Posts Tagged ‘Lord of the Rings’

Car CD for May 2011

May 21, 2011

So, I have just been putting my iThing on shuffle, but Eowyn started asking if there could be a new CD with a hand full of songs. So, if filled it in and here is the fist full of songs we came up with it.

As I listen to the cd, I realize that lots of this is based on books we are reading.

1) Are you going to Narnia (sample)

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts
2) Every Grain of Sand –

 ghost something (Bob Dylan Cover)

3) Bumping up and down (Red Wagon) –

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

4) Ponies need Shoeing

The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production; Complete original soundtrack including Dialogue, Music and Songs; 2x LP boxed Set; Booklet; 1977

Glenn Yarbrough

the hobbit soundtrack ( The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production)

5) Teddy Bear Picnic

6) Old Mac Donald had a Band

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

7) There aint no bugs on me

8) Down By The Bay / Brush your teeth

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

9) The Cow by Robert Louis Stevenson – Sean McKinley – Librivox

10) Cows

Philadelphia Chickens

Sandra Boynton / The Seldom Herd

11) Crocodile Fishin’ –

Wild Anamalz

Beau Young

12) 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

13) Less frogs

14) Even less frogs

15) The Witch is dead (Get it through your head) / Something strange is happening to me – )

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts

16) Here Lies A Tree

Pooh

Three Cheers for Pooh

17) Hosanna in the highest – ? – Scripture Rock

18) Psalm 23

1959

Soul-Junk

19) Aslan is killed

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts

20) Lift Up Your Hearts

Christian Songs

Joy Electric

21) Fox in Sox Rap

22) Ill-M-I  (Soul Junk Cover)

Welcome to Diverse City

Tobymac

23) And So It Goes

Dad

Breakfast With Am

24) Icky

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing…

Breakfast With Amy

25) Son Dancer

Into The Son

Dakoda Motor Co.

26) All good generals

Into The Son

Dakoda Motor Co.

27) Dandelions

Proof That the Youth Are Revolting

Five Iron Frenzy

28) Undignified

Chris Tomlin

545

29) Ron Paul Anthem

30) New World

Music Inspired By The Chronicles of …

TobyMac

31) Bilbo’s Last Song

The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

So as you look at this list, you might figure out that some of this came thanks to the ad intensive web page http://www.video2mp3.net/ Then a bunch more were brought to the computer by an Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record (This thing works great. It just plugs in to your computer and the program records the audio and splits up the tracks)

And, as you may have guessed, lately we have been  reading:

The Chronicles of Narnia

C. S. Lewis

Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan

The Annotated Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkie

A Child’s Garden of Verses

Robert Louis Stevenson

Pooh Library original 4-volume set

A. A. Milne,

Psalm Twenty-Three

Tim Ladwig

Fox in Socks Book & CD

Dr. Seuss

and of course!

Bilbo’s Last Song

J.R.R. Tolkien

M Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender

July 20, 2010

What is it?

Based on a very inventive and fun cartoon from Nickelodeon, The Last Air Bender is an adventure in another world. This world is made up of four nations, Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. Some members of each nation can “Bend” or move their element through space. Though there may be plenty of other applications, It’s mostly used as a marshal art to fight others with.

Balance is thrown off when the Fire Nation attacks the other three, in an attempt to rule the word. In the midst of this conflict, To Teens, Katara (Nicola Peltz) and Sokka (Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone) Discover the last living Air Bender, 12 year old Aang (Noah Ringer). Aang is not only the last of his people, he is “The Avatar.” A special warrior who has the ability to master all four elements, Bridge the Physical and Spiritual world, Bring balance and understanding, as well as kick major butt with his awesome power.

