Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

I've heard quite a bit of outcry over this incredible film, because of the lack of war and violence. It's true that this film does not return the viewers to the arena. However, the time for arenas is over. The story progresses to the cry for an uprising. That's what the story is all about. The cry for war, not the war itself. If you want a war so badly, then wait for the next film.

People seem to have lost touch with Katniss' character. It should be evident that Katniss never was a violent person, which she directly expresses in her talk with President Snow. All she ever wants out of her trials in life is to keep her loved ones safe. This includes her current efforts to rescue Peeta and the other victors held captive in the capital.

Everything she does that inspires those around her is done out of love, not violence.

The weapon emphasized in Mockingjay is information. District 13 uses Katniss and Finnick to discredit the Capital's propaganda and reveal the true nature of the tyrant, President Snow. This information is enough to drive the people to fight for themselves. Of course, a revolution is inevitable. District 13 merely provides an effective form of motivation.

As Katniss embraces peaceful resolutions, so did Christ. The Christ of the Gospels is Christ, the Humble. He too was a messenger. His people were expecting Christ, the Conqueror. They were more interested seeing in a war against the Romans than to accept the deliverance he had to offer, deliverance from sin. His message involved hope, peace, and love. Not war. War, though justifiable in the context of Mockingjay, should never be a first resort.

Information can be just as powerful a weapon as a bow and arrow. It is unfortunately an underestimated weapon, but it is one I feel more compelled to embrace. Therefore, I urge you to listen and learn as much as possible throughout life. Embrace facts. Embrace knowledge. Embrace peaceful resolution. It can greatly improve your quality of life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Far From Home

One hit wonder author and struggling associate professor Nicholas Boyd is suddenly called back to his childhood home when his uncle Charles dies. We learn very early in the film that he spends his youth with a great passion for writing. However, somewhere along the way that passion completely extinguishes.

With no direction and family bridges burned, fifteen years pass without a single trip home until he receives an invitation to his uncle’s funeral. Instead of a simple funeral he finds himself plunged in a campaign to save the small, idyllic island from developers. Charles knew even before he died that Nicholas could finish that campaign.

Above all, we learn of a falling out between Charles and Nicholas that causes him to leave home and motivates him to write his one famous novel. Whatever the incident (they don’t say until near the end), he struggles to forgive.

It isn’t until he opens up about this incident does he finally let go of his anger enough to take a good look at his uncle’s work and figure out his plan to save the island from a serious threat.

Letting go is hard. Forgiving is hard. However, I never heard of an instance where the choice to forgive hasn’t been beneficial health and welfare of one’s quality of life. It opens our eyes the real threats around us. Keep your vision clear from the clutter of frivolous issues. Keep your life’s passions alive.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Town that Came A-Courtin’

This is a film that takes meddling friends and neighbors to a whole new level. Though I cannot imagine the event in Bliss, Mississippi anything close to reality, there is a certain level of entertainment involved, not to mention a feeling of comfort for the hero, Mayor Spencer Alexander. Bliss is a town that truly loves their mayor, and it knows a genuine lady when they see one.

When independent author Abby Houston passes through Bliss during a book tour, she doesn't stand a chance resisting the pleas of Bliss’ citizens. All they want is to go on a date with their tragically lonely mayor. However, a series of hysterical misconceptions and disasters cause the failure of three attempted dates.

Despite it all, not a soul can deny the spark between them, except, of course, for Abby’s obsessive fan. With everyone in town focusing their attention on hooking up the couple, no one noticed an awkward, little man following Abby around town making it easy for him to abduct her from a public parking lot.

Fortunately, Spencer is able to accept his feelings for Abby enough to sense something amiss and begin a campaign to save her.

Of all the Uplifting Entertainment films I've reviewed, I can honestly say that Town That Came A-Courtin’ is my favorite so far. It contains humor, drama, adventure, romance, and tragedy. Most importantly, it contains unconditional love. As infuriating and meddling as that town behaves, it is a comfort to see how much they love. 

Love Finds You in Sugarcreek

 Our experiences affect our ability to trust others. They even shape who we are as people.

In the film Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, such is the case for Rachel Troyer, a young single policewoman, who lost her parents at a very young age. Her experiences made her easily suspicious and very protective of her adopted family.

All she wants for her aunts is for them to be safe and healthy. However, her aunts are devoted Amish inn keepers who believe very firmly in hospitality. So, they naturally agree to take in the mysterious stranger Joe and his sick son when misfortune leaves them stranded in Sugarcreek. They go as far as offering him work around their property (much to Rachel’s objections) as a way of paying for his room and board.

Both Rachel and Joe’s experiences teach them to be mistrusting of others. Thus, their acquaintance becomes tense and shaky. It is not until they open up to each other do they fall in love. Once Joe tells Rachel his story and she finds her suspicions were wrong, she devotes herself to helping him with his problem.

It doesn't take long for her to discover how serious and violent his problem is, especially when his obsessive manager hunts him down. Yet, Rachel stands by Joe despite his baggage.

Some of the most important things that keep a healthy relationship are honesty and devotion. Once Joe and Rachel break through the barrier of mistrust, they were able to achieve a healthy relationship and finally find healing from their tragic pasts. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ineffective Election Campaigns

Have you ever noticed how Christmas songs and advertisements begin the day after Halloween. Stores even put out Christmas decorations before Halloween. I know people who find that extremely annoying. Personally I don't mind Christmas tunes in November, because there is one thing I find more annoying.

November 4th is also over, which mean all of those awful, hateful campaign ads are gone. They were so bad I couldn't play the radio at work, because I didn't want my customers to hear the unreasonable amount of inappropriate allegations. It's embarrassing. And ineffective. The thing I look for in a candidate is good sportsmanship. The more candidates focus on attacking their opponents, the less I feel inclined to vote for them.

If that isn't bad enough I couldn't help but notice the night of November 3rd was particularly aggressive. Not only was the television saturated with commercials, but also the house received several phone calls from campaigns representatives reminding us for whom to vote.

Now, the air waves are clear of hateful accusation, and I can enjoy listening to the radio again. I would much rather listen to the songs of my favorite holiday.