Reading, Watching, Opinions

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Winter’s Tale

This movie. This movie was achingly beautiful, perfect, subtly fantastical, wonderful, well done, and in the end infuriating.

It tells of a world where demons and angels battle over the souls of man, and where everyone has one miracle they can use with only one other person. When we die, our souls are given wings, if we were good, and we fly up to the heavens to become stars and live out eternity with those we love best.

It tells of a man headed down the wrong path until he met a girl. This very special girl is about to die but isn’t bitter. Demons gather around him thinking his miracle must be to save the girl’s life, and tip the balance in favor of the angels. The demons are wrong. In a heart-breaking scene, the girl dies. The man who loved her didn’t. 100 years later, he is still walking around NY City but with no memory of who he is or who he loved. The only thing he knows is he must save a red-haired woman.

When everything is said and done, they were drawn together because it was her miracle to save him even as she died, and that miracle gave him long life so he, in turn, could save a little girl from dying of cancer. The demons are destroyed with the help of a beautiful white horse who then transports the man to his place in the stars with the woman he loved.

It was a really beautiful movie. Until the end. At the end, the voiceover narration, which started the story, explains how maybe the universe is on our side and is willing to move heaven and earth to save one life. At first, I thought this idea worked for the movie, but in a world where we abort so many of our children it falls flat. There was a deeper issue with this movie, too. This movie had demons, angels, and even Lucifer, but no Christ. God is mentioned in passing but only by the demon and only as an observation that he must be as blood-thirsty as the rest of us.

What I came away with is something I think you see a lot of in our world. We will gladly have angels and demons. We will gladly have faith, hope, and love. We will even accept Lucifer. But, we will never never never accept God and Christ. We will believe in a Universe that is like God, but not God himself.

It sickened me.

How rebellious are we as a people? Anthropomorphically, how frustrating must it be for creation to have the creatures given dominion over it, given an image of God in their being, turn around and declare that the universe, just another part of creation, must be our god?

Not only do we throw that in God’s face, but we also cast out his Son. We take the Son—who God loves, who came to earth a willing sacrifice—and we spit on the idea of salvation. We don’t want it to be about God. We want it to be about us. We want to save ourselves by our own light, our own hope, our love, and our goodness. We think we can overcome demons on our own. We think that if we just hope in hope, love love, and have faith in faith, we can save this world.

That is a lie and Lucifer is still chuckling.

We can’t have truth without God and his Word. We can’t have real Hope, Faith, and Love without knowing what we hope in, where our faith is anchored and who loves us with a worth-dying-for love.

So, while part of me really wanted to love this movie, the other part of me thought it was so humanistic as to turn my stomach. I’d rather go watch something like Stardust which doesn’t try to get so theological, because at least I don’t spend all day arguing with a movie.

Have you seen this? I think it’s worth at least one viewing. It is a very pretty movie with a moving story and it can spark interesting conversation afterwards. Let me know what you thought! I do plan on reading the book and seeing if it is any better.

Rated PG-13

Other Recently Watched Movies and Read Books:

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Non-Stop: This thriller takes place on a plane and stars Liam Neeson as a burned out US Marshall. Someone threatens the lives on the plane. When Neeson starts to investigate, he is framed for the crime. I went into it thinking it would be more of an action flick, but it’s definitely a thriller. Lots of fun and well done, it won’t win any Oscars but is a good weekend watch.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M263SFE/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00M263SFE&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=M3QSQJQMGK7R5EWV

Hercules: Normally, I’m a pretty solid Rock fan. (ha!) I like most movies Dwayne Johnson makes. This one isn’t going to be high on the list. It was fun, but not anything great. The best way I can sum it up is this: If I was eight and my parents had taped it off TV (thus, eliminating the one or two bad words and inappropriate and totally pointless scenes), I would have loved it. I would have watched it over and over. As an adult, it seemed to lack a little . . .something. I did not like the overall message of the movie: you’re a hero if you think you are. Really? You can think you’re a hero all day long, but until you act like one, sorry, you’re not.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MB6IYHW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00MB6IYHW&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=JDBIXM66I7OK2I3Q

Guardians of the Galaxy: From what I’ve heard, this summer movie season isn’t going very well, except for this movie. Guardians is a lot of fun, cute, touching, silly, and quote-able. It is the story of five misfits coming together over a shared enemy and the need for the Galaxy to be saved. Out of all the comic book movies, excluding the Avengers, it feels the least comic-book-y. This is one I might even add to my movie collection, and I can’t wait to see it again.