How was it?
The scope and magnitude of the film raises the level of the film in such a way that the failure of the movie to do anything worth while is simply magnified to a level that begs comparisons to Ed Wood. Right away the acting is on par with a well done Christmas play over at your local jr. high. Unfortunate the dialog complements the acting perfectly. Then there is the story line, it played like a ten year old explains season one of the tv show ( and then this happened, and then that happened..) as a studio exec’s secretary took dictation. The special effects were good but the actual “fighting” was boring and confusing. Where most the fighting was done with element bending, what you see is elongated ti-Che looking dancing with stuff swirling around them. As impressive as the dancing and effects were, I often thought “oh just punch him!”
This is the problem if you only watch the movie, but if you are a fan of the show (or like me, and watched it because you were excited about the movie) you will be even more disappointed. The show is for kids and has goofy humor, but is a lot o fun. Not only is the story very well thought out, the characters are dimensional and interesting. The result is that you care about the characters (even the “bad guys”) and are very interested in the story. All the humor is gone as well as the heart. Aang himself no longer fears being the avatar because he will have to sacrifice his own child hood for the good of the world. (A pain that makes him a real character who you can feel for as well as allowing him to be a fun character.) In the film Aang does not want this duty because the avatar can never have a family. Not only is he a twelve year old boy hoping to grow up to be a family man, its even more ridiculous when you realize he was raised by monks in an all male temple! The result on the movie is it suffers more by comparison. (thus you suffer more as well.)
Just to top everything off, the last image on the screen are the words “written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shamalon. This is killer. This man is the genus behind “Signs.” intact, of his 9 films, one I have not seen, one was silly, six were nothing short of amazing films that rival the films of Alfred Hitchcock, then, the ninth is this atrocity afflicted on film and unleaded on sad audiences with overpriced tickets trying to comfort themselves with thoughts like “maybe he will fix it in the sequel” or “at least I wasn’t watching the new Twilight.” but then you remember that Mr Shamalon had the nerve to include a twilight vampire in the cast, the hurt and sorrow return like flowing water that bends into tears as you just move on to the next question.

Was it worth the extra $3 for 3D?
I think the $3 for 3D was much better spent than the rest of the ticket. The effects were the best part of the film and they looked cool in 3D. I did think the effect was not as flat as Alice in wonderland but not as good as the preview for Voyage o the Dawn treader. There was something weird going on when they has fur hoods on and it got blurry when they panned (which they did a  lot). Maybe if the movie was better, the slight defects in the 3D would detract from the story telling, but with no real storytelling in sight – the 3D helps you focus on the effects.

Is it good for children?
There are some things that may scare small children. Armies are hunting down a 12 year old. But mostly kids will be confused, and fans of the show will be disappointed that “Saka’s not funny and Aang is boring.”

Was it racist?
The tv show has all the characters oriental, though each people group is a different sub set where the group all look like each other but do not look like the other nations or tribes. So, though they are all oriental, you can tell what people group they belong to by there racial features. This seems to me to be a nightmare for casting. So what M. Night has done in this film was to make each nation a fully different race. This is not racist but racial. (If you are unsure of the difference, ask Rhett and link.) Still some point out that the water tribe are heroes and are white while the fire nation are villeins and they are dark. First, the fire nation is is a little more complex that. (That comes through despite the shallow nature of the film.) Further more, the fire nation is Indian! The same nationality as the director / writer / producer. So why would he cast his own race as the fire nation? I do think all the races he picked fit well with the look of the show but the choice was probably just so he could give himself a cameo as a fire nation soldier.

What about spiritual issues?
The show for season one uses Hindu symbolism but in season two starts to get into Hindu/buddhist philosophy as well. Though in the season finally of one, princess Yue is given Christ symbolism when the moon god is killed and she gives her life for his resurrection and the physical salvation Of her people. In the movie the scene is so rushed that the beauty and pain of sacrifice is just laborious. All the buildup that points out the symbolism is reduced to the princess putting her arms out while in close up. Aang himself is a savior of a fictional world with many links to Jesus. In the finally of the second season Aang himself is killed and redirected and along the way strikes a Michelangelo influenced Jesus pose.

