Sunday, July 20, 2014

Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - PG13

Set in the future, but the year was not specified.   There are many more apes than humans at this point, but the apes have not yet dominated humans.  The backdrop is that humans wiped themselves out through war.

One of the main themes is how fragile peace can be.  There were humans that want peace, and those who don't.   Likewise, there were apes who want peace, and those who don't.  For much of the movie, peace was hanging by a thread, and could be so easily derailed by those who oppose it.  

There were two things I didn't care for:  the political nature of the story, which was not necessary, and the fact that it put apes on the same level as humans, which they are not: only humans were created in the image of God, and only humans have an immortal soul.

Overall,  I did enjoy the film for what it is: entertainment.  The special effects, specifically the realism of the apes, are very well done.

Content warnings include violence, and some moderate gore. The  'Fword' was used, only once.  I saw it with my nephews (16) and they liked it too.

Movie Review: Ragamuffin

This is the story of Rich Mullins, a contemporary Christian musician.   Rich grew up on a farm, and it seemed that every time he tried to help his father, something would go wrong.   This led to a very strained relationship  between Rich and his father, and a lot of insecurity for Rich throughout his life.

I found Rich to be very self-righteous and judgmental, labeling most Christians as insincere and hypocritical.  There is a lot if irony in that statement alone;  He acted like he was the only 'honest' Christian.  Much of Rich's music was negative, which I believe was a reflection of his troubled past, and several people encouraged him to write more positive, uplifting music, which was appropriate, given that there is nothing more 'positive' than God loving us, and us loving God.

I will say that I admire his perseverance in his belief that God loves him, despite his failings, which is most certainly true.  He was strongly impacted by a preacher who coined the term 'ragamuffin', meaning those who humbly ask God for forgiveness.   

Overall, an inspirational film which overuses negativity.  The main point I came away with is how much God loves us, which is a good point to convey :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Music Review: Eventide by Voces8

This is the first album by Voces8  that I've had the opportunity to review.

Eventide is  a blend of chant and classical,  performed mostly in Latin, and some in English.  

The title theme of eventide is present in a few tracks:  Where I Sleep, The Seal Lullaby,  Underneath The Stars, and also Reflexionem.

I especially enjoy the hymns to our Lady,  Second Eve and Ave Maria.

Some of the adjectives I would use to describe Eventide are spiritual, soothing, and meditative,  the kind of album that can bring you closer to the Lord.

I highly recommend Eventide; it is a beautiful work.

Below is a sample.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Movie Review: America: Imagine the World Without her - PG13

This is more of a documentary than a movie, and in it Dinesh D'Souza discusses some of the 'atrocities' America has been accused of, ironically enough,  by enemies within, who actually reside in America who want to tear her down and 'remake' her while enjoying the liberties and freedom she offers.

These absurd accusations include 'stealing' this country, 'stealing' Mexico,  slavery, and the 'evil' of Capitalism (LOL)

The main critics of America that D'Souza focuses on are Howard Zinn, whose leftist attacks on America have , unfortunately, become required reading at universities in this country and Saul Alinsky, who has motivated such radical leftists such as Obama and Hlilary.   The most shocking point in the whole movie is that a very long time ago, Hilary was a conservative, but she was influenced by Alinsky.

D'Souza presents the issues America faces in a serious and  realistic, but not fatalistic fashion.
I  recommend America for all, as those who agree with it will be encouraged, and hopefully those who disagree may be educated :)