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Ron Reed

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Filmic Friends,

After a more or less movieless several weeks... Well, not exactly. On the flight over we got one movie I'd already seen and didn't care enough about to watch or even remember three weeks later what movie it was, plus an appalling awful comedy about some middle-aged guys who start a frat house (anybody tell me the title of that stinker, so I can add it to my movie journal?), plus CHICAGO which I already didn't like and now had the added delight of half-watching while sitting next to a very bright and inquisitive seven year old girl whose mother was vainly doing all she could to keep her daughter from watching two hours of intermittent violence and sex. What are these airline movie programmers thinking?!)

So. After a more or less movieless... Oh, alright. I also saw PALE RIDER, one of my brother's favourite flicks, while visiting him in the Cotswolds. Fascinated by all the religious references, scripture, reaching after archetypes. In the end, I think it wanted to be more spiritual and profound than it was able to achieve - it was too profane to be profound, and probably more stereotypical than archetypal - but it was interesting enough, especially for those of us who are intrigued by justice/mercy, pacificism/vengeance themes. Eastwood was able to get much deeper with UNFORGIVEN, seven years later. This morning I've found some good stuff on the movie in Screening The Sacred and in Jewett's Saint Paul at the Movies - for my money, Jewett's are the best books on film from a Christian persepective.

Anyway. After a more or less... Oh yeah. I also saw Murray Watts' THE MIRACLE MAKER at Schloss Mittersill. Very impressed, moved. I wasn't as crazy about the two dimensional animation as I was with the 3D claymation - some of the mise en scene with the latter was wonderful! - but it really did have the effect of making the claymation world just that much more vivid and substantial, even "realistic," whenever we returned to it. Deft storytelling - the way the stories were woven around the various resurrection stories in the gospels, culminating of course in Christ's resurrection. The Emmaus story was a particular treat. One of my favourite - maybe my favourite favourite - cinematic Lives Of Christ. (Any comment from our resident Jesus movie afficionados?)

Like I was saying, after a more or... Well, okay, on the flight back they showed a couple movies I had no interest in but they also showed ABOUT SCHMIDT, only my headset wouldn't work, so I watched bits and pieces without the sound, and couldn't help but think how wrong my esteemed colleague Jeffrey Overstreet is about Nicholson's performance. Watch his hands, his eyes, the way he carries himself: this isn't a lazy "see how great an actor I seem when I don't actually do anything" performance, it's a subtle, nuanced, embodied incarnation. Leave aside your judgement of Jack's personal life and check this one out again, J.O. - with the sound turned off, if necessary. The guy's a master.

Okay. So. Point being, after a more or less movieless few weeks, I return to Movie Mad America with lots of unseen flicks on local screens. I know I can work my way through the various posts both here and back at the Ghost Town we once called "Film & Spirituality" for more details, but being lazy and having an aversion to reading too much about a film before I see it, I'm wondering if anybody's got any recommendations - pro or con - about which of the following I oughta see. I've got one reason or another to be interested in seeing;

SWIMMING POOL (twisty arty sexy mystery suspenser, am I right?)

28 DAYS LATER (I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff. Sounds reminiscent of Day Of The Triffids or No Blade Of Grass?)

BRUCE ALMIGHTY (Could wait for video, but comedies are often best in a crowd. IF there's still a crowd of people who haven't seen it already.)

FINDING NEMO (Everybody here has raved it - that's good enough for me)

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (My 17-year-old daughter said it's great fun, and as a Disneylandophile, I bet I'll get a kick out of spotting the ride references.)

TERMINATOR 3 (I haven't seen the first two, am always fascinated that they got so much attention from academic "film and popular culture" types AND Christians. Should I rent the prequels then visit the sequel?)

ITALIAN JOB (Is it fun and breezy like OCEANS 11 or CATCH ME IF YOU CAN?)

WHALE RIDER (Will probably make this a family outing)

HULK (I'm not a comic / sci-fi fan in the way that many on this board are, but a good movie is a good movie. Well?)

