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Everything posted by Andrew

  1. I've always had a penchant for odd news stories - I thought it might be fun to have a spot for them here. As if the Milwaukee Brewers don't have enough problems, with the beloved Selig family running their franchise: www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/6473428
  2. Christian: I saw this in your book journal entry. How was it? The description at Amazon.com intrigued me, but I'd love to hear a reader's opinion before I shell out for it.
  3. Andrew

    Whale Rider redux

    I'm a fan of myth also, (M)Leary -- I repeatedly chewed over D'Aulaire's books of Greek and Norse mythology as a kid -- I just didn't think these two films were particularly well-acted examples of myths translated to cinema. In Fast Runner, I felt like I could almost read the minds of some of the secondary actors: "Uh oh, it's almost time for my lines; I'd better stand up and start making broad hand gestures." Perhaps you're right, too, that the lack of expression of the villagers in Whale Rider was intended to convey despondency. However, this didn't seem convincing to me either -- I spend a good chunk of my workdays treating depressed people from other cultures, and there's a lot more spunk in those individuals than in the folks I saw in the Whale Rider village. Ah well, to each their own -- I guess this is why we'll never reach a consensus on the standards of absolute beauty and aesthetics in this lifetime.
  4. Andrew

    Whale Rider redux

    I feel so much better having read your post, Randall -- I saw Fast Runner for the first time this past weekend, anticipating a revelatory flick. Instead, I felt I'd endured 3 hours of subpar acting with a dull and glacially-paced story line. Sure, it was an exposure to a different culture and mythology (and I could now build a killer igloo), but heck, if I want a tedious documentary, I can always turn on PBS.
  5. Andrew

    Whale Rider redux

    SPOILERS AHEAD, MATEYS! I was very disappointed by this film. I felt like I was back in the 80's, watching an ABC After-School Special, with some grainy whale footage spliced in for good measure. The actors were all so expressionless, that I thought the whole village could've used some Prozac. The storyline moved the characters around like so many pieces of luggage -- for instance, the way the teacher-with-braces was unceremoniously dumped into and out of the scene where the girls' dad announced that his European girlfriend was pregnant. Grand-dad's moral transformation seemed equally unconvincing, by the time the utterly predictable ending rolled around (nothing like a coma to bring about a change of heart, I guess). Lastly, I thought some key scenes were poorly lit, while in other dialogue-laden scenes, the speakers were poorly framed, with parts of their heads cut out of the picture. It all just seemed very amateurish to me.
  6. I'm at the top of my library's reserve list for Jon Krakauer's latest, Under the Banner of Heaven. Apparently, he's branching out from his usual reportage on extreme sportsmen (Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, etc.), and writing about extreme Mormon fundamentalists instead. It sounded like an interesting topic to me, but Krakauer's such an evocative writer, I'd read just about anything by him.
  7. Andrew

    Thank You

    The touching final scene between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday in Tombstone
  8. I'm glad to see a music section open up here. I've been very eager to open up a discussion on Bruce Cockburn, among others. (Hopefully, this wasn't done to death on the music-only forum in its earlier incarnation). FWIW, I've been very impressed with his newest, "You've Never Seen Everything." Listening to it again today, I was struck by the natural progression of the songs, from 'Tried and Tested' and the upbeat 'Open,' into a darker middle section, then closing with the hope of 'Messenger Wind' and the admonishment, 'Don't Forget About Delight.' There also seems to be a maturing of his social commentary: whereas in his earlier 'Call It Democracy,' he was speaking of rage as a 'necessity,' he now sees that the pain of Cambodia, among other places, is too big for rage or any other finite human emotion, leading to a humble prayer to God. Lastly, I love his experimentation with a variety of musical forms and sounds, whether it's the hiphop of the opening track, the jazzy sound of 'Trickle Down,' Asian instrumentation, dissonant modern classical sounds, or even African frogs. BC has definitely challenged my perspective on social justice, since I happened across his greatest hits collection at a local Barnes and Noble about a year ago. So, anyway, I'd love to hear other folks' impressions of his latest release.
  9. Andrew

    The Hulk

    SPOILERS Your points are well-taken, Anders. Never having been a fan of the original comics, the divergence from Lee and Kirby's original intent naturally went completely unnoticed by me. I can understand how this would leave you disappointed, though -- I had the same sense of letdown with The Two Towers last December, when I was expecting it to be truer to Tolkien's storyline. I do agree with you about the ending -- I felt pretty disengaged from the final father/son battle, and found this to be the movie's weakest section. Thematically, there is some logical consistency, though: a sort of Oedipal complex was being enacted throughout the film, so it is fitting that son would destroy father at film's end.
  10. Andrew

