Archive for the ‘drama’ Category

Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcock

August 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcock. (1899–1980)
For thous of you unfamiliar with this genius, Hitchcock had no morals, he did not believe in them. Still he loved drama and he loved story and though that they did not work with out morals. (To paraphrase) he said that to create drama, you draw a clear moral line and then have a character obviously cross it (in an entertaining fashion). Now, when there is a moral law and you break it, there must be a consequence. You are now waiting for the consequence and that creates drama. It’s funny how, as a creator he mirrored his CREATOR much more than he did as a creation. Still, not all of his films end up on the moral high ground, but he did make some of the best films ever and many of them at least land on the right foot. I suggest you start with films like Vertigo, Rear Window, Notorious and Rope. I would avoid films like “The Trouble With Harry” that were supposed to be funny because he didn’t include the “moral line.” All he accomplishes here is to prove that yes, he needed the moral line to create great film.
If you want to go modern, I would not bother with the remakes but check out M. Knight Shamalon’s “Signs” From the opening music you can tell this is a tribute to Mr. Hitchcock and from the raw genius and strong moral lines, it is a fitting one.

True Grit

April 25, 2011

This is a review of the movie True Grit
It answers the questions
What Is It?
How Was It?
Is It Good For Kids?
What About Spiritual Issues?
and
What Is Your Recommendation?

The music is “My Darling Whippoorwill” by Mortal from their album “Wake”
Here is the link for that –http://goo.gl/EDx7F

God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash from America 5
http://goo.gl/PL7Al

True Grit DVD
http://goo.gl/925kz

True Grit Soundtrack
http://goo.gl/6JF1W

The Shack by William Young: book review

April 29, 2010

What Is It?

Giving the feel of spiritual fantasy in real life; Mac, with the help of a buddy, sets out to document the time his youngest daughter fell pray to a serial killer and he was then invited back to the crime scene to spend a long weekend hanging out with the physical manifestation of the Holy Trinity…. “High Concept” is alive and well!

How Was It?
This inspirational Journey seems to even off the book shelf owned byMITCH ALBOM’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven. First time author William P. Young, isn’t going to wow you with his writing style but it’s not going to detract from the story either. (Take note Mrs. Stephanie Meyer)
The story is well detailed and the “just some guy trying to Jot down the details of an amazing experience” motif makes any lack of skill just a plot devise .

The beginning feels like you are being manipulated into liking or relating with this guy so that you will care about his interactions later. The fun thing is, it works.

When he does meet God, it smacks of “the magic minority” (where in a white centered story, the character in the ethnic minority emerges as the inspirational Yoda to cause the protagonist to have their self revelation.) God the son is literally Jesus, a nondescript Jewish man. the Holy Spirit is a mystical Japanese woman and because Mac has a problem relating to father figures, God the Father appears as a black woman named Papa. (Think “the Oracle” from the Matrix, though later in the book they seem to switch over and borrow from “Firefly“). This all “works” in the story but it’s because you are into the story and can gloss over he fact that God has been handed to you in the form of trite racial cliché. Dispute all this, most my criticism is in retrospect because this fun, interesting story informed by many devotional books and Christian rock and folk music, helps you put all that aside so you can just enjoy “hanging out” with the story.

Is It Good For Kids?
It’s reading level and straight forward attitude would make this a very assessable book for kids. (No problem if they are reading Twilight and Harry Potter.) I see two concerns for parents with the content.
First, the story has some harsh situations. Most notably is the abduction and murder of a little girl. Followed closely by the story of Mac’s childhood abuse at the hands of his Alcoholic and Christian father, whom Mac poisoned before he ran away from home as a child. It is all handled well without anything graphic and does not hold a candle to the violent and horrible acts presented in the Bible. Still it will be to much for some kids.
Then there is the fantasy vision of God but it is not couched in a fantasy world through the wardrobe. A fictional presentation of the real God could be confusing for some young people. (Of course it could also be confusing for some adults as well.)