 Like Yue, Aang’s symbolism is boiled down to a modification of his back tattoo.
So, even spiritually the show is complex and interesting, and the movie is confusing chunky and unsatisfactory.

What is your recommendation?
This could have been M. Night Shamalon’s “Lord of the Rings,” but ended up his “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” this is a dull trip through cartoon cliff notes is not worth it on any level. Still if you are going to bring your kids to this film or the show you will want to talk about the fantasy world’s philosophy and it’s links to the our worlds philosophies, the truth and the lies.
My real recommendation… Start at M. Night’s “Wide Awake” and keep going until you get to “Lady in the Water.” Just stop before you get to “The Happening” and you will never have to bother with “The Last Airbender.”
(I’ll get back to you after I finish season three and yes I will go to the other two sequels.)

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 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 –

    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.

    His Dark Materials Trilogy: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

    December 15, 2009

     

    What Is It?

    This is the very popular, yet still somewhat underground book trilogy about a little girl named Lyra Belacqua. In a world that seems to be antique modern with magical properties, s he finds out that her estranged father is on some bizarre quest, thinking he knows the meaning of Dust and the locations of parallel worlds. Lyra decides she needs to intercede and take on her own quest.

    She has the aid of Pantalaimon : her dæmon. The dæmon is the creature that each person has as a personal companion. They are usually animals of the opposite gender and have a spiritual link to the owners. (Only witches can go any significant distance from there dæmon.)

    She also has the Alethiometer or the golden compass. This is a device that can tell you information about truth and what to do next. For some reason Lyra is able to use and read the device with an amazing intuition.

    Furthermore the adventure makes constant reference to the Bible and the Church which looks very similar to the same entities in our world.

    How Was It?

    This is a first class fantasy adventure. The characters are deep, well written and fascinating. The worlds are very intricate and exciting. With books like this floating around, it makes me wonder why we have time for boy wizards who look more than second rate compared to this modern fairy tale.

    This reminds me of Tolkien where it’s not that they find a monster because we needed a monster here. Instead the world is so “real” and such a true work of “sub creation” that it seems like that monster just existed and they had to deal with it the same way someone would have to deal with a fierce reptile should they fall into the water while running through the Florida E verglades.

    Is it Good for Children?

    They are long books , but they would keep their attention. There are some scary / abusive situations, but they are handled well. There will be a lot for you to talk about, especially when you ask…

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    This is a major plot point.

    One of the things that gives these stories such depth is that, to solve the mystery, to know what’s going on , is to know the way the spiritual world works. So, knowing that this is the key to the story, let’s move to the SPOILERS –

    Through their adventures they meet everyone, from the harpies that guard the afterlife , to the angels and Enoch (now head of the angels). They even meet God himself.

    What you find out is that every world has a story where there was something that a snake told them to partake in. This was the thing that would help people become everything they are. The church would then go in and teach the people that the snake was lying and the object of their fulfillment is actually a sin. So we must go with our passions. This becomes more complete when she travels to the afterlife. There everyone is stuck until Lyra convinces them to stop torturing people and lead them out to where they can become one with the universes. The creatures agree as long as people have good stories of their life to tell them in exchange for their guiding.

    When people from our world come to theirs , they find that their soul is an animal and the opposite gender. They also learn that what they had always been told was evil ( namely, dæmons) are is actually your true self guiding you.

    All of this sounds like the gospel according to Neitchze but then, how does God fit in? Turns out he’s just the oldest angel, so everyone thought he created everything. Now he’s a feeble old man being kept ceremoniously alive – what to do? Euthanasia!

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    This is wonderfully written and phenomenally entertaining. This is also a well crafted explanation of a philosophy. In a way that is understandable and lasting, we learn that we just need to do everything we feel, and anyone telling you that you shouldn’t is lying to you so they can have power over you. It also explains that the most blatant offender calls themselves the church. Those who say the serpent lied, are liers themselves.