OWNING MAHOWNEY (A personal must-see, I think: Phil Sey Hoff is the best thing since sliced Nicholson.)

Anything current that I've missed on the list? Apart from NORTHFORK, which doesn't seem to have hit Vancouver screens yet.

Thanks, gentlebeings. It's good to be back in your midsts.

Ron

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That's a honkin' huge avatar! I thought this web site put limits on the size of our avatars ...

Ron wrote:

: . . . an appalling awful comedy about some middle-aged guys who start a

: frat house (anybody tell me the title of that stinker, so I can add it to my

: movie journal?) . . .

Sounds like Old School, with Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell and Vince Vaugh, though I wouldn't say they are "middle-aged" just yet.

: . . . for my money, Jewett's are the best books on film from a Christian

: persepective.

Interesting! Hadn't realized you'd read these yet. I remember having a take-it-or-leave-it response to his first book, partly because of his interpretation of Star Wars, but reading his second book was a "life-changing" experience, for me.

: I also saw Murray Watts' THE MIRACLE MAKER at Schloss Mittersill. Very

: impressed, moved. I wasn't as crazy about the two dimensional

: animation as I was with the 3D claymation - some of the mise en scene

: with the latter was wonderful! - but it really did have the effect of making

: the claymation world just that much more vivid and substantial, even

: "realistic," whenever we returned to it.

I rather liked the blend of animation styles, myself -- especially in scenes like the one where Mary Magdalene is exorcised and we move through three or four increasingly realistic styles of hand-drawn animation before returning to the "realistic" claymation. Very well done, that.

: Point being, after a more or less movieless few weeks, I return to Movie

: Mad America with lots of unseen flicks on local screens.

Believe it or not, Ron, last week I actually managed to see every movie in town that I had not yet seen, except for some reportedly rah-rah documentary about Fidel Castro. Of course, as of yesterday, the studios have released another five or six movies that I haven't seen yet, so I've got some catching up to do again ...

: SWIMMING POOL (twisty arty sexy mystery suspenser, am I right?)

Yup. An okay viewing experience, but somewhat confounding.

: 28 DAYS LATER (I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff. Sounds

: reminiscent of Day Of The Triffids or No Blade Of Grass?)

Haven't seen those films, but I definitely liked this film -- FWIW, it has also been earning comparisons to Richard Matheson's 'I Am Legend' and the film adaptations thereof (e.g. The Omega Man).

: BRUCE ALMIGHTY (Could wait for video, but comedies are often best in a

: crowd. IF there's still a crowd of people who haven't seen it already.)

Wasn't too impressed with this one myself.

: FINDING NEMO (Everybody here has raved it - that's good enough for me)

Not as good as some of Pixar's other movies, but as you once said, that may be praising it with faint damns.

: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (My 17-year-old daughter said it's great

: fun, and as a Disneylandophile, I bet I'll get a kick out of spotting the

: ride references.)

I've never been to Disneyland, so I can't comment on the ride references, but I thought this film was basically pretty good, but not much more -- it might have been better if they hadn't dragged out the third act so long. I actually came out of that OTHER pirate movie, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, a more satisfied viewer.

: TERMINATOR 3 (I haven't seen the first two, am always fascinated that

: they got so much attention from academic "film and popular culture"

: types AND Christians. Should I rent the prequels then visit the sequel?)

There are no prequels in the Terminator series, since each film takes place after the film that came before it. (A "prequel" is a film that is produced AFTER another film but takes place BEFORE it. Since The Terminator was produced BEFORE Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and since T2 was produced BEFORE Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, neither of those films is a "prequel" to the new one.)

Etymological carping aside, I didn't think the new film had much to say from a Christian point of view -- if anything, it undermines the Christian parallels of the first two films, not least by depriving John Connor (the first film's never-seen Christ figure) of some of his stature, both now AND in the future. But if you're going to see it, then yes, you should see the first two films first -- the new film does assume that you've seen the others, and while it's nearly impossible to make sense of the storyline in the third film, I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be if you weren't at least passingly familiar with the mythos-to-date.

