Despite Minor Flaws, Spielberg’s Lincoln Worthwhile Viewing for History Geeks

Finding enjoyable movie fare for American history geeks typically presents a challenge. The nature of the genre leaves diehard purists perpetually frustrated. Yet even those of us willing to allow some minor transgressions of fact or character to pass too often are disappointed by the shallow Hollywood luster that insults its audience and kicks a compelling true story to the curb. Now and again, though, one can leave the theater with a contented smile. On Friday evening my wife and I took in Lincoln at the local multiplex. The usher at Arvada's Olde Town Stadium Theatre entered the nearly packed auditorium and gave some introductory remarks about the movie's production and casting. The movie, already a long time in director Steven … [Read more...]

Avatar Movie Might Do Some Eternal Good in Spite of Itself

A friend brought my attention to this story on CNN about people who have watched the blockbuster movie Avatar developing depression:James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora. My first and only reaction was to recollect one of my favorite quotes:If we discover a desire within us that nothing in this world can satisfy, also we should begin to wonder if perhaps we were created for another world. - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity Profound but true. A realization that marks one of the first steps on a fallen soul's journey into the … [Read more...]

Really the Best 25 Christmas Movies?

With time off work over the holiday, I decided to survey some newly-posted lists on the Web to get a sense of which Christmas movies are widely believed to be the best ever -- with lists including (but not limited to) Moviefone, the Chicago Tribune, Saturday Evening Post, and the objectively-measured most loved Christmas movies list. Using a not-so-highly scientific formula (and not necessarily my own personal preferences), the result is the 25 most highly rated Christmas movies: … [Read more...]

D-Day Plus 65 Years

Last night I watched again the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan. It's hard to put such moving sacrifice into perspective, on this the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion to begin the liberation of Europe. But I leave you with portions of two relevant addresses -- one contemporaneous and one retrospective. First, from General Dwight D. Eisenhower on the eve of invasion:You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi … [Read more...]

RMA Blog Talk Radio Tonight at 8:30: Filmmaker Evan-Coyne Maloney, Nadeem Esmail on Health Care

Gloomy about the Obama administration's intervention halting economic recovery and pushing the markets down so we can party like it's 1997? Then I have just the cure. Tune in starting at 8:30 PM local Mountain Time this evening for the 15th edition of Rocky Mountain Alliance Blog Talk Radio, with two very interesting guests. First is Evan Coyne-Maloney, creator of the film Indoctrinate U, which exposes and challenges political correctness run amok on our nation's college campuses. His on-air discuss with the RMA crew comes two days before the movie's showing at Liberty on Film Thursday evening in Denver's LoDo. With proposals to further socialize health care looming at the State Capitol, the second guest is the Fraser Institute's … [Read more...]

Like Thomas Sowell, I Wonder: Do Facts Matter to American Voters?

The always astute, insightful, and persuasive Thomas Sowell has an especially good column about the national election before us. It's titled "Do Facts Matter?" If you only read one column this week, please make it this one. And spread the word. I'm only left to wonder if there are enough rational voters left in the center of American politics. Every two to four years, it seems like there is a little bit less rationality than before. But if the current trend continues, it would be a big step forward in my opinion. Some seem to want to choose Barack Obama as the next "flavor of the month" -- the President of the United States is like an ice cream cone or a cup of coffee. If only the rest of us had such trivial consequences to face from … [Read more...]

Suicide Killers: A Stunning Documentary

Pierre Rehov's new documentary "Suicide Killers" may be too politically incorrect to receive an Academy Award nomination, but that fact should recommend the film to more American viewers. And certainly, there were more viewers at last night's screening at the Colorado History Museum than event organizers anticipated. The modest size of the screen in the large hall forced the rows to be tightly-packed, but most guests eagerly pressed in to get a closer look. Reading the frequent subtitles - absolutely essential to absorbing the film's startling content - presented a minor challenge of tilting heads and craning necks. I was drawn in to the disturbing images, largely appropriate in their context and level of graphic detail, as well as … [Read more...]

United 93

While living among the mundane trappings of relative peace and calm, days of punctuated horror and profound tragedy often seem dreamlike. Such is 9/11, and such is why every American should strongly consider seeing the movie United 93. Typically, when I watch a new film at the theater or on DVD, I can find some other movie with which to compare it. Be it the acting, the story line, the scenery, distinct or oblique references. United 93, however, is anything but a typical film. For a culture sometimes too fixated on everything from sporting events to celebrity relationships - and various other diversions from reality - United 93 is like a bucket of badly needed cold water. Or like a punch in the gut. That's what I felt for an hour … [Read more...]