I just found out that Matt & Mike Chapman, creators of Homestar Runner and Strong Bad, are coming to Austin for an onscreen showing of cartoons at Alamo Drafthouse in June. And, bummer of bummers, the shows are already sold out.
I saw Episode III: Revenge of the Sith this week. I have to admit I was hesitant to pay to see this one. I thought that Attack of the Clones was really bad, none of the love scene stuff fit the movie. But, I heard from several friends that Revenge of the Sith was better. I agree, I’m glad that I saw it.
That’s not to say that it was perfect. In the Star Wars line of movies, I think this is one of the better ones (Empire Strikes Back is my favorite). Still, I have two complaints about this movie.
Its no secret that the dialogue in Star Wars films is dry, but it stood out more in this film for some reason. Samuel L. Jackson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman are each great actors, I can think of several movies for each in which they do a great job of playing strong characters. But all of them were lifeless in this movie. Jackson goes through his lines like he’s reading items on a grocery list. And if Padmé (played by Portman) really is in love with Anakin, she didn’t show it in this movie. Of the three of them, I thought Ewan did the best job, but even he was reserved. It really is odd to me that these are great actors in a great movie, and their performance is mediocre. The one exception to this is Ian McDiarmid, who does a fantastic job as Chancellor Palpatine.
As kind of a funny side note, Christopher Lee plays exactly the same character as he played in Lord of the Rings. I mean, he has the same lines and does the same stuff and even shoots lightning out of his fingers just like before.
Just as you would expect for Lucas, the special effects were phenominal. But they went too far, there were always 400 things zooming by in the background, or bright shiny objects distracting you from the actors. The landscape scenes were nothing short of amazing, but all of the stuff flying around made it feel like too much. I know this is also a Star Wars trait, but it was distracting.
As I was watching the movie, I kept wondering what Darth Vader would look like when he appeared. Even though its in the same story line, the original Star Wars (Episode IV) was filmed so long ago that its a strain to say that the movies look like they go together. Everything in this movie is modern. The storm troopers look dated because that’s what they looked like when I was a kid. I breathed a sigh of relief when Vader sat up in the movie, and everything about him is exactly the same. His mask is exactly the way I remembered it, he has the same large rectangular buttons on his chest, and even James Earl Jones does his voice. Strangely, he didn’t seem dated, the fact that he’s the same today as he was thirty years ago makes him seem more ominous & powerful.
In the line of Star Wars movies, Revenge of the Sith stands out for me as one of the better movies. The plot line ties together a bunch of stuff between Phantom Menace and A New Hope. The internal tension that leads Anakin to the dark side is a great story line, and the unfolding complexity of Palpatine really draws you in. Plus, the creepy eyes and deep voice are just cool.
But, if this movie had to stand on its own, apart from the Star Wars franchise, I don’t think it would. The bad acting is a distraction, and the special effects are excessive and don’t serve the story line. But what do I know about movies? Oh, but I do have one huge praise, Jar Jar Binks didn’t say one word in this movie.
I’m not going to repost the entire bill here, but you really do have to read it. Its freakin hilarious! In the bill they praise tater-tots, Uncle Rico’s football skills (get it?), and it goes on. Don’t hesitate, click now! They even praise Kip & LaFawnduh’s wedding! E-commerce, tetherball, Tina, keep on reading, it just keeps getting better. Its pretty much the most killerest law ever passed.
Kind of gives new meaning to Vote for Pedro, huh?
I saw Blade: Trinity last night with Steve. I went in with mediocre expectations. I enjoyed the first one, but would rate it as a B because it felt like it was lacking something, it just didn’t come fully together for me. I never saw the second one, but I assume it was well received because Hollywood decided to put another one out. I really like this latest one. Now I think I want to go back & see the second.
Its kind of like the original Matrix, in that the main protagonist (Wesley Snipes’ character Blade) is on a crusade to save the world from evil. I liked this movie much more than either of the two Matrix sequels. There are a few scenes where the music and the action really drew me in. And the special effects were incredible. Several characters morphed throughout the movie, and that just doesn’t get old to me.
I’ve also been continuing my work on this site. I’m happy with the work that I’ve done, but it still doesn’t have the menu on the left side, as my old site does. I’ve realized that I may have to start from another template in order to achieve this. What I’ve decided to do for now, is leave this skin (which I’ve named ‘Aerolen’) alone, and start work on another. For now that one is named ‘Surly’ because I anticipate it getting ugly before it gets pretty.
