Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear John...

So Amy and I took a little break from watching LOST and popped in Dear John. I am kind of a fan of Channing Tatum, not because he's hot, but because he kind of reminds me of my brother Gabe and the fact he was in the GI Joe movie, which I love for pure nostalgic reasons. It is definitely a forgettable movie, not a big Sparks fan but I like war stories. If you are watching this movie to get some cuddles, you will probably be disappointed, not the most romantic movie, so you'll have to put in a little more work after the movie... never mind...
So anyway, I thought that Dear John did point out something very important and something people take for granted. The saying, "Distance makes the heart fonder," probably came from a person who never had a long distance relationship. In the movie, John and Savannah met briefly in the summer and "fell in love." When John shipped out overseas, they began to passionately write letters back and forth sharing harrowing tales and broken hearts. John eventually came back to the states but decided to re-up and went back. The letters continued to flow back and forth, but soon John got his "Dear John" letter. Basically it came down to the fact that you can't have a relationship with a letter, no matter how much perfume or cologne you spray on it. You got to be in it to win it! In any relationship to work out you have to be present, not just physically present, but emotionally, spiritually and etc.
The same goes with our relationship with God. We can practice being in the presence of God through prayer, reading, singing, etc. Things that create distance: lying, stealing, anger, hate, unforgiving, pride, adultery, self righteousness, and the list goes on. If not checked we will find our selves asking why God has left us or why God would let certain things happen to us, but it has been us who have walked away. Praise God that he will leave the 99 sheep to find the one who is lost. He opens his arms and accepts the Prodigal son or daughter! He will take you as you are in your ugliness and shame and create in you a new creation, free of guilt and shame!
To God be all the glory!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ironman 2 was a BLAST!

A big thank you to my sister in law who thought it would be a great idea to watch the kids during mother's day weekend!! Whooo hooo! Free night means movie night! I suggested Ironman 2 and some other options, like "Date Night," but I think my wife knew I really wanted to watch Ironman 2.
I figured it was going to be as good as any sequel is, except for maybe "Bourne Supremacy" or "LOTR: Two Towers," but I was pleasantly surprised! More for the fact that my wife said she liked it and that she stayed awake! "But wait, there's more!" I was very happy to see Cheadle co-starring, I am a big Cheadle fan! Loved "Hotel Rwanda", "Talk to Me", "Reign Over Me", and "Traitor."
Ironman 2 follows up Stark's announcment that he is Ironman and that it is because of his efforts that there has been peace. He also states that there is no other tech out there close to what he has developed, and guess what, he's wrong...So Stark is fighting on a couple of fronts: 1. He has a new nemisis 2. His health is failing due to a toxic core 3. He is fighting to maintain his reputation. I will stop there so you can enjoy the movie if you havent seen it.
Overall, the movie was enterataining, Mickey Rourke played a believable Russian Thug Scientist, but I felt that the ending was abrupt, which by the way was my wifes favorite part. I would recommend seeing it in the theater if you can.
Oh by the way, I have been annoyed with having to carry around one dollar bills , so thank you Regal Cinemas for raising your prices to an even $10 so I don't need to carry any bills for change. Bills are so heavy and make so much noise when I put them in my pocket, just so annoying...geesh.
One thing in Ironman I wanted to further discuss was a scene where Stark is testifying in a Congressional hearing because the US government is trying to get his technology. Rebutting comments made by a legislator, Stark goes on boasting about how great he is, how he alone has helped maintain international peace, and how he is just so great. Peace, everyone wants peace and people want world peace, but peace can't be established by personkind. There is no hero among us who can unite the nations. Peace, true peace can only be found in one place. I love the bumper sticker, No Jesus, No Peace! Know Jesus, Know Peace!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Last of the Mohicans

So, I guess I am taking personal requests now. I was on the phone with my brother Joe and he asked me to review Last of the Mohicans. I said sure with out knowing how difficult it would be just to get the movie; 3 libraries and 45 minutes later I finally got my hands on it, besides who wants to watch the BBC version?!

