Archive for the 'Movies' Category


DCLA 2: Saturday Morning

Blogging about DCLA is crazy tough because there is SO much happening here! Yesterday morning had us in a room with 800ish students broken up into small groups of about 8 students. Some of our students were Group Leaders and this was one of the highlights of the day for them! Meeting and sharing life with 7 other students from across the country! That morning we learned about our identity. That was God says about me is the most truest thing there is about me!
Afterwards, we had an hour or so to play. I was going to buzz the vendor circles and then get some work done and then play some ping pong. Instead, I barely made it through the vendor line! Joe made fun of me for not knowing a stranger and talking to everyone! I didn’t even realize it took that long but the crew here is amazing! Compassion, Invisible Children, Me.Glad, To Write Love On Her Arms, My Broken Palace, Blood.Water.Mission, many colleges and seminaries, and many more! I had 2 things against me:
1. My cool Toms shirt on. Toms, we love you and wow what a conversation starter!
2. My ability to have a conversation with a brick wall ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah, an hour flew by!

I had to run to Duffy Robbins breakout session about Straight Answers in a Crooked World. Ole man is LEGIT! Wow. Hilarious and insightful! Reasons we make bad desicions:
1. We have a bad compass
2. When we have bad company
3. When we have bad comprehension
How we make good decisions:
1. STOP and look at where you want to end up
2. LOOK for the lie
3. LISTEN to the word of God

Then it was straight to the prescreening of the new movie To Save A Life due out in theaters January 2010. Full review soon. Still processing.

WOW. All that before our night session!

(Posted via iPhone)


Transformers takes its Revenge on the Box Office but Beware!

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers 2 or it’s full title: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen is about to take in $100m and is on pace to set a record breaking opening for a 5 day take. Bravo! As someone who loves entertainment, that is a huge feat and something admirable. However, call it ‘old age’ or call it my ‘youth pastor eyes’ settling in, I’ve got to ask: is it really?

I really wanted to love this movie! I had some beef with the transforming and actual movements/clarity of the actual Transformers in the first one, it just seemed sloppy and you couldn’t really tell what was happening in the fight scenes. WOW, they totally fixed that! It’s quite stunning the effects and how good they’ve gotten them for these ginormous metallic beasts!

However, my beef with this movie is Michael Bay’s pushing the envelope for his PG-13 rating. It’s no secret I truly despise Bay’s Actiomedies, but for a movie based off of a child’s play toy this is NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN…can I say that again? For a movie based on toys this is NOT A MOVIE FOR THE CHILDREN WHO PLAY WITH THESE TOYS! To not do more damage than good here I’m simply list my issues and allow that to be your warning:

  • Language – sure there isn’t an f-bomb dropped but nearly every other foul word is and multiple times
  • Sensuality – we had just a taste of it in the first one. From dogs humping to robot scrotums to college shenanigans to that weird guy’s butt in addition to having another sexy vixen added showing off her assets on top of what we already get from Meghan Fox.
  • Drug usage – Mom gets a dose of some ‘green brownies’ and trips out on campus
  • Violence – sure it’s mostly battle scenes with robots but wowzers there’s alot
  • Length – it’s 2 and a half hours long! Crikey! My attention span is hard enough to hold for that long!

Now you might say: DANG THAT MAKES FOR A GREAT MOVIE! And as a 30 yr old I might agree with you! As a Dad bringing my kid or a Youth leader bringingย  my group I’d say “Woah Nelly!” Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

As far as the critics are complaining about plot and character development and emotions: IT’S A MOVIE ABOUT ROBOTS! I didn’t think the plot was that hard to follow. It was ALOT of set up for a 45 minute fight scene. Was it all necessary? Probably not. Made for some cool back story though but I’m not sure I’m better for it. I thought the character’s emotions were right on. Again, the crux of this is on the robots. The people are there to run and scream ๐Ÿ™‚
Let’s be honest with what we have here: an over the top summer blockbuster action movie made by Michael Bay so it’s got some goofy shenanigans in it. So it’s a great entertaining break from the heat and they’ll blow up everything in the movie so it’s even more fun to see in the theaters…and by the looks of it, it’ll be there for a while!


iPhoto photo tips and tricks made easy

I spent some time last week putting together a Senior Montage video for our graduates. In doing so, I found some quick easy steps to enhance your photos (and videos) in iPhoto and iMovie. The controls for these 2 applications are smooth and easy to use but as simple as they are, you can still get bogged down and carried away. I find the Enhance feature usually works OK but sometimes it just doesn’t do it.

I found these 3-5 steps can take less than 60 seconds and make a huge difference on your photos or videos:

  1. Saturation: Slide it towards the right to enhance your colors to look full and rich. Don’t worry about if it gets too dark because next:
  2. Level Slider: Slide the middle one to the left to brighten up your photo if the saturation has made it too dark. (It’s the little triangle beneath those 3 colors inbetween 0-100%)
  3. Contrast: Slide it towards the right to enhance focus
  4. Reduce Noise: Slide it towards the right to smooth out any potential rough patches
  5. Sharpness: Slide it towards the right for final edges. It’s like a focused Contrast slider.

