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Born to Win

Published for Saturday - March 02, 2024

Born to Win

Written Friday - 03/01/24 7:05 AM

Born to Win was one of those incredible stories that I really wanted to share with Patty. And so I did last night.

Oddly enough I quit watching it the first time I saw it. In fact, I told Patty about that and that it's a slow starter. She seemed a bit surprised at my comment. Since we were already in it, perhaps she didn't see things that way.

Still, it was a touching story and based on a true story. I love those stories that take you down a deep spiritual road and this one did.

The movie is from the same folks that produced Faith Like Potatoes. I may have to go back and give that film a bit more of a fair shot too. I'm not sure that I did.




Champion

Published for Monday - February 12, 2024

Champion

Written Saturday - 02/10/24 10:45 AM

As I typie it's Saturday morning. Last night I watched a wonderful movie.

The movie was hosted by Pureflix and titled Champion. Despite how much I like Andrew Cheney who played the lead character and is also featured in two other movies I really like (Seasons of Gray - 2013 and 77 Chances - 2015) I feared that the race car theme was going to be a bit over the top and cut into the story.

Was I ever wrong. The story centered on forgiveness and was as good as I've seen in a very long time.




The Mystery of Her

Published for Tuesday - January 23, 2024

The Mystery of Her

Written Sunday - 01/21/24 6:25 PM

There's a movie I remember that I liked, but I couldn't remember why. So after quite a long time, I watched it again.

The name of the movie was The Mystery of Her and it was as good as I remember, but for very different reasons. In a way it was a feel-good movie but in another way, it wasn't.

I suppose it was the justice-seeker in me that was satisfied in watching the film, but don't read my comment with any idea that it was the primary focus.

I like the way the story was written and I like the idea of having a person discover who they are and what they want out of life. I particularly like the way the writer used some interesting characters to move the story along in that direction.

I'm not sure I would recommend the movie to just anyone because it had a bit of an artsy-fartsy feel to it and that's not for everyone. It did however work very well for me.




The Note

Published for Monday - January 22, 2024

The Note

Written Saturday - 01/20/24 12:40 PM

I watched a movie last night. It's been quite a while since I've seen it, but I've seen it a couple of times over the years I've owned it.

What was the movie? It was The Note starring Genie Francis and Ted McGinley.

I wish I had written the script for that film. I thought it was that good and I related to it completely.

The acting was also superb as was the direction and production values. There was nothing second rate in my mind. I also enjoyed the nice twist at the end where the 'bad guy' turns out to be a 'good guy.'

And I particularly enjoyed the way the writer took me through the story. Too often films fall short of telling the complete story but this one didn't. It didn't leave me hanging but tied up all of the loose ends very nicely and all of it was very believable.

In searching for an image to share here on the post, I discovered that there are two Sequels. I'm going to have to see if I can dig them up and watch them.




The Chosen

Published for Saturday - January 13, 2024

Chosen

Written Friday - 01/12/24 11:00 AM

I've caught up on The Chosen episodes. Last night, I just finished watching the last episode of season 3. I noticed that season 4 will start off in theaters and I suspect at some point will move to The Chosen app I have installed on Patty's and my iPads.

The writing is amazing and the acting is equally superb. I can't get over the way that the writers have taken liberties at just the right points and with just the right amount of creativity. They have definitely provided the human element to a story that we too often read without that element.

According to the angel.com blog, there will be 7 seasons. Also, according to the website, seasons 5-7 will be brought to audiences 'as fast as possible without sacrificing quality.'

I would also note that the production value for each episode has been second to none. I've noticed that an amazing amount of planning and funds have gone into the set, the wardrobe, and even the things that could have been left out or left to our imagination.

From walking on the water to everything else that has been included, no expense seems to have been spared. It's such a treat to watch something that has been portrayed with so much realism. Those responsible have done an amazing job in making that happen.




1 Message

Published for Tuesday - December 26, 2023

1 Message

Written Monday - 12/25/23 1:30 PM

Last night I came across a movie that took me where I didn't expect to go. The name of the film was, 1 Message.

I say it took me where I didn't expect to go because it had a very big surprise ending. I almost didn't stay with it, but I'm so glad that I did.

It's a story of a woman who finds hope in one of the more difficult places that life could take her. It's a movie with bits of wisdom scattered throughout. It's an unusually long movie, (about 2.5 hours), but one that has a lot to offer for anyone willing to take the lengthy trip.

The byline or tagline says it all: A body disfigured by cancer. A treasure found inside.




Get Used to Different

Published for Sunday - December 24, 2023

Different

Written Saturday - 12/23/23 4:25 PM

In episode 7 of season 1 of The Chosen Jesus calls Matthew to follow him. Later Simon says, 'This is different', to which Jesus responds, 'Get Used to Different.'

It's a powerful line in a powerful production. Equally powerful is episode 8 where Jesus meets the woman at the well. What follows will tug your heart like it's never been tugged before.

Also in episode 8 is the powerful scene where Nicodemus decides not to follow the call of Jesus in favor of his 'comfortable' life. I wept for Nicodemus as he wept in the production.




The Interpreter

Published for Saturday - December 16, 2023

The Interpreter

Written Thursday - 12/14/23 12:50 PM

I always enjoy a good movie, even if I've seen it before. Such was the case with The Interpreter, a film directed by Sydney Pollack who happens to be one of my favorite directors.

The film also starred Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn who both filled very likeable roles in the picture. It's not often that I care much for either, but this was definitely an exception.

Two things are for sure: If Sydney Pollack directed it he will be in it and it will be a good movie. He generally has a small supporting role but it's always a good movie and worth watching. So sorry that we lost him back in 2008.

On another note of interest, I don't find that I like horror flicks because I don't enjoy (like some) being frightened during a movie. However, in a rare instance one of the scenes in The Interpreter had a moment that sent chills up my spine. I knew it was coming and it still did the chill thing.




Journey to Bethlehem

Published for Wednesday - December 13, 2023

Journey to Bethlehem

Written Tuesday - 12/12/23 11:50 AM

I mentioned the film in yesterday's addendum here on the blogsite. But it deserves a full post dedicated to the movie. It was that good.

I don't know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn't what I got. The film went far beyond anything I could have anticipated. It was really good.

The movie also touched me in a way I could have never expected. I hate getting choked up at the movies. But I guess that's the way it is with such a good movie.

I can't wait to own the movie and to watch it again.




Busy Day

Published for Tuesday - December 12, 2023

Busy X

Written Sunday - 12/10/23 7:00 AM

With a busy Monday coming up (our anniversary) I suppose I better write this post well ahead of its scheduled publication. I'm really looking forward to going out for dinner and a movie to celebrate 47 years together.

We've already decided where we want to go for both. I sort of starved myself yesterday so I could pig-out for the eat out meal. Besides, I was hovering in the top of my range so it was time to peel off a pound or two (or three.) Smiley

Oh, and popcorn and a diet coke will definitely be a requirement at the movie.

