The A Team

June 25, 2010

What Is It?

Based on the 80’s hit show, four Desert Storm Vets with a flair wild missions and imaginative strategy, are is framed…. oh just listen to the intro….

 from the 80’s

and the update

The TV show that made Mr. T. a superstar in the 80’s (and prompted me to wear a navy blue t-shirt with a picture of the Mo-hawked mussel man holding kittens) gets dusted off and finally makes it to the big screen after about 20 years of roomers.

How Was It?

This was fun like I remember the show as a 7 year old. (and much much better than what I saw when I watched it this year). The movie is built to be a ride with 4 guys you feel very cool hanging out with and it delivers. This is not going to be anyone’s favorite movie. (Well, except for the Jr. High kid who’s “Favorite Movie” is what ever he saw last where things blow up.) But it will not disappoint people especially if you are going for nostalgia. The characters were the big scene embodiment of the TV show cast. The plans “Come Together” with style, originality and nice dowses of big budget wackiness. (Example: “Are they still trying to shoot down the drones?” “No,” with a deflating sigh “they are trying to fly the tank.” Oh Ya!) The only down side for the fan boy… the theme song. A-Team had a super cool theme song that still holds up today (Though the ending needs work). They use it once during the movie in a very fun escape scene. Then at (SPOILER sort of) the end of the movie, we are brought to the point just before the show begins. So they give us a stylized version of the shows opening, complete with the title spelled out with accompanying machine gun sound effects. The theme comes up!… oh, for one verse, then they go back to the forgettable guitar rock that they have been using (instead of the theme) through the entire movie. It just made what was a fun romp through 80’s camp inflated by big budget effects, a bit of a let down at the end.

What about Political Issues?

They are in Iraq but there is little commented on the situation other than Hannibal shown praising a force of native Iraqi solders. In a hand to hand fight, the villain starts referring to B.A. Baracus as “Barac” though out the fight. I have no idea what they were thing to say by with either situation, but they were there. Finally, and most annoyingly, the plot revolves around an illegal American Money printing press that has been stolen from Saddam loyalists. There are now American Agencies trying to get the press so they can print their own money. In the dialog they say that the problem with this is that the influx of unbacked money will cripple our economy. Of course this is absolutely true the amusingly sad thing is, that’s all the Bank Bailouts were doing, adding more unbacked money into our already struggling economy. Maybe the A-Team will fix that in the sequel.

Was it good for kids?

There is a lot of violence, though very little in the way of gore. They do cuss, though at first, when ever the A-team dropped rough language, it was “bleeped” out by something exploding. The more concerning aspect is “Face.” Instead of just being a con-man with a way with the ladies, He’s a pick pocket con man who beds down all the ladies. At first I though this would be tempered as “His Achilles Heal.” But soon we find out that the opening was just a fluke and through out the film he uses sex to get what he wants. They try to soften this by telling you that he did have an affair where “[she] heard [he] was a player and [she] wanted to play, but then [I] started getting serious but [she] got scared.” This made it even more male fantasy style shallow. The idea is still cool guys should be able to have lots of sex with hot girls with no consequences and what ever benefit he wants. In the movies defense there is very little of the female form exploited.

What About Spiritual Issues?

This movie is very shallow. Still they get into spiritual discussions. Most of it is kept very much on the philosophical end of things. First of all, Hannibal, twice tells us that things happen for a reason. Though there is no mention of why, how, or who is making things happen. When Face and Hannibal first get out of Jail, Face want’s to know if Hannibal “Got Religion” because that would mean that he could not fight. (They were apparently unfamiliar with David in the Bible.) The snag for them comes when BA is broken out. He is seen reading some inspirational book (I did not catch the title) but because of it he can no longer kill. (Spoiler) Later he tells Gives Hannibal a quote from Gandhi about not harming people and Hannibal retorts with a quote about the warrior doing their job, which is also from Gandhi. This results in BA being able to kill an evil guy about to do in Face. Later Hannibal checks in with BA with “How’s the conscience big guy?” All of this is so silly that it’s hard to take serous.

Still Fighting for a cause is shown as noble and morally acceptable. Philosophical though and Religion are put on equal ground, and Gandhi is used as the moral authority. (ie: If it’s ok with Gandhi it’s ok with me.) Also the conscience may be looked at here as the ultimate judge of an action being moral or immoral.

