The Busyness Continues

Here I am at the Apple store, waiting to meet with a Genius for our Mac Mini. (Was trying to install the newest OS, Leopard, on it last night and that didn’t work.) πŸ™‚ This is the first chance I have had since getting back from vacation to post anything to! (I used to do this more often…..) πŸ™‚

I still do want to tell more of the stories that I did write down from our trip, but again… it’s finding/making the time to get them up here. I will be posting a “highlights” version soon, though. It was SUCH a great trip!!

I’m #3 on the list here, so I am keeping one eye on the Genius Bar… but trying to remember what I was going to say here… πŸ™‚

A couple things of interest… first, the busyness does continue. Going on vacation was a nice escape from reality, but did make the work pile up a bit more. And, when I finally get to the projects I need to be working on, then I get a call or email from someone needing tech support on their sites. You never can quite predict how a day will go, eh?

Also, last night I watched Spider-Man 3 while re-installing the system software on my broken Mac Mini. πŸ™‚ Actually really liked it. The violence is weirdly over the top, but “cartoony” enough to not be that bad. Aside from that, the story lines were very good. There were three different story lines of characters being consumed by revenge, and eventually overcoming it through forgiveness. Not as cheesy as that sounded. πŸ™‚ Also just cool examples of the power of loving someone, even enough to die for them. (Don’t want to give away the ending…) πŸ˜‰

So, I recommend it.

OK… it’s gotta be my turn soon!!!

I am here by myself also. We had dinner with some friends, and we were late πŸ™‚ Just got to finish my waffle and head out for this appointment. Hope to get to hang out a bit once we finish this.

I hope we start it… πŸ™‚

The Water Horse

I was scrolling through the new movie trailers in Front Row tonight and found a movie called “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” at the bottom of the list. It was rated PG, so I decided to check it out. Wondered what it might be about.

It had some impressive credits (but, don’t they all?) and cool graphics/effects. And I liked the story. Looks like I may have found a movie we can take the kids to see in the dollar theater! πŸ™‚

Click the play arrow above to view the trailer. Movie will be in theaters on September 28th. Dollar theaters probably around Christmas time. πŸ˜‰

Iwo Jima

Flags of our FathersOver the past couple weeks I have watched two WWII movies at the recommendation of a friend (or, kind of two… Amy wrote about it on her blog loooong ago, but Marie is the friend I was referring to…). She asked if we had seen Letters from Iwo Jima, to which I replied, “No, what’s it about?” She explained that it was sort of a companion to Flags of Our Fathers (which reminded me of Amy’s post, about her friends being in the movie…) and from Marie’s description, it sounded like they were both worth the watch.

I started with Flags since it was the first one made. It was a good movie. Interesting story angle. The focus was on a field medic (not sure that’s really his title… he’s the guy who goes out in the middle of a battle to treat/rescue fallen soldiers) who finds himself shipped across the country along with two other “heroes” from Iwo Jima just because he was named as one of the (now famous) flag raisers. (You know that famous statue/photo with those Marines hoisting the American flag together? Yeah, that one.)

It was interesting to think of how desperately America needed heroes. The story goes that the guys the US gov’t paraded around did not feel like heroes, or want to be heroes. But in the end, I think they were presented as that, and most people would still consider them that.

As for the story of the battle at Iwo Jima. Just nuts! Intense, insane fighting on a tiny little island off the southern coast of Japan. It was crucial to the war, and it’s capture likely helped the US finish the war not much later.

As all war movies, it was just a completely unfathomable environment. The most memorable scene was where the aforementioned medic is in the middle of the battlefield, attempting to treat an American soldier, when out of nowhere comes a Japanese soldier. He lunges at the medic with a knife, but the medic avoids him, and instead is able to use his own knife to stab the Japanese soldier. For a poignant moment, the medic looks the Japanese solider in the eye, the camera has panned out to show the wounded American soldier right next to the now dying Japanese solider. Similar wounds, but the medic is (understandably) trying to kill one, and save the other. It was a very “human” moment in the chaos.

Letters from Iwo JimaNow the interesting part of the double feature was that the second movie was about the same battle, but from the opposite perspective. Letters is the story as the Japanese saw it. It was filmed almost entirely in Japanese. I thought it was such an interesting idea (the story of an American battle told from the “enemy’s” point of view) that I was very much looking forward to watching the second part, maybe more than the first.

It did not disappoint. I thought using the letters from Japanese soliders was a great way to show the humanity of the “enemy” soldiers. I’m sure the easier thing to do in war is to demonize the enemy… and that is what both sides did. There was a cool moment in the movie where a commander of one Japanese unit decides to save and treat a wounded American soldier. His men want to “finish” the Marine, but this commander – who spent some time in America – wanted to “do what is right”. He talks to the young Marine, gets to know a little about him. Not much later, the Marine dies of his wounds. The commander found a letter on him from his mother. He reads it aloud (in Japanese… pretty good translating…) πŸ™‚ to his soldiers. The end of the letter says, “Remember to do what is right. Just because it’s right.” Another very “human” moment.

Overall I thought both movies did a good job of revealing that we are pretty much the same. Yes as different cultures we do have different priorities and slight differences, but really… we all bleed. We all die. We all fear. We all love. It was an insanely sad event in the history of our planet, but it seems like overall good came from it. Still, watching both movies, you just want to say, “Work it out, boys!”

