Category Archives: Entertainment

Some Thoughts on the movie, The Son of God

Apparently there is a new movie out entitled The Son of God that is about Jesus, His ministry and His death. And there have been attempts by the promoters of this movie to do with it, what was done with Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ. If you recall with the first movie, many in the church made a big deal to try and get as many people to go as possible, using the movie as an evangelistic tool. I was opposed to this type of evangelism then, and now. I see it as a lazy man’s attempt to get his wife-beating brother in-law to come to Christ. Of all those who supposedly came to know Christ because of Gibson’s presentation of Jesus, how many are truly believers today?

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Frozen

EDITOR’s NOTE: This is the Official Timothy Matter’s movie review. All though, I only play pretend movie critic once in a while, like now.

I found myself in line to see the movie Frozen this past Wednesday with my boys, Andy and Joey. I was driving around town and stopped in to see my father and he suggested I take them to see a movie. Frozen was playing. I had no idea what the movie was about, but given that it was a Disney, I thought that it must be good. One of Dad’s employees also said she read a review saying it was really good.

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The War Horse

I’m subbing a history class today. Since they are studying World War I, the teacher has us watching the movie, War Horse. There isn’t enough time to see the entire movie. I’m into the third showing. I think the premise of the movie is: THIS is a Steven Spielberg movie, therefore you must like it. I don’t. It’s quite predictable and just because he used wide sweeping panoramic views and sappy sentimental music doesn’t make up for the fact that the movies is just about a horse.

This movie is rife with the cliches from Spielberg’s toolbox, a beautiful center piece in the horse, a broken down and foolish farmer who buys the horse, the wise son who trains the horse, the evil man who is owed money on the horse and the goose who provides comic relief.

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Top 10 Apocalyptic Movies of All Time

When I started to do this list, I thought it would be something I would throw together in a Sunday afternoon and have some fun while doing so. But then, my mind drew a blank on the number of apocalyptic movies that I have actually seen that I had to refer to Anthony, our church movie expert. He is a movie expert because he is majoring in screen writing at the local community college. You might think: can you major in screen writing? Apparently you can, but the first line of every screen play written at the local community college is: “Would you like fries with that?”

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We got a quarter inch of rain today and praised The Lord for it. This area has been in a drought for about ten years. You can see from the photo how low my father’s front pond is. The water line is well below the damn. We need quite a bit more to break the drought.

Since it was raining I took the boys to see Monsters University. No patience to type a review. All three of us liked the movie.

Afterward we went to Independence Coffee to get a pound of coffee ground up since mine is in storage. The store manager got both boys involved in the downtown Where’s Waldo game. We spent the next two hours looking for Waldo in the participating merchants and had a blast. However much fun we had, it didn’t lead to the sales of any Where’s Waldo merchandise.

In Memory of Vince Flynn

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One of my favorite authors died today, Vince Flynn. He wrote 17 books, 16 of which had the main character Mitch Rapp. The books were all page turners and joys to read. No, they were not very deep. But they were not meant to be. They were meant to be entertaining and they were. The above picture is from rushlimbaugh.com and here is some of what Rush had to say:

RUSH:  Hello, folks, and welcome to the Rush Limbaugh program here on the Excellence in Broadcasting Network.  Middle of the week, Wednesday.  It’s a thrill and a delight to have you with us.  It is also a day of really profound heartbreak for those of us who knew the author Vince Flynn, who passed away this morning at 1:50 a.m. Central time at a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Prostate cancer that was discovered too late.  I’m numb sitting here today in a state of shock about this.  But what I want to try to do in recounting the Vince Flynn that we all knew is to be as upbeat and optimistic as I can because he was.

I first became aware of Vince reading his novels.  His hero is Mitch Rapp.  Those of us who have read his novels should know something.  Mitch Rapp is Vince Flynn.  Vince Flynn was a real man, the real deal.  One of the bravest, most courageous guys that I have ever met.  And he was a guy.  He was a man’s man.  I remember picking up his first novel, couldn’t put it down.  I told you about it on the radio while I was in the process of reading it, when I’d finished it.  And within a couple of hours I received an e-mail from him.  He had gone to the trouble to try to find out how to reach me, and did, and sent me an e-mail thanking me profusely.  And basically starting out an e-mail relationship.

