Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Circle

The Circle

This is a movie that you won't see so I did,  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 16% and most of the reviews were bad. BUT I liked it.

The "Circle" is a mega company. Think Apple, FACEBOOK, Microsoft and Twitter as one company.
The campus depicted in the movie was in San Francisco area and the campus was patterned after the new Apple campus that is under construction.  Also Tom Hanks plays a cross between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

They have developed a new system called "SEECHANGE" for a transparent society.  Everything we do, say, see, or write is recorded and in some cases shared with the world.   What could possibly go wrong?

While this sounds far-fetched, we know that the world is headed this way.  It is a very thought provoking story.

One scene shows Emma Watson, the new up and comer at the Circle who has decided to be the test person who puts everything  on the web "Live".  Her childhood friend who has avoided social media makes a light fixture out of antlers for her parents.  She shows it on her live feed and instantly her friend is accused of abusing animals and he gets hundreds of death threats.

It reminds me of an old Twilight Zone story.

This is where we are headed: For example when I use google for blog photos, no matter what I search for, if I scroll down far enough someone has posted porn photos.  Lets say in the future I get pulled over for speeding and the officer runs a scan of my life.  The read comes back that I have seen child porno on my computer and suddenly a traffic ticket becomes catching a pervert.

Far Fetched: Not at all.  The ideas presented are scarier than a Zombie Movie.

I think it got low ratings for being unsettling.

2017 Movie 18. I give it ***1/2 stars.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ber Rabbit and Ber Fox

As a kid, "Ber Rabbit and Ber Fox" was one of my favorite Disney Stories. The Rabbit was always being hunted by the Fox.  When the day came that he was caught, he pleaded with the Fox to do anything to him except, "Please Mr. Fox, Don't throw me into that Briar Patch!" "Anything but that."
As the story goes the Fox gladly tossed him into the patch only to learn that the "Briar Patch" was the Rabbit's home and place of safety.

Now in 2017 I became Ber Rabbit!

Having been in a protracted battle with my ex-employer who sued me for leaving his firm, sued my new firm, etc.  he sued for 300,000 dollars plus attorney's fees (another $200,000). It finally came down to one email that seemed to help Ber Fox. My attorney recommended filing for protection under current bankruptcy laws.  I first thought that all was lost but as the smoke cleared nothing happened. Everything in my firm and my personal life was protected except for one Briar Patch:

The Briar Patch: We owned and were about six months from paying off three "Time Share properties that we bought years ago. Two properties were paid and one in Florida was still fluid. Of course if you've ever bought such a property, you know that maintenance fees are forever and in our case about $200 a month.  We have been trying to get out of them ever since our daughter went to work for Hilton.  Through Hilton Friends and Family, we can stay at a Hilton property for less than at the timeshare!  BTW you can NEVER sell a timeshare for their worth.

Ber Fox however wanted to take something (anything) from me and so he settled for TAKING my timeshares.  He even had to pay $8,000 for the privilege and take up the maintenance payments.

"Please Mister Fox whatever you do, Don't take my timeshares!"

Ber Rabbit.

Catching up with the Movies

Haven't been posting lately. Life is getting in the way, but I am going to the movies.

Needed some escapism so tow movies come to mind:

One is "Going in Style" about three retired friends who worked together for years and now in retirement.  They find that they are cheated out of their pension and decide to rob the bank that ran their pension.  While there are meaningful discussion of retirement in these times and the heartless corporations, etc., it is a good comedy. When you have Morgan Freeman, Michael Cain and Alan Arkin you have the A team.  Enjoyed it and give it ***1/2 stars. 2017 Movie 14.