I will never understand war. I don’t suppose any of us will. War movies and books are just fascinating to me for that reason. It’s beyond my comprehension how we can so lower the humanity of another person that we are able to kill so many. I know you probably just “do what you have to do”, but still… how crazy.

Flags and Letters were both excellent re-tellings of the events at Iwo Jima in WWII, and I do recommend you watch them. Obviously, they are graphic. So, be warned. But the storie are well told, and compelling. And especially Letters is such a fascinating experience… watching the story from the other side. Good stuff.

DVD Worth Buying… The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer on DVDWhen we saw this movie back in April, both Jen & I really enjoyed it, and I thought it would be one we would at least watch again, if not purchase on DVD. Well, it came across my Netflix new releases feed today, and I thought I’d let you know.

For a recap of the movie (and more) check my previous post linked above. To purchase the DVD (and support Greg’s Head at the same time…) click on the DVD. πŸ™‚

From The Earth To The Moon

We just finished watching “From the Earth to the Moon”, an HBO mini-series, and it was fantastic. The language was too much for our tiny kids (and, well, I didn’t like it much either…) but the story form of this incredible time in history was very well done. It’s 12 parts on 4 discs. And, it’s great! πŸ™‚ We highly recommend.

The one very cool thing I noticed was just how many people it took to make that happen. They did a great job of conveying that. From the 3 astronauts per mission each having vital, essential roles, to their fourth astronaut (Mission Control in Houston, which was a couple dozen MORE people who were each vital to the mission) … it was all about team work. It could not have happened without all of those people.

And of course you can go beyond that… lots more people involved, including the companies who made the stuff that got us to the moon, and all of the people that worked together to make that happen.

It was just very obvious that even though only 24 men made the trip to the moon (so far), it was hundreds, maybe thousands? who made it possible. Life is not meant to be lived alone, and you certainly can’t do super cool things like go hang out on the moon by yourself! It was a cool, vivid example of team work in action.

So, if foul language is offensive, perhaps you can borrow someone’s TV Guardian… but it’s an amazing reenactment of history. Incredible history. Add it to your Netflix queue today!

(A little side note. As you are probably aware, I am a big fan of space exploration. I really believe that NASA is getting ready to do this again. We don’t have a “Cold War” to fuel public interest as much as in the 60s, but we are going to do some pretty amazing things in the next decade or two. In the coming decade, NASA plans to go back to the moon… and set up camp there. In the 2010s (and into the 20s) NASA is planning to send people to MARS. It could be much the same as July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong first put his boot on the moon. Stay tuned…)

Church Ball

Church BallThis past week I happened to see a movie called Church Ball come across my NetFlix new release feed. The title alone is pretty funny, but the description was even more intriguing:

Fred Willard stars as a bishop intent on pulling together a winning team for his soon-to-disappear church basketball league in this comedy from Mormon filmmaker Kurt Hale. Included among the players on the ragtag squad are an Uzbek immigrant, an overweight baker and (most oddly of all) the diminutive Gary Coleman, who serves as the center for the team.

Believe it or not, though it was corny at some spots, it’s a pretty funny movie! We watched it with the boys and they loved it. It might be funnier to anyone who has been around “church”… so, since we have, we thought it was funny. πŸ™‚

If you like silly movies, add it to the queue today!


Goal! The Dream BeginsWell I just finished watching the movie, “Goal! The Dream Begins” I had gotten it from the library last year around the World Cup time… but never got around to watching it. I saw the preview and thought it looked worth the watch… and had even planned on watching with my boys, who had really been enjoying the World Cup matches until I saw it was PG-13. So, with no time to watch, and probably stuff the boys needn’t see at 7 and 4… I passed.

But I had the chance to move it to the top of the ol’ Netflix queue this past week, and I am so glad I did!

Sometimes I fall asleep during movies. Or at least nod off. As you can tell from the time stamp on this article… I did not fall asleep, nor am I even sleepy! It was a great sports movie with your classic sports ending. But you don’t get there the classic way. It’s a great story of perseverence, character, dreams, and some great soccer, to boot! πŸ™‚

There are a few moments that make it PG-13, but for adults I highly recommend. Highly.

One thing I noticed in the flick… there’s a strained relationship between the father and the son. They love each other but see life differently. So, I think maybe a while back I might have seen myself as the son (actually not saying anything about my dad, or our relationship… though it’s pretty true that we see life differently!) but now with four kids of my own, and them all growing up and stuff… I think I identify with the dads of movies. The main character was the son, and I think the emotions you feel with/for him… I was putting my son in his place, and just hoping that I can love and encourage my son to pursue the dreams God has placed in his heart. I think he will… I just found it interesting how I’ve definitely accepted my place as “the dad”.

So… to bed for me, since we’ve some friends comin’ for a bit o’ chill and grill in the late mornin’, and before they arrive I need to mow the lawn. It’s a bit shaggy.

Check your local library… put it in your Netflix queue… download it from iTunes. If you like sports movies, soccer, and just great stories… check out “GOAL! The Dream Begins”.

(And I saw tonight that “GOAL II: Living The Dream” will hit theaters Sep 2nd, 2007! Gotta love it…) πŸ™‚