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Denny Wayman

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About Denny Wayman

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  • Interests
    Film, literature

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  • Occupation
    Senior Pastor - Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara
  • About my avatar
    Looking beneath the surface
  • Favorite movies
    Amistad (4 Stars - 1997) Antwone Fisher (4 Stars - 2003) Beautiful Mind, A (4 Stars - 2002) Beyond Rangoon (4 Stars - 1995) Big Kahuna, The (4 Stars - 2000) Deadman Walking (4 Stars - 1996) Gospel of John, The (4 Stars - 2003) Green Mile, The (4 Stars - 1999) Hero (4 Stars - 2004) Hotel Rwanda (4 Stars - 2004) Kolya (4 Stars - 1997) Legend of Bagger Vance, The (4 Stars - 2000) Les Miserables (4 Stars - 1998) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (4 Stars - 2003) Luther (4 Stars - 2003) October Sky (4 Stars - 1999) Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored (4 Stars - 1996) Paradise Road (4 Stars - 1997) Passion of the Christ, The (4 Stars - 2004) Pianist, The (4 Stars - 2003) Saving Private Ryan (4 Stars - 1998) Simon Birch (4 Stars - 1998) Spitfire Grill, The (4 Stars - 1996)

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  1. Denny Wayman


    I have to admit that I found the film fascinating in concept and promising in its trailer, but disappointing in its execution. My disappointment is not in the idea but in the lack of context by which we could have understood the cultures that would care for children in the ways they do. It is definitely a strength to simply let the children "speak for themselves," but it is also a weakness. The strength is that we remove whatever ethnocentric comments narration might have made, but the weakness is that we miss the nuances because of our lack of ethnic information necessary to understand the
  2. That is the lead-in I gave our review. I said, in part, "Roman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer” is a study in cinematic technique. Filmed in a stormy world with stark forms you almost feel as though the film is in black and white, though it is not. The characters are as colorless as the setting with rugged beauty and empty morals, creating a mystery of international proportions....As the new ghost writer, The Ghost is cinematically and thematically the ghost of the perished writer who has come back to bring closure to his unexplainable death. Much of this intrigue is heightened by the r
  3. Denny Wayman


    Excellent job on the Steve Brown show. I agree most with your final statement that it is through mythology (and I would add science fiction) that people have their minds prepared for understanding the transcendent. It is the vocabulary for faith and once that vocabulary is learned we can have a conversation. That was how I wrote my review. Keep up the good work! Denny
  4. Peter, I appreciate your thorough analysis. I liked the film and give it overall positive marks. One of the observations I would add from my review is this: Additionally the film presents a stereotypical view of the difficulties of life. Although life is often hard and every person has their share of pain, the film weaves pain into everything. This does not ring true. The common grace of God at work in all people, including those outside the church, seems to be missing. Though life is completed by relationship with Jesus Christ, the Christian belief of common grace or prevenient gra
  5. What an amazing analysis Peter. You should submit that to some print media. Denny
  6. Yes - I remember how pleased we were to find a group of reviewers who looked at film more as we did. We had held some retreats and had primarily come across reviewers who were interested in the number of curse words or scenes of nudity rather than what we considered far more important - the values and worldviews presented. Although I don't have time to particiapte in this forum as much as I would like, I have benefited greatly from the ideas presented here. Denny
  7. That's so true. When we first started our column I had to literally walk a floppy disk to the newspaper with the column each week!! It was great when we not only had a way to email the column but to make past columns available online... What a world... Denny
  8. In celebration of 15 years with our column we have revamped our website. Denny
  9. Denny Wayman


    Peter said: "That's an interesting angle that hadn't occurred to me yet. But if we were to follow that allegory/analogy, wouldn't it kind of be in the same ballpark as those people who say that Jesus was saving us from God himself? (Given that Jake saves the Na'vi from his fellow humans, that is.)" If you take the allegory fully then that would be implied. But I don't think Cameron takes any of the original sources he is borrowing from fully. But to follow your line of thought, I suppose you would have to go back to distinct theologies of the atonement. One, that has been rejected by th
  10. Denny Wayman


    I actually liked the film quite a bit. Did not see it as ugly, dirty or overly pc. I see it as amazing cinema - a blending of science fiction with mythology. I liked the incarnational nature of the avatar who needs to "become one of" the Na'vi in order to save them. It is undoubtedly New Age with thie Gaia life force - but that is certainly not new in science fiction going back to the Star Wars films. In this instance we have a biologist giving a possible explanation of how all the trees could be "communicating." The ancestor worship/communication through the port in each of the Na'vi's p
  11. Denny Wayman


    Yes - I agree. This, for me, was the weakest part of the film. It could have been even better if he was a nuanced character. Denny
  12. I glanced through the thread and didn't see anyone mentioning the title. How can a Christian leader like Mandela be portrayed as believing the creed of INVICTUS? Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how
  13. Fascinating film. I found it interesting, in a backhanded kind of way. In my review I make similar observations. Here is part of what I observed:
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