Movie Reviews and Such

It’s been a while since I updated some of the movies we’ve seen lately so I think it’s time to catch up.

“42” starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some bad language.  It’s the story of Jackie Robinson’s first year in the major leagues and the courageous decision of Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, to sign the first black player in the major leagues.  The movie is entertaining, funny at times and often disturbing.  It’s hard to watch some of the things that happen, knowing that these events were very real and reflected a dark time in our history.  It’s one of the wonders of the movies that they can entertain us while also challenging and informing.  A must go, even if you aren’t a baseball fan.

“Olympus Has Fallen” starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett is rated R for strong language and violence throughout the movie.  Lots of killing in this movie as terrorists take over the White House and hold the president hostage.  I have to say that I enjoyed the action, but I was highly perturbed at the story.  Almost every decision maker in the movie claims to be strong and then gives in to the terrorists.  It was frustrating to watch one leader after another give in to unjust demands.  Wait for the DVD at best, probably just put it on your Netflix queue in about a year.

“Parental Guidance” starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott (from “That Thing You Do”) is rated PG.  This movie is hilarious as it contrasts new parenting and old parenting while also delving into the complicated relationship between parents and their grown children.  Lots of laughs and a sweet movie with no bad language.  WOW.  It’s hard to imagine seeing a funny movie with no bad language.  This is a must go, and if it’s not showing it’s a must rent or buy.

“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey is rated PG-13 for some sexual content, a drug related scene and some language.  I know it didn’t receive rave reviews, but I loved this movie enough to see it twice and laughed the second time as hard as the first.  Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are Las Vegas magicians who have the same routine for a decade.  They are challenged by Jim Carrey who plays a cross between Criss Angel and David Blaine.  The stunts are hilarious and the ending scene left me in tears.  It’s goofy for certain, but there is a great theme to the movie and a quiet moral to the story.  Also, Alan Arkin is great as the old magician.  You need to see this movie.

Other movies I’ve seen:  “Django Unchained” – Not for the faint of heart. Loads of violence and offensive (but true to the period) language.  “Les Miserables” – Get ready for singing.  “Oz the Great and Powerful” – Odd movie but entertaining.  “Admission” – funny, date movie.  “Safe Haven” – Definitely a date movie, buy your wife the book.

Speaking of books, I just finished reading “The Great Gastby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It’s a classic that I probably read, or should have read, in high school though I don’t remember doing so.  I wanted to read it before the movie came out next month.  It’s a great story with a few twists in it.  I’ll have to admit though, the writing is on a different level than most of the fiction books I’ve read so it takes a little getting used to the vocabulary and the style.  It is a good read that I’d recommend.

“The Overton Window” by Glenn Beck is a modern day Factional book (a fiction based on historical facts) that will really get you to thinking about current events and how they are used by media and the government to move our culture.  It’s a page turner that had me eager to read “just one more chapter” all the way through.

“Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly is much like his previous volume, “Killing Lincoln” as it dives deep into the presidency of JFK.  I learned some things about historical events and how they fit into the overall narrative of Kennedy’s life.  It’s a compelling story with lots of interesting tidbits from his private and public life.  I recommend it highly.

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5 Things in Week 43 of 2012

Aside

1. Last night I watched the last of the presidential debates.  It was a late night because I recorded it and watched after the football game was over.  🙂
After all the talk and all the talk about the talk, I don’t see how anyone could still be undecided.  It seems to me that if you have paid attention at all you should know how you will vote.  But it does seem that some are still undecided.  I wonder how many of those who are still undecided two weeks before the election actually end up voting?

2. One exciting thing about this election, it’s the first time for my daughters, Holley and Courtney, to vote in a presidential election.  I remember my first time to vote for president, it was 1984, Reagan vs. Mondale.  I voted for Reagan and am proud to say that my vote put him over the top in that landslide victory.  When was your first time to vote for president and who did you vote for?

