Category Archives: movie review

One to Three Word Movie Reviews

I have watched several movies in the last few weeks and thought I would offer a simple glimpse into my thoughts and opinions about each. As such, I thought I would try something novel and write a one to three word review for each.

Interpret them as you will:

  • Transformers – amazing thrill ride
  • Live Free or Die Hard – Yipeekiyay
  • The Contract – ssllooww
  • Rocky IV – zzzzzzz
  • Jesus Camp – deep sorrow
  • Manufactured Landscapes – we did that?
  • Borne Ultimatum – smart and fun
  • The Simpsons Movie – funny – provocative – funny
  • The Last Mimzy – childish good idea
  • Hot Fuzz – part funny, part….

Jesus Camp: The Movie

I finally mustered up the courage to watch Jesus Camp. I knew it would take a large dose of emotional and physical self-control to watch, so I gathered up the courage and hit play. I expected to be angry, furious even, but instead I was overwhelmed with a sense of sadness and sorrow.

Jesus Camp is a documentary about a fundamentalist Christian children’s camp in the US. I was saddened because these kids, 8-12 years old or so, were being emotionally manipulated and given an overwhelming sense of responsibility beyond their years. Some of the “low-lights” were seeing the kids “bless” a cardboard cutout of President Bush in a way that seemed like worship, seeing the kids being told that the future of the US and it’s “immoral state” are on their shoulders, seeing these kids being treated like soldiers (even martyrs) and seeing one of the kids from the camp have a bizarre interaction with Ted Haggard. It was sad…I think kids have the potential to do amazing things in this world and should be given every opportunity to do so, however, to manipulate them, like what was seen in the film, seems immoral.

In fact, I would have issues with what I saw in the film if it happened with adults, let alone kids…what are they thinking? I remember running Jr. High church retreats and we always tried to be sensitive to the fact that kids that age are very susceptible to any sort of manipulation. That didn’t mean we wouldn’t share the gospel message but we thought about the implication of how and when we did it.

The film, for the most part, seemed fair to both sides but in the end, I was just deeply saddened by what I saw and find those emotions resurfacing even as I write.

My Mel Gibson – Apocalypto Experience

Yesterday I went to see Apocalypto at the theatre. I had heard amazing things about the cinematic experience so I went with high expectations. The movie as a whole was good but it was a bit, shall I say: “Mel Gibson-ish.” I just found it very reminiscent of the movie “The Patriot” as if it was “The Patriot” transported back in time to the Mayan culture. All the graphic stuff aside (And it was extremely graphic! Although it wasn’t the most believable graphic stuff I have seen in these types of movies. For example, there is a scene where the Mayan priest is literally ripping out a man’s heart and the heart comes out easily and nicely disconnected from the veins and as gross as that was, I didn’t find it believable.), it is a cinematic experience and I felt like I was transported back in time. Like any good movie, it made you feel like you were apart of the characters lives and their fate was in some vicarious way, your fate. It’s a good story and Mel Gibson shows once again why he is a great storyteller…I guess I just wonder if his stories/movies are starting to sound the same, much like Michael W. Smith’s music (sorry to all those Michael W. Smith fans but it’s true). All in all, it was a good movie but it is one of those movies I won’t be buying on DVD – seeing it once is enough.

Human Trafficking

I recently watched Human Trafficing on DVD. This was one of those movies I knew would be moving but I wasn’t sure how and too what extent. However I wasn’t expecting it to effect me the way it did. I think the movie did a fantastic job of dramatizing the reality, the disturbing and horrible reality, of human trafficking in our world.

Although this is an issue that you don’t hear about often, trading humans is the third most common illegally traded thing in our world next to drugs and firearms. And it isn’t slowing down as criminals realize that although they can only sell drugs only once, they can sell women several times a day (stats say 8-15 times). Human trafficking may just seem like just a foreign problem, something that only happens on the other side of the globe, but the fact remains that when it comes to sex trafficing, North America is the main consumer for these women and children (that phrase sounds terrifyingly accurate).

The movie portrays several different ways women (and little boys) get sold into sex slavery. The examples they give are mail-order brides, kidnapping, parents selling their children for money, conning girlfriends, and conning models (especially young models). The methods are vast and the results are devastating.

Anyone who thinks prostitution is just a volitional choice for women (or men) needs to watch this movie and get a glimpse of the manipulation and intimidation these women are put through and how they are treated. There maybe some who volitionally choose prostitution for their career but they are the very very small minority. This issue needs to be seen for the reality it is.

My eyes were opened and something has to happen…I am not sure what my role will be in ending this cruel reality in our world but I can’t sit idly by in ignorance anymore.

Here are just a few stats on human trafficking I found (source: wikiepedia):

  • a women will often serve 8-15 men a day.
  • 800,000 to 900,000 people are trafficked across borders each year.
  • 20,000 to 40,000 people are trafficked into the US each year.
  • 800 people are trafficked into Canada each year.