My review of The Simpsons Movie

Topic / Culture

Simpsons MovieAs someone who usually enjoys The Simpsons on TV, the movie wasn’t quite as good as I hoped. In fact, I was little disappointed. It had all the normal jokes and parodies of religion, environmentalists and the government as you’d expect, but there were several clips that were just unnecessary that kinda ruined the whole thing for me, like men kissing, exposed private parts and attention drawn to a woman’s chest. Thankfully there wasn’t really any swearing, but still, why can’t they just keep it clean? Half the theater was kids aged 9-14!

Overall, it has a good theme about the importance of family and spending time with your children, but it seemed to be shadowed by making light of physical abuse and marital disrespect.

Although a plot line was definitely present and very random at times, as The Simpsons are notorious for, it wasn’t as gripping as your average movie. Fortunately, there’s a lot of consistent laughs and chuckles throughout the film, which holds your attention for the hour and a half.

The wit and “Dumb and Dumber”-like humor definitely shines in The Simpsons Movie, but if you plan to see the movie you can probably get away with waiting to rent it on DVD.

[tags]The Simpsons Movie[/tags]

Posted on July 27, 2007

  • I must say I was hoping to get to see it today, but the people I was going with ended up not going today. So I wait. I haven’t read any reviews b/c I’m trying not to go in with many (Yeah, I have a few) expectations.

    I don’t think I can wait for the DVD, nothing like watching a movie on big screen.

  • Cathy

    So, if you’re stating there are all these inappropriate/objectionable aspects to the movie, why, as a youth pastor, do you end up saying to wait and rent it later? I, as a parent, sure don’t appreciate that “advice” that you have just given to kids. Should the Simpsons even be watched and promoted, especially by a someone in your position? Kinda goes against the Xtreme Bible Study I just read of yours about not conforming to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of you mind…..Something to thinkabout.

  • Tim

    Cathy, thanks for the comment. This post was more of my general overview then a recommendation. I’ve never said anything about movies on my blog before because I know they’re very subjective and different Christians have different standards, but I thought I’d say something about this one because what’s actually in the movie isn’t quite what you’d normally see from The Simpsons on TV. I wanted to point out what’s in the movie before other believers go to see it. Maybe more like a warning than anything else.

    I know some people will go see it no matter what, which is why I said, “if you plan to see the movie,” not, “you should see the movie on DVD.” I’m not trying to recommend it either way. I’m held accountable to the Lord for the convictions He’s placed in my heart and I try not to judge the speck in someone else’s eye if they see movies I deem inappropriate for myself.

    It does have some positive qualities and some funny parts that are very clean (like Homer wondering aloud why people would go to the movies and pay to see something they see for free at home) because that’s part of the overall aspect of the movie. Not all of the movie is bad. To be fair the the content of the film, it’s not fair to just be negative.

    Regardless, I apologize if my post came across as a recommendation. My attempt was to be fair to the content in the film just so readers have an idea of what it contains. What people do with this information is between them and God. Since I saw the very first public showing of it, there wasn’t much information available to me beforehand. Now there is for everyone else.

  • Thanks for the quick review. I have not seen the movie yet but intend to. Not sure why seeing two men kissing would’ve ruined the whole movie for you, but admittedly those are your personal issues and not mine.

    I have often said that “The Simpsons” is not for children, even though it is certainly marketed towards them through a myriad of products. It is more appropriate for older youth and up — people who can appreciate the parody, cultural references, and social critique.

  • Its a difficult one isnt it?
    I meet kids in my primary school ministry who have watched Terminator 3 etc at the age of 6!
    It is an issue, and our kids will get a hold of it somehow. We must work thru the issues with them rather than sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that the movie is not there!
    We must think Biblically about how to address the issues which are there rather than simply avoid it. We have newspapers, other kids at school, other TV, computer games and so many other things which are a horrible influence on their lives, we must teach them how to deal with these things Biblically and for me, avoidance is not Biblical. Working through the issues is a God-honoring activity.

    my 2 cents worth

  • Tim

    @ Brian: Yeah, I’m pretty sensitive to sin issues that are played off like they’re no big deal and even made comically acceptable. My wife is, too.

