Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Step Brothers

I don’t know whether it is a good thing or not that I went to see the new release of Step Brothers. While I have a great admiration of one of the stars, John C. Reilly, I have honestly had mixed feelings about costar, and one of the writers and executive producers Will Ferrell. Some of the advance trailers looked like this would be a decent flick pairing these two from Talladega Nights back together so I decided to see it.

Step Brothers is a contemporary tale about family with a contemporary twist. It appears that Brennan Huff, (Ferrell) and Dale Doback (Reilly) are two 40-year-old men who live at home with their respective single parents. Reilly’s mother played by wonderful actress Mary Steenburgen and Dr. Robert Doback, Dale’s father played by character actor Richard Jenkins does a wonderful job in the supporting role. These two come together in an overnight fling at a local conference and decide to get married, go after their dreams, and along the way, continue to spoil their children and finally realize their two boys are hindering them from finding true love and going after their dreams. In the process we have a journey that has not only the parents but the boys being forced to grow up, plus recognize there is a time to become an adult.

I wasn’t expecting great acting, but I enjoyed the acting. Reilly is as usual superb; Mary Steenburgen is as fun to watch on screen as ever. She is a beautiful woman who continues to age gracefully while maintaining her beauty. She performs and does what is necessary to convince the audience that her character is real, and she does a great job at conveying the emotions of that character. Then there is Richard Jenkins who has some meat in his character. We often see character actors given roles with little to develop. Jenkins does a great job here and his role could be considered a co lead as this film provides more of an ensemble cast than a character driven cast. Then there is Will Ferrell, as mentioned earlier, Ferrell has gotten a mixed bag of reviews from at least this reviewer. That said, he does an amazingly good job as he convinces me that he can act. While a comedic role Ferrell does a great job showing a variety of emotions along with some fun comedic timing moments during the film.

Director Adam McKay does a great job at developing the story of Step Brothers. We see the family going through struggles, while at the same time growing. In the growth we see sequences where the characters grow a part. While this could have been done in standard comedic shtick we see some real acting, for me, a pleasant surprise. We have a story that drives several points home, while using a lot of comedy and shtick along the way, we also have serious subject matter addressed.

Step Brothers addresses serious issues related to family, dreams, and reconciliation. There are themes of forgiveness that are also addressed. While the characters we see on screen are far from perfect, they are great reminders of our own need to look at these important areas of life.

One of the things I appreciated about Step Brothers, is that while many want “traditional” families we live in a world where “traditional” has many different faces. Blended families have a tremendous impact on all involved, especially children. While we see older children here, the point is still driven home. We also see areas of forgiveness addressed and virtually every primary character has to come to a place of not only offering forgiveness, but being forgiven. Of these themes, they are not the theme I appreciated most.

The aspect of going after ones dreams is an important area of life many forget about, or let go by the wayside as they get older. This theme addressed with most every character on screen is driven home through the conclusion of the film. The idea of age not being a factor in one making sure they go after their dreams is something addressed in Step Brothers and is an idea many can take to heart.

While I have mentioned some of the things I liked about this film, I have to say, Step Brothers isn’t for everyone. There is a lot of crude humor that goes over the top. That said, it is still a fun movie and for those who can deal with it, they will find out it is more than a teenager comedy flick. There is some meat in this film if one looks for it. While not a T-bone steak, it has a good supply of protein and will satisfy many taste buds. While looking for some of the good themes addressed it may also bring a smile, or a few laughs along the way.

On a scale of 1 – 10, minus points for the three brothers who had some serious lessons in life to learn, I’ll give an enjoyable 7

To see the trailer for Step Brothers, just double click on the video below. If the video don't appear or work, click on the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHnvULVOtz8


Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.com

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853To

Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus

Mamma Mia

Ssshhhhhhhhh please now, everyone quite here but I recently went to see a chick flick, and here is the part to please keep quite, I really, really liked this movie. In other words, I saw this flick that at least this one dude thought was really good. Not only was it a chick flick though, it was a musical and for those that know me, they will know of the disdain I have of musicals, but not this one, nope, this one has me still singing.

