Double Feature...

After a full week of work and a Friday night dinner date Laura and I watched Gran Torino. I have been wanting to see this since I first saw the trailer and it was part of a deal - I see "He's Just Not That Into You" and Laura will go with me to Gran Torino. It never happened until last night. What a great movie. It makes me want to live a better life.

As I was still processing the story, Laura suggested we watch "Changeling". She had already seen it in the theater and really wanted to watch it with me. My emotions can only handle a limited amount of manipulation so I didn't really want to watch another movie but I agreed. I can't believe it is a true story. I have been trying to figure out my beliefs on hell and judgement, doubting that there is an actual place called hell where people go. Watching this movie makes me doubt those doubts, and tepidly hope for such a place. Not just for the murderer, but for the liars, deceivers and manipulators of innocent souls.

We are just getting around to watching the movies that were up for Academy awards. There just isn't time during the week and we are usually traveling on the weekends. Our cable company offers movies "On Demand" and we have been taking advantage of this service. A movie costs $4.95 so it is like going to Blockbuster. So far we have seen "Slumdog Millionaire", "The Reader", "Man on Wire", "Gran Torino" (no nominations), and "Changeling".

I have no idea how the Academy decides/chooses/selects its award nominees but it seems these two movies were overlooked. Slumdog Millionaire had an energy and excitement that these two movies lacked. And I think it helped the the main characters were Muslim orphaned by the religious persecution of a dominant minority which set them off on their life journey. Whether or not it earned "Best Picture" is up to the experts. I saw it twice and glad it won.

The Reader was not at all what I thought it would be. The full frontal nudity and Kate Winslet seducing the 15 year old boy caught me off guard. I though she would be "the reader" helping blind children or something. My cynicism leads me to believe she won best actress cause she played a character who got naked, indulged a teenager's sexual fantasies, became a Nazi and killed Jews. Was her acting really that good? I don't think so. But what do I know?!?!

Maybe we will watch "The Wrestler" next. Honestly I thought Mickey Rourke was the Macho Man Randy Savage. I don't know if I was disappointed or relieved when I found out otherwise.

Snap into a Slim Jim, O yeah!!!


Intersection of Faith and Will...

I have been reading Bill O'Reilly's book "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" on my grandmother's recommendation. O'Reilly is someone I respect but I do not watch or listen to his radio or tv programs. I did a few years ago but today I only tune in now and then when Dennis Miller is on. Hilarious. I did read "Who's Looking Out for You" but I don't remember one thing about it.

"A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" is about how the author's experiences, from his Catholic school days to his climb through the news media, has shaped his personality and how he approaches life. Most people probably don't give a rip about O'Reilly playing stick ball in Levittown, NY, or that he was a news anchor in Dallas, TX. What interests me the most about his story is that as he tells it, it makes me reflect on my own story and examine what I am doing to get to where I want to be.

Right or wrong, what I took from my Christian faith growing up was that we prayed for something we wanted to happen and it was in God's hands. What happened, happened and I dealt with it. I'm not sure why I accepted this way of thinking. This is probably why I do not have many "wants". I just go with it.

There is a proverb that says the purposes of man's heart are deep waters but a man of understanding draws them out. Now I am not going to exegete the word "purpose" here. I will (hopefully not haphazardly) amplify "purpose" into desires, will, passions and dreams. Whether or not this is correct is inconsequential to me because the message is true. I'm not sure how to expand on this at the moment but I believe there is a powerful explosion when the will intersects with faith.