Highly Recommended. This movie is a documentary that is opening in a limited market soon. It is an incredible epic documentary that chronicles Ronald Reagan’s 40-year struggle against communism. I’ve seen it twice and was moved to tears both times. The first third of the film introduces us to the nature of totalitarianism in its various 20th century forms; Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and its leaders, Mussolini, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, etc. It begins with the quote that Cato would always end his speeches to the Roman Senate in 150 B.C. with: “Carthago Delenda Est” (“Carthage must be destroyed.”). As Cato knew the nature of Carthage to ultimately rise up and attack Rome again, so Reagan understood the nature of communism to relentlessly seek world domination at all costs. Interestingly, the filmmakers use the term “the beast” as the metaphor for totalitarian states. A monster that would demand complete worship and submission or else death. I asked the writer, Stephen Bannon, if he realized that “the beast” is exactly the same term that the Bible uses for governments that require such idolatrous devotion, like Caesar’s Rome in the book of Revelation, and he replied that he did not. So wow, what a delightful providential coincidence. The movie introduces us to the actor Ronald Reagan and his personal revelation about the dangers of communism in the 1940s while pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. It then weaves us back and forth between Reagan’s personal journey toward the Whitehouse and the various presidents that failed to deal properly with the Soviet threat during the Cold War. The last third then piles it on thick as we see Reagan enter the Whitehouse and how his relentless determination to stop Communism was rejected by even many of his own advisors. But eventually, we see the Soviet Union pushed into bankruptcy and ultimate demise, thanks to the Reagan Doctrine. The film then concludes with a very poignant and yet not overdone “coda” connecting the current struggle with Islamofascism as a direct analogy. Islamofascism is the new “beast” just a new head on the same monster. So we learn that the only way to fight our current battle will be to understand the nature of the beast as Reagan did, and to fight it in the way he did, with uncompromising force. For it is only force driven by righteousness that will defeat this beast, and we have Ronald Reagan to look to for a model. A true hero of mythic proportions. Call this “Ronald Reagan saves the World.” For those who cannot see the movie, it is based on the bestselling book, Reagan’s War, by Peter Schweitzer, which I also read, and highly recommend. It is a short book, very readable and simple for us political duffuses that have a hard time keeping all the names and dates and details straight. To locate theatres where In the Face of Evil is showing, see the trailer or find out when the DVD will be available go to: http://www.inthefaceofevil.com/.
Highly Recommended. This movie is not a political diatribe. It does not defend either Left or Right, it does not express Democratic or Republican politics, it merely asks the questions, “Is Michael Moore a truthful documentarian?” and “Is America they way Michael Moore portrays it?” A resounding double NO is the answer. Filmmaker Michael Wilson starts his journey trying to get an interview with Michael Moore, something he cannot do the entire film. What a tragic irony showing the hypocrisy of a man who attempts to ambush others to make them look foolish, only to be unwilling to do for others what he wants others to do for him. Wlison explores how editing “creates news” that isn’t there. He interviews people in Flint Michigan who Michael Moore sidestepped in his attempt to portray the town as destroyed while pinning the blame on GM’s CEO Roger Smith. These people are happy, starting their own businesses and doing well. Housing tracts have new homes rebuilt where Moore showed destruction. Sure, it’s not all pretty roses, but Wilson shows how you can turn the camera to show a tract of demolished houses to make it look like the town is in dire straits, but if you turn the camera across the street, you see new tract houses being built showing growth and change. The camera does lie my friends. Or rather, in the phrase of another famous saying, “Cameras don’t lie, people with cameras lie.” And then Michael Moore treats Wilson exactly as Roger Smith treated Moore in his avoidance of being interviewed. And to top it all off, turns out Moore didn’t even live in Flint as he portrayed himself, he lived in a nearby middle class suburb! Moore the crusading communist is actually a cryptocapitalist (aren’t they all?). He makes millions and millions of dollars in a free market economy on deals with the very greedy corporate capitalists