"On Preaching"

Ever such a quickie – John Stott was writing in this month’s Christianity all about preaching, and he had an interesting comment to make about feeding people. I haven’t got it to hand, so I’ll have to paraphrase. Basically, he was considering Jesus’ (re)commissioning of Peter – “Feed my sheep”. If we limit this temporarily to spiritual feeding – but consider the analogy in more depth, how does a shepherd feed his or her flock? They get taken to a lush grass field, and left there to eat it themselves. They’re not fed from a bottle, or even hand-fed bunches […]

"War of the Worlds (2005)"

It’s not very often that a trailer puts me off a film I had previously wanted to see, but the trailers for War of the Worlds managed it for me. “Another Tom Cruise film”, thought I, “that’s taken a perfectly good storyline and twisted into brainless hollywood fare.” Actually, that summary isn’t too bad – this film is all about Tom Cruise’s character (Ray), who has custody of his kids the very weekend the Martians choose to invade. Except that it was never clear they came from Mars. And they utterly trashed the previously chilling opening paragraph. But I digress. […]

"Holes"

This was a surprisingly good film, actually. The basic premise follows a young lad – Stanley – who is found guilty of theft, and is sent off to “Camp Greenlake” to dig holes in order to “build his character”. An interesting back-story of him and his family emerges, and we follow his trials and tribulations on this correctional facility with its oddball warden and guards. Of course all is not what it seems at Camp Greenlake, and as the story emerges the true reason for the digging comes out – and could the c4-generational urse on Stanley’s family finally be […]

"Zoolander"

What a very silly film; I hugely enjoyed it! It’s a film that’s quite tough to call between very funny and in very bad taste, but I think I just about slip onto the “funny” side. This is not a film with some deep message, although the satire does hold up a mirror to much of our materialistic and shallow culture, and ask if we like what we see… Another “Fridat night with beer and curry” film – not a classic by any means, although more than enough opportunity to play “spot-the-celeb”.

"Psalms as a songbook"

We had a friend staying this weekend, who’s a music teacher and a worship leader (indeed she played at our wedding), and she was relating a story about a conversation she’d had with one of her students. Said student spotted the bible on her piano, and said something like “Miss – so do you use the psalms like a songbook or something?”, to which the reply was “Well actually, yes!”. But it’s an image that really grabbed me – quite often our piano at home will have a songbook on it, or perhaps some sheet music (the Moonlight Sonata is […]

Theme music is so evocative, isn’t it? Whether it’s the sweeping orchestra of the opening bars of Star Wars, or the spine tingling ‘dings’ of Harry Potter – the semi-comedy trumpty sound of Wallace and Gromit never fails to light my spirits and bring a smile. DOO-do-do-DOO-do-do-DOOdoo da-da-DA-dada-DA-dadada-DA. Or something. Before I go any further, I should probably say that this is a fab film, but it is measured against the expectation that it’s a Wallace and Gromit film, which is an awful lot to live up to. And.. dare I say it – I’m not sure it fully lives […]

"Proverbs"

At home group this week, Proverbs 19:21 was mentioned – which is, from the NIV, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord‘s purpose that prevails”. Interestingly, one of the people had a different version of the bible, and her version simply said; Man proposes, God disposes. I suspect a different meaning is coming across, but it’s a phrase that’s lodged very deeply in my mind, and I keep taking it out to chew over. I haven’t yet decided if it’s a helpful or unhelpful way to translate that particular proverb – but I can’t […]

"National Treasure"

Hurrary – another Ronseal film! I was surprised by absolutely nothing in this film – it’s like the Da Vinci Code without the intelligence, and I loved every minute. The whole film worked on the premise that if it kept things happening quickly enough, you wouldn’t actually notice the extremely flimsy house of cards keeping the whole thing afloat. I could spend the next 3 pages pointing out all the ridiculous holes, flaws, and shortcomings – but what’s the point? This was always going to be a no-brainer action film with major suspension of disbelief required – and, to be […]

"Sideways"

I actually really enjoyed this film – the plot, such as it was, meandered around a fair bit, but the story telling was basically very gentle, and also very funny. I would have to add that it’s unnecessarily crude; full of swearing, nudity, and people in flagrante delicto (with not a lot left to the imagination), which did spoil the film for me. The basic premise is that two middle-aged men – Miles (English teacher and would be author) and Jack (past-it actor) set off to vineyard land in California, ostensibly on Jack’s “stag week” to do some wine tasting […]

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