Thursday, February 26, 2004

My Review of the "Passion" (2/26/04)
When I go to movies, I do two somewhat contradictory things, almost simultaneously. They are:
1) Enjoy the movie- laugh at the dumb jokes, cry at the obvious tearjerkers, etc. etc.
2) Criticize the movie on its most minor points- 007's Walther PPK holds SEVEN shots, not six!
It was extraordinarily odd that I did neither when I went to see "The Passion of the Christ".
It took me about three seconds to assimilate the fact that it was essentially a foreign-language film, and three more seconds to get updated with the timeframe, and a final three seconds for me to try to remember if the Devil was in the Garden of Gesthemane.
Then I fell into the movie.
I forgot I was sitting there in a dark room full of strange people with my feet adhered to the floor by various materials better left unidentified, staring at a piece of canvas with colored light moving across it. I forgot all the controversy, all the pent-up rage, all the hype about Mel Gibson's movie.
I was watching the Passion.
It was so brutal, so graphic, so plainly and simply horrific that it brought back all the stuff about Jesus' crucifixion that Sunday School left out. Other movies tell you that Jesus loved us all, enough to die for us. "The Passion of the Christ" forces us to SEE that Jesus suffered.
Suffering is the message of "Passion", from the very beginning, where the Devil admonishes Jesus for trying to take the burden of everyone's sins, and the full weight of his responsibilities decends on Christ's shoulders. Every single moment is either dedicated to showing Christ's suffering, or dedicated to his followers watching him suffer.
It's a wake-up message to lazy Christians (like me), not a conversion message to heathens. We are reminded, constantly, that Jesus' sacrifice is not meant to be taken lightly.
It's not a film for entertainment. It's not a movie you'd be interested enough to see more than once. It's not be the best-made film ever. It's not even the best-made film about the life of Christ. But for a jaded movie watcher like me, it was an experience to remember.
The Seraphim's Rating: 4 out of 5

Monday, February 23, 2004

The Passion of the Critics (2/23/04)
One thing that I wonder as I see all the controversy about "The Passion of the Christ" is if anyone has actually judged it based on its artistic merit.
So far, it seems that everyone is really interested in Mel Gibson's religious beliefs, be they anti-Semitic or conservative or liberal or whatnot. No one seems to care about the little things like quality of acting, direction, editing, etc. etc.
Have we become such a skewed culture that artistic merit has become secondary to political correctness?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

PC: Political Correctness and Private Catholic (2/21/04)
My "Alma Mater" is an All-Boys Private Catholic school, one of the last institutions in the world that has yet to bow to Political Correctness and open to both genders, an issue that had quite a few of us steaming as there were other Catholic schools that merged/went co-ed voluntarily.
Yet Political Correctness has already permeated its hallways and classrooms.
Despite the fact that my graduating class would end up being roughly 90% white, 85% Catholic, and 100% male, my high school took pride (and still takes pride) in offering mandatory "Minority Club" sessions and in being "beyond petty religious differences" (which is of course why Religion courses taught by Catholic teachers are a four year requirement there).
I love the place, of course, and there's something to be said about the challenge of Catholic education. But being a minority and something of a liberal (a deeply conservative liberal) made going there difficult, to say the least.
And yet I made a concious choice to go there, making me yet another minority, this time among the thousands and thousands of students who attended because it was their best chance at a real education.
None of them had any complaints, either, so who am I to talk?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

And Speaking of Tarantino Movies... (2/19/04)
Like many of Tarantino's works, I like to publish my blog in no particular order to show my utter inability to grasp the concept of "time" and "chronology". Eventually even the individual sentences in each post will have such bad grammar and word order they will look like they were translated from Japanese. It by offended all to apologies.
Why I Liked "Kill Bill" (2/19/04)
I found it to be stupid, provocative, gut-wrenching, mindless, profane, and utterly pointless.
In other words, a perfect movie.
1) The fact that we don't even know what the main character's name is
People with "good taste" like movies that offer character development. People like me like movies that offer a fill-in-the-blanks plot, with stereotypical characters thin enough to cut your finger.
2) Random Profanity
Only Quentin Tarantino can pull this off correctly. Unlike most other directors, who carefully study the guidelines on how many "f-words" they can squeeze into a movie without offending the majority of the audience, Tarantino just puts them in for comedy value. For those of you who've seen this movie, recall the scene when O-Ren Ishii drops the bomb at the table of Yakuza (and the Japanese translation in the background!)
3) Utterly Inappropriate Music
Again, it seems only Tarantino pulls this off correctly. While in other movies this sort of thing might seem cheesy, in "Kill Bill" it's a classy parody of a cheesy soundtrack.
4) Hattori Hanzo and His Sake-Fetching Assistant
Having lived in Japan, I appreciate the humor in this scene.
The Day after the Day after the Day of the Blog (2/19/04)
Well, it's time to start with the REAL blogging.
Ummm. Errr....
Hold that thought, I'll be right back!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Day 0: Still the Day of the Blog (2/17/04)
I must apologize if any part of the blog seems a little weird or badly formatted, since I'm new at this whole website-building, blog-publishing, ad-filtering, hacking-and-phreaking-for-fun-and-profit thing.
Day 0: The Day of the Blog (2/17/04)
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's here. The Blog. The Blog of irreverence, irrelevance, immaturity, political incorrectness, juvenile humor, etc. etc. If you are opposed to any of these things please don't continue reading; there are plenty of good blogs out there for you to read. If you are bored and have nothing else to do, then please continue on.