: ITALIAN JOB (Is it fun and breezy like OCEANS 11 or CATCH ME IF YOU CAN?)

I thought so, yeah. Not that financial success has to mean anything, but FWIW, this relatively modest film has had very good legs at the box office -- while the grosses for other films fall by 50, 60, 70 percent from weekend to weekend, this film has stayed remarkably afloat, and that's usually a sign that the film is getting good word-of-mouth, people are telling their friends to see it, etc.

: WHALE RIDER (Will probably make this a family outing)

Not bad. Not as great as some claim, but not bad.

: HULK (I'm not a comic / sci-fi fan in the way that many on this board are,

: but a good movie is a good movie. Well?)

I should be in a better position to comment on this after D and I see it this afternoon. (I saw it a month ago, but D hasn't seen it at all yet, and she likes comic-book movies.)

: OWNING MAHOWNEY (A personal must-see, I think: Phil Sey Hoff is the

: best thing since sliced Nicholson.)

This is EASILY my favorite movie in theatres at the moment.

: Anything current that I've missed on the list? Apart from NORTHFORK,

: which doesn't seem to have hit Vancouver screens yet.

No, but there was a press screening recently -- which, alas, I missed -- so it should be out soon.

: Thanks, gentlebeings. It's good to be back in your midsts.

And it's good to have you back in our midsts. smile.gif

Oh, and if you are at all interested in Iranian minimalism, you should catch Kiarostami's Ten at the Cinematheque this week -- for some reason, it's on a double-bill with Kurosawa's Yojimbo, which makes no sense to me, but hey, whatchagonnado.

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Glad to have you back, Ron.

My opinions, make of them what you will:

- 28 DAYS LATER: Terrific movie - a number of thrills and startling moments, with empathic characters and an interesting storyline.

- HULK: Like 28 DAYS LATER, it tries to say something about the poisoning effects of anger, with a dash of Freudian and religious symbolism thrown in for good measure. I liked it.

- ITALIAN JOB: A fun bit of cinematic fluff

- TERMINATOR 3: Yeah, I'd recommend waiting till you've seen the first two.

- WHALE RIDER: Ugh - can I get a refund?

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That's a honkin' huge avatar! I thought this web site put limits on the size of our avatars ...

Yeah, I woulda thought so. Searched in vain for something smaller, so for now, I'll loom.

Ron wrote:

: . . . an appalling awful comedy about some middle-aged guys who start a

: frat house ...

Sounds like Old School

That's it.

...with Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell and Vince Vaugh, though I wouldn't say they are "middle-aged" just yet.

Fair enough. I think I was echoing the blurb in the "In Flight" magazine, but yeah, "thirty something" would be closer to the truth.

Ron:

. . . for my money, Jewett's are the best books on film from a Christian

: persepective.

Peter:

Interesting! Hadn't realized you'd read these yet. I remember having a take-it-or-leave-it response to his first book, partly because of his interpretation of Star Wars, but reading his second book was a "life-changing" experience, for me.

Cool! Yes, I also found the second book far richer than the first, though I did find the chapter I just read on PALE RIDER pretty darn perspicacious. I can see how book two could be life-changing: expanding the understanding of Paul beyond redemption for personal sin to encompass other aspects of shame - quite revolutionary, I thought, and yet it felt deeply true. Paul "fits" with Jesus a lot more to me, now. (What do I mean by that? Hmmm... Jesus' emphasis seems to be so much on bringing health and well-being to people, and while he's not afraid to call folks sinners, he seems more to reach past the sin to call the person to life, while Paul (viewed through the sin/forgiveness lens) always sounded rather more preoccupied with sin: Jewett helps correct that. Also, the emphasis on the community - good stuff.

I also like Jewett because he's got a good eye for film. So many of the theologians are pretty tin-eared when it comes to really perceiving what's going on in a movie, where I find Jewett (and Johnstone, for that matter) to be pretty perceptive viewers.

Believe it or not, Ron, last week I actually managed to see every movie in town that I had not yet seen...

