Film · James Bond · Movie Review · Movies · Podcasts · Trek.fm

The 602 Club: Personal El Guapo

tsc-055-th-square-1440SPECTRE.

When one of the longest running and most revered movie franchises releases a new film it’s no question that expectations are going to be high as fans eagerly anticipate what is next for their favorite character, a Bond movie is no exception, especially with a name like SPECTRE and the possibilities brings.

In this episode of The 602 Club host M is joined by OO agents John Champion and Norman Lao talk about SPECTRE. We discuss our first impressions, continuing Bond, it’s all connected, an interesting question, under siege, new characters, Bond in love, the one ring, theme and music, if their were too many spy movies this year, mission evaluation, rankings and listener feedback.

link-badge-itunes

spectre2

Film · James Bond · Movie Review · Movies

The 602 Club: Bottom of a Macallan Bottle

tsc-054-th-square-1440Skyfall.

There are few icons that find themselves still going as strongly as James Bond after being in pop culture for over 50 years. His stock skyrocketed on his 50th anniversary with the release of the 23rd film in the series. Bolstered by Sam Mendes as director, Roger Deakins as director of photography and a theme song by Adele that became a monster hit in it’s own right, Skyfall has become one of the most beloved movies in the James Bond saga.

In this episode of The 602 Club host Matthew Rushing is joined by 00 agents John Champion and Norman Lao to talk about Skyfall. We discuss continuing Bond, the 50th anniversary, the shadows, new characters, an enemy that was once on the inside, the music and theme, wrapping up with our ratings.

link-badge-itunes

Listen here or on iTunes.

Film · James Bond · Movies · Podcasts · The 602 Club · Trek.fm

The 602 Club 8: Here’s Your Next Dossier

tsc-008-th-squareJames Bond

The British secret service agent has been thrilling audiences with his adventures and conquests for over 50 years. Ranked number three in total franchise dollars, Bond continues to be one of Hollywoods longest running series.

In this episode of The 602 Club host Matthew Rushing is joined by John Champion and Norman Lao discuss their love these films. From favorite Bonds, to movies and girls, we dive in to what makes Bond special to us, as well as speculate about the latest film, Bond 24. Listen Here

Christianity · Christmas · mbird.com · Music · Peanuts · Star Trek · Uncategorized

Owl Post 12-10-12

Owl Post: 2-3-2012

Click Title for full Article

That’s What Christmas Is All About, Charlie Brown: Law and Gospel According to Peanuts:

Christmas is fast approaching, so I find myself thinking about the very first—and arguably most famous—of the Peanuts‘ television specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which is already airing on ABC and is available to stream on Hulu. Frankly, this post is long overdue: I have intended to write more about Charles Schulz’sPeanuts and its relationship to the theological categories of Law and Gospel since my previous post on the subject months ago. This time I take a look at Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

SKYFALL: Building a Better Bond:

We’ve always just known that Bond is Bond. James Bond.

Curious then, that Skyfall is not only being hailed by some as the best Bond film ever made, but  it also makes us realize we’ve been watching a trilogy of prequels that set up 007 to become the man we’ve always known. Throughout the last half of the twentieth century,  no matter who played him or what villain he faced, there were certain things you could always count on about him, from the resolute and relentless demeanor to the wry lines and unmatched swagger. However, what we come to realize now in the 21st century is that becoming Bond took a lot of loss, healing, and facing himself in the mirror.

How People Change:

Nick Crews was, by his own admission, a middling father. He enjoyed cuddling with his three kids, but he was frequently away on naval deployments and didn’t stay in touch with them once they went off to boarding school.

Over the years, Crews has watched his children (the oldest is now 40) make a series of terrible decisions. “I bought into the fashionable philosophy of not interfering; letting the children find themselves,” he told Cristina Odone of The Telegraph of London.

The Blessed Union of Two Dead Singletons:

One of the trending articles over at the Atlantic’s website is one entitled, “Single People Should Get to Have Weddings Too.” It’s not the first timethey’ve talked explicitly about the singlehood issue. It talks about the “extraordinary rise of living alone” as “the biggest modern social change we’ve yet to identify,” its liberating appeal, and the trenchant cultural norms standing in its way. Adult lives, Millie Kerr writes, are judged on benchmarks beyond singlehood—marriage, babies, homebuying—which means single people don’t get celebrated. She asks, “When will barometers of celebration reflect the growing number of singletons?”

How Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Became Everybody’s ‘Hallelujah’:

Pop standards don’t really get written anymore. Most of the best-known standards were composed before the arrival of rock and roll; perhaps something about the new brand of mass-marketed, Ed Sullivan-fueled stardom just didn’t quite jive with the generous old-world tradition of passing songs around the circuit, offering to share.