he claims to despise. When will the hypocrisy stop? Ironically, Wilson, discovers Moore’s secret lied-about home town by lying to an interviewee about his true intentions in the filming, something Moore does throughout his own filmmaking. A powerful moral twist is that Wilson is challenged by his producer, repents and apologizes to the interviewee for lying. This repentance and humility is something so alien, so foreign to Moore in his conspiracy theorizing that I would expect it would go right over his head. Yet, this is the true heart of the film. In dealing with moral compromise we see the true insidiousness of the “ends justify the means” ethic. And Wilson even confesses his own tendency to be affected by it. Now there’s objectivity and honesty in reporting. Particularly disturbing and moving is a sequence where Wilson interviews the soldier that Moore exploits in Fahrenheit 911 who lost his arms. Turns out the soldier agrees with war on Iraq. Turns out he is angry that Moore used him without permission to promote a false idea. How heartwrenching to see this soldier who accepted being in harm’s way in support of his country and freedom being exploited by the very communist (Moore) who claims to be championing the cause of the proletariat. Of course, this is nothing new with communists. They did this in the Soviet Union as well, exploit the workers in the name of a revolution of the worker. Why? Because the ends justifies the means to these people. It doesn’t matter to people like Michael Moore that he knowingly lies if he is in the service of a “higher good” of his own theory. Unfortunately, one of the best interviewees in the film is Penn Jillette, who is also very profane, using the F-word every other word, making this an R-rated movie that will sadly restrict its distribution and ultimate audience numbers.
Not really recommended. This movie had a very mind bending reality premise about a woman whose memories start to vanish of her son who died in an airplane crash. People around her start to “forget” and evidence of his existence disappears but she does not forget. It’s all very creepy with some very surprising moments. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I was wondering what is going to happen next the whole time, which is good, very good. But regretfully, the film is a set up without a pay off. It has the potential to be a very profound inquiry into the nature of memories and human value, but it falls flat for me. Here’s why: we start to realize that there is some big conspiracy going on with the government and aliens. Now, hearing this spelled out sounds stupid, but in the movie they did an excellent job of keeping it ambiguous and unknown and therefore very eerie. But the problem is, they kept it ambiguous all the way to the end, which left the story very unsatisfying. All we discover is that the aliens are doing some kind of experiment, with or without the government (they’re too powerful to be stopped) and they are trying to understand the love connection between a mother and her child that would make her hang onto memories and not let it go. So what? What does that mean? We are never told. We never find out who these aliens are and why the heck are they bothering with such experiments in the first place? Are they all cold hearted bastards or what? There is no revelation of why the villains do what they do, or even exactly WHAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY DOING. How is it that aliens are able to erase thousands of people’s memories and eliminate hard documentation of existence? Why are the NSA chasing the heroine, because the aliens can just get her when they want her? (They have god-like powers and presence) Why do aliens erase so many people’s minds, but then don’t erase the minds of a police woman who is figuring it out? And what makes the heroine so special in the first place? Why is it that she is the only one who never forgets her child? Why can’t they erase her memories? WAY TOO MANY unanswered questions that make the movie confusing. It was “cool,” looking but it just didn’t make sense. It is all supposed to remain some ambiguous Twilight Zone X-Files thing, but it really just ends up being an unsatisfying confusing story. A cheat. An insult to the audience. They set you up for an important revelation and then never pay it off. It’s like they wrote this story based on a cool idea of a person’s memories being erased and then wrote themselves into a corner of nonsense. Oh well, we’ll keep it all mysterious so the audience won’t figure out all our story holes. Uh uh. No way, Jack. It could have been a great psychological exploration of our memories, like Memento or the nature of how we deceive ourselves like The Sixth Sense. The Forgotten fails to provide a profound human connection with the story because it remains unclear.