Over all I thought the movie was ok. It was like watching Braveheart and the Patriot with less violence. I thought Inglorious Basterds was the first movie that showed an actual scalping but I was wrong. If you sneak a peak at this movie, you will get to witness a scalping, whoo hooo!

Daniel Day Lewis plays Hawkeye, a fur trapper who ends up helping a British Officer transport the daughters of a General to reunite them during the French and Indian War. (Why is called the French and Indian war when they both lost?) Of course, a love story develops between the eldest daughter and Hawkeye as well as a more subtle love story between the youngest daughter and Hawkeye's brother. There are some great battle scenes and beautiful scenery of the early Adirondack Days. You thought Albany is a small city today, wait until you see it in 1757. You also follow another Indian who is out seeking revenge on Colonel Munro due to the death of his family. Overall it is a pretty good film, if you liked the Patriot or Braveheart, you will definitely like watching The Last of the Mohicans. You can check out the trailer under the trailers page.

Besides the obvious love story and the sacrifices one might make for one's true love, I wanted to focus on a more subtle subject and that is the subject of Adoption. Hawkeye was adopted by a Mohican fur trapper and you could tell that Hawkeye had completely assimilated into his new surrounding.
As followers of Christ, we are adopted as sons and daughters into the Family of God. We are accepted as we are in our imperfections. When I think of those who are adopted, it is usually under rough circumstances, un-planned pregnancy, unable to provide a stable home, unable to provide general necessities, or possibly the parent feels they are incapable to raise the child as they should. I can only imagine how those circumstances affect the adopted child as they grow up under the knowledge of their adoption; feelings of abandonment, rejection, crisis with identity, anger, hopelessness, and fear. No matter what our family situation is, God is our only True Father. He does not abandon, he does not abuse, he does not disappoint, he does not lie, he does not let us down. Even I have to realize that I will let my own children down and bring disappointment in their lives but I pray that they will one day know Jesus and call him Abba Father. No matter how far we have walked away, Christ waits with open arms. No amount of shame or fear can keep us from Christ, we just have to confess our sin and ask for forgiveness found in Christ alone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What is so precious about Precious !?

Wow! What an insane movie! Based on the novel PUSH, director Lee Daniels deals with some deep and dark stuff, including rape, incest, mental and physical abuse, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, and even Mongoloids.
If you haven't seen it, watch it! But beware, it is a tough movie to watch. Gabourey Sidibe gets an A+++ on her acting as Precious along with Mo'nique who played her mother. You will find other treats like Mariah Carrey playing a Social Worker and Lenny Kravitz playing a kind, male nurse.
I think everybody has a good idea of what the film is about so I will give a brief summary and then get into some controversial issues brought up in the movie.

So Precious, you find out early is pregnant again and the father is her father!! What the heck?! You fall in love with her character from the beginning, you feel deep sorrow for her hell she lives through and yet you also appreciate her optimism and dreams for a very different life. Precious wants to pursue her education and her dead beat mom just wants her to go down and start collecting "the welfare." Precious faces ridicule and constant dehumanization from her family and the streets. Precious makes some real tough choices, one including keeping her 2nd baby that was conceived by incestual rape and the other one to stay in school at the fear of physical, violent retribution by her own mom.
At the end of the movie, I was left with a glimmer of hope that Precious might just make it, because Precious, even though a fictional character, embodies the hell and fear that many kids live through today.

What blew my mind was the treatment of the incestual rape of precious. You see flashbacks of precious that include the rape, multiple beatings, and constant psychological abuse. To think a girl has to go through that is horrible, but it happens and it happens even today. It was reported that 7 out of 10 women face some kind of sexual abuse and that is only out of the ones reported! Watching this and I think how evil humans can be and that Satan walks around like a lion looking for anyone to devour. And the thing about sin is it likes to hide in the dark and uses fear to stay hidden. Sin will do anything to keep out of the light. In the movie, Precious' mom kept her in the house except for school and used violence and fear to keep her quiet, and what secret did her mom want to keep hidden? That she is getting undeserved welfare. The house was always dark and it was only Precious and her mom. When a teacher buzzed to talk to Precious, her mom later beat her because she didn't want any "white $%^&" coming around the house. Sin enslaves you by keeping you in the dark and crippled with fear.

