Movie Review: Paddington 2

My family and I had the chance to go the movies this weekend. We watched Paddington 2. To say the least, we were pleasantly surprised!

We watched Part 1 on DVD. It was okay. Because of that we somewhat knew what to expect with Part 2. To be honest, we (my wife and I) weren’t expecting much. But the thing is, Part 2 is so much better than Part 1.

The graphics are great (Paddington is the only animated character, but there are other animated scenes that are supplemental to the movie). The directing and acting are great. The screenplay is great. The storyline and plot are great, even for adults. And when it comes to being family friendly – the movie is simply great.

Unlike several of the movie previews that preceded the movie (especially Gnomeo & Juliet – Sherlock Gnomes, which should not be watched by children), Paddington 2 contains no “adult humor” or innuendos that often “go above the head” of children. The movie contains one “OMG” phrase. Best as memory serves, that is the only bad mark I can give it.

The movie places a high priority on family values, honesty, treating people the right way, doing the right thing, looking for the good and redeeming qualities in people, and kindness.

Paddington 2 deserves much more hype that it has received. If you’re looking for a family movie, this movie deserves to be watched. You won’t be disappointed.

#entertainment, #movie-review, #movies

Movie Review: The Jungle Book

My family and some friends went to see the new “Jungle Book” movie and we weren’t disappointed. I’ll go ahead and tell you that I give it 9 out of 10 stars. I’ll quickly explain why it gets 9 stars and not 10 at the end of my character reviews. Keep in mind that I won’t mention every movie character, but, best as my memory serves me, the only characters that you won’t see returning to the big-screen are the three vultures from the end of the original. I would have liked to have seen them, even if it were only for the value of their song.

Having said what I have already said, the movie gives credit to Rudyard Kipling’s book (one of many that I have never read) but I’m sure the average viewer (myself included) won’t be able to keep from comparing it in their mind to the classic animated movie from years gone by. Before I get into some comparisons and contrasts, consider this paragraph as your spoiler warning (I’ll try not to reveal any major moments – at least not all of them). Continue reading

#entertainment, #jungle-book, #movie-review, #movies

Movie Review: Inside Out

Last night my family and I watched one of Disney’s latest movies, Inside Out. I was actually surprised at the quality of the movie. I’m not very keen on some of the actors/actresses who voice the characters, but, overall, the characters make for an animated movie that’s way more mature than childish…which is surprising for most modern-day Disney movies because when I say it’s mature, I mean it in a good way.

The strengths:

In my opinion, the movie will strike a chord with more adults than children when you get down to the root theme of the movie. Continue reading

#entertainment, #movie-review, #parenting

Kid's Movie Review

I’m not the biggest fan of Disney animated movies (along with a couple of other animated movie makers whose target is children) for multiple reasons, of which are the adult themed comments that get sprinkled in from beginning to end, but I believe when it comes to Disney’s “Big Hero 6” there is almost a big exception to the last couple of decades worth of rules. When it comes to this movie in particular, you can count me in.

“Big Hero 6” contains a number of opportunistic teaching moments…particularly when it comes to biblical concepts! To me, this is a shocker when you consider that Disney was behind the film. The movie gives parents an opportunity to talk about redemptive and enduring qualities like love and friendship, as well as opportunities to talk about the dangers of anger, hate and revenge; especially the often unintended cost of revenge. And for those of you who are old enough to get what I’m about to say, the end of the movie definitely has an “Ole’ Yeller” feel to it.

The only questionable part, to me, as far as memory goes and as far as a young child is concerned, is a moment towards the beginning when the story gets rolling and the robot begins to illustrate the “hairy effects” of puberty on a young person. This moment pushes the envelope without actually opening it; which is unfortunately something that most, if not all, major animated movie makers seem to enjoy doing. There are several other moments of “childish” humor, but nothing that’s really out of line. The movie is quite clean, even for animated movie standards of late.

