Top 10: Superhero Movies

The Big Guy helped me compile this list.

#10: Spider Man 2 TBG



#9: Captain America: Winter SoliderI like what I like. DH


#8: X-MEN First Class TBG


#7: Avengers: Age of Ultron — I’m a Marvel fan. To me the Avengers are the cornerstone of the Marvel Universe.  DH


#6: The Dark Knight TBG


#5: The Avengers  — I’ve always been an Avengers fan.  This is still one of my favorites. DH


#4: Iron Man TBG


#3: The Incredibles  — With the popularity and success of The Incredibles I’m surprised it has taken Disney so long to come out with a sequel. DH


#2: Guardians of Galaxy TBG


#1: Captain America: The First Avenger — Captain America may be one of my favorite recent movies. I’ve always enjoyed super hero movies and grew up reading comics. Captain America was one that I really didn’t know much about his story until this movie.  DH




Stars Wars: What’s the Big Deal?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock in a galaxy far, far away you are probably aware that Stars Wars: The Force Awakens (Episode 7) opened yesterday. Surprisingly, I’ve heard, read or had conversations lately with several people who just don’t get what the deal with Star Wars. Of course, if you are Gen X nerd like myself, it is hard to believe that anyone doesn’t think  that at least Star Wars the Original Trilogy is the greatest movie series ever.

One explanation this phenomenon is  age at the release of Star Wars. The Original Trilogy was released between 1977 and 1983. Episodes I-III were released between 1999-2005. Several of the people I know who don’t get the Star Wars thing were either born after 1983 or to young to see a of the Original Trilogy and by the time Episode I was release were old enough to consider it a little kid film. Seriously, if your first exposure to Star Wars is The Phantom Menace and you are over the age of 8 or 9 I understand not liking it. The Phantom Menace and the prequels were not good movies.

There are several reasons why I think Star Wars is a big deal.

First A New Hope greatly changed the way special effects were done in  movies. A New Hope required new technologies and methods.  Companies like Industrial Light and Magic and Digital Production grew out of this boom of new technologies.

A New Hope was one of the first science fiction movies to become a true blockbuster. Star Wars pulled fans from a variety of backgrounds not just science fiction junkies.

Star Wars and Jaws launched the Summer Blockbuster. This has become a very profitable approach for Hollywood.

Personally, I was fell in love with Star Wars after my Dad took me to see Star Wars a New Hope. It may have been the first PG movie I was allowed to see.  It was not like any movie I had seen before the special effects blew me away. Oh, then there was the music. Star Wars is the sole reason I consider John Williams one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.  One of the things my Daddy and I enjoyed doing was movies.  I’m really not into science fiction but he was. We enjoyed watching Star Wars together.

Being the nerds that we are the Big Guy and I have decided to celebrate our anniversary by seeing The Force Awakens (TFA). If you haven’t seen it go see. Unlike, the prequels  TFA has the feel of a Star Wars movie. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful and of course then there is that John Williams score.   I was leery about how Disney would handle a Star Wars movie.  They did a great job. J.J. Abrams has proven he can make a better Lucas movie than Lucas.

Noah: The Movie

Disclaimer: I have not seen the movie. This is my thoughts to what I’ve read and heard about the movie.

The movie Noah was released this weekend. There has been a bit of controversy about the movie. The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are mixed with critics like the movie but audience not so much. I have been reading a series on Ed Stetzer’s blog about the movie and other reviews of the movie. The series on Stetzer’s blog is guest written by Dr. Jerry Johnson, President of National Religious Broadcasters. I would recommend reading Dr. Johnson’s series.

One of my biggest concerns about the movie is Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of the Genesis narrative of Noah. However, I’m not surprised that Aronofsky’s portrayal of Noah is vastly different from the biblical account.  Here is why? Aronofsky’s isn’t a believer. He doesn’t necessarily value scripture in same way I do. Aronofsky has produced his version of a “classic”.

I still haven’t decided if I will see the movie. After reading Dr. Johnson’s articles I was at least interested in seeing the movie.  Well at least until I saw a trailer for Noah tonight. The trailer so bad that I doubt I will pay money to see the movie. I might eventually see.

I do have some thoughts about how a Christian should handle the movie. See the movie if you would like but if you aren’t interested or offended don’t .  My advice is to study the Genesis account of Noah. Read the Bible first. Next break out the commentaries and dig into the story.  Be prepared and open to dialogue with others about the movie.


Top 10: Disney Movies — Animated

Cars#10: Cars (2006) — Racing champion Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) ends up being stranded in the  tiny town of Radiator Springs and in the process tears up the town.  The town judge Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) sentences Lightning community service to repair the damages.  In the process Lightening learns some valuable lessons about life from  Sally (Bonny Hunt),  Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and the other locals.

Aladdin# 9: Aladdin (1992) — Street urchin Aladdin (Scott Wienger) encounters an intriguing stranger who turns out to be Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin). Of course he falls for her but she is required by law to marry only a prince prince. Aladdin’s luck makes a drastic turn when he meets a magic Genie (Robin Williams)who grants him three wishes.

Lion King# 8: The Lion King (1994) Follow the journey of young Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) from a young cub to the king of the jungle.

Beauty and the Beast# 7: Beauty & The Beast (1991) — Disney’s retelling of the classic tale.  To save her father the beautiful Belle (Paige O’Hara) agrees to become a prisoner of the Beast (Robby Benson). In the process her charm and kindness transform the beast into a kind-hearted gentleman.

Fantasia# 6: Fantasia (1940)Join Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice on a magical journey through time set to a soundtrack of well known music.

dalmatains2# 5: The 101 Dalmatians (1961) — After the evil Cruella De Vil  (Betty Lou Gerson) kidnaps  Pongo (Rod Taylor) and Perdita’s (Cate Bauer)  entire liter of 15 pups they must rescue them.

Monsters Inc.# 4: Monsters, Inc (2001) — Monsters, Inc takes a playful look at what if those childhood fears of monsters in the closet and under the bed were true.   See what happens whens monsters Sulley (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) have a chance encounter with Boo (Mary Gibbs) a human child.  Guess what the monsters are afraid of the child.

Toy Story# 3: Toy Story (1995) — Woody (Tom Hanks)  the toy cowboyfeels threatened in his position as Andy’s favorite by the arrival of new toy Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Space Ranger. Buzz & Woody compete for the top toy spot and in the process learn a lesson about friendship.

The Incredibles# 2: The Incredibles (2004) — Mr. and Mrs. Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson)  and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) have been forced into a protection program by the government. The Parrs are attempting to live a normal life and raise a family. However it is just to much for Mr. Parr/Mr. Incredible.  In his attempt to relive the glory days Mr. Incredible runs into trouble and must be saved by his not so normal family (Spencer Fox and Lou Romano).

Peter Pan# 1: Peter Pan (1953) — A chance encounter with Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll) catapults the Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont), John (Paul Collins) and Michael Darling (Tommy Luske) from their ordinary life in London to the fantastical Neverland.

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are

wildthingsLast week we saw the Where the Wild Things Are. I was familiar with the book by Maurice Sendak and was looking forward to the movie.  My feelings about the movie are mixed.

Spike Jonez gives his unique spin to Where the Wild Things Are. The movie is based on the book but the plot differs greatly. The plot is much darker than the book. It is definitely not for young children (under 7 or 8). I understand that it would be difficult to make a movie out of a such a short book without expanding the plot. However, I did not like the dark and troubling tone of the movie plot.

What impressed me was the cinematography. It was an absolutely beautiful movie. The world created for the Max’s journey into his imagination is amazing.  For me the beauty of the movie is a redeeming quality.

I don’t think this is one that will be added to my collection. I would recommend reading or reading the book before seeing the book.  Overall it was an enjoyable experience.

Top 10: Worst Movies Ever

top10So, this one is really a worst 10 list.  The Big Guy collaborated with me on this list.

#10: Spaced Invaders – Rotten Tomatoes’ synopsis of this movie should be a clue to how bad it is: “When five of the universe’s coolest aliens crash-land on planet earth, the cosmic crew, piloted by an ultra-hip Martian, ends up in a sleepy mid-western town. Unfortunately, it’s Halloween night and the citizens mistake these spaced invaders for harmless trick-or-treaters.”

Any movie with the premise of aliens confused for trick-or-treaters is not going to be that great, but the terrible acting, bad writing, and horrible special effects combine to make this one of the worst movies in the history of film. – TBG (The Big Guy)

solar#9:  Solar Crisis – The  plot was so poorly developed that I really couldn’t figure it out. I do know it involved something about the sun going to blow up. A group of astronauts were sent to the sun to stop it. Somehow the space shuttle doesn’t melt or blow up getting to the sun.

By the way, the movie had only 4 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, all rotten. That should be a clue as to how bad this movie really is. – Dee

inspectorgadget#8: Inspector Gadget- I enjoyed the Inspector Gadget cartoon as a kid; however, this is one of the worst remakes ever. Starring in the title role, Matthew Broderick, a bumbling detective, is given 14,000 gadgets to help him fight the evil Dr. Claw. A terrible, flat performance by Broderick, a pedestrian script, and poor action sequences ruin a movie that should have been a straight to video release. Whatever you do, pass on this flop and watch the original cartoon if you want to relive the exciting adventures of Inspector Gadget. -TBG