Mamma Mia may be the most perfect movie I get the chance to see this summer, in fact, it may be one of the most fun, most perfect movies I have seen in some time and for this dude that was totally unexpected.

I have to admit, there were several things about Mama Mia that caused me to want to see it, I think Meryl Streep may be the best actress of all time, and the ensemble cast including the beautiful Amanda Seyfried, the handsome Pierce Brosnan and numerous others is a cast well worth checking out. The other thing is, my wife wanted to see the movie pretty badly, and on that note, I realized a real man is willing to do things with their wife or loved one they normally wouldn’t be willing to do. There was another reason though, it is one I have to ask you to keep quite about again as I don’t want a lot of people knowing this, but truth is, I knew the movie was based off of the Broadway Play of the same title and it featured the music of the Swedish band ABBA, and ABBA was a band I actually enjoyed. (Whew, I got that out of my system; please don’t hate me for it.)

How good is the cast, direction, and everything else about this film? Virtually perfect! As mentioned earlier, I consider Meryl Streep one of, if not the best actress of all time. That said, in advance interviews related to the film Streep had stated this was the most fun she had ever had in making a movie. That fun explodes through the screen, and frankly, as much as Streep has given the movie going audience over the years, I thought and now know, audience owe it to her to see her perform a role where she is having such obvious fun.

I could mention so much more, the cast is wonderful, virtually every scene, every song, (again it is a musical) is performed to maximum enjoyment. One of the great moves in the direction of this is having actors perform the music as opposed to lip-syncing. It allows them to act the part and there are several songs that really move the audience. Not in a long time have I heard an audience reaction like I heard in Mamma Mia. One song in particular performed by Streep towards the end of the film with Pierce Brosnan, The Winner Takes It All, is actually better than the original, not because of the quality of the voices, but the ability to act out the meaning of the lyric. Truth is, not since Moulin Rouge, has a better musical been made, and not since Grease has a more fun musical been made.

The plot of Mamma Mia involves a young Donna, (Streep) who has an affair with three different men over a brief period of time. In the process, Donna gets pregnant, and some 20 years later her daughter Sophie, played by beautiful Amanda Seyfried is about to get married. She finds her mothers diary, discovers the names of the three men who could possibly be her father and invites them to Greece to possibly discover her real father to give her away at her wedding. Thereabouts is the general story that plays like a Royal Flush in the World Series of Poker Finals.

One of the things I loved about this movie is the exploration of what family is, what is important, and how one comes about discovering the things in life that are important. The music plays beautifully to the story, and the characters seem to fully understand their roles. We see three men come to understand their own roles in life, mistakes and all, and we also see three women, including the characters played by Streep, Julie Walters, and Christine Baranski which rediscovers their friendship, and love for each other. Walters as Rosie, and Baranski as Tanya are nearly perfect in their supporting roles. These three may bring to the screen one of the most enjoyable ensemble group of women to ever be on screen.

It is a shame in some regards movies like Mamma Mia has to be there to remind of us of the importance of love, friendship, and relationships. Thankfully though, great movies like this one do just that. Real love, real appreciation between a parent and a child is something that is spiritual and of importance, while some of the conclusions to this film will certainly bother some ultra conservatives, the truth is, real love, and real value can be found if one ignores their own desire to prejudge and think of the negative. Family is of value, finding long lost love is also of value.

I loved Mamma Mia, I will see it again, and have discovered that real men can come to the conclusion that it is okay to like good chick flicks. Mamma Mia isn’t just a good Chick Flick though; it is a fun and wonderful piece of cinema, from spectacular scenery and cinematography, great costumes, incredible acting, and a fun time that actually had me applauding at the end of the film. Now for me, that is unusual, but I guess I am just one unusual guy.

On a scale of 1 – 10, for a great film an extremely rare, but pleasantly awarded perfect 10, so far, easily the most enjoyable film of the year.