The other thing that bothered me on two levels about the BA spiritual crisis plot line was that it felt a bit like they were making fun of Mr. T. The original BA is himself a known Christian and the show he did never had him kill anyone. (My father in law is fond of saying the A Team expended more ammunition that any other show and never hit anyone.) With all that, it does seem possible they they are making fun of Mr. T. and his Christian faith.

What About Mr. T.?

There is much buzz on the ol’ internet about Mr. T. being the only living member of the original A-Team not to make a cameo in the film. It has been reported that he was boycotting the film because of the excessive violence and sex that was just not part of what the show was supposed to be. It was supposed to be a family show. It turns out Mr. T. has not made any value judgments on the film because he has not seen it. According to his Lawyers, he did not make any of those statements.

(Thus they are probably lies put out by a “well meaning” Christian… we are not supposed to do evil to bring about good.)

It turns out that the A Team was about 4 guys. Three of the guy’s were characters that they developed for the show and cast with actors. So how did they come up with the 4th? As one of the shows creators put it (I believe it was Stephen J. Cannell) “And Mr. T. drives the van!” So, as Mr. T. himself put it, going on the set of the an A-Team film and not being the one to play B.A. For Mr. T. would be equivalent to “your ex-girl friend saying hay come have dinner with me and my new boy friend.” B.A. Is much more that a part played by Mr. T. it was Mr. T.

This brings us to the second thing that really bugs me about the possibility that this movie is making fun of Mr. T. The show is ¼ based on Mr. T. It just seems to be in bad taste to try to do a respectable take on the A-Team and at the same time, make fun of Mr. T. Point being, if you don’t like Mr. T…. It would be like starting a U2 cover band and making fun of Bono.

What is your Recommendation?

Had they shown Face’s “Flings” as a problem and dropped the “Found Religion?” stuff, I would recommend this as a fun summer film and a great trip down silly TV of the past lane. As it stands, if you are going to “higher the A-Team” you should be ready to take to your kids about the characters moral searches and failings.

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Daffodilie Dash DJing

May 27, 2010
GSS had their Daffodilie Dash. That’s a bunch of kids running in a big circle in the field next to the park. I played weird up beat music at them to influence them to run away, or keep running in circles.
Here is my Play list
  • Chariots of Fire Theme

    Chariots Of Fire

    Vangelis

  • Swing the Mood

    Jive Bunny

  • In the mood by Chickens ?
  • Old Dan Tucker – The DeZurik (Cackle) Sisters – Checkerboard Squares Radio Show Recordings
  • Boom 

    Satellite

    P.O.D.

  • Speed Turtle – Brian Wilson

    Blue Moo 

  • That’s Amore 

    Babe

    Dean Martin

  • Mae East 

    Dreamer

    Continentals

    (Steve Taylor)

  • Kum By Ya 

    The History of God and Man

    Paul Aldrich

  • Runaway 

    Hoodwinked

    Fleming and John’s Myspace page says:

     You can download a bootleg of their Awesome “Hoodwinked” Soundtrack here

  • Kum By Ya – Paul Aldrich
  • Cutest Lil’ Dragon

    Tri-Danielson, Vol. 2

    Danielson Famile

  • Zaceus was a wee little man  

    The Word & Song Bible

    Stephen Elkins

  • Kum By Ya
  • Ill-m-i 

    1956

    Soul-Junk

  • Linus and Lucy 

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Vince Guaraldi Tri0

  • Charlie Brown 

    The End Is Now

    L.A. Symphony

  • New Way To Be Human 

    Learning to Breathe

    Switchfoot

  • Anima Fundi 

    Grunt

    Sandra/ Boynton

  • Happy Birthday – Frank Sinatra
  • Kum By Ya
  • Birthday 

    Forefront Records

    Kevin Smith

  • Willy Wonka Theme 

    Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

    Danny Elfman

  • Kum By Ya
  • Pump up the volume – Marrs
  • Get Down/Dive/All Fall Down

    Smash Ups

    Audio Adrenaline; Steven Curtis Chapman, G.R.I.T.Z.

  • Heaven

    Adventures of the O.C. Supertones

    O.C. Supertones

  • Take me to your leader Space Mix (The Space mix is not on the album, It was on a Radio CD I have from college.)

