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The Invisible Man

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  1. Well said. This is not Christianity. Bell is preaching a false gospel and will lead his flock straight into hell.
  2. My five favourites: 1. Curse of the Werewolf 2. Dracula (aka Horror of Dracula) 3. Quatermass and the Pit 4. Plague of the Zombies 5. Kiss of the Vampire
  3. I used to be a big Argento fan, but he hasn't made anything decent since "Opera" (aka "Terror at the Opera") and that was over twenty years ago! I have been pondering whether or not to add "Mother of Tears" to my rental list for old time's sake, but the reviews have been so dreadful. These days it seems only Juno is a fan... Note to J.R: "Inferno" (the second film in the Three Mothers trilogy) is Argento's masterpiece. The dialogue is terrible, the acting is patchy and the plot is nuts, but there really isn't anything else like it. It's that rare bird: an arthouse horror movie. Expect to be either bored or dazzled.
  4. A good question. It's not something that I have ever considered. Is it idolatrous to picture God in our mind as the lion Aslan? Hmmm... I'm thinking that it must be, but I seriously need to sleep on it.
  5. I would argue that the second commandment is a warning against both pagan practises of animal worship and animal representations of God (so, for example, it is forbidden to depict Christ symbolically as something like a fish or a lamb). We have learned a lot since then, particularly how images were used in the early church. WE have examples as far back as the 2nd century. I was fortunate to get to see an exhibit of Christian art from exactly this time period that Calvin denies exist last spring in Forth Worth. Truly amazing works of art! There is an excellent catalog from the exhibit. The whole idea of a purer church that did not use images doesn't hold water. I don't have the sufficient time or smarts to ascertain if Calvin is right or wrong about the early church. I find the second commandment to be clear regardless. Because it is impossible for a true Christian to think about God without worshipping him in his heart, it is always sinful to depict God in a painting or a film, etc. That way lies idolatry.
  6. No, I'm not a red-letter Christian, but I do believe that the Bible is far more than the work of mere men. I believe it to be a supernaturally received text, that the men who wrote it were carried along by the Holy Spirit. I also believe that the more one studies the Bible, the more the Holy Spirit opens one's heart to its truth. We are supernaturally persuaded as we read. Calvin calls this phenomenon "the self-authentication of Scripture". This is why every Christian needs to read their Bible daily.
  7. I naturally regard the word as paramount and sacred. Christ didn't leave us his fleshly body, he left us his words, and the only authentic gospel is one spread through those words. Images carry no such authority because they are the works of men. Images always debase Christ. To depict Jesus in a movie is to depict a false Christ and to present a false gospel. I realize, however, that you and I can never agree on this, so I won't labour the point further. In reply to Jim: I give no credence to relics.
  8. But Christ is ALWAYS fully God. We cannot split him in two and ignore his divine nature - that's precisely what movies do, and why watching them is sinful. But we don't know Christ's actual face. Scripture is silent on his physical appearance.
  9. I personally regard all depictions of Christ as sacrilege. I used to feel the same way that you do until I read Calvin on the subject. This quote from "The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture" by Thomas Vincent is also helpful:
  10. No, I wasn't goofing around, but I appreciate that I could have expressed myself better. I was trying to make the point that such a cartoon, by its very nature, would trivialize Christ's message and suffering. Yes, I feel the same way about all such movies. When I was a child, and long before I came to be a Christian, my grandmother had a picture of Christ above her bed. The image was rather striking and I am still haunted by the face in that picture today. I can even see the face in my mind's eye right now as I write this: the kindly smile, the penetrating blue eyes, the flowing brown beard... It comes to me unsummoned. But the man in that picture wasn't Jesus, and to dwell upon that face is idolatry (as the second commandment indicates). That picture has caused me harm, and it makes me wonder how many others have been harmed similarly by product like "The Passion of the Christ", "The Miracle Maker" and "Jesus of Nazareth"...
  11. Christ is the God-Man. He is not Astro-Boy. The second commandment is constantly swept under the rug in our entertainment-obsessed culture.
