Showing posts from December, 2005

Beasts on Film

The two biggest movies out during the holidays now are The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and King Kong. There is one thing that both have in common besides being reasonable hits, and I'll elaborate on that in a minute. But first some thoughts about the films. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia book series, and like all C.S. Lewis fans I reveled in the way he made what was biblical into fantastic allegory. There are just flatly certain things we long to engage in, and brilliant, beautiful fantasy helps us connect with that. Lewis acknowledged wonderfully that God did not give us imaginations for nothing. But I must say that I was disappointed with the film. As much as Christians all around have said that Disney kept all the "Christian" stuff in, for one, that's not exactly the point, and for two, it was still a grand Disney simulation. Being completely Disneyfied, it was not only missing critical dialogue, but all the uniquely enchanting Le

The Best Television Show Ever

One of the most wonderful matters of all time is the show that is being broadcast right now on channel 7. (I'm blogging about it now because I saw it when it was shown last week.) It is "A Charlie Brown Christmas." No, it is not merely the best Christmas show ever, but the best television thing ever to beam across that medium. Why is it the wonderful matter that it is? It is thoroughly and enchantingly imbued with all that does matter: relationship, discovery, accomplishment in all of its bountiful glory. In and around a Vince Guaraldi soundtrack that is phenomenally brilliant (something few would deny), children interact with one another to find what the season is really about. Linus actually takes precious secular airtime to speak some of the most beautiful words ever spoken. They are from the book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 8 to 14. All they do is make plain pronouncement of the One thing that rescues man from his utter abject desperation. Charlie Brown represents that

The Dramatized Pope

A couple of renditions of Pope John Paul II's life were on television the past couple of weeks. The ABC version was called Hear My Cry , and CBS featured Jon Voight as the pontiff. Looking at Voight's regal depiction of John Paul in the teaser promos made me think of one thing: yes, this man is the Ruler of the World. I saw a bit of each episode, and the little I saw was filled with all the typical pleasantries of mundane Catholicist drama featuring every facet of his person: the courage-- bringing down communism; the sensitivity-- attending children's events; the inclusivity-- dining with individuals of diverse religions and ethnicities; and the mercy--sitting with his would-be assassin in prison. It was all peppered with the pithy wisdom of the man who keeps the World on track to destruction. Neither show got many viewers, at least according to the expectations of the networks. You'd think this is because no one cares, and that may indeed be the case, but it isn't