Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Seventh Son

Based on the book by Joseph Delaney, Seventh Son is an exciting, fantastical story of good vs. evil. Thomas Ward, a seventh son of a seventh son, becomes the recruit of Master Gregory, the last witch hunter call a Spook, after the escape of Mother Malkin, the queen of witches.

She immediately launches a campaign to eliminate all Spooks and rule the world. Unfortunately for Thomas and Gregory, they are the last of the Spooks. Even more unfortunately, Thomas must learn everything necessary to become a Spook in one week.

Time isn't the only thing working against them. While the two struggle with training, Mother Malkin assembles an army of witches, warlocks, and other dark creatures to ambush the two Spooks and the villages that support them.

Can two men compete with a powerful legion?

While his paternity is no mystery, his maternity comes as to a complete surprise. Thomas is one of a kind, a seventh son and the son of a witch. He represents the union of two competing worlds. This mix makes him more powerful than any other Spook. He is the only one with the power to defeat the dark forces working against him. He is the only one capable of wielding weapons belongs to both Spooks and witches. The combination of both weapons enables him to defeat darkness.

Being the child of both worlds, Thomas struggles to chose a side. His heart is compassionate. He does not allow prejudice to determine his actions. He cannot even bring himself to kill his supposed enemies. He is the only one compassionate enough not to express a prejudice against the world of which he is unfamiliar unlike Gregory with his prejudice against witches and Malkin with her prejudice against humans.

No good comes from such an attitude. One prejudice cannot fix or replace another. Thomas' unique situation grants everyone around him the opportunity to overcome prejudice entirely. For it is prejudice that leads to hate, and that hate leads to darkness. Mother Malkin fancies herself a queen of darkness. In truth, she is a slave to it, and it inevitably consumes her until she falls.

Scripture gives us such a warning: "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death." (Proverbs 14:12

Our choices make us what we are. Not our heritage. Not our gifts. Not even our teachers. If we do not choice a path of compassion, understanding and love, then the choices we make may lead down a path of darkness and destruction.

Official Website, Bible Gateway, IMDB

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hitman: Agent 47

Katia Delriego is a woman with a uncertain past, a dangerous present, and indefinite future. She lives most of her life with no guidance and only a blurry photograph for direction. Her only skills are her keen senses that enable her to survive. She has no idea who is really is or what she is capable of.

Agent 47 is a man with superior skills after a life of nothing but guidance. His entire life with one purpose, a questionable purpose. So much so that his final mission is to put an eternal end to the program that created him, including eliminating its creator and his daughter.

However, something changes when the two are united. Instead of killing her, he takes her under his wing by protecting and teaching her. The humanity we are believed not to exist in him makes a full broadcast.

It begs the question. Can a man truly be stripped of his conscience and ability to make choices? Our ability to make choices is what makes us human. Free will is a gift from God. This allows us to think for ourselves. Make our own conclusions. Answer to our own conscience. Live our own lives.

Without it, we may as well be God's little puppets. We are not puppets. Not to any person. Not to any organization. Certainly not to God. Agent 47 is a story about two people who discover their free will and take control of their own lives.

Just like Agent 47, we are called to evaluate our lives, repent, and make changes. Agent 47 makes a choice to cherish Katia's life instead of ending it. Though he disobeyed his orders and lost his job, he is granted a partner and the chance at a real life. That is something on which you cannot place a price tag.

Sources: Fox Movies, IMDB

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ashley Madison client list leaked.

Scripture is abundantly clear about the negative consequences of infidelity.
One such verse states, "Run from sexual sin! No other sin affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor 6:18)

So, far be it for me to condone a website that profits off of infidelity. Even farther would I pity the people whose identities were hacked in this Ashley Madison scandal. If one is foolish enough to cheat, they would be even more foolish to leave a financial trail.

It is my general belief to always stay safe online. You can never be too careful.
In that light, anyone willing to pay online for immoral services reap what they sow, especially when hacking is such an immanent threat.

I've mentioned this before when my website was one of the many that was hacked by the Russian mob last September. It is imperative to remain secure online.

For more information, Check the Cable is a source for security tips.

My own tip is simple: RESPECT YOUR SPOUSE. Never cheat.

At the same time, no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and we are required to show grace and forgive.

Christ says, "Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive." (Luke 17:4)

That leaked list can turn into quite a slippery slope. One could easily become obsessed with finding a familiar name of it. I won't even look at it. I would recommend you do not do the same. The only way to fight these hackers is to show a refusal to support them.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scream Analysis: Who is the killer?