    Thus this book series is a well crafted gun aimed at the ideals of your children. Like the idols in the book of Jeremiah, the fact that it is well crafted by skilled men should not blind us to the fact that it is evil.

    This book series may have gained the popularity the writing deserves when the first movie came out, but the movie just fizeled. It is put out by New Line Cinema and the first adds for it use “the one ring” from Lord of the Rings to try to connect the two series. These films will appeal to kids who liked the others (LotR, Narnia, Harry Potter), but they are not the same.

    The Golden Compass will provide another reiteration of a sad philosophy that can only hurt. Oddly enough, despite the humanistic philosophy (and the mercy killing of God) , I have had many Christians recommend this book as Christian Fiction. We need to take this for what it is, good literature with bad theology. If people you know are into this book, it is well worth lots of discussion. If you kids are not yet into this book, it is well worth preparing now to shield them from the forth coming advertising onslaught.

    The Golden Compass

    December 15, 2009

    What Is It?

    Philip Pullman‘s well written Neo-Nietzschean fantasy trilogy is swept up into production, as New Line Cinema hopes to find the next Lord of the Rings style film, and income.

    The series begins with Lyra, (Dakota Blue Richards) a 12 year old orphan girl living at a prestigious boarding school in a parallel universe to ours, where architecture and fashion are a mix of sci-fi and the 40’s. In this world, a person’s sole does not live in them, but stays near them in an animal form called a daemon. Lyra’s daemon can change it’s form because she is still a child and her soul has not settled, but an adult daemon is constant.

    How Was It?

    It was a well crafted story, but the presentation suffered in comparison to almost everything it begs to be compared too. This is not as good as the book. Much of the mystery is gone when an added opening monologue reveals that we are in a parallel universe, and many other things that are not explained right away in the book. The universe concept is not fully revealed until the second book. The opening Monologue is also done by a woman with a deep voice and English accent. This reveals that the links to Lord of the Rings run deeper than the ad campaign. There were a few parts where they used film short hand that was taught to us in Lord of the Rings. Instead of developing the witches they are just a race like Middle Earth’s elves. The talking animals hearken to Narnia, but not the special effects. Outside of the Bears, most animals are off screen or looking the other way when they talk. I’m sure this was because the few times we are allowed to see it, their mouths do not totally line up. The little girl at the center will also bring thoughts of Lucy of Narnia and Harmonie of Harry Potter. This comparison puts them in good with Narnia, and for all it’s faults, unlike the Potter films, this is not long and dull.

    This story was compelling and made you want to know what was next. When I read the book, the idea of a little girl riding an armored polar bear (ice bear) was thrilling to me. To see it, despite occasionally looking like a Coke commercial, was just as thrilling. The bear, voiced by Gandalf/Magneto actor Ian McKellen, is the best part of this film.

    Is it good for Kids?

    It was made for kids. The PG-13 rating is well deserved, but mature children could handle the action. There are a lot of children in peril, but the only truly disturbing shot (spoiler) is when one Armored Ice Bear slaps the others jaw off and into the camera. Still even this is done so fast, and covered so quickly, that it’s more about the disturbing idea than the visual. If they could handle Spider man 3 or Narnia, this will not be a problem. Happily, despite the posters, We do not get revealing shots of the two prominent women in the film.

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

    The actual issue here, as with many of these films, is…

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    This movie is based on a trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials.” The name comes from a line about Satan in the book “Paradise Lost” by Milton. There are many references in the book to Milton and even quotes from him at the beginning of most chapters. This is to point out author Philip Pullman‘s opposite Thesis. Milton wrote to explain to men why they should follow the rule of God. Pullman wrote to teach children why they should not.

    All these references and more were removed when New Line Cinema required that all references to God and Religion be kept out of the movie. They thought it would alienate a great part of their audience. Unfortunately, with that cunning move, and all the hype about how anti-Christian this film is, many people will watch it and leave thinking “That was a good movie, what was the big deal.”

