Posts Tagged ‘Shia LaBeouf’


November 12, 2009

What Is It?

Based on a comic book called “Hellblazer,” this is the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves). John is a chain smoking, exorcist. He has never repented but tries to drive out demons to earn his way to heaven. Lately the demons are doing something new. As he searches for answers, his friends and confidants all get killed. He also meets a woman cop (Rachel Weisz) who’s twin sister (same actress) has just killed herself. The cop and Constantine go on a quest through our world and the unseen spiritual world (which both of them can see) to restore a balance and keep us alive.

How Was It?

There is a very high “Hipness” factor here. The angel Gabrielle  (Tilda Swinton)is super cool, and most of the special effects are good. Still when he “kills” a boss demon, it looked like a kid animated the scene with his Nintendo.

The plot does not go anywhere. Characters either do not change, or switch sides for absolutely no reason. (Some then switch back with just as much explanation.) The movie makes up rules for the way the supernatural works. It often has to stop to tell us all of them. Unfortunately most of the “spiritual” stuff seems like they are making it up as they go along. Then the movie does not even follow its own rules.

It would be a lot better if no one spoke, so you never had to deal with there poor attempt at a plot.

Is It Good For Kids?

This film is very intense. It takes you to hell a couple of times. It also introduces you to demons, and often has lots of monsters just coming out of nowhere. The language isn’t good and there is no pervasive nudity, but the attractive woman cop often ends up completely wet.

You can check for a complete breakdown of elements shown on the screen.

Also, as you will see in the next question, the information about God and the spiritual world is at best confusing and at worst heresy.

How about Spiritual Issues?

Religion, as my wife pointed out, is a prop in this film. If it works they use it and if it doesn’t they use what ever else.

At points the theology seems to be going well. The Angel Gabriel answers John’s accusation of God being unfair with “you are going to die because you have smoked 3 packs a day since you were 15 and you are going to hell because of the life you took, so your ****ed” She then explains that he can’t buy his way into heaven, but could just repent and believe in God so he can be saved. It even goes as far as explaining the difference between “knowing” God is there and “Believing” in him.

Still all this goes out the window and is contradicted through out the film. Then the rest is just sad.

John explains that God and Satan have a bet to see who can get the most followers just by influence and never by actual action. (Though there is evidence of both sides acting on people all the time.) He later says that God doesn’t care; he’s just a “Kid with an ant farm.”

Suicide is looked at as a one way ticket to Hell. The two suicides we see in the film are both rejections of God.

The Roman Catholic Church is the only church shown. We only meet 2 priests. The first is only there to tell the surviving twin that her sister’s suicide makes it so she can not have a Catholic funeral.

The other (Pruitt Taylor Vince) is a scary looking fat guy who drinks like mad to avoid having to think about the demons. He finally drinks himself to death during a rampage in a liquor store.

(This is where I spoil the end)

Later Gabriel switches sides and tries to help Satan’s son come into the world. After Satan (Peter Stormare) stops her (he doesn’t want Jr. taking over), she is punished and becomes human. (This is an odd punishment because earlier she pointed out, very Biblically, that she was jealous of humans because they can repent and become children of God.)

John uses suicide to trick Satan into letting him go to heaven. Then Satan chooses to heal John so he doesn’t die. Biblically God is the only one who can heal or has power over who lives and who dies.

What Is Your Recommendation?



The film is not good and the script is bad and the theology is terrible. I guess if you’re just in the mood to play “find the heresy”, maybe…. Or if you have a friend who wanted to talk to you about “Is that true?”

Even the totally un-theological “Roger Ebert” said the film was just silly because he spends the whole time trying to earn his way into heaven when “You don’t have to kill these demons to earn your way into heaven because any sin can be forgiven..” Amen



March 7, 2009


What Is It?

Transformers, of course, is a movie based on the Hasbro toys (and subsequent Comic Book, Cartoon Show, and animated movie) from the 80’s. They are simply the coolest toys for boys, ever. Now that all the little boys who saw these “robots in disguise” as the testosterone filled ‘Holy Grail” of Toys’R’Us are in their 30’s*, Director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg are aiding the Transformers in their own journey into adulthood.