The last issue I want to discuss is the issue of homosexuality. One teacher that really showed her love happened to be a lesbian. Now, this was based on a novel and probably was put there on purpose, but as Precious said, "The homos didn't beat me...they didn't rape me..." This got me thinking about love. Rejects usually accept others that are rejected, because they know what its like to be hurt and cast away. I am thinking these are the kinds of people that Christ would have hung out with. In Matthew, "12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

When some of us think of sexuality, we think homosexuality bad, heterosexuality good, and even God talks about homosexuality being an abomination. He also talks about lust, looking at another's spouse, marrying a divorced women, and other heterosexual acts as sin. Is one greater than the other? Will God judge homosexuals any different than heterosexuals? When it comes down to it, it come to this, Is Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour? Is my name written in the Book of Life? Do I as a Christ follower love homosexuals less, by no means.

Matthew 25:37-46 (New International Version)

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Ultimately, we, followers of Christ are called to love the Least of These, no matter who they are.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brothers Review

I was a little hesitant when I picked this movie up at Red Box. I was in a hurry and there was a short line forming and Brothers was one of the first new releases I knew I was interested in so I got it. I practically had the movie figured out; husband goes to war and dies, wife mourns, brother comes into the rescue, they hook up and then, viola, hubby didn't die, drama, drama, drama, wife has to choose and
it's the end of the world for somebody. So I was curious how this would play out.
Right away I knew I was going to have a hard time watching this movie when I saw Toby Maguire playing Capt. Cahill, a marine and Natalie Portman as Grace Cahill, his military wife. Toby made an awful Spiderman and because of Toby's role as Spidey, I have lost interest in the whole franchise. He always seems to play weak characters and I thought the director could have picked a better choice for a marine.
What's up with Natalie?! She goes from queen Amidala, the other Boelyn girl and now a mom with two kids?! Not buying it! She looked like she could be her daughters' babysitter in the movie. I felt Jake, playing Tommy Cahill, Sam's brother, did a decent job but the acting awards go to the two girls who play the daughters. They did an awesome job.
My prediction about the plot was pretty close. Brothers did not focus on the build up of tension between the "death notification" and the development of the relationship between the wife and brother. As a watcher, you know right away that Captain Cahill is not dead and the romance that builds up between Grace and Tommy is slow and subtle, you even wonder if they are going to hook up. The climax is less than
climatic. You can see for your self and actually does the movie a lot of good.
Captain finally comes home, burdening a secret that he is ashamed to share and his family starts to fall apart, starting with him. An Othello like scene takes place where Sam asks Tommy if he was "@&$%#*" his wife and starts to get jealous and angry with no one able to persuade him that his family was telling the truth about what transpired between Grace and Tommy. Ultimately, Brothers was not about hot steamy
sex between bro and sis-in law, but about the domestic wars soldiers fight after they come home from battle, the loneliness, fear, loss of intimacy between wife and children, deep dark secrets buried 10,000 feet but still floating at the surface, the coming to that your world is not the same. The familiar is now foreign and the once foreign is now family. Honestly, when I think about all the soldiers and the hells they live through, as well as all the hells their families live through, my
heart breaks. Every time they deploy a part of them dies, a part of their family dies, and soon, if they let them, the relationships that are forged by sweat, blood and steel start to replace the folks back home. Out there, you are playing for keeps. Its life or death! The mechanic is your brother not because your both from NY, but he
maintains the Humvee you drive in day and night and if you can't count on him, you might as well count yourself among the dead. Your gunner is your brother, not because you both like the red sox, but he covers your 6 and you cover his. Back in Civi land, you don't have relationships like that. Your family doesn't understand but they want
to. Soldiers have dark, dark secrets that they try to bury but they fight they way to surface. Soldiers and military families face many battlefronts, abroad, state side, emotional, spiritual, and physical. My heart goes out to all soldiers and their families. Only Christ can bring that which is dead back to life! Only Christ can forgive any and all offenses and create a new person! There is hope, there is
redemption, and it is only found in Jesus Christ! Soldiers are trained for long humps with heavy packs, but some packs they can't carry alone but refuse to seek help due to pride and fear. May God remove the blinders and take away any pride that may hinder healing and reconciliation.
To God be glory forever and ever, Amen!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Page!