Growing up, it was one of my favorite horror franchises. Though an obvious satire, I found it to have an unique mix of mystery, suspense, terror, and humor. With each sequel, I was always left surprised at the final reveal. Naturally, I found myself intrigued at the announcement of the new series.
Though the acting leaves something to be desired and none of the original characters are present, the mystery hooked me.
Who on Earth could the killer (or killers) be?
First thing we must do is deconstruct the typical Scream characteristics:
  1. Most importantly, it is self-aware.
  2. All films except the third provide a killing duo. So, that can be a certain possibility for the series.
  3. All films repeat the same character types:
    • Sidney, the victim
    • Randy, the horror film enthusiast friend
    • Gale, the ambitious reporter
    • Duey, the cop 
    • Other minor characters (not all repeated but present in the series include the missing father, the mother and her incredibly complicated past, and the suspicious boyfriend.
  4. The films never repeat a character type for the killer.
     Scream 1 – the boyfriend and the creepy friend
     Scream 2 – a “reporter”/ the boyfriend’s vengeful mother and a horror enthusiast.
     Scream 3 – Sidney’s secret half-brother/film director.
     Scream 4 – the remake of the Randy and the remake of Sidney. (True, she is a relative as well, but that only gives the remake Sidney a connection to the true Sidney.)
With this in mind, we can naturally rule out these character types for the series.
Here is what we know about the killer:
  • He/she knows every secret in town, including the identity of the mysterious “Daisy”. 
  • He/she is incredibly tech savvy with skills in hacking computers and security cameras.
  • He/she is strong and fit.
  • He/she is obsessed with Emma and her mother.
  • He/she began the murders directly after an act of cyber bullying, which also happened to be after the sheriff’s son came to town.
At this point, the killer could be anyone. I am not ready to rule out any of them. As always, I expect to be surprised to see who the killer really is.
My theory is that all the extra stuff happening in this series that did not appear in the film is a bunch of fluff meant to distract us from the real format. This includes the cyber-bully video, blackmail secrets, teacher-student scandal, and Brandon James kill spree. Keep true to the franchise and focus on the parallel characters. It is there I hope to find the killer(s).
Last week, we were sad to see the boyfriend character eliminated. There are only two episode left before the finale when the killer(s) is/are revealed. What suspect will be eliminated tomorrow night when the next episode airs? 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Oculus 2013

Tim and Kaylie Russell are a haunted pair of siblings, indeed. When they were children, Tim shot his father after watching him torture and murder his wife and their mother. The poor boy is immediately arrested and institutionalized until he turns twenty-one.

His intense therapy leads him down a path of acceptance and the desire to move forward. In the meantime, Kaylie suffers in the foster system with no therapy and no guidance. The entire time of Tim's incarceration, Kaylie fuels her obsession over her parents' murders.

But who or what is responsible?

Kaylie lays responsibility before an inanimate object know as the Lasser Glass, a mirror that once hung in her father's home office. Years of obsessive research show her a pattern of gruesome murder/suicides caused to and by the Glass' owners over the Centuries.

Coincidence? Perhaps. However, the story of the film suggest the mirror is a harbor to a powerful supernatural force that collects the souls of the people who come into contact with the mirror, including the Russell siblings' parents.

What does Kaylie hope to accomplish upon stealing the mirror and recruiting her brother the moment he is released? She claims her desire to clear the family name and prove Tim's innocence. However, as Tim clearly states she could clear the family name by rebuilding it. There is no need to dig up her dangerous past. It is more likely she fails to overcome her obsession with the Lasser Glass.

Her obsession leads her down a very destructive path. She fails to count her blessings. The very fact that she survives the mirror as a child is completely miraculous. Instead of living her life with gratitude, she throws her fiance, her brother and herself into its violent path, thus giving the mirror a chance to finish the job.

Scripture advises in Proverbs, "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil."

Kaylie is unable and unwilling to move forward, and that cost her everything in the end. Her obsession becomes not only her doom, but also the doom of her fiance and her brother.

We have all suffered injustice in one way or another. It causes rage, despair, and irrational behavior. It causes unhealthy obsession. Let this film be a lesson. It is an ultimate example of the danger of obsession. Learn to let go and move on with life. Find a constructive way to move forward.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

No tomorrow in Tomorrowland

Imagine a place where all the geniuses may work towards making the world a better place. A place free from distraction, limited resources, and the restraints of governmental reign.

Such a place sounds like a fairy tale.

Can such a place ever exist? Even if it could, how would we keep it pure?