  12. Absolutely not. To watch such a film would be an insult to God.
  13. It's starting to look like the Masters of Cinema release is the one to choose.
  14. Douglas Groothuis, the author of "Truth Decay", is confused by the film and mentions Jeffrey's review on his blog.
  15. theoddone33 wrote: "All of these movies were popular, for different reasons. None of them were "terrible"... all very well made with varying levels of depth. In general, if a film wins best picture it's probably not a terrible film." Per-leaze! "Titanic" makes "Plan 9 From Outer Space" look like "Citizen Kane". theoddone33 wrote: "Jeffrey's review was very negative about the movie's philosophy, from my reading. Yet the artistic quality of the film is well worth 3 1/2 stars, regardless of whether you or I interpret the film to be talking about something we agree with. It's not being honest to imply that great art which happens to be anti-Christian or ignores Christianity is not great art... so I'm glad that CT was honest about the film and gave it a fairly high rating." If a film were to present the Holocaust as a positive thing for the world and had Citizen Kane-like artistry and production values, would it still be given a maximum rating? Is art beyond good and evil? Personally, I tend to reject films that present an anti-Christian worldview. Consequently, I find myself watching less and less these days and am frequently flabbergasted at some of the stuff that Christians embrace. A while ago I came across this piece by John Frame and I have found it to be helpful: John Frame theoddone33 wrote: "I think you're just being argumentative now. Sorry if that's not your intent, but it's how you're coming across to me. You realize the implausibility of this statement, I'm sure. Jeffrey's reading of the film clearly doesn't align directly with mine, but it's almost offensive to me that you'd imply that he doesn't know what he's talking about." I seldom read CT and was merely responding to the posts in this thread, so I didn't realize that Jeffrey wrote their review. I agree with you that my comment appears insulting, so I apologize to Jeffrey for that. To be clear: I do think that Jeffrey has a tendency to overstate the case regarding the Christian content in secular movies (e.g. Indiana Jones), but I don't doubt his ability to read a film. For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to be overly argumentative. I was simply trying to counter your point that the lady seemed to require some sort of higher education in order to have a valid opinion. Personally, I think the lady could be more right about "No Country For Old Men" than most of the people on this board, so I am sympathetic to her anger if not her brusque and snarky tone. theoddone33 wrote: "I agree, a film can be masterfully made and still lack ethics. But most people don't give out star ratings based on ethics." I do (not that my opinion actually counts for anything). If a film appears anti-Christian to me, I mark it low accordingly - which is why Alan reprimanded me a while back for going nutzoid with my one star ratings and why I no longer rate films on this board.
  16. Thematically, "Last Tango in Paris" would qualify, but I can't see this film being of much practical help.
  17. 1. A Best Picture Oscar isn't a guarantee of anything. Think of genuine turkeys like "Titanic", "Million Dollar Baby", "Gladiator", "American Beauty" and "Braveheart". 2. If "No Country For Old Men" is a celebration of nihilism, as I contend (and I realize that many people on this board disagree with this assessment), then by implication it is anti-Christian, and this lady's anger would be justified. 3. Or perhaps she called the film right and CT's reviewer called it wrong? Perhaps it is the CT reviewer who needs to learn how to read a film? 4. A film can be masterfully made and still lack ethics. Moreover, the fact that we have been discussing "No Country For Old Men" for several pages now and can't even agree what the film is about is a clear reflection of its postmodern credentials. I personally think that the Coens like their films to be a little obscure so that critics think they are far deeper than they actually are. Ditto P. T. Anderson.
  18. For what it's worth, I used to spend all my freetime hanging out in chatrooms and punctuating sentences with !!! or ??? was the norm during arguments. I myself used to punctuate all my light-hearted comments on this board with "lol". It's easy to pick up bad habits from the internet.
  19. Perhaps this lady is simply very angry about finding a positive review of such an anti-Christian film in a Christian publication and can't express her anger very well? I am very uncomfortable with the condescending tone of some of the comments in this thread. How about some Christian charity? It's not like she even posted on this board in the first place. Is she aware that her letter has been posted here? Is she being given right of reply? Was the letter actually published by CT in the first place?
