Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

I recently watched Karate Kid after having not seen it in many years. It was one of my favs when a kid. I even dressed up as Daniel on Halloween one year. Anyhow, Mr. Miyagi is well known to us all as he was a transformational character in Daniel’s life. Here’s a profile of each character:

Mr. Miyagi – old Japanese widow, somewhat of a hermit, Buddhist, manages an apartment building, spends his time tending to the restoration of things, and the beautifying of his bonsai trees.

Daniel – frustrated teen being raised by a single mom, trying to fit in at school after a cross-country move, bullied, angry, wants to do well just like everyone else

So Daniel’s getting his butt kicked, comes back one night and beats up his bike, leaving it for the garbage bin, and finds it full restored the next day. Mr. Miyagi has his eyes on Daniel and can see right through the mirage of his lies and sees a hurting teenager with no father to turn to. Mr. Miyagi reaches out to Daniel and the rest is history, all the sequels included.

If an old Japanese widowed hermit can radically change the course of a frustrated teen, then the Church can most certainly reach out to others that are hurting in much the same way. I am sick and tired of Churches that think our youth need someone cool and hip. They need Mr. Miyagi, minus the Buddhism and insert the Gospel. We need to do a better job of reaching out to the hurting in our community, whether it be our Church or our neighborhood. Old folks can make lemonade for the “thugs” balling it up a couple houses down. An older woodworker can invite someone in to learn a trade. And on and on and on. Being missional is being loving in a savvy and genuine way. Is it really so hard?

Daniel did NOT need some immature cool dude giving him lessons on life. He needed a mature warrior who understands the battles of life and the pains of youth. I think that there are a bunch of Mr. Miyagi’s in the Church and I am absolutely certain that there are Daniel’s everywhere around us. Let us learn the lessons of Karate Kid and be Mr. Miyagi’s.

Well, with my new Netflix subscription in effect, I was able to take in a few documentaries (I am a big documentary fan for some odd reason). I saw “Jesus Camp“, “Hell House“, and “Lord, Save Us from Your Followers“. These 3 documentaries offered 3 very different pictures of Christian cultural engagement.

“Jesus Camp” essentially portrays Pentecostal catechesis of children; full of intercessory prayer, tongues, and Spiritual warfare…all intended to claim the world for Jesus. Kids are taught to go all out, to ramp up their opposition to “sin” in the cultural battles of our day, and to share Jesus with everyone. Hey, to be honest, there’s a lot good there, however watching the film grieved me in many ways. There is no dialectical aspect to sharing the faith and engaging culture. Everything is an all out war. Also, a little girl “felt led” to share Jesus with someone at the bowling alley in typical “hit and run” fashion and the parents affirmed it. The interviews with some of the kids, including a young girl reveals some expected immaturity, however it is more dangerous because their is a spiritualizing of their immaturity. In one scene, a girl criticizes churches that don’t yell to Jesus when they pray, going so far as to say that Jesus only likes worship from the churches that yell and get exuberant. What is sadder is that parents are reinforcing all of this. So, not only are these kids at war with culture, they are also condescending of the broader church. (more…)

This film features John Piper at “Angola”, one of the most notorious maximum security prisons in the country, discussing the wasted life and the hope of glory. Working on details for a showing at Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Nampa, Idaho. Stay tuned!!! Here is a trailer:

My husband and I watched “The Blind Side” the last week and these are just some of my thoughts of the movie being based on a true story.  This is definitely a touching story, one of the generosity of a woman, namely (mostly) Mrs. Leigh Ann Tuohy (pronounced too-ee) and her family.  Though I wonder how much it accurately portrays Leigh Ann, who comes across as an independent, controlling, steamroller-I-will-it-it-done attitude.  While I do commend her matter-of-fact-take-charge and care of the situation posture, (I myself am a lot like that, but learning how to not be so overwhelmingly controlling though), I hesitate to commend her seeming disregard and totally brash strategies.  She was portrayed as having a hard exterior but having a soft heart.  She’s afraid of showing the “softer side” of her emotions, like crying or sadness,  which is true to some extent for many, if not all, of us- namely called pride.  She’s a strong, independent working woman who manages her home with great vigor.  She didn’t stand for nonsense (which I respect) but was also rude and obnoxious (which I don’t get away with much).  I must admit, I was cheering her on when she gave her lunch friends a what for when they were criticizing and down-playing the care and concern she had for Michael Oher’s well-being.