    The problem is that all the arguments against following God and the Church are still in the film. They have discussions about not following rules. We are taught that agency’s that say they want to teach you how to act are actually misguided megalomaniacs who want to literally cut the souls out of children. This would be like having a movie where only the evil people ate food, only the evil people were fat, and we learn that you can never be too skinny and should take any action possible to achieve that goal and then saying, “It’s OK, we took out all references to Anorexia.”

    (Spoiler) We also have a weird look at sexuality. Most of the characters and world views are paralleled, as in this example; We learn that Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) is Lyra’s mother. She was not married to the father, so it was against the rules to keep her own baby. Here we have the evil system destroying lives in the name of family values. In contrast to this, we have a witch, Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green) pointing out to Lyra that the head of the Gyptian’s had been her lover. She then explains that witches age much slower, so they were an item back when he was “young and beautiful.” (Of course, if a man had said this about a woman it would be shocking and horrible, but this way it comes off romantic.)

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    As a film, this movie is watchable and as morality, this movie is damnable. Still without the direct connections to the church made for us, the message is identical to the “rules are not for me” messages of the Harry Potter films.

    There are worse films out there, but if you, or your kids miss this one, you are not missing much. Save your $7.50 and stay home with Narnia. It has all the same fantasy elements but on a higher scale of excellence, with a message you will want to endorse.

    Kids Music for July and Beyond

    June 30, 2009

    Well, The last Car CD has been spinning on repeat in the Cruiser since March. Thus it was time for a new mix. Realising that my daughter knew nothing of our country’s heritage, this CD is very patriotic (as our latest trips to the Library have been as well.) So here is the “July Car CD” (that may last until October!)

    My daughter like many types of music, but the Danielson Familie, Joy Electric, Soul Junk and Sandra Boyntn are her favorites. The Cutest Lil’ Dragon and “I Want This Beat” were Specific requests from the lady herself.


    1. Battle of New Orleans  

      Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits

    2. Star Spangled Banner – Barber Shop Quartet Free Patriotic Songs

    3. American Skies – 

      America

      Havalina Rail Co.

    4. (They have a “thing” for giving music away – Check it out)


    5. Head Shoulders knees toes (as U2)

      Mother Goose Rocks! Volume 5

    6. Ephesians 6:1

    7. Cutest Lil’ Dragon 

      Tri-Danielson, Vol. 2

      Danielson Famile

    8. pi = 3.14159265

    9. Galatians 5:22


    10. Fireworks 

      Schoolhouse Rock!

    11. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – John Wane – Free Patriotic Songs


    12. No More Kings 

      Schoolhouse Rock!


    13. Johnny Freedom 

      Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits


    14. Here in America (The Music video was directed by Steve Taylor!)

      A Liturgy, A Legacy & A Ragamuffin Band

      Rich Mullins

    15. I’ve Got peace Like A River 

      You Are My Little Bird

      Elizabeth Mitchell

    16. This little Light of Mine as Sting 

      Mother Goose Rocks, Vol. 4

    17. Children, Obey Your Parents 

      The Word & Song Children’s Bible cd SET 


    18. The Modern Church Historical 


      The History of God and Man

      Paul Aldrich


    19. Tricycle 

      Fascinating Creatures

      Frances England

    20. Mr Buechner’s Dream

      Mr. Buechner’s Dream

      Daniel Amos

    21. Tom Bombadil 

      Lord of the Rings At Dawn in Rivendell

    22. Virse of the Ring

      Lord of the Rings At Dawn in Rivendell

    23. In the Hall of the Mountain King

    24. books of the Old Testament Song
    25. books of the  New Testament Song
    26. Psalm 1 

      1959

      Soul-Junk

    27. Psalm 11 

      1959

      Soul-Junk

    28. Psalm 27 

      The Audio Bible Drama. Audio Drama

      Faith comes by hearing


    29. Courage (Someday I’ll Be Heard), Psalms 27:14 

      Five Stars for Failure

      Joy Electric

    30. I want this Beat

      Motion Factory

      Zero

    31. Ill-M-I 

      1956

      Soul-Junk
      (tobyMac got it from THEM – but my Daughter just does not like his versions – This may be her favorite song)