So there you go. Have fun and go nuts! I noticed that when projecting something like in church from a projector (espeically a front lit one) that you need to almost need to oversaturate the colors becuase they look much more faded up there than thay do on your LCD computer monitor.

iPhoto Adjustment


The Best & Worst of Dreamworks Animation

Rotten Tomatoes

has some great lists and I love lists! However, this time they got it awfully wrong! In a list of the top animated movies that Dreamworks Animations has produced I’m just appalled at what they called the “Best:”

12. Madagascar

11. Madagascar 2

10. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

9. Flushed Away

8. Over the Hedge

7. The Prince of Egypt

6. Kung Fu Panda

5. Shrek 2

4. Shrek

3. Wallace & Grommit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

2. Antz

1. Chicken Run

Not that there aren’t great movies on here but just looking at the Top 3…seriously? If this were my list it’d read:

10. Bee Movie

9. Shrek the Third

8. Madagascar 2

7. The Prince of Egypt

6. Chicken Run

5. Madagascar

4. Flushed Away

3. Shrek 2

2. Kung Fu Panda

1. Shrek

I never saw Were-Rabbit or Spirit, I just hated Antz, it feels weird even having Chicken Run on the same list but I get it, and I don’t approve of Over the Hedge.

How about you?


I Watch the Watchmen

watchmen montage

So I’m going to say something quite controversial…especially within the Christian writers here on the net who love movies…but I’m going to say it. I have to say it!


…ugh….that felt so good to say outloud…

No, I didn’t love everything about it. Yes, I thought the director went over the top on a few scenes. But in the end I absolutely dug it! It will not be an easy movie for some to watch! Let’s get the right perspective here: It’s a rated R “anti-Superhero” movie directed by the guy who brought us Dawn of the Dead and 300! So think of your rated R movies that would have scenes that might make someone uncomfortable and deemed inappropriate, now lump on top of that Zack Snyder! The last thing I’ll say about that is: it’s rated R for ample reason!

That being said, the 2 or 3 scenes I had issues with weren’t enough to overshadow the whole movie for me. I thought it was brilliantly styled and shot and just a magnificently “beautiful” movie. By “beautiful” allow me to clarify that meaning the cinematography, the soundscape, the acting, etc. I did think that the movie represented the graphic novel excellently. Scenes were just chock full of life and breathe and movement that sometimes you got lost in where to look next. This was a hard story to bring to life but Snyder has a way of exposing his imagination onto film. To his criticism this is exposed in gory violence and sultry, extensive sexuality. To his credit this is exposed in visually stunning movie that is Watchmen.

Let me just say this: You must decide to CARE. This movie is long. This movie has alot of characters. This movie has alot to say. This movie enjoys relishing in the tension before the reveal. If you don’t care about the characters or decide not to get invested then after 2 hours you will be dying for it to end!

It’s the big themes of Watchmen that I loved so much and were excited to see brought to life here.
Superheroes who aren’t Super in any way, shape, or form other than donning a mask to try and battle evil, and what does that make them? Some of these bedraggled Super”heroes” make the Dark Knight look like Elmo in comparison to the demons they fight and wrestle with.
Dr. Manhattan’s separation with humanity… and yes it was visually represented by his nudity. Seriously, what’s more human than our desire to be clothed though? There’s a scene when he witnesses the Comedian commit an atrocity of the vilest nature and then becomes upset at him. To which the Comedian turns to Dr. Manhattan and challenges that he in fact shares that burden as well. He chose to stand there and do nothing! OUCH. Conviction!
What’s the value of human life? We might all agree in the sanctity of life but how does that play out when examining ideas of ‘greater good’ and sacrifice? Is the sacrifice of 1 justified by salvation of 100? 1,000? 1 million? Is the sacrifice of 1 million justified by the salvation of 1 billion?
Does the sanctity of peace outweigh the burden of truth?

Now you might have firm opinions on all those matters and may in fact disagree with how Watchmen chooses to answer or not answer some of them. I simply love that those questions are asked and we are encouraged to wrestle with them!

But bring your brain and think about the story unfolded before you. I can’t wait for the DVD! Then I can skip the parts I didn’t like ๐Ÿ™‚


Watchmen Controversy


The highly anticipated and now controversial Watchmen is in theaters! I’ve been incredibly stoked about it but life’s made this weekend terribly busy and I won’t be able to see it until next week. It appears people are split on either ends of the spectrum! Nobody’s indifferent, either this movie is absolute trash and filth or it’s the Titanic for comic geeks everywhere ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I’m just curious, not to discuss the actual movie itself but whether you:

  • Read the graphic novel and loved the movie
  • Read the graphic novel and hated the movie
  • This was was a graphic novel? and loved the movie
  • What’s a graphic novel? and hated the movie


…I just peed my pants…

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