Friday, September 30, 2011

50/50, Courageous, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: Weekend Review

New Movie Releases Reviewed in 7 Words Each

50/50 - Who knew cancer could be so funny?

Courageous - Why do Christian movies suck the hardest?

Dream House - Somehow I feel the title is lying.

What's Your Number? - I am not a number, thank you.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (limited) - Hillbillies, from the comfort of your home.

Breaking News: I've been speaking with aliens, and they've agreed to abduct everyone but you. So we can start again. 

50/50 is loosely based on the life of Will Reiser, who wrote the screenplay for the film. It follows Adam, as he informs his friends and family that he has cancer, and how each one reacts to the news. It is a dramedy, choosing not just to see the dark side, but to find humor in an otherwise humorless situation. From reviews I've read it's supposed to be a tear jerker that also delivers laughs. I've been waiting to see this one. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and as he's equally great in comedy and drama, it sounds like the perfect role for him.

I'm a Christian, I like movies, I assume there are others that fall under that heading, so why do Christian movies have to suck so bad? Courageous comes from the same people that brought us Fireproof, a Kirk Cameron film, that I was incredibly disappointed with. Why can't a Christian movie just be a film that has clean entertainment value? They always seem to shoot themselves in the foot by smacking you over the head with a message. I can't really believe non-Christians watch these films of their own volition, which means it's meant for a faith based audience. The phrase preaching to the choir comes to mind. 

The worst ones are the films that try and work a real story line for an hour and then suddenly leave you with a half hour condensed sermon, usually delivered in full from the mouth of one character. Just cause we're Christians doesn't mean we should shun the idea of writing a good script. Want to show your faith in the film? Great, I'm all for it. But how about starting with someone who's entire character isn't that they're a Christian, but are actually a person, living and breathing. Maybe I just need to start writing Christian movies. I could write quality, grown up entertainment for Christians, without compromising values or beliefs. It really doesn't seem like it should be that hard. But I'm ranting, now and I don't want to do that.    

Dream House... I'm on the fence. It looks like it go either way. Decent cast, but I'm waiting for a little word of mouth before I decide if I want to spend any money on it.

As far as What's Your Number? my rule is very clear. Never, when it can be avoided, pay for an Anna Faris movie while it's in theaters. She doesn't always annoy me, but why take the chance?

Finally, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil comes out this weekend to theaters. It's also available On Demand. The film advertises itself as doing for the hillbilly horror genre, what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Yes it looks gory, but it also looks like it could be hilarious. And I almost always enjoy Alan Tudyk in a movie. 

I've been looking over the new "dynamic views" that blogger has introduced. Has anyone tried it, or been by a blog that has? I'm wondering if it's worth doing. From some angles I can see how it might be easier to show off older posts, but I also foresee the possibility of annoyances. If anyone has any thoughts on the subject I'd love to hear them.

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Tucker and Dale look like they win the weekend.

  2. Why do Christian movies suck the hardest?

    I think you answered your own question. I got sucked into one that put GOD on trial. The irony was that HE got Johnny Cochrane to defend him. Go figure.

    I may see 50/50 because it does have Anna Kendrick in it and she is yummy.

    I REFUSE to get sucked into any Blogger changes. If something went wrong with my blog because some numnut in corporate didn't work out all the bugs, I will go mental.

  3. @Budd, It should be a hoot.

    @Kal, What I was really posturing I suppose, was Why can't Christians make a good film? I've been seriously thinking of trying my hand at writing some shorts. I guess I was just musing out loud... And I too worry about blogger screwing it up with some bug, I've lost posts before through glitches and changes. But I do like the idea of making older posts more accessible.

  4. The only two Christian movies I can think of that didn't suck were The Hiding Place and The Gospel of John. They shouldn't be so preachy, just show love, goodness and sacrifice woven into a story. That should be good enough. The religious part could be shown in subtle and symbolic ways. Lukas said he wrote Star Wars to show kids God and the fight between good and evil. I think he did a good job. Lord of the Rings is another good example of a spiritual movie. You should try writing one. Great idea!

  5. I felt the same way about Fireproof. Why can't they make them good? Most Christian rock falls in the same category. (Which is why I prefer bands like KillSwitchEngage - mainstream music from guys who are Christian.)
    And Tucker & Dale vs Evil had some great, laugh out loud moments, but it was a really good story as well.

  6. why do Christian movies have to suck so bad? Partly, I think you are right, they are preaching to the choir. The other part is because the books they are written from suck too. Trust me, I know these things.

    It would be wonderful if they could answer some of the questions that us doubters have, but that doesn't seem to be their aim.

    50/50 might hit too close to home for me, I'll gamble on the chance that I am still around when it comes out on DVD. Ha, ha, did you get that?

  7. Any movie that "smacks me over the head with a message" is one I end up detesting, Christian movie or not. I kinda liked Fireproof....until it got to the end, anyway.

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  9. I think the first is a good choice to see since I love them tears crying or laughing.
    Most historical movies from Hollywood have a Christian theme Ben Hur, Ten Commandments( Jewish forefather of Arabic Christians anyway), movies good/bad on Christ, hell even Da Vinci Code...I used to love Jesus as a Prophet, God...but a few sermonising nuns and lay women who felt that as a follower of a paganistic religion, I would rot in hell...kind of dampened it. Now I am just a agnostic, born a Hindu so doesn't matter either way.
    The rest no interest in seeing.

  10. @Belle, Star Wars takes from every religion, but yeah, I get what you're saying. It's a good model.

    @Alex, A lot of Christian rock is no good, but I grew up in the Christian music scene and I could talk for hours on what's wrong with it, but there's a lot of decent music that's come through the years as well. Thousand Foot Krutch, Far-Less, Guardian, Steve Taylor, Keith Green, Five iron Frenzy, etc.

    @Gwen, I certainly understand your wanting to pass on 50/50. I also know how bad Christian books can suck. That's an entire other diatribe for me. haha. But I do like some authors. Frank Peretti has had some great reads. Ted Dekker, Stephen Lawhead, Bodie & Brock Thoene (well, some of theirs).

    @Marlene, Fireproof wasn't the worst, just incredibly mediocre.

    @Rek, I know a lot of people have been turned off by how the message is presented. Yes, fundamentally, we believe that there's only one way to heaven, and every other path leads to hell, but it's not supposed to be used to try and scare people into our faith. Our message should always be that of love as Christ's was. (and yes Moses and the ten commandments are a part of our beliefs too. The Jewish faith is at the base of Christianity.)

    Wow, this post got really theological. I was just complaining about movies. haha

  11. I'm intrigued to see Tucker and Dale vs Evil. And after reading about 50/50 I'm interested in seeing that one too. Not sure why Christian movies have to hit you over the head? I would watch more of them if they didn't do that. And if they didn't mostly suck.

  12. None of those movies do it for me. I am on the fence about the dynamic views. No quite sure yet.

  13. I love the idea of 50/50, and Joseph Gordon Levitt is one of my favorite actors, but having heard it's based on the life of a guy who's still alive, well, I feel a bit gypped. Because the movie is no longer 50/50, but, 'worry a lot and then survive anyway.'

  14. I say write the shorts! If you have an underlying theme of nice people = good then you're covered. I guess it depends how Bible-tacular you want to be with it. Because I'm sure a lot of movies have a theme of nice people win in the end ... which could be seen as in line with many religions.

    And 50/50 does look good/sad. That's a mood dependent movie for me - I have to be in the right mind to watch it.

  15. Thank you for the reviews Sir! Of the group, I think the only one I'll be watching is Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.


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