Tag Archives: God

CCI 2012: Westboro Baptists = Nothing Accomplished

Christians never cease to baffle me.

When I read about the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest of Comic-Con International, I had to make sure that I did not turn around and punch a hole in the wall.  Then I had to laugh maniacally at their antics.  Then I just had to shake my head.

Everything I have read about this church just makes me cringe; it appears they never do anything truly Jesus-like and right according to the Bible they supposedly follow.  This protest was no exception.  Now, the Bible doesn’t say “don’t protest,” but it does tell us to love one another as Christ loved us, and I don’t believe Westboro’s signs or actions at Comic-Con imply this one little bit.  Sure, their intentions may have been mostly correct, that they don’t want people to be idol-worshipers (no, Thor is not really God, and if you want a better understanding of how the Norse gods actually reflect biblical truths just read up on all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings regarding that).  I also don’t think it’s good nor sane to make idols of the subjects at Comic-Con, either.  However, I am guessing only 20-25% of the people who attend Comic-Con (if that) are actually putting our beloved superheroes, game developers, and all-around cool people up on a pedestal they can grovel under.  The rest of the attendees are just there to have a wonderful time, a break from the real world where they can delve into worlds of truth, honor, and justice (and isn’t that what the Bible says God is, anyway?  That’s probably an entirely new article, though…).

Are those 20-25% people really worth the time to protest?  No, because protests rarely work, if ever, and the majority of the time they are never fully thought-out correctly by whoever happens to be organizing them (even non-Christians).  In fact, protests only ever seem to accomplish one or all of these things:

1.  Turn away the people you are supposedly trying to help.
2.  Imply that you’re ignorant about the topic or haven’t truly thought about it long enough.
3.  Reveal that you’re insane.
4.  Confirm that you’re both #2 and #3.
5.  Show that you could be doing something better with your time to actually change the situation.

#1 and #5 I think are the most disconcerting out of that list, however.  As Christians the entire point of believing in God is to bring people to his love by showing them his love.  Protesting simply cannot ever accomplish this.  A while back, I read a very articulate article about the issue of protesting in the Christian world, specifically as it related to the Starbucks public support of gay marriage this past year.  I wholeheartedly agreed with the author’s point that protests are in essence self-defeating, as they claim to argue against power in numbers yet by their very nature are indeed a “power in numbers” group.  The author’s concluding thought was, “Let’s not boycott our neighbors. Let’s not picket or scream or bellow. Let’s offer a cup of cold water, or maybe even a grande skinny vanilla latte, in Jesus’ name” (Moore).

What this implies about Comic-Con specifically is that Christians need to start participating, working, or creating in that geek culture.  This relates back to #2 in my list.  I am going to venture a solid guess that most Christian protests are based off of fear of the unknown.  How many protesting Christians actually read Harry Potter?  How many of them have ever picked up a comic book?  And how many of them have ever studied the biblical truths that simply resonate out of many science fiction creations?

Have you ever run across a Christian geek and been utterly amazed at their very existence?  That’s because we are in the minority, and many times we don’t want to admit that we are believers, not because we are ashamed of our beliefs but because we are immediately associated with people like the Westboro Baptist Church protesters.  We are not all the same (though we really should be if we all truly followed what God teaches).  Some of us simply adore Batman instead of protesting him, and would have less to talk about with others if we didn’t know about him.  Some of us think discussing the finer points of the latest video game instead of protesting it helps make others feel more loved and accepted in this world, not shunned.

So Westboro may continue to protest for years to come, and there will undoubtedly be counter-protests, pointing fingers, and all-around disgust towards them.  Remember, though, that they were never able to actually shut down CCI, and probably never will.  Just as they are wasting their time, you yourself could use your time wisely by hanging out with the geeky Christians who love stepping inside the San Diego convention center, possibly even dressed head-to-toe in Wonder Woman or Thor getup.  You’ll hopefully find that not all of us are ignorant, and you may even enjoy the experience, too.

