Categories
Film

Catfish

Tonight I was fortunate to see a screening of the movie Catfish with the San Diego tweetup group. (Another stellar meet-up, the organizers continue to fantastic.)

The story is about a three New York friends who randomly get to know a family in the upper peninsula of Michigan via Facebook. Their relationship grows over several months to the point where the two filmmaking buddies convince the main character that he has to meet his Michigan friends.

At the end, the audience is left with more questions than answers. Which is part of the experience of the movie itself, clearly intended. Namely, it is either a narrative documentary or a screenplay reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. As we milled about in the narthex of the theater no one could really figure it out. My theory is that part of it really is a narrative documentary but when they went to cut it they realized that they needed more of a plot, so they went back an added some screenplay to it. But that’s just my theory. It could be straight documentary and it could be straight screenplay. If it’s 100% screenplay than the writers went largely unnamed and they wrote something brilliant.

Overall, while certainly entertaining, Catfish is not nearly as titillating as Blair Witch Project. Which means it is probably destined for a limited release in theaters nationwide and a quick entry into DVD-land. I could be wrong– but I just don’t see something there that is going to force a major box office smash.

As a social media person, I thought the concept was actually pretty fun. It plays with all of the stereotypes and fears people have about living a digital life. Just for good measure it adds a subplot of what big city people think about rural town folk and visa versa.

You will laugh at the main character because he does stuff that we all do. And you will cringe with him as he shares far too intimate details about his personal conversations via text with his would-be girlfriend, Meg.

If you like quirky independent movies, this is it.

Categories
family Film

Date night with the kids

Kristen hosted a girls night for the ladies of our community group. So Paul, Megan, and I disappeared and went to see Toy Story 3.

One thing I haven’t adjusted to about Southern California living is how expensive the movies are. I still grimace at paying $11.50 for an adult and $8.50 for a child when in Michigan it was a whole lot less. And a lot of the major theaters don’t even have matinees! Seriously, what is up with that?

To express my inner-cheapskate, we went to Rite-Aid in our neighborhood and bought movie snacks to eat on the way to Fashion Valley Mall. By the time we got to the movies we were hopped up on sugar and ready for the flick.

As for the movie– it was great. I don’t know how they managed to keep both the Toy Story (and Shrek) franchises going so strong. The plots and the quality of animation just keeps getting better.

I don’t think the movie was the point of the night any more than loading everyone up on sugar. It was just nice to get a few hours to relax and laugh with my kids.

I relish that.

In other news. A new round of college guys are moving in across the street. With school at SDSU about to kick off another year, people watching is back!

Categories
youth ministry

Interview with Jim Britts

A few weeks back I drove up to Oceanside and shot this interview with Jim Britts. If you don’t know Jim, you need to! He’s a youth pastor at a local church who, together with his executive pastor, had a crazy idea of making a move. And along came To Save a Life.

Let’s face it… Jim is squeaky clean. But I did my best to ask the questions I thought a youth pastor would want to know about the movie. If you’ve not seen a preview, this is a “Christian” movie with a pretty solid sex scene and doesn’t shy away from language. Time will tell if this added street credability or not.

Categories
Film

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas


Recently I saw a screening of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” which is set to come out in November. It’s one of those movies you are “glad you saw” though you would struggle to say you enjoyed it. While not quite as captivating as Hotel Rwanda, it’s along those same lines of enjoyment. You’re glad you saw it though calling it entertaining seems wrong.

Though a Holocaust movie, the story really isn’t about the people in the camps quite like Schindler’s List. Instead, the movie is from the perspective of an 8 year old boy whose father is the commandant of Auschwitz. If you like to use movies to connect with your youth group students, this is definitely a film which would generate some discussion afterwards. It would seem a powerful discussion topic after the movie would be about our perspective on life and how sometimes we only see what others want us to see and not the truth. In this case, young Bruno was largely shielded from the realities of the genocide that happened just past the wall of back garden.

Here’s a great description of the movie.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional story that offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that forms between Bruno, the son of Nazi commandant, and Schmuel, a Jewish boy held captive in a concentration camp. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined.

Categories
light force

Off to Shoot a Movie

Today I’m hanging out with my favorite peeps, the cast and crew from Light Force. We’re going to conceptualize, shoot, edit, and release a movie today.

It’s called “10 Things I Did While My Friends Were in Florida.” We’ll be driving all over the Metro area shooting all sorts of weird things. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Categories
Film

You Kill Me: A Good Date movie

you kill meLast night Kristen said the following words, “I got a movie.” Now, in our house this could be good or it could be bad. Lately it hasn’t been that great. (Shrek 3 last week, yuck!)  So when I looked at the cover of this movie, You Kill Me, and realized I had never heard of any of the actors or the movie itself, I figured I was in for a long night.

I was wrong. The movie was worth watching. Starring Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley as an alcoholic mafia hitman sent to San Fransisco for rehab. In the course of his rehab he gets asked to do some funny things, gets paired with a gay guy at AA, and falls in love.

The only thing I can really compare this movie to would be “So I Married an Ax Murderer.To be fair, it wasn’t a slap stick silly as that. But it was as absurdly funny as the Mike Myers classic.

Best part. If you live in Romeo, you can watch this flick for free. It’s available at the library.