Mel Gibson’s new movie Passion of Christ has been one of this year’s top films (#10 at the time of this writing), and it is arguably the most controversial. Critic’s reviews range from moving to savagery, and user reviews are equally charged. It has sparked arguments among muslims, and it has rekindled the anti-semitic debate as well. The movie has also prompted a number of confessions. It is the confessions that I want to explore here.
After viewing the film, Dan Leach of Texas confessed to murder. Johnny Olsen of Norway confessed to arson. Similarly, Turner Lee Bingham of Arizona confessed to robbery. Each of these cases was cold, so the men were likely to get away with their crime. Each credits the movie prompting them to come forward. Regardless of your personal reaction to the film, these confessions are radical, and deserve our attention. How could a movie prompt this reaction?
The film bills itself as an accurate depiction of the last days of Christ. The story itself, recorded in the new testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, is about Christ’s love. Christ was radical. His ideas about love and faith challenged the people he spoke to, so much that the religious & political leaders of his time wanted to kill him. His ideas are radical enough that 2,000 years after his death we still know enough about him to form a strong opinion about who he was.
And Christ’s love is radical, too. Radical enough that once you experience it, everything else you know pales in comparison. Radical enough to change your life. Radical enough to prompt you to give up your lifestyle, hopes and dreams, so that you can live the life that he has for you. Think about it, if you knew that you were loved deeply, the way you are right now, how would that change who you are?
Why is it so difficult in our day to see or experience this radical, life changing love? Because the church in America is a failure. We can all cite stories of a priest or minister being convicted for some sexual misconduct. More subtly, and possibly more damaging, most who have been part of a church community can share a story of a church being more concerned with new carpet than loving people, or becoming so engrossed in debate that it breaks up. Its easy to find fault with Christianity and religion in America because our religious leaders are leading broken lives like the rest of us. So the argument goes something like, “if God is so loving then how can a pastor / church / christian be so hurtful / destructive / uncaring?” Following that logic, one must come to the conclusion that either God is not real, or God does not care.
Here’s the thing, though. Christ didn’t die to spread religion, or to grow the church. Christ died on the cross to show his love for people. I believe that it was God’s love that prompted Leach, Olsen & Bingham to confess their crimes. They each saw God’s radical, life changing love. They saw the truth about God’s love, which is that his love is complete, unconditional, and healing. Some might say that they were foolish to have confessed, now they’ll have to pay for a crime that they were likely to get away with. I say now they’re free. Free of guilt. Free of hiding from their past. Free to face the penalty for their crime, and move on with their lives. Free to not let their past actions dictate their future behavior.
Perhaps you are hiding from your past. Scripture tells us that all have sinned. How can you tell if you have sinned? You have felt guilty about some past action. Or maybe its less tangible than that. Your life feels like a train wreck in slow motion, you’re aware that something is amiss, but its difficult to pinpoint, and harder to address. You can be free. You can live a radical life, and you can love others radically.
I don’t know what the future holds for these men, or even if they have truly accepted the gift of Christ’s redemptive work. But i do know that you can taste this life changing love for yourself. And the best part is, its a gift, it won’t cost you anything. No service, no good deeds, nothing. You only need to pray, and ask for that gift.
Howdy all, its been a busy month. Good, but busy. Work is going well, school is going well, and things at my church are going better than they have in months. Its a very exciting time to be in ministry. God is definitely at work in the hearts of His people.
Every once in a while I get the urge to see a scary movie. This happens less than once per year. Last Saturday, the urge hit me, so I saw 28 Days Later. The media touted it as “scary as hell”. I say, um, no. The premise of the movie isn’t plausible. Its based on a disease that isn’t real, so it can’t happen. It was a good move, I’d see it again, but I wasn’t scared. Tense? Yes. Scared? No.
Spinning some new tunes lately. My buddy Micah turned me onto the jazz group Medeski, Martin & Wood. Whoa! Now that’s some quality music. Since Micah introduced them to me a month ago, I’ve bought The Dropper and Uninvisible. They’re both great, Dropper’s my fav. The song Partido Alto is about the best song I’ve heard in years. I’ve been listening to it in my truck for the past weeks, and every time it comes on I’m jumping around and tapping the steering wheel. Yeah, that’s good stuff.