    Take Me to Your Leader

    Newsboys

  • Plymouth Rock

    SMiLE

    Brian Wilson

  • 303 Wise man 

    Return

    Prodigal Sons

  • (Yes, I should have played “The Final Countdown” at the end when I was telling them how much time they had left… Bummer)
  • At this point the “Dashing” was over and this was the sound track to the clean up effort

  • Little House on the Prairie theme

    Little House on the Prairie

  • Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    Harry Gregson

  • Zurgs Planet

    Toy Story 2

    Randy Newman

  • Ill-m-i instrumental Soul Junk 1943
  • (Hobbit Trot) 

    …Think the Dancers Mad

    Madison Greene

  • Ballad of Davy Crockett / Farewell “Tennessee” Ernie Ford
  • Spiderman theme
  • Melt Down Instrumental

    Meltdown

    Steve Taylor

  • Learn your lessons well instrumental–  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

  • Old Man Tucker
  • Did I step on your trumpet 

    Ships

    Danielson

  • Tribal Call

    …Think the Dancers Mad

    Madison Greene

  •  

    …of course when we were getting ready and when we were all done, I just played Soul Junk’s 1960 album.
    For more info about the actual Daffodilie Dash
    http://thegoodshep.org/

    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

    The New Car CD for the Kids

    April 19, 2010

    This is what Dad, the three year old and the one year old are listening to these days.

    Exodus 3 – faith comes by hearing

    chip the glasses / over the misty mountains – the hobbit soundtrack (amazon The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production)

    [Beth] Javanese – Soul Junk 1960 

    Hoodwinked surf theme –  

    Hoodwinked

    I Use The Potty

    Greatest Hits, Vol. 1-2

    forever sweet – Will Carson with Fear and Trembling – Angels Weeping

    Day by Day –

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    10,000 Years (amazing grace)

    Reborn

    Stryper

    Three Little Birds – Bob Marly

    I Love You – clip from Fancy Nancy (Unabridged) 

    Fancy Nancy

    I’m a Lion – – BEAU YOUNG WILD ANAMALZ

    Onward Christian Soldiers – – God Bless America

    The Whole Duty Of Children – 

    A Child’s Garden of Verses

    Robert Louis Stevevenson

    Parable of the Gracious Master –  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

    I carry the Tray Like a fancy weightier 

    clip from Fancy Nancy (Unabridged) 

    Fancy Nancy

    Poopsmith song –  Over the Rhine 

    For the Kids III

    Fox in Socks read by David Hyde Pierce

    Green Eggs and Ham and Other Serving…

    Dr Seuss

    (I stuck a chunk from Ill-m-i in the middle because I always put that line in when I read it as well)

    Exodus 4 faith comes by hearing

    My ABC (Though, my 3 year old has let me know that she prefers Cutest Lil’ Dragon )

    Fetch the Compass Kids

    The Danielson Familie

    This Little Light Of Mine 

    You Are My Flower

    Elizabeth Mitchell

    Market Square 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Holy Holy Holy 

    Speedwood Hymns

    Lost And Found

    Light of the world 

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    Learn Your Lessons Well 

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    Half Way Down 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Cottleston Pie – ThreeCheersForPooh

    Grand old duke of york

    Let’s Move

    Studio Mouse

    Isn’t It funny – ThreeCheersForPooh

    Lines and Squares 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    The Lamp Of The Body 

    –  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

    Teddy Bear

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Ephesians 6:1-4  faith comes by hearing

    Children Obey your parents 

    The Word & Song Bible

    Stephen Elkins

    When the Saints go marching in –

    Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

    April 14, 2010

    What Is It?

    The book by the odd and talented Roald Dahl brought to the big screen by odd and talented Tim Burten with odd and talented Johnny Deep in the lead. You can see where this is going….

    It’s a surreal version of our world going on a journey into the hyper odd world of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

    This movie seems to go out of it’s way to avoid any line that was used in the first adaptation starting Gean Wilder. Out side of the name and occupation, theses do not seem to be the same characters and are not in the same movie. In fact this film has much more in common with the first Burten/Deep film, Edward Scissorhands, than Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

    Here Willy is an insecure recluse who is bulled by the children he has invited into his world. He is mocked for the very eccentricity that makes him the spectacle they came to see. The tour reveilles the wonder of the factory, the headstrong nature of the children, and the inner struggle of Willy who is plagued by childhood flashbacks.

    How Was It?

    My expectations were so wrong for this movie, it took some time to adjust. Despite the resumes of the big name’s involved, this is not a dark movie. It is a fun weird film that looks at the idea of parent – child interaction.

    An example of the deft social criticism is the introduction to Mike Teavee. He spurts off a bunch of info about video games and there technical workings, which are then balanced by a nerves father saying that sometimes they don’t understand what he is saying. Mike, now playing his game, cries out “Die! Die! Die!” As his parents desperately try to hang on to the delusion that they don’t understand.