Not really recommended. This is a popcorn action flick without much heart or soul. Looks brilliantly creative as an interpretation of the future through the eyes of the past. Sky Captain fixes his broken relationship with chick while saving the world from a madman who is going to blow it up and escape. Here’s the rub for me. Yet again, this is another attack on Christianity by portraying the villain as a archetype of Noah in the Old Testament. The mad doctor believes that the world is so full of wickedness and evil and that man is going to ruin it all so he builds a giant space ark and packs it with animals of all kinds on the earth to blast into space and blow up the earth behind him, as he searches for a new planet to live on. In the end, we hear the madman quoting the Bible where God destroyed the earth with a flood because he “saw that wickedness was great on the earth, etc.” Ah, how patently original; madmen and maniac killers quoting the Bible – gee, I wonder what they want people to think of Christians who quote the Bible? The point is obvious; if we act like people did in the Bible, we would wreak havoc and destruction in the name of God. Try as some people may to say that this usage of Christian symbols is positive I think you would have a hard time justifying that belief because the entire Biblical justification is put into the mouth of the villain, which automatically makes it the “evil worldview.” And there is absolutely no indication in the movie that he is twisting the Bible, which lends one to the conclusion that religious thinking IN GENERAL creates this kind of apocalyptic Taxi Driver destruction. You know, don’t all religious people want to “clean up” the world by “getting rid of” all the evil non-religious people? That’s what Hollywood movies generally would have us to believe. That’s the bigotry and prejudice against Christianity that is promoted through a majority of movies. By placing Christian worldviews and Bible verses in the mouths of villains, people generally equate religion in general and Christianity in specific as whacky out of touch madness that leads to acts of desperation and destruction. This is exactly the residue of Enlightenment bigotry and hatred against God.
Highly Recommended. This is a great personal film about second chances, about seeing the consequences of life choices made early in our lives. 13-year old Jenna (Jennifer Garner) tries to break into the “Heathers” inner circle of “the 6 Chicks” at her school. She must sacrifice her best friend, chubby Matt, a photography hobbyist secretly in love with her. But she is rejected by the in crowd anyway and she pines over wanting to be “thirty, flirty and successful,” like fashion magazine Poise tells her. After magic wishing dust sprinkles on her, she wakes up 17 years later as the fashion editor of Poise magazine itself. Only trouble is, she is the two timing, frenetic fast-lane society user of other people in order to achieve that status. When she tracks down Matt, now all grown up and rather handsome, she discovers they never saw each other after that day she rejected him in Jr. High school. And she embarks on a journey of discovering the successful but empty life she built on her way to the top of social success. This is a story of realizing the importance of character and decisions in life. She realizes the kind of fake user you must become to be successful in today’s fashion conscious urban professional world, and how blind she was to the quality person right in front of her, Matt. She makes the wrong choices in life by sacrificing her character and her true friend for acceptance into the “cool” group in school. A universal issue we all deal with. She tries to rectify her issues. When the magazine is in trouble with its competition, they decide to redesign the vision and look of the magazine. And this is an example of good storytelling, her attempt to overhaul the magazine vision reflects exactly the same issue in her own life. She proposes that they get rid of all the fake model shots and replace them with real people in joyful memory experiences, “The Class of 2004.” Looking back to innocence. As she says, “We need to remember what used to be good.” In a sense, she seeks to regain her innocence lost and she recognizes you do this by going back to what was right and good in the past. Excellent thematic writing. But she learns this all too late to stop Matt from marrying his fiancé. He tells Jenna, “I’ve always loved you. These last two weeks, you made me feel what I’ve haven’t felt since High School (obviously, her). But it’s my wedding day. We chose different lives. I’ve chosen my fiancé. Things are different.” And then she wakes up, 13 again, from the magic dust. And she is faced with the original opportunity to reject her young 13 year old chubby Matt, but instead chooses him over the “inner circle” of chicks. Excellent morality tale. Very moving and inspirational to make the right choices in life NOW that will bring fruit later. If we could only see the consequences of bad choices now and where they end up, we may make the right choices instead. This movie gives us the opportunity to see that future result. And that’s the benefit of age: Wisdom. Or at least it should be. That’s the benefit of listening to those who have gone before us. We don’t have to experience consequences to foolish mistakes if we listen to wisdom now and choose the right over selfish ambition. Chose character, devotion and authenticity and you will avoid the pitfalls of the shallow, vain, selfish culture we live in. This movie is a cinematic incarnation of an aspect of a rather profound ancient book, Proverbs:
Prov. 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, And ornaments about your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; We shall find all kinds of precious wealth, We shall fill our houses with spoil,” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart, And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, To deliver you from the way of evil.
