Archive for December, 2008

08 Top picks for 08 from Q&E Co-host Abby Rooney

December 31, 2008

Abby Just sent me her picks:

The order goes from 1 the best to 8 the least, however my top three are really more like a tie.

  1. The Dark Knight 

  2. C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian   

  3. The Day the Earth Stood Still 

  4. The Incredible Hulk 

  5. Iron Man 

  6. Wanted 

  7. M. Knight Shyamalan’s The Happening 

  8. Cloverfield
    (Yes, I’m serious…I really liked it!)

    Now I’m going to see what yours were!

    Abby Rooney

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Advertisements

Top Picks from the 2008 Pile

December 31, 2008

Looking at all the issues – Film Making – Acting – Message – Etc. These are my 08 picks for best films of 2008

(Check back, reviews are on the way for all of these films.)

  1. C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian 
  2. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
  3. Cult of Sincerity 
  4. The Day The Earth Stood Still
  5. Fireproof 
  6. Twilight *
  7. Iron Man *
  8. The Picture of Dorian Gray 

Most of these movies were fun and entertaining with good messages. The only one here to make my list of Must See Movie Recommendations was The Picture of Dorian Gray and that movie was released in 1945 but was finally released on DVD in 2008. Since the pickings are so shallow this year, and this movie is so good, I’m deciding that the DVD release makes it eligible if only to raise the quality of this list! (I did have Kit Kittredge: An American Girl  in at one point, but I nixed it to make room for Fireproof.)

* Twilight and Iron Man are movies I like now but am fearful that the sequels will make me regret putting them on this list.

Give us YOUR PICKS in the COMENETS!

(Check back, reviews are on the way for all of these films.)

  1. B001EDOC5Q The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  2. B001BYLFFS Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
  3. B001MBTT3U Cult Of Sincerity
  4. B001KZIRK4 The Day the Earth Stood Still
  5. B001KEHAFI Fireproof
  6. B0018CERHQ Twilight
  7. B001C08RHA Iron Man
  8. B000OHBCI8 The Picture of Dorian Gray

honorable mention

B000WGVEAC Kit Kittredge – An American Girl

Schultz

December 31, 2008

peanutsmovies

X-Men III (and a bit of I and II)

December 31, 2008

What Is It?

This is the third installment of the comic book movie series that revived the comic book genre in theaters. The X-men are people who have the Mutant X gene and thus have varying ranges of powers (oddly akin to Greek gods and heroes). An overly-conservative society has labeled these scary people a threat. With the world against them, two factions build up. The first is lead by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) – an actor who will never get the respect he deserves because he pours his talent into Sci-Fi.) Professor X believes that the people of the earth are to co-exist and take care of each other. He runs a school for the “gifted” where he teaches mutants how to use their power wisely and be productive members of the world. The other faction is lead by Magneto (Shakespearean actor Ian McKellen), a mutant who has survived a Nazi concentration camp. Seeing current mutant opposition as the next wave of racial cleansing, he rebels in the other direction, planning to unite mutants to take over and crush the humans.

The first movie opened the story with Logan ( Hugh Jackman), nicknamed Wolverine, one of the most popular comic book characters greatly in part to his bad attitude and retractable blade claws. The plot revolves around his discovery of the school for mutants and his own place in the mutant community – a place without the option of neutrality. In the second installment, X-Men United, legislation is brought about to stop the mutants while a small military faction comes up with a plausible plan to destroy them all. This leaves both factions with the choice to work together or die apart.

Here, in number three, society is starting to accept mutant-kind. But a research firm has come up with a “cure” for the Mutant X gene. When the military decides to use it as a weapon to defend themselves against mutants, Magneto finds the fodder for propaganda. Translating the horrors of Nazi Germany into the current situation, he rallies the disfranchised mutants to destroy the less desirable sub-species so that they can live in peace and their evolution can continue.

How Was It?

It was big, bad, brutal, and entertaining. With all that, it was also the worst of the series. This seems to be a transitional movie, with the importance resting on realigning the factions and killing off (or radically changing) characters. (I am usually impressed by stories gutsy enough to kill off major characters, but in a comic book world where everyone can come back… who cares?)