Where the original story line had Earth as the last place to harvest “Energon”, the power source to keep their world going. This one has Earth as the hiding place of the “All Spark” which can be used by the Autobots (good guys) to rebuild their planet or the Decepticons (Bad Guys) to power their army for intergalactic domination. With the plot out of the way, this is a movie about vehicles that turn into giant robots and fight each other. What cooler toy could any grown up little boy hope for.

How Was It?

Transformers is simply the most incredible special effects film I have ever seen. You know that you are looking at a special effect only because reason tells you that alien robots do not exist and do not change into your car. Other than that, the effects are seamless. Added to the realism is the camera work, which sways toward “documentary style.” The fight scenes are wonderful, and they give you the feel that the World’s Greatest Camera Man happened to see giant robots fighting, grabbed his gear and yelled “I’m getting this!” If you have time to think during the onslaught, you will no doubt think things like “I have never seen anything like this.” The action is so good you will not notice the near complete lack of plot or even the glaring problems with it’s logic. Still the movie makes no pretenses about things like that. Like the little boys with their action figures, they come up with enough of a plot to get to a couple of hours of fighting, it’s all you need.

If you have been part of the fad in the past, you will be thrilled to know that , Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, reprises his role for this movie. Autobots have blue eyes and Decepticons have purple. The first transformation has the sound effect that you remember, people say “More that meets the eye”, Megatron, while being voiced by Hugo Weaving, tells off a whiny Starscream, guilty of failing again, and finally the Megatron vs Optimus Prime battle starts with the declaration “One shall stand, one shall fall”

Is It Good For Kids?

The violence is almost non-stop once it gets going. Though there is nothing too horrible, humans are threatened and you have to assume casualties, though none are shown. The violence is always bad guys attack because they are evil and good guys protect because they are good. Beyond that, parents may be concerned about the language. They use all the tradition swears, but seem to find the most fitting to be taking the Lord’s name in vain.

There is also emphasis on teen sexuality. Our human hero Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is a teen boy who would like to date the hot girl Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Mikaela is unable to find a shirt that covers her and thus the camera man actually holds still, prior to panning, on a couple of occasions. There are also several comments that range from a robot determining Sam’s choice of activities based on his pheromone level, a banter scene where Sam is so flustered he can not say anything that is not a double entendre , and a bizarre scene where Sam’s Donna Reed style mom (Julie White) gives her theory on why Sam would lock the door to be alone in his room. She then comes up with cute code’s like “Sam’s happy time” because the boy and his father (Kevin Dunn) seem uncomfortable with the technical word. She finally excuses herself by explaining that she had been drinking. The reason the door was locked was to keep his parents from realizing that he was finding clues for alien robots. The consummation of the scene is when Mikaela pops up from her hiding place. Mom tells Sam that she is beautiful and gleefully believing that he was simply locking himself in his room with a girl he snuck in, the parents are properly satisfied and leave.

The movie ends (Spoiler?) With a shot of Sam laying on the hood of his car with Mikaela on top of him. (This is all just a little creepy when you realize his car is one of the personified characters.)

What About Spiritual Issues?

This film starts off with an explanation of the “All Spark” which is the inanimate object that created their planet and brought them to life.It is later shown as giving life to a cell phone. This gives a bizarre version of evolutionary creationism. Like “The Force” the “All Spark”  allows the story to have a spiritual dimension and power in a totally godless version of reality. With the “All Spark” as creator, God is used only as a substitute word for supposedly more offensive cussing and Jesus himself is simply the punch line to Sam begging his teacher to raise his grade.

The idea of self sacrifice is pointed out in the dialog with the oft said mantra “Without sacrifice there is no victory” and though a good Pastor could use this to start his sermon next week, it’s not enough to put the movie on strong footing.

What Is Your Recommendation?

This is a movie about vehicles that turn into robots and fight. To that end it is excellent. To that end I want to revive my 20 year old semi-dormant obsession and put on my Autobot t-shirt while I listen to the sound track, get myself a tie-in lunch box, see the film a couple more times in the theaters and wait patiently for it to come out on DVD.  Unfortunately the thin plot is spiced with anti-God spirituality and glorified teen sexuality. Thus I will instead leave the shirt dormant and move on.

* of whome I am the chief

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Q&E Review Show

October 28, 2008