It’s just too bad the filmmakers of 13 Going on 30 neglect the one most important element of such wisdom, the source itself, The fear of the Lord. It must be noted that the attempt to achieve morality without God is an ultimate failure and cannot provide ultimate redemption or forgiveness of sins. But it is certainly a testament to God’s Word that when even pagans obey certain aspects of his eternal truths without Him, they are blessed with a measure of success in life. The problem is, that is not all there is to life.
Recommended, but beware of subversion. I love CGI animation. I love how expressive and cute the animated characters can be, how they represent human emotions and gestures with such similitude. I enjoy the simple storylines, easy to follow, strong on moral content. Shark Tale is one of these. Unfortunately, it’s a mixed bag of good values and subversive ones. Oscar is the little slacker fish at a Whale Wash who has big dreams of being loved by being somebody important up on the “top of the reef.” When he falsely gets the credit for slaying a shark, he goes with it in order to achieve that fame he wants so badly. Meanwhile, Lenny, the shark, is dying to get out of his shark family because he is a vegetarian and doesn’t want to rule the waters through fear and a carnivorous appetite. The shark world is portrayed rather ingeniously as a fish eat fish mafia family. Only the strong… Very clever and provides a whole new context for the genre. Loved that. Oscar and Lenny team up to help each other and everyone learns their lesson by the end. What I really liked about this film is the theme about the emptiness at the “top” of celebrity worship. Oscar’s character flaw is that he thinks he needs to be “somebody” famous and important to be loved, that he has to “be somebody,” because “nobody loves a nobody,” But what he doesn’t bargain for is that the “people” of that world of celebrity, as embodied in Lola, the sexy fickle female fish who uses him for her own benefit, are vacuous and without real substance or permanence in their character. Oscar comes to realize that the real ones who love him all along have been right in front of him, as embodied in the lovable small town fish girl Angie, who sticks with him through thick and thin. As she finally screams to him, “I loved you when you were a nobody! I loved you before the Lie!” Interesting that “the Lie” here is the alleged killing of the shark, but it really expresses a wider theme that the entire celebrity culture is itself a Lie. I was clearly reminded of It’s a Wonderful Life with George Bailey wanting to “wipe the dust off my feet of this crummy little town and see the world.” Build skyscrapers and such. It’s all great Americana values here and I love that. The simple morality of middle American values are captured in Angie’s straightforward command when she discovers the lie: To Oscar, “you tell the truth,” and to Lenny, “and you go home.” Of course, they don’t at the beginning and that’s what gets them into trouble. Oscar finally realizes, “I didn’t need to go to the top of the reef. Everything I needed was right in front of me the whole time.” The love of a good woman, and friends. Now, I guess a Marxist could criticize this as a conspiracy of slave class reinforcement, considering that the movie also repackages the whole “Car Wash” context for the poor black culture as happy slavery. You know, don’t aspire to greatness, just accept your position in life at the bottom of the food chain, and enjoy it doing what you are best at, slave jobs at slave wages. But I think that is too simplistic. I think the point of this is more like The Wizard of Oz, and Wonderful Life, to see the value of home and those who truly do love you, and the shallowness, indeed falsity, of public love for celebrity. And that is an interesting irony undergirding this moral story. Here you have all these celebrity actors and actresses, like Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Robert DeNiro, Jack Black and others who are starring in a story about how empty and worthless their own celebrity existence is. They are the fish on the “top of the reef” telling us it is a miserable lonely life up there. Do they even realize their own stories condemn them? Now, here is what I did not like about the movie: Lenny the shark is clearly an analogy for a homosexual and so his mafia family’s rejection of him is an analogy for the claim that traditional society is being intolerant of homosexuals. Lenny is fey and sensitive like a homosexual cliché out of Will and Grace, and likes to dress up “like a dolphin,” which is an