To see a fun trailer for the movie Mamma Mia, just double click on the video below. If there is trouble with the video, just click on the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzhxHsqQvsI




Meryl Streep Video Interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qh6qNxJIMA




Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.com

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed


Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853To

Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus

Journey To The Center Of The Earth

As a young man I loved Jules Verne’s as an author. While I was a troubled kid, I wasn’t all bad; one good thing is I loved to read. I never regretted that love, and thankfully, knowing some of the classics has been of benefit as I got older.

Over the years there have been several variations of Journey to the Center Of The Earth, (JTTCOTE) that have been made. It was one of my many favorites by Verne’s and of all of the versions; I think I liked the 1959 version starring Pat Boone best. While not a great movie, this story, which inspired a television series, several movies and a great album by Rick Wakeman is a story that still stirs up dreams for boys and girls.

While there have been various versions of JTTCOTE, few have taken contemporary technology to the level the current film in 3D has. Seeing this story along with my family was something I had looked forward to for most of the summer, and while Brendan Fraser will be in an even larger box office hit this summer in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, it is likely there are many middle aged men who was looking forward to seeing JTTCOTE with their sons.

Michael Weiss has done a decent job with the screenplay for the newest 3D version of the film. One knows from the git go that this movie isn’t going to be much more than a popcorn flick that is there for the sole purpose to entertain. With that in mind, one won’t be disappointed, the 3D effects are enjoyable and the performances by Fraser in the role of Professor Trevor Anderson and Anita Briem as Hannah Asgeirsson help deliver some fun chemistry. There is also the young Josh Hutcherson who does an adequate job playing nephew Sean Anderson. The adequate job of acting in this popcorn flick along with some nice special effects mixed in with some fun 3D helps JTTCOTE become a fun roller coaster ride for the fan watching the movie.

While the development of the characters is somewhat lacking, and the plot isn’t deep one realizes this isn’t the primary purpose of the film. Fun is the purpose, and hopefully along the way, there is enough interest in the story to inspire young readers to pick up the book and read it. In that regard, this movie has a chance to succeed for some young viewers. Unfortunately, with a little more effort, this could have been a better movie. Fraser is a much better actor than many realize although he has picked up much recognition as a summer flick adventure hero. This isn’t his best work, but most of that has to do more with the script than it does his ability.

There are some good themes touched on in Journey to the Center of The Earth. The importance of family and the value of not giving up on your dreams are briefly addressed. There is nothing new here though other than the inclusion of the 3D effects. There is an aspect that I think is worth mentioning though, that is that there is nothing wrong with going to the movies to have fun. For me, this was also a good film to reflect on my own youth, my own journeys, and then sharing in those moments with my son.

To share about seeing the movie when I was a kid moved me to go to the video store and buy a copy of the old movie. While that particular movie isn’t a classic, it is in the mind of a young boy who dreamed of dinosaurs, fabulous journeys and the whole experience of taking a trip to the center of the earth. Dreams, stories, and imagination are beautiful things God has given all of us. If wanting a fantasy adventure, this is a movie that can inspire a good time as it is appropriate for the entire family.

I have to wonder how this movie will carry over to DVD without the 3D effects. Hopefully it will I don’t know, for that reason I recommend seeing it in the theater. Even with the additional cost for the 3D features, it is still worth it at a matinee price.

While not a great movie this a fun movie for the family, especially with the 3D effects. For that reason, on a scale of 1 – 10 minus the 3D effects, plus the additional dollar or two you will pay to get in I give Journey to the Center Of The Earth an enjoyable 6

To see the trailer for the movie, just double click on the video below, if the video don't work, just click on the following link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xtff1ROz10



Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.com

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853

ToSubscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight

I just returned from seeing Batman: The Dark Knight. As a long time comic book fan, and as one who got caught up in the original The Dark Knight hoopla some years ago, I attended the movie with mixed emotions, and various concerns.

The most recent episode of the Batman series directed and written in part by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, and brings back an all-star cast featuring Michael Cain, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldman among others has as an additional highlight Heath Ledger co starring as The Joker. The truth is, there has been so much hype and discussion regarding the death of the late Heath Ledger, and his terrific performance, that there may be a tendency to have expectations that are not realistic for either Ledger, and/or the film to live up to. I will make brief comment on Ledger but there is so much more to this movie, and while Ledger is certainly a huge story in regards to The Dark Knight, this movie is a film that will live on its own merit, despite the tragedy surrounding the film.

