Category: Movies

Old Olympic Dreams Never Die–They Just Go Slower

Ah yes, the ol’ missing first paragraph is back:

My Olympic dream died sometime around 1978. The reality was that I could barely crack the top 10 of an average high school cross country race, so there was little hope of me ever mounting the winner’s platform and hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in my lifetime.

And here’s the rest.

Here’s some footage of me running the last lap in that charity fundraiser at Harding University in 1983.

And here I am today with my Sunday morning running buddies, “Team Wannabe” (that’s actual speed, not slow-mo).

Old Olympic dreams never die–they just go slower.… Read the rest

Hey Lionsgate–I’m Watching You

I promised that I would follow the story that I reported the other day about Lionsgate Picture’s apparent use of Ginny Owens’ “Be Thou My Vision” on the trailer for the upcoming release of Saw V.

This message was just posted on her website:

Friends: Sometime during the afternoon of Friday, July 25th, my voice on “Be Thou My Vision” was replaced by another singer.

The track still sounds nearly identical, and most websites continue to “credit” me for it, but the background music for the Saw V trailer is no longer my original version of “Be Thou My Vision.”

Read the rest

You Can’t Keep A Good Song Down

“Be Thou My Vision,” that wonderful old Irish (we think) hymn, is one of my favorites. And if I have to explain to you why, then you haven’t been paying very close attention these past 3 years.

I’ve always considered sacred music, well, you know, sacred. So imagine my surprise to hear the strains of Ginny Owens’ hauntingly beautiful rendition of that hymn intermeshed with the trailer for the latest installment of the Saw series, Saw V.

We were waiting for the new X Files movie to start Friday night, and the misdirection totally threw me. I was thinking, hey this looks and sounds interesting.… Read the rest

It Simply Ain’t “Happening”

Here’s what the critics are saying about M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie The Happening:

  • a “woeful clunker of a paranoid thriller.” –The Wall Street Journal
  • “The Happening deflates from its grisly, early promise to repetitive images of people running through fields, the unlucky ones suddenly stopping, then searching about for convenient ways to do themselves in.” –The Associated Press
  • “Shyamalan’s throwback horror flick plays like The Birds meets The Blob; it’s beyond good and evil. It’s dumbfounding.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “What a bunch of nonsense—effective nonsense, chilling nonsense, occasionally wrenching nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.” –Village Voice
  • “Here’s a movie trivia game I wish I didn’t have to play.
Read the rest

Want Respect? Earn It

I was 28-years-old when I graduated from optometry school and finally gained that long sought after title of “doctor.” No more “scut work” for me, I thought. “Let respect flow like a river, and money like a mighty stream” was my motto.

Oh, if only it had been that simple. We moved to Nashville where I started a residency in ocular disease at a large ophthalmology clinic and referral center near Vanderbilt. One of the first patients that I saw in the clinic there stared at me in disbelief when I walked into the room and declared, “And what high school did you just graduate from?”… Read the rest

“Once” Is Not Enough–I Need More

My friend Scott was all over this early on, but he’s considerably more culture and music-savvy than I am. I can be hip too, but usually it’s 6-12 months later than everyone else. Just call me “post-hip.”

But you can take my word for it, the movie Once is everything the critics say it is: mesmerizing, enthralling, ethereal, transcendent, and all the other fancy, multisyllabic adjectives that have been used in the hundreds of reviews that have been written. It is a tour de force of powerful storytelling employing a minimalist approach: a shoe-string budget, hand-held cameras and a simple narrative arc told in a naturalistic manner and setting (the streets of Dublin, Ireland).… Read the rest

A Good Life

“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps-what more can the heart of a man desire?”

– Leo Tolstoy.

Read the rest

We’re All April Fools

april-fool-illus.jpgFor those of you who may have been wrong-footed by my April Fools gag post on being named the Duke University team optometrist (and sources tell me that there were several of you), don’t feel too badly.

You were not alone. If you want to spot these feints a little earlier, then you might want to check this out.

Besides, it’s not like I never bought a tall tale or two.

A couple of years ago, my friend Ed wrote a classic April Fools post that I swallowed hook, line and sinker like an eager large mouth bass.

Chariots of Fire is one of my all time favorites, and I wanted so much for that story to be true.… Read the rest

Horton Hears a Hooah in Huntsville!

Breaking news: I’m pleased to report the that the City of Huntsville, Alabama has finished in first place in 20th Century Fox’s “Horton Hears You–Hometown Challenge.”

Last Thursday, citizens of Huntsville, bolstered by a large contingent of soldiers from Redstone Arsenal, stood in front of the Von Braun Civic Center prior to the Huntsville Havoc vs. Columbus Cottonmouths hockey game and let loose a loud barbaric yawp which reportedly red-lined decibel meters and tickled seismographs as far away as Tupelo, Mississippi.

By winning, those who participated receive free passes to a special Huntsville premiere prior to the nationwide release of “Dr.Read the rest

Juno–A Reprise

I overlooked a very good review of the film Juno when I posted last Friday. I can usually count on Christianity Today to be a little more broad-minded when it comes to the intersection of faith and culture and less-enamored with counting “swear words” than Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Online, and that’s certainly the case here.

I especially like the “discussion starters” that follow the review. Now here’s a thought for some progressive, proactive church out there–why not take the youth gang to see it and then discuss the movie afterwards over coffee at Starbucks or some such?… Read the rest

Go To Juno

If you’ve not had a chance to see Juno yet, it’s worth a look. It’s a quirky, cute, whip-smartly written flick by screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman dealing with a tough and gritty topic–teenage pregnancy. It’s been nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and features extraordinary talent Ellen Page as the sassy and irreverent Juno MacGuff, along with several other strong supporting performances from the likes of Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janey and J.K. Simmons. Review cans be found here and here.

But please, don’t go expecting another Facing the Giants. The language and humor are a little earthy and raw and there are few explicit references to God or traditional morality.… Read the rest

Banes, Blessings and Broken Banister Knobs

alabama-theatre.jpgHave you ever seen the same thing a million times, but in a moment of great clarity, suddenly seen it in an entirely different way? If so, then you know how I felt last night as I road-tripped with Eyegal and some good friends to the beautifully restored Alabama Theatre in downtown Birmingham for a showing of the classic Christmas feel-good film, It’s a Wonderful Life.

A television rerun or a DVD don’t do the deed like the flashing neon sign, the gleaming, waxed floors and the gilded, cathedral-like trimmings of The Alabama. Throw in a Wurlitzer that rises like a wailing phantom from beneath the stage floor, audience sing-a-longs of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and “Buffalo Gals” and a retro Disney cartoon for an appetizer, and you suddenly find yourself drifting back to the 1940s, a time when real gentlemen wore woolly, tweed suits and flashy fedoras down to the corner market, and ladies, in their form-flattering skirts and soft, feminine blouses, charmed passersby and flaunted their sizzling sexuality without shedding a single stitch of clothing.Read the rest

Persona Non Bloggus

There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven:

…a time to be silent, and a time to speak.

Ecclesiastes 3, v.1 and v.7

Two years ago yesterday, I launched out onto the “bloggy cybersea.” Somehow I managed to survive the use of that horrible turn of phrase and go on to write 526 other posts in 64 categories which generated 4,195 comments. Some of those comments came from me, a good deal of them from pesky spammers hawking everything from cheap, cheesy porn to counterfeit Nike shoes (those have been fried for the most part by my Super-Duper Askimet Spam Zapper and don’t figure into the total count), but most came from the likes of you, my beloved Fusioneers, whom I have come to appreciate very much.… Read the rest