obvious insult to sharks, like “dressing up like a woman” is to men. And the way he dresses is obviously a queer eye guy with his yellow scarf around his neck. He regurgitates familiar gay phrases, like, “I’m not like other sharks,” “My family doesn’t accept me,” and “I like to dress like a dolphin, so what?” At the end this “dressing up” thing becomes more pronounced when the head shark, Lenny’s father, finally does accept him “no matter what you eat or how you dress.” And then they show other sharks being “liberated” from their mean stodgey “sharkness” by dressing up in what can only be considered Mardi Gras Gay Pride costumes. This theme of “accepting” people with abnormal behaviors or abnormal “tastes” is a very common one in movies, and an obvious subversive one driven by those with an anti-Christian agenda. And I might also add, a rather hypocritical one as well. I think it’s time Hollywood should start practicing what it preaches and put aside its own prejudice and bigotry. I think Hollywood should start expressing tolerance toward Christians and traditional moral valued people, who are truly the hated outcast rejected oppressed victims in LaLa Land.
Kind of Recommended. As far as period pieces of the 19th century go, this one is visually rich, with great costumes, and environments, good dialogue and subtext as well as complicated relationships. I even thought Reese Witherspoon as the lead actually pulled it off. I had doubts about Miss Legally Blonde, but she delivered. I also liked the heart of the story which dealt with the difficulties of women in Victorian society. The disadvantage they were at in desperately needing to find a husband, and one who had status and wealth. The problem I had with this movie is that the story was very weak and thus I could not follow it as well because there were too many important characters that watered down the main character’s story. It was supposed to be about Reese as a poor orphan desiring to climb her way up into high society and the price she pays. The lie of aristocracy is that significance of life is found in family birth rather than personal achievement or character. In the story, the merchant, played by Jim Broadbent, is just as rich as the nobles, because of his own economic efforts, yet he is portrayed as a miserly uncouth hardhead without class. Well, she mentions her goal of social climbing in the beginning, but then the middle of the story becomes this hodge podge of her life that does not support this goal. She marries a handsome soldier who is lower caste, which doesn’t match her goal. And we get caught up in everyone else’s story around her. The real story that was most interesting and relevant to the original premise was that last third of the movie when a rich man played brilliantly by Gabriel Byrne, draws her into high society and pays her way, with a price attached of course. That was a great story. Problem is, it didn’t start until the last third of the movie, so the story was not strong. I particularly enjoyed how the storyteller tried to show how this thirst for aristocratic company was an empty fraud. As Byrne says, “the women who jealously guard the doors to society so that you will not discover there is nothing behind them.” Byrne plays a Victorian Mephistopheles, who openly explains to Reese how empty it is, yet is there to fulfill her passionate drive as she ignores the truth in her headlong pursuit. This is all a very poignant depiction of temptation and the vanity of the world, or as the title suggests from John Bunyan’s classic, Pilgrim’s Progress, Vanity Fair. I also thought the ending was rather abrupt. Like they spent too much time developing too many characters and then had to wrap it up quickly at the end with a happy ending so we wouldn’t be so unsatisfied. Problem is, it was unsatisfying. Reese loses her husband because she is caught in an apparent indiscretion (though not real), and then he goes off and dies of disease in the army. Because of this, she ends up as a card dealer in a gambling casino. The moral problem with this story as I see it is that the heroine in the end winds up with her original suitor in the movie, an obese traveling man whom she uses to free herself from her casino whoredom. This Machiavellian morality is no better than the aristocratic mindset in the rest of the film that society requires proper pedigree or else one should be punished for their social climbing. As if this ending is a “happy ending.” So it is a pragmatic nihilistic interpretation of social status and worth. Righteousness is jettisoned in favor of survival and personal desires.