The other films were deeper and more fun. Here you get Wolverine mowing down hundreds of random mutants, and though that’s kind of cool, it’s not as fascinating as watching him square off again Sabertooth or Mystique. I really wanted to see a good one-on-one battle between two bizarre people with weird powers. In a nutshell – Body Count: Way Up; Action Excitement: Down.

The other problem with the film was that you really didn’t get to know anyone. Reportedly Halle Berry , who plays Storm, wanted to leave because her character didn’t progress. Here they keep her by saying “We can’t give you a raise, but we can give you a title!” Kelsey Grammer was a brilliant choice to play the Beast, but instead of developing him, they just tell you it’s a Kelsey Grammer character (refined taste, suits, high brow job) who happens to be a big blue mutant. Wolverine is still learning the same lesson about team work vs. vigilantism that he had to learn in the last two films, and it’s starting to seem like a ritual formality.

Furthermore more there are no plans that I know of for an X-men 4, but Hugh Jackman’s production company (who did this film) has managed to hire Hugh Jackman for the upcoming film “Wolverine“. (There is also a “Magneto” movie in the works for next year, thus moving the movies the way of the comic books and giving the team their own individual stories.)

I think this movie will be liked by fans and acquire new ones. Despite that, though, it reminded me of the gifted child who gets a B+ on a project. Sure, it’s not bad, but it’s definitely not living up to its potential.

Is It Good For Kids?

This movie is very violent, even compared to the others. There are also 3 cuss words are said as insults to others and were “cool” because they were cuss words. In other words, I think it would encourage kids to say them. Then there was the almost sex scene between Wolverine and Jean Grey (Famke Janssen). and (spoiler) when Mystique ( Rebecca Romijn) is shot with the “mutant cure.” She WAS a naked blue lady with scales for a bikini. After being cured she is lying naked and human on the floor with just enough of the fetal position to prevent an R rating. Amy said that it went on for far longer then necessary to get the point across.

I also saw something good for kids that I haven’t seen in the other two (or any other film for that matter). As Wolverine and Jean started at each other, a mom with two boys (under 4th grade is my guess) left the theater, and didn’t come back. If you know the woman who took her boys to see the beginning of X-men in Concord , pass along my congratulations.

You can check Screenit.com so you know if you would want to leave before you go.

-or before you rent X-men or X2

What About Spiritual Issues?

The first movie had the conservative uptight congressman saying that God hated the perversion of mutants and Magneto explaining that God is love, and thus couldn’t hate anything.

The second included a Catholic character that apparently missed the day they discussed Jesus sacrifice on the cross in CCD, because he gave himself tattoo/branding marks every time he sinned to make amends for it.

And in each installment, especially this one, evolution is the key to it all. The people are mutating or evolving (depending on your view of it). In this film Magneto reaffirms that we are evolving into gods. This is a common evolutionally idea, that homo-sapiens are the “transitional species” between monkeys and gods.

The other issue is homosexuality. (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11) There are no openly gay characters in the X-men movies. Still, it has been a popular comic book of people who believe they were born different and society should just accept it.

In the second movie they had a scene where Ice Man (Shawn Ashmore ) has to “come out of the closet” to his parents… about being a mutant. There is nothing as blatant in this film, but there is a lot of rhetoric for the homosexual community to hang their hat on. The unfortunate thing about this link is two fold. One, the fictional mutations shown in the x-Men movies are always helpful to the mutated (though in nature mutations always debilitate) where homosexuality is forbidden by God because it will hurt you and your loved ones, regardless of the world’s acceptance of you. Secondly, it reinforces that anyone who thinks its “bad” is a bigot who hates you. It does not leave any room for the biblical model of love – wanting to help people who are in destructive sinful lifestyles because it will hurt them. Once again we miss the point of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. He thought your sin (including homosexuality) was hell worthy; therefore, out of love for you, he died on the cross to pay for your sins so you could have a relationship with him. It’s so sad to see this struggle for acceptance at the cost of perfect love.

What is your Recommendation?

If you are thinking about it for your kids, as with all the modern comic  book movies, I would be very careful. They are designed for adults knowing the kids are locked in anyway.

Outside of that, it is what it is. The X-men are there, you get to meet new mutants and be hit with their philosophies

If you do go, stay for the credits and remember Professor X’s class. Also, Look for X-Men creator Stan Lee, he does cameo’s in all the movies based on his characters. (See what he looks like here.)

