Edge of Tomorrow: Movie Review

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First of all, Happy Father’s day to all the fathers out there! To celebrate my dad (who is my best pal) and I went to see Edge of Tomorrow. Now I prefer Disney or artsy-fartsy coming of age dramas to action movies, which usually make me yawn, but I have to say, this one got me interested.

Or maybe it was just Tom Cruise. Is it a coincidence that the only action movies I like have Tom Cruise? Probably not, but hear me out for a minute.

As many before me have pointed out, the beginning of this movie was boring. Canned action movie banter, all of that. But somewhere along the way, between the impressive visuals, the mysterious heroine, Tom Cruise, and an above average concept, you started to care about the fate of the human race.

It was like a mash up of Groundhog Day and War of the Worlds, with generous helpings of warfare and mechanical monster battles.

What I liked about this movie was that you didn’t always want to be Tom Cruise. He was kind of a coward in a lot of the movie. He came through, of course, but I still wouldn’t be willing to trade my dresses for a robot suit anytime soon. It wasn’t just an endless succession of choreography and punches and spandex, but you saw him struggle, you saw him wriggle a little in his very unpleasant circurstances.

So if you want to see an interesting twist on what could have been a completely ridiculous action flick, see this movie. You may ponder the blurred lines between good and evil for a moment in between action sequences.

Rating: a very solid 3.5 out of 5 burritos

Rating based on how much this movie contradicts basic Christian values: I have decided that that is too hard to quantify, too lazy to even try.

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“Father please forgive them…”

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“…For they know not what they’ve done…”

That’s what Jesus said as He was being crucified. Today I saw the movie “Son of God,” and that was by far my favorite moment. I cried and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

He didn’t say, “See you in Hell you _________.”

God forbid! No, he said, “Father please forgive them.” While He was in excruciating pain, quite literally. Who does that? No one who is not of God. 

I think it’s just beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

ahouseupontherock.com

The Battle Continues- Christians Vs. Hollywood

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I don’t think that anyone who really knows me would say that I have no sense of humor. I love humor- snakiness, satire, slapstick, all of the above.

It seems like every time you turn on the TV or read anything intellectual, there are always jokes about religion. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, these jokes are downright blasphemous. But sometimes they seem kind of good-natured. They seem to say, “It’s okay if you actually believe that, we won’t judge, but you know it’s a little silly.” And every once in a while they seem somewhat appropriate/funny/understandable. Like what I saw today, on a recent episode of the Simpsons, when Homer was dressed up as Jesus while promoting a loan shark (get it, because of how Jesus got mad at the “money changers” in the temple), and was consequently struck by lightening. I don’t know, I thought that was funny. As close as the media will get to acknowledging the existence of God.

I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged on this topic before. But what I really want to know is, how should Christians respond to this kind of humor? And, where do you draw the line in making light of the things in the Bible? Puns, good-natured one-liners? Isn’t it wrong to ridicule the word of God beyond that (or is the Bible a 100% serious thing)? Does God himself have a good sense of humor when it comes to his own decrees?

Which brings up another topic. Forgive me for jumping around, but I think I will let those questions hang in the air while I discuss this, the matter of Christians as loud-mouthed media watchdogs. Sure, we can certainly have our opinions of what we see, we can react accordingly to what we see, and refrain from watching certain things, encouraging our friends to do the same. But do we need to write the strongly worded letters and go crazy on social media every time we see something particularly debauch? Should we try to change the culture by speaking out? Or should we accept that the world is different from us, and stop trying to impose our morals on it? Should we just let our lives speak for themselves? Why do we expect Hollywood to conform to our values? And don’t we have our own business to attend to? Or is it important that we remind ourselves and each other of what is right and wrong? Do we have something better to do than discuss how Miley Cyrus is an example of the cultural decline of America? Is there a plank between our pupils and our 3-D glasses?

 

 

 

Photo Credit: simple.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

Catching Fire (2013)

 

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Catching Fire, directed by Francis Lawrence

The next installment of the popular teen-dystopian series, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins is out, in case you’ve been living under a rock, or you just don’t care. If you fall under the second category, I don’t blame you. But if you are considering watching this movie, then here’s what to expect.

Katniss Everdeen has beat the odds and won the Hunger Games, ticking off those jerks at the Capitol in the process. A love triangle persists, and the drum beat of revolution can be felt in poverty-stricken District 12. 

