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  1. We just got ours from amazon.com the other day. I haven't gotten to start it yet, because my wife got to it first. So I had to start "Through a Screen Darkly" instead...my wife and I found ourselves eating supper and reading Jeffrey Overstreet books together. I've only made it through the intro and the first few pages of ch. 1 so far, but I'm very pleased with what I've read. Our experiences sounds very similar in that I grew up with a conservative understanding of the arts, and I've had to grow out of that. You've done a great job expressing that so far, and now I've got a book I can point other people to. I'm looking forward to the rest of it! And I'm looking forward to AC as soon as my wife finishes it...
  2. I've been too busy (same things that keep me consistently away )to get back here and respond, but, FWIW, I'm much more cautious in my enthusiasm than I was immediately after finishing the last book. I still think it's a carefully crafted and very fun story, and I'm sure we'll read them to our children (someday, when we have them), but I no longer think the series is . Still, a "rollicking good tale", as they say. That seems a bit harsh; I think there's more than just pretty lights (this is a very carefully crafted story, even if you don't like all the inclusions and exclusions), but even if there weren't something more, pretty lights are, after all, pretty, and that's worth something.
  3. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! It's been a long time since I've had this kind of interaction. are *not* uniquely or originally a Christian idea. Please read Lewis on this. The mere fact that the story uses these archetypical mythic elements may help us, as Christians, to identify with the story and to use the story to explain the Christian gospel as the "true myth", but it does not make the story itself Christian in nature or bespeak anything about Rowling's convictions, per se. Of course they're not unique or original to Christianity; I wasn't saying that every depiction of is Christian, or that the mere fact that this story has those elements makes it Christian. I was saying that I think Rowling intends the association in this case to be to Christianity, and not to the general body of all myths. Yes, in part my confidence in assessing JKR's intentions here comes from that much-ballyhooed interview that gets discussed over at hogwartsprofessor.com. There's plenty of room to argue about whether or not she was successful, but what she intended seems clear to me, and I have no problem reading it that way. (Perhaps I'm simply too ignorant of the other myths.) , but they're hardly Christian. It is the universality of these elements and not a specific instance of them that points to Christ. This is a great point, though I've never doubted that can be in a story that we wouldn't call Christian. Of course she knew where it came from. I'm not looking for Harry's hope to be in Jesus. Neither was Lucy's, or Peter's, or Susan's, and yet we're satisfied that Lewis' work is Christian. in this book. Yes, that is curious. I'm inclined not to be too worried about it, though. Does Lewis ever mention the church or Jesus in the CoN? Why is this a detriment here? Yeah, I missed that, too. I'll watch for it when I re-read. Yeah, like Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. Is it bad to write a story that illustrates, allegorizes, enlarges, challenges, or generally inspires our understanding of Christianity without explicitly involving Christianity in the story? Why? I don't think "trite" captures it; I don't recall that word ever being used in the series until then, and certainly not by her. Is it over-used in general? Does it make you think of Aliens? Yes. So in that sense, trite may not be an unfair accusation. But did I like it? You bet. As others have pointed out, the so the particular vulgarity in question was apropos. Plus, it signals that we're seeing a drastically different side of Molly. The side was hidden from us until then. Perhaps. OTOH, that's definitely not a rarely-discussed topic among 17-year-olds. Was the lack of it in the first books a pitch to pre-teen consumers? Clumsy is up for grabs; I didn't find it so, but I could perhaps be convinced. But timid? I took her to be aiming for more subtlety than Lewis, but I wouldn't have chosen the label "timid". I also doubt that she simply wished to "ground some elements" in Christian archetypes or Bible passages. I think she set out to write an allegory with more subtlety (and yes, vagueness) than Lewis' CoN.