For fans of the comic series, especially those like me of the Dark Knight series, this will be a film most will absolutely adore and love. There are so many layers in The Dark Knight that one may have to see the movie several times to catch everything that is addressed and shown. While Bale and Ledger are certainly the two stars of the film, there is an ensemble cast of terrific actors to move the story along with the terrific screenplay and direction. This film is as close to perfect as anything that has been released so far this summer, from lighting to sound, and from plot to lighting. It is all there, and for a film buff like me much appreciated.

It is here that I must address some of the thoughts related to Heath Ledger in regards to this movie. I have been a fan of Ledger for some time and it is sad that this will be for many their first experience as to the quality of this young actor. I say unfortunately because unfortunately the homophobia of many and their reluctance to see him in his Oscar nominated role in Brokeback Mountain. I’ll have to be honest; I didn’t think there was any way Ledger could out do his role in that particular film. While I initially had some issues with that film, I had a tremendous amount of respect for Ledger and it is one of the only reviews I have ever done where I went back to make an additional comment on how I was wrong about that movie, and in particular Ledger’s role. While I had those concerns, I must say, while I was extremely skeptical of all of the hoopla surrounding Ledger’s role as The Joker, I was tremendously surprised at how good it actually was. While I stated that I thought Ledger would likely get a posthumous nomination for this movie, I will now say, it is hard to imagine anyone deserving it more than he. He is simply that good, and the truth is, all of the hoopla, all of the press is justified in saying the things they are saying about Ledger in his role as The Joker.

Now that the Ledger commentary is out of the way, the thing I am afraid many may look over is the terrific story we have regarding the conflict within each of us. We see the struggle of virtually every character with the battle within surrounding the decision to do either good or evil. We all have that struggle and in no character is the struggle more detailed and explored than with the character of Bruce Wayne. Others around observe the battle within Batman and Wayne, but he has to face serious difficulties before he realizes the struggles within, and the difficult decisions he has to make. While The Joker is pure evil, it is his evil that forces Batman to come to serious decisions and great sacrifices.

Throughout the film we see various characters dealing with the battle within their souls. There are several scenes where I won’t give much away, other than to say, I really appreciated the effort of the film makers to show that sometimes, those we least expect, are capable of doing good. We have stereotypes that put people, even God in a box at times, yet we see the ability of all people to do good, as well as the ability of all people to also do evil. The Dark Knight makes no excuses about it, there is the definite presentation of a constant battle between good and evil, and often times that takes place within our very souls.

The Dark Knight is a terrific film, the subject matter it deals with is worthy of thought, but while the film is close to perfect, it isn’t perfect, it is a little long and for me anyway, the last 30 minutes was rushed. We see the development of another villain in Two Face, but the development of that character just wasn’t clean enough and neither was the closure of the relationship between Gotham and The Joker. That said, this is still a superb film. It is dark, (not so much for the little kiddies) violent and hard hitting. It is also worth seeing again, and again. There are surprises along the way, and I am one who will say, all of the hoopla is right on the money.

On a scale of 1 - 10 minus the two villains of The Joker and Two-Face, I’ll give a well deserved 8.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

In 2004 I did a review of the first Hellboy movie starring Ron Pearlman and written in part and directed by Guillermo del Toro. The truth is I didn’t really like that movie, was somewhat disappointed and a whole lot confused. I was a little reluctant to see Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, (HB2), that is, until I had seen the trailers and heard that the creature team from the wonderful movie Pan’s Labyrinth was involved and I knew that Guillermo del Toro had done such a wonderful job with Pan’s Labyrinth.