"Fate of the Furious" is a comedy action movie that while the story lacks in
 every way it is fun to watch this cast play with cars. It is the height of bad fiction when someone decides to "flip" a switch and take control of all the cars in New York City no matter that the are parked.  Ok Escapism and time with popcorn.  I give it **1/2 stars. 2017 Movie 15

"Gifted" is a thoughtful and thought provoking story of a gifted child and the battle for her future and to control her life. Great acting. Great writing. Great honesty. I highly recommend.
**** stars.  2017 Movie 16

"Guardians of the Galaxy 2" is why I go the the movies. It is a comedy Sci-Fi movie of "Old friends and their escapades."  The 80's soundtrack is great. There are great cameos of 80's stars.  It was simply a delight.  Stay through the credits because there are 5 additional scenes shown.
***** stars. 2017 Movie 17.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Scary Movies

As a rule I do watch Scary Movies. The slasher, or zombie or high body count teen thrillers are not for me.  There is some that appeal to me such as the last two movies that I viewed.

"Life" is the story of a group of astronauts on an International Space Station that receive a specimen from a Rover Robot that has come from Mars. It contains a microbe that is believed to be proof of LIFE on Mars. They will study it in Space and not risk bringing it to earth.  Ok so far?

All I need to say is: For what comes next, think of "Alien".  It gets wild, wooly and scary.

The end is a big surprise but getting there is half the fun.  Great popcorn movie.

I give it ***1/2 stars. 2017 movie 13

The next is "Get Out" a fil that gets great reviews but little attention. He have thought about this a long time before going.  (Nothing else good in our area).  Glad I did.  Let's take about three different stories: "Guess whose coming to Dinner?, Stepford Wives, and lets just say "Twilight Zone". Mix well and add some dark comedy.  Great Movie.   The horror and scary feeling is in your mind more than on the screen. It is well crafted and well acted.

I give it *****stars . 2017 movie 14

Saturday, March 25, 2017

God With Us or God for Us 1

I attend a church that was founded on a principle of  being a place of refuge  for those who were shoved aside by the Pharisees that live among us. This was not our central principle but because of the void that existed, it brought many into our midst that were shunned because of divorce, or disagreement with leadership, or family troubles, or personal demons that others found revolting.

We grew as a body and empowered many who had lost their hope in finding a family.

Then comes change. We gained many who looked for a home until we captured that market.

We then looked in our community and found a college nearby. We invited them in.  They came looking for a home away from home. We have tried to be that.  Strangers ask questions.

We don't always have the answers but we studied.

Through our study of the Bible we began to open worship to female participation.  A place of refuge for those shoved aside.

We have had some of our long time members leave recently.

I ask, "Do we believe in GOD WITH US or GOD FOR US?

I have watched closely those who leave and ask the questions, 

"Did they leave so that they could do a better work somewhere else? 

OR Did they leave so that they could be more comfortable? 
OR Did they leave so that they did not want to change?


What do you think?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Experimental Theology: The Accidental Empire: Christian Resistance in the...

This is good stuff for thought:

Experimental Theology: The Accidental Empire: Christian Resistance in the...: What does Christian political resistance look like in the age of Trump? Mark Lilla in his book The Stillborn God describes Christendom ...

Catching Up at the Movies

Weird collection of movie:  An aging superhero, a monster from my youth and a Shack.

"Logan" is of course the "Wolverine" of the X-Men series. And as any animal, he is getting long in the tooth.  This is one of those stories of passing the torch to a younger version of him although a girl.  It is a fitting end for Logan. I had to see it through but lets face it Logan needs to rest.

2017 Movie #10   I give it ***stars.

"The Shack" is a movie that I dreaded like i dreaded the book. Having dealt with the death of a daughter (actually never finishing), it is not entertainment.  The movie in many ways is better than the book because it condenses without missing the point.  The gist of the story is the importance of our connection with God and our friends and family.  People debate the theology that is implied in the book, but the message is much simpler. Sometimes we have to get out of our way and our mind and open up to God and open up to see those who love us and need our love.  Hate and guilt and grudges keep us bottled up.  I loved this version of the story.

2017 Movie #11  I give it ****1/2 stars

Ok, "Kong, Skull Island" is a pleasure of my youth.  I loved King Kong as a kid. It was the first story of greed and men who just want to make money if it it risk people and things. King Kong was one of those Things.  This retelling is filled with Hollywood A-list actors and is great action fun.  not was what I needed to end the week.  AND I liked it in 3D.

2017 Movie #12  I give it **** stars