Saturday, September 20, 2014

CUTAWAYS: THE ADDAMS FAMILY READS THE BROTHERS GRIMM

This week for Aleteia I reviewed “Boyhood,” the new film from Richard Linklater which has received something akin to worship from most of the major film critics out there. Chances are, you also might find it to be a deeply moving cinematic experience… or a complete waste of three hours of your life. It really depends on if you manage to make a personal connection to the film’s message.

I say the film’s message, because you probably won’t connect at all with the film’s characters. They range from uninteresting to downright irritating. Mainly it’s the parents. The mother’s only concern seems to be in keeping a man (any man), so when her son admits to staying out drinking and doing drugs all night, she just shrugs. The father’s only worries are finding himself and creating dialog. Well, that and making sure nobody ever votes for George Bush. They do live in Austin, TX after all.

You know, someone needs to teach the parents in “Boyhood” how to really be involved in the lives of their children, maybe someone like the Addams Family…

For me, one of the appeals of the Addams Family has always been that, once you remove the veneer of comedy/horror, you’ve basically got a family that truly loves another. And Gomez and Morticia, they’re real parents. They nurture and guide their children, they protect and punish them, and, as this clip proves, they’re absolutely vigilant about what information goes into their kids’ heads. In the fictional universe of the Addams, I’m sure there’s no copy of the Catechism lying around, but if there were, they’d probably have this passage highlighted:

“The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’ The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable. Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.”

I actually liked “Boyhood.” I thought it communicated a deep truth about how our identities are formed, not by the big events in life, but in the small day to day situations we find ourselves in. But, yeah, the parents bugged me. Give me the Addams Family over them any day of the week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I MARRIED A WHAT?

Twenty-five years ago today, my wife and I stood in a small church we had never set foot in before and held hands while a good friend strummed his guitar and sang John Lennon’s “God Bless Our Love.” He certainly has.

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Not too bad, I suppose, considering the average duration of a marriage in the United States these days is 8 years. It’s even more amazing when you take into account that my poor wife probably wakes up each and every morning with something akin to this running through her head…

And yet, despite the thing she married, my wife’s love hasn’t wavered once. You know, maybe our dissimilarities have actually helped us stay together all these years. It’s like Pope Francis said this last Sunday when he presided over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica. “This is what marriage is all about,” the Holy Father commented, “man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences.”

Well, “Vive la différence!” we like say around these parts (after which we smack ourselves upside the head for speaking French). And may God grant long life and health to the woman who, 25 years ago, married a monster and made a man out of him. Words can’t express the love.

Friday, September 12, 2014

NOW SHOWING AT A BLOG NEAR YOU.

Now Showing Sign

Rather than trudge through the barren wasteland that is the period between the Summer blockbuster months and awards season, I’ve decided to spend some time at Aleteia catching up with some of the interesting movies which have come out this year. First up is Code Black, a new documentary focusing on residents in the LA County emergency room and the completely broken healthcare system they have to deal with. It’s not the most exciting film you’ll see this year, but it’s an important one.

In other medical movie news, Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report passes on the announcement that acclaimed writer Andrew Klavan has signed on to script the movie based on the atrocities committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Again, probably not a feel good story, but one deserving of attention.

More in line with our usual fare, Jason Deitz at Non-Modern reviews the latest Doctor Who episode, Robot of Sherwood. I like his take on the Christian themes of the episode, but I have to admit my opinion’s still out on the season as a whole until they resolve some plot threads.

Speaking of doubts, over at Speculative Faith, R. L. Copple expresses his own over the “positive” portrayals of religion in Star Trek and Firefly.

And finally, reader Aniya Granato shares with us an inforgraphic she helped create looking at some of the highest grossing Christian films in history compared to some similarly successful secular films…

Christian Movies
Source: OnlineChristianColleges.com

You can see the full size image at OnlineChristianColleges.com along with some more information.

See you next time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

THERE WERE GIANTS IN THE EARTH IN THOSE DAYS

kiel

It is we heavy heart that we must mark the passing of one of this world’s gentle giants, Richard Kiel. He’s probably best known for his role as the lovable assassin Jaws from the James Bond series, but around these parts we associate him more with such epics as Hysterical, Creation of the Humanoids and, of course, Eegah. Where would this blog be today without Eegah? On top of his prolific movie career, we’ve also enjoyed seeing Mr. Kiel make guest appearances in just about every TV show worth watching from the 60s and 70s. C’mon, look at that picture up there. That’s TV gold.

We linked to it a long time back, but The B-Movie Cast’s interview with Richard Kiel is still worth checking out. In it, Kiel discusses his long acting career and his attempt to bring the story of Cassius Clay (the southern abolitionist, not the boxer) to life, a project he was still working on when he died. Kiel was also an ardent evangelical. There's an interesting testimonial on his home page where he discusses his struggle with alcohol and how he conquered it through prayer. All in all, he was a pretty good guy.

Richard Kiel, the world will be a little less full without his presence, but at least there’s comfort in the thought that there’s probably a size extra-large halo waiting for him at the pearly gates. Eternal rest grant unto Richard Kiel, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May he rest in peace.

Monday, September 08, 2014

INTRODUCING: THE JUKEBOX HERO HYMNAL

Rock n Roll Nightmare

Well, since the stagnation of the nation’s economy and the ineptness of our intervening government have conspired together to lay waste to the primary way in which I earn money to feed my family, I have of late been picking up a few spare bucks writing content for other websites. If you want to see how dry that can get, be sure to check out my awe-inspiring piece on the meanings of buildings on coats of arms. Better drink some coffee before you go there if you want to stay awake, though.

Better yet, why not check out my other blog. Yes, you heard me right. In a fit of madness, I’ve decided to start up a new venture in which I look for signs of God in “the Devil’s music.” Ladies and gentleman, welcome if you will…

THE JUKEBOX HERO HYMNAL

Yep, I’m going to try and build a breviary with a backbeat. I had thought about just doing it here, but I didn’t want to lose the focus of this blog any more than I have. Plus, I know there are plenty of folks out there who want nothing to do with bad movies, but might appreciate discussing music and spirituality, so I figured I’d just give the topic its own space. The Jukebox Hero Hymnal won’t be as Catechism heavy as The B-Movie Catechism, but it will still follow the same routine: pick something that wasn’t necessarily intended to be Christian and find something Christian in it anyway.

Now don’t worry, I’m only going to post there once, sometimes twice a week. This blog will still get most of my attention. But as long as I’ve got the time now, I figure why not do both. I hope to see you over there as well as here.