I just added a Trailer page to the Blog so you can get a glimpse of the movies I review. Thank you You Tube. You can find the Trailer page on top of the Blog under the title. Enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010


So I have gotten a lot of feedback saying people can't read the blog. I have done some research and think I found a fix. Can somebody check try to get to my blog via FB and let me know if it works?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Remember Ghost Riding?

Finally, my wife and I got a date night with out the kids. A big thank you to my mom and my brother, thanks for keeping the couch warm.

After reading some reviews and realizing that Clash of the Titans opens up next week, we caught a late showing of Ghost Writer, starring Ewan MacGregor, Kim Cattrall, Pierce Bronsman, and I knew I saw Jim Belushi. Checking the movie out on Flixster (iPhone App), it received a 78% user rating, higher than all the other current box office hits on the screen, so I was expecting great things. Descriptions of the movie portrayed Ghost Writer as a thriller, political thriller, but when the movie started I thought I walked into a comedy. Polanski kept the mood light on a usually intense topic. I was hoping it would have a more Bourne Identity feel. Being slightly disappointed, I tried to keep a positive outlook but the slow pace and story development made it tough to stay awake and I don't sleep through movies! I am glad I didn't because it did get better towards the last half hour.

MacGregor plays the Ghost, a Ghost writer who is hired to finish writing the memoirs of an ex-prime minister of England after the previous ghost died suspiciously. The ex-prime minister is in the middle of war crime allegations and the Ghost comes across some evidence that could incriminate the prime minister and his family. Ultimately, the Ghost discovers that the CIA influenced the ex-Prime minister decision making in order to benefit the USA.

Walking out of the movie theater, I felt as if I had just left an art gallery after admiring a forgettable piece of work. I will admit that Polanski's Ghost Writer is one of the more artistic movies I have seen in a while, which I appreciate but I felt like I was watching a play rather than a movie. One redeeming quality is that Ghost Writer is full of irony and I found my self chuckling quite often. Still, leaving the movie I felt like I was left with nothing to work with, no intriguing insight into the meaning of life or some great moral dilemma to pick sides. I figured I need to write this quick before I forget about it.

Now the real question is, as a follower of Christ, how do I respond? Ghost Writer portrays the consequences of seeking to build man's kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.
Human kind is easily blinded by the lust for power, wealth, and influence. Satan's most powerful weapon is distraction. Many believe that this world we live in is all we get and that the most important things in life are things and power over things. I love the bumper sticker that says the best things in life aren't things. Jesus reflects this in Matthew 16: 23- 28

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

In Matthew 19, Christ talks about how someone can get into Heaven and in verse 30 he says, "But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." In the previous versus, Jesus was talking to a rich man and telling him to sell all his possessions.
Matthew 19: 20-24
20"All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?"
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Satan is the king of lies and everyday we swallow the lies whole so that we can't see beyond our desires. We can't see the Truth that is hidden.
In Luke 19, we find that Jesus wept over the fact that the people he came to save were blind and would pay the consequences:

Luke 19: 41-44 "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

My prayer is that those who are blinded by Satan would let Christ rub some mud in their eyes so that they may see that Christ is the True King and that they would have eternal life that is found only in Christ. Amen

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should Christians Watch Movies?

