Unbroken


I finished reading Unbroken to our boys last night. Both of them loved the story, even though at times it was hard for them to follow with the Japanese names, some of the technical terms, and the multiple characters involved in the story. But we got through it, all 416 pages of it.

The hardest part of reading it to them, was the detailed abuse that Louis Zamperini endured while a POW. The book was far more graphic than the movie, and the boys got a real taste for the ugliness of war. (I told Heidi at one point that I don’t think I could ever read the book again as it was so gut wrenching.)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Thor Ragnarok? Nope!

This morning, I was talking with Heidi about what I planned on doing with the boys today since we have the entire day together due to a school holiday. There have been times when I thought that taking them to a movie was a good idea, only to be dreadfully disappointed by the entire event. You can read about our dismal experience seeing the latest rendition of Pirates of the Caribbean here. I never wrote about our most recent experience to see a movie, Despicable Me3, but it was the same. We all came out of the theater feeling the movie wasn’t very funny and was nothing but rehash of the earlier movies.

Our distaste of movies seems to be growing.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to Sting, of the Police

Dear Sting,

It has been some time since you released your song, O My God, on your album, Synchronicity. In fact, as I write this, it’s been 34 years. You are probably as shocked as I am at how time flies. But it does fly and I wanted to write to you a response to that particular song.

Please note that when you first released the album, I bought it on cassette tape and listened to it over and over on my Walkman, and eventually by Teac Cassette player, with Kenwood amp and Klipsch speakers. Synchronicity was one of my favorite albums and I believe, your Magnum Opus with the Police. So know that the words are burned into my conscious, which is frustrating on one level.

Continue reading

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — A Review

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to take my two boys, Andy and Joey, to see the movie Pirates of the Caribbeans: Dead Men Tell No Tales. There are so few movies that I want to see, I was hopeful that this one would be agreeable to all three of us. Well, let’s just say that I was duly disappointed. I felt like it was just one rehashed scene after another. However, the ending was quite satisfactory and gave the impression that Disney would be letting the series lie dormant for the near future. That might be a good idea and give the writers a chance to… rediscover their creative juices, so to speak.

But given that I was rather bored with the movie, I thought I would have Andy and Joey write a review for those of you who have not yet seen the movie. I had both of them write what they liked and didn’t like about the movie. Remember that they are 12 and 10 respectively, so their discernment when it comes to movies is lacking, along with much of their spelling. We’ll have to work on both of those as they grow and mature. Realize that Andy is dyslexic, so his spelling is atrocious. But I love what he writes because it makes more of a statement about the movie that he realizes. Spoiler alert, he revels something about the ending. Here are Andy’s thoughts:

I’m Andrew H. and I saw the pirits of the cairedeian. The first thing that I liked was the add (advertisement about) spiderman! It looked so cool and I encerig (encourage) you all to watch it. What I didn’t like was the fack (that) some guys came back from the dead to kill someone that kreeps me out! It also had Captain Barbosse die wiche relly disterb me! I geus the ending was good but that’s about it!

Just that fact that he loves the preview of Spider-Man tells you something about the movie we paid to see. Here are Joey’s thoughts:

Today I watched a cool movie about piraites called “piraites of the caribian” (4th movie) I liked many part in it one of the parts was at the begining where Jack Sparro (A.K.A Johnny Depp) and his crew took horses and hooked them all together connected to a safe (1T) in  a building, but the safe would not come out of the building so they ended up pulling a bank accross town. I didn’t really have any dislikes in the move and thats what made it a good movie.

The parenthetical thoughts are Joey’s not mine. In Andy’s, they were mine. I’m not sure what Joey meant by (1T).

All this to say, Joey gave it a thumbs up, and Andy gave it a thumbs sideways. I think anyone who has yet to see it should save their money and wait for it to come out on Netflix. You don’t have Netflix? Well then, you are blessed indeed, because you are now under no obligation whatsoever to watch the latest edition of Pirates of the Caribbean (actually the 5th… and hopefully, last installment).

One last addition: Joey gave me an illustration for his review.

“Suck it, Jesus! This is my God now!”

