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Archive for the category “Film”

Once Ashamed to Stand Up for Jesus

I’ve just finished watching God’s Not Dead.
God's_Not_Dead
I am one for cinematic, breath-taking and critically acclaimed movies and I won’t pretend that God’s Not Dead is one of them. Yet it’s moved me to do one of the most important things one can ever do in life: first is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and second, which I would emphatically talk about, is to proclaim the good news to the whole world.

There are no accidents in life. Like the multiple mentions I gathered today on Matthew 10:32 is no coincidence. It was one the verses used in the movie to move the protagonist named Josh Wheaton to go face-to-face with his professor as the defendant and the rest of his class as the jury and convince them that–well, God’s not dead.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

And the truth is I have been a lukewarm Christian, avoiding discussions about Jesus most especially with my parents. I couldn’t take that risk, that leap of faith. I have been a coward. And this movie showed me the kind of mediocre faith I profess.

This quote from C.S Lewis produced the same effects on me as it did on Josh.

“Only a real risk tests the quality of a belief.”

So I asked myself, “What real risk have I taken for Jesus?” Francis Chan said in his book Crazy Love, “Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.”

To think that I pride myself for being a risk-taker. When I am asked about the few good qualities that I possess, I would unabashedly answer risk-taker. But I couldn’t take losing my face, losing everything for Jesus. How can this be when all there is in life only points out to Him? What good am I if not to give my 100% to the one true King?

A month ago, I volunteered to usher for a photo exhibit that the Missions ministry in our church organized. And I read in that exhibit that according to statistics, everyday, 100,000 people enter eternity without Christ; one-third of the people in the world do not even know a Christian who could tell them about Jesus. It was good research but my stance remained the same: I have to wait until my life embodies and mirrors what a true Christian really should be. But when is that perfection going to happen?

I have been hiding behind my pretentious rationale while millions of people live and die as a lost sheep.

I ought to do better for the One who died and gave up His life for me.

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The Golden Age Thinking at Midnight in Paris

How happy I am to not let this day end without watching Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, I could not shout loudly enough. It felt like after months and months of climbing impossibly sharp crags I have finally reached a very beautiful pinnacle where my musings of becoming friends with the great writers of the old suddenly came to life. Here’s a story that I followed frame by frame, line after line, gasp along gasp. It literally puts Paris on a quaint plating and it stirs me to dream for it, to long for it, and to just embrace life, wisdom, creation, questions that come with wanting to be OF the ARTS.

Midnight in Paris

Descending to an Ascent

There is no better day to revive what has been lost than new year’s day. It’s time that I descend from my usual state of fear and doubt so I can break into a new ascent. Today is a great day to revive hope and passion… 🙂

To start off madweord’s 2014 is this light movie, The Descendants. It is emotionally charged with charm, fun, and sadness. I wasn’t really a fan of George Clooney; not the type who was taken by his Ocean’s 11 cunning cleverness. I so thought–even after watching Up in the Air–that he is one of those whose reputation and alarmingly charming personality obscure poor acting skills, shallow characterization to boot. In this movie, however, a great piece of writing came to an elated state of art with Mr. Clooney taking a role of a cuckold, that is very much played with acute and precise depth.

So much to digest like love, betrayal, death, grief, family, and a great inheritance of a land–which now makes me think which among the possessions we have in life can we really call inheritance–all these issues are in the grasp of a talented cast; this movie gave me more than what I have expected from a neglected and old DVD stored in one of the plastic drawers at my parents’ house.

Now to all my weord readers, munch some popcorn while you watch director Alexander Payne’s The Descendants.

The Descendants

The Reality of Oneness

If you are lucky enough in life, you’ll find that person who will dream the dreams that no one has ever dared to. If you’re really lucky, you will have that person by your side fighting for the same things you’re fighting for.

So there we have it; the truth that it is in times of happiness and greatness that we will often find ourselves most alone and friendless. As I have been losing my wits figuring out where I am headed to in this life, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of watching these films. They serve as a creative reminder that finding THE ONE is life’s most precious mystery and understanding this mystery is a prime human need. We all want to get lucky, don’t we?