So when an obscure Leonard Cohen song from 1984 was resurrected in the ’90s, then repurposed and reinvented by other artists so many times it became a latter-day secular hymn—well, that was kind of like a pop-music unicorn sighting.

Is the Student Loan Debt Crisis Worse Than We Thought?

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York delivers generally positive news about the economy with one glaring exception: student loan debt. The amount of debt and delinquencies are climbing, and some experts say the official numbers don’t even capture how big the problem really is.

Jonathan Frakes: Why Roddenberry wanted Riker to have a beard:

The best thing about the Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-rays isn’t the improved video quality, it’s this second renaissance that the series seems to be having. Suddenly, the actors are coming out for interviews and we’re finding out more than we thought there ever was to know. For example, a secret about the Riker beard.

Books · C.S. Lewis · Catching Fire · Christianity · Disney · Doctor Who · Faith · Film · James Bond · Movies · Star Wars · Tolkien

Owlpost 11-12-12

Click title for full article

Director Sam Mendes explains how Casino Royale saved James Bond:

On the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, director Sam Mendes strives to make Bond brand new again — and his new movie,Skyfall, is so self-aware that the clash between old and new is at the center of it. Can an old-school agent like James Bond still exist in today’s world? What’s the point of a Cold War secret service in the 21st century?

Thinking About Aslan and Jesus with C. S. Lewis:

As an English professor, I have spent the last two decades guiding college students through the great books of the Western intellectual tradition. And yet, though I have taught (and loved) the works of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, and Dickens, I do not hesitate to assert that Aslan is one of the supreme characters in all of literature. Though many readers assume that Aslan, the lion king of Narnia who dies and rises again, is an allegory for Christ, Lewis himself disagreed.

New ‘Star Wars’ Will Be ‘Biggest Event Movie Ever,’ Says ‘Lost’ Co-Creator:

Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof remembers exactly where he was when he heard that Disney had bought LucasFilm. “I was in a production meeting next to Brad Bird for a movie we’re working on together,” he says. “A bunch of guys at the table started passing notes to each other. Suddenly I’m like the teacher at the front of the class. I was like, ‘Is there something you’d care to share with the rest of the class?’ I grabbed a napkin, and someone had written on it, ‘Disney bought Lucas Film!'”  

Catching Fire: Cruciform Heroes, Unconventional Villains and Breaking the Closed Circle of the Modern Bestseller:

A brief recap: in The Hunger Games piece, we examined a two-level voyeuristic scaffolding built by Suzanne Collins as the book meditates on our attraction to violence and suffering. The Gamemakers create a brutal world into which teenagers are plunged to fight to the death for the amusement of thousands in the fictional dystopia of Panem and, simultaneously, Collins herself is constructing that world as the author for the amusement of, by now, over a million contemporary readers. In our indignation against the Gamemakers for the horrors they perpetrate, we are ultimately drawn into a split between our own enjoyment of and demand for violent literature, on the one hand, and our moral outrage against its interior reflection in Panem, on the other. These sides of our nature clash (Romans 7), producing introspection and godly sorrow (2 Cor). The Hunger Games, at its conclusion, leaves two crucial questions unanswered: (1) why are we humans so attracted to violence and (2) what do we do about it? These set the thematic stage for Collins’s brilliant sequel, Catching Fire.

Doctor Who, Vincent van Gogh, and the Limits of Future Hope:

With the recent wave of BBC programs appearing on PBS (Downton Abbey, The Hour, Mr. Bean) it’s somewhat surprising that the 49 year old mainstay Doctor Who hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity. With time travel, aliens, and revisiting historical events, what’s not to like? Either way, this is a major oversight.

But I digress… a quick summary of the show’s premise and plot. The Doctor is a time traveler who has made it his mission to protect Earth from the multitude of extraterrestrials who threaten humanity, both in the past and future. Helping him in this quest is his the adventurous assistant Amy Pond. In Vincent and the Doctor, the Doctor notices a sinister, alien grimace within one of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. He and Amy set off for 1890 Paris to investigate. What they find is a van Gogh who is the laughing stock of the entire town of Auvers-sur-Oise. Suffering from extreme depression, he has no money, friends, or family, and no one will buy his paintings. On top of all that, van Gogh is “hallucinating” to see a deadly alien lurking around town. Enter the Doctor and Amy to save the day (spoiler!).

