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Columnist takes issue with movie review
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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One thing you can be sure of during the holidays is that Hollywood is going to open a gazillion new blockbusters. This year is no different. A whole host of movies ranging from tearjerkers to a gentleman mouse to an untamed pet to a plot to kill Hitler have made their way to the big screen.  
The first thing I have to say is: Do people really go to the movies on Christmas Day?  No wonder family life is in disarray if we cannot even spend a full holiday together without some big distraction like going to the movies.  Do you squeeze it in between opening presents and carving the turkey?  The second thing is do people really want to go see a movie about Hitler on Christmas Day?  That part is something I truly don’t understand, but evidently the holiday season is a big time for the movie business. The reason I bring this up is that I was reading a Florida newspaper’s “citizen critic review” recently (we spend the holidays in St. Augustine each year). I have to be honest and say that the review was hilarious but a little unsettling.
Let me share it — without the critic’s name — and I am sure that you will see what I mean.  
Review for “The Day the Earth Stood Still”
It’s not just a remake of a 50s B movie — it is a 50s B movie! The special effects are cheesy, Keanu (Reeves) is at his robotic best, and the premise is so ham-handedly ‘eco-friendly,’ I wanted to litter all the way home.
Obviously, Mr. Critic has a charming way with words, including using one —ham-handedly — that’s new to me, but I hope that he does not have a large readership that might be encouraged to follow up on his wish. I have not seen this remake so I do not know how “ham-handedly” the eco-friendly theme was actually handled, but I do realize that good old Hollywood loves to take a heavy-handed ride on any trendy topic. Protecting the environment and going green have become major themes on television shows, commercials and movies. Some of the programming is excellent and quite informative. Many of the products advertised from cars to household cleaners makes me quite hopeful that positive changes can be made and can be long-lasting; however, sometimes the subject matter in programs can be awfully preachy. Perhaps this movie in Mr. Critic’s view veered too far in this direction. If so, that is unfortunate. Media venues like movies can be a great teaching tool, but films or programs that are too preachy or seem to have a particular socio-political ulterior motive can be a real turnoff.
Going green and protecting the planet from our trash and toxins are serious issues that should not be just part of a current fad. I am so glad that our real world is made of people who truly understand that. People such as Bradwell Institute teacher Joanna Van Belkum and the students running a recycling program for the school understand that they can do their part to make a difference. Their hope is that more people will look for ways to recycle at home, at school and in the workplace, so that we can make significant changes in the amount of waste in landfills.
Local businessmen such as Gary Dodd also understand. He is looking for more and more ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices and awareness in his business endeavors. Youngsters such as those in the Midway Middle School Builders Club also understand. Instead of just watching the Hinesville Christmas Parade each year, they spend their time at parade giving out more than 1,000 litter bags to encourage people to dispose of their garbage.
Students such as those in the Liberty County High School Interact Club make recycling possible at home football and basketball games, when I am sure they could be having fun watching the games.
I am happy to know that I don’t have anywhere near enough room to mention all the people in our community who make a difference because they do understand. They not only understand, but they are out there trying to make a difference every day. Thank you to all of you generous-hearted volunteers who work toward making that eco-friendly difference every day of the year in Liberty County.  And by the way movie-goers, please fight the urge to “litter all the way home” no matter how bad a movie happens to be!
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events:
• Win-dex Business Awards: Nominate attractive businesses in our community for the Win-dex Awards. The Win-dex Awards recognize winning businesses that look so good, they have a “streak-free shine.” We will accept nominations for this quarter’s awards through Dec. 31. Forms are also available at the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce office.
• Jan. 3: 9 a.m. to 1p.m. Bring One for the Chipper  “Chipping Day”  at the old hospital site on Highway 84 in Hinesville. Bring your tree and receive a tree seedling to plant. Mulch and other “goodies” will also be available.
• Dec. 26-Jan. 3: Bring One for the Chipper, Christmas tree recycling. Recycle Christmas trees (with all decorations removed) at any Liberty County Solid Waste Convenience Center or Recycling Drop-off Site.

Swida is the executive director of Keep Liberty County Beautiful. For more information on KLCA programs, contact her at 368-4888 or
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