, who live in a fantasy world.
As you can see from the examples there are many criteria to decide what a manly movie is. Here are some questions you can ask before watching the movie:
Who is the lead
What actor plays the lead and what does he stand for? Do I want to be more like him?
What kind of movie is it? Comedy? Romance?
For whom is it made? What is the audience?
New movies tend more and more to emasculate men. It is hard to find manly ones. It is way easier to find some in the past. Movies before the 1970s have manly role models.
Here are some movies I recommend:
All James Bond movies. He is the man! Also, you get to see cinema history by watching them all.
Expendables. Judge it for what it is. Expect men doing their job.
Fight Club: Movie with a great message and a manly Brad Pitt.
Mad Max: The old ones. The 2015 movie is just good for the pictures.
Rambo: For Rambo surrender is no option.
Choose careful what you watch! It will affect you!
What are your favorite manly movies? Please tell us in the comments section!