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.

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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.

Hear Him!

A friend on FB was blasted when she decried another movie about a girl who died and went to heaven, and then came back again to make millions on the story. This latest movie is being put together by T.D. JakesWe should not be surprised that Jakes wants to cash in on the new wave of heavenly tourism that is sweeping the nation.

These stories are basically the same: person dies, goes to heaven, sees Jesus riding a pink orangutang, or some such nonsense and then they return from heaven where the next sound heard is that of the cash register. Never mind that the Apostle Paul was caught up into the third heaven, and said it was unlawful for any man to speak of what he saw.

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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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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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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.

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THE Amazing Spider-Man

I watched The Amazing Spider-Man tonight on DVD. There were two over-arching thoughts the entire time I watched. The first thought: Spider Man would never survive in a town like Roswell, NM. We only have two buildings over five stories and he wouldn’t be able to get around to save anyone.

He would have to use a bicycle or a skateboard or even a mule. But his webs would be completely useless until he arrived on the scene of the crime, only to find that the crime had already been committed and the criminals had dashed off in a 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with original rims and added ground lighting. Not only that, he would have to learn Spanish. In all these cases, he would have to change his name to the Amazing Mule Man, or something like that. He wouldn’t be all that impressive.

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Dave Brubeck Died on Wendesday

I didn’t realize that Dave Brubeck died on Wednesday, just a few days short of his 92nd birthday. Here is a bit of his bio:

Born Dec. 6, 1920, to a California ranching family, Brubeck’s religious sensibilities awakened during World War II when he served in Gen. George Patton’s famed 3rd Army. In an interview with Hedrick Smith for the PBS program Rediscovering Dave Brubeck, he said, “So many of my friends got killed in World War II. On the parachute landing on D-Day, one of my friends got shot in the air in his harness of his parachute.” Brubeck said he started asking himself, “Why am I here? Why did they get killed?” Initially, though, he said he turned not to God but to hard work. Brubeck resolved, “I’m alive and I’m gonna do as much as I can.”

And he did. His post-war productivity was remarkable. Not only did the poly-rhythms of such songs as “Take Six” and “Blue Rondo” capture America’s post-war energies, Brubeck’s output—as many as 250 concerts and four albums a year—turned him into a jazz superstar in the 1950s and ’60s.

Some musicians and critics resented Brubeck’s success, saying he capitalized on an audience that black musicians had built. Others dismissed Brubeck’s music as “West Coast Jazz” or “Cool Jazz” or even “White Man’s Jazz.” But the criticism faded after Brubeck canceled 23 of 25 concerts—many of them on college campuses in the South—when he discovered that his black bass player Eugene Wright would not be welcome. After that, Brubeck, Wright, and the rest of the band were welcomed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, N.Y., and at both black and white colleges throughout the country.

Read the rest here.

And here is one of his most famous numbers:

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.

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.

Tim Tebow & SNL

The story is simple: Saturday Night Live did a parody of Tim Tebow’s faith and his six-game winning streak by having Jesus actually show up and tell Tebow that He couldn’t keep helping the team win in the fourth quarter the way that He did for the last six games. You can see the video here until it gets booted for copyright infringement.

I know a lot of people are expressing “outrage” at what the writers did. Please do not join those decrying the event. It is what we can and should expect from a fallen world. If we are to express any emotions at all, our emotions should include sadness and pity. Sadness over the fact that we are just as blasphemous as the writers for SNL, and pity that we are so quick to condemn them and not come along side them to show them their sinfulness.

How is it that we, the church, are as blasphemous? Because we fail to honor Christ, His name and all about Him in our hearts as we should. It is easy for us to point out the sin in a fallen world, thereby boosting our own egos. But if we are honest, do we truly honor Christ as we should? Nope!

For instance, take a look at the Larger Catechism Questions on how we break the Third Commandment:

Q. 111. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, that the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy profession, and answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and others.

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent, profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious prying into, and misapplying of God’s decrees and providences; misinterpreting, misapplying, or any way perverting the word, or any part of it, to profane jests, curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise, unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.