Recommended. Saw this on video. I love chick flicks. And I love movies like this about women’s struggle in this life. I’m a softy for a good subtle feminist flick, cause I think there’s always some truth to their claims of oppression. This story reminds me of another little movie about women that I loved titled, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her. Between Strangers is three stories of women dealing with their fathers or husbands and how they are connected to each other, though strangers. That’s one of the points of this film: how we are looking for human connection and healing and how we become strangers to those closest to us, yet can find intimacy through others who are strangers. One woman plans to kill her father, who is just out of prison after 20 years for beating his wife to death, the woman’s mother. Yet, this revenge alienates her from her own family. Another woman seeks to find her passion of drawing with a crippled selfish husband who doesn’t even notice her, let alone care about her. And the third woman is a news photographer struggling in a relationship with her over-achieving famous photographer father while dealing with the morality of shooting pictures of pain and suffering without actually helping the victims. She actually shot a picture of a girl rather than saving her from a collapsing building from which she could have saved her. The acting in this film is superb and by some of the better actors out there who aren’t in blockbusters. They are all united by seeing a vision of a little humming girl who represents the innocence or past they have all lost. The ex-con father redeems himself by saving a stranger woman from thugs and being beaten to death instead of her. Substitutionary atonement. Redemption for him in the eyes of his daughter who could not forgive him except for this kind of change of heart. Truly moving. The artist seeks her long lost daughter she gave up for adoption and goes after her dream to visit Florence. Her husband is a stranger, but decides to help her a bit in the end, rescuing his otherwise toadstool selfishness. And the photographer decides that she cannot follow in the footsteps of her heartless yet successful father by taking pictures of pain rather than helping relieve pain. His rationalization of helping their abstract “cause” rings hollow with actually helping actual people. All of these are excellent relevant moral dilemmas that touch the heart with power. This is one of those movies that I love that show lives of different people who appear unconnected and by the end of the film, they have some kind of providential crossing that connects them. It gives me the sense of how all those thousands of people in the background of MY life, are actually living important and complex lives of their own, are all looking for human connection, just like me. Strangers in our lives are valuable intimate friends in someone else’s. We need a little less egocentrism and a bit more human connection.
Not Recommended. This title is the publicly toned down version of the eminently more irreverent, “What the F___ Do We Know?” This film is a cleverly done hybrid documentary/drama that mixes the two genres rather appropriately for its postmodern message that Quantum Mechanics is a new paradigm that changes our view of reality. While the unnamed “authorities” of science and philosophy spout their postmodernism, a fictional character experiences what they are speaking about. This is all rather fitting, for in postmodernism, there is no fiction and non-fiction, ALL is fiction, all is story. It does a bang up job of communicating how certain interpretations of quantum physics change our understanding of reality and force us into a paradigm change. Major problems with the logic and honesty, though. It basically posits the Copenhagen and mystic interpretation of Quantum Physics while deceitfully neglecting to point this out as one of about 11 different interpretations of said science. They make the point that “we have models of what the world is and this colors our perception of our experience.” True enough. But then “much of what we take for the real world simply isn’t true,” because of the new physics that negates absolutes in right and wrong, true and false, and then proceed to tell us that their new paradigm is the true paradigm and the old ones are wrong. The gall of such intellectual imperialists! That is the central conceit of the movie, indeed all of modern science that has the habit of telling us about our ignorance and superstitions and then proceed to tell us what the TRUE PARADIGM is. Yet, history has proven that so many scientific theories have been “proven” wrong and replaced by new ones, that one can only conclude that these fools are so blind to their own ignorant pride that they don’t even see what they are saying. In 50 years, THEIR paradigm will be proven fallacious and therefore ignorant. Modern science is the sacred cow of this culture, yet, it can’t even tell us if eggs are good for you or bad for you. That is, it changes its mind every 5 or so years. Well, let’s walk through the several main points in the film:
1) Observer created universe: “We create reality,” “There is no world out there independent of my experience,” “matter is more like thought,” This is like the Zen koan about a falling tree not making a noise if there is no one there to hear it. They appeal to the wave function collapse that supposedly occurs when we “observe” something. That is, until something is observed, it is only a wave function of possibilities, that then collapses into a distinct particle when we observe it. Therefore, we create the universe by observing it, rather than observe a universe created by someone else.
