Tag Archive: movies

So assuming i got the right aircraft and these aren’t just for the first class toffs [so fine if anyone wants to bucketlist bump us up to a different class for fun] this is the selection of movies i have available for our first flight to Washington D.C. in which i can watch 2 to 3 movies if i work it right. What would you watch? Hoping to get enough votes so that i can compose a top 3 out of movies i have not seen yet so try and factor that in if you can… What would your top five be from this list… excuse the squinting – this is the best i could do… and GO!



Minus 200 points for even suggesting Anchorman 2 – STOPPIT!

UPDATE: So this was kind of a non-starter with the list NOT being the list of movies available on our first flight where we got a sum total of ZERO movies offered and no food and then on the big international flight i watched MILLION DOLLAR ARM [So Great!] and NOAH [What a load of bollockses] and half of Monuments Men [yawn!] before we landed in Dakar to refuel after which, for the longest section [8 hours] of our flight, tbV and myself and maybe two other people had no working tvs/movies at all so SAD FACE United/SAA – thumbs down… have been looking forward to the movie part of the transition for a while now and you let me down completely [and still have one of my bags, but that’s another post]


iceRecently I made a claim that I had perhaps found the People With Too Much Time On Their Hands [PWTMTOTH]but I was sadly mistaken… the actual PWTMTOTH were busy making this epic video…

Vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice Ice Baby’ track and my own personal kareoke number 1 song… as performed by the movies [over 250 of them!]


And yes, it is great that Arnold gets to do “Ice” “Ice” and “Baby” every time…

Word to your mother…

[The previous PWTMTOTH video involved bicycles and cars and running and a lot of Red bull which you can check out here]

yesterday tbV and now my friend as well, brian watson, dropped in for a visit… from South Africa, brian is in the middle of doing his PHD in Arizona in stuff you would have to hear to not really understand [altho solar power and keeping particles the right distance from each other and a billionth of a meter thin wire all enter into it] and it was great to get to see him.

he is actually spending most of the weekend with a friend of his in NYC so trained his way through to hang with us from yesterday afternoon and then left eeearly this morning…

what was really cool was that in the village house over a snack and then later on the train and then outside Mad Mex bar and then on the train and then during and after the potluck we had a number of significant conversations. at least a week’s worth altho probly closer to a month or a year for a lot of people i know.

real talk. about real things. life changing things. frustration with wanting church to get it a little bit closer to God’s way things. relationship things. community things.

[and actually we did touch on sport and movies and food in there but the point being that we spent so little time together – relatively – and yet the conversation was so rich]

i hesitate to finish with a challenge cos i suspect the kind of people who read this blog are the kind of people for whom rich conversations are the norm – not necessarily every one, but at least sometimes, and preferably often. and so maybe the challenge is more about challenging the people you know who can get through a year or a month or a week’s worth of conversations and only have dealt with the latest or rehashed information about food, sport and movies.

our time with brian left us feeling like we’d grown a bit and hopefully he did as well. we got stuff to think about and hopefully gave some. as a result of some of the talk that happened things will probably change, maybe in small ways, but maybe later in larger ones.

i still want to be able to quote Monty Python and get amped when we thrash the Aussies in the coming cricket test match and defend Michael Schumacher’s comeback [give him a car, Ross!] and do weird and silly voices with Monkman and get amped for coffee and chocolate and mashed potato… but at the same time i want to grapple with the problem of the drug dealers on our doorstep and try to figure out how to do community living better with the people we live with, and discover how Jesus and His teaching translates to the Puerto Rican people who live across the road from us and figure out how to improve the aft6er school homework program and formulate an opinion on Occupy Philly and and and…

let’s practice speaking more life, more meaningfully and more real. ly.

bad christian movies too

a great article on relevant magazine taking up the same theme of christians and bad art/movies…

we watched a multiplex (workshop session) yesterday on Christians and the media and then we had a bunch of small group discussion on the topic – as i was mc’ing the meeting and made some statements about bad christian movies there were too many heads nodding in agreement for me to think this is just my particular cynicised view