That's what I thought many years when I first saw the attraction at Disneyland. What a wondrous place. It gave my adolescent self hope for the future. I was in complete wonder. What wonderful inventions and technology would occur. Indeed, technology has come such a long way since then. It remains my sincerest wish that we continue to excel in a way where future generations may live happy, healthy, and prosperous lives.

In Disney's Tomorrowland young genius Casey Newton begins as an ambitious optimist. She would do everything to care for her father and younger brother, including the risk of a felony charge. Her father, a talented engineer, faces unemployment in a matter of weeks. Despite her efforts, she gets caught and arrested for sabotaging demolition equipment. In that lowest of low moment, a sign drops into her lap.

She is instantly transported to the image of a beautiful, thriving world. It is a world full of invention and technology that we could only dream of. She sees everything the creators intended for the place.

Hope for the future.

Casey becomes so inspired by this world that she fights with everything she has to see the real version.

What she doesn't know, but quickly discovers when she gets there, is that the real Tomorrowland in no way lives up to the beauty of the “commercial” she sees. Governor Nix, leader of Tomorrowland, treats her arrival with no welcome and disdain, even though she proves her genius very quickly. Since she refuses to agree with his narrow-minded way of thinking, she is banished.

The real place is oppressive, deserted, lifeless, and gray. At first look, one would think it is completely abandoned. Not at all the thriving Utopia that is promised. It begs the question. Why? Why does Tomorrowland fail? Why do they neglect their and Casey's potential? Why do they abandon all hope for the future?

There is no excuse Governor Nix gives to Casey to justify their inactivity. I accept no of it. In face, I hold him responsible for causing the very destruction and mayhem he is so desperate to avoid. For, as long as there even a glimmer of hope to make the world a better place, then we must do everything in our power to do so.

It says in 1 Peter 4, “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”

The truth is we have a Tomorrowland. We don't need Tomorrowland. Even if we did, there would be no guarantee it would remain Tomorrowland. Earth is all we have to find and follow our callings. We must use the resources available to us to makes contributions in saving the world. All we need is to know our gifts and the drive to use them. If we can achieve that, then no amount of distraction or meddling can stop us from making the world a better place.

All we need is to know our gifts and the drive to use them. If we can achieve that, then no amount of distraction or meddling can stop us from making the world a better place. Never stop trying. Never give up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Planned Parenthood under attack

Recently, I have been receiving many emails lately from a certain politician petitioning an effort to defund and essentially put an end to the Planned Parenthood. Disturbing, hateful emails. 

Of course, this is not exactly news. There have been protests against abortion since abortion become legal. Since abortion came into existence. I have been this song and dance as far back as I can remember.

 As controversial as abortion is in this country, it is easy to forget all of the positive services provided by Planned Parenthood, including sex education and cancer screens. This organization's general sanding is caring for a woman's health in many ways. 

On a personal note, I do take the side of pro-Life. 

I believe human is a human at the moment of conception, soul and all. I also believe abortion procedure is dangerous and risky the the mother's fertility and over-all health. Feel free to disagree. It is an informed decision I made due to my Christian faith, my love for children, life experience, and hundreds of hours of research.

At the same time, I recognize that abortion is legal in the United States of America. As long as the service is freely available to our citizens, people have every right to use it. I also believe that abortion is a result of a more serious problem in this country. Planned Parenthood provides a professional, sterile service for girls in need of it.

Let me play devil's advocate for a minute. Let's assume these protesters have their way, and the Planned Parenthood is no more. Let's go one step further and imagine a country where abortion is illegal.

How many problems would that solve?

Abortions wouldn't stop. They would merely be conducted under wraps. Women would continue to seek abortions from unlawful, unsanitary, and unprofessional places. For as long as there is a need, there will be someone eager to provide the service.

At the end of the day, Planned Parenthood is not the problem here. Abortion is not the problem. It is the result of a problem. 

The problem lies in so many other places. It is a message to our young people that the compromise of virtue is acceptable. It is idea among parents that avoiding sex education is the same as sex not existing at all. It is the lack of love and outreach to young mothers who feel alone and without alternative options. It is the lack of love and cherish for human life. 

For Christ says in Matthew 25, "You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let you good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."

Perhaps, these Conservative politicians should focus less on ending a legal organization through hate and war. For I see only one way to effectively end the Planned Parenthood. That is to eliminate the need for it. 

I don't hear any outcries for better sex education. I don't hear outcries for easier adoption strategies. I don't hear outcries for church ministries for lost, abandoned women. Where is the love? Where is the outreach? Where is the strain to help people understand how to cherish life?

Send me an email about that, That would be a petition I would sign. That would be a donation I would make.