Saturday, December 31, 2016

Traditional Year's End

Now that I have a new computer and a new lease on life, I plan to blog more. I will talk about the church, business and fun as I am prompted. No I do not plan the embarrass anyone but i do plan to be real again.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Mike's Favorites of 2016

My favorite movies were diverse and delightful and in no order:
*Note: I didn't see "Spotlight, Room or the Revenant" until this year but consider them 2015 movies. All three were 5 star. Room and Spotlight were the best two movies of the last two years.

5 star*
"Hell or High Water:
"La La Land"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Miss Sloan"

4 star 

"The Accountant"
"Nice Guys"
"10 Cloverfield Lane"

The most enjoyable movies: "Hell or High Waters, Nice Guys and La La Land

Favorite Concerts:  Brad Paisley(February) Billy Joel (November)

Favorite Music Event: G Fest, Friday night with the Avett Brothers and others

Favorite Sports Events: 

Taking Avery to his first Thunder game.
Taking Addison to an OSU Baseball game
Muskogee versus Bixby High School Game
Addison and Asher football games

Favorite Quote: Next time you're afraid to share ideas, remember someone once said in a meeting, "Let's make a film with a tornado full of sharks!"

Favorite New Book series:  C. W. Box's Joe Pickett Novels

Favorite Project: Adair County Courthouse

While we did not take a major vacation, we had great excursions into Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.

La La Land

My last movie of 2016 is a great one. I guess with the advent of "Dancing with the Stars" and the "Voice" society is rediscovering dance and musicals. "La La Land stars to of the best actors alive with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  The story is great and the mix of movie and song and dance is great as well.  The story unfolds one way and then near the end we are shown about five minutes of "what if?" It was great fun even though our seats were in the front row.  When we see it again I am sure we'll see things we missed. 

We were so close that closeups of Emma Stone distracted me because her eye brows were not the same. Big distraction.  Also I was drawn to Ryan's crazy ties. Any who: Great time.

2016 Movie 49  I give it *****stars.


Looking at my 2016movies, I realized that I did not mention

"The Accountant" which was a favorite movie. Great story and action.  2016 Movie 46. I gave it ****1/2 stars.

"Miss Sloan" great movie about D. C. Lobbyists and worse.  2016 Movie 47.  ***** stars

"Sully" The untold story of what really happened. 2016 Movie 48. ***** stars

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


"Fences" is a movie by Denzel Washington based on the play of the same name.  As I watched it I could see that it is still a play. It is rich in dialogue and superbly acted by Viola Davis and Denzel with a great supporting cast.  This story is set in the early 1950's in Pittsburg and is about a Refuse worker and his family- a very unusual family at that.  He is in his about 53 and has a 35 year old son by one woman and a 17 year old son by his current wife.

It is a brutal story of a man that  did not have a good father-figure who grew up to be a bad father as well. He had the one quality that many of us baby-boomers knew: He believed in responsibility over love.  He is a rotten guy that everyone puts up with hoping for better.  This is a rich story and a hard one.

One of the best of the year but not for the young (all dialogue no action) PG13

It give it *****stars out of five, 2016 Movie 45.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Why Him? Why Me?

Inwas wanting to see a comedy("Why Me") and I thought any movie with Brian Cranston and James Franco would be a good choice. Right?  I mean the previews were great and all.  I did not consider what an "R" rating now means with comedies.  The language and sex talk was so bad that I would not want to see it alone!  We made less than 30 minutes.

Don't tell me that it got much better later: I like being shot and surviving. You're still shot!