2) We are gods. I kid you not. That is a quote. “You are a god in the making.” “Our purpose is to be creators.” At least they are being consistent here. Unfortunately, this “drastic philosophy” as Stan Jaki calls it, of turning man’s epistemic ignorance into ontological reality is a mortal philosophical sin. Just because the subject may influence the object through observation does not at all mean that it creates it. This is like a child who holds their hands over their eyes saying “I cannot see you, therefore you don’t exist,” humming loudly so he can’t hear him either.Supreme arrogance. Our lack of ability to measure the location and speed of an atom at the same moment does not at all logically mean that the atom is in flux doing neither until we observe it. Our lack of ability or understanding is our own lack, not reality’s lack. Funny, but the Creator of the universe says, “Psa. 100:3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” This pseudo-scientific claim that we create the universe is not new at all.
3) The interconnectedness of all things. Okay, in that we are all composed of the same kind of atoms held together in a unity. But then they conclude that “The deepest level of truth, of reality, uncovered by science and philosophy is that we are one.” “I am one with the great being who created me.” Funny, I thought they said we create the universe, now we are created not by our observation as if something does exist apart from our observation. One of the many contradictions in this hodge podge of inconsistent gibberish. Another quote, “The problem of religion comes from seeing God as distinct from me that I must worship.”
4) Okay, this gets to the real purpose of why these people made this movie. To attack the Christian God with their hatred of his goodness and his Law and his judgment of their sins. I kid you not again. Funny, how scientists and the like all say that religion has no right to judge scientific things because religion exists in a realm apart from science, and then THEY ALWAYS turn right around and have the unmitigated gall to use their so-called science to try to judge religion as wrong. Modern scientists are Monsters of hypocrisy. Here’s what they say in the movie, “Now we have the technology and science to rid ourselves of this ugly superstitious backwater concept of God who has everlasting punishment. This is not how God is.” “How can one tiny carbon unit on a speck of a planet betray God Almighty? That is impossible.” Methinks the lady doth protest too much. It comes clear that these people have crafted their pseudo-scientific philosophy to try to deny that they are sinners deserving the wrath of God. Then they have the stark raving stupidity to claim that the Christian notion of God as punisher and rewarder is, “arrogantly creating God in their own image.” Oh, so, in the beginning of the movie, you claim we create reality and revel in our apparent deity, but then at the end of the movie, you tell us it’s wrong to create God in our image? And whose god are you? You’re not the boss of me according to your own claims. God-damned hypocrisy is what that is. This leads to another rather revealing point they make
5) There is no right and wrong. “The problem is that people have set up right and wrong and punishment and reward. There is no such thing as good or bad.” “We are just evolving, we aren’t good or bad.” “I don’t think you’re good or bad, I think you’re god.” Okay, so there is no right and wrong, no right and wrong, you tell us. And then like the good Nazi you are, you tell us its wrong to conceive of God in the Christian way, and it’s wrong to judge right and wrong, and it’s wrong to see us as distinct from God because all is one. And it’s wrong to think of science in the old way of subject object distinction. How stupid do these Nazis think we are? Like Philip Johnson said, it is very typical of a predator to console its prey that everything is fine when it is preparing to eat it. They tell us there is no right and wrong, all is one, and yet we should not worry that they will ultimate imprison us in their prisonhouses of language? There is no right and wrong so they can justify their immoral godless rebel lives, but then all of a sudden there is right and wrong in how religious adherents are believing and behaving? Sorry, bubs, you’re bleeding hypocrisy from every pore of your being. These people are ultimately tyrants trying to control the masses. Tell us all what we can and cannot believe. Thought police.
