Archive for February, 2009

Pictures of Jesus in Film and Literature PART 3 a Question Entertainment Extra

February 23, 2009

Pictures of Jesus in Film and Literature PART 2 a Question Entertainment Extra

February 18, 2009

High School Musical 3 on DVD

February 16, 2009

If you have been anywhere with advertising the last couple of weeks, you know that the latest High School Musical is about to hit DVD. Check out our analysis of the mega popular franchise (Which will return to TV with a “New Class” 4) and let us know what YOU think of HSM!

  • High School Musical
  • High School Musical 3 Q&E Review Show
  • New and Improved “Nothing New”

    February 12, 2009

    OK, we went to the same theater last night and seriously….

     

     

     

     

     

    all2

    Pictures of Jesus in Film and Literature PART 1

    February 11, 2009

    In which movies and books have you found “Christ Characters”?

    Which of the 6 Jesuses do you think they are?

    Steve Taylor Movies – The Second Chance and Blue Like Jazz

    February 6, 2009

    Here is one of the most exciting bits of movie news I have heard in a while.

    This means that I will be reading Blue Like Jazz as soon as I’m done with Kronos!

    0785263705 Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

    1935142011 Kronos

     

    For those of you not up on Steve Taylor’s film career, his last film was

    second_chance

    What Is It?

    See a bit of it here!

    After doing a direct to video comedy, “Newsboys: Down Under The Big Top” rumors were flying about a full length feature from rocker turned movie maker, Steve Taylor.  After its limited theatrical release, Steve’s independent film, picked up by Sony, is now on DVD.

    Michel W. Smith plays Ethan Jenkins, a charismatic* Associate Pastor with a book deal, being groomed to take over at his father’s mega church. The board thinks the best way to “clip his wings” is to send him down to work under the Pastor of “The Second Chance.” This is a struggling inner-city church that his father ( J. Don Ferguson ) founded and is now run by Pastor Jake Sanders (Jeff Obafemi Carr). So, the squeaky clean preppy boy needs to learn to put his faith into action in a place that does not welcome him.

    *charismatic personality, not theology 

    How Was It?

    This is not going to blow the doors off Hollywood , but it is a good film. This is a Christian film and the message is for Christians. Despite the usual Christian fare, this film is Cheese free! (God Not Gouda) I don’t know if Michel W. Smith can act outside of this, but if nothing else, he was type cast well enough that it works. The movie is clever and interesting all the way through. It doesn’t resort to clichés, nor does it feel like they are doing something just for the sake of avoiding a cliché.

    Is It Good For Kids?

    This is a Christian film, which does not make it a Family Film. Though it is discussed that “God doesn’t like it” there is cussing (but never the Lord’s name). Sub plots deal with gang violence, drugs, as well as references to Abortion, genocide, and children taken from their family. It is all handled very well. There are biblical perspectives communicated about all of these issues, but they are there.

    (I’m trying to “list” a little more because this movie is not on screenit.com.)

    What about Spiritual Issues?

    That is what this movie is about. The big question posed here is “If you are going to follow God, are you willing to take it all they way?”

    This film is not here to challenge what you believe, but to challenge what you do with what you believe. James 2:17

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    Go rent it. You will definitely get the value of your rental fee out of this film. This would also be a good thing to kick off talks in your church about service or missions.

    And if you don’t know Steve Taylor, check him out.

    www.onfritz.com

     

    ps

    The Music that did not make it on the Sound Track CD is from the L.A. Symphony!

    B000FIHNA2 The Second Chance DVD

    6304252447 Newsboys: Down Under The Big Top VHS

    B000CC1TRY The Second Chance CD

    B000B66POI Disappear Here CD

    And Steve Tayler was a Solo artist himself

    clone-front-cover1I want to be a clone

     B001B3PCYE Meltdown

    B0002Q5ZT8 On the Fritz

    cgChagall Guevara

    B000VI1352 Squint

    B000SR6BBW Steve Taylor, Now the Truth Can Be Told

     (Best of Steve Taylor covering everything before Squint)

    There is Nothing New Under the Sun (Even in Sunny Hollywood) [almost Wordless Wednesday]

    February 4, 2009

    The other day my wife and I went to the movies and saw these four posters all hanging in a row.

    all

    V for Vendetta

    February 2, 2009

    v_for_vendetta_wallpaper_004

    What Is It?

