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Everything posted by utzworld

  1. Very late...but I had to respond. Don't know what the intentions of Britney's heart were...but I will most definitely speak up for this church. I went to the aforementioned Faithful Central Bible Church from 1995 through 2001. The pastor, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, has a unique gift of communicating God's Word in a way that will truly bring one face to face with God. Truth be told, quite a few celebrities have come to Faithful Central's services and have been touched by Bishop Ulmer's messages. While most pastors would be prone to either cowtow their messages to please the celebrities or retreat into to full blown attack mode, Bishop Ulmer stays his course and boldy declares the Word of God.
  2. utzworld

    Kayne West

    I have Kanye West's album and love it. It's the only 2004 album getting coverage in my CD player. In this age of bling-blling and gittin' crunk, it's refreshing to see a rapper with SOMETHING TO SAY! I struggled with buying the full album because of the "Explicit Lyrics" sticker. I'm glad that I bought it uncut and uncensored. What he said on the album, and even HOW he said it, is truth. Whether he's celebrating our ability to overcome despite the obstacles which surround us in "We Don't Care What People Say", or painting a gritty portrait of our own self-hatred in "All Falls Down", or making a mockery of goldigging sista girls in "Workout Plan", or recounting his own near-fatal accident in "Through The Wire", he has demonstrated the courage to say what most folks are his age are scared to say. Even with the f-bombs and other bad words, he still gets his points across with inteligence and dignity. Regarding Lauryn Hill, her MTV Unplugged performance was my theme album of 2002. We hear Christian artists saying all the time "If my album can touch just one person and change their life, then I've done what God called me to do." Consider me that one person. Even the guitar mistakes didn't bother me. I know for a fact that God used that album to get me through the year 2002...a very very hard year for me. As for her attitude at the time, I attribute it to freshly renewed Christianity. Almost all of us after first coming to Christ pretty much renounced everything in our "worldly" lives. We threw away CD's, ended friendships, and began to become very serious and focused in and on our lives in Christ. Hopefully, when she grows and matures in Christ, her views will balance out a bit more and she'll return to her "Miseducation" audience with more magnificent mixtures "where Hip-Hop meets Scripture".
  3. Oh goody...holy rollers! We must be a foolish lot, us Christian film critics. How dare we ENGAGE the world when we should be CONDEMNING it! Next thing you know, some pastor's gonna start seeing Satanic symbols in Happy Meals! :-->
  4. Okay...that was a bit strong. Let me "flesh it out" as you say. Whenever anyone talks about "The Exorcist", Satan gets all the coverage and publicity. All they see is the devil. To me, the film presented Satan as the ultimate in terror and ultimately presented God/Jesus as powerless. Let's look at the (original) ending: Father Merrin dies and Father Karras angrily invites the demons to enter him and then he jumps...not falls...out of a window to his death. IMHO, that's not exactly presenting the Lord as victorious over the power of Satan. Yeah, it's a Hollywood film that must have it's share of thrills and chills. But I still wish that the writer/filmmakers had spent time showing the SPIRITUAL preparation of both Father Merrin and Father Karras. As Christ said, "cases like these require prayer and fasting"...but, then again, that's boring! More pea soup!!! So the demon comes out of the little girl...but he pretty much takes two more with him. As I said before, that doesn't exactly present The Almighty as having the power to save. This may not make audiences "loathe God", but I don't see how, after all the head spinning, pea soup hurling, and the notorious "crucifix as a sex toy" scene, it can draw anyone closer to Him, either. But...then again...that's MHO!
  5. I like your discussion questions...especially the one referencing The Screwtape Letters. Particularly the point where demons are said to desire that we obsessively think about them. A few ministries that I know come to mind... I saw the original movie and the Special Edition (w/the spider crawl on the stairs). IMHO, those films did nothing but cause a nation to fear Satan and loathe God. I still can't get over the fact that in preparation for spiritual warfare, we see Father Karras having a drink at a bar! So much for consecrating yourself...
  6. I think that the "missionary opportunity" aspect of film all depends on the film. There are missionary opportunities galore when discussing Shawshank Redemption, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love, and, of course, The Passion Of The Christ. However...folks trying to find missionary opportunities from Alien vs. Predator, Without A Paddle, and Dodgeball are reaching a bit too far down the rabbit hole. That's the paradox I face at Hollywood Jesus when reviewing the crappy movies: how to call a movie crap without sounding like Ted Baher...
  7. sh__? Ugh. Did I miss something? What's wrong with the article?
  8. Wow...you're going into pretty heavy. You must have a ripe community full of intellectual believers that can handle the stuff you're gonna show. As for me...I'm starting off with Bruce Almighty. Perfect film that will juxtapose the God of our fears against the God of our hearts. Makes sense to get the ball rolling by establishing who God is in the minds of the people... ...and not the Biblical/Churchy answer. (HE IS ALPHA AND OMEGA, JEHOVAH, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, etc. ) I'm talking about the God we have to pray to when we're behind on rent, we lose or job, or, in the context of this movie, when people we can't stand receive the big promotion that we were also up for. In the words of Bill Withers, "Who Is HE and What Is HE To You?"
  9. Trust me...it'll be a heckuva lot easier playing Shawshank, Green Mile, and Bruce Almighty for that matter on church grounds with a DVD player w/a built in auto-bleep function. Otherwise, I'll have to hold ministry meetings at my small and cramped one-bedroom apartment. Don't get me wrong...I wish all saints were brave like us and could look past the profanity/violence/sexuality in film to see the spiritual and Biblical connections in the story. But many of them are not that brave. We led a small group based on "The Passion" at the church we just left. Every week we had the same argument. No matter how many examples of films with spiritual/faith/Biblical connections that my wife and I gave some of the members, they couldn't get past the content. Funny...the small group pastor who was going to give us the go-ahead made us promise we wouldn't show Pulp Fiction to the group. In the end, after much time in prayer, God gave the last word(s): 1 Corinthians 8: 9-13 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. 10: 32-33 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God... Of course, in this context, the issue is film. So I can interpret those verses to say that: If showing films uncut and uncensored will cause any of my weaker brothers and sisters in the Lord to stumble, it's best that I used that auto-bleep function on the DVD player.
  10. Saved? Anti-Christian? Umm...no. IMHO, it is anti-Christian people...at least a certain segment of the Christian population. For my more elaborate opinion, click on this
  11. Saw Psycho for the first time in a theatre in West LA back in 1999. Off the chain! Saw Vertigo in it's mid 1990's 70MM restored print in Westwood. Glad I went. I've only seen 4 Hitchcock flicks from start to finish...here are my favorites of the 4: 1. Psycho 2. North By Northwest (some movies just remind you why you love movies. This is one of them!) 3. The Birds (every year the local TV station in St. Louis -- where I grew up-- would show this on a Sunday afternoon with no commercial interruptions. I stayed glued to the screen. To this day, my heart skips a beat whenever I see a bunch of them sitting around in a pack!) 4. Vertigo
  12. utzworld