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Grizzly Review: God Bless America

The most recent generation of human beings, and more specifically American human beings, is known as the “generation of entitlement”. We’ve been given the most technology, the most variety, and most of all more career options than any generation before us. We can do, or not do, anything we want. Yet, as time goes on, it seems like all we want to do is nothing or everything. We’re either changing the world, or watching the world change right before our eyes.

Everyone over the age of 30, and a lot of people under, have had thoughts of killing the idiots who are supposedly educating the young minds of our great country. On the conservative side, it’s the Barack Obama’s and the Bill Maher’s and the Rachel Maddow’s of the world who are ruining the world. But on the liberal side it’s the Rush Limbaugh’s and the Bill O’Reilly’s and Michael Savage’s and Mitt Romney’s who are damning the United States to the deepest layer of Dante’s Inferno.

Meet Frank (Joel Murray), a middle aged, overworked, underpaid, and depressed man who decides to literally live the dream. After wrongly being fired for sexual harassment and being told that he has a brain tumor, Frank gives the ultimate middle finger to the world and starts killing our nation’s most repellent and atrocious citizens. He gets the idea after seeing a copy-cat “My Super Sweet 16″ on TV. Completely disgusted by the state of our nation’s youth, he adopts the mentality of “If you can’t change ’em, kill ’em”. And that’s exactly what he does.

After his first, sloppy assassination, he picks up Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), a 16 year old sociopath ADD child who wants nothing more than to take the life of guilty filth. Reluctantly allowing her to come along, the two form a strong bond and become something of a “Mickey and Mallory” for the YouTube age. From state to state, target to target, Roxy and Frank witness firsthand the ins and outs of America’s worst personalities.

When I was going to rent God Bless America from iTunes, I saw a comment that said: “…my wife started playing ‘Words with Friends’ 5 minutes in.” That beautifully worded sentence is, in a nutshell, what God Bless America is essentially about. We’re a society that revolves around technology. We victimize the weak and exploit them for our own entertainment. We’re consumed by technology and all that is has to offer. In fact, if you’d like to hear me rant more about the product of a generation of inept children, read this right here.

At times heartwarming, at times extremely violent, and at times overly preachy, God Bless America is one hell of a film that doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Uneven as a see-saw, God Bless America is good, but not great. While I agree with almost everything the film had to say, its method of saying it was rather amateur, especially considering how gifted writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait is when it comes to screenplays.

The central performance by Joel Murray is one of the best I’ve seen all year, and he definitely elevates the sometimes unrealistically long winded monologues. Tara Lynne Barr is also excellent as a blood-thirsty high school student out for revenge against her generation.

Is God Bless America quality entertainment? Probably not, no. But is it entertaining as all hell with a good message to move it along? You bet your ass it is. If God Bless America isn’t great, it is one thing; original. And in a world of sequels and remakes, that in itself is something to be thankful for. And for that, I say not God bless America, but God bless Bobcat Goldthwait. For having a voice that isn’t conventional in the least.

3.5/5 Bears

Sony Reveals new ‘God of War: Ascension’ Trailer

Thanks to an Amazon page that jumped the gun revealing possible box art, and a tentative release date, Sony has been forced to show its hand and publicly announce God of War Ascension, the fourth game in the GoW series. Sony broke the news officially with a brief and vague teaser that revealed PlayStation’s iconic God-killer suspended in chains.

All signs point to the upcoming game serving as a prequel to the first game, which makes some sense considering Kratos has already systematically murdered his way through Olympus and razed the Earth in the process — there clearly isn’t much story left to tell after that. However, fans of the series are already familiar with Kratos’s history in the Spartan army and the misguided deal with Ares that sealed his fate as the Ghost of Sparta. Admittedly the backstory was only alluded to in short sprinklings throughout the three games, but the origins of Kratos seem very tame compared to the epic scale of the original trilogy. Nevertheless Sony is claiming this will be “the most ambitious God of War adventure in the series yet.”