Batman · Books · Christianity · James Bond · mbird.com · Movies · The Dark Knight Rises

Owl Post 7-30-12

Click on Titles for the full article

The Greatest Movie Franchises of All Time:

It’s our theory that to be “great,” a franchise can’t just sell tickets or please critics—it needs to do both. In November 2010 (for the seventh Harry Potter film) we compiled a list of the 50 greatest film franchises films of all time, weighing financial and critical success equally. Here’s how we did it:

  1. To determine the film’s financial success, we adjusted the grosses for each film in every series for inflation using a ratio of today’s average movie ticket price to the average cost the year the movie was released. We then ranked each franchise by its average commercial gross.
  2. To determine critical success, we ranked the franchises by the average Rotten Tomatoes’ critics’ score for their films.
  3. We then found the average between the commercial and critical rankings for each franchise and then ranked by those averages.

The peace of Christ:

The tsunami of sin flooding the world today touches us all.  We add to it.  We suffer from it.  It is flooding our churches.  And many people are suffering for it.

If somehow we could all get together and gently swap stories, my hunch is we would be shocked at the mistreatment that has been dished out to many of us by churches – both by abusive leaders and by abusive members.  There is, of course, a difference between being hurt and being harmed.  I am not thinking of people who get their feathers ruffled and then howl their complaints.  I am thinking of people who have been harmed and wronged, people who have suffered slander, lies, loss of position, loss of reputation, loss of friends, and more.  Many reading this post have suffered in these and other ways.  It is shocking what churches can do – both leaders and members.

Is There Room for Erotica in Christianity?

I knew there wouldn’t be a second date the moment the guy asked this question:

“How do you feel about strip clubs?”

Not for ‘em, I said.

“What about porn?”

Are you kidding?

In the conversation that followed, I rebutted his defenses of both. He, a Christian (nominally, at least), was a consumer of erotic media, convinced that using it can be good. He is the only Christian I’ve met who has defended pornography. But he is not the only Christian who defends other kinds of erotic media.

Man’s rare vision problem cured after Hugo 3D rebooted his brain:

We always like to think movies can bring us together and heal our souls with fun and laughter. But apparently, some movies can literally cure some ailments—and Hugo 3Dhas rectified a man’s lifelong vision problems.

How Literature Can Aid Your Worship:

It’s no accident or coincidence that God gives us His spoken Word in the form of a book. God chose to reveal Himself to us through words, and written words at that. For this reason, words are important, and books are important, much more than we often give them credit for.

The Dark Knight Rises Reviews and Commentary:

The Dark Knight Dies and Rises: Sacrifice and Freedom in Gotham

Nolan has now traced the Dark Knight’s journey from streetfighter to hero, from hero to villain, and from villain to…recluse. Wayne has died to the world and only holds on to the shadow-life of mourning for Rachel, and Alfred drops more than a few hints that he wants to die bodily as well. In The Dark Knight Rises, we see different forms of death that look like life and different forms of life that appear as death. “A Death blow is a Life blow to Some…” as Dickinson had it.

A Path Through Three Prisons: Bruce Wayne in Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, Pt 1

However strong and intelligent and wealthy and resourceful Bruce Wayne may be, his journey is one continually marked by failure. In fact, in each of Christopher Nolan’s three Batman films our protagonist’s path takes him into a different prison where he is confronted with his own guilt and weakness. In the first prison, a lost Bruce is invited to walk the road that will make him a legend. In the second, he is manipulated into a game that ends in tragedy and infamy. Bruce is sent, bleeding and broken, to die in the third prison, and yet it is from this final incarceration that he emerges to become the savior of his beloved city, a city that many don’t believe is worth saving. While Batman may be a persona created to battle injustice and symbolize the hope of freedom from the oppression of crime and fear, his identity is forged in imprisonment. Moreover, it is there, in prison, that we are shown glimpses of what Bruce Wayne scarcely realizes he is struggling to be free from.

The Dark Knight Rises: the REAL love story

“Maybe it’s time we stop trying to outsmart the Truth and let it have it’s day!”

Althought Alfred Pennyworth realizes this 8 years too late, he’s the first one to voice it in the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. I hit this issue with a broad pass in our spoiler-free video review, but now we’ll careen into SPOILER territory (you’ve been duly warned) with these follow-up posts by looking individually atAlfred, Bruce, Gordon, Blake and Selina.

The Dark Knight Rises: out of cryostasis

“You’ve got stuck in a moment and you can’t get out of it.” – U2

Walled up in Wayne Manor with scraggly facial hair, a cane, and endless depths of remorse, Bruce Wayne is a defeated man. He’s stuck in a moment eight years ago, and even an energy project that might have given him new purpose has been mothballed. When he visits Wayne Tower, Lucius Fox jokes that he’s come “out of cryostasis”. Left without his earthly love, and having sacrificed his role as Batman, he’s an empty vessel with seemingly nothing left.

Skyfall: James Bond 23