Posts Tagged ‘sci fi’

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

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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

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.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine Q&E Review Show

January 21, 2010

Wolverine mp3

The Anatomy of a Monster CDs

GI JOE THE RISE OF COBRA: Question Entertainment Christian movie review

January 2, 2010

Director Stephen Sommers said “this is not a George Bush movie — it’s an Obama world. Right from the writing stage we said to ourselves, this can’t be about beefy guys on steroids who all met each other in the Vietnam War, but an elite organization that’s made up of the best of the best from around the world.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_of_Cobra

(Why You Should Go See) DISTRICT 9 – Question Entertainment Christian Movie REVIEW (spoilers)

September 28, 2009

 

district9_poster-689x1024

District 9 

Signs

The Boy vs. The Cynic

John Reuben

Did you see the District 9 Tribute over at “Lunch Bag Art“?

Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow

June 17, 2009

What Is It?

This is a very original homage to Hollywood’s history. A retro-sci-fi set in the 1940’s and made to look like it was made in the 1940’s with today’s technology. The film was shot entirely in front of blue screens with all the actors being real and the locations and robots being computer animated later. The film was then set to black and white and colorized. It’s the story of a spunky female reporter and a dashing pilot as they fight giant robots and try to discover where the robots come from and how they are linked to the disappearance and apparent murder of seven significant scientists.  The Cast includes Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and even a computer enhanced cameo by the late Sir Laurence Olivier. The film even shows you a bit of “The Wizard of Oz” in the beginning, and then makes clever reference to Wizard in the end.

   How Was It?

This is a lot of fun. The stylized “sets” and creatures are fascinating The film is a bit slower than your standard action adventure but this adds to the feel that your watching film from the 40’s with the older pacing. Be that as it is, a rather amazing film from the 40’s.

   Is It Good For Kids?

 Thought the younger audience may not appreciate the “retro” part, I think the visuals and story will keep them hooked. Still we have sci-fi violence, death, some sexual references, and the Lord’s name being taken in vain several times.

 You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.

How about Spiritual Issues?

These “Robots” are man made, not alien, which cuts down on a lot of the “sci-fi” issues. Still, Sky Captain and reporter Polly Perkins have an odd relationship that involves deception and cheating.

There are some Old Testament references. They visit a place called “Sangria” that is said to be called “Eden” in Hebrew

The more elaborate Biblical story reference is the ending. (So don’t read this part if you don’t want me to spoil it for you) The robots have been collecting parts for a rocket ship and two of every kind of animal so that, with two vials named Adam and Eve, The evil Dr. Totenkopf can start civilization over in space. The rocket will also destroy the world by setting fire to the atmosphere after launching. There is a quick line pointing out that the Dr. is “Playing God”.  

   What Is Your Recommendation?

As a fun film I would recommend this very original movie and I do look forward to this first time writer/director’s next project. Still, the spiritual issues are very weird. There is not enough either way to recommend or not recommend this film. (Much like the films of the 40’s.) I think I would just say “be mindful of this film.” If you are going to enjoy Sky Captain with your family, you may want to discuss the idea of letting “God be God” as well as issues about relationships afterward.

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

February 4, 2009

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

all

Signs

December 21, 2008

signs


What Is It?
M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs is a huge hit film by the writer director often favorably compared to Steven Spielberg
 and Alfred Hitchcock. It’s the story of a family living on a farm. The dad, Mel Gibson, is a former pastor who is holding a grudge against God due to his wife’s accidental death. He has two young children and his brother lives with them to help out now that it’s a single family house hold. That seems like enough to be a great film, but we pile on top of that the fact that crop circles have been found in the family’s corn field. (Do you know how hard it is to break down corn?) The family, and the world, wrestles with the question “is this for real”. Then the next avalanche of questions comes quick and over shadow the first. “Is there a God?” “Will he help?” “Does he care?” This inquiry becomes the cattalos to move the film from B-movie plot, to emotional drama and creepy (maybe) Sci-Fi uneasiness.
How Was It?
This is a great peace of film making. The uneasiness of the possibility of alien’s just drives into the open, fears and family unrest that seems to have been lurking since the death of the father’s wife. The acting is great, the cinematography is beautiful and the creepy veneer works through the whole film. Shyamalan does some amazing things here. Like including touching stories from Graham about the days his two children were born, in the middle of one of the most perilous scenes in the film. As an aside: I have spoken to a few people who were really disappointed with this film. It seems the common denominator was that they thought it was an “Alien” film. They missed all the great family drama waiting for it to be “War of the Worlds.”
Is It Good For Kids?
It is dark and spooky. There is some violence that does not promote violence, but is heavy on the emotions. There are also a couple of cuss words (that are shown as bad). All in all I think younger kids would miss the point and just get fodder for nightmares.


You can check www.ScreenIt.com for a complete break down of elements shown on the screen.



How about Spiritual Issues?
The title of the film is not referring to aliens, but from a conversation where Mel Gibson’s character, Rev. Graham Hess, asks if you are the kind of person that “Sees coincidence, or sees miraculous see signs” Though out the film you see Morgan (Rory Culkin) try to deal with the distance between himself and his earthly father Graham Hess. This serves as a picture of Graham’s struggle with his heavenly father. You even hear Graham quote lines from his son said to him when he is talking to God. Graham acts in his own strength doubting that God will “bother” to act. This film is filled with ideas about faith and how life is 100% different if God is actually involved in the lives of the people who trust Him. .


(DON’T READ THIS PART IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO SPOIL THE END)


 At the end, Graham sees that all the odd little things about his family were orchestrated by God so that God himself could literally save the life of Graham’s son. The closing shot of the film show’s Graham back in his Priest outfit and the cross on the wall is back. (During the rest of the film you could only see a “clean” spot where the cross had been.)
What Is Your Recommendation?
If you can handle something a little on the creepy side, this is an excellent film! From the beautiful camera work, the subtle performances, the great script and the well crafted presentation of very important essages, this is something to encourage the believer and share with those still unsure of God.


B00005JL3T Signs