Basically what the writers are doing is not revering the name or person Christ. But if we read the above, we can see that we fall short of this as well. So to feign outrage, as some are doing, really is a bit arrogant on our part. Hatred of Christ and Christians should be expected. After all, that is what our LORD said would happen (Matthew 5:11ff). In fact, He says we should rejoice when such things happen, for great is our reward in heaven.

Instead of showing outrage, please use this as a way to talk about the true and living Savior we have, not this parody that was presented. If we are honest with ourselves, we will find that the Christ we so often want is not what we find in Scriptures. So get to know the Christ of the Bible, not our own desires or others making. This way, when such parodies arise, and they will, use them as opportunities to show people the living and true Savior of Scripture.

Is He concerned about football? Absolutely not. Is He concerned about the spiritual well-being of football players? You bet. So much so, that He went to the cross to die in order to deal with their sins. While Tebow may be “too zealous” for some, he gives us a great opportunity to show others the reasons we have to be zealous at all. Christ is not slap happy, but serious about redeeming His people from a fallen world.

Yes, the world will make fun of us and Christ, but faking outrage is not the answer. Pointing the world to the real Savior is.

Top 10 List of Movies I’ve Seen and Have No Desire to See Again

Some of the most powerful movies ever done are some of the movies I have no desire to ever see again. So once again, here is at Top 10 list, this time, of the movies I have seen once and have no desire to see again.

  1. Schindler’s List — I know, powerful, critically acclaimed and moving. But I have no desire to ever see this movie. Why? Because it was powerful, critically acclaimed and moving… but moving me in the wrong direction. Sometimes too much is just too much and this movie falls into that category. As one critic put it: “It is the saddest movie of all time.” Once is enough.
  2. Cast Away — Tom Hanks at his best. Just think about it, he spent 90 percent of the movie talking to himself and a volleyball, which really showed his ability to act. But alas, the pay off for the movie wasn’t worth watching him take out that tooth with an ice skate. I still cringe over that scene.
  3. The Passion of Christ — I’ve only actually seen about 20 minutes of this movie. The Jesus in that movie was not the Christ of the Bible. It was far too bloody, etc… plus, I have Second Commandment issues.
  4. Me, Myself and Irene — can we be debased for the sake of being debased and make it funny too? Nope. The producers failed on those two accounts and I haven’t seen a Jim Carrey movie since. I should have walked out on this one.
  5. Scarface — watched this movie as a non-believer and found the foul-mouthed drug dealer way too much. Can’t imagine finding anything redeemable about this movie now that I have been redeemed.
  6. Clockwork Orange — again… watched as a non-believer and was repulsed by it. I know, it’s critically acclaimed, but so is dung on a portrait of the Virgin Mary. Not worth watching or listening to critics.
  7. Training Day — let’s see how far we can take a Denzel Washington character… OK, this is it. No sense in watching it again.
  8. I Am Sam — Sean Penn trying to make a serious movie by making a movie very similar to Rain Man. Don’t waste your time watching this movie. Just watch Rain Man instead.
  9. Moulin Rouge! — drop some bad acid, watch a bad musical, add a depressing ending and you get Moulin Rouge!
  10. The Story of Us — Rob Reiner at his worst as a director. I walked out.

There you have it. I’m sure there are a few more, but those seem to come to mind the quickest, which is good since this is a Top 10 list, and not a Top 13 list.

What movies come to mind that you have no desire to ever see again?

Oscars a Bomb!

Good thing I didn’t waste my time watching them. Here is just a brief summary from Foxnews.

The Orlando Sentinel said that the show was a “disaster.” USA Today said the “pleasure diminished” as the night progressed. Moviefone.com commented that the whole thing was “boring” and “produced horribly.” CBS referred to numerous skits by rookie hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco as “uninspiring.” And The Hollywood Reporter noted that the hosting duet was “spectacularly bad” – particularly James Franco.

Other than that… the important stuff to know:
Colin Firth and Natalie Portman scooped the pool for Best Actor and Actress, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo took home the naked statue for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and “The King’s Speech” won Best Picture.

This is why you don’t need to spend time watching them. In two minutes, I’ve written all you need to know, and you probably read this in less time than that. Now, back to things that are important in life!