  4. I caught myself just a few minutes ago wondering where I could get some good discussion of the last HP installment...and where should I end up but here, of course? Actually, I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion since Saturday. *shrug* Hang on a minute...gotta figure out the spoiler tags thing...oh, man. It doesn't work for lists. Hmm. OK, so the list will be manual. Next to a list like that (and I'm sure I'm skimming the surface here) the Christian complaints against HP (as I remember them) are so pale and weak. For example, I remember some folks making much of a careful distinction between magic and non-magic worlds in Tolkien and Lewis, and arguing that this distinction is absent in HP -- hogwash. (Er, was that you, SDG? Don't remember for sure...) In Tolkien the wizard could show up on your doorstep any day, or if you travel far enough you could find magic people or powerful magical objects. In Lewis, any closet might be a doorway to the magic land. (How many people have played Narnia in their closets?) In Rowling, you just can't do magic unless you've been born with the gift, so it's not something you can go learn from a book just because you want to. I'm not saying there's nothing to discuss here (and perhaps I'm missing important details), but I don't think this is a distinction that holds up well or that is particularly important. Children should be taught about fantasy v. real life no matter what they're reading (or having read to them), and (it's easy for me to say this -- no kids...) it's a parent's job to do that teaching, not to turn kids loose on any literature without parental interaction. The Abanes-style complaints about Harry breaking rules seem so petty (but worth discussion with young readers, of course...in light of John Granger's discussion of Harry's true and worthy moral compass), and the intial Christian fear/skepticism toward a story about "witches" and "wizards" seems to lose all foundation in light of the true nature of the series, as revealed in the last book.
  5. This is SO COOL, Jeffrey. If my wife hasn't already ordered it, I will. I'm looking forward to it.
  6. So what made you change your mind about Barry Lyndon? I remember commenting years ago (in '02, probably) on how it was probably my favorite Kubrick film and you said you thought it was nothing special -- boring, apparently. I haven't revisited it yet, but I'm curious about your change-of-mind.
  7. This is only just barely related to this topic, but I had to fit it somewhere... Be thou ware! Little Mermaid Spoilers! Is it just me, or did Disney first release a version of The Little Mermaid in which Ariel dies at the end (as in the original story) before they released the version with the happy ending? I distinctly remember our neighbors having both versions on VHS back around the time the film was released, and I remember conversations about how Disney was just making more money by releasing an uncharacteristically sad film and following it quickly by the same film with a tacked-on happy ending. But now I can't find a single reference to this on the IMDB or by searching Google. Did I make this all up? Am I insane? I was only 10 years old at the time, and quite oblivious to the world. Anyone is welcome to answer, but I'm guessing Peter is particularly well-qualified...
  8. : But, Mandy also says she really enjoys cussing
  9. moquist


    : How much of Aliens greatness is based on the original version and how much on the : special edition? Ah - good thing to note. I've never seen the non-special Aliens.
  10. moquist


    : The original film has a fair bit of style, but it's ultimately just another one of those : a-monster-picks-people-off-one-by-one-as-they-leave-the-group-for-no-particular-good-reason-other-than-to-make-themselves-vulnerable : flicks. This is the perfect opportunity for me to ask: how many films did this *before* Alien? Halloween was released in '78, but are there any other significant films where this happens? Or perhaps I'm just showing my ignorance, and this was already a well-established plot element in scores of [b?] films since the 50's. I showed both Alien and Aliens to a friend almost a year ago; he had previously seen neither. He was sorely disappointed in both. He said he liked the first half of the first film, and that was all. Once we saw the alien for the very first time in the first film, he identified the formula and considered the rest of the film entirely predictable, including the very last scene, which was certainly effective for *me* when I saw it the first time. The second one just bored him all the way through; he practically said it was torture. I didn't know what to say to him other than that these plot elements, which are so common and clich
  11. I'm not trying to derail the thread, but is Biloxi Blues worth watching? I bought a handful of LDs on Ebay once that had that in it, and I've been unable to sell it. The reviews I found were far from complimentary. So should I watch it after all?
  12. : That whole sequence was so bad for so many other reasons that I didn't even begin to concern myself with the morality of Neo and Trinity having sex...
  13. FWIW, I don't think I cried at all during Dancer in the Dark, I just felt like my guts had been replaced with lead.
  14. : Exhibit A: "wet dream" discovery of web-shooters in first film I forgot - this wasn't actually in the film, it was only in an early version of the script. So scratch this one, and I now consider this whole thing a rather deep subtext, instead of a fairly obvious thing the filmmakers were saying. (I just re-watched the first half of the first SM tonight. Then the disc crapped out on me...)
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