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    The top ten most important things you should know about me:<br /><br /> 1. I became a Christian when I was 16 years old.<br /> 2. I have been married to a wonderful woman (Christina) for 10 years.<br /> 3. I now have 3 children:<br /> * Carey-- named after William Carey, first English speaking missionary to India.<br /> * Wesley-- named after John Wesley, English pastor/theologian who started Methodism<br /> * Calvin-- named after John Calvin, Swiss theologian.<br /> 4. I had another daughter, Marty (named after Martha, friend of Jesus), who passed away when she was 6 months old.<br /> 5. I am an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)<br /> 6. I design software for Silicon Valley-based company VERITAS Software<br /> 7. I am an Adjunt Professor teaching Religion and Philosophy classes at NC Wesleyan College's RTP campus.<br /> 8. I am an independent filmmaker with my own film company, Quickening Productions, LLC. My first "official" short has begun screening this Fall.<br /> 9. I love theology, philosophy, history, Latin, computers, education, chess and film.<br /> 10. You'll just have to wait on #10 :)

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    Software designer; religion professor; filmmaker
  • Favorite movies
    Amadeus; Blade Runner; Empire Strikes Back; The Godfather; LOTR;
  • Favorite music
    Classical music
  • Favorite creative writing
    Tolkien; Lewis; Calvin;
  • Favorite visual art
    I must confess I'm not an expert when it comes to the plastic arts. I tend to like landscapes, such as by Bierstadt and Cole.

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  1. I just took my family to see it, mostly because I was taking the day off for Thanksgiving. It was fun and the cinematography was impressive. I've included a brief review on my new blog. Ron I saw the contradiction in messages as well: Essentially the two messages it was trying to convey were typical Hollywood: 1. We need to learn to love ourselves for who we are; 2. Humans are the greatest threat to the planet earth. I find it rather ironic to combine both those thoughts. So which should we work on first? Should we humans just learn to accept ourselves despite our greed and destructiveness? Or should we acknowledge that there might actually be certain aspects of ourselves that we need to change if we're going to survive. Peter, there was definitely a strong sense that the "bad guys" were the "evil religious authorities" who were intent on persecuting anyone who stepped out of line (especially if that step had a catchy beat!) It reminded me mostly of the John Lithgow character in Footloose or the weirdo religious nut in Edward Scissorhands. I just chalk it up to the the screenwriters using cliched stereotypes as a sort of shorthand: "You know, kids, these are the old religious fogies who just can't tolerate anything out of the ordinary." Maybe what should disturb me is that they didn't feel the need to dwell on this aspect, but just accepted that most of the audience would be tracking along with them. 8O
  2. Agreed! I wouldn't know where to start!
  3. I actually wrote a paper on Blade Runner for my undergraduate film class. I wrote on the motif of eyes. The film begins by cutting back and forth between a single shot of an eye and the cityscape. It ends with Rutger Hauer's "I have seen things you wouldn't believe" speech. (Reminiscient of his earlier "if you could see the things I've seen with your eyes" line.) The whole theme of empathy is about getting people to see through someone else's eyes (perspective). Rachel "remembers" seeing a seen of a spider eating her young by actually borrowing the experience from Tyrell's neice. And of course, the way Roy kills Tyrell is by gouging out his eyes. There's a lot there....
  4. I'm sorry if this is OT, but I'm shocked they've never made a Half-life movie. It has a lot of potential. I always pictured Ed Norton playing Gordon Freeman.