If I give this movie no other props (which wasn’t the case), I will definitely concede that it was not predictable. Plot twists, masterfully executed like only Hollywood can do, left the audience satisfied. There were definitely weak points, though. I found the snide banter and teen-love goop (though it was used sparingly enough)a little annoying, personally. But where it lacked in writing it  made up for in action, symbolism, raw emotion and brilliant costume and set design. The film rang with a word, though it wasn’t used, duty- towards family, people, and loved ones in the face of hardship. Self-sacrifice always warms the heart, and the film makers capitalized on it.

Jennifer Lawrence gave a generally solid performance, though at times I didn’t really buy her outbursts of crying, even though they were justified in the circumstances. While the two lover boys (played by Hemsworth and Hutcherson) were very charming, my favorites had to be the minor characters. Donald Sutherland as President Snow was a wonderful villain, and Jena Malone (Johanna) was fun to watch.

 

Rating According to Underground Voices:

Acting: 8/10

Direction: 10/10

Writing: 7/10

Plot: 9/10

For a total of: 8.5/10

How contrary was this movie to the most liberal of the basic Christian/family values on a scale of 1-10, you ask?

5.5

 

 

 

Photo Credit:www.fanpop.com

 

Musings of a Hypochondriac

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Yesterday, Day 3 of the apple detox, I was watching the film “Send Me No Flowers (warning-mini spoiler ahead). The best part of the apple detox for me was having a very good excuse to sit around. After all, when you literally have no energy, who’s going to make you do anything? The movie was very funny, by the way, I thought the absolute best part was the cemetery plot scene. Now that’s satire for you.

Anyway, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that Rock Hudson’s character thinks he’s going to die of hypochondria. Well, while I was watching, I was naively thinking, “How awful it must be to have hypochondria.” And then I remembered- hypochondria means the absence of disease! It means that your worst ailment is thinking you have a disease. I’m sorry if I’ve just ruined the movie a little for you, but you were warned.

Anyway, as I was finishing up the apple detox, I was thrilled to finally be taking the olive oil. Seriously, I was giddy. I’m thinking “Now it’s over, now I’m going to be cleansed!” and so on. Rarely do I find myself that excited about a bowel movement.

I had done the detox by the book. I even made a trip to this apple orchard to get the right variety. So I had a lot of hope going into this thing, and I talked about it with my family a lot, maybe partially to brag. But I did it for my health, because I felt that slipping away from me a little. And if you read the Bible, it says that your body is your temple. I would like a clean temple, thank you very much! And as recommended by Cayce, I took almost half a cup of olive oil (which believe me, is disgusting). In hindsight, this amount might have been the thing that messed it up. But I am inclined to believe it simply wasn’t meant to go as planned.

So, post olive oil, initially I felt good. I did feel the churning I can tell you that. But then I started hiccuping a lot, and feeling nauseous and extremely full and like I NEVER wanted to eat olive oil ever again. Well, fast forward to the present time. Still no bowel movement.

I woke up early in the morning, not feeling so inclined to go to the bathroom but to pee. And I started imagining that I had all kinds of diseases. There was something wrong with my colon, my liver, heck, I was probably suffering from a mild form of mercury poisoning (thanks to leaking button cell batteries in my house, not a good thing for a neurotic person).

But then I went back to sleep after reminding myself of the joys of salvation and changing the song that was playing in my head. Why was I worrying so much about my health? Like Jesus said, that which you should really watch out for is that which can corrupt the eternal soul, not the body. The body is here today, gone tomorrow. I’m not saying you should neglect your health- take up smoking, eat whatever, and drink yourself into oblivion. NO, okay that’s not what I’m saying! I’m saying that you should do whatever is in your control, I suppose like I did with the apple detox and some of my dietary changes. But clearly, some things are out of our control, and that’s okay. So, maybe I do have some kind of disease of the liver. Maybe my intestines are unhappy (isn’t that a pleasant mental image?) But you know what, it’s okay. I tried, that is true, but clearly I had too much faith in my own ability to improve my health and not enough faith in God.

None of us are immune from disease, no matter how many broccolis we eat, miles we jog, vaccines we get. None of us are safe from disaster, no matter how good our alarm system is, where we reside, or what our homes are made of. What is steel construction to God? And none of us are guaranteed the rest of today.

If God wants to take away my health, my passion, my wealth, my family, my cherished acquaintances, my very life- then I pray that I will have the strength to endure it all with joy in my heart, as long as my spiritual house is built on a big, solid rock. And if that’s the case, I know that everything will truly be okay.