Anyway, 47 amazing years sure have flown by in a hurry. I have no idea how many years remain, but I'll cherish each and every one of them!

Addendum: 12/12/23 11:35 AM

A quick report on Dinner and a movie. Lunch was great. I ate way too much. But the movie, Journey to Bethlehem, was way beyond any expectation I could have set. What an amazing production. And the songs were incredible.

All I can say is, wow! I'll definitely buy the movie when it becomes available.




Pearl Harbor Day

Published for Thursday - December 07, 2023

Pearl Harbor

Written Wednesday - 12/03/23 4:15 PM

It happened about 82 years ago on December 7, 1941. The United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii suffered a major surprise attack by the Japanese.

The initial strike took place on a Sunday just before 8:00 AM, local time.

The strike was incredible and it still amazes me that we pulled out of this one without becoming part of Japan.

Both incredible versions of the movie, Midway (1976 and 2019), did a great deal to foster my understanding of our amazing defense.




Colin Ford

Published for Saturday - December 02, 2023

Colin Ford

Written Friday - 12/01/23 1:45 PM

I just finished watching Karen Kingsbury's A Thousand Tomorrows. It was a great and inspirational story.

But best of all, it featured Colin Ford in the lead along with Rose Reid. I say best of all because Patty and I know Colin Ford from another life where we produced features and short films with our company, Pocketwatch Productions Inc.

We had the wonderful joy of doing six productions over a period of seven years. Included in the list were a TV pilot, a feature film, a documentary, and several award winning short films including one that eared a Silver Telly.

It's so amazing to have worked with folks who went on to do big things and Colin is no exception. As a young boy, he played a lead in one of our comedy short films entitled Baptism Sunday.

Since that time he has gone on to do big things such as his role as a ball player opposite Dennis Quaid in The Hill and another recent project in the Ryan Murphy production, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story - TV.

Congrats to Colin and his mother, Kim, who worked hard to help her son.




The Dying Citizen

Published for Thursday - November 30, 2023

Dying Citizen

Written Wednesday - 11/29/23 7:30 AM

I finished the book last night. I must say, Victor Davis Hanson has a way with breaking things apart for a better understanding.

What I find interesting is the idea that these categories that he uses have been with us for quite some time now. And if there is real truth to what he is saying in this book, we should all be concerned.

In some respects he paints a picture of a country headed off a cliff. And, that picture becomes more real with every brush stroke that he offers.

It really makes one wonder how we ever got to this place. Did we become so comfortable in living that we ignored the warning signs?

I watched the movie Valkyrie for the umpteenth time last night and am more in awe of the message in Hanson's book and the similarities to what happened in the movie. There's a lot to chew on in that idea.

I'm looking forward to reading the other two books I purchased with cash and at a big discount. I'm also looking forward to reviewing the list of available books and using my book credit for a more substantial purchase.




YouTube Movies

Published Tuesday - NOVEMBER 14, 2023

Conrack

Written Monday - 11/12/23 3:00 PM

Took some time last night to watch two very old movies that I found out on YouTube. What a great way to take a stroll down memory lane.

The movies were Conrack and To Sir, With Love. I haven't seen either in a very long time and thought I might have to purchase one or both. I had no idea that both would be free on YouTube when I went looking for them.

My better half is a big fan of Pat Conroy (the subject of Conrack) and has his cook books. His story, while a big sad, is an incredible one to say the least.

I also enjoyed To Sir, With Love. It's been a long while since I last saw it although it was more recent than the Pat Conroy story. Both are based on true stories and I'm so sorry that we lost Sidney Poitier about a year ago. He played the lead in To Sir, With Love among other classics.

TSWL




Police State

OCTOBER 23, 2023

Police State

10/21/23 12:30 PM

Police State is another interesting movie by Dinesh D'Souza in collaboration with Dan Bongino and featuring Nick Searcy. This is one I look forward to watching when it becomes generally available.

Click here to watch the trailer.




The Chosen

SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

Chosen

09/28/23 7:05 AM

I have become a big fan of the series being shown on Pureflix and entitled, The Chosen. If anything was ever binge-worthy, this would be it.

I must confess that I didn't really take to it up front. But after a revisit I discovered what it was about the series that was building such an amazing following.

In the last episode of the first season, and toward the end of that episode, Jonathan Roumie, who is so good in the role of Jesus, meets with the woman at the well. Oh my, what an amazing scene. It brought me to tears.

I was also moved to tears not too far before that in the same episode. It's was when everyone was gathering to leave and Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, whom I sure He knew was hiding around the corner and crying since he was not able to lay everything down and follow. When Jesus softly spoke to Nicodemus and said, 'You came so close' it was such a powerful moment.

Director, Dallas Jenkins, put me on to the amazing line that Jesus delivers to Simon in episode 7 of season 1. Simon complains about something being different and Jesus says, 'Get used to different.' Wow, what a profound line. I noticed Dallas was wearing a black t-shirt with that line inscribed in white.

I find the character of Matthew (second from the left end in the picture) particularly interesting in this series. They are playing him as if he is perhaps a high-functioning autistic individual.

I've never been formally diagnosed, but I sure can relate to all that the Matthew character does and is going through in the series - especially when he walks out, closes shop, and decides to follow the call from Jesus. And, he does so in the face of some pretty difficult and opposing counsel.




Devotion

SEPTEMBER 09, 2023

Devotion

09/08/23 07:15 AM

Watched another movie yesterday with DVD's checked out from the library. The title of the film was, Devotion.

I checked out 5 movies and 3 of them have turned out to be duds. The fourth was one I had seen a very long time ago and while somewhat dark and heavy, I knew it would be good.

What I had not seen was Devotion. It turned out to be a true and very good story with great acting and production values.

It's quite unusual that I was able to predict from the outset what was going to happen in that story. And even for the small things along the way I was able to make good guesses.

Still, I thought it was a very good movie and one I would probably watch again somewhere way down the road. I would definitely recommend it to others looking for a good movie.




Sun Moon

SEPTEMBER 08, 2023

Sun Moon

09/06/23 07:10 PM

Patty and I had a date night one day this week and with supper decided to watch a movie. We wound up watching one I really like called, Sun Moon.

The movie had a lot of charm and checked most of the boxes for the things we tend to enjoy in a good romantic fiction film. Patty said she also enjoyed it.

In fact, I had already seen it and liked it enough to watch it again. And, I'll probably watch a few more times.




Two Movies

AUGUST 09, 2023

TAMNT

TWTC

08/08/23 08:15 PM

For the first movie, I took Gabe to the theater to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It was fun to have a day out with Gabe!

For the second movie Allie, Patty, and I just finished Clint Eastwood's, Trouble with the Curve on DVD. That was a DVD I purchased with some of my Father's Day gift money from the Snow family.

