serious drama

Out of Africa (1985)

Out of Africa (1985; warnings—adult themes and situations) touches on the unpredictable and unforeseen life despite the order one would like to keep. There’s an imperfect world despite the life God intended. In this milieu, do life’s rewards outweigh the disappointments and struggles? Or is there a silver lining through everything that happens? Out of Africa has weighty themes that simmer under the surface. From a Christian perspective, I like to think there is a silver lining through anything—that the life that God has created goes on despite the imperfections of the world. That we are in God’s hands, but being in God’s hands means our lives are not our own, that our lives are gifts from God to the world. Continue reading “Out of Africa (1985)”

speculative fiction

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The evolutionary philosophy is disagreeable, but 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a classic that points to the human need for progressing from base instinct, which is a Christian theme. From a Christian perspective, the Lord has made provision available for such progress. Continue reading “2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)”

quirky comedy

13 Going on 30 (2004)

In my 2004 review of 13 Going on 30 (2004), I didn’t point out that Jenna Rink the girl, who wanted to be a worldly-wise grown-up, is better innocent, unsophisticated, and not worldly-wise at all. The Lord wants us to be pure and innocent of evil. The Lord also wants to be unspoiled by the world and the things it can do to us. I think this is a point to bring out of the comedy film 13 Going on 30. While not a classic comedy, is worthwhile in the sense I am alluding to now as well as other good points. Continue reading “13 Going on 30 (2004)”

serious drama

A Cry in the Dark (1988)

In A Cry in the Dark (1988; warnings: contains profanity, adult themes) the theme of persevering through a trial is Christian at its core. As the Lord Jesus persevered through trial, so his people may also go through trials, as tests to their faith.

The trauma of accusation, deficiencies in the justice system, and perseverance through trial are strong themes in this gut-wrenching drama. Continue reading “A Cry in the Dark (1988)”

speculative fiction

A.I. (2001)

A.I. (2001) is asking a disturbing question about nature. Is creating artificial intelligence playing God? Is artificial intelligence made in man’s image and not God’s image? Are A.I.’s valid forms of life if not made in God’s image? Can God meet their needs like God can meet a human’s need? Continue reading “A.I. (2001)”

pop alternative

Love Life (1991)

Love Life (1991) is soulish, but the songs that don’t dwell on the introspective life may make Charlie Peacock’s Love Life better than what in-depth psycho-spirituality does for it. About half of this much acclaimed album is about the introspective soul searching that may take you to the counsellor. Continue reading “Love Life (1991)”

pop alternative

Graceland (1986)

Graceland (1986) won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1987, but apart from the commercially successful You Can Call Me Al and the lovely Homeless I found myself unmoved (even the demos on the re-release resonate more). I liked to have loved it going by the radio single You Can Call Me Al, which I liked before buying the album, and the album’s cumulative social impact was a positive sign. Alas. Continue reading “Graceland (1986)”

serious drama

Places in the Heart (1984)

As the dead, and those still living, sit in a church to remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made, a young black man and the former sheriff, both dead (but as a physical presence) offer each other a Christ-like sign of peace. Continue reading “Places in the Heart (1984)”

speculative fiction

Revenge of the Sith (2005)

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), what’s so good about the seduction of an innocent, unsolvable boyfriend and girlfriend troubles, and the demise of a society? It’s that Revenge of the Sith does not condone any of it. It plays out in this film as unfortunate, which is the Christian attitude to the Fall which brought death and darkness into the world. Yet the Lord Jesus came to save the fallen. Continue reading “Revenge of the Sith (2005)”