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King Kong: A Movie Review May 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in Movie Reviews.

I finally got around to watching King Kong. So far as action and special effects, it rivals all movies claiming to be the best. When the giant worm ate the guy head first, that was amazing – and horrific. When the dinosaur stampede went on and on, that was great. Kong's facial expressions were priceless. The way Kong and the woman interacted, it worked for me.

That is the place where my praise ends. The story, the acting (some of it anyway), the ending, were weak at best. The absolute worst part of the movie was Jack Black's closing words. It was unbelievable in a hundred different ways. I know there was an effort to be tru to the original, but good grief, that was weak.

It was too long. I didn't see Kong until the film was an hour old. Come on! An hour into Alien, I've at least seen a little bit of Alien. An hour into Predator, I have seen at least a glimpse of the beast. An hour into Ghostbusters and I am seeing ghosts. Give me King earlier – and don't drag out the movie for 3 hours. That works with LOTR, but not Kong.

I will not watch it again unless it is with my kids when they are old enough to stomach giant worms with a hankering for human heads.  


A Little Something May 24, 2006

Posted by fajita in A Little Something, Christianity, DaVinci Code, emerging church/emergent, Media, Movie Reviews, Philosophy/Religion.
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Postmodern Negro speaks up about the Davinci Code

Tony Jones gives us a little something – is the emerging church the new Christian left?

Technorati shacks up with the AP.

Faithmaps, you looking so good now.

Can clergy help prevent suicide? You better believe it.

Here is the 5 year stock trend for the company my mother works for.

Should Oprah get a Nobel Peace Prize?

Elizabethtown: A Movie Review May 6, 2006

Posted by fajita in Movie Reviews.

Elizabethtown was a film that dealt with life, death, and love. Good themes for a movie. It had enough humor to keep me into it, enough meaning to keep me hoping, and it had my favorite theme of all – redemption.

Let's break this movie a part a little. For one, it was better than "Gone With The Wind" – but so was "The Flintstones," so that isn't saying much.

OK, now really, I loved the scene where Drew (Orlando Bloom) stands over his deceased father's casket and tries to figure out what expression is on his father's face. It was an expression he had never seen before. He was grasping for a word to describe the expressions as he stood studying his father's face.

Naturally it struck me as so meaningful because I did the very same thing 6 weekes ago. I really did stand over my father's casket and look on his face and see an expression on it I had never seen before, standing there pondering what it was, what it meant.

Another scene that was good was when Drew confesses to Claire (Kirsten Dunst – who grows on me in every movie she is in. I don't like her much at first and then I keep falling in love) that he had failed his company to the tune of 1 billion dollars. "That's it?" she says. Then she repeats over and over, "you failed, you failed, you failed…" until he stops her. Then she says, "You think I care about that?"

That is beautiful. Love not contingent upon performance is beautiful, rare, powerful. It saved his life.

Finally, Claire creates a scrapbook map for Drew to use to drive home to Oregon from Kentucky. He followed it and got to seize the day in Memphis, Oklahoma City, and here and there. He finally met up with Claire and they fell in love blah, blah, blah. What was important about this scene was that it symbolozed how Drew had traveled through life, missing everything that was always right in front of his face, but had never really paid attention to.

Rent Elizabethtown.

Gone With The Wind: A Movie Review (part 2) April 30, 2006

Posted by fajita in Movie Reviews.

I had heard from so many people over the course of my life about how "Gone With The Wind" was such a classic. A must-see when it comes to cinema history. I heard stories about how mothers named their daughters "Scarlet" after the movie came out. I had heard it's an epic drama with historic value and meaning.

Well it's not. It's a terrible movie.

No lie, 4 times during the grueling 4 hour marathon of crap, I thought to myself, Anchorman is a much better movie. And I thought Ron Burgandy was a total loser.

I can overlook melodramatic acting. I can bypass special effects that are not 21st century material. I can even wink at a story that does not flow well. What I cannot tolerate is committing 4 hours to a "great film" without any sense of redemption whatsoever at the end. At least I laughed three times during "Anchorman." If you don't believe Anchorman is a better movie than Gone With The Wind, I will fight you.

I could make it through "Ray," because of redemption. I could "Walk the Line" with Johnny Cash because of redemption. But at the end of "Gone With The Wind," I just wanted to strangle Scarlet O'hara. Star Wars is great because of redemption, not the acting.

Here is the redeeming lesson I learned from "Gone With The Wind:" Be a selfish, lying, cheating, loser who is so completely self-absorbed so that when even creeps like Rhett Butler can't stand you anymore, you can go back to your house and be an idiot all by yourself – thinking the world is not right because it doesn't orbit your sorry little life. For all the flack I hear about teenagers these days being too into themselves and selfish and so forth, Scarlet gives proof that it is all about perspective. Apparently people do not need MTV, Ipods, blogs, internet, and video games to turn out rotton.     

Rant comeplete.

Gone With The Wind: A Movie Review (part 1) April 29, 2006

Posted by fajita in Movie Reviews.

It sucked.

Logan’s Run: A Story of Emergence April 21, 2006

Posted by fajita in emerging church/emergent, Movie Reviews.
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One year before Star Wars, there was Logan's Run. This 1976 Sci Fi thriller had us on the edge of our seats. With stunning costume & make-up, award caliber acting, and a soundtrack to die for, this movie rocks. Despite its low budget and weak 20th century concepts of the 23rd century, the story actually gets some traction. Logan is a Sandman, a cop, whose job it was to kill "runners." Runners were people trying to escape the enclosed world of perfection and pleasure. Logan is a true believer in the system, in the world he lives. He is dedicated to it. It was the perfect world, except for the fact that you die at age 30 – or take you shot at getting renewed throught the fire ceremony. On each poerson's hand was a implanted a jewel that served as a "Life Clock." When it blinks red, you are about to hit age 30. Logan learns that people don't get renewed – they die in the ceremony (somehow the spectators don't realize these people are getting fried right before their eyes). Some of the people, as they approach 30 years old, do not want to be renewed, so they run. Through a series of events, Logan finds that he can no longer support the system. He becomes a runner. There is a secret society of people who do not long to be renewed; they long for Sancturay. Sanctuary is this place they have heard of, have faith exists, and know that it is worth believing in since they know what "being renewed" really means. Logan escapes with a local hottie and sees the sun for the first time. They swim buck naked in a lake. Then they realize their life clocks are no longer blinking red, but are clear. They aren't dying. Then Logan says, "We are free." He doesn't say that they are safe, far from it, but they are free. Logan's best firned and fellow Sandman follows them out to Sanctuary. A fight ensues. Logan trying with all his might to convince his friend that he is free, too. But his friend refuses to believe him. But the fact is that no matter what his friend says, the fact that he left the city means he is free, whether he wants it or not. Logan beats the snot out of his friend, out of love. Logan's friend dies in his arms. Dead, but freed. Love, oh yes, they learn to love. Logan gets missional. "We're going back." "We can't. They'll kill us." "I have to tell them the truth." So, Logan stumbles into freedom and learns a new way of living. Then he decides to take freedom back into the tyrrany. He is not avoiding culture, but he is not embracing it either. Logan engages culture, the culture he knows so well, and seeks to insert change into it. Logan is rejected and punished, but never hedges on his faith. When Logan can't be turned, chaos reupts in the city. Perfection, as they knew it, could not contain the truth. The city was destroyed and everyone was freed. And, if you're not hooked yet, look below and see what else you get.

And, if you're still with me here, casting for the movie was done by – and I kid you not – Jack Bauer.