What about spiritual issues?
The ultimate message of this book is that God is three in one, presented to the world in Jesus. God loves you, has forgiven your sins. Now that He has open the way, He wants to have a relationship with you.
I believe (from the Bible and my experience) that God is real and will have a real relationship with anyone who seeks or knocks. Therefore anything that points people to get to know God is a good thing because He will welcome them and He will reveal Himself to them in his love and his truth.

Beyond that, if taken as a fictional presentation of a real God, it is accurate to the Bible. I believe that there are some issues that are not dealt with in the book, or skirted around in a way that may make Christians uncomfortable, but it still does not constitute untruth.
Here are the four things that stood out to me:

  1. Jesus talks about how he is concerned with individuals not institutions. While all the assertions about putting your faith in Jesus not the government are true, it glazes over the fact that God chose rulers and directs affairs of state. It also seems to be down on Church in the same vain. It is down on the dead institution but wants vital fellowship between those in fellowship with God – thus asking for the church the way it was meant to be.
  2. There is a discussion of Hell and sending people there. The final word on this is that Hell is real and Jesus takes our place so we don’t have to go. The book also points out that not everyone chooses the relationship Jesus offer and thus fell the full effect of their sin. Beyond that it never tells us what becomes of those who die out side of a relationship with Jesus.Though it’s never even hinted at, I believe the description of Hell that would go best with this book is that God is not so cruel as to take some one, who has spent a lifetime avoiding a relationship with Him, now force them to spend eternity in relationship with the one they avoided in their life.
  3. Finally, (and this is very picky) there is a forth supernatural character who I think theological could have just been the holy spirit (and the story didn’t need another weirdo character to ponder over)

So, in conclusion, Spiritually, it’s packaging may give people concern, but the content is very conservative biblical information.

What Is your Recommendation?

If you like Christian booksSUCH AS The Purpose Driven Life, or spiritual books like “ The Five People You Meet In Heaven” or “Velvet Elvis” I’m sure you will enjoy this book. Beyond that it’s worth the  read to join into the conversation. As a best seller with a movie on the way, it’s a great book to have in your vocabulary when you talk to others about what it is like to have a relationship with Jesus.

The Shack

William P. Young

 

Though the book defiantly suggests Larry Norman and Bruce Cockburn, by the end, it made me want to listen to Rich Mullins and Sufjan Stevens… I think I will.

Only Visiting This Planet

Larry Norman

In The Falling Dark

Bruce Cockburn

A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band

Rich Mullins

Greetings from Michigan

Sufjan Stevens

Happy Easter

April 4, 2010

Zoom Daddy

The Swirling Eddies

Greetings from Michigan

Sufjan Stevens

The Miracle Maker

You might also want to check out

What Should My Family and I Watch During Holy Week?

and

Pictures of Jesus in Film and Literature

Have a great Easter

Christopher’s Top Picks of the Decade (1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

January 28, 2010

It took all month but here are

Christopher’s Top 20 Picks (with 3 “Ties and an Honorable Mention) of the Decade

(1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

  1. Lord Of The Rings (1 movie in 3 parts)
  2. The Passion of the Christ
  3. Unbreakable
  4. tie – DISTRICT 9 Pride and Prejudice 
  5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose  
  6.  Signs
  7. To End All Wars
  8. The Village
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe 
  10. Lars and the Real Girl 
  11. Luther 
  12. B000JLTR8QM. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water
  13. Napoleon Dynamite
  14. In The Bedroom
    Note: “The Bedroom” in the title refers to a compartment of a Lobster Trap
  15. Man On Fire
  16. I Am Legend
  17. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
  18. Phone Booth
  19. tie Nanny McPhee Up
  20. tie Danielson a Family Movie (or, Make A Joyful Noise HERE) Food Inc

Honorable Mention

Bella theatrical one sheet

Bella

Fireproof

This film was not the best done, or the most moving. Several films not on this list were better films. (The Spider Man films, Inglorious B——-s, Juno, Iron Man and even  Twilight, were all better films.) Still, a church got together and made a good film with a great message, and I think that should be applauded.

Bella

December 28, 2009

 

What Is It?

Bella is the simple story of a man who walks out on his job for a day to comfort a waitress who has just been fired. While they go one a trip through the city they also explore their own souls.

How Was It?