Oh my gosh. That's cool. Maybe I'll add that to my Mandy Moore Things To Do Before I Die list - "see every movie in town." My admiration for you has just grown.

...except for some reportedly rah-rah documentary about Fidel Castro.

My friend thought that one was fab.

: FINDING NEMO ...

Not as good as some of Pixar's other movies, but as you once said, that may be praising it with faint damns.

Credit where it's due: I was in turn quoting the estimable Loren Wilkinson.

There are no prequels in the Terminator series, since each film takes place after the film that came before it. (A "prequel" is a film that is produced AFTER another film but takes place BEFORE it. ...Etymological carping aside...

Well carped. Point taken.

: OWNING MAHOWNEY (A personal must-see, I think: Phil Sey Hoff is the

: best thing since sliced Nicholson.)

This is EASILY my favorite movie in theatres at the moment.

Sweet. I'm going Monday.

Thanks for the tips!

Ron

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SWIMMING POOL (twisty arty sexy mystery suspenser, am I right?)

Saw it today. Liked it quite a lot. Ozon and Rampling are a dynamite combination. Seeing this and Under the Sand, I am coming to think that Rampling is the greatest screen actress American audiences have never heard of. She's amazing. There's a lot of hype about the sexy young thing in the film, and a lot of hype about the twist ending. Frankly, I didn't find anything terribly sexy about the girl; sure, she's nice to look at, but she's monstrous and clearly quite damaged as well. And I saw the twist ending coming within the first half hour of the film. But the movie's about neither of these "features". It's about aging, about the difference between the British and the French, about writing, and above all about rejection and loneliness... A dark, troubling, but beautifully made film... every bit as good as Under the Sand, I think.

28 DAYS LATER (I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff. Sounds reminiscent of Day Of The Triffids or No Blade Of Grass?)

If you have a soft spot for post-apoc... don't miss it. One of the year's biggest surprises, at least for me.

FINDING NEMO (Everybody here has raved it - that's good enough for me)

Still my favorite film of the year, by a longshot. And, having seen it four times, I disagree with those who rank it lower than other Pixar films. This is my favorite... for the way the story is emotional without being merely sentimental; for the depth and beauty and complexity of the animation; and for the challenging themes it explores. "Toy Story 2" is a close second--that one still grabs my heart pretty handily as well.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (My 17-year-old daughter said it's great fun, and as a Disneylandophile, I bet I'll get a kick out of spotting the ride references.)

Saw this a second time today. I doubt I'll prefer to see the Best Supporting Actor go to anybody else this year. I just love watching Johnny Depp in this part, and I'm glad to hear he's interested in doing two more as the character of Jack Sparrow. Definitely the BIGGEST surprise of the year so far--I expected to hate this film.

TERMINATOR 3 (I haven't seen the first two, am always fascinated that they got so much attention from academic "film and popular culture" types AND Christians. Should I rent the prequels then visit the sequel?)

I'm sorry I spent the money on it. Wait for rental, so you can chuckle over a great truck chase.

WHALE RIDER (Will probably make this a family outing)

Well worth seeing.

HULK (I'm not a comic / sci-fi fan in the way that many on this board are, but a good movie is a good movie. Well?)

Worth seeing, if only for the "Hmmmm" quality. It will definitely make you go "Hmmmmm." For this viewer, it's the only Ang Lee film that doesn't coalesce into something wonderful.

And for what it's worth, Ron, because of my recent humbling reversal on Adaptation, I'm willing to give Schmidt another go one of these days.

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Glad to have you back, Ron.

I feel like I should be breaking out the souvenirs. "And I picked this up for you, Andrew, in a little CD shop in Bath, I hope you like it...."

- 28 DAYS LATER: Terrific movie - a number of thrills and startling moments, with empathic characters and an interesting storyline.

Taking your and Jeffrey's nods in this direction, I think this'll be a definite for this coming week.

TERMINATOR 3: Yeah, I'd recommend waiting till you've seen the first two.

And taking into account the comments of all three of you, I can't see any reason to see this in the theatres (if at all! We'll see how I like the first two.).