Watching movies has been a favorite past time since I was a kid. I remember watching movies late at night with my parents, like Jaws and Killer Rabbits (not official title) and having discussions about what's real and what's not. One of my favorite classes in college was the "Art and History of Film", especially when my homework was to watch movies, holla!
Even though I love watching movies, I love my Lord Jesus Christ most of all! Do movies fit in a life devoted to Christ? Well, I don't remember Jesus going to the cinema and to be honest I don't know if he would go into a theater for the sole purpose of watching a movie. I don't know... Maybe there will be a time where I stop watching movies, I don't know. I do believe that the idea of watching R and even PG-13 movies split Christians and non-Christians alike. Some think it is ok and some don't. In Galations, Paul talks about Freedom in Christ and that we should not use this freedom to indulge in sin. So I believe it comes down to the heart. If watching certain movies causes you to sin, I say don't watch. I know my self there are movies I don't like to watch movies that contain a lot of sexuality, nudity, persistent vulgarities, over indulgent violence, gore, stories about infidelity, demonic and most horror movies. I do like to watch movies about people and issues people deal with on a daily basis. I like stories about redemption and change. God is in the business of changing lives and each unique person has unique baggage that needs to be checked in. I believe that movies reflect the thoughts and points of view of people that I might not have encountered and that leads to learning and understanding.
I watch movies in order to learn. I also watch movies to get out of the house and spend time with my wife. I watch movies because it is something I have been doing for over 20 years. Yet when talking about movies to others, except for this occasion, I am careful of my audience because my tolerance may be different from another and I do not want to offend a Brother or Sister in Christ. In Romans 14, Paul talks about not judging our other brothers and sisters. I should not judge a brother or sister who will not watch a certain movie that I would or vice versa for we will all stand before God to be judged. Paul also talks about some foods that some consider clean and some consider unclean, leading to arguments and judgements. Paul says to not destroy another for your own "eating." Be careful to not offend a weaker brother or sister. I would give up watching a movie if I knew it would offend another.

Watching and discussing movies gives me an opportunity to relate the truths of God to the ideas, values, philosophies that are portrayed in the films. I believe people are searching for truth and movies give us glimpses of what others see as truth. I see it as an access point to the Gospel, the One Truth, found in Christ Jesus. "I am the way, the truth and the light, no one gets to the Father but through me."

Really, you have never heard of Red Box?

After receiving a couple comments I have quickly learned that some people have never heard of Red Box. So this one goes out to the ones I love... Red Box is a DVD Vending machine found at some, obviously not all, grocery stores, Wal-Marts, and some Mc Donalds. If you haven't Red Boxed, I recommend finding one near you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yo, I just texted this post! Blogspot is the bomb!

Movie Review to Come!

I am hoping to write my first movie review this weekend. Anybody have
any flick recommendations?

Red Box VS Blockbuster

Renting movies is one of my favorite weekend activities with my wife, but not The favorite... Anyway, I am thankful my wife is not a big chick flick fan and usually she will fall asleep half way during the movie, especially if it has a lot of action. So, where do I go to get a DVD that suits my fancy? I used to use Net Flix and quickly switched to Blockbuster online, of course that was before we had kids and more time on our hands. More recently, two kids later, I have been going back and forth between Blockbuster and Red Box. I have decided to DUMP blockbuster and go steady with Red Box.
Here's why:
- Red Box is conveniently located in the grocery store we visit to stock up on milk
- It only costs a $1 a night compared to $2 + $1 each additional night
- I can drop off the movie at any Red Box I might be close to.
- I like to watch new releases and Red Box keeps up with the new releases.

Is Red Box perfect, no!
- My patience is definitely tested when there is a small family scrolling and scrolling and unable to decide which movie to pick.
-Or if there is a long line and all I need to do is return.
- Or if one machine is down and its a Weekend Night

Over all I am a Red Box Fan!

But I must say, Red Box and Blockbuster have great iPhone apps, go iPhone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brand New Launch!

Blogging is something I have always been interested in but felt like I had nothing truly to blog about. Two things I really love, Jesus Christ and movies, so what better to blog about than movies I watch and how they fit in the Kingdom of God. I am hoping to keep this up at least weekly or bi-weekly as I tend to watch movies on the weekend. My hope too, is that others would comment and develop rich dialogue about rich subjects.