Many people like independent films because they go places that Hollywood can not. Places that are not obviously marketable but are instead real, emotional, beautiful, and gripping. Bella charts it’s course too slowly but beautifully though issues of life and death, love and family. I enjoyed Eduardo Verástegui as Jose the main character who serves as the shuttle in this movie’s weaving loom of a story.  His performance helps bring out all the other characters. It’s wonderful to get to know these people (and wounder what the soccer players have to do with it all.)

Is It Good For Kids?

The thing that will mostly alienate younger viewers is simply the maturity of the story and the issues they are dealing with.

There is no cussing or sexuality shown, though the waitress (Tammy Blanchard) is pregnant and talks about here boyfriend not wanting it. The “option” of abortion seems to be her only choice. Still, the cause for kids would be

SPOILER

a seen where a little girl is run over by a car and killed in front of her mother. It is not gory. In Fact it is quite tasteful in its presentation. Even with that, it is as emotional as that subject matter should be. I think some adults will have a hard time with this scene, some kids will definitely have a hard time with it.

What About Spiritual Issues.

This film does slowly reveal it’s correct Christian world view.  Not only in word but in dead. This is not a fluffy “I have Jesus, now everything is as shiny as a Lisa Frank  sticker.” Instead we see real people make hard choices because they trust in what is right and more important than their circumstances.

What Is Your Recommendation?

This film will require your attention but will not arrest it like films on a higher scale. Still I think you will be richly rewarded for your time with this deep emotional film.

Bella

#34 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – The Passion of the Christ

December 11, 2009

We have taken the list of the Top Money Makers of the Decade and we are doing the “Question Entertainment Lightning Round”
I hope you like it. Let us know your thoughts.

See them all at http://www.youtube.com/user/1ThessFIVE21and22#p/c/A4E6B15329949FF4

The Passion of the Christ

# 40 – Top Money Makers of the Decade – I Am Legend

December 4, 2009

I Am Legend

For my full written review – go here. 

Dreamer – Inspired By a True Story

December 2, 2009

What Is It?

Very straight forward, it’s a movie about a family, a spunky little girl and a horse (think “Sea Biscuit” for kids).

How Was It?

The camera work is nice. The story was very predictable. (This would be a spoiler, but watching the first 20 minutes of the film is a spoiler.) It is also balanced. Everything in the beginning has a fulfillment or opposite in the end so you flow through with little to no tension or anxiety. This is where the movie shines. Despite the fact that they have all but told you what is going to happen, this cast makes you care. Headed up by one of the best actresses in Hollywood, Dakota Fanning gives you a performance that makes you feel along with them. It becomes a bit like an amusement ride: you can very clearly see the next turn, but it still makes your stomach flop while you whip around it. Kurt Russell and Kris Kristofferson are also noteworthy as the two presiding generations.

Is It Good for Kids?

There is some use of bad language but , outside of using God’s name, nothing in the major category. Other than that, it would just depend on your child being able to handle the harder images of the horse getting hurt and things of that nature. There are some tense moments between father and daughter, but they are resolved well. Beyond that, (spoiler) the child is given ownership of the horse, and thus all the decision power, but it is shown as the father giving her responsibility and teaching her, not by putting parents in a bad light.

You can check screenit.com for a break down of what they put on the screen.

What About Spiritual Issues?

There is a Mexican horse hand named Manolin (Freddy Rodríguez ) who is a former jockey. He ran in two races and nearly died in the second. He says believes that his dreams of the accident are God ’s way of letting him know that he should not race. (Spoiler of sorts) Later, when he trains to ride the reconditioned horse, he tells the little girl that his new dream is God showing him that he should race again. He seems to handle the disappointment of not getting to be in the race for which he

was training by understanding that he’s where God wants him. He ends the conversation with “God bless you, ” which sounds awkward without a sneeze. This little mention is nice. It’s nothing evangelical or challenging, just a recognition that He is involved.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s a movie that kids will enjoy and parents will not mind. If you have a young lady who likes horses, this would be a nice family night

Dreamer – Inspired By a True Story

Twilight Saga: New Moon extras Question Entertainment Christian Movie Review

November 30, 2009