4feathers#7: The Four Feathers (1977) – This was one of those movies that I got stuck seeing at a friend’s house.  It was very bad and slow moving.  After the first, 30 minutes or so I even quit trying to pay attention and ended up playing with spades with some friends. I do remember that the person who picked the movie out had to leave early. Probably, got tired of all the complaints.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the plot involves a British army officer who resigns on the eve of a battle. His niece sends him 4 white feathers indicating she thinks he is a coward.  In turn, he sets out to prove he isn’t a coward and saves the lives of his former comrades.  – Dee

dudleydo#6: Dudley Do-Right – I enjoyed the cartoon, but this is a terrible live action remake that is almost never funny. Brendan Fraser and Sarah Jessica Parker give flat performances as Dudley Do-Right and his girlfriend, Nell Fenwick. The evil Snidely Whiplash gets Dudley fired and attempts to take over Semi-Happy Valley in the Canadian Rockies. Rated a putrid 14% on Rotten Tomatoes, my only question is: How did 14 percent of critics like this movie? Watch the original cartoons and skip this remake. – TBG

#5: Boris and Natsha: The Movie – Yes that’s right Boris and Natsha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon end up in a live action movie. The duo is up to their usual mischief in the real world. Let’s just say that they should have stayed in cartoon land.  – Dee

mariobro#4: Super Mario Brothers -It is hard to put into words my disappointment with this movie. Many of the Mario game series are classics such as Super Mario, Paper Mario, and the Smash Brothers games that feature the Mario Brothers. On the other hand, this is probably the worst video game movie I have ever seen. The Uwe Boll movies are close, but this movies terrible plot, painful acting, and pathetic special effects combine to ruin it. Nintendo no longer speaks about the movie, and no plans have been made for another live action Mario movie. –TBG

ishtar#3: Ishtar  – Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman play a down and out musical duo that dream of being the next Simon and Garfunkel. The pair accept a gig in Morroco. Before they leave the airport the two get caught up in a revolution attempt. The wacky plot is a lame knock-off of the Hope and Crosby style road movie.

For me the highlight of the movie was that my date paid for it not me.  (Yes, I saw this way back before I even met the Big Guy). – Dee.

waterworld#2:  WaterworldWaterworld is possibly the most expensive movie flop of all-time. Kevin Costner, who generally is best in baseball or Native American movies, thought he could make a post-apocalyptic movie classic. Weather destroyed the original set ballooning the overall cost of the production. Deciding to create a massive set entirely on water further hampered the production. The drab setting, forgettable dialogue, and poor directing sink this vessel. Whatever you do avoid the S.O.S. and move on to another film. Costner has made several bad films, but this one surpasses all the others as the greatest shipwreck in his career. -TBG

spies#1: Spies Like Us – Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd play a couple of CIA rejects who get caught cheating on their Foreign Service Board exams. Rather than fire them the powers that be select the pair for a decoy mission.  The two are are dumped in Pakistan and wacky journey begins. In the end the two foil a plot to start World War III.

Absolutely the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I saw it at a $1 movie night that included unlimited soda and popcorn. I still overpaid by at least a $1. – Dee

Reflections on Horton Hears a Who

horton.jpgMonday night the Big Guy and I went to see Horton Hears a Who. I know you are probably thinking hey isn’t that a kid’s movie. Yes, it is and by the way there were only 4 other people in the theater all adults. It surprised me that The Big Guy wanted to see the movie. He wanted to see it because, it had a good approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Apparently, the rating a movie gets is important when he is selecting a movie to see. However, I have always been a Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss fan and loved the book when I was a child. Educationally, I think Dr. Seuss books are great. The rhyming and language selection makes them great books for beginning readers.

Well, being a fan of the book and Dr. Seuss, I was all set for an enjoyable moving going experience. The theater wasn’t crowded so I had room to get comfortable. As a plus there were no screaming kids or talking people and the theater was almost empty. As I was enjoying the movie. I began to realize there are lot good things to be learned from this movie. Wait a minute this is supposed to be a kid’s movie, I want to be entertained not learn something. I have decided to share some of the things I gleaned from the movie.

The first one that caught my attention was Kangaroo’s reaction to Horton hearing an unseen voice. Her philosophy was if you can’t see it, feel it or touch it then; it doesn’t exist. This is the same approach many take with God because they cannot see God he must not exist. According to Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Think I will write more on this in another post.

Horton’s determination to do the right thing. It would have been much easier for Horton to just bow to Kangaroo’s wishes. Of course, that would have prevented much of his trials, of course cut the movie very short. Horton did not let what others thought, peer pressure, hardships or discouragement prevent him from doing the right thing.

The movie also provided a great example of mob psychology. The animals were quick to follow Kangaroo’s lead against Horton. When Horton was proved correct the tide of public opinion quickly turned against Kangaroo.

Of course one of the most important lessons learned from Horton is the value of people. “A person is a person no matter how small.” Too many times it is easy just to look at the outward appearance of a person and make a quick judgment based on that. All humans were created in the image of God and should be treated with respect and dignity. How many times do we take the time to actually get to know others before making a judgment about who or what we think they are?

A final lesson I learned from Horton is persistence. Horton was determined to complete his mission when faced with obstacles and peer pressure. He kept going even when it would have been easier to quit.

If you get a chance be sure to check out Horton Hears a Who. It is a great movie for children and adults. So if you are looking for an a good family movie or a great date night, Horton Hears a Who is the movie for you.