In my opinion, on a scale of the famous five stars, “Big Hero 6” gets five out of five stars. If you haven’t seen it, take advantage of this kid targeted movie for some family time on the couch.

If you have seen the movie, share your thoughts about it with other readers.

#children, #entertainment, #family, #movie-review

Award Shows…the Heart

It’s the award giving time of the year for Hollywood and all of its media branches. It’s a time when the “people choose” and all the little gold-plated men go to the brightest stars of the multibillion dollar industry. After all, who doesn’t like a good pat on the back? But at the end of the day, the awards given out show more than just who’s “number one” – they show the true heart of Hollywood.

Look at the movies that win. You don’t have to watch the shows to find out. The news channels fall over themselves trying to tell you about it. The movies that win the vast, vast majority of the time are ethically, morally and socially rotten. They continually glorify and celebrate murder, prostitution, hate, violence, profanity, fornication, organized crime, greed, theft, lying and adultery. Whichever movie pushes the envelope the best usually ends up finding its name inside the envelope to get the award.

“But the actors and actresses deserve an award because they make it look so real”, some say. Well I say if you want to see real then get out on the streets where real people suffer because of the things that Hollywood celebrate! But that wouldn’t be any fun would it? The claim of, “movies help to escape reality”, while reality is made up of the actions and behaviors that the movies celebrate just don’t make sense to me.

Never forget, what goes in the heart comes out of the heart. This is true on a personal, community, cultural and national level. And if one considers the poor and disgusting behavior of people on the big or little screen award worthy, then that award helps to reveal what the heart really values. So who’s the winner of our heart going to be? It’ll be whoever we lay out the red carpet for.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19 – NKJV)”

#award, #culture, #entertainment, #heart, #hollywood, #movies


(#56) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:11-Don’t “Buy the Farm”—Yet!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:11: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”

The association of agriculture and hard work goes back to the Garden of Eden. God “planted a garden” (Genesis 2:8), but when man was created, he was “put in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After sin entered the world, man was burdened with: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Hard working farmers should be able to share in their harvest, for “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). Rulers must accept the fact that, without farmers, they have no kingdom! Solomon later would say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). Eating “bread” is another way of saying farmers should be in the plowing and profiting business. The “hope” of hard work is profiting from it and providing for one’s family. It is hypocrisy to curse the farmer with a mouthful of food! Whatever is done to discourage farming, or force farmers to sell their farms, is destroying the entire country.

Instead of working the land when needed, “frivolity” distracts from the real task at hand. The parallel proverb shows how wrong “frivolity” really is: Proverbs 28:19: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Entertainment instead of agriculture reveals one as being “devoid of understanding,” or worse, having “poverty enough!” It is senseless to neglect food production for fun and games! Other proverbs on this subject include: Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste;” Proverbs 27:18: “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored;” Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds.” Hard work is always the answer for poor economy, and “the poor” are often that way because of a lack of effort! Only thieves and robbers would steal “bread” (from the profits) without engaging in the hard work it took to produce it! Over-emphasizing entertainment is simply spreading “poverty” instead of encouraging bread-winners!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #entertainment, #farmers, #frivolous, #poor, #poverty, #practical-lessons, #profit, #proverbs, #wisdom, #work

What’s going on here?

I noticed with some televangelists through the years, that they had opening acts. They had entertainers come out first, and get people “fired up.”

Can you imagine Jesus and his disciples doing that?!

Remember, the people who gather to worship God are there should be there to offer a sacrifice (cf. Heb. 13:15). They are not gathered to entertain visitors. They have not gathered to entertain themselves. They are not putting on a show so men can “ooh” and “aah” over the performance, or get a certain emotional feeling.

The apostles ran into several money-making acts and charlatans in the early days of Christianity (cf. Acts 5:1-4; 8:18-23), they were not tolerated. They didn’t want their worship, and their discipleship, to be associated with that type of foolishness.

Should it be any different today?