 

 

Photo: healthcareresorts.wordpress.com

Gravity: A Movie Reviewed and A State of Mind

As you can glean from the title, I saw the movie Gravity today. Half the time I believe I was cringing or making very unattractive faces. It really “pulled me in” (pun not originally intended) because the acting was good, and the sense of tension and mortal terror that they were going for was achieved. I knew what was going to happen in the end, but I just couldn’t help wondering, questioning, feeling. I even got reasonably close to crying one time (and I actually don’t cry much in movies, even though I’m such a sap).

I thought it was funny how you could hear sounds when the things were crashing in space. It was not true to science, but I see why the director did it. Without the sound, something just would have been missing, because we as humans are so accustomed to sound.

And here’s the part where I, without shame, try to relate the movie I saw with my personal thoughts. Why am I such a girl? Can’t I just talk about an action movie without getting all weird?

Gravity. The laws of physics that we naively believe govern the natural world as independent entities that came about through their own means. The laws of society that can seem almost as strict.

I never really learned to use those things to my advantage. I am graceless, uncoordinated, awkward. Just today I picked up tennis again. To be fair to myself, I haven’t played in a long time. But I performed badly today, either hitting the net or hitting homers a solid portion of the time. Not that I was ever much of a pro, yet it’s the only sport that I have potential for being passable at. So I think I’ll give it a shot. Ugh, another pun.

I’ve never had good posture either. I just kind of let gravity do it’s thing to my body. Not to mention, I’m not exactly a walking embodiment of physical fitness either. I always feel like something is weighing me down, keeping me from getting in shape. I think it’s just a lack of willpower.

And with people. I want to be diplomatic, funny, and charming. But my own nervousness and fear of being dull, jerky, and uncomfortable holds me back. I let the pressure, the “gravity” hold me down instead of letting myself be grounded by it

When things aren’t going well, I like to think about heaven, an ideal world with beautiful views and no worries. I like to think that I’ll get there, Jesus will hand me a pina collada or something, and we’ll shoot the breeze in this perfect paradise with puffy clouds, islands and classical architecture. And then I’ll meet all the people who weren’t too fond of me in this life, the people that were too cool for me, the people who gave me charity, and everyone else, all the colors of the rainbow, and we’ll all hold hands and laugh together and dance around in the most beautiful harmony.

I think that my idea of heaven is a little distorted, but that’s okay. I guess I’ll just leave it up to God to decide what He likes. And it shouldn’t just be about the atmosphere there anyway, the most important thing about it is that we’re spending eternity with God. Chew on that. But what I should be focusing on now, is what I can do while I’m here on earth. And yes, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be here long, but that doesn’t mean that every second is not a gift, to be used in the best way possible. So maybe it would behoove me to try and be comfortable in my own skin, to get acclimated to this thing called gravity, and fine tune my skill at defying the norm (but in a way that is productive), while at the same time, learning to love the individuals that comprise this world that is both surprisingly orderly and excessively crazy.

Thoughts upon watching The Matrix

Yesterday, I finally watched The Matrix. I do like sci-fi movies if they have gripping, original concepts that take me to another world, or better yet, another version of this world. I don’t particularly like it when giant, uninspired machine-organism-things terrorize Los Angeles and other major cities, like they have been accustomed to doing lately, to the tune of some dub step. Is it just me or are there several movies like I just described? It probably just seems like it.

Anyway, this was a well-done film, but I’m sure you’ve probably already seen it, so I’ll skip to the meat and potatoes. And if you haven’t see it, then you’d better close out this screen. DO IT NOW, or you’ll see something you’ll regret!

I was saddened to think that Hollywood imagined a world where we were literally enslaved to machines. I was saddened because there is some truth to it. What part of my life isn’t tied to computers? Writing- computer. Reading- sometimes on my tablet. Work- can I get a COMPUTER, recreation- TV… computer, Devotion- computer, Talking to my friends- as of now, exclusively through my phone… iPhone, and even getting around (my car has, you guessed it, a friggen computer!)

I truly doubt that we will ever be literally enslaved to machines. But if there was any indication of it in Revelation, I would be fear mongering right at this moment. 

Yet do we need to be harvested by computers to be controlled by them? Isn’t it bad enough that we rely on computers for everything and sell our souls to the media? 

I’m not going to be enslaved by machines. Better yet, I’m not going to be enslaved by man. Which is really the same token. We all must be a slave to something, whether we believe it or not, but I’d rather be a slave to God. At least He knows what’s good for me. 

Did you hear that, Mr. iMac? You’re working for me, not the other way around.

If you’re convinced that I’ve lost my mind, please, check out my next post on the zombie apocalypse and my take. 

Just kidding… I don’t believe in zombies.