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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

I’ll admit it – I love summer movies. In fact, I usually about this time of year calendar their release date. In case anybody out there cares, this is a cool mash-up of the most anticipated movie trailers coming out this summer. Get the popcorn ready…

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The A-Team is Back!

I’m totally going to see this ridiculous movie.

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Cat Ladies

I’m a huge fan of documentaries. So far, my favorites have been about Scrabble, spelling bees, professional bowlers, and Donkey Kong. But this one? I don’t know what to do with it. It’s like a train wreck – I can’t look away.

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A Review of “Up”

I love Pixar films. In my opinion (and in pretty much everyone else’s), they haven’t missed yet. Finding Nemo was incredible. Toy Story 2 was even better than Toy Story 1, and that’s really saying something. And that kid in Monster’s Inc. is so cute I want to punch myself in the face.

So I had high expectations for Up.

And it was good. Really good. I mean, the animation alone was incredible (the scene where the house actually lifts off the ground is particularly amazing). But the story is captivating, heart-felt, and moving.

Here’s the interesting thing about the movie though – some animated movies try to sort of sit in the middle of between kiddie cartoon and adult humor in an ambiguous center ground. I would say lots of other animated films do this. Think about The Lion King for example. It’s clearly a kids movie, but it’s not really “kiddie.” I mean Mufassa gets trampled for crying out loud. But it’s not really adult either. The movie treats adult themes in kid-like ways.

But Up does it differently. It seems like to me that there’s a wide gap in the film.

For example, for the kids, there is the very kiddie idea of dogs with collars that enable them to speak. There’s lots of gags with dogs flying planes, tripping on themselves, and chasing rubber balls.

But then there’s the first 15 minutes of the film, which is very, very adult. It’s about growing older, having to make sacrifices out of dreams, and eventually, great loss. And it’s done well enough to where I was fully, totally invested in Carl, the old man, inside of 20 minutes.

Carl and his wife dreamed of being adventurers and eventually living in South America near a waterfall. But life happens. Over and over again. And Carl turns around one day to find that his wife is gone and they never really did anything. So he decides to float his house (he’s sold balloons for his career) all the way to South America.

The amazing part about Up is the commentary it makes about the nature of dreams. Carl, along with another character, are contrasted in their approach to dreams and adventure. Both are obsessed men of a sort, but Carl has the choice about whether he’ll allow his failed dreams to consume him or whether he’ll embrace what is life is. And what is his life?

His life is good. Sure, it’s not what he originally thought it might be, but it was, and can still be full. It’s just a different adventure than he had in mind all along.

And there is the very adult portion of the film. Anybody with kids, family responsibilities, and an electric bill knows that along the line, certain sacrifices have to be made. Rarely do our lives turn out just as we thought they might, and when they don’t, we have the choice about whether we wallow in the “what might have been,” or whether we accept from the hand of God what has been given to us. And, as most everything in life is, the decision is about faith.

Do you really believe God has a plan?

Do you really believe God is ordering your steps?

Do you really believe that He is wise?

Do you really believe that He has charted out the way you should go?

If the answer is yes, then come what may in life. We can still choose joy and hope in the midst of it. At least that’s what I walked away from Up thinking about.

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Loved this video from History in the Making. Ben Arment writes:

Some of the most unforgettable speeches come from movies. The right words move people to action. They stick in people’s hearts and unleash them to new possibilities. The phrases themselves become iconic. Here are 40 inspirational speeches from the movies in two minutes:


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Live Long and Prosper

I am what you would call a slightly-more-than-casual fan of Star Trek. That is to say, I know the names and traits of the original cast of characters, can tell you the plot lines of the first six movies or so, and know who Khan is, but I can’t write this blog in Klingon.

I was really excited to sit down and enjoy J.J. Abrams’ take on this classic series, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved every second of it.

The special effects were amazing, and I loved the look of the Enterprise. In the old TV series especially, everything looked kind of like it was made out of cardboard (and it probably was, given that it was the 60’s). And even into the later movies, every time the ship would get hit with a torpedo it looked like the crew was just jumping into stuff at random. But with everything in the known universe at his fingertips, Abrams made it look great. But he didn’t overdo it, the way George Lucas did with the aliens and the man-eating spiders in the new Indiana Jones movie (my review here).

Instead, Abrams held the right balance between developing the characters and exploding and creating black holes. The characters were what made the film – everybody was great. Kirk was the younger version of the arrogant captain. Bones was the developing nasty old man. And Spock was the ever-logical and yet emotional green-blooded Vulcan.

Spock, especially, must have been a challenge, since you are a member of a race that prizes itself on having only logic – no emotion. So when Spock (the child of a Vulcan father and a human mother) was younger and less mature, you would have to play him as an actor as both more logical and more emotional. And Sylar (that’s his name in Heroes) does it great, showing both extremes.

All in all, it’s 2 hours of “worth your time.” It’s a great time, especially if you know a little something about the movies and characters when you go in.

Alright, enough of that love fest – I’ve got Klingon to study. Long long and prosper, nerds…

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I’ll admit – I’m not a huge fan of debates, mainly because I get sweaty armpits for the people involved. But this film looks so well done I was immediately captured by it. By clicking below, you can watch:

Preview of the first 13 minutes of the forthcoming documentary “Collision”. The film follows renowned author and anti-theist Christopher Hitchens and
Pastor Douglas Wilson as they debate the topic: “Is Christianity Good For The World?”.

Click here to watch.

(HT: Z)

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