I was also not crazy about the way in which she was portrayed in her attire- sleek, tight and revealing clothing.  She seemingly was high maintenance in her appearance to which I’m sure her job played a big role.  She came off to me as the one who “runs the show”, while her husband sits idly for at her beck and call.  I have had some reflections on this myself as I seek to understand and honor God in how I balance the character of a Proverbs 31 woman yet submissive and honoring of my husbands role as head of our home, thus me as well.  I struggle with knowing how much to put forth without overstepping my bounds as a wife.  As I tend to be a lot like Mrs. Tuohy, much more so before I married, and as I continue to grow in my understanding and love for Christ and respect for the order in which God has created, I must learn the great balance of the Proverbs 31 woman I desire to be and the wife I am to my husband as well.  Great challenges for me indeed.  (more…)

I like science fiction. WAIT! DON’T GO!  From Star Wars to steampunk, I appreciate creative musings on different times.  That’s why when I heard that Sony’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had some geek appeal, I queue’d it up (Netflix lingo).  I was delighted when what starts out as a clever animated flick about a wannabe inventor ends up a thoughtful look at not only being who you are but carefully examining what you have, and more importantly, how you use it.  Truly, a film for viewers of any age.

When young Flint Lockwood creates an airborne machine that synthesizes any food he programs, it revitalizes the small island of Paradise Falls.  What was once the center of the sardine trade, Flint’s hometown has fallen on hard times.  His new technology provides a party for everyone in the neighborhood complete with a snow day, only it’s not snow it’s ice cream, and really, can you beat that?  (Double Fudge Brownie for me kthx)  Also, everyone gets to have as much of whatever food they want and there begins the problem.

When the food that falls from the sky continues to increase in size, supply surpasses demand and the town constructs a dam for storage because, as the young weather reporter Sam Sparks tells the world, “out of sight out of mind.”  Eventually, Flint realizes that the machine is hurting the entire island and wants to turn the machine off.  The local mayor, always the opportunist, disagrees and wants to use the device to increase tourism.  Conflict ensues.

The imagery is powerful when, at the climax, the town is literally flooded in it’s excess.  When the dam is hit by the spaghetti tornado, it breaks apart burying the townspeople (and the town) in what they could have been satisfied with, but weren’t.  It doesn’t end there (it’s not an episode of The Outer Limits after all) and the people of Paradise Falls learn balanced use of their resources.

So what?

This is the hardest part to write.  How do I convey the conviction when I hear about earthquakes in Haiti and people dying of thirst when I’m trying to decide which restaurant I’m going to for lunch?    I have so much, we all do and that’s precisely where the responsibility starts: if you have, give!

“Taken” Movie Review

Posted: May 20, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Movie Reviews

Spoiler Alert:

Briefly, the movie was decent…6/10…Liam Nelson shows some physical skills that I have yet to see in any of his other roles. He does suprisingly well in the overplayed “angry vengful dad recovering kidnapped kid” role.

The movie does highlight what is a very real human trafficking problem and gives some insight into how this corrupt practice operates. It does show a father willing to do everything to assure his daughter’s safety, even torturing, killing, etc. I don’t condone such acts, but you can’t help but think you would do the same thing when you know that you have apprehended someone who definitely has information that is vital in recovering your daughter before she is turned into a sex slave.

It saddens me that thousands of such young women are not recovered and that worse yet, some are sold into slavery by their very own parents. I pray for justice and measured retribution for such acts here and now, but am consoled that Christ will measure out His vengence on those who perpetuate such evil when He shall return.

Anyhow, not a must see…overplayed genre, but Liam Nelson does suprisingly well in this role.

“Slumdog Millionaire” Greatly Impresses

Posted: May 12, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Movie Reviews

I watched this movie last night and am grateful that my wife picked this movie. For those who know me, I hate most movies I watch and rarely like a film. This movie was suprisingly good. I have long been dissapointed by “highly acclaimed” films. Even my wife has teased me about my past excitement to see a film because it won awards, only to fall asleep half way through.

Anyhow, I just want to say that I really liked this film. There is an underlying theme of destiny which makes the ending climatically glorious. This story reminds me in some ways of the life of Joseph. God was with Joseph every step of the way, even when things looked very gloomy. 

SPOILER ALERT: While this movie doesn’t really attribute God’s providence as the cause of such events, there is an ironic mentioning of God being great by the dying brother Salim at the end. It may be a normal thing to say when dying as a Muslim, however I found it owing to Salim’s recognition that someone greater is orchestrating events in his, his brother’s, and Lakita’s life. Letting Lakita go free, to the cost of his own life, was his surrender to Divine agency…thus the “God is great”!!! or so I would like to read it.

Fellow Blogger Chad Bishop suggested that Slumdog Millionare was Calvinistic and that the Wrestler was Arminnian. I have yet to see the Wrestler, but I agree with Chad that if Calvin were to so grace us with a screenplay, it would be similar in strain to Slumdog. (more…)