    From the over indulgent, to the overly competitive, there is a lot for people to see in this mirror held up to modern parenting.

    We find out that “candy isn’t supposed to have a point” but that is not life, there are things that are important in reality and in this film..

    Is It Good For Kids?

    The kids here are often nasty and bad examples. Still you see there negative traits leading directly to there demise (figuratively).

    Parents are either shown as sportive and protective producing good kids, or destructive by letting there kids get “what they want.”

    Once, when Grandpa goes on a cussing rant, we are protected with Charlie as the audio is that of his mother’s hands muffling his ears.

    Check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

    How about Spiritual Issues?

    In almost every Tim Burten film I have seen, there is usually some slam against Christians. Thankfully this film seem void of such open hostility.

    Halloween is shown in a flashback, but it is just used as a device to introduce Willy’s dad , an uptight candy phobic dentist. All the candy is raped in paper with skulls and spiders, echoing Dr. Wonka’s sentiment on the subject.

    The major theme of this film (and this may be a spoiler, it took me totally by surprise) was the need for properly working, loving, healthy families. This is a fantastic idea, it’s just to bad that the thing most able to bring this about is the faith Burton rejects in his other films.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    First: Tell your self that this is NOT the book or the Gean Wilder Movie. (and does not have the unfounded character change at the end.)

    Second: Go and enjoy a colorful film with a enlightening back story that may remind you of things in your past but…

    Third: Have a great conversation with the people you see it with about the need for family and the examples of parenting put forth as well as there dramatic results.

    ….Annasophia Robb playes Violet Beauregarde. She was also Opal in Becasue of Winn Dixie. She’s 2 for 2 so far!

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

    Danny Elfman

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory …

    Gene Wilder,

    Because of Winn-Dixie

    The Island

    April 12, 2010

    What Is It?

    Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson play characters who live in a technological wonder world of the future. They wake up to have computers picking out their clothing and analyzing their urine to determine what they can have for breakfast. They live, eat, exercise, work and recreate, while waiting for the day they will win the lottery and go to “The Island”

    One day, Lincoln Six Echo (McGregor) finds that people who they thought went to the Island were really killed. Now that his friend Jordan Two Delta (Johansson) has won the lottery, Lincoln is trying to get her out of their world and someplace safe.

    How Was It?

    This was an interesting blend of “The Matrix”, “I Robot”, and “The Truman Show”. Still, the movie is more than a good rip off. It really brings something new to the emerging genres . The movie is a bit formulaic, but does it very well. The action is exciting, the soundtrack is wonderful, and there seems to be more than just senseless navel-gazing in the script.

    Was It Good For Kids?

    This film has a bunch of points where the action becomes graphic and the imagery is disturbing. It may not be the best choice for younger viewers .

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

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    There seems to be an amassing of offhanded comments to let you know that are the two main characters are either blessed by God or empowered by Him. There may even be some messiah symbolism with Lincoln .

    Moreover , this film is about the sanctity of life. Themes and characters lend themselves so well to an anti-abortion stance that it may have been the planned intent of the film. These themes are presented in a very real and non-confrontational way, though often brutal in their presentation. This is the beauty and peril of sci-fi and fantasy.

    There is a sex scene in the film. This is an odd thing. We are not shown anything we shouldn’t see. It’s more a plot point. We are told that one man is dying from a disease that God let him have because he had too much sex. Later we see the two main characters “discover” sex in an Adam and Eve / “ Blue Lagoon” manner . This may be a sticky point for some viewers . The morality of sex is not very clearly defined, though promiscuity is shown as punishable.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    If you like action/sci-fi films , this is a good use of your afternoon. It’s also a great movie to help think through some very important issues.

    ps

    The soundtrack is very cool. Except for one unfortunate song in the credits.

    The Island DVD

    The Island CD

    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

    Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland

    March 23, 2010

    What Is It?

    In this version, A 19 year old Alice, escaping from a public Marriage proposal, Falls down a rabbit hole to learn that it has been foretold that she will defeat the Jaberwalkie and set the land free from the oppressive Queen of hearts. Thus Tim Burten sets out on his quest to show us how he would have done “Lord of the Rings.”

    How Was It?