    The Hulk

    I guess this is a continuation of a discussion from our former forum. I finally saw HULK this afternoon, and I loved it! I thought it had so much more substance than any of the recent action hero/comic book movies that I've seen (though I must admit that I haven't yet seen X2). Here's why -- with the obligatory SPOILER ALERT: 1) the ideas being tossed around: is it just me, or was Ang Lee trying to say something about what happens when man throws off the moral supports and guides put in place by God? I noticed that both of Nolte's big speeches/rants spoke of going beyond divine boundaries, and I doubt it's coincidence that the villainous company trying to harness Banner's power was named 'Atheon.' Also, in the relations between Banner father and son, and Ross father and daughter, it seemed there was an interesting parallel dynamic in place. In both families, the parent was a toxic influence, trying to poison or destroy whatever good intentions were in place. I guess this struck me, as a parent of 3 little ones, trying to avoid the temptation of vicarious accomplishment through them. Then, of course, there's the whole metaphor of the Banner/Hulk transformation, of what lies beneath our placid skin and how temporarily gratifying it can feel to express destructive emotion. 2) the visual aspect: I found this to be captivating throughout, credits included. The split-screen sequences, the gradual pullback from the reptilian eye, the how-did-they-do-that destruction sequence in downtown San Francisco, etc. etc. Anyway, all of this impressed me so much more than what I'd experienced with Spiderman or the original X-Men film.
  11. Yeah, the review I read of Masked and Anonymous was utterly disparaging. I've had a busy weekend of movie viewing, with a few trailers sparking my interest: - Hidalgo looked like it could be an entertaining action flick, starring Aragorn himself, Viggo Mortenson. - Kevin Costner is taking another turn at the turn-of-the-century Western hero - I forget the film's name. - A trailer on the Fast Runner DVD was practically the only positive thing to come out of that rental. The movie's entitled Lagaan, apparently a musical about an Indian/British cricket match. I read some online reviews which were quite favorable -- anyone seen it?
  12. Mcyoung: No, I'm not familiar with Regent College (except from the ads in Christianity Today). Why do you ask?
  13. Mcyoung, have you read either McLaren's A New Kind of Christian or Grenz's Primer on Postmodernism? Given your interest in the intersection of modernism and fundamentalism, you might find them worthwhile.
  14. Andrew

    28 Days Later

    Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention or ask about: where are the allusions to Blade Runner in this film? Sure, there are similar themes (what it means to be human, etc.), but I didn't see anything more direct than that.
  15. Andrew

    28 Days Later

    SOME SPOILERS AHEAD A few thoughts, after seeing the film yesterday, and reading the board's comments this morning: - I thought the characters were terrific and empathically-drawn. I briefly gained hope that the cinema-going public has not completely coarsened, when I heard a sympathetic groan go 'round the theater after the dad was infected by the falling droplet of blood. - On the other hand, it didn't make me think too hard about SARS, Ebola, and company. Rather, I appreciated Boyle's use of disease as metaphor for sin (whether he intended it this way or not) - after the disease enters the human race, all who are infected become murderers. In this regard, I thought the opening shot of the monkey hooked up to the half-dozen TV monitors was particularly effective in showing the rapidly tainting power of our sin-sick world. - Boyle is also dynamite with details -- the sense of visual abandon and forsakenness was quite convincing. The music was very effective, too -- I appreciated the use of "In paradisum" from Faure's Requiem, as the protagonists were seeking refuge from the killing.
  16. Andrew

    Hepburn dies at 96

    Here in Connecticut, Katherine Hepburn has been a favorite daughter of the state for years. A former co-worker of mine lived in the same town as her (Old Saybrook), and said Ms. Hepburn was always very friendly and ready with a greeting if you happened to bump into her at the grocery store. The townspeople clearly took to her, zealously guarding her privacy from any nosy tourists. Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Hepburn...there was just a different level of classiness to actors back then...
  17. Yeah, the title of the film is rather odd, incorporating the titles of books 1 and 10. As the saga generally follows the chronology of the Napoleonic Era, and the characters and their relationships notably develop over time, it certainly is better to read them in order if possible, though the narratives of each book generally do stand alone pretty well.
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