Archive for the ‘independent’ Category

Cult of Sincerity Q&E Review Show

January 28, 2009

What Is It?

 

This is an independent film with the distinct honor of being the first movie to be released on YouTube.com. Now it is available for sale and download. It is about a 20 something “Hipster” who gets up at open mike night and talks about how everything they are doing is stupid. He says that their entire generation is just a bunch of sarcastic, whiney, sad people and he wants to find sincerity. Within a cast of Zany Characters, just toned down enough to be real, he sets out to do nice things and put the most sincere statements on his t-shirts.

 

How Was It?

 

It was very funny. The acting was good and all the characters, though each very specifically represents a line of thinking, were believable and fun. It had a lot of great moments and quotable lines.

 

Is It Good For Kids?

There is no violence and the only nudity is his out of shape male roommate who plays gimmicky video games in his boxers and socks. What it lacks in the first two vices it makes up for in cussing. No one ever takes the Lord’s name in vain but every other major cuss word is represented. (With movies like this and “Juno” doing Sweet and Personal, riddled with cuss words, how will hard boiled directors show that their characters are “bad”?) There is also a character who explains that she is hoping to find love by sleeping with multiple people. In a very funny scene, the main character is trying to apologize to anyone who has been wronged by society. A Jewish man holding hands with a black man come over and the only comment is “I just don’t know where to start.”

 

What About Spiritual Issues?

 

This is an oddly interesting point in the movie. In this film, almost every major wrong idea people have about Christianity and philosophy is broken down. From “Christian’s are bad because of the crusades” to “whatever makes you happy is the thing to do.” It’s all torn down. You see a person try very hard to live to serve others and it starts to make him happy.

(Spoiler)

The major philosophical revelation comes from a guy at the bar. He explains that there has always been over privileged kids who think they are the only ones who know what is wrong with society. He ends with a story that tells you the world is awful but makes sense if you believe in love. When the man is asked if he believes in love he lets them know that he is a Christian. The odd thing here is that the line is “I’m a Christian you m—– —-er.”

 

What Is Your Recommendation?

 

This is a fun little film. It is reminiscent of Chillicothe (but not as good as Chillicothe). It also has a lot of good things to say as well as things that will leave you scratching your head wondering “Why did they say it like that”?

If this is something you are going to watch with your older kids, you will want to talk about the issues. Otherwise, it might settle in their minds as the “hipster posturing” that it is trying to rebel against.

B001MBTT3U Cult Of Sincerity – DVD

B001LU295C The Cult Of Sincerity –  Video On Demand rental

B001LU295C The Cult Of Sincerity –  Video On Demand  Download to own

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Frank Peretti’s The Visitation

January 26, 2009

visitation

What Is It?

Ralph Winter made a lot of money when he produced the critically acclaimed X-Men Movies, and more money when he produced the critically disdained Fantastic Four movies. After X-men, he was looking for other work that could be brought to screen. Literary work that, like comic books, would have a built in audience to make the movie an immediate success (moviegoers would then tell their friends , thereby spreading the movie’s fan base) . This search led Winter to the supernatural thrillers of Christian author Frank Peretti. The rumored goal here is to make two low budget films (2003‘s Buffy-esque “The Hang Man’s Curse” and this film) to prove to Hollywood that there is money to be made in Peretti’s books. This realization of profit will be Winter’s ammunition to make a big budget version of Peretti’s mega hit “This Present Darkness”.

So, to the subject at hand

… This is a “direct to video” horror… e r… creepy film. A Midwest town is put on the map when miraculous signs start invading their benign existence. From supernatural healings to the likeness of Jesus’ face in the stained tile of the bathroom wall, everyone is touched by the accompanying message : “He Is Coming.” .

Revival meetings start. One pastor (Randy Travis) believes this may be demonic. One former pastor (Martin Donovan) believes this may be linked to the ritualistic murder of his wife. One mom  (Kelly Lynch) is fearful her son (Noah Segan) is in danger and the son, along with most the town, believes that a messiah has come for them… and maybe he has.

How Was It?

This comes off like a good episode of the WB’s “Supernatural” with a side of “CSI” for spice. It’s a little rough at the beginning . Some of it is cool. Other parts, particularly the “shocking” bits, come out flat. As the film goes on, it finds its pacing and starts to entertain in a worthwhile way.

Is It Good For Kids?

The movie is very clean. Still, this may be disturbing, especially (spoiler) the child abuse crucifixion scene. Though this film is fiction, it deals with demons and the spiritual realm . The idea that some of this may “be possible” may be scarier than the actual movie.

There are also some allusions to sexuality.

What About Spiritual Issues?

They are monumental. This film deals with spiritual warfare. It clearly shows Satan as evil and Jesus as the only real and logical answer to that evil. The only issue here is that it may overemphasize evil. Still , instead of totally reveling in it, we see the that evil is there and that it needs to be dealt with.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s not “The Exorcism of Emily Rose ”, “The Green Mile” or “Signs ” but it’s still fun. If you are looking for something to rent, and you are free of younger kids, it would be worth picking up. And hey , if you like it, you can support the prospect of bigger, cooler movies, with a Christian theme, hitting the theater.

