Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bane vs. Uncle Owen: My review of Warrior

Warrior (2011) is much more than your average fighting movie.  I've seen some of the Rocky movies, The Fighter, Karate Kid, and even Real Steel (which I really enjoyed).  While all of these are very similar in nature, usually stories with underdogs or family issues (or both), they don't really handle the heavy emotional themes as well as Warrior.

My gut tells me it was the acting on the part of Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte. But thinking upon it more, it was really the performances combined with the amazing screenwriting and directing.  The way the dialogue slowly and delicately reveals more and more layers of past emotional complication and family history is a wonderful method of storytelling by director/screenwriter Gavin O'Connor.

The film starts off with Tommy (Tom Hardy) showing up at the door of the now-sober father he and his mother fled from when he was a kid.  They hadn't seen each other since that day many years before.  Tommy really doesn't say much, he doesn't try to reconcile with his father, he just wants his father to help him train for an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) tournament, no emotional strings attached.

Later we are introduced to Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a relatively unknown UFC fighter turned physics teacher who is probably going to lose his house because of medical bills from his daughter's open heart surgery.

Just like string cheese (mmm string cheese) the next layer is peeled and we find out that Tommy's father is also Brendan's father, and they are also estranged. I won't give any more away, but I'll tell you, there are some powerful scenes, brilliantly acted by Hardy, Edgerton, and Nolte.

But what about the fighting?  It was awesome.  Warrior perfectly balances the action with the story.  This isn't just a showy fighting flick.  That doesn't mean the fighting is missing, though.  It is most certainly there and it demonstrates why MMA is way cooler than boxing (so many boxing movies...) and much more enjoyable to watch.

Warrior run 140 minutes and is rated PG-13.  Because it's a fighting film, I wouldn't watch it with younger kids, but older kids (boys especially) will really get into it.  I give it a strong Jimmy-was-moved 9 ramheads out of 10.  Go see this film! (You can see it on Amazon Prime like I did :).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jimmy's Movie Preview: Life of Pi

One of the upcoming films that caught my eye, mainly by its trailer, is Life of Pi.  It is based on the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel and it about a kid who survives a "disaster at sea" and is stuck on a small boat.  The only problem is, he's joined by a Bengal tiger.  In a miracle of events the tiger doesn't eat him.

From the stills it looks like it covers more than just the "at-sea-with-a-tiger" part of his life, it probably covers a good deal of it...besides, it is called "Life of Pi".

For the record, this is sponsored post (that is where all the cool photos come from).  My opinions still are my own and I wouldn't agree to post about if I didn't want to see this film.  

Here is the official synopsis:
Genre:Adventure-Drama in 3D
Release: November 21, 2012
Director: Ang Lee
Screenplay by: David Magee, based upon the novel by Yann Martel

With LIFE OF PI, director Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) creates a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Here's the trailer: And here are some movie stills:

Finally, since I have them, here are a few behind the scenes photos:

I gladly welcome thoughts on the film both before and after you see it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Election: What God has to say and other thoughts

I'm not going to share my opinions, I'm just going to quote the One who really knows what He's talking about.  (Then I'll quote Jon Foreman of Switchfoot.)

Romans 13:1-7

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Matthew 21:15-22

15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 

18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

 1 Peter 2:13-17

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

Some other wise words...

Finally, I'd like to share with you some of the words of Jon Foreman, a Christian man from the band Switchfoot:
The self-evident truths that bind us together as a nation are not our arguments or our greed. Rather, the shining hope of our land is the democratic notion that all men are created equal, with equal access to liberty, justice and civil rights. In a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we define ourselves. The American Dream is your dream. And my dream. We are the problem and the solution; we each have an irreplaceable role in our communities and in our nation. No matter what the statistics say, people are not numbers. And neither are you. You can serve our nation in ways that even the president cannot.
Every day you cast your ballot—with your time, with your money and with your actions. You vote for the president once every four years. But what about the 1,460 days in between? The question facing our country is: What kind of nation do you want to live in? Yes, the United States has problems. But has there ever been a generation free from worry? Our country is run by fallible people who make mistakes like you and I. But my heroes, my favorite Americans, are the ones who spend their time changing the world instead of complaining. People who are facing the irreducibly complex issues of our times with practical love and tangible solutions. Because America starts in our own backyard.


The trouble with a democracy is, you're in control. And we're all counting on you, for our economy and our nation. For better or for worse, you were born into a place of privilege and responsibility. Our country could use a few true patriots, modern patriots, rational patriots.
You can read the whole Op-Ed here.  I would recommend it.