WHALE RIDER: Ugh - can I get a refund?

And in this case, the wonderfully divided opinions rouse my curiosity.

Looking forward to a wonderful movie binge,

Ron

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Ron wrote:

: : . . . except for some reportedly rah-rah documentary about Fidel Castro.

:

: My friend thought that one was fab.

I guess I just have an aversion to anything remotely Marxist at the Ridge, ever since some dude in the audience cheered the theft of a farmer's property by a collectivist mob in Land and Freedom.

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: And I saw the twist ending coming within the first half hour of the film.

Really? What tipped you off? (Or should we continue this at the Swimming Pool thread?)

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I guess I just have an aversion to anything remotely Marxist at the Ridge, ever since some dude in the audience cheered the theft of a farmer's property by a collectivist mob in Land and Freedom.

May I suggest that perhaps this is something of an over-reaction? I'm not sure you should let this past emotional trauma keep you from achieving the consummation (devoutly to be wish'd) of being able to claim you've seen every movie in town.

There are people at my church who can pray for you.

Ron

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Ron wrote:

: : I guess I just have an aversion to anything remotely Marxist at the

: : Ridge, ever since some dude in the audience cheered the theft of a

: : farmer's property by a collectivist mob in Land and Freedom.

:

: May I suggest that perhaps this is something of an over-reaction? I'm not

: sure you should let this past emotional trauma keep you from achieving

: the consummation (devoutly to be wish'd) of being able to claim you've

: seen every movie in town.

'Sokay, it's showing at the Tinseltown now, where I expect the political climate will be less chilly. smile.gif

: There are people at my church who can pray for you.

Oh, I can easily think of a few items that should make the list, if my name is gonna be on there, before this one. smile.gif

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Hi ron,

Didn't realise you'd been over here. Enjoy it? What were the highlights?

Anyway

Miracle Maker

One of the better ones certainly. I love the mix of animation styles (has anyone told the WAchowskis that they are so Miracle Maker?), and as children are a particularly key part of the intended audience it works well to help them keep up, but it just allows those more hyperbolic parts to be expressed in a more hyperbolic style (e.g. remove the LOG from your own eye).

I found the claymation a bit juddery at the start but after a while you get used to it. One big plus of the film is its semitic looking Jesus (at last - shame he's modelling clay!), but I cam e away feeling that there could have been more miracles for a film called the Miracle Maker (and given the ease of doing this with the medium). Subsequent reflections on this in the light of other Jesus movies have made me reconsider this.

The other really notable thing abut this film i how rooted in Christianity it is. Its a very traditional / evanglical depiction. Key points in this are the extended post-resurrection sequence (longer than any other Jesus film, using practically every story from the 4 gospels), and the playing it staight theologically. This isn't a bad thing, although it does make it feel a bit safe, a feeling that anyone encountering the original Jesus would have been unlikely to have IMHO.

Bruce Almighty

Saw this on Friday in a cinema with a good few people watching. Thought it was OK, in fact better than expected. I didn't find it that funny, but dealt with the issues more seriously & More than I expected from such a mainstream film. I think this is a good sign IMHO

Pale Rider

IO've not seen this, but it's covered in "Explorations in Theology & Film" (eds: Marshal & Ortiz), in the chapter on "Shane" ( which I have seen recently smile.gif ). Basically they say that Pale RIder is basically a remake, but that the religious traits are very much on the surface, whereas in Shane a Christ figure is there with much more significance than in Pale RIder.

Italian Job

I'm still reeling from the revelation that the original is unknown in N.Am. I haven't seen the re-make, but seriously guys dig it out and see it first.

Matt

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Hi ron,

Didn't realise you'd been over here. Enjoy it? What were the highlights?

Sure did enjoy it! My first visit, and I'll be back. Two days in London, then six days staying with my brother in the Cotswolds (he lives near Cirencester).