Did I mention that the screen play was done by Brian Godawa who also wrote “To End All Wars “? (I can’t believe you haven’t seen “To End All Wars ” yet!)

B000BZISXK The Visitation

1595541209 The Visitation by Frank Peretti

1581345283 This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

B00021R7BM To End All Wars

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

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)

The Films of M Night Shyamalan [part 1] a Question Entertainemnet extra

December 9, 2008

B00067BC18 Wide Awake

B00004BZIY The Sixth Sense

B00003CXQA Unbreakable

B00005JL3T Signs

B0000640SC Stuart Little

B0000AGQ5Z M. Night Shyamalan Vista Series Collection (The Sixth Sense/Signs/Unbreakable)

Fireproof – Video Review

October 20, 2008

Check out Fireproof on DVD

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

May 24, 2008

 

What Is It?

This is a theatrically released documentary about the tension between Evolution and Intelligent Design, as well as Free speech. Ben Stein (“Win Ben Stein’s Money,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“) goes on a Michael Moorestyle quest to understand why the science community and others are out to stop any exploration into the idea that the world was not an accident, but instead shows traces of Design and thus a Designer.

 

How Was It?

It is a documentary that follows the standard story arc of narrative film. This will make it a lot more accessible to viewers not tantalized by a “Good Documentary.” It starts off well and gets a little slow with the rising action. We get interviews often inter cut with ironic music and old movie and news reel clips. We then find out about large groups of scientists, and media people, circling the wagons and “expelling” those who even bring up “Intelligent Design” as an option.  This is interesting for a while. As I started to drift, remembering how the Muppet Baby’s TV show used to also spike it’s dialog with bursts of old black and whites, the movie suddenly jolts us back to the subject at hand. Ben travels to Germany to see how the Nazi interpretation of Darwin was carried out in concentration camps. From here on in, the movie is more gripping and emotional. (Slight Spoiler) And like all good American Narrative film, it comes down to a man vs. man final confrontation as Ben Stein interviews a leading evolutionist/atheist, Richard Dawkins. 

Some of the evolutionists have complained about the film. They have said that they would not have done it, if they fully understood the theme of the film, and they were insulted that some of their interviews were inter cut or linked to archive footage of Nazis. The great thing is that, so far, no one has said that they were misrepresented or that the footage was edited to make them say something that they did not say. Likewise, no one has said that that had done an interview that was cut because it didn’t go with the bias of the film. (Both of these have been complaints with Michael Moore Films.)

 

There is one scene where they are kicked out of the Smithsonian. I could be wrong, but they do not say anything about getting an appointment. This is presented in the tone of “they wouldn’t even talk to us.” I do not think anyone would be allowed to walk into a place like that with a full camera crew and just start doing there shtick. Other than this, they defiantly have a bias but seem to be genuine about the information they present. 

Was it Good for Kids?

 

Though the presentation is well done, there is archive footage of dead bodies in concentration camps and police being rough with people.

You can get a complete breakdown of what is on the screen at Screenit.com  

What About Spiritual Issues?

 

This movie deals with Spirituality but in a very “Scientific” way. They are very clear that I.D. is not promoting the creation story of any one religion. In one interview we find that a prominent ID research group employs Christians, Muslim’s, Jews, Agnostics, and others. A woman Journalist identifies herself as non-religious Jewish. It is also made clear (with a short list) that the ID research group has taken no money from prominent fundamental Christian leaders (such as Pat Robinson) and is not fighting for “prayer in school” among other things.

 

This movie also has a large section that shows the hopelessness, and subsequent moral decline, that follows a rejection of the idea of a deity existing.  

The issue is freedom of speech and allowing scientists to do research and have their work in the same forum. This is a wonderful message, it is just not evangelical or specifically “Christian.” With that said, most Christians will be excited to hear the points made in this film.

 

What has been the Reaction?

This movie accused Academia, the scientific community, and the media, of joining forces to suppress the free speech of people who believe in Intelligent Design, as a legitimate scientific inquiry, by loudly proclaiming that ID scientists are not real scientists, that they have no legitimate data and are only trying to force a religion on the country.

 

So far the media has been reporting that the scientific community and Academia have seen this film. They tell us that the movie is not worth watching because the scientific community has found that this movie is just a subversive attempt to force a religion on the country by using fake science with no legitimate data… Hummmm…. 

What Is Your Recommendation?

Check out the web page and the tailor, , and if you have a chance, go see the film. This will give you a lot to talk about. The unfortunate thing about this film is that most people who see it will already agree with the final points and just be left thinking “I wish my friend So and So would see this, but they never would.” Still, if you can get So and So to come with you, I’m sure you will have a great discussion afterward.