    32. Psalm 7

      1959

      Soul-Junk

    33. The Gettysburg AddressJohnny Cash Free Patriotic Songs

    34. This Land Is Your Land – Woody GuthryFree Patriotic Songs


    35. Star Spangled Banner (live) – Sufjan Stevens

    36. old testement bible dance WTB – Amnesia CD – Old Testament

      Walk Thru the Old Testament

    37. Sweet to My Soul (White Hot Apostle Mix)

      1956

      Soul-Junk

     

    One Night With The King

    June 16, 2009

    What Is It?

    Based on the Tommy Tenney , Mark Andrew Olsen novel Hadassah, “One Night With The King”, it is an expansion of the Biblical story of  Esther. The plot is the one you know, with the addition of a political plan to stop Greece and gain vengeance for the Kings murdered father.

    How Was It?

    It starts off shaky, gets good then drags on it’s way to a satisfying ending. This is an accomplishment considering the screen writer (Stephan Blinn) and the director (Michael O. Sajbel) are separately responsible for some of the absolute worst Christian films ever. The feel of the movie seems a bit like someone jumped a camel from “the Ten Commandments” grabbed “Belle” away from “…the Beast” and dropped her in Middle Earth, where she was to reenact Bible stories, accompanied by a king who shares a make up artist with Captian Jack Sparrow.

    LOTR fans will recognize John Rhys-Davies or Gimli, narrating as Mordecai . Furthermore, you will also spot obvious knods to Gandalf’s helpful moth, the flame lit fortress in Mordor, the forging of the Orc’s swords, Saruman’s speeches to the armies, Aragon’s dramatic entrance through the giant doors of Helms Deep, the black riders and even theOne Ring, itself, revealing it’s message by fire.

    Though there is lots that we have all seen before, they are emulating some of the best film has to offer and do it with decent actors, solid photography and a very large budget. Little touches like having Haman’s symbol look surprisingly like a swastika, and the evil advisors fearing the Greeks because the will bring democracy (more the American version than the Greek) border between cute and silly but don’t detract from the story. There are a couple holes left unresolved like a “Three’s Company” style misunderstanding and Esther’s questions about Queen Vashti that are never answered. Despite these down falls, it is a very watchable movie.

    Is It Good For Kids?

    There are some parts that are a bit scary and dark and Queen Vashti shows some cleavage at one point. Other than that, there is some bloodless action to keep the boys interested and some “princess movie” elements for the girls.

    You can check Screenit.com for a complete breakdown of the elements presented.

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    For the most part all the Bible story is here. It’s just “more flushed out.” They incorporate elements from other parts of the Bible as well as retelling of some of the actual stories themselves. There is even the utterance of a Messianic Prophecy.

    The only change I found distracting was the kings selection process for a new queen. First the other girls were all so dreadfully silly, that there was no real competition. Second he avoided having his “one night” with any other girl and then asked Esther to be his queen before their evening really started. I found this nod to the American romantic sensibilities more out of place and silly than the democracy comments.

    Despite there additions and rewrites, there is nothing that changes the ultimate message of the book and it certainly lines up with the message of the Bible.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    It’s a movie you may enjoy. It’s well worth watching, especially if you have friends who are interested in the film.

    I always find it fun (especially with kids) to read the Bible story first, talk about what happened, and then watch the movie and compare them.

    “One Night with the King” offers plenty to entertain as well as inspire thought.

    Still, for my money, I much prefer the 1999 TV movie Esther (now on DVD) that, though not quite as grand, captures the beauty of the story much better while keeping a stricter focus on the original text and giving us a smoother story

    One Night With the King DVD

    Hadassah

    The Bible – Esther