God of War Ascension reportedly has a release date of Spring 2013.

Grizzly Review: Act of Valor

The Navy SEALs have been dramatized in many movies over the last fifty years, but according to ex-SEALs, almost none of them got it right. So, when writers and directors Kurt Johnstad, Mike McCoy, and Scott Waugh were working on developing the most recent addition to the Navy SEAL filmography, Act of Valor, they realized that the only way to make the film correctly was to cast actual SEALs in the primary roles. That’s exactly what they did, and let me tell you, it’s pretty much a disaster.


Act of Valor features mostly nameless characters with absolutely no back story whatsoever. The names of the SEALs who, I guess, portray other SEALs, have been kept confidential for their own safety and the safety of their country. In short, Act of Valor has nothing resembling a plot, and it’s really not even a movie in the conventional sense of the word. There are a couple of intertwining stories, but overall, the whole thing is kind of just the SEALs going from mission to mission to mission taking orders and getting the job done.

When I say that Act of Valor isn’t really a movie, I simply mean that it’s really just a recruitment video stretched to feature length. I’m sure you’ve seen those Air Force commercials that have the transforming jet and the big load of bulls***? Yeah, well imagine that for 98 minutes, and you get an idea of how excruciating this movie is. To add to the propaganda-induced seizure that I was already having when I watched this movie, I was dawning on the realization that casting real life SEALs was an awful, awful idea. Actually, let me rephrase, I didn’t dawn on a realization, the realization dawned on me, and soon enough, it punched me in the face, because the acting in this movie is worse than a high school play. Granted, I realize that they’re not actors, blah, blah, but  for God’s sake did you have to cast the most inept-looking SEALs that you could find? I mean, honestly, I felt like the directors were just f***ing with us for a good laugh.

To add to the horror is the invading patriotism that just infected every orifice of my being when I was watching this. The film was partially produced by the Navy, so it’s obvious that the Americans are going to win, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the most artificial piece of realistic storytelling I’ve ever seen. Not only is the plot so obvious a toddler could figure it out, but Act of Valor is so concerned with being Pro-SEALs that it sacrifices anything involving a character dilemma, a twist, or even any real interest for the sake of being patriotic. The characters are more wooden than a picket fence, and they aren’t really even characters as much as they are little Call of Duty CG creations that refuse to have a personality.

As for the directing, remember all that innovative camerawork that we saw in the previews that made us want to go see the movie? Yeah, well, the shots seen are the only shots that are even worth looking at. The rest are either shaky enough to cause an epileptic to just give up and die, or they’re used once, and then again. And again. And again. And again, until what was once an interesting way to film something turns into a cheap gimmick that will make you tired of the film’s attempt at entertainment.

My last complaint is the score. It builds tension so artificially, making it impossible to be surprised by anything happening in the entire movie. I really felt like one of those test subjects sent in to watch a series of test videos to gauge how they would fare in the mainstream audience. Act of Valor is an oddly off-putting experience that just put a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like I’m going to get a lot of s*** for hating on this movie, but it’s true. Act of Valor is an action film that almost insults SEALs instead of commemorating them like it should. And the action isn’t even that good!

0/5 Bears

‘Legion’ Heading to the Small Screen on the SyFy Channel?

[pullquote_right]“I said your f–king baby is gonna burn.” And “You’re all gonna f–king die!”[/pullquote_right] Does anyone remember the movie Legion? You know, the one starring Paul Bettany as an angel protecting a pregnant white-trash girl from other angels seeking to kill her and her baby? If you don’t remember that, then you’ll at least remember the little old lady who walked into a diner spouting off such classy one liners…

So yeah, simple premise of God being so angry with mankind that he/she sends legions of creepy looking angels to exterminate them and their last hope. The only problem with the whole thing is that, they never go into why this baby is their last hope. It’s hinted that it might be the second coming of Jesus, but they never really fully get into it. Then there was a whole storyline involving some prophets that just fell by the wayside because they used the rest of their budget on the fight scene between Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

The movie could have benefited from some sort of sequel, because the end was just too abrupt. Similar to what Dr. Kronner refers to as a ‘Shaft Ending’, in reference to the horrific Shaft movie starring Samuel L. Jackson. The trailer made this movie look great, especially crazy grandma Gladys biting people’s necks and climbing the ceilings, but it wasn’t enough to save a poorly executed second half and loose ends story wise.

I had mentioned a sequel above, and it looks like those who feel the same may get something sort of like that. According to a report from IGN, via Deadline we may be getting some small screen killer angel treatment:

Deadline is reporting that Syfy is currently developing an TV adaptation of the 2010 supernatural thriller Legion, which starred Paul Bettany

The movie’s director/co-writer, Scott Stewart, is overseeing the adaptation as an executive producer, and will direct the pilot. The film was about the human race trying to survive an onslaught of angels sent down from above to bring about the apocalypse.

Hmmm… sounds like a sure fire way to tell a story of that potential magnitude the right way. And come to think of it there was nothing groundbreaking in Legion special effects wise that can’t be done on TV. Hell, I’ve seen better effects on Smallville’s last four seasons. If SyFy does in fact pull the trigger on this one, I’m definitely willing to take a shot. Just as long as they don’t name the protagonist ‘Jeep’ like in the movie. Jeep? Seriously? Now that is shameless advertising. And I promise there will be no Jeep links.

Good Ole’ Galdys….She’ll rip your f–king throat out.

Dexter: Season 6 Finale – “This is the Way the World Ends”- SPOILERS AHEAD

The season finale for Dexter begins where the last episode left off; Dexter is in the lake where Travis left him. Lucky for Dex, a boat full of Cubans fleeing to America pull up and fish him out of the water, thus saving him from impending doom. Shortly after this, the boat’s captain decides to rob his passengers and Dexter is forced to harpoon him and dump the body overboard. Then, as the boat gets near the coast, they all abandon ship and swim up to the shore. USA! USA!

Dexter calls Jamie to pick him up and she has Harrison with her. Seeing the little man walking now is so crazy! Seems like just yesterday he was crying in a pool of Rita’s blood…

Travis is clearly getting a little impatient with his ending the world. He is yelling at dead bodies and braking random coffee tables (which breaks my heart, because I have yet to buy coffee tables for my house). Deb goes to visit Dexter because she was worried. They get called to a crime scene which is the house Travis was in, the dead couple still lying on the floor. Seeing Deb all hot and bothered by Dexter makes me laugh out loud. She is stumbling over her words and breathing all heavy when he walks by her. I understand… although it is creepy for her to want him growing up as his sister, he is the sexiest man she is around on a regular basis. As Travis pulls up to the house and sees that it is overrun by Miami Metro, he goes to Dexter’s home.

Continue reading Dexter: Season 6 Finale – “This is the Way the World Ends”- SPOILERS AHEAD

Dexter: Season 6 Premiere – “Those Kinds of Things” Review (SPOILERS)

Although it does not premiere until October 2, I just watched the first episode of the sixth season of Dexter…and it was fantastic.

The episode began by putting me in a panic. Dexter calls 911 saying he has been stabbed, resulting in his next two victims’ arrival. From the moment the episode began, I could not help but sigh with relief. Dexter Morgan, I have missed you.

This episode “Those Kinds of Things” introduced a new pair of evil-doers: Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) and Colin Hanks (The Good Guys). While not many details were given about what the duo is doing or why, I was pleased to see Hanks in the role of a creeper. It is very believable.

Continue reading Dexter: Season 6 Premiere – “Those Kinds of Things” Review (SPOILERS)