You can read the rest via this link.

It was through Rush Limbaugh that I learned of Vince Flynn. Every fall I would start looking for his new book and I would buy it as soon as I could.

Mitch Rapp was a fun character. Manly, strong, short-tempered, deadly with a 9-MM, taking out 5, 10, 15 terrorists at a time. You know, all the stuff that guys love to read. He had his scraps, bumps and bruises along the way, showing us his humanity and even showing kindness at times. But in the end, it wasn’t a terrorist who got Mitch Rapp. It was far more subtle: it was cancer.

As Rush points out, Mitch Rapp was Vince Flynn. Sadly, cancer took him this morning. He will be missed.

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Star Wars Goes To Disney World

Last week, we learned that Disney bought Star Wars and we can look forward to years of coming Star Wars movies. I am grateful for the purchase, especially given that I know the controlling power behind Star Wars, George Lucas, will no longer be responsible for the scripts behind the movies.

We all know the story of how Lucas took his scripts to Hollywood, time and time again, trying to get help in making his films and it wasn’t until he to episode 4 there that he found success there. There was a reason for that. The movies are poorly written. The dialog is inane and the characters like C3po are really quite irritating. I know the R2D2 is there for the children, so that the movie qualifies as a family movie, but the poor writing makes these characters really irritating.

It takes great writers to make such characters palatable to both children and adults. Just watch a few Veggie Tales episodes and you will see what I mean. The show is written for children, but adults will find plenty to laugh about as well. That is good writing.

Also, watch any of the Tinker Bell movies that Disney has produced. Yes, there are things that appeal only to the 10-year-old girl. But the movies are well written enough to keep an adults interest as well. Again, that is the result of good writing.

The Star Wars franchise has lacked good writing. They didn’t need it. After all, the appeal was the science fiction and the special effects. Yes, there were a few plot twists, like Luke, Leia and Darth Vader being related surprised me when I was younger. But Jar-Jar Binks sealed my views of the Star Wars franchise: adolescent at best. The last one I saw was just wicked. Enough already. I don’t own any of the franchise and will not unless the writing improves. Hopefully Disney can take the series to a new  and respectable level again.

Top Ten Songs from Hell

I got this idea for this Top-10 List from from Comedian Tim Hawkins who posted on his Facebook page that the NAPA Knowhow song just broke into Hell’s Top 10 playlist. He has a point. That song is about as irritating as it can get. Most songs from radio commercials are irritating on one level or another. I believe that is because there is a course in advertising school that teaches people that if you cannot come up with a catchy, good tune or song for your commercial, then you should make it as irritating as possible. Since that is so much easier, it happens all the time.

For instance I can sing the song for Heritage for the Blind. It’s about donating your old junked up car so they can sell it and help the blind. The song is so terrible, so off key, so through the nose of the guy singing, that it’s unforgettable. You know it’s bad when I can discern that the song is flat, off-key and through the vocalist’s nose.

But I digress. This is about pop-culture songs that are straight from hell or about hell, or both. A song qualifies if it gets stuck in your head and… you hate it. A song also qualifies if it is about hell, or the devil or it’s so bad, it makes you want to go there to get away from the song. Therefore…

10. Bat Out of Hell — Meatloaf. Come on, it’s by a guy named Meatloaf! It has to make the list! Plus, I was introduced to this over-dramatic song by a teacher in high school while we were on a One-Act play trip to some place in central Texas. She kept playing it over and over again and I really wanted to send that bat right back to hell.

9. Call Me Maybe — This one qualifies because I’ve only heard it maybe five times, but it’s played inside the recesses of my brain at least a billion times. It went from being a cute song, to… a hellish song. I’ve only seen the artist who sings it in a video once. The other times had the US Olympic Swim team singing it and a bunch of Republicans from Chicago singing it (should we not consider the phrase Chicago Republicans a contradiction in terms?)

8. Sympathy for the Devil — by the Rolling Stones. This song has always given me the creeps and I can only attribute that to the fact that the Rolling Stones capture one aspect of Satan so well. Some writers have even suggested that this song inspired many other entertainers to try and entertain us about hell/Satan, etc. I just have one question for Mick Jaegger and the boys: “with a song like this, exactly where do you plan on spending eternity?”