the bottom line for me is that the church has some great stories – from the bible which really has some x-rated hollywood blockbuster stuff in it [tent pegs through the head, incest, adultery followed by murder of a high-ranking general to try and cover the fact, bears being called from the forest to maul a bunch of youth for daring to call the prophet a baldhead, the fire from heaven altar challenge between elijah and the prophets of baal, stonings, crucifixion] to true life dramas [bible smuggling into china, the mother teresa story, the missionaries who were killed by the aucas in south america – which became a movie ‘the end of the spear’ which i haven’t had the chance to see but the book is amazing] to fiction [writings of ted dekker, robert liparulo, frank peretti who i would all describe as stephen king if he was a christian – some great science fiction/fantasy/horror/supernatural writing] – and so the stories are definitely there, but i think we have quite a long way to go before we can tell them well on film

i, as a Christ follower, cringe when i hear that something is a “christian movie” so i can’t imagine what an unbeliever must think and feel (maybe they’re less critical than me, who knows?) but the majority of christian films down the ages have been cringeworthy, cheese-filled and generally with bad camerawork and production, useless acting and trite storylines

the one question i posed was this – is it good enough for us as Christ followers in the media to be making bad movies, so that perhaps one day we can make good movies, or would it sometimes be better to be making no movies at all?

another question posed by the group was on the sacred/secular split – the tendency we as christians have to divide life into what we call spiritual and what we call secular when, as one guy pointed out in my group, Jesus would probably be confused if i told Him about “my spiritual life” because to Him everything was spiritual – and so can’t we as Christ followers just start making good movies – when i look at a movie like ‘the blind Side’ with Sandra Bullock in, it was a really strong movie and received critical acclaim in many quarters but was not produced as a ‘christian movie’ – we have the stories, we just need to do better at getting them across

i think personally that we do a lot better in the area of music whereas in the 80’s there were maybe the big 5 of mainstream christian musicians in amy grant, steve curtis chapman, michael w smith, carman and then if you were really hardcore maybe dc talk and they were all ‘good for a christian band’ music types [let the hating begin, ha!] but i think today Christ-following musicians and bands have gained a lot more street cred and in many cases are as good if not sometimes even better than their non-Christ-following counterparts… so there is hope

personally i don’t think it’s good enough that we create bad christian movies (or music or books) and i really wish the people making them would have better filters or just go hang out in the world a little bit to get a clue as to the kind of quality we should be producing. i imagine some people might see this post as a little harsh and unloving, but i think the reality is that when we are representing Christ, there is a strong case for us doing it well and effectively and in a way that impacts society rather than causing it to withdraw

i long for the day we can say ‘that was a great movie’ and not feel the need to simply compare it to other worse ‘christian movies’ as a means of greatifying it

kicking my talented hungover ass

so i was chatting to some of my guys-who-meet-at-lunchtime-on-a-thursday guys yesterday and as i was speaking i felt the conviction of what i was saying (pretty much more to myself than to anyone else)

the conversation was sparked by me watching the dvd Kick-Ass the day before while tbV was at varsity – a movie which i’d initially heard some bad things about (like little girl saying the ‘c’ word which is one of the few words that i actually find quite hectically harsh – and if you’re wondering what the ‘c’ word is now then good for you – in fact the only time that word has ever been funny in my opinion is in the eric idle monty python skit where he says all ‘c’s as ‘b’s and at the end learns to substitute ‘c’s for ‘k’s and he can finally do it and pronounces “you mean spell ‘bolour’ with a ‘k’?… kolour…. ah, what a silly bunt” – it’s funny cos he doesn’t actually say it) but then recently a bunch of people told me it’s really great and it’s not so hectic and i should just watch it

i am really glad tbV wasn’t around and if not for the infernal curiosity that did all sorts of lesser things to the cat than happened in that movie (dude having finger snapped off, people being sliced up all over the place and dude in walk-in microwave machine) i could have happily switched it off and not needed to know how it ended. and should have. it was horrible. i just cannot stomach unnecessary graphic violence like that and as tbV and i chatted later one of the biggest concerns is how can a parent allow their little kid to be in something like that and do those kind of things and have that kind of hectic adult dialogue – has to mess them up in some way

then a little more previously another movie that i had decided not to watch – ‘Hangover’ – but again which recent friends said was really not bad at all and was really funny i also gave in and decided to check out and to be honest it was not as bad as i thort it was going to be, but it also wasn’t particularly good in terms of being the kind of thing i really need to have had put into my head – definitely feel worse about watching Kick-Ass than the Hangover but i don’t think i would recommend either of them to anyone

