Sunday, 24 October 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Sunday, 31 January 2010
7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Friday, 29 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
It takes three months after an alien spacecraft hovers over Johannesburg for the South African military to decide the best option is to cut their way through. Inside they discover almost two million malnourished aliens, later known in the film by the derogatory term ‘shrimp’ on account of their appearance and references to them being the lowest of the low,. These aliens find asylum in a large township in Johannesburg known as District 9.
The director Neill Blomkamp sets out his intent from the word go. “Now to everyone’s surprise the ship didn’t come to a stop over Manhattan, Washington or Chicago, but instead it coasted to a halt over the city of Johannesburg”. This multi stylized feature combines documentary, hollywood and video game style action. Blomkamp uses ‘shrimp’ for the rather unsubtle reference to a nation’s tortuous political history. With no alien’s allowed signs spread all over the city and imminent evictions from District 9, the stage is set for a human versus alien showdown.
The star of the show is the stage. Having the action in a township, much less anywhere other than Manhattan, London or Paris, lends a uniqueness. We will not see this often and for this alone it is worth viewing. I do have to critique the use of multiple style, for the viewing feels muddled. It is a brave attempt, but makes it difficult as a viewer to connect. This being said, they have attempted something a little different here and I for one enjoyed it. This film feels like a raw experiment and it is no surprise that as a result some things work and others do not, but it is an experiment worth the watch.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
- Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
- where there is hatred, let me sow love;
- where there is injury, pardon;
- where there is doubt, faith;
- where there is despair, hope;
- where there is darkness, light;
- and where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love;
- for it is in giving that we receive,
- it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Friday, 22 January 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Monday, 18 January 2010
Sunday, 17 January 2010
The Transformer franchise has been with us since the mid 80’s and strides forwards with continued success. With this in mind there is a target audience stretching 25 years worth of ‘boys’. I have no doubt that the majority of the audience will be watching the film for the following reasons: 1.Nostalgia. 2. Visual effects 3. The entertainment and adventure. 4. Perhaps a little bit of Megan Fox.
To touch on nostalgia. The effects are too good to give us 90’s kids a sense of nostalgia. For every minute the team has spent on CGI, the harder it has become to connect. Nostalgia has heart, this movie does not. Perhaps I am being too harsh, hoping for a bit of heart from a feature of robots. In adventure and entertainment value, it does not quite cut it. Megan Fox sticks her perfectly formed behind in the air and pouts her bulbous glossy lips oh so well, but that is the entirety of her contribution. I should mention that Shia La Boeuf tries his admirable best with what is a torrid storyline.
This film is a triumph for visual effects, although be careful because it really is an experience for the cinema. I watched this on a 27inch widescreen and the effects were lost on me. Perhaps this is why so many of the fighting action scenes were instilled with slow motion sequences? (Come on Michael Bay and your CGI team, you’re just showing off!) If you missed it at the cinema like me, then find a friend with a projector.
We are filled visual effects, explosions and sequences, but this cannot disguise the utter emptiness of heart and storyline that eaks it’s way all throughout the excessive 2hours and 30 minutes. I am sorry to say that this is well and truly inferior to the first installment. Perhaps the (inevitable) third should dumb down the action sequences a little and give us some heart, even if it is one made of metal.
Review title: Reality made real.
Strip away every ‘Holywoodism’ you can imagine in the war film genre and you are left with ‘The Hurt Locker’. Being drawn in so deeply from start to finish along the relentless mission of the Camp Victory platoon, it is only in the final seconds of this tense, earthy and raw feature, when the music of the final credits kicks in, do we feel the release of its grip.
Firstly to comment on the camerawork. It is reminiscent of Paul Greengrass' direction in 'The Bourne Supremacy'. It's shaky, it's edgy, it gets you in on the action. You can connect with what is happening, because it is how you would see and feel the action played out before you. It may not be to the taste of everyone as I found out from the mixed response of my viewing company, but if you would like a steady camera, clean cut experience then perhaps a war movie is not what you should be watching.
The acting is never overplayed. Despite the overtly bravado character of the lead, he maintains control of his performance. Upon his return home in the film I was expecting him to trash the aisles of cereal in the supermarket, but was pleased that we were spared the cliched overdramatic angst to his old, privileged surroundings. The dialogue is often so ordinary that as for watching a film goes, leaves with a slight taste of disappointment, but this is only a temporary madness for one remembers this is its very appeal.
The scenes are created and filmed so effectively, and the dialogue and sequences acted out so well, that it has no need and does not use any music to enhance the mood. I can only think of about 5 seconds after the sniper sequence that has sounds. There is an overriding air of tension as we follow each bomb disposed, each enemy slain. The film has left you gasping the question ‘How do you do it?’ long before Sergeant JT Sandborn (Anthony Mackie) asks that very question to his Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) referring to disposing of the bombs.
This morning the radio tells me a British soldier in a bomb disposal unit has been killed in action. I came away from my viewing feeling like I had tasted the very air and dust and blood of the conflict, and today confilcts rage ever on. This film is the Reality Made Real.
REVIEW TITLE: A HEAVY BAG PLEASE.