6) Love and emotions are reducible to chemical reactions in our brains. But then they try to say that we have free will, that “I can change my mind, I can change my choices, I change my life, who I am.” We can control our material troubles like addiction and physical states through mental reprogramming, but they’ve reduced mental activity to brain waves which are controlled by chemicals and chemical laws. There is no self, they say, yet we create ourselves. Excuse, me, who is this “we-self” that is creating again? If there is no self, there is no one to observe or create. The contradictions are so rabid, this movie should be put down, cause it can’t be healed.
The half-truths in this film are powerful, but therein lies the rub. They turn into all lies because of the ultimate lie they are in the service of. This movie is riddled with more holes of hypocrisy and contradiction than Bonnie and Clyde were with bullets. But then, what the #$*! Do they know?
Not Recommended. Rising action star’s new fame turns to horror when a pack of paparazzi try to destroy his life through pictures in Tabloids. This is a morally bankrupt film of vigilante violence. One good thing is that it poignantly depicts the moral depravity of paparazzi photo journalism with its complete disregard for the privacy and humanity of its victims. It shows the complete and utter distortion of the truth, heck destruction of the truth, engaged in by these kind of people, including artificially creating false stories through image placement and interpretation as well as actual “photo creation,” using pieces of images from different photographs to create a lie that looks like it happened. I loved the symbolic analogy of the hero’s car crash, to Princess Diana’s own death as the paparazzi get pictures of seriously wounded people rather than helping them. The fact is, these people are responsible for the destruction of lives they prey upon. The main villain Paparazzi’ rationalization rings hollow: “Everyone wants steak, but no one wants to date the butcher.” In a real sense, this is a truthful indictment of the public’s shameful insatiable addiction to this stuff. But it rings hollow in light of the journalist’s own personal responsibility. SO would they provide children to the child molester if it paid well? Interestingly, the creation of false stories is yet another consequence of a postmodern culture that denies onjective or absolute truth in favor of one’s own “created truth.” Ideas do have consequences. No doubt, this hateful contempt for paparazzi journalism is what drew superstar icon Mel Gibson to produce it. Ah, these poor demigod celebrities who live off their fans’ idol worship and then accuse those same fans of idolatry. But on the other hand, the story answers this Michael Moore Nazi style journalism with an equally hateful vigilante violence. It is one thing for the hero to protect himself, but it is quite another for him to murder, plant criminal evidence and plot the deaths of these miscreants, no matter how heartless they may be. When the hero tries to help the first paparazzi in a road accident, and decides to release the man to his death instead, the movie was over for me. The hero became a villain who murdered, not in self defense, but in revenge. Then the hero sets up another paparazzi to be accidentally shot dead by the cops. What they should have done is have the hero try to save the first guy, and fail to do so. This keeps him sympathetic. But then when the other paparazzi find out, they falsely assume the hero killed him and THEY up the stakes by trying to kill him or something. This would have placed the hero in the position of self defense. But instead we get vigilante violence, and another murder by baseball bat by this evil hero. Taking the law into one’s own hands rather than due process of law (Romans 13). Vigilante violence, no matter how psychologically satisfying it may be in the short run, is nevertheless immoral and requires redemption itself. Instead, what we have is Dennis Farin playing a bad impersonation of Columbo as a detective who knowingly allows the hero to murder and plant evidence and never takes him down. Yes, the hero uses the paparazzi’s own lies and deception against them, but I’m sorry, Mel, immoral irresponsibility does NOT justify murder. And this, coming from a man who just made the most important movie about Jesus, the ultimate sufferer of injustice, who did not open his mouth or raise a hand in vigilante violence. This Paparazzi movie, driven by and affirming hatred made by a man who made a movie about Jesus who said hatred was murder in the heart. It appears Mel has not been as affected by his own savior. I love you, Mel, but you need to repent from this.