Friday, July 20, 2012

Batman Weeps for Colorado

I'm sure everyone has heard by this point but here's the lowdown in case you haven't. At approximately 12:30am today a gunman opened fire on a theater in Aurora, Colorado filled with The Dark Knight Rises fans, killing over a dozen and injuring over 50. The final toll for victims is 71.

This tragedy seems fitting somehow with the pain and suffering Colorado has experienced over the last few months. It doesn't even feel quite real to me yet. All I knew was that when I first heard of the shooting (without knowing where in Colorado it happened) my immediate thought was for a friend of mine who was attending a midnight showing with his buddies but he was in Colorado Springs. There will be plainsclothes police officers in every showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado this weekend to dissuade any copycats. This might be something they do across the country, I don't know.

What do you say when something like this happens? When does this ever happen?

Caitlin and I had planned on seeing The Dark Knight Rises this weekend. But now. Now I'm not so sure I want to go sit in a darkened theater where someone could easily come through the emergency exit and start killing people.

My heart grieves. It grieves for the victims, it grieves for the witnesses, and it also grieves for the people who spent a good 3 years of their lives making this movie in the hopes it would bring enjoyment and entertainment to millions. Now all people will remember is "The Batman Massacre" as its been named. And massacre would be right. This is the largest shooting in history. Movie theaters aren't that big. You can kill and maim a lot of people in a short amount of time.

What has happened to this nation? Right now Batman weeps for us.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Singin' in the Rain - In Theaters for 1 Night Only!

Don't you just love Fathom Events?! This is how I was able to experience The Lord of the Rings: Extended Editions in theaters and a special film about Elvis in concert before his death. They're special opportunities and may never happen again. And this time it's the 60th birthday of Singin' in the Rain!

You know the one with Gene Kelly in his iconic dance on wet streets with an umbrella that does everything but keep him dry. The one with the enchanting Debbie Reynolds as the girl who gives Lena Lamont an appropriate voice for talkies. The one with Donald O'Connor dancing on the walls! I mean, Singin' in the Rain may be the best musical ever!

So mark your calendars if you're a classic movie buff. It's coming up fast, on July 12th! So you know where I'll be this Thursday, in a theater with my mom and sister and wishing my dad didn't have to work that night. It'll be awesome!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spider-man re-invented!

So, it's a torrential downpour at home right now and started just as Caitlin and I safely pulled into the garage after sitting in a dark and lovely theater for 2 1/2 hours watching The Amazing Spider-man. Whoo, that was a loud thunderclap!

Turns out that Spidey isn't my favorite super-hero nor is he Caitlin's. I'm afraid he doesn't even really make it halfway up the list. That said, my lack of fascination for Peter Parker had nothing to do with Andrew Garfield, who I really loved in the role. I like Tobey Maguire fine. At least I never disliked him as many did nor did I ever love him as his large fanbase does. He was just . . . okay. If I were to pick a favorite Spider-man though, it would be Andrew. He's more approachable and wears the geek-genius look so very convincingly. Plus, and yes I am this easily impressed, Andrew is British. Which immediately made me think of Doctor Who and how he reminded me so much of the endearingly goofy Matt Smith. So yes, Andrew won me over just by being British and so very, very much fun.

On a darker note, this film focuses strongly on the vigilante efforts of Spider-man. I think Tobey's Spidey did something of the same at the beginning but for whatever reason I get the feeling that this new reincarnation is far more reckless and therefore dangerous. Which I suppose could be a great start to his personality. As we all know because it's Spider-man canon, Peter's Uncle Ben dies in part because of a decision by Peter. Guilt assaults him and he becomes reckless and angry in tracking down the culprit. We can somewhat forgive this impulsiveness because Peter is only a 17-year-old kid in this movie and he is basically a good guy at heart. He's just hurting and when you're a superhero and you hurt, you can cause a lot of damage.

There was only 1 villain which I found refreshing and he's one of those kinds that you can somewhat sympathize with. You know, only half evil and that was only through extenuating circumstances. The story is pretty tight but it still had moments that had me, unfortunately, yawning. I like to understand why Spider-man is having to rescue a child from a car hanging off a bridge. Some of it was a little cliched, like when Peter zaps Gwen (there is no MJ) with his webbing and pulls her in for their first kiss. Of course, that was also cool because it meant she knew who he was. No hiding that Spider-man and Peter Parker are one and the same. That concept gets old fast so I'm glad this new franchise isn't going down the same path as its predecessor.

