Starring Keanu Reeves
47 Ronin is the classic Japanese folk story of 47 samurai who are on a mission to seek revenge and restore the honour of their fallen lord… and some random white guy fighting CGI monsters. Somehow Keanu Reeves has got himself involved in this Westernised version of an Eastern story. Now, while I enjoyed this movie and thought it was a good way to spend a couple of hours in a cinema, it never quite manages to overcome to fact that there are two movies here trying to squish themselves into a space reserved for one.
Ever since I started buying comic books digitally, I’ve been going through a lot of iTunes credit. So I’m always on the lookout for discounted iTunes cards. There’s this site I check out that keeps a record of who is selling these cards at the cheapest rate. When I’m running low on credit, I pull up the site, find out who’s got the best discount, then go shopping. But even though I’ve seen the price on the website, even though I’ve checked out the stores catalogue, I’m always a bit apprehensive when I walk up to the counter. What if I got it wrong? What if they’re not really on sale? Will I look like an idiot when I ask for the discount and there isn’t one? Although I’ve been promised the discount, I’m never sure I’m going to get it until I hand over my money.
God has promised me, through his Word, that the death of Jesus has paid for my sin and that if I believe in Jesus, I’m going to heaven. But how can I be sure? How do I know that Jesus really has deal with my sin? How can I know that God actually will follow through on his promise and let me into heaven?
Starring James McAvoy and Robin Wright
In 1865, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, was assassinated. Lincoln was sitting in a theatre watching a play when John Wilkes Booth snuck up behind the President and shot him in the head. It was a tragic moment for the people of the United States. A nation was in mourning and demanded justice. Booth was shot and killed in the ensuing manhunt. But Booth did not act alone. He was part of a conspiracy to assassinate the President. Eight people were brought to caught accused of conspiracy to murder. One of them was Mary Surratt, the owner of a boarding house. The Conspirator tells the story of Mary Surratt’s trial. While the people call for her execution, questions begin to arise. Is Surratt actually guilty? And is the court more interested in vengeance than justice? The Conspirator is not just a movie describing a historical event. Because these are issues that still have an impact today.
But I’m still in love with Judas, baby
Lady Gaga has a new song out called Judas. On first listen, it appears that there’s more than a passing connection between this song and Judas from the Bible, the guy who betrayed Jesus to the authorities. The film clip furthers these connections with images of Jesus and his crew riding around on motorcycles.
But is this song really about Judas from the Bible? Is Lady Gaga giving us her understanding of the message of the Gospels? Or is something else going on here?
What happens after the war ends? In 2077, the war between China and the USA escalates to the point where nuclear missiles are exchanged. Some people managed to find shelter in underground vaults. Others weren’t so lucky. Now, 204 years later, the USA is in ruins. The bombed out remains of buildings are a constant reminder of what’s been lost. Radiation affected mutants roam the wastelands. And the survivors try to rebuild society, any way they can. Resources are scarce, people are trying to kill you and you’re on your own. This is the world of Fallout.
Starring Matt Damon
Directed by Clint Eastwood
What happens after you die? It’s a question that cuts to the heart of our existence. Is this life all there is or is there a life after this one? For those who have lost a loved one, this is more than casual speculation. This is need to know information. Where are they? Are they okay? Can I speak to them one more time?
Hereafter is a movie that deals with the question of life after death. Through the stories of three different people from different parts of the world, director Clint Eastwood challenges our ideas about the afterlife and why it scares us so much.
Starring Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
As I sat down to watch Despicable Me, one thought dominated my brain space for the full 95 minutes of the film: Why aren’t I enjoying this? There are evil geniuses running around doing wildly over-the-top shenanigans. There’s a legion of yellow oompa loompa style minions speaking in their own made up language and providing comic relief. Some of my favourite comic actors, such as Jason Segel, Will Arnett and Jack McBrayer are providing voices. I should be entertained by this movie. Instead, I was bored. And I think I know why.
by Jeff Kinney
Comics are awesome. I know that’s not a controversial statement coming from me but I thought I’d put it out there. Full text books are good too but I like me books with pictures. If only there was something out there that could meet me half way. If only there was some kind of full text/comic book hybrid.
Thank you Jeff Kinney. Thank you.
Thank you for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the story of Greg Heffley and his adventures in th 7th grade. One part slice of life written journal, one part cartoon, 100% funny.
Written by Brian Azarello
Art by Eduardo Risso
A man in a black suit approaches you. He hands you a attache which contains a gun, 100 untraceable bullets and enough evidence to prove without a doubt who ruined your life and how. You are assured that no matter what you do, there will be no repercussions. What do you do?