Rated: PG-13

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TMNT: Not much to say here: The Turtles were really well done. I loved them. Megan Fox didn’t drive me up the wall and had an awesome yellow jacket, as well she should. The plot was full of very big holes. Ultimately, it was fun, but forgettable. Again, the Turtles themselves rocked.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MRAJHCI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00MRAJHCI&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=THX7QH6ZQLBQHI4X

Expendables 3: This was my most anticipated movie of the summer. I know, I’m really strange when it comes to movies. The plot was great. It was all about how old guys are afraid they don’t have anything to bring to the table anymore. I loved the idea. The problem was in the execution. The middle dragged because we all knew where it was going and we were just waiting for it to get there. I also thought the end rescue seemed a little too predictable and tactically didn’t make sense. Why would they approach the city walking right down the middle in a canyon of fallen buildings? Does this scream “Trap!” to anyone else? Mel Gibson was great. I wish Antonio Banderas had been smooth and cool, instead of silly, but he still did a great job. The moment the team reunites is epically perfect. I’ll probably buy it just so my collection is complete, but Expendables 1 is still my favorite. They tried to be less catch phrase and more serious, which I like, but the editing just seemed off. I will say this, Stallone and Stathem are really good together. I wish they’d make an off-shoot of them in an action flick.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GQQ75QO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GQQ75QO&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=BFPPNAJPORW4KVV7

Divergent: Boring. That is all I have to say. I spent most of this movie bored and I don’t get bored easily in movies. If they had made the overarching political plot more obvious so that there was something going on that you cared about, and if they shortened her training down to a montage. It would be like watching Harry Potter going to school without knowing anything about Voldemort until the end and with no trips to the Forest or any other crazy things like Trolls going on. In other words: boring.

Rated: PG-13

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Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis: I had a hard time with this book and I also liked it. I can see why young people from 12-16 would like it. I would have loved it at that age too. Raising Dragons strikes me as the kind of young adult fiction that is young adult not so much because it centers around children, but because the characters aren’t deep enough to ring true with adults. The Christianity in the book doesn’t add depth but an odd sense of doctrinal untruth. Ultimately, it was a fun book, but due to the lack of real suffering, I didn’t find myself deeply hooked.

Rated: PG

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060515198/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060515198&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=CGGZ2PO7WTS2WZI2

Anansi Boys: Neil Gaiman has a fascination with gods. He’s not focused so much on the true Christian God, but all the other man-made, little ones. This story is about a very normal man who has very un-normal things happen to him when his father dies. This leads him to discover he is the son of a god and he has a brother. Anansi Boys is very well written, beautiful, and funny. The relationship between the two brothers is the heart of the story along with a determined but confused cop, a ghost, a psychopath, and a group of old ladies who are really witches. I would highly recommend this book.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060853980/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0060853980&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=BIEPH43X25CRM7IE

Good Omens: One of Neil Gaiman’s most popular books and written with Terry Pratchett, this story covers the last few years and days of the Apocalypse as an angel and demon who are having too much fun here on earth fight to stop it from happening. Again, you can’t get better writing. The use of language alone keeps you glued to every page. Doctrinally, it’s a mess. I think that might be its draw. People suppress the truth and they enjoy seeing it made fun of. It was a little hard not to argue with the book at some points, but most of the time it was so off point that it didn’t bother me one bit. It was clever and funny. The ending wasn’t as tidy as I wanted. There were vague references to British things that made it a bit confusing. Other than that, a great read, but I don’t think I’m going to re-read it thousands of times like some of its other fans.