Short post today due to the busy schedule.




Oppenheimer

JULY 22, 2023

Oppenheimer

07/20/23 05:45 PM

The movie Oppenheimer opens tomorrow (Friday) in Theaters. Patty and I plan to see it next Tuesday when all tickets for all features are only $6. In fact, Monday is Senior Day but tickets are one dollar higher at $7.

We'll avoid the high price weekend crowd and probably skip senior day too since we pick up groceries from Walmart on Mondays. Tuesday should work out just fine for us.

Wednesday will be a routine doctor's office visit to get a much-needed renewal on our rosuvastatin. No appointment - we're just going to do the walk-in thing.

Anyway, I watched an older version of the Oppenheimer story on YouTube last night just to have a bit more familiarity with Oppenheimer and his story. The previews for the new feature look amazing.

I can't believe I'm doing the theater thing again after so many years away. But affordability and the opportunity for a date are making it a reality. First was my recent trip to watch The Sound of Freedom just over a week ago and now we're both getting ready for Oppenheimer.

On a humorous note, the ad for Oppenheimer said to be sure to watch it on the biggest screen possible. They said it was not a movie, it was an event (and I'm taking that to mean something that needs to be experienced.)

07/27/23 08:50 PM

I had a flash back to an old movie I watched as a kid back in the 60's entitled Sink The Bismark. I decided to look it up on YouTube and watch it. It was a most enjoyable visit to the past.




The Sound of Freedom

JULY 13, 2023

Sound of Freedom

07/11/23 04:50 PM

Well, I found the Gadsden 16 theaters up at the Gadsden Mall. It's about a half hour drive from the house.

I decided to go to the 12:30 PM showing of Jim Caviezel in The Sound of Freedom. It's a movie that I have been researching since I saw the special that featured Tim Ballard - the guy Caviezel portrays in the movie.

I haven't been to the theater in a very long time and had basically put the idea out of my mind. That is until this came along and I had a chance to support an important effort by buying a ticket and attending the feature.

It's a true and incredible story about the child trafficking problem that is being faced today and how Tim Ballard was moved to shift his focus from the capture of the pedophiles to the rescue of the victims.

I couldn't believe that the film faced so many challenges getting to the big screen and that it was shot 5 years ago despite its recent release. It was a nail biter of a movie.

I give my wife high marks for knowing herself well enough to know that this was probably one she would not want to watch. I'm grateful for the gentle spirit that she is.




The Christiano Brothers

JULY 11, 2023

Rich

07/07/23 03:20 PM

I know I've made a large number of posts about movies. But there are so many films and film makers about which I still would like to write.

I would be completely remiss if I did not take time to mention the Christiano Brothers and particularly Rich Christiano. While Rich's films generally appear in the lower budget category, his stories are superb and his films tend to be something I greatly enjoy as a result.

In more recent films he tends to use a mix of new actors and one or more veteran actors. Such is the case with the film I just finished watching for the first time. It is entitled The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry and stars Gavin MacLeod and Robert Guillaume.

The film says right up front that it's not a true story, but it would be easy to believe it was true when the story ends. Rich's care to offer follow-ups on each character provide a sense to the audience that the story was real.

But most of all, I really like the spiritual depth that the Rich Christiano Films deliver. That's why I seek them out. The budget for this particular film was only $1,000,000 US dollars and the Box Office proceeds were $1,048,655.




Smaller Budget Movies

JULY 10, 2023

Smaller Budget Movies

07/05/23 02:20 PM

I've said before that I'm often able to look beyond the lower budget look of some of the Christian Films these days. And as I've also said, the budgets are getting bigger and the quality of the Christian films is getting better with it.

Still, there are a few honorable mentions that meet my basic criteria for a good Christian film, despite the appearance of a lower budget. When a budget goes low, the story and good acting have to carry it. I'm okay with that as long as the acting and the story are strong.

From my perspective, good examples of such films include Flywheel, A Matter of Faith, Running the Bases, Play the Flute, I'm Not Him, Time Changer, and The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.




Nicholas Sparks Movies

JULY 09, 2023

Nicholas Sparks Movies

07/05/23 01:30 PM

I'm a big fan of the Nicholas Sparks Movie Collection. One of his is my all-time favorite movie - The Best of Me (with the 'Tears of Joy' alternate ending.)

Several of the others sit toward the top of my list of favorites. They include Message in a Bottle, The Longest Ride, The Lucky One, A Walk To Remember, and The Choice.




Sports Movies

JULY 08, 2023

Woodlawn

07/04/23 09:35 AM

When it comes to movies, one of the most difficult things for me is wrapping my head around the idea that not everyone is captured by a good sports movie like I am. Hard to believe, but it's true.

I didn't think it got much better than Rudy. That is until I saw the movie Woodlawn.

Talk about a spiritually deep movie that I would think should appeal to anyone and everyone! But I guess that means I'm getting ahead of myself.

The spiritual component is incredibly strong, but I suppose it's safe to say that if you're not a sports person the story may not be one to which you relate. That's hard for me to imagine, but I suppose it's true.

I've always said I like movies where an individual overcomes difficult odds in a true story. I particularly like movies that take place in the civil rights period of the 60's or the post-civil rights period of the 70's. Woodlawn is just such a movie!




Two Movies - One Actress

JULY 06, 2023

TMOA3

07/04/23 09:05 AM

This is going to be an unusual post. It's about an actress named Rachel Hendrix, circled in red in the picture above.

She played a role in a movie I really liked entitled Coffee Shop. But, the role she played was an obnoxious young lady. You know, the kind you don't care to like.

But they she played a character in another great movie entitled 77 Chances. This time, she played a character that one would want to like. The two roles were so convincing that I would have never imagined it was the same actress, until I went searching and made an amazing discovery.

Coffee Shop was a light-hearted romance while 77 Chances, still a romance, was more spiritual and went on the deep side. Both were great movies and come highly recommended.

TMOA2




The Shunning Trilogy

JULY 04, 2023

The Shunning Trilogy

07/03/23 07:20 AM

One can always see the amazing production values in a bigger budget film. Such is the case with the three movies in the Shunning trilogy.

I've always been a fan of movies that draw from the Amish, and the Shunning trilogy does exactly that in a very big way. The stories were all written by Beverly Lewis and she has put together the basis for an amazing set of movies.

I watched the first of the three movies (The Shunning) on my Pure Flix account and went searching for the other two. I found number two (The Confession) in the same location but could not find number three (The Reckoning) there, and I have yet to see it.

The lead character is Katie Lapp and is played by Danielle Panabaker in the first film and by Katie Leclerc in the second and third. Both individuals provide an incredible performance in the two films that I have seen.




Good Movies

JULY 04, 2023

PFL1

07/03/23 04:30 PM

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a good brain-dead movie. Nothing spiritual - just a good heart-warming and romantic story with good actors who have good chemistry.

