I am a hopeless optimist at heart. There are times this annoys my wife and nearly all the time this affects how I view a movie. Movies are a source of entertainment and as long as I’m entertained, I’ll probably view the movie favorably. One of my college roommates even asked me once, “is there a movie you don’t like?” So if I say a movie is bad, you can rest assured it is atrocious! One of the reasons I am this way is I have a “hope that lies within” (1 Pet. 3:15). I love God, all the great things about Him and all the great things he blesses us with in this world, first and foremost being His Son, Jesus. So naturally I carry this attitude with me into the theatres and I habitually enjoy the good things about a film more than I’m upset with the bad things, both in its production and its content. I love the opportunity that movies give me to step into a world that I would otherwise only imagine in my dreams, engulf myself into a story, let it sink in and allow myself to be placed in each situation with the actors or just sit back and appreciate the message each story works to portray. Movies are also a great opportunity for personal reflection. Would I let my virtues shine through in a moment of distress, or allow my vices to define who I am? I’ve found that looking at movies through this lens, as a Christian, helps me to reinforce who I want to be as a man, but more importantly who I want to be like. Check out my reviews or see what I like to rant about.
I am a 40- something year old with a passion for my family. My wife and I are blessed to have a Yours, Mine, and Ours family. 13 years ago we met at the altar with our own child and created our family before God. Since then he has blessed us with 2 more children. Besides being a husband and father I am a teacher. I teach the sixth grade. This is my 14th year of being in this position. Prior to teaching sixth-graders I taught third grade for 2 years and second grade for one. It is true that you don’t make a lot as a teacher, however, the blessings are more than money can buy. Teaching is what I was designed by God to do. God is my center for all. Seek him first, his kingdom and his righteousness. Though I can’t “preach” in my classroom, I do strive to be a Godly example and influence. As a father and husband I try to do the same. I have been blessed to preach the Gospel at my home congregation for the past 14 years. In preaching I have learned so much and it allows me to, as well as forces me to, delve deeper into the scriptures. I strive to learn from my Biblical lessons and deliver them in a way that all members of my congregation can benefit from God’s word. Lastly, movies. I have been a big movie buff my entire life. Struggling to read in my younger years, movies allowed me to escape into those created worlds of imagination. I have owned over 800 DVDs in my own personal collection and enjoy what movies have to offer. Through this blog with the other authors I hope to bring to light Godly themes and ideals presented in movies that maybe some overlook. Check out my reviews or see what I like to rant about.
I’m an Enginerd. Growing up, whenever I visited my grandparents, I’d head down to the basement and watch the original Star Wars movies. Yes, the version where Han shoots first. In my younger years, I also spent a lot of time building/destroying things with Lego’s and blocks. Now fast forward 15 – 20 years, I’m a quality engineer working for a small engineering company, designing helicopters. Apparently, I didn’t pick up any of the stereotypical bad nerd traits, because in 2009 I got married to my beautiful wife. College mostly eliminated all hobbies I had, so after graduating I started developing new interests. My main hobbies are playing/collecting board games, reading, cycling, backpacking and watching movies. I enjoy most types of movies, but the genres I watch the most are action/adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, dystopian/post apocalyptic, and animated movies. Personality wise, I’m very laid back and easygoing. So when it comes to my thoughts on movies I’m not very critical and can appreciate movies that aren’t the best. As a christian I try to be positive and uplifting, too often we look at things critically. Although that can be a good thing, I think we need to focus more on the good and positive things and that is what I hope to do in my reviews. Check out my reviews or see what I like to rant about.
An aspiring author and journalist as well as college student, I have been intrigued by movies as long as I can remember. As a child I used to have trouble falling asleep at night, so I would play the Disney film Aladdin through my head until I fell asleep. This fascination continued into adulthood, where I search for gems amidst the muck and grime. I believe there are essentially two kinds of film buffs: those that wait with crossed arms to be impressed and those who lean forward eagerly and hope for a journey. I am the latter. I can be very forgiving of poor acting, even a poor plot, if the presented message and worldview is one to be appreciated and embraced. That said, there are often times when an expert plot along with spectacular acting cannot atone for the horrifying worldview. I try to be fair in that regard. My idea of a worldview to be appreciated and embraced is one in alignment with God and His word. I became a Christian when I was 16 years old. Since then I have grown to appreciate how Christianity is not a separate faction of life, nor just another compartment in the box of life, separate from leisure, work, and school. It is a lens through which all of reality must be interpreted and evaluated. This applies to film as well. I believe that as Christians we ought to be always thinking about how our faith is affected by the messages that we see in all forms, film included. I also believe that the influence of movies on our integrity, character, and personality has been largely underestimated, if not ignored altogether. As a result, I will often emphasize in my reviews those aspects that I feel are most dangerous (or most beneficial) to us as we try to live in the world yet not of it. Check out my reviews or see what I like to rant about.
Movies were a constant staple for me growing up. Early on I refused to watch anything other than what I had already seen a million times before: Star Wars, Popeye, and the Dark Crystal. Over and over and over again. But when I was 10 my uncle dragged me, kicking and screaming, to a little-known sleeper called “Field of Dreams.” That film changed everything about how I watch movies today. The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful wife and a ridiculously cute son. I am in grad school at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas studying education with plans to teach secondary English soon. I studied philosophy and theology in my undergrad so I tend to approach all things (especially movies) with an eye on worldview. I think the apostle Paul was right when he said, “that which is known about God is evident within them… so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20). Because of that, I presume that secular filmmakers will tend to unwittingly add elements of theological import to their stories. And I love catching and identifying those elements since storytelling is such a great medium and can be used effectively to discuss the Lord with non-believers. As far as critiquing movies goes, I have no qualms identifying an awful plot, bad acting, and/or useless, gratuitous scenes. But I do tend to focus on what is useful especially when it helps to reveal what we as Christians know to be true of reality. Just so you can get a glimpse of my tastes, some of my favorites are: Field of Dreams (obviously), My Life, Inception, Meet Joe Black and Warrior. Well, basically anything that Bo Goldman or David S. Goyer write, and anything Christopher Nolan directs, I like. Oh, and that scene in “Man of Steel” with Kevin Costner and the tornado… gets me every time!
Like the majority of people who live in Los Angeles, I’m not from here. I grew up in a Christian household in Indiana, and decided at a young age that Los Angeles was the last place I would ever want to live. God, however, has an interesting sense of humor, and used career decisions and grad school to move me out to LA and keep me here for nearly a decade. I grew up watching movies; in my family, it’s one of our love languages (literally: we speak in movie quotes). As an artist who loves movies, it should have been no surprise that I wanted a career that combined the two. I moved to LA to attend the American Film Institute (AFI) Conservatory and earn my MFA in Production Design. After I finished my degree and worked in the industry for a bit, I decided to make the shift from live action to animation. I’ve been freelancing as a character designer and visual development artist for four years now. I love all kinds of movies from just about every genre, and tend to choose to appreciate a film for what it is: I like cheesy movies because they are fun; I like chick flicks because they are girly; and if a movie is visually beautiful, but the story or the acting is bad, I’ll just focus on what I’m seeing (or hit the mute button). When I’m not drawing or watching movies, I’m working as a part-time Muay Thai kickboxing instructor, or using my down time to read, travel, or spend time with friends. While finding God in the spiritual and moral cesspool that is Hollywood is not always easy, He can certainly always be found. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).