I think the irony of all this was that many churches were thrilled to see this movie push the DaVinci Code out of the top spot, while this series has philosophies equally destructive to faith – but is presented in a way that will not get peoples guard up.

The Incredible Hulk Q&E Review Show

December 29, 2008

B001DHXT20 Incredible Hulk B000FDDYPA The Incredible Hulk – The Complete First Season

B001ECDVH2 The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series

Blockbuster On Line Links

December 26, 2008

blockbuster_logo3

I just wanted to let you know that I have updated the movie recommendation page.

It now has buttons to add the movies directly to your Queue.

There are already links to Amazon.com as well.

Let me know what you think.

(I will be getting Netflix links up soon)

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008

Question Entertainment brings you a tribute to the greatest Christmas Special…

Signs

December 21, 2008

signs


What Is It?
M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs is a huge hit film by the writer director often favorably compared to Steven Spielberg
 and Alfred Hitchcock. It’s the story of a family living on a farm. The dad, Mel Gibson, is a former pastor who is holding a grudge against God due to his wife’s accidental death. He has two young children and his brother lives with them to help out now that it’s a single family house hold. That seems like enough to be a great film, but we pile on top of that the fact that crop circles have been found in the family’s corn field. (Do you know how hard it is to break down corn?) The family, and the world, wrestles with the question “is this for real”. Then the next avalanche of questions comes quick and over shadow the first. “Is there a God?” “Will he help?” “Does he care?” This inquiry becomes the cattalos to move the film from B-movie plot, to emotional drama and creepy (maybe) Sci-Fi uneasiness.
How Was It?
This is a great peace of film making. The uneasiness of the possibility of alien’s just drives into the open, fears and family unrest that seems to have been lurking since the death of the father’s wife. The acting is great, the cinematography is beautiful and the creepy veneer works through the whole film. Shyamalan does some amazing things here. Like including touching stories from Graham about the days his two children were born, in the middle of one of the most perilous scenes in the film. As an aside: I have spoken to a few people who were really disappointed with this film. It seems the common denominator was that they thought it was an “Alien” film. They missed all the great family drama waiting for it to be “War of the Worlds.”
Is It Good For Kids?
It is dark and spooky. There is some violence that does not promote violence, but is heavy on the emotions. There are also a couple of cuss words (that are shown as bad). All in all I think younger kids would miss the point and just get fodder for nightmares.


You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.



How about Spiritual Issues?
The title of the film is not referring to aliens, but from a conversation where Mel Gibson’s character, Rev. Graham Hess, asks if you are the kind of person that “Sees coincidence, or sees miraculous see signs” Though out the film you see Morgan (Rory Culkin) try to deal with the distance between himself and his earthly father Graham Hess. This serves as a picture of Graham’s struggle with his heavenly father. You even hear Graham quote lines from his son said to him when he is talking to God. Graham acts in his own strength doubting that God will “bother” to act. This film is filled with ideas about faith and how life is 100% different if God is actually involved in the lives of the people who trust Him. .


(DON’T READ THIS PART IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO SPOIL THE END)


 At the end, Graham sees that all the odd little things about his family were orchestrated by God so that God himself could literally save the life of Graham’s son. The closing shot of the film show’s Graham back in his Priest outfit and the cross on the wall is back. (During the rest of the film you could only see a “clean” spot where the cross had been.)
What Is Your Recommendation?
If you can handle something a little on the creepy side, this is an excellent film! From the beautiful camera work, the subtle performances, the great script and the well crafted presentation of very important essages, this is something to encourage the believer and share with those still unsure of God.


B00005JL3T Signs


A little more Christmas Music

December 21, 2008

ok, Here is a little more christmas music:

… from the other side of the tree…

Sounds Familyre Christmas 2 

and

 sufjan stevens – songs for christmas vol.8

I have seen two music videos from the new Sixpence Album (Thank you drivebyMEDIA):

And if you have missed it: Here is my origonal Christmas Music 24/7!

The Films of M Night Shyamalan [part 2] a Question Entertainment extra

December 11, 2008

B000QUU4M8 Signs / The Village

B00064LJVE The Village

B000JLTR8Q Lady in the Water

0316017345 Lady in the Water

B001DZOC6Y The Happening