    @ Steve: I absolutely agree. That’s one of the reasons I saw this movie. Being in the world and not of it is a pretty hard line to walk sometimes. As a youth pastor, it’s part of my job to know what’s going on in teenagers’ world and instruct them how to respond to it appropriately, not pretend like it isn’t there and they’ll never face it.

  • Jonathan

    I am trying to figure this out, and i am having a SERIOUS time with it. I am a youth pastor also and we run a pretty big group,by the Grace of God. But what i cant figure out is why a youth pastor would recommend or even go see a movie like the Simpsons. Or would say anything about liking the show. Homosexuality and disrespect to parents are not things that Christ stands for or much less would go watch. How would you have felt if Christ would have walked in while you were watching that film? Well He was there, ” I will NEVER leave you or forsake you”. What about when He says come out from them and be SEPERATE says the Lord? I am really dissappointed in this. I would LOVE to hear your reasoning I am having trouble finding it. I t just sounds like total FLESH and if you walk in the FLesh you cannot please God. I didnt say it Paul did in Romans.

  • Tim

    Hmm… maybe I should go back to my previous stance of never mentioning anything about movies and music on my blog. Nothing causes people to criticize and make judgments faster than knowing what you watch, what you listen to, what political candidates you support and probably if you eat meat that’s been sacrificed to idols.

    @ Jonathan: Of course I know what the Bible says and I know this debate is as old as the Pharisees, so I’m not going to solve it here. Everything I have to say is already summed up in Romans 14. Read it.

    This is my final response to this post. The rest of you can have a debate and make your judgments if you want, but I’ve said my piece.

  • Hey Johnathon,

    How are you?
    Do you believe that as Christians we have been freed from rules and regulations? This is what Christ has saved us for, (Galatians 5:1). This freedom is to be used that people might come to Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
    Did the apostle Paul separate himself from the culture around him? Check out Acts 17. We should not condone this sort of stuff, and Paul didnt condone the false gods either. But he did understand it, he did know about it, he did learn about it, and he did try to understand it.
    We should be involved in these sort of things, knowing that the youth in our care will also be watching these things. We will not be able to theologically understand our culture if we cannot understand it or know it. There is a difference between understanding the culture (which requires us to be part of the culture but not of the culture) and becoming like the culture.
    And what about Christ? He ate with sinners and prostitutes!!!! On this line of thinking he should have locked himself in the synagogues and with the religious leaders. BUT HE DIDNT!! And neither should we. Rule making is not the gospel, the gospel is freedom worked out in love to the other for the salvation of others and for the glory of God.

  • Tim

    @ Johnathan: I broke a pretty common piece of advice and that’s to never say anything when you’re offended or upset. I admit I wrote my last comment out of resentment and that it’s less than loving. I apologize for that and ask for your forgiveness. Thanks for being willing to look out for another brother in Christ and for pointing out areas in my life that I may need to investigate. God bless ya, brother.

  • Jonathan

    Wow so i am a pharisee for having Christian standards, and both of your response looked exactly like what they did to Christ and Paul and other Christians when they told them the truth. Oh and Steve so we are free to watch the Simpsons movie (Gal. 5:1) are you kidding me!! Or as you say Christ saved us for Sin. What about now that we are under Grace shall we continue in sin GOD FORBID!! and yes this is a place of discussion, i dont have to go to crappy movies or watch trash to relate to the kids. I can promise you that. I realate perfect they already have trash introduce them to one who has called them out of darkness into his MARVELLOUS LIGHT!! oh i dont want to understand carnallity i want to understand the power of Christ. David said i will put NO evil thing before my eyes!! No means NO boys. anyway you cant change people so i know this want make a dent but me and my staff are going to spend some serious time seeking God for you guys. Because you have been promoted to a place of extreme influence and if you see the light you will teach thousands the way of the power of Christ!!