Rick Kelley, Prestonsburg KY church bulletin

#entertainment, #worship

History Channel’s “The Bible” TV Show

I was waiting to see if anyone would do any reviews or write a basic post about History’s latest “biblical” blockbuster. I guess it’s been about as popular and intriguing with the fellows as it has been with me, but I thought it would be worth the time to have a review in TFR about it.

The couple of times that I have watched the show it has been sorely lacking something that I would consider to be key with the whole title and all. Graphics? It’s got that! Drama? It’s got that too! Buzz? Can’t deny that! Bible based lines and actions? Let’s just say it seems like the majority of their script writers didn’t take the lead from the original screen play.

Now I understand that the show tried to cover a lot of ground in a quick manner, but that’s no excuse for a TV show whose producers feel that they have been “called” by God to do what they’re doing. I also understand (like the original 10 Commandments movie) that they are times when things have to be filled in with subjective calls. Things like wardrobes, sets, lighting, “extras”, dialogue for when larger gaps of time occur…etc. But what I don’t understand is why objective, clearly stated words and actions have to be ignored. Let me give an example. In the scene where Moses and the children of Israel cross the Red Sea, the “Bible” (the show) has Moses walk out into the water and strike it with his stick! I guess they were thinking of Numbers 20:8-11 instead of Exodus 14:15-16 because there the actual Bible says something totally different from what appeared on the small screen:

And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” (NKJV – emphasis mine)

How much clearer can it be? How confusing is that? How can that not be exciting enough? Some may think this is only a small technicality, but I say if you’re going to name your TV show after the greatest book to have been written then the show should follow the book that its name bears. That’s not to mention the rest that they got wrong with the Red Sea scene biblically speaking. There was plenty!

I am glad that the show has people talking about the Bible; maybe it will cause people to look up what they see on TV in the scriptures – but I am afraid if they do they might not recognize what they’re reading. The TV show may be good for “entertaining” people when it comes to the Bible, but the show comes short when it comes to “educating” people on the Bible.

#bible, #bible-study, #christianity, #entertainment, #god, #history-channel, #review, #television, #tv, #tv-show-the-bible

Everything to enjoy

CNN is having its worst days as far as number of viewers. Now, Anderson Cooper, one of its main faces, has publicly declared he’s homosexual. Will be interesting to see if his declaration has any effect on viewer numbers. Though the cable network seems to be doing a superb job itself of shooting down its own ratings.

• An atheist has sued a Pennsylvania restaurant for offering 10% off on Sundays to customers who bring in a church bulletin. He didn’t say he felt discriminated against, but described his lawsuit as a strike against self-righteousness. Stranger tactics have been employed, I suppose.

• Father’s Day present was a Kindle. Got any tips or free items to recommend? Of course, I’ve already loaded NET Bible, ESV, and HCSB, all free, as well as a Portuguese version.

• One mean thing about, from which Kindle springs: People outside the US are charged $0.99 for free books. Why is that? Do I use up more electricity, bandwidth, or electrons than someone within the country? Should I, like the atheist, sue them for discrimination or American self-righteousness?

• Lots of praise heaped on Andy Griffith, even a cartoon some of the brethren are reposting that shows him at the gates of heaven with “Saint” Peter. One supposes that panegyrics and eulogies may be hyperbolic without much criticism. But a sour note—and perhaps I should just leave it alone, on July 4th still, or say it because it is the 4th—most actors and entertainment figures, Griffith included, are outspoken for many a liberal and not a few unrighteous causes. Makes the entertainment they provide a tad less enjoyable.

Isn’t it good we have things to enjoy besides tainted human efforts? “God … richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1Tm 6.17 ESV).

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#andy-griffith, #atheism, #cnn, #entertainment, #kindle

An Apt Metaphor

We have a loud party church across the street from our building. As I was arriving this morning, I saw something that is an apt metaphor for today’s skewed form of religion: A man coming to church carrying a tambourine, rather than a Bible.

#bible, #entertainment, #music