I've watched a couple of them in recent weeks and months and thought I would mention or recommend a few here for anyone looking for something similar.

I found these on my $6 monthly Hallmark movies account. I think it's a good deal and has a number of good movies that provide good entertainment.

Like everything else, there's always a lemon or two, but for the most part the story line blurb on the Hallmark website will tell the real tale as to whether or not the film is any good. In fact, even the picture on their website will often provide a hint as to whether the movie is going to be worth watching.

The movie pictured above is entitled Prescription for Love and is an example of the kind of movie for which I am often searching. The male lead is Trevor Donavan and everything he is in is usually very good.

The movie pictured immediately below is entitled Love Finds you in Charm and is another of my favorites. I've watched it more than once and have really enjoyed it.

In fact, there are three Love Finds You In... movies (all pictured below) and I thought they were all very good.

LFYIC1

LFYIS1

LFYIV1




Risen

JULY 03, 2023

Risen

07/02/23 07:30 PM

I'm a big fan of the movie, Martin Luther and also a big fan of Joseph Fiennes who played the lead role.

I recently watch another of his movies and was truly captivated by the story. The name of the movie is Risen.

I suppose what really grabbed me about this story was the way the writer allowed us to witness the story of the ressurection of Jesus Christ, but through the eyes of the fictitious character played by Fiennes.

Seeing Jesus rise and return after three days of death got my attention and presented the story in a way I had never imagined it. To witness the story through Fiennes' character was truly an amazing experience.




Storm Rider

JULY 03, 2023

Storm Rider

07/02/23 07:30 PM

At my wife's request, I just finished another great film entitled Storm Rider. The film starred Kevin Sorbo and his wife Sam Sorbo. It was one my wife watched on YouTube and that I found on Pureflix.

It was also one of those warm stories that tugs at your heart strings.




Movies

JULY 03, 2023

Movies

07/02/23 07:00 AM

I'm adding (back) a new (old) category. Movies!

It's a category that I had on an older version of this blog and one that I should have left in place. I am a movie kind of guy.

I really enjoy a well-done romantic movie, which is why I have a Hallmark movies streaming account beneath my Sling streaming account (for Fox News, Billards TV, and a Sling movie [with commercials] every now and then.)

But most of all, I have a special place in my heart for spiritual movies which is why I have a streaming account with Pureflix.

I also have a wonderful DVD library that is well sponsored by seasonal gifts from the kids and the grandkids. Now that my new glasses have cured my double vision, it's a movie outlet that I greatly enjoy!

I'll probably go to work adding movies to the new category without any particular date - since I will probably add a few at a time. I may even go and find some old movie posts and just copy them in.

In fact, I already have some posts for movies and will just add them to the new category. Patty has found some great movies on YouTube and I will have to be sure to check some of them out as well.




Because of Grácia

JULY 02, 2023

Because of Grácia

07/02/23 10:40 AM

I watched a movie last night that I found on Pureflix. The name of the movie was Because of Grácia. It was a real gem and had all of the spiritual depth, passion, and romance that I enjoy in a great movie.

I like the way the writer weaved so much into the story. It's a movie that I'm sure I'll want to watch again.




The Mystery of Her

JULY 02, 2023

Mystery of Her

07/02/23 10:30 AM

Back on February 5th of this year I published a post about a movie I watched (again) recently. I think I sort of said it in my post back then but I'll say it again here that I'm not sure why I like this movie so much except to say it was based on a true story and I found it very intriguing.

For more, please refer back to my post on February 5th of this year in the February 2023 archive. If you are reading this post in the category section, simply scroll down to February 5th to read the previous post.




Binge-Watching

APRIL 03, 2023

Binge-Watching

04/02/23 07:50 PM

Binge-watching. It's a popular trend these days. The term comes from watching multiple (often many) back-to-back episodes of a good show.

I binge watched Season one of The Chosen yesterday. Patty and I binge watched it again today along with a number of episodes from Season two.

That's why I'm posting so late. Patty sits behind me watching the next episode from Season two while I write and publish this post.

We're watching it on a streaming service called Pureflix. Between that and the streaming service for Hallmark Movies, I've found a number of movies and series that I've come to enjoy. Combined with Epoch Times, Fox News on Sling, and YouTube, I've been able to find just about everything that is of interest to me from both an entertainment and news perspective.




Sacred Vow

FEBRUARY 06, 2023

Sacred Vow

02/04/23 11:55 AM

I watched another Pureflix movie last night bearing the title, Sacred Vow. The movie brought with it some Pureflix warnings but the write-up sounded interesting and so I gave it a shot.

There were a few instances where I almost turned it off, but for some unknown reason I stayed with it. I'm glad I did! The story had a nice twist at the end that I had not anticipated, although looking back it fit in very well with all that was going on.

The thing I like about the story is that God used it as a reminder of my deep and abiding love for my sweet wife. With that reminder I went searching for a piece of paper that Patty had prepared at my request with 10 things that she likes.

After the movie was over, I went to Patty with paper in hand and suggested we follow-up on some of those ten items. In other words, I wanted to do for her what she always does for me and ensure we set out to do the things that are important to her and that she likes.

It's something that I think God served up in a very clear manner and a message that I should not ignore. Thank you, Lord for bringing this clear message and reminder to me, of Patty's importance in my life, by way of Sacred Vow.




The Mystery of Her

FEBRUARY 05, 2023

The Mystery of Her

02/03/23 07:50 AM

I watched a Pureflix movie last night that had a very intriguing story line and that was in fact based on a true story. I wish all stories went this deep and were this good.

Of course, while I thought the production values and acting were strong, it was far from a mainstream type story. It took me down an artsy road, but it was one that I was very willing and even interested to travel.

I truly related to the story and the characters although it was a far cry from anything I ever experienced in my own life. I liked the honesty that they had to deal with in their lives and I liked the idea that they had to accept and adapt to whatever consequences came along with being honest about their lives.

I don't usually care for a story that sort of hides things from me up front, but I was okay with that approach in this instance. It made the story that much more interesting and added to the mystique in the way that the story unfolded.

I'm not sure I could recommend the film to anyone and everyone due to the artsy approach that it took, but if you find that kind of thing as interesting as I do, I think you'll really enjoy the movie.




Upside

FEBRUARY 09, 2023

Upside

02/06/23 06:05 PM

I'm really getting my money's worth from this new 9th generation iPad. I spent some time today watching Fox News and some additional time watching a movie or two.

The movie I watched late this afternoon was called, Upside. It was another Pureflix movie and truly touched me. The story involved a Lacross player who experienced a serious injury during a game and how that experience, and the things it led to, changed his life.

I really like the type of story where an individual experiences hardship and overcomes it with God's help. And that's a reasonable summary for how the story went. Of course, there was a lot more to it than that but the writer weaved a wonderful tale and took me down a thought-provoking road with it.

