Category Archives: Movie Reviews

‘Feminists Fricasee Cinderella’ (2015)

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Ah, yes–feminism! What would we ever do without it?

Rejoice, I think.

Here we have feminists, three years ago, going to town on a Cinderella movie.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/03/18/feminists-fricassee-cinderella/

Little girls must be protected from fairy tales. They must be carted off to the Drag Queen Story Hour instead.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.


For a Pleasant Little Scare: ‘A Warning to the Curious’

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M. R. James wrote the best ghost stories ever, and one of those gems is A Warning to the Curious. This was made into a short film (50 minutes long) some years ago and currently available on Youtube.

How good an idea is it to dig up an ancient artifact supposedly protected by a supernatural guardian? Even outside of an M.R. James story, probably not. A Warning to the Curious is about what happens to an amateur archaeologist who ignores the warning.

The thing that makes this little movie go is its spectacular photography and ominous-looking locations. If you were looking for ghosts anywhere, these places would be where you’d find them. Flat fens where it’s hard to tell where the beach ends and the water begins, stone buildings that look like they grew out of the landscape a thousand years ago, a train station smack in the middle of nowhere–sit and look. You won’t see places like those every day.

We watched in this afternoon, to take our minds off stressful things, and it does do that. It does it very well.


Movie Review, ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

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We rented Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this weekend, and it was everything we wanted from it. We weren’t looking for Shakespearean soliloquies.

So what we got were dinosaurs, and plenty of ’em, including some nice ones that haven’t been seen in the earlier Jurassic Park movies: a very nice Carnotaurus, and of course a new genetically-engineered man-made not-natural dinosaur that looks like New Jersey’s own Dryptosaurus. Three cheers! Plus the Mosasaur as big as your average township: surfers beware.

As usual, there are bad guys trying to exploit the dinosaurs, good guys trying to stop them, and the dinosaurs get loose and everything goes all pear-shaped, fanabla… I really don’t want to hit you with any spoilers, so suffice it to say that Fallen Kingdom offers a lot of the original Jurassic Park motifs, plus a couple of brand-new ones, at least one of which is just spectacular and you wonder why no one ever did it before. This is a dinosaur chase scene like none you’ve ever seen. Patty wound up dreaming she was being chased by an alligator, and I got kicked a dozen times before I could wake her up.

There are critics who want to put the whole Jurassic Park franchise out to pasture, they’re tired of these dinosaurs, the story line’s always the same, blah-blah. Bunch of spoil-sports. Sure, there are downright silly moments in any Jurassic Park movie–especially JP No. 2, The Lost World, which boasts a virtual dictionary of silly moments–but we don’t watch these movies in search of whatever it is that some of these critics are searching for. We watch ’em for dinosaurs, we get dinosaurs, the bad guys get what’s coming to them, the story line suggests yet another sequel, and we come away satisfied. What’s not to like?


Moon Landing Movie: Stealing History

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Actors are such drips. But they only parrot what they hear from others. In fact, that’s their job–speaking lines written by others.

The First Man, Universal Pictures’ dramatization of the 1969 moon landing (slated for release October 12)… leaves out the historical fact–and arguably the centerpiece of the drama–of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the American flag on the surface of the moon (http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/08/31/first-man-leaves-out-american-flag-in-moon-landing-scene-ryan-gosling-defends-decision.html).

Why?

Because, says the Canadian actor who plays Armstrong in the movie, the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.” He said this at the Venice Film Festival, where the movie was trotted out for a foreign audience.

Goldarn countries and borders! When are we gonna get rid of them and have a nice, cozy, global government?

So who put the first man on the moon? Italy? Saudi Arabia? Peru?

The answer is “the United States of America,” with American technology and know-how, paid for by the American people with their taxes. It was not a “We Are the World” moment. It was an American moment. We did it. That the rest of the world benefited by it, and might have even rejoiced in it, is beside the point. We did it, world: not you. And to this day no other country has matched this achievement.

We didn’t claim the moon as U.S. territory; but Congress declared “this was a United States project.” As if that even needed to be said in 1969.

But it does need to be said now, in 2018, as the international community seeks to hijack one of America’s signature achievements.

I saw our flag planted on the moon, on live TV. So did millions of other people. And we remember, in spite of the Open Borders crowd trying to infect us with amnesia.

And they can take their unhistorical movie and stick it.


‘The Lost Tomb’ Should Stay Lost

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The Lost Tomb of Jesus was 2007’s entry in the media’s annual Easter-time festival of Christianity-bashing. I reviewed the film for Chalcedon.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/lost-tomb-of-jesus-the-agenda

It’s a long review, but it took time to refute so many errors–not honest mistakes, but an agenda-driven attack on the divinity of Jesus Christ by a Zionist film-maker, a Hollywood big shot, and a so-called “theologian” who’s a heretic. Other than that, it was swell.

I didn’t watch whatever Christian-bash they resorted to this year. I was too busy celebrating Our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.