The King James Bible is a great translation of God’s Word… for 1611. While I appreciate the efforts of those who prepared this early English language Bible, sometimes I find it easier to read the original Greek than all those thee’s and thou’s. And that’s saying a lot because my Greek isn’t that great. What I need is a way to experience the rich language of the KJV in a way that brings it alive for me. What I need is the KJV with an electronic soundtrack. And that’s what I got with Book of Romans: The Unofficial Soundtrack.
From the Urban Dictionary:
Twihard –A serious/obsessive reader of the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, one leap above Twilighters. The difference between being a Twilighter and being a Twihard, is that Twihards have embraced a new Twiligion… er…. I mean, religion based on Twilight. They live and breath Twilight. Most Twihards are for Edward and Bella. Therefore, those Twihards are all for true love & love at first sight. Point out one thing to a Twihard, and they can relate it to Twilight instantly. Savage and wild, they need every single thing to be perfect in the upcoming Twilight movie.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve noticed something very wrong in the above category. And that’s because it’s all too real. Twilight is a new religion. And there’s good reason to be concerned about that.
If you walked down the street and asked a random person if they believed in God, chances are they would say yes. But what God? It seems no two Gods are the same. They all have different characteristics, different qualities, different personalities. If the God I believe in is really just a construct of my mind, do I really even need him in the first place?
Do I need to believe in God?
There once was a time when heroes were upright citizens. They fought crime and saved the world because that was the right thing to do. Being a hero was not just about saving the day but also making sure the way you saved the day was heroic and just. After Watchmen, heroes were ultra-violent nut jobs in trench coats with severe psychological problems and an inability to interact in social settings. Thanks Rorschach.
The theme of this issue is reflections. What do we see when we look into the mirror? And what is there looking back at us, lurking underneath the surface?
This afternoon I spoke at the lunch time group at Thomas Hassall Anglican College. I spoke on Romans 5:8. Earlier this week I had the chance to hang out with the new year 7’s on their camp. Fun was had by all (well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I had fun).
As a Christian, I want to make use of every opportunity to evangelise. I want everyone to know about what Jesus has done for them and that they too can be one of God’s people. And as a youth minister, I am especially interested in going into high schools and reaching those school students who don’t know him. But the question is: how do I do this in the most effective and appropriate way? Some people think Exo Days are the way to go. But as I discovered whilst listening to Triple J news this morning, not everyone is happy about this.
The character of Alice Cooper is the villain of his show. You’re meant to cheer against him. He says things and does things that fly in the face of normalcy and decency. He is counter cultural and digs up those things we’d rather be left buried. And that’s a good thing. He challenges us to recognise the things in this world that we’d rather sweep under the carpet and ignore. And sometimes, whilst he’s delighting us with sick fantasies, he can reveal something about human nature that we’d rather he didn’t say. Because it’s true. I DO just wanna be God.
The Dark Knight (2008 )
Starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger
Okay, cards on the table. It’s a Batman movie. I’m gonna like it. I thought Batman And Robin was one of the greatest travesties to ever grace the silver screen and I still enjoyed it because it was a Batman movie. For months I’ve been avoiding the hype about The Dark Knight. I’ve avoided the trailers. I’ve avoided the viral marketing. I’ve avoided the news reports of Ledger’s untimely death. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Batman Begins was a great movie. It had it’s problems, but I was able to overlook them. But the vibe was that The Dark Knight was in a totally different league. A much better league. So what did I think?
I once used the Alice Cooper song It’s Much Too Late for a high school chapel service. Each student was passed out a sheet of paper with the name of the song and the lyrics printed on it. I asked anyone if they knew who Alice Cooper was. Most of the teachers put up their hands. And one student. Just one. I was pretty sure he was just trying to get some attention. So I told him if he could tell me, I’d give him a couple of minties. His reply? “She’s a poet.” Me and the teachers laughed because he got it wrong on both counts. He is a popular rocker from the 70s and 80s. But some of my favourite work of Alice’s comes from this century. Like It’s Much Too Late.
It may surprise you that I’m a huge Alice Cooper fan. A fan of a 60 year old rocker wearing black leather and makeup with some Top 40 hits in the 70s and 80s who did a cover version of one of his own songs with British pop band The A-Teens. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like me at all. But strangely enough, I really enjoy his music as well as his presence as a performer. One of these days I hope I have enough money to justify seeing one of his concerts. If he’s still breathing… not that being dead would stop him I guess.
The thing that really gets me going about Alice, the thing that gets me excited, is that he is a Christian.