  • Hmm… To be honest, it’s this type of discussion and rhetoric that sends most of the youth I know screaming in the opposite direction of the Church. In the end, it’s just a movie. If we boycotted every movie that depicted things we find objectionable, I’m not certain one single film would ever get made. I don’t even think that refusing to look is going to make any difference. We are all, for good or ill, a product of this culture that we live in — it’s unavoidable. None of us are practicing some pure form of Christianity. Our version of the faith is entirely influenced by 21st Century north American culture, in ways so subtle we don’t even notice. Our nationalism, our populism, our media, our politics, our worldview, our dress, our language, our economy, our technology, even our films, completely color our view of Christian faith. Taking one of those elements of culture away does not change that. Just some food for thought. Fire away.

  • I am happy with judgement, it is a natural part of life, and Johnathon and I must do it in a loving manner. Of this I have no doubt.

    Johnathon. This is clearly a theological difference, and a difference in the way we read the Bible, and the books of Galatians and 1 Corinthians in particular which deal with Christian freedom. Would you like to read the said books together by email and address the issues in that forum as they arise?

    I would love to chat about it further with you, and am comitted to you as a brother and a saint in Christ. I do believe we have differing opinions, and I would love to explain myself to you further.

    I dont see this as conflict, neither is conflict bad, Peter and Paul (no less) differed significantly and in front of many more people than is here. Does that make them evil? ANyway, I am happy to discuss this away from this forum for the sake of the concience of yourself and others. Let me know what you think…..

  • I agree Brian.

    You have hit the neail on the head. Therefore we must negotiate the culture and live lives aware of the world, involved in the wortld but not of the world

  • Just a suggestion: maybe take personal qualms and address them via email instead of the comment section? I’m all about a debate but judgement must remain out of it. And, the rules for conflict management do state that you should go to your brother-alone- and address it. Normally, I wouldn’t advocate dealing with conflict via email, but out of the two options email seems the most loving and appropriate option.

    If that’s confusing please let me know and I can expound.

  • Jonathan,

    Paul was very culturally relevant in his minstry, Acts 17 in Athens is a perfect example of Paul using their culture, understanding their philosophers, even though some of the stuff they said he probably found objectionable but he used it to talk Good news into their context. It is not a matter of dumbing down the language or being caught up in this world (Jesus hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners, and i suspect homosexuals and people who disrespected their parents were in there also), it is a realisation that we must translate to where people are at, it is not giving in to culture it is translating.

    The aim isn’t be be hip, funny and with it, the aim from my point of view is to be transformed by radical missional discipleship of Jesus Christ, to be

    “In the world, not of the world but not out of the world”

  • This is slightly tangential, but it occurs to me that one positive quality of “The Simpsons” is that they are a family who stick together and care for each other. Marge and Homer’s marriage has had lots of strife, but in the end they stay together. I notice several references in the postings above to being bothered by the homosexual elements in the film. As I indicated earlier, from my place within the so-called “progressive” wing of the Church, this is simply not an issue of concern. But I realize that it’s a huge theological/moral issue for my more conservative evangelical sisters and brothers. So my question: why is homosexuality such a huge issue, but divorce is not? You rarely hear evangelicals in the public sphere calling for federal amendments to stop divorce or criminalizing the behaviors of those who engage in divorce. Yet I find no mention in the gospels of Jesus talking about homosexuality, and several where he is as hard as nails on divorce. For example, Mark 10:11 “He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” What do you make of this? I really am interested in understanding why one issue seems more pressing than the other.

  • Brian,

    Have you read ‘The Gospel According to the Simpsons’ by Mark Pinsky? Its a good read from the point of view you are espousing

  • Tim

    For anyone who’s interested, Dare2Share just posted a Bible study called, “What would Homer say?” using this movie to intro a discussion on being adopted into the family of God. They have a student edition, parent edition and a youth leader edition.

  • One thing I’ve always loved about the simpsons is that it is a show that is not afraid to push the envelope in an intellectual way.

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