2016 Movie #44  will not rate or even show a poster.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Cartoon fix


I have been waiting for this movie and tonight was the night. "Passengers" does not disappoint.
In this season of "Star Wars", "Arrival",  and even last years "Ex Machina" this is a sci-fi movie for grown ups.  It is a thought provoking, what -would-you-do type of story.  A Star ship is soaring thru space on a destination that is taking about 5,000 people to a new home on a new earth-like planet, 120 twenty years in space.  A aboard are hibernating even the crew and are due to wake up 4 months before arrival. But three people are awake 88 years too soon.  Why? How will they live? and many other questions.  It is a little "Cast-a-way" meets "Star Trek". That is if the Cast-a-way had anything they wanted except humans.  
This is why we go to the movies. Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Lawrence Fishburn and Michael Sheen are the entire cast.  And a great one.

it is ****stars out of five. 2016 Movie 43

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Great Quote

Eric Geiger

Cartoon fix

Friday, December 16, 2016

Experimental Theology: The Day I Started Believing in the Devil

Experimental Theology: The Day I Started Believing in the Devil: My recent posts about showing the Lord of the Rings movies out at the prison reminded me of some stories and insights I share in Reviving ...

Manchester by the Sea

I have been waiting for this movie for a while. It has been getting totally great reviews and accolades.
"Manchester by the Sea" is beautifully acted,, directed, and photographed. But let's hold up a minute'
I go to the movies for a good story. This movie is like real life. It opens and you meet this family, you watch them for two hours and go home.  Yes, there is drama. No, nothing is resolved.

The movie deals with the death of a brother, who leaves his 16 year old son to the care of his black sheep brother. You find out later that he has death demons of his own which hit me close to home dealing with the deaths of daughters.

It occurred to me half way through the movie, that if the main character had Jesus in his life there would be no drama or despair. Bummer.

As for movie making expertise it would be ****star (Casey Affleck will be up for an oscar). But for me it is *** star. Good movie but bad or no ending.  2106 Movie #42

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Money Machine

Kicked off the Christmas Movies tonight with "Rogue One.  It is a required movie for Star Wars fans. It still remember standing in line with our young kids in 1977 at a Tulsa theater that no longer exists. Little did I know that this story series would outlast most of the theaters that i used to see them.

While the news says that this is a stand alone story, it is not it is a prequel that its just in front of the original movie. It has all the bells and whistles of the others and the droids continue to provide the humor.  It is great fun, action and big final scenes.  Great start to the holiday movie season.

I give it ***1/2 stars. 2016 Movie 42

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fall Movies 3.5

I forgot one movie that I saw recently:

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is a Harry Potter Prequel of sorts.  There are references to Hogwarts, etc. but this is set in New York City. It has a great cast and  the longer the story goes the better it gets.  Great for Potter fans and a sign of other movies to come. Great fun with popcorn.
I give it ***1/2 stars.  2016 movie 41

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fall Movies 3

My seldom blogs are ending soon with the purchase of a better computer but for now an abbreviated take on recent movies.

"Allied" is a great period movie set in World War 2 with Brad Pitt.  It is a great spy movie that is do with great dialogue. It concerns the Nazis, a theme that will be increasing in coming months because of well...   Great drama.  I give it ***stars. 2016 movie 37

ne in the style of "Casablanca"

"Arrival" is a 2016 version of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".  Aliens arrive and we try to figure them out. It is a thought provoking story that reveals more about humans than about the aliens.
Amy Adams is very good.  I give it **** stars. 2016 Movie 38

"Moana" is an animated Disney movie with the usual strong female lead character. (They have dresses to sell our kids).  Good comedy with the Rock as a Demigod!  That should confuse the kids as well.  ***stars, 2016 Movie 39

"Miss Sloan" is one of the year's best. It shows the power of Lobbying groups and gives a version of how they work with Congress. This is a good story that should make us all think about the power being served in D.C.  Great ending that reminded me of one of my favorite movies, "Absence of Malice".    I give it *****stars. 2016 Movie 40

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fall Movies 2

The Good movies are starting to arrive but not soon enough. Went to see three more:

"Inferno" was just OK. I see almost anything that Tom Hanks is in and with Ron Howard directing I know  the story will make sense.  Dan Brown's book are a little much for me but the movie was entertaining. **1/2 stars; 2016 movie 34

