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ATLAS SHRUGGED

APRIL 03, 2021



Atlas Shrugged

I suppose my Libertarian leanings have something to do with my appreciation for Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged. Actually, it took three separate movies (Parts 1, 2, and 3) to reproduce the 1,168 page novel. Even her novel, The Fountainhead, which was moved to the silver screen with only one movie, was still 753 pages.

I'm not a big fan of the idea that three separate films tell the story, and I'm even less a fan of both the changes to the cast and the length of time between each. To be honest, the films had funding issues, which probably accounts for most of the problems.

Still, I enjoyed all three movies, own all three DVD's, and have watched each more than once. The catch is that if you don't at least have Libertarian leanings or concerns about our nation's trek towards socialism, or better yet are a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party, I doubt these three movies are for you.

The ultimate irony for me is that current political trends toward socialism and away from capitalism and free markets have actually made these stories (and Ayn Rand's philosophy) more relevant and popular in recent decades. I suppose Ayn Rand's time spent in Russia made these ideas relevant to her very early on, especially when you consider her exposure, in 1917 and at the age of 12, to seeing her father have his business confiscated and the family having to flee to the Crimean Peninsula.

I must admit that the similarities between the goings on in the movie and goings on in the current political environment are amazing, if not frightening.

Socialism anyone?


MOVIE AWARDS

APRIL 02, 2021



Movie Awards

I said a while back that I'm a fan of fictional movies about up-and-coming rock bands. I've already mentioned Sing Street but I need to add Rudderless and That Thing You Do to my growing list of films about fictitious rock bands that I believe are worth seeing.

Considering the very similar themes, the three movies are still about as different as three movies can be. Rudderless takes home my award for Best Story Line, while Sing Street wins my Coming of Age award and That Thing You Do takes home my award for Best Music.

My favorite? I would be hard-pressed to pick one since each has plenty of that special magic that brings me back to watch it again and again. Probably Sing Street, just because of the heartfelt music.



FinancialsSing StreetThat ThingRudderless
Box Office13.6 million34.6 million.50 million
Budget4.0 million26.0 million5.0 million
Net9.6 million8.6 million-4.5 million
DirectorJohn CarneyTom HanksWilliam H. Macy



GEEK MOVIES

MARCH 26, 2021



Geek Movies

I'm a big fan of true stories about geek stuff that have been made into movies and/or documentaries, especially when they involve other topics of interest such as political matters, financial matters, and even spiritual matters. Some of the films I've watched, enjoyed, and that fit into these categories, or are of similar ilk, include:

Anonymous
CitizenFour
Cyber War
David Koresh / Waco (multiple docs)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Inside Job
Jonestown (multiple docs)
Rogue Trader
Snowden
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Great Hack
The Imitation Game
The Man Who Knew Infinity
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg...Pentagon Papers
The Post
The Social Network
Too Big to Fail
The Fifth Estate
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
Weather Underground
Zero Day


MOVIES & DOCUMENTARIES

MARCH 25, 2021



Movies

One of the things I truly enjoy is a good movie or documentary. Sometimes I'm looking for an entertaining feature. In other instances I'm on the hunt for a true story, the kind that often inspires and even educates. A true story in the form of a documentary is equally good if it informs and/or inspires me on a topic I find particularly interesting.

Probably the leading indicator for what I consider a great film is one that changes my life in a positive way. Or, one that brings me back to watch it again and again, often because it provides a level of depth that takes me to new places and introduces me to new things each time I watch it. Or, one that just has that magic that can bring me in and make me part of the story.

There's probably one other thing that I should mention. It's an item that most certainly distinguishes me from the typical fan of good movies. I've always been a big fan of movies about rock bands, not to mention movies with great songs or scores. SingStreet, (cast pictured above) is just one great example! Being a musician and a fan of great music from various genres definitely adds movies to my list of favorites that one might not find very often in a general list of favorites.

Still, and because of the value I place on good movies and documentaries, I've added a new section to my menu to make those posts more readily available. And, because I've posted on movies in a past life of my blog, I'll be sharing some of those posts in the initial stages of the new addition to my blog.


DO YOU BELIEVE?

MARCH 21, 2021



Do You Believe

A couple of days ago I wrote about faith based films, and how much I've grown to love good stories in that genre. When I find a movie that seems to have the potential to combine encouragement with inspiration, and that might actually touch me in a potentially positive and life-altering way, I'm willing to go all in!

Yesterday, I watched just such a movie. If it isn't deserving of an award, I would at the very least provide it with an honorable mention.