i remember when i watched ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ on the big screen by myself for some reason – hyped movie when it came out, decent cast, and so i went to check it out and walked out feeling dirty like i don’t think i’ve felt more strongly with any other movie – what made it particularly bad for me was again the graphic over the top violence but also the fact that it was completely unprovoked – so in Kick-Ass you have good guys versus bad guys and so it kind of makes sense, but this was a dude going around killing people violently because he was a psychopath – incredible acting, directing etc etc etc but it made me feel absolutely sick – it was just so dark and violent and graphic and real

and maybe that’s the key – because it was done so well from acting/directing/believability standpoint that made it even worse… because the point is that it is real – maybe not in the talented mr ripley, but in the newspapers and on tv in the news section, every day across south africa (and beyond, don’t think your country is any better, unless it is) and getting desensitized to it feels like an incredibly bad and dangerous thing to do…

yesterday, i challenged myself to be more selective again (because i used to be) about the movies i watch and to be quick to leave if necessary (because i used to walk out of a fair amount of movies) and to challenge others to do the same

i don’t think i will come up with a list of ‘this is okay, this isn’t okay’ – i’ll trust you are wise enuff to do that – and it may be that it is different for different people – i know my weaknesses (in terms of sexually explicit stuff) and i know what i don’t like or want to fill my head with (horror, graphic violence, blasphemy) but the challenge is to have a line – make a choice – know where that line is – and stick with it

walking out of a movie is a highly frowned upon and much judged activity (because the people who stay behind feel judged by you that they didn’t walk out i think) – i remember when the white cop (matt dillon i think?) was feeling down the black dude’s wife in Crash and there had already been a few things in the movie that had me on the edge, and at that moment i thort ‘this is not something i want in my head right now’ and so i got up and left. and got judged. and it may be the excellent movie i’ve heard it being made out to be. and it may be that you enjoyed it and thort it was incredibly and that i am incredibly lame for walking out. that is all okay with me. at that point, watching that scene, i thort this is over my line, and i got up and left.

and i want to be back at that place where i’ll do that again. leave the cinema. switch off the movie. it’s just not worth it to do that to myself.

my bottom line on this topic is this – no matter how good a movie is (schindler’s list probly the best movie i’ve ever seen imo) there is nothing i will miss out on (intrinsically) by not watching the movie… so nothing i ever miss that will critically adversely affect my life…

BUT on the flipside, there is stuff i might watch that i will regret, that will haunt me in my sleep, that will etch images into my mind which will replay at a later time, that will affect my mood or my actions or my peace… and so when in doubt, don’t. that’s my motto.

Unless You Cell Everything.

So this morning i was at a pastor’s breakfast and we were having a time of worship singing and some dude left the meeting to go and answer his cellphone and it brought back one of my favourite grinds to axe. I don’t know why i seemingly feel so proportionately huge on this issue where most other people in my experience don’t but for me it is one of the most offensive and rudest things…

On the me level it’s the whole vibe of you going out to have coffee with me at a restaurant and your phone rings and you answer it. Basically what you are saying to me (via your actions) is that even though you have set aside this time for a coffee time with me, actually ANYONE else in the world with a phone in their hands is more important than me. It could even be a wrong number. So in essence you are choosing a complete stranger who you don’t want to talk to, over me.

As i said, i find it incredibly rude and am surprised that most other people don’t seem to find it as offensive as i do. For example if you were in a movie for an hour and a half you would (hopefully) switch your phone off or on silent and leave it like that til the end. So the movie has your full attention. If you have a doctor’s or dentist appointment or a business meeting you won’t interrupt it to have a chat to me so why can’t you afford me the same courtesy. I want you to know that for the next hour i am choosing above anyone else in the world to spend time with and give my full attention to. We’ve lost that because we have openly welcomed the invasion and invasiveness of the mobile phone into our lives.

Then back to the breakfast, we also have a guy in our church who regularly leaves the worship time and maybe also the preach time to go take a business call. And then this guy leaving a worship session to go take a call. What is more important than communing with the Holy and Awesome Creator God and King Jesus for the twenty or so minutes we are going to sing some songs.

If you were in a one to one meeting with Nelson Mandela or Barack Obama or someone else you see as famous and respectable or the king of a country, you wouldn’t suddenly go ‘oh sorry i have a call, i’ll be back in a minute’ and so possibly it’s a question of not really understanding or knowing or believing that when we are engaged in a worship session it really is meant to be a face to face time of hanging with God. And surely He deserves complete focus and attention in that moment.

The cellphone has become an idol for many of us who worship it or its use or images or sounds that emanate from it and we need to really be more aware.

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