  20. Not really. I simply find "Quatermass and the Pit" (which I believe is retitled "Five Million Years to Earth" on the other side of the pond) to be extraordinary. It begins with the discovery of a martian spaceship in the underground system and ends with the devil appearing in the skies over London. Creepy stuff! If you are a Kneale fan, "The Stone Tape" is generally regarded as the thing to see. I haven't ever seen it myself, I hasten to add, but I have always wanted to. I finally caught up with "The Stone Tape" and found it to be up to the hype. It's low-key by today's standards, but very, very creepy. I need to now see kneale's "The Year of the Sex Olympics", which sounds like a portent of these postmodern times. From Wikipedia:
  21. More spoilers ahoy! I was recently thinking about something SDG wrote in his review of "The Seventh Seal". It was to the effect that Bergman unfairly stacks the deck in order to present faith and the church in the worst possible light. Well, that's kind of what I think the Coens are doing in "No Country For Old Men". They are shining their light on the power of chance and evil whilst hiding the power of God and good in shadow. They aren't beginning from a point of neutrality and throwing the balls into the air to see where they land, and they don't seem interested in warning us to wake up and fight back. Instead, they appear resigned to a godless world - Darwin's cold world where big fish eat little fish and the fittest always survive. For me, the question is always: does it matter if a popular film celebrates a godless universe? And my answer is that it matters if such a film is the norm and not the exception. Sadly, "No Country For Old Men" looks a lot like the norm in modern American cinema. Chigurh? The same Chigurh that chokes on a peanut in the middle of one of his arrogant speeches? I think he's absurd and even hilarious, like the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse in Raising Arizona. Sure, he kills a lot of people, but his swagger and self-absorption seem absurd to me. He clearly thinks he's cool, but are we supposed to think so? Yes, we are supposed to think so. He kills people with such elegance and aplomb. He has style ("Would you hold still please, sir?"). The telling scene, I think, is the one where he blows up the car and robs the chemist's shop. He doesn't bat an eyelid at the explosion and nonchalantly strolls down the aisle to steal the supplies he needs for his DIY surgery. My impulse at that moment is to clap and cheer Chigurh.
  22. MORE SPOILERS AHOY! But I tend to the view that "No Country For Old Men" is more than merely "other", but actually anti-Christian. The Coens seem to be making a case for chance and fate, and, to my way of thinking, if chance and fate are true then Christianity is false. At the end of the movie, evil wins. Chigurh walks off into the sunset to kill again after another quick repair job. More housewives will die. More college girls. Meanwhile, the good but godless cop loses his nerve, turns his back on the world, and retires into oblivion with his inscrutable dreams. Personally, I found the shark's first kill (the nude bather) to be the most ferocious and most memorable thing in "Jaws". Spielberg shoots it like a rape scene. I think everything that follows is small change (including the death of Quint and the death of Bruce the shark). I don't buy that at all. Chigurrh wins. Fate momentarily disrupts his plans, but it doesn't stop him. He will kill again. That despite all the evil in the world, and how unstoppable its advance can seem at times, there's a light up ahead in the darkness. I see no light in "No Country For Old Men". Fate rules. Evil wins. God is dead.
  23. Maybe that Chigurh isn't cool or fun to watch
  24. SPOILERS AHOY! Because I choose to reject films which reject the Christian worldview. What purpose do they serve? Are you kidding? By that logic, you'd have to tear out huge chunks of the Bible... I am unclear what you mean. The Bible, which I view as one consistent metanarrative (I read it as one book and not sixty-six) leads us in one clear direction: towards the redemptive work of Christ. "No Country For Old Men", by contrast, would seem to point us towards nothing more than a deep moral vacuum. Why would a Christian want to wallow in nihilism - which is, after all, the complete rejection of Christ - for ninety minutes? Do the Coens have anything meaningful to say about meaninglessness? If they do, I don't see it. This is not a deep film. It appears to be deep because it is well crafted, exciting, funny, ambiguous and literary, but it's ultimately just another popcorn movie - a cartoon about death. It's just the Coens doing their usual postmodern thing (albeit better than they have ever done it before). I haven't noticed a resurgence in the love of cannibalism either, but I have noticed that more and more people in our society are incapable of recognizing evil when they see it. This postmodern amorality is reflected and promulgated by movies like "No Country For Old Men". And I disagree with you about Bardem's character: I think he IS celebrated. He is hugely glamorous and great fun to watch (though he might have seemed less glamorous if the Coens had actually shown us what he did to Carla Jean). So what is there to learn from "No Country For Old Men"?
  25. Because I choose to reject films which reject the Christian worldview. What purpose do they serve? I would also suggest that "No Country For Old Men" doesn't merely describe nihilism, it positively celebrates it. Chigurh kills people at random and on a whim - humble housewives as well as macho gun-toting men - but he is the coolest character in the film (in the same way that Hannibal Lecter is the coolest character in "The Silence of the Lambs") and I think the Coens like him.
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