Now, I'm the first to admit that when I watch the trailer of a faith based film, anything that hints of a cliché makes me a bit nervous. Do I really want to invest my valuable time in watching the movie? On the other hand, is there enough in the trailer to persuade me of a story with real depth? If so, then I'm ready and willing to take the risk and will dive in on it.

Such was the case with Do You Believe? It turned out to be a faith based film that was well worth the risk and provided me with two hours of time well spent!

I hope to find many more faith based films like it!


FAITH BASED FILMS

MARCH 19, 2021



Faith Based Films

I love faith based films, but for a lot more reasons than one might expect. Certainly that they are faith based leads the list, but there are so many other things that attract me to this genre.

It's been amazing to watch these films literally take off in terms of the quality involved. Not only are we seeing larger and larger budgets with better and better production values, cast, and crew, but the stories run deeper than ever before.

Often based on true stories (a personal favorite of mine) writers deliver heart-felt themes like never before and are no longer afraid to approach difficult questions and controversial topics. What was once a genre full of clichés has led to an arena filled with cast and crew members more able and equipped than ever before to reach out to both believer and non-believer alike.

Whether I'm searching for wholesome entertainment, thought-provoking story lines, or a combination of the two, there is much to be found out there these days in this up-and-coming reality-driven trend.


HISTORY

FEBRUARY 26, 2021



The Great Debaters

My wife is an incredible history buff. She loves it and knows it top to bottom. As for me, I've always said that I'm not even sure when the war of 1812 was fought.

History was incredibly difficult for me in school. Memorizing dates and events just wasn't my thing and definitely didn't come easy for me. And, honestly, I just didn't find it very interesting at the time.

Years later, things have changed. There are actually two periods that have captured my attention over the years and I do find these historical events to be incredibly interesting. One is the Holocaust and the other is the Civil Rights Movement.

Both events tend to bring out the justice seeker in me and I'm constantly looking for, and finding, new stories of interest about each of those periods. While other historical events have become more and more interesting over the years, each of these two events still remains a favorite.

I really enjoy movies about true stories and I've been constantly on the lookout for good movies about either historical event. I often watch a movie, become quite enthused with the story, and find myself in research mode trying to understand what really happened, long after the movie credits have rolled and the screen has gone dark.

The interesting thing about history is that I can pursue these two periods that really interest me and discover all sorts of stories that spin off of the main events. Even the little-known events get written up in a book somewhere and from there are often destined to find their way to the silver screen. For some reason, these relatively unknown side-stories often tend to become a favorite with me.

One shining example is Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters. It's definitely got the overtones of a Civil Rights piece, but it's also an amazing account of a very moving story that took place during that period. I truly enjoyed watching the making of segment and being introduced to the real people behind the characters in the story. What a humbling and touching experience to hear so much of the story directly from those who lived it!


THIS IS WHAT WE DO

FEBRUARY 25, 2021



This is What We Do

I was recently watching a faith based movie when a particular line of dialog captured my attention and got me to thinking. In fact, as I considered that line, it had such an impact on me that I began to imagine how fitting it might have been in serving as the title of the movie.

The whole thing kind of reminded me of the Parable of the Rich Young Ruler. A guy is serving time by doing community service at a local church and approaches everything with the aim of serving his own selfish interests. When the folks at the church need him most, a better offer comes along and he bails out on them with no concern for the trouble he has caused by his untimely departure.

Then, when God reveals to him the wrong he has done and changes his heart, he comes back humbly and broken and seeks forgiveness. Instead of the typical cautious reception that would have certainly been justified, the church members almost immediately welcome him back in with open arms and no questions asked.

Not having been a Christian, he understand neither how nor why they were so quick and able to forgive him. I can't help but think that the Rich Young Ruler must have had a very similar experience when his father approached him. So, I'm back in? he asks. The response was, This is what we do.

I've experienced that kind of love and forgiveness and it's absolutely amazing when it happens. It will catch you by surprise and even take your breath away.

It's called GRACE.

It's amazing when God provides it, but there's also something really special that happens when Christians extend that grace to someone else, whether or not that person might be a follower of Christ. As Christians, we can afford to offer our love and forgiveness, even to those who have hurt us, because when we were not worthy of it, Christ first loved and forgave each of us.

Serving others? Turning the other cheek? Forgiving the unforgiveable? Extending kindness to the unkind? Extending patience to the impatient? Placing ourselves at risk of being taken advantage of? Trusting God and waiting on Him? Doing what seems silly and mindless to the world?

This is what we do.


Copyright © 2021 Hutch DeLoach






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