    While Alien scared the pee-pee outta me, Aliens was a heckuva lot more fun thanks to the firepower, more aliens...especially the Queen, the inclusion of Newt (what the heck was Fincher thinking in Alien3???), and, of course, Bill Paxton as Hudson.
  13. THIS MOVIE ROCKS!!! Perfect 80's throwback! Many of Napoleon's lines will be oft-quoted like Animal House in the next few years. Watch! Anybody else noticing that this is climbing INTO the top 10 2 months after it's release while every other movie is sliding out? Skills! P.S. Like, I took too friggin long to write a review of this for Hollywood Jesus. But it's like coming soon! Gosh! Update...Here it is...better late than never!
  14. Good Will Hunting: the "It's Not Your Fault" dialogue at the end. It's significant to me because, in this case, the character is reconciling with himself!
  15. You don't have to see the movie chopped up. The DVD software has an auto-bleep function on it.
  16. You know Alan...if you plunked down the $75 bucks at Wal-Mart (aka Satan's Shopping Mall ) you could get a ClearPlay DVD that'll filter out all the bad words. That'll give you the option of showing more movies...perhaps.
  17. So far, in terms of Spiritual Issues, two stand out: 1. Saved: dunno if anyone's snuck a peek at my review of Saved at Hollywood Jesus, but I had a heckuva lot to say. This flick struck a major nerve in the house of utzworld. Could have been better, but I liked what I saw. 2. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: God spoke volumes to my heart about this one. Right now, it's my #1 Spiritual Issues movie of the year.
  18. I didn't have that many issues with the article. I was just glad to see my boss (David Bruce) get quoted. That was cool. I'm glad to see more pastors utilizing this gift of using film clips to illustrate Biblical themes. Heck...it's the 21st century. Ya can't conquer the evil one using 20th century warfare!
  19. My Two Cents on "Movieguide" and others like it. That should cover it... Seriously, folks... In my introduction to "Arts and Faith", I stated that I've noticed spiritual and Biblical principles in films since I became a Christian in 1994. The first website I went to to share this gift is Christian Spolight on Entertainment. As I shared what I believed God was showing me in my heart regarding the films I saw, all I got was condemnation, judgement and ridicule. I received a whole lot of angry responses to my posts on that site. One guy tried to revoke my Christianity from me because I had a favorable response to John Woo's 'Face/Off". Christian Spotlight, Movieguide, and the others are nothing but sin hunters. They feel it's their job to point out sin in films. You can almost taste the glee and delight as they count the number of "f-bombs, s***'s, G-D's", and other curse words. This insults me. Their stance just shows me that they really don't know Christ as well as they claim. What Ted Baher and others in the FIRE & BRIMSTONE category do not realize is that they've caused us to be afraid of God. They present our Father as a tyrannical ogre sitting on the hills of heaven ready to strike us down at a moment's notice if we do wrong. John 3:16 is forsaken, and what my old pastor calls "Arrive Theology" has taken it's place. "Arrive Theology" is the notion that Christians are superior to everyone else because we're Christian and they're not. Why do you think most of us have been trained to refer to non-Christians as "sinners"? So how can God show His love to folks who have been trained to fear Him? By revealing His true love and character in other forms...like movies. I have a lot more to say about all of this, but I'll refrain for the moment...
  20. utzworld

