Sunday, January 20, 2008


We rarely go to movie theaters these days. Babysitters are expensive and so are ticket prices. On top of that, the average movie audience is often comprised of rude people who are thoughtless of others.

Be that as it may, we couldn't stay away from "Cloverfield". The kids had a birthday party to attend and we took the opportunity to slip away to a nearby movie tavern to see the modern retelling of the giant monster story.

Does it live up to the hype? I would say, definitely so. I was engaged in the charaters within the first 10 minutes and was absolutely enthralled from that point on.

It was an incredibly visceral experience. Now, I think I have a pretty good idea of what it would be like to be just an average guy trapped in a city due to a sudden attack by a towering creature of unknown origins.

But, if you must have a musical score in films that you enjoy, don't see this. If you hate handheld camera work, I would suggest you stay at home also. There is a LOT of camera movement and slight nausea could easily result. The first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" are the best example of what this movie is like AFTER the first 20 minutes.

The movie is also pretty dark with only a handful of lite moments. There is room for a nervous giggle or two, but for the most part the personal sense of horror is prevalent, throughout.

This is a non-traditional film that takes the "Blair Witch found footage" concept that was so luke warmly executed in that film and knocks it out of the park. But, since the idea is that the viewer is watching "found footage", the ending isn't tied up in a neat little bundle like most movies. If this bothers you, do not see this movie.

If, though, you want to have a pretty unique film experience and you have nostalgia for old Godzilla movies, this might be the film for you. As a matter of fact, this movie is closer in tone to the original 1954 Japanese version of "Godzilla" than about anything else.

The primary distinction of this film from classic giant monster movies is the point of view of the protagonists. So, there are relatively few appearances of the monster with only a few good looks at the thing in it's totality. Is it a dinosaur? No. Is it Cthulu. No. BUT it could hearken to that concept.

Much of the details of the creature are unknown by movie's end. If that bothers you, don't see this movie. But becuase of the vagueries, a sequel could definitely be made. And if this creature is only one of an older race of cyclopean giants awakening from their long sleep on the ocean floor, then I could even see this becoming a franchise.

I doubt that will happen, as this all may be too much for the general public who like to be spoon fed all the answers. I think some filmgoers will feel cheated as they miss the point of what the director was trying to achieve.

If you go see "Cloverfield", I suggest you simply sit back and pretend you are actually watching a video tape found in camera, in what used to be Central Park, in what used to be New York City.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Who to vote for?

Thanks to Cliff for posting this link in his blog which calculates which candidate best fits your views.

I KNEW I was conservative, but wow! Looks like I've lined up with Mr. Norris this time out.

Like Cliff, I expected Obama to score higher than Hillary, but I just can't see Hillary in the White House with Bill in tow as the "First Gentleman". It's just TOO weird.

81% Mike Huckabee
79% John McCain
73% Tom Tancredo
69% Fred Thompson
68% Mitt Romney
56% Rudy Giuliani
49% Hillary Clinton
47% Ron Paul
47% John Edwards
45% Joe Biden
44% Barack Obama
40% Bill Richardson
38% Chris Dodd
28% Mike Gravel
22% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Worth a thousand words...

I'm not feeling quite so serious tonight and I thought I would post something lite after my previous "sermon".

I was going through a folder of images I had captured with my cell phone. One stood out and I felt I had to share it.

The image you see was snapped in a Target parking lot.
What you see is the front view through the windshield of a parked car.
The only barely empty spot in the vehicle is the driver's seat.

That's it...just an image...

There are no words.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I am concerned for our nation and our world. People have become even more shallow and mean spirited than ever. They are more often than not driven to do that which best serves their own need. This service of self often brings us down to the level of destrcutive behavior - destruction of ourselves and those around us. This lack of a common thread of simple descency threatens to undermine the very mortar of our culture's brick wall. The casual use of the most foul language in public places is but a single indicator, but it goes way beyond that. I see it in those around me and (God help me) I see it in myself.

This experiment in freedom that we call the United States of America is suffering from a disease. That disease can best be described as "Personal Responsibility Deficiency". When the majority of people stop doing the right thing 'en masse' and wave the flag of freedom as a defense, there seems little optimism for hope. A free society such as ours can only exist when washed in rain of personal responsiblity for actions. Without that rain, we will either wither and die - too weak to defend ourselves from tyranny. Or we will become that which we most hate in an attempt to maintain order. Fascism is often the fate of free people who lack the conviction to maintain righteousness at the level of the individual.

I'm not advocating puritanism. I don't think people need to be restricted. That never works. You can't fix a man from the outside in. He must change from the center. That change will radiate out and manifest in his actions. Will he ever be perfect? No. Will he fail as he makes bad choices? Most assuredly.

So, what do we do about the problem? I believe there are answers. I believe that education can help. I think that people can adopt correct behavior because it makes sense. But mostly, I believe there is an answer that transcends all of these if not simply supporting them. That answer is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate source of hope.

Will most people ever know Him? Probably not. Faith in the unseen is tough. Critical, but tough.

Given that, I do wish people would at least attempt to follow His central teaching on behavior from which all moralilty and law can be drawn. I know others have said it too and pardon the paraphrase, but here it is:

"Love your neighbor in the same way that you love yourself. Do not do anything to anyone that you would not like done to you."

Even if one can't cross the line and embrace the theology, the simple common sense of this idea should make just a little impact on people. Shouldn't it?

The path many are on now will never lead them home.