Pick your movie of the week: Wrestlers! (July 28 – Aug 3/17)

We did this once before and it was Roddy Piper vs Randy Savage vs Jesse Ventura. Well, now the match is another triple threat: Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant vs The Rock! Which would be your movie of the week? Feel free to vote based on the movie or on the wrestler.

  • Rocky III (1982, The Hulkster)

  • Micki + Maude (1984, The Eighth Wonder of the World)

  • Fast Five (2011, The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment)

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Taking a razor to climate change

When it comes to climate change, it can be difficult to know what’s real and what’s not. Do we trust those who tell us there is a dangerous and imminent problem that could have disastrous affects on our descendants, or do we trust those who warn us of spending unnecessary time and money on something being force-fed to us by alarmists?

Whether or not we realize, we all do have an established stance on the subject, and therefore, every one of us fits into one of two categories: 1) those who believe there is a real problem and 2) those who don’t believe there is a real problem. You may believe yourself to be more middle-of-the-road (e.g. You don’t believe all the hype but you also think we should be responsible in taking care of our planet.), but at the end of the day, either you are concerned about climate change or you are not.

Now Run Lola Run can actually help us here. In this film there are several different scenarios given to the audience. It doesn’t say which one is real, we choose. For me, when choosing what to believe in situations like this, I have found “Occam’s Razor” to be a very helpful principle in problem solving. It simply states that the simplest answer is usually the correct one.

So, in this case, which scenario below seems more likely to be true?

  1. The Industrial Revolution and its continual growth has created pollution that ultimately caused a real change in our climate patterns that, if left unchecked, will result in danger and possible catastrophe to generations to come. Multi-billionaires, whose companies are amoung the worst offenders pay top dollar to convince the masses that there is no problem. They hire people who pose as experts and insist that climate change is a hoax. They consort with powerful friends: politicians.
  2. Though evidence proves that pollution is destructive, the discoveries made concerning climate change years ago have since been proven to be a false alarm. A commanding majority of scientists and researchers, however, saw an opportunity to cash in on the fear people have for cataclysmic events. These scientists joined forces with politicians who rely on this mass fear as people will spend big money on government programs and “environment friendly” products.

Now I can envision either one of these being true. Given the opportunity to lie and deceive in an effort to make money is a common pit we humans fall into. However, in cases like this where it’s hard to know what to believe, I like to make use of the Occam’s Razor principle: the simplest solution is probably the answer. And when I do ask that question, it seems obvious to me that option #1 is the clear winner. Here’s why I say this:

  • I can more easily believe filthy rich oil tycoons trying to protect their money more than I envision a majority of the science community jumping into a get-rich-quick scheme. The motive is just more believable.
  • The super rich and politicians have gotten along very well throughout history. Time and time again we see them scratching each other’s backs. And though government often sponsors scientific studies, a collusion with scientists to make a snake oil profit, even if it’s a big snake oil profit, just doesn’t sound as probable.
  • More than once I have seen “experts” and “scientists” on TV who were exposed later as not experts at all, but people who were hired for PR work. And each time it they were on the side that claims climate change is a hoax. I have no doubt at all that their counterparts can and do the same, but I haven’t witnessed it yet.
  • I have a hard time believing that this hoax has managed to dupe most of the developed world but didn’t manage to trick the Donald.

This, admittedly, is a bit simplistic. I mean, textbooks are written on the subject. But this is my conclusion after running through the scenarios like Lola. And I must admit that after such a short run I’m already out of breath. So… what say you?

Congratulations Run Lola Run. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Ivana Baquero as Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth.

Best Actor: Yun-Fat Chow as Master Li Mu Bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Best Quote:I want to tell you with my last breath that I have always loved you. I would rather be a ghost, drifting by your side as a condemned soul, than enter heaven without you. Because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit.” — Li Mu Bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

If you’ve read this entire post, thank you. I realize that climate change is a bit of a bore these days, and is quite divisive. But I believe it’s important for us to talk about it, whether we like it or not.

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Pick your movie of the week: Foreign Films! (July 21-27/17)

Honestly, if you haven’t experienced the wonderful world of international movies, now is the time to start. I loved every one of this week’s nominees. I’m not sure which one I’d pick over the others, but it only matters what you would pick. If you haven’t seen them, vote on which plot description would most interest you.

Run Lola Run (1998)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

 

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The most popular movies I haven’t seen (for every year I’ve been alive)

What?? You haven’t seen that?! It’s true. The following 45 movies I have yet to see. Which ones would you most recommend to me?