Movie Review: ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’

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We watched this on Amazon Prime yesterday, where you can rent it: Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018). It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Beautifully filmed and acted, this tells the story of Paul’s life, in flashbacks, against the grim background of Nero’s persecution of Christians in Rome. James Faulker, who played Herod Agrippa in I, Claudius, plays Paul–in a Roman prison, awaiting execution. Jim Caviezel is Luke, writing the Book of Acts under Paul’s guidance. Joanne Whalley and John Lynch are Priscilla and Aquila, trying to hold together the city’s Christian community.

There are in the world today places where Christians are brutally persecuted, as they were in Nero’s Rome. And yet those are the places where faith in Christ is growing.

I’m not going to write a long review here, Paul is well worth seeing for yourselves. I just want to note that, as someone who has lived his whole life in a place where, by the providence of God, neither war nor civil strife has touched for centuries, such scenes are strange and terrifying to me. I have never seen anyone beaten on the streets, publicly hanged, herded off to a gulag. I know these things have happened many times in history. I know they happen now.

But on an emotional level, I don’t want to believe that persecution, of the kind that Paul and Luke knew, can be a fact of life. I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want the world to be like that, even though I know it is. God help us peace-loving American Christians, if we ever have to confront anything worse than snarky comments and hate-contorted faces.

For thy sake, Lord, we are slaughtered like sheep…

And yet by you we are more than conquerors.

That’s what Paul said (Romans 8:36-37).

And he taught himself, and us, that only love, filled by God’s grace and the love of Jesus Christ, can survive a fallen world.


Movie Classic (1974): ‘Death Wish’

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I haven’t seen Death Wish since it was in the theaters, but we watched it today.

Charles Bronson plays a civilized, peace-loving architect whose wife and daughter are savaged, and the wife killed, by muggers who break into their apartment. Bronson acquires a gun and walks around New York by night, offering himself as bait. When the bad guys try to rob him, he shoots them. In the resulting media storm, the city’s crime rate goes way down.

I just want to tell you something that every political scientist knows: in fact, it’s not political science at all. It’s common sense.

A government that cannot or will not protect its citizens from those who would do them harm has no reason for existing. Sooner or later the people will replace that government with one that can and will protect them.

Death Wish hits hard on the resignation and hopelessness of “civilized” people who don’t understand self-defense and just sort of hang around waiting to be victims. But eventually a spark comes along that ignites them–and then watch out.

American history is full of lawless towns, cities, and territories that were cleaned up and pacified by governments willing to shoulder the burden. By governments I mean individuals who did the job, sometimes at the cost of their lives. Elfego Baca and Judge Parker spring to mind; and Woodes Rogers, in the lawless Caribbean of the early 18th century. Parker and Rogers employed the same crime-reduction formula: hang the bad guys.

It can be done. It doesn’t have to be done by vigilantes.

But it sure as shootin’ won’t be done by liberals.


She Could Play Ellayne (Ya Think?)

Remember Arianna Richards, from the original Jurassic Park? I kept trying to get a clip of one of her ear-piercing screams, but had to settle for this one instead.

Anyway, last night I thought of her to play Ellayne in the $150 million Bell Mountain movie that is in the process of not being made. If you’ve read No. 4, The Last Banquet, you know when and where a really piercing scream is necessary.

Yes, the movie contest didn’t fly… but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on playing it.


Memory Lane: ‘Elfego Baca’

I was delighted to find some of these episodes available on Youtube: The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca. I’ll try to get Patty to watch these with me, this weekend.

This series, starring Robert Loggia, came out in 1958 on “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” Remember that? It must have been good, because I’ve remembered the theme song for 60 years. This is the kind of great stuff Disney productions turned out while Walt was still running the place. He wouldn’t be happy with what they’re doing now: heads would roll.

In real life, Baca, then a deputy sheriff in New Mexico, won his reputation for “nine lives” when he was surrounded by a gang of bad guys after taking shelter in a rather small adobe building reminiscent of the old Stelton Hotel here in the heart of Jersey. They couldn’t persuade him to come out and get shot, and whenever they tried to rush the building, he made them pay for it. So they hunkered down and fired 4,000 rounds (!) at the place (yes, somebody actually counted the bullet holes), and not one of them hit Elfego Baca. That’s why someone counted the holes–the man’s survival seemed a miracle.

And I like miracles!

Anyway, here’s the theme song–and I don’t know who these performers were, but they were pretty good.


Here We Go Again! Jurassic World 2

Suddenly the supermarket’s full of Jurassic World 2 tie-ins to Cheetos and Doritos, which means the movie’s coming out, and here’s the trailer.

I am a total sucker for Jurassic Park movies. I shrug off the cliches. I tolerate the illusion of dinosaurs as big as Liechtenstein. And is that Carcharodon megalodon moving in on all those surfers? You’d think a couple of humans would be only the equivalent of two or three Doritos, to a shark that makes “Jaws” look like a guppy. Sheesh, “You’re gonna need a bigger ocean…”

At the very least, these movies provide escape, take my mind off things. They might even give me an idea or two that I can use in my books. Inspiration, of a kind. So of course I’ll want to see it! And eventually I will. But I just can’t be going to a movie theater, dropping $25 just to see a movie, and sitting through a dozen previews and several commercials before anything good happens.


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