Four (Films) for Friday

I don’t end up having as much time as I would like to watch movies.  But over the holidays, my brother-in-law was in town and we generally go see a couple movies when we are together.  So with his help, I was able to see four movies in two weeks (unheard of) – two in the theater and two on DVD.  Here’s the rundown…


I finally got around to seeing Inception on DVD.  I had heard great things about it and it definitely was one worth seeing.  There was lots to love about it…  the concept, cast, effects, and pace were all great.  What I appreciated the most were the observations about dreaming itself.  Like when we dream, we never really know how we got to where we are in the dream.  We don’t remember the events leading up to the ‘now’ of the dream.  Also, the idea that in a dream we are both creating the dream and responding to it simultaneously.  All fascinating.


True Grit was as you might expect…  gritty.  The Coen brothers spin their tale (well, not really theirs), and do so with the sort of craftsmanship one has come to expect from them.  I thought the casting was superb and each played their part well.  One interesting note…  the movie is set in Arkansas (and I’m assuming Oklahoma), but the scenery in the film was so obviously neither.  Rather, it was New Mexico that had the honor to provide the backdrop.


Ok, this one is sort of cheating, but we (the family and I) found ourselves watching The Fellowship of the Ring… again!  And because it is so good, it makes all others pale in comparison regardless of whether it is showing for the first time or the fiftieth…  one film trilogy to rule them all.


Which brings us to number 1…  The King’s Speech.  And I have to say, this was something of a surprise.  Maybe it was because I had no expectations at all and that I knew absolutely nothing about the movie in advance.  But I don’t think that’s it.  For a host of reasons, this will be the one that my mind will return to repeatedly in the near future.

It was my favorite kind of movie.  A simple, almost insignificant, story that is told so well that one can not help but be drawn in.  It does what I wish more films would do… take the ordinary (ok, so he’s the king of England – not so very ordinary) and help all of us to see the beauty of the small stories.  I don’t want to say much more than that, so as not to ruin it for anyone, but in my opinion this is about as fine as film-making gets.  I’m thinking it is going to win some of those shiny trophies this awards season.

Four (Random Things) for Friday

Ok, while I know each of you looks to this weekly post for the very best in music, I’m making a slight departure from my normal routine.  Instead of four of the finest for your listening enjoyment, I’m putting up four things that I found interesting this week.

Here goes…

1)  dalton ghetti – This stuff is pretty fascinating.  I spoke this week on the intimate nature of God’s creative work.  I think these photos capture that idea some.

2) Man Crisis” – Kind of hard to top the pencil art, but saw this video a few days ago and after a string of posts on man-stuff, this one sort of slapped me in the face.  I’m not buying everything he’s selling, but at least the video is well done.

3) 180° South – A good friend passed this doc/movie my way this week.  And given my love for mountains and such, they had me at “Patagonia.”

The idea is cool.  The story was a bit thin.  The message was simplistic, vapid, and blunt.  But the cinematography was incredible!  The whole time I’m watching, I’m thinking, “Who is the Bad A filming all this?”  I wasn’t even a little surprised when the credits rolled to discover that Jimmy Chin was one of the men behind the camera.  Oh yeah, and the soundtrack is slammin’ too.

4) Great Cover – For all you Journey fans out there (and honestly, who isn’t a Journey fan?), here is a cover of one of their all time classics.

Clem Snide – Faithfully (Journey Cover)

Bonus – I feel guilty for not giving you the goods on music, so here’s a little foretaste of what’s to come from good ol’ Sufjan Stevens.

Sufjan Stevens – I Walked

He just released an EP entitled All Delighted People.  So far, there are a couple of standouts for me.  This track is off a full-length album, The Age of Adz, that he’ll be releasing sometime this fall.

Happy weekend!


Somewhere between the all the comings and goings of the summer, Alison and I found a couple hours of unoccupied time one evening.  We hadn’t seen a movie in a while, so we looked to see what was available and there was a movie called Adam that I knew nothing about.  By the way, having zero knowledge about a movie is my favorite way to see one.  I love the experiencing a story unfolding, and seeing previews or reading write-ups tends to predispose me one way or another towards the film.  This penchant of mine is aided by our next to non-existent exposure to the television, and therefore most story-ruining previews.  Sometimes this strategy backfires, but whatever.

So given my unintentional rant, I won’t ruin the movie by telling you all about it.  Other than it is a love story.  But it’s not your typical Hugh Grant-ish type of romantic comedy (not that there is anything wrong with that).  If you enjoyed Lars and the Real Girl, then you stand a chance of appreciating this one too.

Bonus…  great soundtrack.

The Weepies – Can’t Go Back Now