    Not just another comic book movie, V was the return of the Wachowski brothers, whose Matrix trilogy has spawned a new love affair with mind twisting / religion tainted sci-fi and black leather.  (It was writen by the Wachowskis, but Directed by James McTeigue, a second unit director on the second and third Matrix films.)

    We are introduced to a near-future England. America has fallen into third world status, and England has been taken over by a totalitarian ruler who, in the name of conservatism and Christian-style religion, holds the country under his iron boot.

    This is where our hero comes in. In the spirit of Guy Fawkes (the real life rebel who was executed for trying to overthrow the English monarchy by attempting to blow up parliament) V has plotted to turn the people against their government in an attempt to give them true freedom. Dark futuristic images that draw from many parts of history, as well as some well “executed” action, fill the screen with a nice blend of comic book sci-fi and old fashion swashbuckling.

    How Was It?

    After the last two Matrix films, you may have thought they were one trick ponies, but they finally have a worthy follow-up. It requires a lot of thinking to keep all the events in line. You are not given the luxury of really knowing who’s on what side, though you know the top of the government is corrupt and you hope V (Hugo Weaving) is not.

    The story is full of intrigue, human drama and action. It will satisfy your longing to send your mind into an entertaining knot for a little while. (Though V’s entrance is a bit close to Howl in “Howl’s Moving Castle.”)

    I also enjoy the use of old movies, music and literature as staples through the film. It gives this move a classic feel with the idea that something has been lost along the way. This was coupled with the idea that “Authors use lies to reveal the truth while politicians use lies to hide it” Here we have an open admission to the fact that stories (movies, books, etc) are trying to tell you something. This one thinks that it has something to say. And if all this simply ignites the fear that you may have to think in a movie theater, have no fear, your firing synapse will be rewarded with some first rate fight scenes.

    Is It Good For Kids?

    There are a lot of images that you would want to shield children from. It’s not just the blood splatters from the guns and knives, but also the images of sexuality that are not provocative, but send messages that will be disturbing to a person who cannot discern the reality of the activities.

    You can check Screenit.com for a break down of what is on the screen.

    What about Spiritual Issues?

    There are many levels of spirituality in this film. From the beginning we find out from V that “I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.” Things keep happening that seem like coincidence, but we are reminded that they are providence.

    This is all well and good, but it turns out that this “God” is simply there to allow us to find personal freedom by simply “being who we really are.” People who have ideas akin to Christianity, such as “other religions are false” or “homosexuality is a sin,” do not use these ideas to offer help and hope to people. Rather, they are transformed by their beliefs into hate-filled monsters who want to destroy all who believe differently. So God is good, but He is not a God who tells us what is bad. Those who think they know what beliefs are destructive are visually linked to Big Brother, Hitler and all manner of evil.

    Homosexuality is another large theme in this film. People who have chosen the gay lifestyle are shown to be just fine if other people would leave them alone. Yes, the Christian response should be to reach out in love to people making these destructive decisions in their life, and to offer them a true alternative. Here the religious simply imprison and kill to keep the corruption from spreading. Sadly, there are Christians who act this way. Still, another deception in the film is that homosexuality is without consequences apart from those artificially imposed by the intolerant.

    Then there is the priest. Of course he is corrupt. Of course he is the paid patsy of the evil government. Of course they go with the current “Priest Sex Scandal.” The priest is going to have sex with one of the girls that are provided for him when he is told that this one is much older than usual. It turns out to be the 25 year old Natalie Portman in pigtails and costume as if she were 6. Here is another massive point of dishonesty. Yes, there were priests found to be pedophiles, but the overwhelming majority of victims were little boys. This would not fit with their idea of homosexuality being an indifferent/good thing, so it’s not there.

    In hindsight, I see the entire priest situation as dishonest. If we are to believe that we can follow our passions, why should we look down on this pedophile for following his?

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    This movie scared me. I know it’s a bit irrational, but I was carried by the emotional nature and violence on the screen. I saw on the screen an evil caricature of the conservative Christian. I saw me cast as the oppressive villain. As I realized that the solution to this oppression was to kill the religious zealot. V used stories and movies to get this message across. I sat in the theater of people getting this message through stories and movies and wondered if I would make it to the car.

    If you are hearing about it from a lot of people, you may want to see it to know what’s been said about you in the theater. Still, the best recommendation with a film like this is to forget the film. Work on living your faith for real. Don’t give up on truth but speak it in love and let it move you to mercy. Do not let the Wachowski brothers turn you into their portrait of an evil Christian or their watered down vision of a God follower.

    Remember: Jesus said:

    All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

    Matthew 10:22