Monday, July 23, 2012

What's the Big Idea?

When I first heard the Farrelly Brothers were making a modern version of The Three Stooges, I was less than enthusiastic. I thought, "What's the big idea? How can you make a Three Stooges movie without any of the original Three Stooges?" But after the trailer showed that the new Stooges looked and sounded a lot like the originals, curiosity got the best of me, and I had to see it!

The New Three Stooges © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
The new Three Stooges ©

Well, like a slap in the face, I was completely amazed by what I saw! Although I was still skeptical going in, I found the whole thing to be a pleasant surprise that stayed very much in the spirit of the originals while bringing in new material. If you liked the old Stooges, I imagine you'll like the new ones, too!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thoughts on the 'Movie Massacre'

Devastating news this morning.

A gunman opened fire in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado last night at the midnight showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. As of the last report, 14 people are dead, and as many as 50 are injured. Several are critical. Children are among the victims, including one baby reportedly shot point blank. It's terrible! It's almost unbelievable! It's so incredibly sad!

Supposedly, the shooter was wearing a gas mask and a bulletproof vest, so reporters say he may have resembled the villain, Bane. As I picture the scene in my mind, the chaos they describe feels a lot like something right out of one of these modern movies. Batman's universe has always been a place filled with chaos and fear, but you don't expect that image to step off the screen and into our world. It makes you wonder what could happen next. It stirs up strong emotions.

What do we do when chaos and fear threaten to overtake our world?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Drink My Milkshake!

In 2008, There Will Be Blood was nominated for eight Oscars. It won two, including the Best Actor award for Daniel Day-Lewis' portrayal of Daniel Plainview. I didn't get around to watching it until this week when I discovered it on my cable service's "On Demand" platform. I must confess I was totally unprepared. The description on IMDB says, "A story about family, greed, religion, and oil, centered around a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business." I read the description, noticed the poster and came to the conclusion: Western. I figured the title probably referred to typical cowboy movie violence.

There Will Be Blood © 2007 Paramount HEI was wrong.

There were no bandits robbing the stagecoach. There were no shoot-outs at the local saloon. In fact, there really wasn't as much bloodshed as you might expect, given the title. But when there was violence, it was brief but brutal.

Instead of a modern take on the traditional western, what I found myself watching that night was an interesting but sad commentary on the downward spiral of a life without God.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Andy Griffith - America's TV Dad

July 4th is a day of great celebration here in the United States, but this year it feels a little more somber than usual because just yesterday we had to say goodbye to Andy Griffith. Andy is remembered for his roles in great movies like A Face in the Crowd and No Time for Sergeants, and for his work later on TV’s Matlock. But Andy is best remembered as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the greatest TV show ever made, The Andy Griffith Show, which aired for eight seasons on CBS in the ‘60s and has lived on continuously in re-runs for over 50 years. The news of Andy's death seems doubly harsh because it's only been a couple months since we lost Andy's friend and co-star, George 'Goober' Lindsey.

Andy Griffith © Viacom International Inc.
Andy Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor
Few shows have endured as long or captured the hearts of millions quite like The Andy Griffith Show. Maybe that's because the show wasn't just hilarious, but it also had heart. The host of lovable characters often remind us of people we know, their small-town problems tend to hit close to home, and we share many of the same traditional family values portrayed on the screen (or we wish more people did!). In many ways, we feel as if we know the people of Mayberry, and their town is also our hometown, or we wish it was.

One of the most endearing aspects of the show for me was the father-son relationship between Andy and Opie. As a little boy, I looked up to my dad the way Opie looked up to Andy, and I hope some day to have a little one who will look up to me the same way. I want to be that kind of dad.