Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fireproof (Movie Review)

This is a great movie, and I encourage everyone to go see it in theaters. It's another excellent production by Sherwood Pictures, the producers of Facing the Giants and Flywheel.
The official Fireproof website. And the advertised site for helping you with your marriage.

And I didn't really think of this providing spoilers, but I guess it does. So be warned. Spoilers ahead. :-)

Pardon me for extensively quoting another, but I really cannot say it any better than she:

The classic Hollywood ending: Bride and groom kiss, minister pronounces them husband and wife, credits roll. The End implies "and they lived happily ever after."
That's the way it used to be.
In many of today's movies, such an ending might simply imply the end. As in "the end of the adventure."
And so we've had a rash of romantic comedies where the lovers ride off into the sunset, unmarried, happy and sexually satisfied. At least for now. Though their future together is murky, the implication is that the adventures will continue.
The old way left us wondering what happened once the marriage was underway; the new doesn't even bother to say, "I do." Fireproof (which appears in theaters on September 26) promises to break both molds — the happily ever after cliché as well as the notion that once the wedding is over, so is the fun. In a departure from the chick flick formula, Fireproof shows that after the wedding comes the real work of making a marriage strong enough to succeed.
Fireproof tells a gripping tale about fire captain Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) in a life-saving job who is hero to everyone but his wife, Catherine (Erin Bethea). On the job, he lives the fireman's motto — never leave your partner behind.
At home, it's a different story. Catherine, feeling the neglect of his distraction — fueled primarily by his online porn habit and desire to save enough overtime pay to buy a big, fast boat — wants a divorce. She's done, both emotionally and practically — she's in the beginning stages of having an affair with a handsome young doctor at the hospital where she works. Though letting his marriage fail would be a blow to his pride, Caleb's not sure it's worth fighting for.
Enter his parents. Especially his dad. This is where things veer from what you'd expect from the movies. Rather than agreeing with Caleb that the marriage is beyond redemption, he reveals that some years ago his own marriage to Caleb's mom had nearly collapsed. Speaking from painful experience, he challenges Caleb not to proceed with the divorce for just 40 days and promises to send him something in the mail. When it arrives, the "love dare" begins.

When asked if the Christian message would alienate non-Christians from the movie and it's message, the star Kirk Cameron replied:

The movie's for anyone, whether you have faith in God or not. This is a movie about love, trust, hope, healing. Plus, it's just a great movie. You're going to laugh and cry. It's a very masculine movie, with the firefighters, but it's also a chick flick. And the main character is not some religious guy.

I think that's a pretty fair assessment. (For the rest of the interview with Kirk go here.) The movie is definitely realistic and does not have that artificial Hollywood feel to it, while still being well done - which is definitely refreshing. There really isn't a "heart-string" that isn't played by this movie, and played well. And it's definitely not a cut and dry and predictable. I look forward to owning it when it releases on DVD and seeing what else Sherwood Pictures produces!

2 out of 5 stars.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the Painter Captures the Sky

I was on my commute a couple of days ago, and, as I'm up before the sun, I have the privilege of seeing the sky become lighter before the official "sunrise" begins. I wish I had my camera, but I think it was too dark to have captured what I saw anyway. The sky was a deep blue, just lighter than dark blue, which was the color of the clouds. The clouds themselves were of medium size and about the size of an average cumulus cloud, but instead of being like a fluffy cotton ball, they had the wispiness of cirrus clouds. It was if the clouds themselves were pulled and drag through the sky. The first thought through my head was "oh it looks just like a painting." Like when you use the brush and pull the paint from the central location. If the sky had been a painting that morning it oil would have been the medium.

But then I thought of my statement "the sky looks like a painting" and thought of the audacity of the claim being made. To say that God liked the work of man so much he decided to copy it is surely a contemptible position. And, of course, that is not what is meant, but that is certainly how it sounds. Would it not be more accurate to say "the painter captures the sky" and accurately portrays it in its raw beauty? For it is man who imitates the works of God, not vice versa.

So think of the phrasing you use, and how it could be connoted. And think of what you really mean, then express that aptly, without confusion. And take the time to gaze and the beauty God endowed nature with, for it is all around you. And it is breathtaking.

original image source

Saturday, September 20, 2008

All I Know to Say is ...

Here are some memorable quotes from the week:

"This shirt is not pink. It's light blood."

"I have dropped a few [pounds]. So now my clothes hang [on me] like a bowl of soup."

"So you do know a little about ancient battles."
(said to a friend after going on a five minute spiel about an ancient battle after asked if he was a little familiar with them)

"Well it knows when you're in a hurry."
(said after someone commented that computers don't think)

"I must have missed that science class. I slept a lot in high school."
(after a discussion on how our bodies are composed of completely different atoms, cells, molecules, etc, now than when we were five)

As these and other quotes struck me throughout the week I realized, once again, the power of words. The words we speak have a tendency to bypass our brains and just pour forth from our mouths, leaving the damage to be repaired later. Elizabeth Elliot Gren says something so memorable about this phenomenon, "Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut." Great advice (that I certainly need to heed more often).

After all, people may say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," but that, my friends, is a lie. A straight up lie. They may never show that your words have wounded them, but they may nurse their wound in silence for years. The fact is that words have power. How much pain and grief could we save others and ourselves if we would pause to think about what we were going to say before we said it. Once the words leave your mouth there is no taking them back. Life has no rewind. Measure your words carefully - for they can be your greatest friend, or your most powerful enemy.

picture credit

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Made Tea.

A Lesson in Creative Writing. :-) I found this linked off of another blog and found it highly amusing. Not only is it entertaining, but all would do well to see how one can become more descriptive in writing as well. I haven't even browsed his real website (which you visit after reading his tea story) but it's an interesting way to get people to visit!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

(01/13 - Unfortunately, his website is down now, BUT the interesting way to get people to enter the website is still up. So check it out.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Great Escape (Movie Review)

First, do not see this movie if you expect a Hollywood ending. This is a realistic movie accurately based off actual events. Even though the movie stars Steve McQueen it is not a movie revolving around him. The story is about a camp, and what that camp did to mess with the Germans as they attempted a brazen escape. Expect to cry and to cheer. And don't watch this movie right before you go to bed, least not if you want to sleep. While there is surprisingly little violence that story and the effort and all of the movie stays with you and turns in your head long after the credits roll. I do recommend the movie, though. It deserves to be a classic, as it is. Hopefully you will also be encouraged to thank those who have faithfully serve(d) this country. After all, if you don't stand behind our military, maybe you should stand in front of them.

This movie was not rated when released, but I believe it would be rated today as PG-13.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

P.S. The well loved TV series Hogan's Heroes was inspired by this story.

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