Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This is the true story of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini who, along with 2 fellow soldiers, survives a plane crash and 47 days in a raft, only to be captured by the Japanese during World War II. They are held in a prison camp run by a cruel commander they refer to as 'The Bird'. He is cruel to all, but he singles out Louie for punishment because of his notoriety as an Olympian. But the Bird can't break Louie.
Louie was a troubled kid who often got into trouble, and fights. That led to his joining the track team and, eventually, running in the Olympics.
Louie and the others are held for the duration of the war. The part that most surprised me is the lesson of forgiveness at the end, when Louie forgives his captors (the Bird won't meet with him).
A truly inspirational story about endurance, perseverance and forgiveness. To keep in mind that it is a true story makes it even more touching.
I especially like the filming techniques used in the story, such as the view from within the plane while shooting at enemy planes, and the view from a space below the blindfold when they are blindfolded.
Although there is violence and brutality, there is only an aappropriate amount to support the story, and there is little 'gore'. I would recommend this story of America's greatest generation.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Available on Netflix
This is a new portrayal of the Gospel of John. I reviewed the NIV version, but it is also available in the King James version and a Spanish version. Although many of us have heard or read most of the Gospel story, the story of Christ, I feel that seeing it told on screen somehow makes it more relevant, more real, to us.
The only aspect I am ambivalent about is that, although the story is taking place on screen, the whole story is told by a narrator. I would have preferred to hear the story through the dialogue. However, I do realize this would have made the story longer. It is 2 hours 40 minutes, and the narration allows them to tell more of the Gospel story in this time frame.
The narration also provides some additional description and explanation of the events on the screen.
An authentic and moving portrayal of the Gospel. I highly recommend it, as it will deepen your understanding of the Gospel. A great way to begin the Christmas season!
As was hinted at the end of part II, Katniss Everdeen is asked to be the 'Mockingjay', the face of the revolution against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. She agrees, with the condition that the victors of the Hunger Games will not be prosecuted. Katniss makes a couple of messages encoraging and motivating the revolution. I especially like the haunting tune they come up with to motivate the revolution; it is pretty cool. Even though Gale is helping her, Katniss is especially concerned about Peeta, who is being held by the Capitol.
Peeta is shown in several messages that are released by the Capitol, and one of the questions that is present throughout the story is where does Peeta stand?...is he still Peeta or has he been brainwashed?
I actually enjoyed Mockingjay more than the first two, because there was more emphasis on the story, than the action or fighting, although there is enough of those to support the story.
A well-written and well-acted story that you'll enjoy.
I am looking forward to Mockingjay part II.