I won't write an entire dialogue rehashing the plot in a play-by-play. The Amazing Spider-man is fun and a good way to spend the afternoon. It's not nearly as scary as some of the other super-hero films out there *cough, The Avengers, cough* so I wasn't as troubled by parents having their three-year-olds with them in the theater. I wish I was more a fan of the franchise then I am but I will keep watching the movies because they're fun and I really hope they do make more because Andrew Garfield has the most awesome grin on that skinny face of his.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Red Victorian Rose Arts And Costuming: Honest to goodness craft post!

The latest post from my sister Caitlin @ Red Victorian Rose Arts And Costuming

Aren't my mice awesome?

These are mice made from a Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge pattern book. I love her work and if you have never heard of them, seriously, go look them up. They have the most awesome illustrations and story lines, perfect for children and adult alike. Anyway, these were my first four, given to me by my mother years ago. She then added Dusty Dogwood and Poppy Eyebright in their wedding clothes.

The pictures below these are of a folding card I made with the aid of my sister. She cut the card out of some really pretty fantasy paper we had and folded it, then handed it off to me to decorate as I wished.

To read more, please visit her blog HERE.

A Nudge from C.S. Lewis

Sometimes it's hard to read complete books by C.S. Lewis. The man was such a master of the English language and his thoughts were so precise and so incredibly acurate to reality that it almost hurts trying to make sense of everything he said. Which is why I'm happy to have found a book called The Joyful Christian so I can read individual blurbs taken from his various books in the hopes that what he says will sink in and stay. Because let's be honest, Lewis had a lot of crucial insights into humanity in general and Christianity specifically.

So I just read the very 1st blurb which deals with *drumroll please* Right & Wrong. Since this is only a blurb it only skirts the basics of what Lewis wrote but it's enough to give me food for thought. When we hear arguments in our daily lives it's usually based on the idea that we share a similar view of Right & Wrong with the other person involved in the argument. In Lewis' words, "he is appealing to some kind of standard of behavior which he expects the other man to know about."

A standard of behavior. An accepted norm that this is right and something else is wrong. I love how Lewis remarks that humanity rarely argues with the Right & Wrong standard but tries instead of make a special case for himself as to why it doesn't apply to him in a given situation. That standard applied to a friend in another situation but not to me right now because . . .

I'm reading a book by Alison Strobel called Worlds Collide and it's fascinating watching the hero come to the realization that he needs Christ. He moves through logical moments of denial and need before asking himself some very basic questions such as does God exist and if so what is he going to do about it. Once he moves past those two levels he realizes the question of truth must also be answered. Is it relative or absolute? His conclusion is, according to the very fact that we can say something is wrong and/or sinful, that absolute truth exists.

Most people realize there is a right and a wrong. And most, if they thought about it long enough, would realize that it's not based on what they think at the moment. I'm sure that slavery was not considered a sin in the South but it still was one regardless of what they thought. Imagine the slaughter in the Roman games with Gladiators and Christians and wild beasts. It was a horrific evil committed against mankind regardless of whether they saw it as a sin or not. Human perception doesn't matter. Truth is absolute.

Which means that inwardly that standard of Right & Wrong exists in most people. If it didn't then there would be no point in quarrelling with someone because you don't have the same standard. Makes me feel sometimes as if I shouldn't even bother arguing with those of a more liberal bent because nothing I say is going to change their mind which means they don't believe in this Law of Right & Wrong or as Lewis describes it The Law of Human Nature. In his words "a body could choose either to obey the Law of Human Nature or to disobey it."

A person might choose to not participate in this Law of Human Nature but denying its existence doesn't work either. I could go on for paragraph after paragraph and reiterate the same thing but I won't. All I will say is WOW! Lewis managed to wrap up in a few paragraphs what it takes some authors 100s of pages to say. Truth is absolute and the majority of men are held to a certain standard or law. Disobeying is their choice but it doesn't mean the standard ceases to exist.
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