7. Stairway to Heaven — I know, this seems like it should appear in the Top-Ten Songs for Heaven, but it actually is about a woman trying to buy a stairway to heaven all the while wearing a bustle in her hedgerow. Or something like that. I never have been able to discern much of what Robert Plant is actually saying in the songs he sings. Since this song actually opposes the gospel, it’s actually about getting into hell, in the sense that someone thinks they can buy their way into heaven. But that is probably far too deep for the average listener of Led Zepplin, even though many believe that Led Zepplin is actually really deep. How could one possibly know? You can’t understand half of what Robert Plant is actually saying.

BTW, I don’t believe that if you play Led Zepplin songs backwards, that you can hear Satan’s voice chanting some dirge to delude the people. I do believe you can hear Tiny Tim’s voice as he sings Tiptoe Through the Tulips… our number six enter.

6. Tiptoe Through the Tulips — by Tiny Tim. O what an abuse of the name Tim! Someone please hide the ukuleles.

5. Highway to Hell — AC/DC’s contribution to the list. Given that the lead singer of the band that sang this song died from choking on his own vomit, makes one wonder if he made his destination.

4. Running With the Devil — Van Halen’s contribution to the list.

3. Hotel California — this one rates at number three because it has caused countless millions to sing along without realizing they are singing about hell. The song comes from the apostate Don Henly. It is not really about hell, but about the “high-life” of LA… wait, isn’t that the same thing?

2. House of the Rising Sun — listen to this one too much and you get put on suicide watch. This folk song was popularized by the Animals back in 1964. It’s not just that the song is so utterly depressing, as Blues tends to be, but misguided Christians keep trying to co-opt the tune and put the words of Amazing Grace to it. This shows the unheavenly nature of the song and causes it to rise to such a high level of disdain.

1. Red Solo Cup — Straight from the Department of Monotony, this one is not only mind numblingly repetitive, but there is so little substance to it that it has become the national anthem for every frat boy in the country. Musically this song only rises to the level of the gutter vomit that it leads to in countless frat houses. May it depart from the recesses of my brain as quickly as the word “moderation” does at a keg party.

OK, you probably have your own list. Let me know in the comments section.

True Grit

We watched the 1969 version of True Grit last night, starring John Wayne and Glenn Campbell. After watching the Jeff Bridges version earlier in the year, and then going back to watch the original, I have to ask: why did Jeff Bridges & Company even bother? The John Wayne version, even though it lacked our modern-day intensity, was still the better film. In fact it was one of Wayne’s best films, which is why he won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Given the other options that year, he was the absolute best actor in the best film as well. The only movie most will recognize is Midnight Cowboy in which Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight were both nominated for best actors.

This film still stands today as one that you should own, or at least watch. The lines are classic, well written, and memorable, unlike the tripe that is put forth in so many of our movies today. So much of the movies today are just spin offs of older films and lack any originality. Not so for the 1969 True Grit. Both Wayne and Kim Darby do excellent jobs in playing their characters, with Wayne rising to the occasion just for this movie. He shows why he was that actor that and movie star he was.

He plays the one-eyed fatman to a tee. He is grumpy when he needs to be, drunk when he needs to be, and a man of true grit when push comes to shove. Who can forget the scene when he takes the reins of the horse in his teeth, a rifle in one hand and a revolver in the other and heads off toward Ned Pepper’s Gang (Robert Duvall), guns a-blazing. Wayne was able to pull it off because the actor actually had true grit.

I also appreciate the performances of Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper. While they played the parts of the bad-men, they were not one-dimensional bad men like so many these days. I hate movies where those who portray the wicked, never have doubts about their wickedness, or regrets. Both Duvall and Hopper’s characters show regret even though they are the men who are evil. That adds to the depth of the film.

I don’t wish to detract from Jeff Bridges. Had the film not been made in 1969, he would have been the perfect Rooster Cogburn. But since the movie was so well done in 1969, there was really nothing for Bridges and company to add to the story.

After we watched the movie, we watched the special features which included a portion about John Wayne. One of the commentators mentioned that we need more men with true grit like John Wayne. I couldn’t agree more.