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Showing posts from June, 2013

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (2013) – Film Review

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I almost gagged while watching Monsters University—not from laughing, but from horror. While finishing my sour Skittles, I inadvertently poured the powder at the bottom of the bag into my mouth. It briefly made me feel like life wasn’t worth living.

The movie watching experience was much better. On the one hand, it’s hard to compare the Monsters movies. They are related in that they exist in the same universe and revolve around the same characters. They are also unrelated in that they tell two dramatically different stories. Is one better than the other? I am tempted to say yes. But we’ll get to that a little later.
Plenty of people have bemoaned Pixar’s decline from greatness—something that has been a concern for me as well. Cars 2 and Brave have given us reason to fear. Additionally, the current emphasis on sequels is worrisome—a potential sign that the studio is drifting away from the originality that brought us the likes of Wall-E and Up. In my opinion, though, this particular ent…

What I Didn’t Learn from Superman

Originally, I had planned on watching Man of Steel this past weekend and writing a movie review for today’s post. Due to scheduling conflicts and some negative film reviews, those plans changed. Now I’m going to write some random thoughts about fatherhood instead. Anyway, the past is in the past and I can’t fly around the world at 100x light speed to turn back time, so here goes.

Who Am I? With the exceptions of Spider-Man and Dick Tracy in the daily newspaper, I never kept up with the world of comics. I have still enjoyed the stories of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. This new Superman movie seems to paint the superhero with an atypical portion of moral ambiguity and inner turmoil. Whatever the case, this version of Clark has serious issues with identity crisis. A scene in Man of Steel (revealed in the trailers) shows a young Clark asking his earthly father, “Can’t I justkeep pretending I’m your son?” His father’s emotional reply is, “You are my son.” Which leads to my next thought…

What I Learned from Wetting My Pants

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So there I was, surrounded by church members, my pants wet, my blood boiling. This wasn’t what I needed—at least, that’s what I told myself.

The morning had started innocently enough. Shannon and I arrived at our church building later than normal. Because of the pouring rain and the packed parking lot, I said I would drop Shannon off at the front and then go park and bring our Bibles and notebooks in. (After all, with an umbrella and a raincoat at my disposal, my trek across the parking lot wouldn’t be too bad.)
Shannon didn’t want me lugging the books in the rain, so she grabbed them before heading into the building. I then parked near the back of the lot and reached for the umbrella.
It wasn’t there. Not in the back seat…not in the front seat. Not anywhere. Shannon must have taken it inside with her.
Okay. No big deal. I still had my raincoat, and thanks to my memory of a once-watched YouTube video, I had learned the trick to staying relatively dry while traveling in the rain: wal…

Accidentally Hating what God Loves

As an amateur theologian with enough knowledge to make me dangerous, I have gotten myself in the thick of various pickles. (I’m mixing my metaphors, aren’t I? See, I’m dangerous.) Over the past few weeks, I might have inadvertently encouraged the pursuit of one such pickle: a loathing for the law of God.

If all the law does is show me what I must but cannot do, then the law is basically nothing more than a constant reminder of my failures. That’s not much to celebrate, is it? Well, the truth is that we have been focusing on only one of the law’s uses, but it actually has three. It functions as a curb, a mirror, and a guide.
A Curb First, the law “helps to control violent outbursts of sin and keeps order in the world” (Luther’s Small Catechism). In this respect, it doesn’t change human nature for the better. It simply restrains us from doing what we would otherwise do.
A Mirror Second, the law “accuses us and shows us our sin” (Luther’s Smaller Catechism). It lets us see our reflection—…