I suppose in addition to my new iPad, I'm also really enjoying my money's worth from our wonderful Pureflix subscription. I've been very fortunate to find quite a number of excellent and life changing stories with great acting and awesome production values.




Paul: Apostle of Christ

FEBRUARY 11, 2023

Paul

02/10/23 10:10 AM

Once again, I came across a good movie on Pureflix. It looked like a low budget production on the surface and the only reason I gave it a serious look was because the cast included Jim Caviezel.

Turns out it was a great film! Caviezel played Luke and Paul was played by James Faulkner, with whom I am not familiar but who did a great job and played a very convincing Paul.

The film was released in 2018 and covers the last days of Paul up to and including his execution. I was quite impressed with the quality of the film including the acting and production values, not to mention the storyline.




Movie Title Search

FEBRUARY 21, 2023

Not Cinderella's Type (nct)

02/19/23 06:55 AM

I went to imdb.com looking for the correct title to the movie I watched a couple of nights ago and once again since then. I was immediately confronted with 105 reviews and decided to see what everyone else thought about this movie.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the first review was written by a guy in his 60's like me and that he felt exactly like I did about the movie. Clearly, we both enjoyed it a lot. He referred to the film as a little gem. I agree!

The title might tend to scare some viewers away, but it actually grabbed my attention. Not Cinderella's Type is admittedly an unusual title for a movie, but then again, it's an unusual story. And, as I've indicated, one that I greatly enjoyed.

I sort of feel for the people who gave this movie a negative review. I don't think they understand why the rest of us liked it so much. I thought the high school twist on the retelling of the Cinerella story was a great idea! I'm relatively diverse in my tastes for films, but this is a genre I would always welcome. It sort of reminds me of a John Hughes film.




Jesus Christ

JANUARY 07, 2023


Jesus Christ

01/06/23 10:15 PM

I need to start this post giving credit where credit is due. The picture above was painted by Akiane Kramarik and was featured in the wonderful movie entitled Heaven is for Real, a film from which I received a wonderful blessing. Now, on to the point of my post.

I am so grateful to God for His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I'm grateful that He rose on the third day, is alive, loves me, cares for me, guides me day by day, and is waiting to see me join Him in heaven one day.

For my walk on this earth, I'm so grateful that He provided inspirational movies to strengthen me, inspire me, and teach me things I needed in my life.

I just finished watching such a movie, the night before this post will be published on the internet. The movie was, Running the Bases.

Thank you Lord for those who wrote, directed, filmed, edited, and acted in this movie. Lord, I thank you for the entire cast and crew who made it possible for me to watch, be inspired by, and see life-changing ministry take place in my heart, my mind, and my soul. And Lord, I thank you for the impact that all of this will have on the day-to-day life that is still ahead of me.

Thank you Lord, that you cared enough to point me to this story and for the many other movies that you have set out before me in recent weeks. And thank you for what they are and all that they have brought into my life. Let me not miss your message or fail to respond as you would have me respond.




Seasons of Gray

JANUARY 11, 2023


Seasons of Gray

01/10/23 10:55 AM

I watched a great movie last night entitled, Seasons of Gray. I quickly recognized the similarities to the biblical account of Joseph, but was pleasantly surprised to discover at the end of the film that it was indeed intended to be a modern day retelling of the story of Joseph.

I've watched several Christian movies lately from the PureFlix library and have been pleasantly surprised at how much better each one gets. I'm used to having to show a lot of grace for Christian films, but that's quickly becoming a concept that no longer applies when one considers the budgets, production quality and quality of the acting in today's Christian themed films.

I'm particularly growing to be a big fan of those films that don't sugar coat the story, but are very honest about the challenges we face in the Christian community. Like the bible says in Matthew 5:45, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. In other words, God provides no special promises in His word that our lives will be free from pain. He only promises that He will be with us in those moments and that He will never allow us to face more than we can handle. (Psalms 9:9,10 and 1 Corinthians 10:13.)




I'm Not Him

JANUARY 18, 2023

I'm Not Him

01/17/23 08:05 AM

I've been watching a lot of movies on Pureflix and last night I watched another good one. The name of the film was I'm Not Him.

The write-up says it's a story about a man on a quest to see if he was saved by a miracle. I'm not sure if that description truly captures the story but who am I to say. I would say it's a story about a man who quits his job in order to use the gift God had given him to pray for folks and see their lives changed. Perhaps that doesn't sound as riveting.

One has to dispense with their theology in order to ride along with the writer, but I like the twist that occurs in the court room near the end of the story. All in all, it's a story that caught my attention and kept me captivated. And the acting and production values were strong enough to provide me with an enjoyable experience.

Addendum:

01/17/23 12:40 PM

I purchased the movie The Ten Commandments on my iPad last night and watched the first half until I couldn't keep my eyes opened. I watched the second half this morning. That's such an incredible story and the production is like none other. It inspires me every time I watch it, and there have been many times.




When God Shows Up

NOVEMBER 23, 2022


When God Shows Up

11/22/22 09:25 PM

This is what happens when God shows up!

For me, it was the take-away from the movie, Woodlawn. That line was delivered more than once in the movie, and each time it brought something special to the story. The Holy Spirit was featured and I'm confident the Holy Spirit was felt and experienced by audiences across the nation and perhaps the world.

The story occurred in the early to mid-seventies and the Holy Spirit was moving in an amazing way back then. I had neither seen it nor experienced it so vividly up until that time. But with the powerful move of the Holy Spirit in that season, my life was changed forever in an instant. After God called me and called out my name, I would never again be the same.

Innocent, naive, vulnerable, childlike, call it whatever you want to. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, God showed up and He changed my life. And for what He has done and continues to do in my life, I remain truly grateful.

God's got this.

Let Him have it.




Glory Road

OCTOBER 27, 2022


Glory Road

10/27/22 06:45 AM

I was noticing the music in the old movie I watched last night. The DVD was one I checked out from the library and I had seen the film before. It was Glory Road (2006) with Josh Lucas and Emily Deschanel.

The music had pieces that sounded the same as Remember the Titans (2000) with Denzel Washington. I went to look up the composers and they were indeed one and the same. The music for both was done by Trevor Rabin.

I love some of what he did in the Titans movie and apparently he did too because he borrowed so much from it and included it in Glory Road, six years later.

Quite honestly, I thought Glory Road was the older of the two movies. I suspect that's because I saw it first and well before Remember the Titans, despite the years that each was released.




We the People

AUGUST 07, 2022


We the People

08/07/22 07:25 AM

With our new Sling account, I've been watching a lot of golf and tennis. Took a break from all of that last night and watched God's Not Dead: We the People. That's one I'm delighted to have in my DVD library and I watch it when I'm looking for inspiration.

The writing on the God's Not Dead series is quite good in my opinion. Of course I'm no expert at writing a screenplay, but I do know what works well for me and that entire series has been an inspiration on all sorts of levels for me personally.

I have quite a lengthy list of DVD's in my library that have a strong spiritual component and it is always inspiring to spend an evening engrossed in one of the stories. I suppose I'm like those readers who don't mind going back to the same book over and over again, except for me it's movies.




'Unbroken' Continues

APRIL 17, 2022


Unbroken's Sequel

04/16/22 04:27 PM

Not too many years ago, I had the opportunity to watch Unbroken. It was quite a story and the tidbits that they added at the end really brought home the inspirational aspects of Louis Zamperini's life.

It was also interesting to see Irish actor, Domhnall Gleeson, who provided an understated performance as Lt. Russell "Phil" Phillips, a close friend of Louis Zamperini and one of two who spent 47 days adrift at sea with him.

Gleeson captured my attention in the films About Time and Ex Machina. I liked his delivery in both and have definitely become a fan.

But, the real focus here is about the Sequel, Unbroken: Path to Redemption and the incredibly powerful and inspirational story it brings to the silver screen. I had no idea that there was any follow-up to the original story beyond the tidbits at the end of the movie that I mentioned earlier.

But, the spiritual theme reflected in the trailer caught my attention and reeled me in. And, I must say that I was not at all disappointed. I managed to purchase the two-movie set for about $6 online and am so glad to have them in my film collection.




Christian Films

APRIL 26, 2022


Do You Believe

04/25/22 09:45 AM

Last night I watched a great movie entitled, Do You Believe? It would definitely be categorized as a Christian, or Inspirational, movie and I always enjoy watching a good one, even multiple times, since they always seem to encourage me and lift me up.

Other Christian or Inspirational films I have watched and that I really like include (in no particular order) Risen, Woodlawn, Luther, Amazing Grace, God's Not Dead, God's Not Dead 2, God's Not Dead: We the People, Love Finds You in Charm, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, and Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

I find that watching a Christian or Inspirational film often reminds me just how blessed I truly am!




90 Minutes in Heaven

JANUARY 12, 2022


90 Minutes in Heaven

I watched 90 Minutes in Heaven last night. I must say that was quite a story!

I had seen previews of it long ago, but never paid it much attention until I came across it on Pureflix last night. I decided to give it a try and it was all that I had hoped for.

Based on a true story, I suppose only God could weave a tale like that one. It had everything on a scale from tough and gritty to touching and inspirational. And, it seems that while watching the story I felt as if I had experienced all of the pain and trials the lead character was going through.

Of course that's far from true when I look at all he had to go through, all of the pain he experienced, and the length of his journey in the midst of all of that. Knowing that he and his wife made a conscious decision to travel that difficult road with no guarantee of a positive outcome was sobering to say the least.

His wife, who stood by him through it all, reminded me of my wife and the amazing support and devotion I have received from her on our journey. Thank you Lord for using this movie to remind me just how blessed I am in so many ways!




Elizabeth Holmes

DECEMBER 19, 2021


Inventor

I really enjoy good movies and particularly enjoy good documentaries as well. My favorite documentarian is Alex Gibney and I own several of his documentaries. Last night I also purchased The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.

I remember coming across the story of Elizabeth Holmes and her proposed blood testing machine a few years ago. It was quite a perplexing story and I noticed that her trial is going on now. The jury just went out on Friday to begin deliberations.

Even through the documentary was published a couple of years ago, Alex always does a great job of digging deep and presenting a lot of new material. I can't wait to see it and also to see what the jury decides.

Elizabeth Holmes looks pretty guilty from my perspective, but I can also imagine that her optimism could have blinded her to what she was communicating versus what she might have intended to communicate.

From all I have read, this could be a tough one for the jury. There may be enough doubt to come back with a not guilty verdict despite whatever might be the real truth. On the other hand, a guilty verdict would suggest in my mind that there was enough evidence presented to the jury to compel them beyond any shadow of a doubt, and thus suggest she very likely was guilty.

Her efforts to dress like Steve Jobs is troublesome to me. On one hand it could suggest that she was very image-aware which, in turn, might also suggest that she was too savvy to be innocent of misleading so many. On the other hand, it might suggest that she is incredibly naive which, inn turn, might cast doubt on her ability to operate with malicious intent.

Like I said, this could be a tough one for the jury.

SIDE NOTE

Inventor 3

Well, I just finished watching the aforementioned documentary. All I can say is, wow! And, as for my take on things, I would have to offer a guilty verdict with what I have since learned from the documentary.

The verdict doesn't come from the strong evidence of her guilt as much as it comes from her being in charge of, and responsible for, everything whether she liked it or not. Too much damage has occurred on her watch for her not to be held responsible and accountable. She was playing the fake it 'till you make it game, and she got caught!

I guess we'll see soon enough whether or not the jury agrees with my verdict on this one.




NETFLIX DVD PLAN

JUNE 10, 2021



Netflix DVD PLAN

Our options for good internet are few and far between out here on the edge of the gulf. As such, I subscribe to the Netflix DVD plan instead of the streaming plan.

I tend to go for the faith-based films and for the most part I haven't been disappointed. Every now and then there's one that fails for any of a number of possible reasons, but the odds are usually in favor of an inspirational outcome.

I also tend to go for true stories about those who have faced and conquered insurmountable odds in their lives. Often these story lines focus on a sports related theme, which I always enjoy, but then again some take us to other places that are of equal interest and inspiration.

On very rare occasions I'll find an interesting story that has an edge to it. Films that have that edge to them can provide a good reprieve from everything else, as long as the story isn't all about the edge.

Unfortunately, I'm more recently finding that most of those movies tend to spend more time glamorizing the ugly things in life than telling a story that is worth watching. It's always disappointing when I take a chance on what sounds like a good story, only to find it's nothing but an ugly-fest produced and directed by individuals who seem caught up in everything ugly about life.

From now on, I'm staying away from those movies if I'm not familiar with them. I'm going for inspiration. I think I'm done taking my chances on those unknown edgy films that are far too often so full of life's ugly.




MORE ON MOVIES

MAY 27, 2021



The Book Thief

I received a couple of movies in the mail from Netflix and watched them both yesterday. I had real reservations about The Book Thief but pushed myself not to abandon it too early. And when the movie was over, I was glad that I had stayed with it. Turns out it was a very touching story and really well done from my perspective.

A lot of things had to be woven together to make it the beautiful story it turned out to be, and if I had abandoned it while the weaving was still taking place, I would have really missed out on something good. I guess that's a lesson in patience, but it's still difficult to know when to show patience and when the exercise of such patience will prove a waste of time.

I really like the way the lead character was introduced to keeping a journal, and how that journal served to support the narration for the latter part of the story. That was just one of several things that I really enjoyed about the way the story was presented.

SIDE NOTE:

I mentioned a second movie from Netflix. It was called, Greater. It was based on a true story and because the lead character's faith played such a substantial role in the film, I would easily call it a faith-based film.