    This is a “re-imagining” sequel of sorts. The characters are mostly from Louis Carol’s books but if Mr. Burton half watched the old Disney cartoon, then skimmed the books looking at the pictures a lot … it would have been enough to come up with this movie. This is not a criticizer of the movie at all. The world Louis Carol’ builds in his books is imaginative, but the story is terrible.

    This movie on the other hand, is a fun magical adventure through a land that is familiar in a way. Curly trees, Danny Elfman soundtrack, and a great Johnny Deep performance still come together with fantastic costumes and sets to make this unmistakably Burton. Still this film has heart and follow through that is sometimes missing or lost amidst the layers of his “cool pop-goth stuff.”

    The other thing Burton does well is assembling a cast. Everyone fits well in their parts and with each other as well as seeming perfectly natural amidst this CGI enhanced fantasy world. The characters themselves are very creative with the perfect mix of classic archetypes and witty characterization. All of this goes together, seemingly with out effort, to create a fun movie.

    Did you pay the extra $3 to see it in 3D?

    Yes I did, and I’m glad. When they were in the real world at the beginning, the 3D effect reminded me of the 3D in an old view master slide. The people seemed flat but cut out and seperate from the background. It was a little less natural than Coraline 3D which was stop frame animation. When you got to Wonderland though, it was all worth it.

    Is It Good For Kids?

    The hard part about many of Tim Burton’s films is his mixture of child hood playfulness and fairy tale fun with dark and sometimes horrific elements. Labeling Tim Burten’s work as “Kids Films” would be like trying to put the original Grimm’s fairy tales in the same basket with the Disney cartoons they inspired.

    Alice in Wounderland has Monsters and danger. The action is less harsh and more whimsical than the Narnia Movies, though This film does more things for the shock value of the action. Early on a monster has it’s eye plucked out by mouse with a needle  (mallyumkin carries a hat pin that she borrowed from the hatter*) and there was a scene where Alice crosses a mote on stepping stones that are actually the heads that have been “offed” by the Queen of Hearts. Both things have zero gore but conceptually could be disturbing.

    Some parents may be concerned by Alice’s criticism of social norms. It really is a healthy skepticism of following popular fashion but could translate to younger children as simple rebellion.

    We do see a married man kissing “another woman.” This is shown as offensive, but may not be “punished” fully enough for everyone’s liking.

    But on a good note… Despite Alice contently changing sizes and her clothing staying just the same size, she is always filmed with modesty, even if it takes a 6 foot shrubbery to do it.

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    Tim Burton has explained that his childhood included being sent to church because it was the thing to do and finding nothing but empty hypocrisy there. This has translated into an insulting and belittling of Christianity in virtually all of his movies.

    Oddly enough, that criticism is not only absent here, but the story at points seems to parallel Biblical concepts. Most notably is a scroll that foretells Alice fighting the Jaberwakie on the frabjous day. At one point Alice goes to save the Hatter and her bloodhound companion is afraid that this course of action will not be following the prophesy. At this point I feared that it would turn into some heavy handed message about not letting others tell you want to do, even if it’s sacred writings. Actually, where they went with it was that the more she did what seemed scary because it was the right thing to do, the more she became who she was meant to be. We are also told that her going to save the Hatter actually put her more in line with the prophesy. Prophesy was not something that could be deviated from. 2 Peter 1:19-21 This concept also made me think about Gandolf’s explanations of fulfilling prophesy from the end of “The Hobbit.” (Of course, the fact that their rendition of Louise Carol’s Jaberwalkie illustration looked just like a illustration of Eowyn fighting the ringwraith further put me in the Tolkien frame of mind. )

    We also get the Absalom (Hebrew for My father is Peace) the Caterpillar giving a lesson in death being the entering into another world of life

    Then there is the spiritual lesson of Alice’s belief. She feels that her defeating the Jaberwalkie is impossible. So she starts reciting all the “impossible” things she has found to be true in this world. We would be well advised as Christians to follow her lead. The next time something God wants you to do seems “Impossible” start listing off “Impossible” things you know he has done from His word and your life.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    This is a fun movie with a few good things to talk about and nothing very bad to say. It even shown that living in a fantasy world is not a way to live your life. Though marketed for everyone, it’s clearly made for hip teens and above but told in the classic story book format.  Alice is worth checking out.

    Alice in Wonderland

    *Thank you Emily.

    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.

    Pixar and the Hidden Bad Guy

    January 27, 2010

    Did you notice,

    in the

    Movie

        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        we think is good, until the end where he turns out to be the main antagonist?
        But in the movie there is Who is sort of the opposite.