  5. You should simply rejoice that you are free to post without fear!
  6. First, in the spirit of full disclosure, Blade Runner is and has always been one of my favorite movies of all time. Every time I return to it, I find something new to chew on. I'll try to reply to several discussions on this thread. Regarding high concept/low concept: Pure science fiction (as opposed to Space Opera ala Star Wars) is extremely difficult to do because it is primarily about ideas. Abstract ideas are difficult to film. I imagine this is why some of the best "pure" science fiction films 2001, Blade Runner, etc. are also not real crowd pleasers and at times can be downright boring. Regarding the setting and PKD's book: I always thought the film's setting was closer to that of Phillip K. Dick's book The Unteleported Man, which was a large overcrowded city. (It might have even been Los Angeles in the book --- its been awhile since I read it.) Regarding Christian symbolism: 1. You cannot get a more graphic picture of humanity and the Fall than the scene in which Roy meets his creator (Tyrell even refers to him as the returning "prodigal son"). The ultimate outcome of that encounter is that Roy kills him. When we humans were able to meet our Creator face-to-face, we ultimately killed Him as well. 2. The final scene has already been well discussed on this thread. You have Roy redeeming himself by "turning the other cheek" and saving the life of his enemy -- complete with a nail-pierced hand! He dies peacefully, releasing a dove, which flies into the film's only clear view of the sky (heaven). Some may find the imagery contrived. However, at that moment Roy is demonstrating more humanity than Decker ever has. Who better to picture Roy as than the perfect human, Christ? 3. I like the fact that the "hero" of the film is constantly needing to be rescued. Decker clearly demonstrates how frail and fragile humanity is and our own need to be saved from our misery. It reminds me of Frodo Baggins, who is a most unlikely hero as demonstrated by his constant need of rescuing. Regarding the ties to Frankenstein: Clearly there are a lot of overlaps in themes (many of them spiritual) between Blade Runner and the original novel Frankenstein: what makes a person human; humanity vs. technology; the hubris of humanity. What's interesting is that I believe Shelley is borrowing heavily from the old Jewish myth of the Golem (i.e. a created being that is magically brought to life but eventually turns on its creator). In summary, I believe that Decker's quest to hunt down these "quasi-humans" really becomes an existential awakening to his own humanity. That sounds pretty spiritual to me.
  7. I sincerely thank you for the encouragement. I was posting fairly regularly before but just got busy with other things. Being a son of Adam, I suffer from a sick form of pride that stays my hand from posting unless I'm convinced I have enough time to compose a decent post. I hereby repent and will endeavor to post more frequently as would be in keeping with the fruits of repentance.
  8. Essentially I have always viewed RDogs like all of QT's films, as a postmodern morality play. It is no accident that the film begins with a debate over whether it is right or wrong to tip a waitress --- a debate carried on by professional criminals as they get ready to pull off a major robbery. [Just as he does in Pulp Fiction when he has two hitmen discussing whether it is right or wrong to massage a married woman's feet, on their way to a hit.] As the film continues we see an ever-shifting morality that is determined by the individual's own perception of the situation rather than an absolute law of right and wrong. I love the fact that the criminals themselves have no idea who to trust or believe. They are incapable of knowing the full story. But we the audience are privileged to know the full story. Thus we are able to judge the events from a much wiser vantage point.
  9. Yes! Talk about a character who stamped out all hope of redemption for himself and others. He personifies the most evil aspects of Nazism and Anti-semitism. And yet there are amazingly human touches that prevent him from becoming so demonized we can't identify with him. In particular I'm thinking of his interview for a maid in which he refuses to get too close to a Jew because he's concerned that she might catch his cold. Chillingly effective!
  10. If we're talking about evil characters in literature, I would have to include Iago from Othello . There's no struggling like Angelo from Measure for Measure . There's no explanation given. He's just evil through and through.
  11. Two immediately come to mind: Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter The Highlander: The Kurgan
  12. Oh, but he has! Occasionally, but he has. And sometimes, spectacularly. ← Jeffrey, it's funny that you would mention Ebert's FOTR review. It is one of only two times I ever wrote to Ebert about one of his reviews. [For the record, he never responded to that one -- but he did respond to my email about his Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie review.]
  13. Yeah, The Horse and His Boy will be a thorny one given the current climate. Recently with the LOTR movies, the old debate about whether Tolkien was being racist cropped up. In the case of Narnia, it is even more obvious. Lewis very clearly intended the Calormenes to be Muslims. As I read the description of Calormene architecture, especially in TH&HB, it is very obviously Arabian/Persian. Even the description of the political system of the Tisroc sounds a lot like certain Muslim nations. That having been said, I hope they do TH&HB. It is definitely one of my favorite books in the series.
  14. In case you haven't seen, an article in World on Walden Media's involvement of TLTW&TW. It also talks a bit about the marketing strategy: http://www.worldmag.com/displayarticle.cfm?id=10307
  15. The one called "Death and the 19th Century" sounds fascinating. However, this is coming from someone who's favorite undergraduate class at Duke was a seminar called "Death and Dying".
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