I like the way the film dealt with those tough questions that too often are overlooked in faith-based films. Probably the most difficult part of the film for me was warming up to Neal McDonough as a good guy, when he so often plays one of those characters that we like to hate.




MOVIE MUSIC

MAY 13, 2021



Movie Music

One of the things I always aspired to was composing music for film scores. It's a wonderfully creative venture with which to be involved, even if I never moved beyond rookie status in my accomplishments.

As I've mentioned before, I'm also a big fan of watching movies and I'm always listening to the film score to both hear what the composer chose and what I can learn from it. The more movies I watch and the more composers I get exposed to brings with it the opportunity to observe the consistencies in some of their styles.

James Horner was a perfect example. I noticed his tendency toward themes that included and were built around low notes in the low registers of the instruments that he selected. It seems like he uses that approach at some point in most of his compositions.

Well, last night I watched Ghosts of Mississippi with Alec Baldwin and Whoppi Goldberg. As I listened to some of the music, I realized that I had heard that style in another movie, but was struggling to identify it.

I looked up the composer for the film I was watching and it was Marc Shaiman. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize his name. I was also not aware that the movie was directed by Rob Reiner until I saw it while chasing down the composer.

It was Rob Reiner's name that prompted me to remember the other film. And I was guessing that since Rob Reiner directed both films, there was a real possibility that he had specifically asked Marc Shaiman to score both films.

My hunch was right. The other film I was reaching for was A Few Good Men. After finally identifying the mystery movie, I was able to recall the music in it and was amazed at how similar the film scores were in both movies. It's always interesting when something like that happens!

SIDE NOTE:

Killing Kennedy

Patty and I watched a Netflix DVD last night entitled, Killing Kennedy. It was listed as a made for TV movie, and was taken from the book co-written by former Fox host, Bill O'Reilly.

The write-up listed the movie as having told the story from a very unique perspective. From my view, it just supported the lone gunman theory and placed a lot of focus on the details behind Lee Harvey Oswald's story.

Neither Patty nor I can go there with the writers. I think we're both unable to wrap our minds around anyone firing three shots in rapid succession with a bolt action rifle, not to mention relatively accurate shots at a distant and moving target. And, that version of the story just ignores too many legitimate questions about the potential evidence for other participants who might have been involved in the shooting.

Still, it was a well produced teleplay with lots of actual footage included. And, I always find it interesting to take a look at another telling of the John F. Kennedy assassination story.




HOME RUN

APRIL 28, 2021



Home Run

Last night I watched Home Run, a faith-based movie that really touched me on a number of levels. I was very impressed with the vision for this film and the willingness of a community of Christians to take on such a difficult, risky, and gritty ministry topic as Recovery.

In years past, it's been my view that the failure of faith-based movies has centered around three problems. Those movies were full of naive ideas, clichés, and stereotypes.

Naive
1. Showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.
2. Natural and unaffected; innocent.
3. Of or denoting art produced in a straightforward style
that deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques
and has a bold directness resembling a child's work,
typically in bright colors with little or no perspective.

Cliché
1. A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack
of original thought.
2. A stereotype.

Stereotype
1. A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or
idea of a particular type of person or thing.

However, there's a catch! To be what we are called to be as Christians (e.g. child-like, innocent, etc.) we have to be willing to deal with these three obstacles in life as well as in a film that we might be producing or just simply watching.

Take the word naive for example. In one sense, naive suggests a person who is honestly unaware because they are, perhaps, immature. But, in a Christian sense it's quite possible that the appearance of being naive may be quite intentional and a reflection of anything but immaturity. It may be the result of an intentional, mature, and experienced-backed faith-based decision to follow Jesus Christ.

As I seek to follow Christ and remain innocent and child-like, there is always a false level of sophistication that wants to make me a cynic toward everything and everyone around me, especially toward Christ and the Christian faith!

I've seen it over and over in my own life. Will my faith lead me to give God total control when that cynic is telling me I don't need any help taking care of a problem? I've discovered that the more I listen to that cynic, the more he winds up doing all of the talking and the easier it is to follow his guidance.

Lord, help me turn a deaf ear to that cynic.

May I find the strength to always trust in your plan!




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






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!




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




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.




Documentaries



Documentaries

Despite having watched many documentaries over the years, and having even written produced, and directed one; only in more recent years have I begun to pay attention to some of the documentary filmmakers who created these award-winning projects.

The first to really catch my attention was Laura Poitras and her academy award winning documentary entitled Citizen Four, which told the incredible whistle-blower story of Edward Snowden, a story that was later brought to the silver screen by famed filmmaker Oliver Stone and entitled Snowden.

Some sixteen months later, academy award winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney came to my attention with the release of Zero Days, probably still one of my favorite documentaries. Only when reviewing Alex Gibney's work did I come to realize just how extensive the list is of his incredible projects, many of which I had seen years before and without even being aware that they belonged to him.

Tonight I'm watching another of his documentary films entitled No Stone Unturned. It's an amazing story about a deadly mass shooting that occurred in Ireland and the efforts of the victim's families to find justice and the truth.



HARRIET



Harriet

I've wanted to see this movie since I first saw the trailer on my iPad. I was counting down the days and rented it the first day it became available.

Harriet was just as good as I hoped it would be and for all accounts from everything I've read, it seems to have stayed true to the actual story for the most part.

For me, part of the magic in any great movie is in a true story where folks are able to overcome incredible odds not in their favor. That is certainly the theme for this amazing story about the life of Harriet Tubman. If you're not familiar with the story, I won't spoil it for you here; but, suffice to say it's definitely worth watching. Prepare to be amazed by what she accomplished and inspired by how she did it!



MOVIES & DOCUMENTARIES FOR GEEKS



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
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
Weather Underground
Zero Day

I'll be adding more to the list as I see new ones or recall others I've watched.



ATLAS SHRUGGED



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 length of time between each film and the changes to the cast in each. To be honest, the films had funding issues which probably accounts for most of the problems.

Still, I enjoyed all three films, 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 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 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 at the age of 12, to seeing her father have his business confiscated and the family having to flee to the Crimean peninsula.



SING STREET



Sing Street

Remember how I said I'm a sucker for a good movie with a great rock band story? Well, this one is as good as it gets!

I love everything about this movie! The music is catchy, the story seems real and even familiar, I totally connect with the characters, and the teenage angst and love story are completely believable. Oh, and I love how the band evolves to become better and better in their song writing and performing as the story progresses.

Irishman John Carney wrote and directed this movie along with Once and Begin Again. I enjoyed both but Sing Street takes top position and easily moves into my list of top ten favorites films.

Actually, I don't have a top 10 list but if I did I'm quite confident Sing Street would be on it. This movie has plenty of the magic that I love in a movie, and it seems to be present in just about every scene, not to mention every song!

Another great movie for the DVD collection!