3. I finished reading the biography of Steve Jobs last week.  That was a great read.  It was interesting to read about the genesis of the products that I have loved and used since 1984.  I also enjoyed Jobs’ take on Apple and Microsoft.  He talks about how Microsoft and Bill Gates were focused on profits and they excelled at making money, but his focus was on great products.  That focus led him to believe in controlling all aspects of the computer, from hardware to software to accessories.  Of course that limited their market share, but it may have also been the key to creating the iPod and iPhone.  I recommend you pick up a copy of Walter Isaacson’s work.

4. We’ll be getting information out this week about ETC Student Camp 2013.  I’m excited about that time as we focus on Christ with our students and challenge them to live their faith out everyday.  You can get more info about student camp at our website: www.exposedtochrist.com

5. Julie and I went to see “Argo” at the theater last week.  It’s an entertaining movie about true events that occurred in 1979-1980.  I recommend it highly.  It has some humor in it but keeps you on the edge of your seat, which is interesting since, if you know your history, you know how it all turns out.

Summer Movie Reviews

So the summer is officially over and I haven’t caught you up on the movies we saw this summer. With Courageous coming out this weekend I wanted to get some brief summaries out for you. We saw some good ones, some very forgettable ones and a couple of regretful ones. In no particular order, here we go:

The Help
Probably the best overall movie of the summer. A great story about the civil rights struggle in the Old South in the 60’s. Funny and disturbing all at once. Go see it.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
3 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Crazy, Stupid, Love
Not as good as I’d hoped, but I do love Steve Carell. Some very funny moments but also a lot of crude humor.
Horn’s UP for Entertainment value
0 pulpits out of 5 for Christian thought.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Highly entertaining take on the planet of the Apes series. I loved the homages to the original movie. Lots of action, intriguing explanation of the “how the first one came about”.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
2 pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Cowboys and Aliens
Best action movie of the summer. I loved it, lots of fun and a great take on the alien movie genre combined with the western genre. Love Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
0 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Bad Teacher
Horrible. Don’t go, please. Crude, gross, extremely disappointing.
Horns WAY DOWN for Entertainment
-5 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

The Change-Up
Barely better than Bad Teacher. Not that funny, disappointing movie that I thought had a good premise.
Horns DOWN for Entertainment Value
0 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

Larry Crowne
Excellent movie. Entertaining, subtle, funny. Of course Tom Hanks is great as is Julia Roberts. This movie was not highly popular but is an enjoyable evening. Nice to see a funny movie without the crude jokes.
Horns UP for Entertainment Value
1 Pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought

 

 

 

Limitless Review

Went to see “Limitless” over the weekend. This movie starring Robert DeNiro and Bradley Cooper poses an interesting question: What would you do if you could use all of your brain, not just the 20% everyone uses?

It was a decent movie, though a little slow at times. The sad thing about the movie is that I think it’s pretty accurate. There are no good guys in the movie. No one who is purely motivated or who wants to be selfless. That’s not a negative about the movie, just an observation.

So, assuming we only use 20% of our brains, and that using all of it would enable us to accomplish so much more, what would you do? Money, power, influence, change the world? Winning over our natural urges, suppressing the flesh to submit to the Spirit. Or is it that we completely surrender to the Spirit and so allow Him to suppress our flesh? This battle is not mine to fight but the Lord’s to win. If given the ability to really make a difference, would we do it, or would we take care of our own first?

I’ll give this one a Horn’s Down for overall entertainment value.
4 pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought.

The Adjustment Bureau Review

Just got back from watching the new Matt Damon movie, “The Adjustment Bureau.” Really enjoyable movie with action, a love story and plenty of intrigue. It’s an entertaining movie and that is the most important thing to me in a movie.

The really interesting part of this movie is the push and shove between free will and sovereignty. I don’t want to give any of the movie away for those who will go to see it, but it should lead to some interesting conversations afterward. Can we choose or do we just think we are choosing? Not the little things in life, but the big ones. Who we marry, what we do with our lives. All of these can be affected by such small events. Or are they? Is our fate just the summation of the things we were going to choose anyway?

Lots to ponder. 🙂
I’ll give this one a Horn’s Up for overall entertainment value.
4 pulpits out of 5 for Christian Thought.