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

High Noon

High Noon

Movies I Thought of After the Revolution

Something is in the cold night breeze. Maybe it’s the weight of darkness that my country is shouldering right now and the even more horrifying events that happened in Syria. Just to get a break from it all, I watched these movies. I believe movies provide the best temporary escape. You can watch them too and have that well-deserved getaway from bad events.

Molly Ringwald was the perfect muse of the 80’s teen/coming-of-age movies. I first saw her in The Breakfast Club where she played “the princess” in the group of troubled students. The plot of Pretty in Pink was quite telenovela-ish for me. But hey nobody does this kind of telenovela-ish movie here in the Philippines like John Hughes.

I heard of Field of Dreams and Weekend at Bernie’s from the two best TV shows of our time: Friends and How I Met Your Mother. I was curious of their pop culture references so I did my research.

Weekend_at_Bernies

No to Delusional Flicks

Not all stories have happy endings. Most of us focus our attention to either the beginning or the ‘live happily ever’ ending.

I couldn’t help but listen to my two office mates who were unnervingly talking about a series of chick flicks which one can easily categorize as cliche, demeaning and too dreamy. Portrayals of manic pixie girls have done enough damage to the way men idealize the ‘perfect woman’. Sure, movie-makers can retain that same old Hollywood formula but can’t they at least explore more? Go beyond and in-depth in terms of scriptwriting, the setting, the characters, the plot…

Here are a few films that particularly disturbed me while allowing my mind to wonder and marvel at the things that take place in between a beginning and a dark ending.

1. 2046

2. Psycho

3. Skyfall

Funny Hepburn-Astaire in Funny Face

Having had some good news to end the week and having an Almighty God with whom I can put all my worries on got me all elated and quirky again with the good old classics.

The first impression was Funny Face might have been Devil Wears Prada’s inspiration for its effortless fashion bazaar. But when philosophy got all mixed up with Fred Astaire’s dancing authority and Kay Thompson’s absolutely erratic banters – and the given fact that Ms Hepburn was a living jewel at her time (Oh her charm! the big screen I suppose would never be enough for it), I immediately knew that  Funny Face is worth the spike on my electric bill and my meal budget, and that Devil Wears Prada has absolutely nothing to do with such great classic.

The Sound of Marching and the Future

I’ve read the phrase the sound of marching from a passage in 2 Samuel. It’s a reference to King David’s unwavering faith and dependence on God as he prepared to battle against the Philistines.

When King David saw the Philistines advancing to the valley of Rephaim, he inquired to God of his next strategy. The Lord answered David, “When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the poplar trees, be on alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” Because David did as the Lord commanded him, victory upon victory in the house of Israel became a never-ending song of praise; David by all means succeeded in all his endeavors.

God going before us means He’s taking up the first blows of trials, making way for us so we can have the best in life. However, it is only by surrendering our strengths and weaknesses, goals and plans to God can we reap the benefits of waiting for that sound of marching.

I believe it is for this reason that poets came up with philosophies like “carpe diem” (seize the day). Writers devised plots time and again to relay a simple message that would tell us about the dangers of worrying, of not finding our inner voice, of not risking and having enough courage to live life to the fullest and, how if we don’t trust God with our plans and hopes for the future, we will all be lost and can never be found.


And it all started with an unconventional character in the persona of a professor, Mr John Keating (Robin Williams). Intrigued or must I say, mesmerized, by Mr Keating’s unorthodox yet inspiring methods of teaching, a group of students discovered that Mr Keating, an alumna of the same academy, was a member of a defunct literary club called Dead Poets Society. Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke), Knox Overstreet (Josh Charles), Charlie Dalton (Gale Hansen) after learning about it tried to revive the club. Every night they would sneak out of the academy, go into a cave and recite poems, some of which were their own compositions. To seize the day and to suck out all the marrow of life, as Henry Thoreau said, were the mantras they inscribed deep within their hearts.

Upshots: one courageously professed his love to a stunning lady; the other fiercely wrote his opinion on the school paper; another found his literary voice by setting all his inhibitions free; but as for Neil Perry, who was the first to show much zeal in reviving Dead Poets Society and who was the first to set his beliefs and chart the course of his passion, he, perhaps, didn’t at all embrace the truth that in living, choosing, risking, some fights have to be lost and having lost some battles, courage, truth, faith, and perseverance must prevail; otherwise, we won’t bear to seize life at all, as it was for the lost Neil.