Highlights? Shakespeare's Globe, the theatre that's a replica of his Elizabethan stage: I had a "groundling" ticket for an all-male cast, Elizabethan costumed staging of RICHARD II. Quite the experience, particularly as I'll be seeing the same play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in a week's time. Also saw Julie Taymor's THE LION KING - visually stunning, inventive, amazing. And I was again reminded how Pumba's story reminds me of Prince Hal in the sequels to RICHARD II.

It was a thrill visiting The Eagle And The Child in Oxford, and even more the utterly beautiful Magdalene College, where C.S. Lewis taught - the Platonic ideal of a college, I should say.

And I felt like I was in some kind of a dream, visiting various Cotswold villages. The stone walls, stone houses, six foot wide roads, footpaths, gardens, pubs... I might almost have been visiting The Shire.

You've got an amazing country, Mr Page! Though I'm sure you know that. I'll gloat just a little less about Vancouver from now on.

Miracle Maker

...The other really notable thing abut this film i how rooted in Christianity it is... playing it staight theologically. This isn't a bad thing, although it does make it feel a bit safe, a feeling that anyone encountering the original Jesus would have been unlikely to have IMHO.

Very good point. Certainly the main reason for my enthusiasm over THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST was the edgy guardedness I almost constantly felt, edging into a hawklike judgementalism - until suddenly recognized myself in the Pharisees! Or, the Pharisees in myself. At any rate, for all its theological and aesthetic flaws, I came away feeling that I'd had an experience much like those who met Jesus in his own day.

How does that saying go, "Jesus came to comfort the troubled and trouble the comfortable"? Something like that. I'm going to guess that some people made some people feel safer, and others more threatened. Perhaps the sense of comfort is appropriate for a story whose viewpoint character is a little girl? On another thread, it's been mentioned that a multiplicity of Jesus portrayals helps round out our perception of the most complex and alive human being in history: makes me grateful for both MIRACLE MAKER and LAST TEMPTATION.

Bruce Almighty

...dealt with the issues more seriously & More than I expected from such a mainstream film. I think this is a good sign IMHO

Got a hunch I might like this one. Intrigued to find out.

Pale Rider

IO've not seen this, but it's covered in \"Explorations in Theology & Film\" (eds: Marshal & Ortiz), in the chapter on \"Shane\" ( which I have seen recently smile.gif ). Basically they say that Pale RIder is basically a remake, but that the religious traits are very much on the surface, whereas in Shane a Christ figure is there with much more significance than in Pale RIder.

Thanks for the EiT&F tip! I read that piece a few months back (after viewing SHANE, as well), had forgotten that he also compares PALE RIDER. Have to admit that I found his Shane-as-Christ-figure thesis over-argued: I don't think the changes made in adapting book to screen are as significant as Banks does. (But I'm also generally resistant to the hunt for Christ figures, so there may be more there than I'm ready to acknowledge). Rereading it just now, I will say his comments on PALE RIDER seem more insightful, and warm me a little more to his SHANE arguments. Certainly the comparison with SHANE is apt, and he's right that all the added explicit religious elements of the Eastwood flick don't really succeed at making it a more spiritual film.

Italian Job

I'm still reeling from the revelation that the original is unknown in N.Am. I haven't seen the re-make, but seriously guys dig it out and see it first.

But I just want to see all those little Minis buzzing around!

Ron

P.S. One last thought about England. I couldn't help noticing how much less movie-mad your country seems to be. Movie ads, movie palaces, movie promotions are everywhere here in North America - it just seems to be so much less pervasive in your country.

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: "You've got an amazing country, Mr Page! "

Gee thanks smile.gif, although not much of it is down to me. Its funny really how easy it is not to appreciate what's around you

\"Perhaps the sense of comfort is appropriate for a story whose viewpoint character is a little girl?  On another thread, it's been mentioned that a multiplicity of Jesus portrayals helps round out our perception of the most complex and alive human being in history: makes me grateful for both MIRACLE MAKER and LAST TEMPTATION.

Absolutely

Pale Rider

Have to admit that I found his Shane-as-Christ-figure thesis over-argued: I don't think the changes made in adapting book to screen are as significant as Banks does.  (But I'm also generally resistant to the hunt for Christ figures, so there may be more there than I'm ready to acknowledge).  