Rated: PG-13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140294295/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0140294295&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=UI4FV3MLVTLCYT5L

Sharpe’s Rifles by Bernard Cornwell: I can’t stress enough how much I love Bernard Cornwell’s writing. His stories capture you from the beginning and hold you until the very end. His characters are memorable, and his historical settings are rich and well-developed. I’ve read only one other of the Sharpe’s novels and this one, neither disappointed. I can’t wait to get the rest of them.

Rated: PG -13

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553588958/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0553588958&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=ELDVAQNAKZQXK54Z

Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2) by Scott Lynch: Reading this book in 30 minute intervals while I worked out didn’t really do it justice. Trying not to cry while you work out is also not the best of ideas. All the Gentleman Bastard books have been amazing. The plot keeps you going. The twists and turns keep you on the edge of your bicycle seat, and the loyalty between the two main characters keeps you cheering them on. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. The world building is excellent and even my brother would have approved of the high-seas shenanigans. This book series is rich and well-developed.

Rated: R

Well, that’s what I’ve been reading and watching. I hope you enjoy!

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10 thoughts on “Reading, Watching, Opinions

  1. I must say you have a way of cutting to the chase in your reviews. I really appreciate your insight, the deeper meaning….or lack thereof. It’s to bad they don’t use you for a “disclaimer” at the beginning of this movie!! Well done!

  2. Has it ever occurred to you that your father’s purposeful but irritating habit of stopping movies mid scene for family analysis is bearing interesting fruit? *she said with a mischievous twinkle in her eye

  3. Abby,

    How many movies have you been watching? Four Rambos and then all these, my cholesterol is going through the roof when I think about all the butter popcorn you must have eaten.

    Anthropomorphically is too big of a word. I don’t even know what this means but to work it into a movie review is an amazing use of the English language. I am assuming it is English; it might as well be Chinese to me. Ha ha.

    • Ha! Actually, I watched and wrote the Rambo series back in June, I think. I usually watch about one movie a weekend and then review them once a month. I love movies, so I do make time to watch them. I’m about to start working through the Vietnam movies like Platoon, Hamburger Hill, and such…just to torture myself. Also, for some reason, my hubby and I saw a lot of movies in the theater this summer, which is rare for us. We don’t usually go to the theater more than five times a year. Funny how that all worked out.
      Anthropomorphically means: “ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human”.
      It’s a great word and not one I get to use very often. Glad you enjoyed it. 😉

  4. Hi Abby! Just out of curiosity since I may let my 11 year old son read this, what did you mean by “doctrinal untruth” in the book, Raising Dragons? And also, regarding the last book, why did you give it a “R” rating…….just in case Paul and I read it :)?

    • Doctrinal Untruth: Merlin gets a word from God for the Dragons, and the dragon must change from a man to a dragon by facing his own Eden and not falling which he does…spoiler alert. 😉 It’s not anything that couldn’t be talked through, and I know lots of kids who’ve really enjoyed it.
      The Gentleman Bastards is rated R for some sex, language and violence. The first book was surprisingly free of any sex scenes, but book two had a few. The language is pretty strong, but creative and kinda funny most of the time. The violence level is high. There are also some adult themes like torture, poisoning and such. Sounds bad, but they’re mild in comparison to say Game of Thrones or even some thrillers I’ve read. I have found the series to be really fun so far.
      Do you have a favorite fantasy series? I might be able to make a comparison if you do.

      • Thanks, Abby! Fantasy series? Hmmmm….. I’m more of an Agatha Christy murder mystery girl, myself. Not sure if this is what your asking but we’ve read Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings, Wingfeather Saga. (Never saw or read Game of Thrones). Thanks for all your input!

        • Of course. The Gentlemen Bastards is definatly going to be more adult than any of those. 🙂
          The doctrine in all of those is much better than in the Dragon book, but it is clean. 🙂

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