Ryan (Clooney) works for a company that is hired to fire. He travels across the U.S frequently by plane to various offices to bring the bad news to terminated employees. Along the way he meets Alex (Famiga), another frequent flyer and is then accompanied by Natalie (Kendrick), the bright spark with great ideas to save the company money, but little real experience for which her ideas are targeted.
As with the film ‘Juno’ Jason Reitman gives us a razor sharp dialogue, a great cast and a soundtrack that could define your listening for the next couple of months (he’s becoming a good way to find out about new artists).
The chemistry between Ryan, Alex and Natalie (Kendrick) is thoroughly compelling viewing and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments as the cinema walls would testify. Yet Reitman does not fall in the trap of ticking all the feel good boxes. This is a sober study that is best described in Ryan’s inspirational lecture that he delivers between termination jobs. His lecture is titled ‘How much does your life weigh?’. He encourages people to pack the bag of life light, as in his own example. Do not be weighed down by material possession and the even heavier weight of relationships. Yet at what cost?
The director leaves this an open thought and I suspect the answer to this question will depend on the viewer. The director’s view becomes clear with the occasional over-sentimental sequences (that push this into romcom viewing) at the wedding of Ryan’s sister, when he falls well and truly for Alex, but furthermore when he gives a pep talk to his future brother-in-law. Where the film is more successful is in the sombre, slow paced moments. These moments show a confident composure of a director that does not need to fill every moment with a joke or lecture us with a message. Like a powerful orator, these pauses add to the message.
This is a very entertaining, yet sober romcom and I fully recommend it.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Friday, 15 January 2010
Thursday, 14 January 2010
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Monday, 11 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010
So you have thought about your values. You have selected the five most important values. Now take some time to think over you values. Use the following questions to help you think through them. This process will help you to think about how you can live out these values but also the ways that you might fail to live out these values. Just because we have values does not necessarily mean we will demonstrate them. Knowing your values and just how to demonstrate them is on of the most important things for you to learn about yourself.
Value How can I best do it? How might I fail to do it? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
How can I best do it?
How might I fail to do it?
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Personal (and work) values – please do add your own if needed
Achievement Advancement/ promotion Adventure Affection
Arts Beauty Challenging problems Change and variety
Cleanliness/ ordered Close relationships Community Competence
Competition Concern for others Cooperation Country (patriotism)
Creativity Decisiveness Democracy (Having) Disciplined
Ecological awareness Economic security Effectiveness Ethical practice
Excitement Faith Fame Family
Fast living Financial gain Freedom Friendships
Fun Growth Hard work Helping others
Honesty Humility Independence Influencing others
Inner harmony Integrity Intellect Involvement
Job tranquillity Justice Knowledge Leadership
Location Loyalty Meaningful work Nature
Keeping good company Order (stability) Peace (non-violent) Personaldevelopment
Physical challenge Pleasure Privacy Public service
Punctuality Purity Quality relationships Recognition
Respect for others Self respect Serving others Solitude
Status Teamwork Time freedom Tolerance
Truth Work under pressure
I think mine would have to be (in order): Faith, Quality relationships, arts, physical challenge and fun.
Friday, 8 January 2010
Thursday, 7 January 2010
We all connect with God in our own way, how do you? There are many different ways, this is a brief overview. John Ortberg in his book ‘God is closer than you think’ says, “Our individual uniqueness means we will all experience God’s presence and learn to relate to him in different ways. A spiritual pathway has to do with the way we most naturally sense God’s presence and experience spiritual growth. We all have at least one pathway that comes most naturally to us. We also have one or two that are the most unnatural and require a lot of stretching for us to pursue.”
He outlines seven different spiritual pathways and they are as follows:
Intellectual Pathway: People on the intellectual pathway draw closer to God as they learn more about Him. When there is singing at church, you may be looking at your watch waiting for the sermon to begin.
Prime example: Paul. The road to his heart ran through his head.
Relational Pathway: People who follow the relational pathway find that they have a deep sense of God’s presence when they’re involved in significant relationships.
Prime example: Peter. He came to Jesus with others.
Serving pathway: On the serving pathway people find that God’s presence seems most tangible when they are involved in helping others.
Prime example: Mother Teresa. She is quoted as saying the primary reason she served was not out of obligation or that it was something she was supposed to do, but that it brought her joy.
Worship pathway: For people on the worship pathway, something deep inside then feels released when praise and adoration are given voice.
Prime example: King David. He wrote psalms and poetry to God. He played instruments beautifully. He danced.
Activist pathway: If you have an activist pathway, challenges don’t discourage you; they energise you.
Prime example: Nehemiah. When he hears his beloved Jerusalem has fallen, he is upset and wants to act.
Contemplative pathway: If you have a contemplative pathway, you love large blocks of uninterrupted time alone.
Prime example: Apostle John. He was known to be one who loved to bask in adoration of God.
Creation pathway: For people on the creation pathway, there is something deeply life-giving and God-breathed about nature.
Prime example: Jesus. He often withdrew to spend time alone in nature, by a lake or up a mountain.