"Keeping up with the Jones'" was just a fun popcorn movie. Good actors, witty dialogue.  Fun in the dark with popcorn. **1/2 stars; 2016 movie 35

"Hacksaw Ridge" is a different horse. This is a true story that I used in my Sunday School  class for two weeks before the movie arrived. You can go on YouTube and see an 18 video about the true events that are portrayed and listen to the real Desmond Dodd tell his tale. A Seventh  Day Adventist who enlisted in the Army in WW2 but refused to fight but became a Medic. It is a story of living out your faith and great heroism.  It has harsh war scenes not for the timid.  If you can stand the battles the rest is very fulfilling.  I give it *****stars; 2016 movie 36

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Movies 1

Fall movies are here and they have started with a bang:

"Deepwater Horizon" is one of those movies from recent happenings (like Sully) where you think you know the story but find  much more. Acting is great as are the effects.  I was very moved by this and highly recommend. ***1/2 stars   2016 Movie 31

"Queen of Katwe" is another true story. I blogged previously about the book by the same name. The movie is spot on. ****stars  2016 Movie 32

In both movies "the LORD's Prayer plays a role. Showing once again that it is the universal connection.

"The Girl on the Train" is also based on a book that I previously discussed. Great story and drama. This makes you understand again that the grass is not always greener somewhere else. 
***stars  2016 Movie 33

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Catching Up on Movies

Nerve:  A cautionary tale for the Cell Phone game fans (Pok√©mon Go).  This is a fun summer movie about a night playing a dangerous social media game. Very enjoyable.  ***stars   2016 Movie 27

War Dogs: Based on a True Story of Gun Runners during the Iraq War. Enjoyable popcorn movie.
*** stars out of 5. 2016 Movie 28

Hell or High Water:  This is my favorite movie this summer. I will probably rate it too high but Jeff Bridges was great as a retiring Texas Ranger looking for bank robbers in West Texas.  I grinned through the entire movie. It has its drama but this is why I go to the movies.  I give it ***** stars
2016 movie 29

Hands of Stone: The true story of the boxer, Roberto Duran.  I was intrigued by this movie because one of my favorite singer, Paul Thorn (an ex-boxer), once went 7 rounds against Duran. The movie centers on his history with Sugar Ray Leonard (played by Usher).  Great Movie. Robert DeNiro plays his trainer.  **** stars 2016 movie 30

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Well Worn Sayings: Fooling God Again

Talked to someone the other day that thought it was ok for a woman to testify to the church after they "came forward" (altar call) but felt that a woman should not tell the congregation about God's greatness at Communion time.  I pondered that  a while and wondered: "When does God think we are in worship?"  I mean we have the sense that we are worshipping when WE think we are!  Do we let God know which is which?

You and I have way more rules about worship than Jesus does. 

If I go to a "Christian" concert, is it worship or just having fun?  Can popcorn be consumed?

If I'm in my car are the songs I listen to worship or just good entertainment?

This reminds me of the good ole days when the Harding Choir would come to our church on Sunday Night to sing. But since some did not believe in Choirs for worship, someone would get up and make this announcement:  "WE are going to say a closing prayer, but stay in your seats because the Harding Chorus will sing after the prayer."

Fooling God Again!  We tricked God into thinking worship was over so tat we could feel better.

Oh the craziness of it all

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pete's Dragon

Just tracking what I have seen lately:  "Pete's Dragon" is made based on the original animated version. I knew that I would like it and I did.  It is a 2016 version of E.T.   Fun with popcorn

2016 movie #26  I give it ***1/2 stars

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Movies 2

Two more summer movies:

"Ghostbusters" is another reboot from the eighties using female leads. The short version is: I liked it better than the original!  It is funnier than the first.
2016 movie #24  It give it ***stars.

"Jason Bourne" is the latest movie of the series. Jason replaced "James Bond" for action and is great if you are a fan. Don't expect anything knew, just grab the popcorn and enjoy.
2016 Movie #25. *** stars