1972: Dirty Harry

1973: The Exorcist

1974: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

1975: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1976: Carrie

1977: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1978: Animal House

1979: Mad Max

1980: Friday the 13th

1981: On Golden Pond

1982: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

1983: Risky Business

1984: A Nightmare on Elm Street

1985: Weird Science

1986: The Fly

1987: Moonstruck

1988: Beaches

1989: Born on the Fourth of July

1990: The Godfather, Part III

1991: Thelma & Louise

1992: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

1993: Dazed and Confused

1994: Natural Born Killers

1995: Sense and Sensibility

1996: Scream

1997: Starship Troopers

1998: The Thin Red Line

1999: Eyes Wide Shut

2000: Bring It On

2001: The Fast and the Furious

2002: Bend It Like Beckham

2003: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

2004: Saw

2005: Wedding Crashers

2006: Happy Feet

2007: Hot Fuzz

2008: Quantum of Solace

2009: The Princess and the Frog

2010: The Town

2011: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2012: Prometheus

2013: Thor: The Dark World

2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron

2016: Suicide Squad

2017: For now it’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, but I plan to change that tomorrow!

Congratulations The Three Musketeers. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones as Elena in The Mask of Zorro.

Best Actor: Errol Flynn as Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Best Quote: Marian Fitzwalter: “Why, you speak treason!” Robin Hood: “Fluently.”

 

The 2014 movie needs an explanation. You would think that I’d have made a point to watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and really I did. I picked up my ten-year-old son from camp and gave him a surprise: “We’re going to the movies!” He was excited, but as we sat in the theater I could tell he was also tired. Half-way through the movie I looked at Lukey, saw how exhausted and distracted he was and realized he was really only there for me. I decided the right thing to do would be to offer to leave. He took me up on my offer and we left the theater (Which I believe was a first for me.). I’ve been meaning to finish it, but I just haven’t yet. So, suffice to say I haven’t seen the sequel either.

 

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Pick your movie of the week: Swashbuckling! (July 14-20/17)

 

 

 

We owe a lot to the swashbuckling genre, especially for fans of The Princess Bride (1987), the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, and even Star Wars (1977). Which of the following would you pick to be our movie of the week?

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The Three Musketeers (1993)

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

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The farmer has it figured out…

When my son was a toddler I bought him a book for Christmas called The Farmer. It was often our bedtime reading material: a widower farmer living alone goes through continual events of struggle, loss, and disappointment. In between these events, however, he is a man of faith, persistence, hard work, and goodness. He’s a real take-time-to-smell-the-roses kind of guy who is also a good Samaritan, even in the middle of his own trials. And in the end… well, I can’t spoil it for you. You can borrow Lukey’s copy if you’re interested in reading it.

I loved that book.

I love that book.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in my 45 years on this earth (over 46 if we count time spent in the womb, though I question just how much I could have learned in there) is that there are seasons of life. Times when it’s clear and cool. Times when it’s grey. Times when it’s storming. Even times when everything is covered in fog. Right now we’re enjoying a beautiful summer with a healthy amount of rain. But we all know, especially for those of us living north of the 42nd parallel, that winter is coming. It always does.

Maybe your season of life right now is horrifying like in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Or depending on which part of the movie, it could be full of love, hurt, heartache, or bliss like in 500 Days of Summer. Or perhaps you’re frustrated or living through a series of misadventures that only seem funny to other people watching you, like in Summer Rental. Either way, be like the Farmer. Enjoy the wonderful things in life. Be faithful. Prayerful. Work hard. And when it’s tough, tuck your shoulder in and push through. Seasons pass. But we can always trust that beautiful things are created through each one of them.

Congratulations 500 Days of Summer. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Zooey Deschanel as Summer in 500 Days of Summer.

Best Actor: John Candy (yes, the same actor who received this honour last week) as Jack Chester in Summer Rental.

Best Quote:We should have a plan. Angela Lansbury always had a plan.” — Hellen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

I should clarify that though the votes online pointed to Summer Rental as the winner, offline votes were made that resulted in 500DOS being the clear winner. Happy summer everyone.

 

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Pick your movie of the week: Summer Titles! (July 7-13/17)

I think we can say that we are officially in the middle of summer now. Which of the following movies with the word “summer” in its title would you choose for our movie of the week?

Summer Rental (1985)

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

500 Days of Summer (2009)

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