Archive for July, 2007

Jesus Camp

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Jesus Camp follows several young children in the Evangelical church as well as Becky Fischer, pastor and camp leader. Kids, and it seems, families attend a summer camp where the kids will get their daily dose of evangelical Christianity. Through interviews with Fischer, the children, specifically Rachel, Tory and others, Jesus Camp illustrates the un-nerving and scary  beliefs, teachings and activities of this group of Evangelical faithful.

This is a scary film on several levels. This film shows some of the activities inside the camp – kids in ‘church’ crying and preaching. One clip after another we see children driven to tears. The message the kids get is certainly far from “fair and balanced”. Not once did other beliefs come up. In fact, Becky Fischer is certain that her way, the Evangelical way, is THE right way. The interviews with her show her single minded conviction and that in itself is scary. There is a mighty number of Evangelical Christians that have voting power.
This is a must see for any and every parent sending their kid to Bible Camp or Jesus Camp. And for anyone in America who votes. It’s well worth the 90 minute investment.

The Prestige – Thumbs Up

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”

I really liked The Prestige. It twists and turns up until the very last minute of the film. This is a pay-attention-to-every-detail kind of movie. And I like that kind of film – one that makes you think about the whole movie afterwards, putting the pieces together to make sense of it.

The Good Shepherd – Thumbs Down

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

With a run time close to three hours, The Good Shepherd doesn’t win any awards from me. Watching it last night was a test of my patience. Either I just didn’t get it, they didn’t tell the story clearly enough, or, perhaps it was all those code words the agents were using. I didn’t get the translation manual. There were several parts completely unexplained – I didn’t know who was responsible for what and why.

Maybe that’s the point. A lot of backhanded things being done for some unknown reason by a lot of unlikable characters. Save your three hours for something else!