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Movie Review: Gone Baby Gone

February 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Cinematically amazing.

Emotionally agitating.

Mentally disheveling.

Ethically challenging.

Parentally disturbing.

I just watched Gone Baby Gone and I am blown away. The movie deals with dark themes of child abuse, drug abuse, systematic corruption, and moral dilemma. The performances by the actors are astonishingly authentic and you simply can not watch this movie without some kind of emotional response.

The dilemmas that arise in the lives of the movie’s characters are both plausible and profound, leaving you the viewer, with the trouble of having to acknowledge and wrestle with your own feelings and convictions. Multiple times during the film a word was said, or an action was taken, that forced me to come face to face with the wondering of what I would say or do in that instance.

If you like to watch movies that demand an intelligent following of the plot and that force you to engage mentally with their themes, and if you like movies that pull out of you an emotive response from heart, and if you can handle the massive amount of swearing (which, I believe, could not have been removed without a massive loss in the development of the authenticity of the characters) than Gone Baby Gone is a must see.

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Categories: Movies, Thoughts

The Bourne Ultimatum

July 18, 2007 3 comments

Can’t wait for this movie to come out. All the Bourne movies rock. I don’t go to the theater too often (because it is so stinkin’ expensive) but I think I’ll make an exception for this one.

Categories: Movies

Movie Review: Breach

July 10, 2007 1 comment

Today is definitely an extra coffee day. I have stayed up way too late the last couple nights and I am feeling it this morning.

Last night I watched the movie Breach. Breach is a film based on the true story of what many people label “the greatest security breach in US history.” It recounts the months leading up to the arrest of FBI agent Robert Hanssen (played by Chris Copper), who for decades was spying for the Soviet Union and passing along top secret information. The movie was very suspenseful and the spy vs. spy activity that developed between Hanseen and Eric O’Neill (the agent charged with drawing Hanssen out, played by Ryan Phillippe) was intense.

I had no problem staying awake and dialed into what was happening in this film. If you like government-based, suspense-filled films than you will enjoy Breach. Plus, when you only pay $1 at the Redbox, how can you pass it up?

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (PG-13, with very limited, implied but not shown, sexual content and relatively decent language)

Categories: Movies

Because I Said So

Right now I am watching Because I Said So with my lovely wife. Usually I enjoy watching ‘chick flicks‘ with her but this movie is not among my favorite films. It has a very predictable storyline and the mother character played by Diane Keaton is honestly painful to to watch. PAINFUL. So far she is completely obsessive, bossy, possessive, and over bearing. Praise the Lord my own mother is nothing like her. Anyway, I better get back to watching the movie.

Categories: Movies

Stranger Than Fiction & God’s Authorial Intent

Watched Stranger Than Fiction (2006) last night. It was a pretty cool movie with some humorous lines and an intriguing story line. Will Ferrell plays the main character and he does a great job in a role that is somewhat more serious and more demanding than most of the usual characters he plays.

In the movie Ferrell plays an IRS agent who one day begins hearing a book narrators voice in his mind and quickly discovers that the voice is not only narrating his life, but that it has announced his imminent death. Ferrell then sets forth on a mission to defend his sanity and discover who is writing the story of his life so that he may persuade them not to kill him.

There is one scene in the movie which I think could be used as a sermon illustration (it is about 4 minutes long and occurs in chapter 22 of the film). In the scene Ferrell is asking a off the wall literary professor (played wonderfully by Dustin Hoffman) what he should do about his death in the book. Having read the completed outline Hoffman tells Ferrell that all death is unavoidable, and that Ferrell’s character must die because his death makes the book the author’s poetic masterpiece. To which Ferrell replies, “You’re asking me to knowingly face my death?” And the answer is yes.

Ferrell’s question is about embracing suffering and pain for the greater good of the story. It is a question about leaning into the purpose of the author. And isn’t that our call as followers of Jesus and as characters in the story that God is writing? God has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives, and even though we don’t always like or agree with it, at times God writes pain, suffering or even death into our character’s storyline. Sometimes it takes an odd professor type to help us step back, remove ourselves as the all important hero, and see the glory of the greater story.

Stranger Than Fiction was a good film. I would rate it 3 out of 5 stars. (rated: PG-13)

This Is Your Moment

This is your moment. You can’t quit this time. You have to finish the job. I’m made of wax Larry. What are you made of?

– Theodore Roosevelt’s character in Night of the Museum

This was an OK movie. The scenes with the dinosaur were pretty sweet. The comedy was alright. There were some funny lines and comments, but it was not on par with other Ben Stiller movies. The appearance of Owen Wilson added quite a bit. This would be a fun movie to rent and watch with yours 5-9 year old kids. The language and comedy was fit for all people.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (PG)

Categories: Movies

Movie Review: The Pursuit of Happyness

Took the family to Applebee’s last night for some 1/2 off appetizers. After working a long day it was great to come home, clean up and then spend some time just hanging with my wife and kids. When we got home we tried unsuccessfully to put the kids to bed (Izzy was afraid of monsters) and so we all ended up downstairs watching the movie Stephanie selected for us, The Pursuit of Happyness. This is a great movie.

In the movie (based on a true story) Will Smith plays a man named Chris Gardner. Gardner is a hard working man determined to support and raise his son (played by Will’s real life son Jadan), but he is having an extremely hard time selling a medical device that he used his life savings to buy. After his girlfriend walks out Chris is left to try and provide for himself and his son on very limited income. With the hope of future security and happiness he takes an unpaid internship at an extremely competitive stock-brokerage firm. The movie details Chris’ dogged determination to achieve his goals, rise to the top of his internship class and care for the son he loves more than anything.

Stephanie and I both really liked the film
. As you watch it you can’t help but have your heart break for Chris and all the terrible things that happen to him that act as obstacles to his goals. However, at the same time, you can’t help but be inspired at the way he works so hard and never loses his focus or his belief in his vision of what life could be like. There is a great lesson in this film about pursuing vision and believing that nothing can hold you back from the desires that are in your heart.

It must have been a wonderfully touching experience for Will Smith to create this movie with his own son. Watching the film with my kids sleeping on my lap made me all the more thankful for the many blessings that God has bestowed on my life. I have a faithful loving wife, three amazing rambunctious kids, a warm fully furnished home, enough money for plenty of food and drink, two working cars, good friends who would do anything for me, and so much more.

The question that I need to ponder after watching this movie is: “What vision/ dream has God placed in my heart and what obstacles/ challenges do I need to overcome in pursuit of that end?”

The Pursuit of Happyness (PG-13, limited swearing)
4 of out 5 stars

Categories: Movies