SHENANDOAH



Shenandoah

I've been traveling back in time and catching up on the classics that I somehow missed when they first came out. As fond as I've been over the years of the classic musical theme from the movie Shenandoah, it's amazing that I had never taken time out to watch it.

To be honest, I'm glad it's worked out this way. I doubt that I would have had near the appreciation and respect for these classics without the contribution of so many of life's experiences over the years, and the free time I now have, that have both led me to pause and reflect at a deeper level.

I could probably say something to which I'm sure we would all agree, that James Stewart just doesn't make a bad movie, and that would be enough commentary. However, the story was built around a theme that all of us eventually face at some point in our lives:

Do we get involved when we see right battling wrong, or do we wait until the battle directly affects us to take part?

While one could easily say that the magic in this movie was found in every element from the music, to the acting, to the writing, and of course the beautiful cinematography; however, the heart of this movie was found in the way each character was affected by, and dealt with, that earlier question.



AMERICAN COUP



American Coup

Last night I pulled out the ipad and rented American Coup. It was an amazing documentary about a little-known incident in the early 50's whereby the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and the UK's MI6 worked together to perform a coup d'état in order to remove prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran. This was the first time a covert operation had been executed by United States to overthrow a foreign government during a time of peace.

The whole story of how this came about, and more importantly why it came about, is yet another example of all that goes on behind the scenes in our government and that we never hear or read about until years later, well after the events have taken place.

It was also interesting to see how Mousavi fit into the story after having been introduced to him via the film Desert Dancer, which I wrote about below and back in December.

This documentary is definitely worth a watch!



THE GREATEST SHOWMAN



Showman

Whatever the critics feel about a film usually runs counter to my perspective. Such was the case with The Greatest Showman. Despite the negative opinions from the critics, I loved everything about this movie.

The story line was great, as was the acting. For me, the magic of this film was most present in the music and lyrics as well as the dance. Great choreography and songwriting along with the rags to riches to rags to riches stories all came together and were brought home through the wonderfully painted love stories and the depth of heart in each and every character.

This was another DVD for my collection. If you haven't already, give it a chance. It will warm your heart, lift your spirits, and put a spring in your step!



RUDDERLESS



Rudderless

I'm a sucker for a good movie with a great rock band story and this one didn't let me down! I've got to give kudos to William Macy for his part in co-writing, directing, and acting in this film. He has put together a real winner!

I love the plot twists in the story and I particularly like how the writing and acting come together to present something very believable! Add stories of love and broken hearts, with great laughs and even greater music, and an ending that I didn't see coming, and this was easily another DVD for the collection!

One of the leads (Quentin) was played by Anton Yelchin (pictured above and behind Billy Crudup.) Through his character, Yelchin reminded me of the guy in the band who was everyone's best friend in every rock band that I've ever played in. That's why it hit me pretty hard when I heard, only a few months later, that Yelchin had been killed in a very tragic accident.

From my perspective, Anton's contribution to this film was critical to its success. While I'm definitely one to reach into my collection and watch great movies again and again, just to enjoy the magic that they offer, I must confess that watching this one again haunts me. I can't help seeing Yelchin on the screen and feeling like I've lost a good friend.

May you rest in peace, Anton.



HIGH STRUNG



High Strung

Not long ago, I watched the movie High Strung. I liked everything about it including the music, the dance, the protagonist/antagonist competition, and the love story. I enjoyed it to a point that I added a copy to my collection.

I mentioned in a recent post that I've watched several movies lately that were built around dancing and this was one of them. I'm no expert in the field, but from what I can tell it was the synchronized hip hop dancing that impressed me most (assuming that's what you call it.)

I was in no way genetically wired to even attempt dancing like I watched in this movie. Still, I'm always impressed when watching those who can execute anything that's difficult and do it at an expert level!

I thought everything about this production worked well together to deliver a great movie-watching experience. It definitely has the magic that I look for in a great film!



MISS SLOANE



Miss Sloane

What's my most important indicator of a great movie? Well, all of the common attributes are important, but probably my leading indicator is how many times I have been interested in going back and watching it again.

I don't mind admitting that the movies I love most are the ones that bring me back again and again to watch them yet one more time. Some of the movies which would fit that bill over the years include Jaws, Fracture, Remember the Titans, and several of the Nicholas Sparks movies, as well as a number of others.

More recently, I would have to add to that list Miss Sloane. I'm not a fan of movies that contain gratuitous sex (or any sex for that matter) but, as long as I'm not forced to endure much of it (as is the case here) I can look beyond it for a great movie.

In this film I gained an increased appreciation for Mark Strong, whose performance I enjoyed in The Imitation Game and even greater appreciation for Jessica Chastain, whose performances I also admired in Molly's Game and Woman Walks Ahead among others. The writing was crisp, the story line highly intriguing, and the acting was stellar. If I had a formal list of favorites, I would have to put this one near, if not at, the top.



THE INN OF THE 6TH HAPPINESS



Gladys

Recently, I've found myself watching more of the old classics and last night was no different. I decided to pull out The Inn of the 6th Happiness which I had checked out from the local library.

The film debuted in 1958 and stars Ingrid Bergman as Gladys Aylward (pictured above) who was a missionary to China credited with saving the lives of over 100 orphans when Japan attacked China.

The movie in full of powerful, inspirational, and heart-tugging moments and promises not to disappoint.



DESERT DANCER



Desert Dancer

I've seen several movies in recent weeks and months that I'll be sharing here and that were built around a lot of dancing. For a guy who has two left feet and no real interest in dancing, it seems odd that I would be so captured by such stories.

The one thing all of these movies had in common is what I refer to as The Magic! Now, the magic can be brought to a movie via the story, or one or more of the characters, or even the cinematography.

The magic is usually completely unexpected and brings a Wow! factor with it. And for me, the magic is the thing that brings me back to watch a movie again and again, especially when it contains heavy doses of magic and that wow factor that so wonderfully pull me into the story and away from reality for a couple of hours.

In the case of Desert Dancer, the magic for me was the simple fact that it was an incredible story which was also based on a true story. It's that old story of good overcoming evil. It's that story of one who rises to the top in the face of incredible odds. It's the story that stays with us long after the movie has ended and leaves us inspired for days, weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. It's that true story that sends us to the making of segment on the DVD and onto Google wanting to learn more.

This was definitely one for the personal DVD collection!.



PURGATORY



Purgatory

Tonight I watched Purgatory.

Purgatory is a made for TV film produced 20 years ago in 1999. Everything I read about it provided me with mixed emotions as to whether I would enjoy it. And, the first part of the movie was nothing more than your typical shoot 'em up western.

However, the magic in this movie for me came in the final act as the true depth of the story was revealed. An unexpected spiritual component reached out and tugged at my heart in the uplifting way that I like to be drawn into a story!


Copyright © 2024 Hutch DeLoach