Saturday, January 23, 2016

Two we went to last week

We don't ordinarily go out to the movies, certainly not first run ones that set us back a good $30 or so. But the Brother and Sister in Law were in town and I really wanted to see 13 Hours, and God's Not Dead was a preview type screening. So, here are some thoughts on the two:

I know the critical reviews of this are mixed, some mainstream critics love it and some are less than impressed. I thought it was great. Although it was frustrating and made you want to lace blame on someone for the mistakes that were made, it was a great picture of how you can be frustrated and wanting to know who is to blame, but only after you face what's in front of you with what you got and do the best you can.

The real people portrayed in this film felt that it put you back "there", in the action. Being a veteran, a shooter and having a little bit of tactical training, I can say that this film seemed to be as close to "real" as you can get. 

And, it showed a group of guys that weren't required to dive into what they did, but they did it anyway. I was gonna say that they did not "have to" do what they did, but I don't think, in that situation, these guys could have not done what they did. These are guys that could not sit idly by when they knew they could help. And that is inspirational.

So, this is a movie that is realistic, frustrating and inspirational. I think I will see it again soon.

Here is the link to one of the men who was grievously injured and started a non profit to aid contractors like them that are injured or lose their lives while serving for us in places like this:

This movie, is, of course, completely different than the last. It is the sequal to the surprise success, "God's Not Dead".

Like that movie, it pits angry non-Christians (this one includes so called Free Thinkers, Atheists, and the ACLU) against a believer that has the audacity to share scripture. Unlike the last one, this one does not do so in an effort to share personal beliefs, rather as an answer to a student asking to compare Jesus to Ghandi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King JR.

I won't give away the plot details, but it also includes the idea of Pastor's being subpoenaed by the local municipality to provide sermon transcripts to ensure "hate speech" is not included in what they teach, a teacher hauled off to court for answering the question in the paragraph above and a fun group of recognizable characters.

Among the luminaries in this feature: Pat Boone, Fred Thompson in his final role, The Newsboys, Robin Givens, The guy that you are not sure where you know him from until you realize he was one of The Ghostbusters, Lee Strobel and others you might know.

While this is highly dramatized and not based on any true stories, the movie provides at the end a list of cases that are similar to the details in this movie. And, in spite of the ridiculous idea of sermons being monitored and policed by the government (we are allowed Free Speech, which includes hate speech, right?), municipalities have recently been in the news for this very thing and recent polls have shown that increasing numbers of people are good with free speech being limited if it offends people (here). So the idea of Christians being singled out, ridiculed and silenced is not all that far fetched. Nor should it be a new idea for Christians.

So, I enjoyed both movies. One is already in theaters. Go see it today. The other comes out right after Easter. Invite me to go see it with you.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tomes I've been taking in

In case any of these topics might pique your interest, here's a few I've been perusing lately (Well, since November):

This includes some vivid battle descriptions and the a look at the aftermath of these recent battles. Interesting and provocative.

While I certainly don't agree with much of what she is saying (i.e. violence and crime by certain ethnic groups was, to an extent, created by police efforts to "re-define"what is criminal and repressive practices), it is good to hear some alternative voices.

A fun collection of illustrated stories from the 40's and 50's, with mind bending (but usually predictable) twists. How can you not grab this up and look when you see this book?

I'm already biased against what the military considers "healthy" food choices. This did not help at all. But, it is an eye opening look at how military practices have influenced out diets.

This war, known by some as the first world war, helped define our practices in dealing with natives and certainly informed the revolutionary war and "decided the fate..." of North America. It also had some anecdotes that I've never heard before.

And I'm more into military history than what is probably healthy, so I had to pick it up.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Drive In Theater

We recently saw the new Star Wars on the big screen at the Drive In Theater in Glendale. I think I am beginning to understand why they have been avoided enough to lead to most of them closing. Here are a few challenges:

- Chain smokers parking next to you. We had to move twice.
- Throughout the movie, people were flicking their lights on and of and driving around. Really?
- Someone idling their Diesel engine the last ten minutes. Sigh.
- A Domestic disturbance right next to us. It was one of the chain smokers, so we were happy to leave them.

But, I still enjoy the drive in. Where else can you tailgate with your crew for a movie? Where else can you chit chat with the neighbors a bit before the show? Where else can you pile on the blankets and pillows and enjoy Star Wars?

I guess if you focus on the positive, and hope your neighbors have a little common courtesy (which seems to sadly be less common), you can still enjoy.