The Dark(est) Knight

The best movie summer that I can remember is still rolling along (the X-Files: I Want To Believe and STAR WARS: Clone Wars yet to go!).  I went to see The Dark Knight on Friday afternoon with a friend.  And, had it not been for 1 (or maybe 2) things in the story — major things, mind you, I probably would have like this one the best.  The show’s director, Christopher Nolan, really knows how to mess with your head.  He directed the first Bale film (Batman Begins) and a psychological thriller that I watched with my father-in-law once (Memento – THAT really messed with your head!).  I can summarize TDK in four phrases: (more…)

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 1:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Blue Angels … In Our Backyard!

I have never been to a Blue Angels show before.  I had vaguely heard of them from a friend at work; he goes to see them every year (as I remember) in Florida.  Anyhow, I had no idea what a big thing “The Air Show” in Huntsville would be.  Kim was planning be out of town and my mom was coming to render aid to me in watching the children, so it didn’t enter my mind to go.  Then, on Thursday afternoon, Kim called and said that they were practicing … right over our house!!  (more…)

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 1:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Baby Boy!

Well, on Wednesday we got news of the new baby’s gender:  a boy!  After a string of 3 girls in a row (all of whom are loved!), we were not sure if a boy would come along.  We are happy to finish on this note (and would have been if it were a girl too!).  Let the naming begin!

Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Farewell to Darren: A Good Friend

We had some very sad news on Friday.  My friend Darren was killed in a car crash at work on Friday, May 30, 2008.   It is hard to believe how this happened: (more…)

Published in: on June 1, 2008 at 9:00 pm  Comments (2)  

Court Decision: Disappointed with Amazon.com

Earlier this week, I was scanning an ariticle from CNN.com in which the Supreme Court reversed an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judgment on whether a man was “pandering” child pornography.  The 11th Circuit said he was not.  The Supreme Court reversed that, and said “Yes, he was”.  Thus, a Mr. Williams will go to jail 5 or more years.  (more…)

Published in: on May 25, 2008 at 1:39 am  Comments (2)  

Recitals and Narnia 2

Well, Isaac’s “reward” for surviving the music recital was that he and I would go to see Prince Caspian.  Good job by Isaac: he did a great job at the recital!

As for the movie, it was a good show, though quite different from the first.  That is basically because it is quite a different story.  Although there are definitely Christian themes throughout the movie, it does not implicitly tell the story of Jesus’s sacrifice for even a single person’s wrong: that was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Both Isaac and I noticed several differences from the original book which were presumably done for the sake of making a good movie, and which I basically agreed with.  For example, very little time was spent on the relationship and training that Caspian received from Dr. Cornelius; similarly, although a bit more time was given to the Pevensees searching out the old ruins of Cair Paravel, it seemed to go rather quickly.  Overall, I enjoyed the show.  I am thrilled that the translation of Lewis’s books to the “big screen” continues.  Hopefully it will continue through The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and, perhaps to my favorite book in the series: The Silver Chair.

Hopefully Prince Caspian will do well at the box office like its predecessor did.  If so, that may encourage Disney to keep going!

Published in: on May 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Expelled 2

I found a description of “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” on Yahoo.  They did a decent job explaining the premise of the movie.  And even managed to get in a sort of back-handed compliment — or perhaps a back-handed slap at Michael Moore & his sympathetic critics (my emphasis):

” … EXPELLED doesn’t spend most of its time debating intelligent design and evolution. Instead it focuses largely on how the debate itself and its proponents have been ignored or pushed out of classrooms and academia. Filmmaker Nathan Frankowski inserts both original animations and clips of famous films (including PLANET OF THE APES and THE WIZARD OF OZ) to further illustrate his point. Though critics may find fault with EXPELLED for its one-sidedness, it’s no more biased than any of Michael Moore’s critically lauded documentaries.  “

How about that?!  Note: Moore’s “documentaries” were “critically lauded”.  Interesting that it’s a one way street in Hollywood and the movie reviewing media.

By the way, E:NIA has made over $7 M in 4 weeks.  It has dwindled to just over 400 theaters, but all in all it’s not bad considering that a) it is a documentary, b) advertising for the movie is virtually non-existent, and c) apparently, the trailers shown in theaters did not do the movie justice or portray it properly (I only heard about these second hand).

Good movie!

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 1:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

I went to see the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, by Ben Stein, this week with a friend.  The title is both clever and appropriate, and it was very impressive.  I would highly recommend it to anyone to see the active repression of academic freedom as well as intimidation and “discipline” endured by those in the academic, journalistic, and medical fields on the ID side.  The movie overall does a good job presenting the Intelligent Design / Darwinian Evolution controversy (I’d like to say debate, but that would be inaccurate) and its past and possible future implications.  Among the many good points made by the movie, it did a good job explaining the influence on Darwinian Evolution on the American eugenics programs of the 1920’s and the Nazi incorporation of it into its ideology of extermination of those deemed to be “weak”.
 
As an aside, it was pretty thought provoking and entertaining (Ben Stein is a character; there were plenty of short TV / movie clips inserted along the way too), but had a more serious tone at the end.  It also is really interesting (and ultimately strangely ironic) to hear the leading evolutionary biologists in their own words.  Ben Stein did a large number of on camera interviews with both the evolutionary biologists and philosophers as well as a journalists, a neurosurgeon, and philosophers and scientists on the ID side.  In my opinion, it was a pretty well written and presented show.  Academic freedom and freedom of speech in general were a key emphasis of the movie.

Published in: on May 11, 2008 at 2:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Introducing … The Introducing Series!

A few years ago when I was in grad school, I was talking with friends at the Christian Student Center about some now long forgotten philosopher, and a studious friend remarked that I should read an “Introducing” book about the person.  He explained that they were a series of well written short introductions (something like the “For Dummies” series) that were illustrated.  Yes, a comic book of a sort.  So, my curiosity was piqued and I decided to check one out.  I have recently been diving into these books again, and felt it was worth a detailed post. 

I have found my friend’s advice to be right on target.  For the most part (there are a few lemons out there), these books are an indispensable guide to get an appreciation of many subjects.  In particular the religious guides, philosopher biographies and the mathematics and science books are very good.  (more…)

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

We have a Wii!

Kim and I had planned to invest part of the tax return into a Wii this year.  She was finally able to get one by showing up on a Wed. morning at the Target on the west side of Huntsville.  There were four left.  Kim later met with a friend, who was also looking for one, and told here about it.  Her friend went back to the store and picked up the last one!!  Amazing how these things fly off the shelves.  What a franchise by Nintendo!

So after it was finally unboxed (had to be delayed a day) and setup, we embarked on the Wii experience.  (more…)

Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment