Atlas Shrugged Review

Atlas Shrugged – film was faithful to the book, which is good, but lacks both the nuance and brutal truth of the novel and misses the opportunity to excoriate today’s corrupt liberal philosophy.

Movie Review: New Moon

Having enjoyed its predecessor, New Moon is a disappointment. Much like Bridget Jones 2, the sequel to Twilight lacks the offbeat charm of the first movie in the series. For one thing, the pace is far too slow, causing what should be an entertaining movie to drag in many places.

Moreover, the continuity of the story line isn’t great either. Cuts were obviously made in the editing room. Perhaps this is something to be grateful for – the film was too long as it was. But the lack of flow is glaringly obvious in several places and it hurts.

Worst of all, the interpersonal chemistry that sparked Twilight isn’t there either, which isn’t surprising given that Edward is off the screen for most of the too-long flick. Granted, the story line has already been laid down by the books, but it never helps to have your star out of the action for long.

The surprise ending sets us up for another episode next year, but how interesting will it be? Underworld has already covered the terrority the Twilight series is venturing into – do we need to go there again?

Film Review – Fireproof

After missing it the previous weekend I went to see Fireproof on Saturday with my wife, our sons, and another couple.  The short version:  It was an honest, deep, touching film about marriage, the people in them who want to succeed but come up short, and our need for God to fill in what’s missing in our lives.  It’s pretty close to being a perfect movie with respect to it’s genre and goals.  If you’re married or ever plan to be married, see it, while it’s still in theaters.  That may be longer than many thought – the show we went to was sold out.

Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains infamy and more recently the star of Left Behind I and II plays a captain in an small fire station who, as the promo material says, is a respected leader, even a hero to some, with everyone but his wife.  It doesn’t take long to find out why that is, though as you might suspect, the problems in their marriage originate with both of them.

Fireproof is a low-budget film and the cinematography shows it, particularly in the two relatively brief action scenes.  It will be tempting for some to dismiss the film based on that alone; however, this movie is not about house fires, exploding cars, or daring rescues – although there are dashes of that present.

The core of the film is about the aftermath of a bitter fight between Cameron and his wife that ends with threats of divorce and agreement to same on both sides.  Like many marriages in the U.S. today, the relationship in the film could have ended right then and there.  But Cameron’s father intervenes and the promise he extracts from his son to try what will prove to be a grueling 40 day challenge provides the framework and the drama for the rest of the film.

Cameron’s character has a dedicated Christian side-kick at work who gives him guidance – whether he wants it or not – and several subordinates who generate most of the tension-alleviating humor the movie desperately needs.  They deliver with several full-on side-splitters that, just as in real life, show that Christians aren’t all Puritanical prigs.

The plot is solid throughout as Cameron battles a common addiction/crutch that many men, Christians and non-believers alike, deal with every day and his wife Kat experiences unexpected temptations because of the change in her commitment to her marriage.  Ultimately, a high-stakes confrontation which Cameron’s character initiates proves to be the first step in the film’s resolution.  But even then, when the viewer begins to understand how the movie will end, there are still a few more surprises left in the story line that kept me in the film’s spell until the very end.

As I said, see it ASAP.  Take your wife or significant other and open your heart.  I promise that you won’t be disappointed in what you experience for those two hours.  It could change your marriage and even the rest of your life.  How many other films can say that?

Marilyn’s Past Resurfaces

Some celebrities fame is so great that they only require one name to identify them and Marilyn Monroe is surely one of them.  I first became a fan of hers in the late 1970s after seeing this picture in Parade magazine. 


Pretty hot stuff for a 12-year-old from Nowheresville, Indiana!

Marilyn’s been dead for over 45 years but her name was back in print today because an X-rated video shot during her pre-fame days was sold for a cool $1.5M to an unnamed New York businessman who vowed to lock the film up "out of respect."

Hopefully the video’s new owner will keep his word and keep the movie out of public view.  Most of Marilyn’s fans would, I think, prefer it that way.

I can’t help but wonder whether the film, possessed by members of the mob and then by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, had anything to do with her death.  It surely wasn’t something the famous actress could have been proud of and might have contributed to her suicide, if that’s what it was.  Or someone who was aware of it could have used it for leverage against her, perhaps in regard to her husband, straight-arrow Joe Dimaggio or even John or Robert Kennedy.  Or perhaps it meant nothing at all to her.

We will probably never know the answers to those questions and that’s probably for the best, too.  Whatever the origins of the film – the "casting couch" comes to mind immediately – they point backward to a time in which women like Marilyn had to "use their assets" to get what they wanted. 

That’s just sad, and all the more so because it’s still prevalent in Follywood today.  But we’re still lining up to see the movies they’re pumping out, so it must be OK.


Marilyn’s troubled life and premature death are America’s somewhat naughtier version of Princess Diana.  This latest revelation reinforces the tragedy of Marilyn’s stardom and the price it cost her to attain and maintain it.