Sunday, September 9, 2012

movie review: 2016

I had been wanting to see this movie since it came out a few weeks ago, and finally got the chance. And, overall, I wasn't disappointed. Evaluating a documentary-type of film is somewhat different from doing so with the regular movie. I'll admit here that my own political views are very similar to d'Souzas, so knowing a bit going in about what the movie was about, it was the kind of thing I had anticipated. It pretty much follows de'Sousa around, showing his conversations with other people. There are also a few re-enactments, and excerpts of the president reading from one of his books. D'Souza visits Indonesia and Kenya, along with places in the US that are associated with the President's past. The over all tone of the movie is fairly reasonable; indeed, d'Souza at times seems not entirely unsympathetic to the President in some ways, as for example when he notes similarities in their backgrounds. But there's little doubt that his ideas are very different from the Presidents, and that this film is not one friendly to him. Overall, the movie is fairly well made. It seems fairly coherent and doesn't engage in much over-the-top rhetoric. But the value of a film like this is in how accurate, or not, it's claims are. We've had examples from Gore and Moore that have played fast-and-loose with the facts, so has d'Souza, too? I'm not sure how to answer that, though if he had, I would imagine in the couple of weeks since it was released, someone's fact-checked it more thoroughly than I'm able or have the time to. Not to encourage sloth or mindless acceptance, because claims by anyone on this side or that should be tested and confirmed so far as possible. I know that this movie is essentially an election movie, and the fact that it's released a few months before an election in which it's primary subject is a candidate should be noted and kept in mind. I recommend it. The information it gives seems relevant, especially since it's stuff we should have been told this time four years ago.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

even further down the slippery slope

Gawker: 'Pedophilia Is a Sexual Orientation' I'm linking to the Newsbusters' article that itself mentions and links to the original article, and has some excerpt. Mostly because I've not desire to. While such garbage thinking should be brought to light, I've no desire to give it even a bit of a search engine bump.

Monday, September 3, 2012

slightly mixed feelings about this

Joss Whedon coming back to TV for Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D. series

ABC and Marvel have confirmed that Whedon is developing a TV series spinoff from The Avengers, based around the top-secret Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.) organization that recently brought Earth's Mightiest Heroes together on the big screen

This sounds like a pretty good idea, except for one thing...


When that network does good, it usually does very good, like Lost. But when it does bad, it does very bad, like almost everything else. They got hooked on some kind of attitude, thanks I suppose to Desperate Housewives, that I can only describe as snarky towards all things decent and moral. So many of their attempts at DW clones have flopped quickly, but that does seem to be their trend.

I hope The Avengers avoids that, and works well. Having Whedon be a part of it does seem promising.

movie review--The Expendables 2

I have to say, first off, that I liked the first The Expendables. I thought it was a pretty good movie. It was a pretty serious movie, dealing with a rather serious if also far-fetched situation. The guys on the team were rather human, not necessarily the typical action heroes, and a bit messed up.

If that movie had one big problem, it was that it wasn't overly fun. It was serious, and seemed to want to be fairly realistic.

I'm glad to say, The Expendables 2 is neither of those things. It has serious moments, but right from the first the overall mood of the team is different. The vehicles they drive into the town/complex right at the movie's start have phrases emblazoned on them. Realism also gets a quick boot out the door, and the people both good and bad are larger-than-life.

Most reviews I've seen or heard about this movie have been rather negative and unimpressed. I understand that, but for my part, I enjoyed it heartily, and recommend it as a fun movie. Yeah, suspend your disbelief, don't expect the best acting in the world, but overall, I think it works for what it is.

Look, consider the one scene in the first movie that has Stallone, Willis, and Schwartzneggar together. It was only one scene, and all they did was talk to each other. True, it was "tough guy" talk, but still, that's all it was.

For the average movie watcher, if you're going to have guys like Stallone, Willis, Schwarzneggar in the same movie, not to mention Statham, Li, and even Norris for the second movie, then what do we want? Yeah, the tough guy talk is fine, but we want Stallone, Willis, and Schwarzneggar side by side by side, guns blazing, bad guys being mowed down before them! We want Chuck Norris taking out bad guys and telling Chuck Norris jokes. We want Statham hacking and slashing through the bad guys. Having Jean-Claude van Damme as a very convincing, slimy bad guy only adds to it all.

A bit more Jet Li would have been nice, but his character is only in the first 15 or so minutes of the movie.

Over all, this movie delivers. It ain't great, it ain't a classic, but it's fun.

james goll really needs to just stop

Those commands do not imply that we have to believe that our circumstances are fitting exactly with God’s will for us. We’re just supposed to be thankful. As we worship with words of gratitude, our sacrifice becomes a railroad track of faith and it can carry a payload of prayer:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2 NASB).

In other words, thanksgiving is the key to releasing God’s supernatural power. Even Jesus used this key. Look how He performed the miracle of the multiplication of the bread and fish (see John 6:1-13). First, He picked up the skimpy number of loaves and fishes in both hands. Then, “having given thanks” (John 6:11 NASB) and having lifted them up before God, He was able to distribute to the hungry thousands as much bread and fish as they wanted.

Goll, James W.; Dupre, Chris (2012-06-19). The Lost Art of Pure Worship (Kindle Locations 502-512)

In other words? How do either of those passages equate to Goll's "in other words"? Neither of them even come close to saying that "thanksgiving is the key to releasing God's supernatural power". Then, pointing to the time in John 6 when Jesus gave thanks for the food that was distributed to the thousands is rather weak. Jesus did many miracles, and there is no obvious practice that He went acted similarly every time. Nor does it hint that somehow thanksgiving is the ultimate way to get God to do something.

Yes, being grateful to God is a good thing, that's not being disputed here. But it's not what Goll wants us to think it is. Nothing in Scripture even hints that thanksgiving releases God's supernatural power, that's just silly.

Having read a bit of Goll's writings before, it's not like this kind of thing is surprising. I'm pretty convinced that he's one of those who doesn't so much go to the Bible to find out what it says and then adjusts his own thinking accordings, but takes his own ideas and speculations to the Bible and shoehorns verses and verse fragments to force them to fit those ideas and speculations. Thus, in order to claim that "thanksgiving is the key to releasing God's supernatural power", he simply finds some verses that mention giving thanks, and smashes them into the shape he wants, even if those passages don't.

So, yeah, someone needs to tell Goll to retire. Please, for the love of all of us, please, someone, do that!! I'm sure he's well-off, he's a Word of Faith false teacher after all, surely he has enough holy-hanky and miracle-selling funds stored up to live well for the rest of his days, so long as he avoids Benny Hinn miracle-selling crusades. But I assure you, James Goll has writing quite enough books to make his NAR apostasy influence last for many, many years. At some point, it's just too much. If he goes much further, he'll become a parody of himself, kind of like Bill Johnson.