    Kill Bill DVDs

    The 1 & 2 Director's Cut, according to QT, is supposed to hit theatres first, then onto DVD. I already own 1 & 2 but I'll probably won't sell them when the DC comes out.
  21. utzworld


    Hey...I didn't mean anything mean by that at all.
  22. Hollywood Jesus -- "She Hate Me" review Don't know if anyone else has bothered to see this yet, but I did and reviewed it at Hollywood Jesus a couple of weeks ago. I posed a couple of major questions to the HJ team and I feel comfortable enough to pose those same questions here: Question #1. What's your take on the depiction of African-American negative sexual stereotypes in entertainment? Do those stereotypes reinforce any of your personal beliefs. Question #2. Do you believe that sexuality is a gift from God or a curse from Satan. Has there been any films you've seen that have promoted sexuality as a gift from God that we need not be ashamed of?
  23. utzworld


    If anybody cares, my review is up at Hollywood Jesus. Hollywood Jesus
  24. utzworld

    Open Water

    FYI... My review of "Open Water" is now available at Hollywood Jesus (www.hollywoodjesus.com)
  25. Hello. I'm new around here. I (like fellow member Darrel Manson) am part of the Hollywood Jesus team. Look forward to chatting with you all. Now...movies that made me cry like a big wuss. Good Will Hunting: Not only "It's not your fault", but the scene when Skylar asks Will to move to California with her and he explodes and eventually breaks up with her. At the time, my girlfriend and I had the exact same fight days before I saw that film. Needless to say, it hit home. The Passion Of The Christ: The whole thing made me a mess. Here are the siginificant boo-hoo moments: 1. When Jesus said "My heart is ready, Father" and the centurions picked up the reeds, the waterfall began to pour out of my eyes. 2. Simon of Cyrene helping Him carry the Cross. 3. Mary's flashback to Him as a child when He dropped the Cross in front of her. 4. The nails. The Green Mile: John Coffey last wish and the look in his eyes as Fred and Ginger danced cheek to cheek. I was gone. The Bridges Of Madison County: Their first kiss in the kitchen Malcolm X: When he was gunned down before his children's very eyes. LOTR - The Two Towers: Samwise's "The great stories" speech. I didn't cry the first 3 times I saw it...but the 4th time-sitting in the Cinerama Dome theatre in Hollywood watching the extended edition on THAT SCREEN (!) 5 days before I saw "Return Of The King"-Sam's speech hit me like a ton of bricks. LOTR - Return Of The King: Aragorn & Arwen reunited during his coronation...and seconds later -- "My friends, you bow to no one!" That's enough for the moment...I'm losing myself right now!
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