Baugh also dicsusses Shane in Imaging the Divine, but I was a bit disappointed by the time I got to see it that the parallels were not as much as I'd expected.

P.S. One last thought about England.  I couldn't help noticing how much less movie-mad your country seems to be.  Movie ads, movie palaces, movie promotions are everywhere here in North America - it just seems to be so much less pervasive in your country.

Interesting observation, though unfortunately I have no experience to compare it to. Mind you I wouldn't expect there to be many in the Cotswolds, but London? I suppose when I was down in Cornwall this year I did find the only film within at least an hours drive in any direction was Anger Management

Matt

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:  

Baugh also dicsusses Shane in Imaging the Divine, but I was a bit disappointed by the time I got to see it that the parallels were not as much as I'd expected.

I'll see if I can't grab a copy of Baugh at the library today.

Ron:  

P.S. One last thought about England.  I couldn't help noticing how much less movie-mad your country seems to be....

Matt:

I wouldn't expect there to be many in the Cotswolds, but London? I suppose when I was down in Cornwall this year I did find the only film within at least an hours drive in any direction was Anger Management

I don't think there's anywhere in Canada where you're as much as an hour's drive from the movies. Even Eskimos carry DVD players with them on their dogsleds.

London? For all the walking I did around Central London (plenty), I didn't see a single movie theatre. Ads on buses, yes, but in magazines and so on, just not nearly as pervasive, it seemed to me.

*

Martyn Joseph, eh? A fall 2001 concert my only exposure, but oh my gosh! THE artistic/spiritual experience of that entire year, for me. Very significant. I've never seen a performer with more stage presence. And his outspoken witness to Christ in a hard-core folkie setting! He had clearly won the right to be heard in a group which is normally very hostile to clear expressions of our faith. I was deeply impressed.

Ron

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Glad to have you back, Ron.

- WHALE RIDER:  Ugh - can I get a refund?

No way. This will prove to be one of the memorable ones from this year. Definitely best Maori film to date. (As if there are many.)

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Filmic Friends,

28 DAYS LATER (I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic stuff. Sounds reminiscent of Day Of The Triffids or No Blade Of Grass?)

This was an excellent movie! Much to take in and an interesting perspective on animals rights activists and human nature.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN (My 17-year-old daughter said it's great fun, and as a Disneylandophile, I bet I'll get a kick out of spotting the ride references.)

Thoroughly enjoyed this movie!! This was the first movie my son (7 mo.) saw. I think he found the humor better than the adults sitting around us or, quite possibly, he was laughing at me for laughing at all.

OWNING MAHOWNEY (A personal must-see, I think: Phil Sey Hoff is the best thing since sliced Nicholson.)

This I will see. Phillip Seymore Hoffman has become one of my favorite actors. Have you seen Love Liza? I would like to hear some feedback as Hoffman's performance was excellent, it made the movie.

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Ron wrote:

: It was a thrill visiting The Eagle And The Child in Oxford, and even more

: the utterly beautiful Magdalene College, where C.S. Lewis taught - the

: Platonic ideal of a college, I should say.

Been there!

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Guest Russell Lucas

I'll add to the chorus of praise for 28 Days Later. It's an absolute breath of fresh air coming at the perfect time-- the dog days of summer movies.

I also enjoyed The Hulk, but I'll readily admit that it's not going to ever be universally loved.

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It was a thrill visiting The Eagle And The Child in Oxford, and even more  

: the utterly beautiful Magdalene College, where C.S. Lewis taught - the  

: Platonic ideal of a college, I should say.  

Been there!

Me too me too! How 'bout a hug?!

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Chiming in with my own brief reactions...

Swimming Pool

I can't see how Jeffrey saw the ending coming a mile away. I even saw the preview, which gives too much away, and I didn't see the final switch coming. Given that disagreement, I still agree with Jeffrey. Charlotte Rampling is fantastic. And her relationship with Ludivine Sagnier forms for a great character study. I didn't enjoy the final act, but would still recommend it.