By now you have heard of the recent employment downfall of Kathy Griffin. She decided to pose for a photographer with a fake, bloody head of Donald Trump, thinking that it was funny and would make some political points somewhere. I’m not about to jump on the bandwagon for her indiscretion and lack of discernment. It was tasteless, but cartoonists and political punsters have been making tasteless comments about presidents for 150 years.

What has also surfaced, as you can see from the meme above, is her statements when she won an Emmy. I think the Emmys are kind of like the Oscars, only for television and not movies. I don’t remember her winning her Emmy, since I don’t bother to watch or keep up with either the Oscars or the Emmys. I use to read about the Oscars and then watch whatever got nominated for best picture, but after watching No Country for Old Men, and being horrified, and reading about Brokeback Mountain, I decided that the Oscars were no longer a good judge of movies. But I digress.

When Griffin won her Emmy, she made a point of not thanking Jesus like many before her had done. In fact, she says she won the Emmy without His help at all. That is when she made the statement in the title of this post.

This has led some Christians to start a boycott of anything having to do with Griffin. It has also caused some to be angered and infuriated. I know the temptation. As a Christian, it’s our turn to be the victim!

Well, no, it’s not. Since our LORD and Savior suffered the greatest injustice of all time, being tried, found innocent, and crucified without saying a word of complaint, we should never complain when the world treats us in like manner. He has obviously decreed our sufferings and we should expect no less than what Jesus suffered. If we don’t suffer the same, then we should count our blessings.

So how should we respond to Griffin? My response is pity and prayer. Yes, what she said in the title of this post is sad, but at least it is honest. She is telling us who she really is and is only living out the life of one in rebellion against the Triune God who is. This should cause us to be sad for her. She is lost and without hope. She is among those who clearly fall into the category of being children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-5). His condemnation rests upon her (John 3:18). She has no hope of eternal glory outside of Christ and is blinded by the god of this age, represented by her Emmy, and she is perishing (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

In other words, she is acting out who she is and her view of God. As Christians, we too were children of wrath. I know before I tasted God’s grace in my own life that I had nothing but hatred for Christians and their God. I thought them fools and idiots. And then by God’s grace, I became one of them.

This is what Griffin needs. She doesn’t need our condemnation, Christ’s condemnation is enough. She needs our payers, our sympathy and the gospel. Are we going to show her the love of Christ by declaring some meaningless boycott (after all, what movies or shows has she really been a part of?). Boycotts, while they do make a great show of things, are really a waste of time for Christians. I say this because our weapons of warfare do not include boycotts.

Our weapons of warfare do include prayer. This is the other thing that we should do for Griffin, pray for her. If she angers us, pray for her and be thankful that God has opened our eyes to the truth of the gospel, which we don’t deserve any more than Griffin does, and ask that HE will show her the same grace that He has shown us. We may have the opportunity to do more than just pray and pity her, but let prayer and pity be at least our starting point in responding to the world’s hatred.

The Gospel According to Willy Wonka

I was taking my classes through the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when we came to a question about symbolism. I really haven’t said a lot about symbolism, so I wasn’t expecting much from them. Then I started thinking about the symbolism and it occurred to me that the story is an allegory for the gospel itself. I’m certainly not the first person to come up with this understanding of the play. Others have made the case, if you do a search of my title, you can find them.

Continue reading

Argo, Russia the Ukraine

ArgoIt’s becoming obvious that if you want an up-to-date movie review, Timothy Matters is not the place be. I rarely go to movies when they first hit the big screen because of the expense. Yes, I do go to the matinees when I go, but I also insist on popcorn, candy  and a drink so I can enjoy the full-movie experience.

It’s much cheaper to go through Netflix to watch all the latest movies. This week, I’ve watched Argo and Lawless. Both were exceedingly well done and had me on the edge of my couch. Actually, that’s not true. During Argo, I jumped up several times to pace back and forth, so technically I wasn’t on the edge of my seat.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?”

Continue reading

Monsters University, Where’s Waldo and Rain

20130715-180059.jpg

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

VinceFlynnInMemoryOf

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.

I

I’m Standin’ on a Corner In Winslow, Arizona!