3_idiots_poster

Don’t we all want to be the person that takes all the credit for when others have succeeded in life?

Set in the breath-taking land of India, 3 Idiots tells the story of Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad, aka Rancho (Aamir Khan) and how he inspired and helped his two friends, Farhan Qureshi (R. Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi). The film is based on the book, Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat.

In this blog, I want to skip the part where I have to walk my readers through the plot of the movie. It is my hope that in sharing my thoughts about the movie, it would prod my readers to watch and discover its plot.

This is the first Bollywood movie that I’ve ever watched in full length. And I must say that it didn’t make me a total stranger given its outlandish humor, dance and song sequences. Those aerial shots were amazing. I was seeing India in a totally different way (talk about touring India someday).

3 Idiots behind its comic characterization understands social and educational pressure. People nowadays are engulfed, choked by the idea of always becoming first. In schools, students are taught that academic merits and awards go first. Values like perseverance and diligence have become synonymous to competition. Excellence has become a goal or a dream. Because we tend to beat the rest in order to be first in everything, excellence isn’t anymore about integrity, enjoying the fruits of our labor and serving others first. In this movie, I saw a world that demands from us so much pressure and stress, which are really uncalled for. If only after working our ass out and doing the best that we can, the world can understand that faith starts where our dominion ends!


If in worrying men would only get to enjoy a dozen of Mrs Robinson, I bet men would rather worry about their future than plan ahead and leave to God the rest.

The Graduate was metaphorically visual and aural in pushing Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) into that -close to disgusting-revolting – conflict. There happened that a young man, who excelled so much in school, loved and supported by his opulent parents, fell in between the legs of the seductive Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft). Not knowing the what and when of taking his first step into his desired career, he caught himself exchanging kisses with Mrs. Robinson, wife of his parents’ business partner. And to drive him crazier, when the Robinson’s daughter came to visit, his parents asked anxious Ben to take Elaine Robinson to a date. Thereafter, love was quite the answer to find his future. But I reserve my doubts. Find out why and watch it 🙂

Say NO to Bullying!

A few months ago, I read a news article about a kid who committed suicide because he was being bullied at school. And it is just plain wrong that we dragged the issue on bullying this long without doing something about it. Let us  help others make their stand against bullies. Let us make our voices be their voice. By helping those who are being bullied, we are also helping bullies at such a young age realize the threats they are posing in the lives of others, and reiterate to them the values that should have been inculcated to them at home and at school.

Never Without Valor

This is the most opportune time to reflect on what took place these past few weeks. Holy week had just gone by. Penitence had been the talk among Christians. Families and friends plotted a week full of adventures and as for me, movies. One free day yet again was added to our 3-day vacation: April 9, known to us Filipinos as Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), a national holiday which commemorates the ‘fallen victors’ of Bataan Death March buried 70 years past our history during the Japanese occupation. Coincidentally, it’s the same day I indulged in a whole day of “film viewing spree” with my sister.

1. The Hunger Games

There is no greater love than that of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who beat off the crowd, take the cold spotlight of death and shout, “I volunteer,” to save her sister’s life. A stalwart hunter, who lives on the impoverished area of District 12, had to muster courage and strength as she took on her sister’s place to star in a live slaughter game, which man-hunt spectacle reminds me of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Manipulated in a “Big Brother” fashion amplified with battle training, survival feats, television glam, with 23 other young ones trying to lure the odds on their side, the Hunger Games couldn’t have been truer than the world we live in, a world that is enterprisingly demanding of the inane, violent, extravagant, dramatic, scheming and, the hopeful.

2. Hugo

Seldom do I find myself catapulted into a world where I truly feel that I am one with a movie. When Hugo Cabret stubbornly asked his notebook back from Mr Georges whom he didn’t know then was the great filmmaker, Georges Melies, I saw in his eyes that he’s ready to follow Mr Georges on his way home and fight the freezing cold outside the station; a boy at the mercy of someone with a higher stature in life, I knew then how my heart would skip a beat once his dreams were realized.  And not only that an orphan’s dream was the heart of the matter in this magnificently filmed tale of finding home, of wanting to be fixed, and of desiring to be what we are worthy of becoming, it is also about helping others rekindle their passion and the love they once have for their own purpose, like a clockwork lying silently inside each and every one of us.


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