28 Days Later

I have to spend some time on the 28 Days Later thread, as I don't see what the big deal is. It's a decent movie, though it would've been much, much better if they could've shot it on film. But I didn't find it scary at all, once I got used to the sound design and jittery camerawork. Still, it's not a bad two hours.

Bruce Almighty

Finally caught up with this one. I was impressed by how much weight there was to it. The commercials completely misrepresent the film. Not everything works, but it's better than I expected.

Finding Nemo

Loved it! Favorite mainstream movie of the year.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Great, great fun. I know some critics on this board think it goes on too long, but I didn't care. More swordfighting, more skeletons, more Depp, more Knightley. Bring on the sequel.

Terminator 3

Decent summer fare, particularly when you look at it in light of Charlie's Angels 2 or Bad Boys II. As others have noted, it's quite funny. And at least it's not distasteful.

Italian Job

Serviceable big-con movie, though Ed Norton doesn't look like he's enjoying himself.

Whale Rider

Entertaining and sweet, with a powerhouse performance from the young actress. Great family film, in the best sense of that phrase.

Hulk

I liked this film a lot until its last half hour. I hated that part. So it gets a mixed from me.

I'd welcome you back, Ron, except that I've been gone myself. So instead, I'll agree that it's good to be back.

J Robert

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Martyn Joseph, eh? A fall 2001 concert my only exposure, but oh my gosh! THE artistic/spiritual experience of that entire year, for me. Very significant. I've never seen a performer with more stage presence. And his outspoken witness to Christ in a hard-core folkie setting! He had clearly won the right to be heard in a group which is normally very hostile to clear expressions of our faith. I was deeply impressed.
I firstsaw Martyn in 1988, he was my favourite artit for a while, but then my friends dissed him a bit and I fell away, and then I ... changed friends, and am on the way back.

I just love his integrity and his passion, and he owns Greenbelt now (that's a metaphor btw)

Matt

PS Andrew - great signature btw. I re-visited Trainspotting the other day and still think its fantastic.

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Pirates of the Caribbean--I thought it would be a terrible, terrible mistake, but how bad could it be with that fabulous cast? Turns out it was the best movie of the summer, so far. My husband was even willing to see it twice.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen--Great premise, interesting cast, but thisturned out to be the terrible, terrible mistake. After the somewhat amusing set-up scenes introducing the characters from 19th century sci-fi/fantasy, it's just one explosion after another. "Big bangs and primary colours appeal to the young," but even my 15-year-old nephew and 12-year-old niece thought it was boring.

Whale Rider--Starts slowly, but gathers to greatness, in my opinon. I was enchanted. Beautiful performances by the entire cast, a compelling story, gorgeous scenery. New Zealand remains #2 on my pilgrimage list (after Scotland).

Still planning to see Finding Nemo. I'm sure I'll love it, but have a harder time convincing my husband that he will, even though he usually does, once he gets into the theater. There should be a campaign: "Animation! It's not just for kids and their parents any more!" Either that, or we'll have to borrow some kids.

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Thanks, Matt - I just recently saw Trainspotting for the first time, and that line just leaped out at me (I'd love to talk about that film sometime, BTW - I'm glad I saw it, all in all, but I came away with mixed feelings about the whole experience).

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OWNING MAHOWNEY... This I will see. Phillip Seymore Hoffman has become one of my favorite actors. Have you seen Love Liza? I would like to hear some feedback as Hoffman's performance was excellent, it made the movie.

Haven't seen LOVE LIZA. Don't even remember hearing about it. You liked?

I was surprised that OWNING MAHOWNEY didn't do a whole lot for me. I admired the way it didn't romanticize addiction, or go for melodrama. Maybe I could have used a bit more melodrama on a sunny July afternoon, I don't know. PSH is flawless, but this role grabbed me less than anything else I've seen him do. Basically, I chalk up my underwhelmedness to my own state of mind rather than faulting the film. I'd love to know what PTC so appreciated in it.

Ron

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