Winslow 001If you grew up in the 1970s like I did, you can finish the above verse as the song automatically pops into your head. I have to say that it has been bouncing around inside my head since I told my brother, Gene who lives in Scottsdale, that I was coming over last week on I-40. He immediately let me know I would be passing through Winslow, and he didn’t have to tell me why that was important, the song jumped immediately into my head.

Continue reading

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.

John Wayne — A True Conservative

I was reading up on John Wayne, the Duke, over at Wikipedia last night and noted that he was a conservative and outspoke Republican. John Wayne died in 1979, shortly before I became interested in politics, so know whether or not he was a conservative was not on my radar at the time.

The article there quoted his response when asked about Medicare and Welfare. This is what he said:

I know all about that. In the late Twenties, when I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist myself — but not when I left. The average college kid idealistically wishes everybody could have ice cream and cake for every meal. But as he gets older and gives more thought to his and his fellow man’s responsibilities, he finds that it can’t work out that way — that some people just won’t carry their load … I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living. I’d like to know why they make excuses for cowards who spit in the faces of the police and then run behind the judicial sob sisters. I can’t understand these people who carry placards to save the life of some criminal, yet have no thought for the innocent victim.

To bad there are not more conservatives like John Wayne in Hollywood today. The more I read about John Wayne, the more I like him and the more I see why he was such an American icon.

The Camp Movie — Shooting a Scene in Our Church

I just found out about 30 minutes ago that the filmakers of the movie Camp, are filming a scene for the movie in our church, Redeemer Christian Fellowship. Jacob Roebuck, the director and writer for the movie, is the son in-law of one of my elders. They needed to shoot a scene in the waiting area of a jail… and… well, seems like one of our classrooms fits the bill. I’m not sure if I’m excited about that, but I will get over it.

I hope to go down and take some pictures of them while they are filming. I just got to meet Teresa and Kate who are responsible for turning the classroom into the jail holding area.  It will be interesting to see how that takes place.

Watch this video for the some back ground to the movie. It is a Christian movie about summer camps that take in troubled children for two weeks at a time and the difference they make in the lives of those children.

One more point: I got to see a screening of part of the movie several weeks ago, and it looks like it’s going to be a great movie.

Also, if you want to help support the movie, go to their website. They are taking donations to help produce it and finish it out. Also, it will be a great movie for churches to rally around when it comes out in February or March. Here is the link to their web site.

Morgan Freeman IS GOD??? O No! We’re In Trouble

In an interview with Fox411, Morgan Freeman came out and admitted that he is God. I’m not surprised by this. If we do not believe in the living and true God of the Bible then it is no great leap to conclude that we are gods as well. Here is the interview:

Fox411: Do you think there is a God?

MF: Do I think there’s a God? Um (pause) yeah.

Fox411: You paused.

MF: I paused because I am God.

Fox411: Because every man is created in God’s image.

MF: Yes or God’s created in my image.

This is the major problem with all mankind, both saved and unsaved a like. We want to make God out into our image, as opposed to the God who actually has revealed Himself in the 66 books of the Bible. This is the heart of man’s problem. It is why the first four commandments of the moral Law are so vital in understanding who God is, and who we are.

God simply states: You shall have no other gods before Me. He states this in the context of idolatrous nations that were in the habit of worshipping false gods, but the problem rested in Israel just as much as it rests in our hearts as well. We want so badly to be gods, that we must die to ourselves and our desires daily, taking up our cross as a matter of habit. Every conflict we face, ever sin we jump into is our declaration with Adam that we are god.

Yet Christ calls His followers to be different because He was different. His entire life was in submission to the Father’s will, and this is what He calls His children to do. The only way we can do so is to be in His word, allowing the Spirit to conform us to His image. It is a life-long calling for the believer.

Is Morgan Freeman truly God? Nope. Not in the least. What Freeman is saying is what everyone single man, woman and child has said since Adam’s fall: “I want to be god, and I hope the living and true God doesn’t mind.” The problem is that the living and true God does mind, hence the Ten Commandments and the Cross. Let’s hope God shows Freeman grace to repent of his own idolatry, and grace to us in order to do the same.