A recent watching of the original Hellboy movie with Pearlman, yes the very one I was more than a little critical of in 2004 had me enjoying the original movie more the second time than I did the first. While this isn’t the norm for me, neither is it rare for me, it does on occasion happen as I assume it does for most of us.
The start of HB2 resembled the first movie; there is the background that is provided complete with the origin of Hellboy’s love for Baby Ruth candy bars and more. There is also some additional background provided regarding Hellboy’s teen years. This helps set up the plot of the movie and is welcomed storyline. There is also the associations and questions that remain, for example, is Hellboy from Hell, is he an angel, is he a demon, what exactly is he? I think I have learned to appreciate, at least in my own viewing habits the pondering of those types of questions, you know? Questions where there isn’t always answers and questions that causes the viewer to engage in the story and to try and figure some things out.

One of the things I appreciated about HB2 is the development of character, and the inward struggles and confusion we see Hellboy going through. He has struggles on everything from acceptance, to missing his adoptive father, and from love to his acceptance by the human race. I have always appreciated and respected Ron Pearlman, and while he will become noted for this character, I would have loved to have seen more of his expressions. He does a great job though using his voice tones and overcoming the limitations of the make-up involved in his character. Unfortunately though, even with the wonderful creature effects, we lose much of Pearlman’s wonderful expressions. He is a great actor, and only an actor like Pearlman could pull off a character like Hellboy.
This time around, the story line and plot do a much better job at developing character. Not just Hellboy, but all of the characters. We see additional development and struggle from Liz Sherman, the love interest of Hellboy played by Selma Blair. One of my favorite character developments this time around though is the development of Abe Sapien, an intelligent; man fish like character that kind of resembles the Creature from the Black Lagoon. In all of the characters we see the inward struggle of coming to an understanding of who they are, what they are here for, and their own lack of humanness, and appreciation from the human species. There is the use of drama, comedy, and great emotion often filled with humor. Each character, and each actor playing their parts does a wonderful job here.

HB2 is laced with spiritual questions. Apart from trying to figure out if Hellboy is an angel, or demon is the idea that he carries a cross. We see Liz constantly wearing a cross. There are other things though. There is one scene where the temptation of Christ is played off of. There is Hellboy a top of a business sign, high in the city, being tempted and confronted with serving and saving self and forgetting about serving or saving the human species. In the background is a lighted cross, and a movie marquee that says, “Get Saved.” Again, for me at least, the questions continue. We see battles and discussions taking place in the shadows of statues that resemble angels and much more. While the blatant discussion of God isn’t in the movie per say, it is certainly strongly evident in the images of the movie.

There are other significant spiritual overtones, the concept of the need to care for the planet is sure to be one of those that get some of the conservatives upset. I never could figure out the harm of that, but that message is there, but an even greater message, and a message that hit home far more this time than last time for me, is the willingness of Hellboy to sacrifice himself, to give up his own comforts, and own desire in order to sacrifice himself to care for a population of people who don’t even like him, who mock him, spit on him, make fun of him. Yet Hellboy in this regard takes on a Messiah and Savior concept that one can’t help but make some comparisons to Jesus.

I left this movie with even more questions in one regard than I did the first Hellboy. I left with a much different attitude though, for me, HB2 resurrects the story of Hellboy. It took a number of years to do this follow up. I am glad, it seems as if everyone involved has put a quality story, with good special effects, and solid entertainment mixed in with spiritual questions for all of us to consider. While not perfect, and maybe not even the best movie this summer, Hellboy was a worthwhile movie, and in some ways, it may be the most thought provoking movie of the summer. I can’t promise the same for you, but I can say this is a movie that if you go in searching and looking, you will find and appreciate some of the answers provided, and the search for truth of those other questions will be well worth the journey.

While Hellboy received a mediocre review from me, this one is at least twice as good so I am doubling that original rating of a 4 that I gave Hellboy and am saying that Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is deserving of at the very least a 8.5

Now here are a couple of trailers for your enjoyment. Double click on the video below, if it don't show, just click on the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUAJmmDRWo0



Ron Pearlman Interview

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnFx5eZVVic



Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.com

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew. Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587 Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853 To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed -

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed –

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl An Interview with Brieanne Jansen

On first appearance one wouldn’t think a burley, pony tailed, older man would have an interest in a movie dealing with young girls coming of age. One surely wouldn’t think that man would have any interest in speaking to a child actor who is debuting in that movie. No, one wouldn’t think that unless one was a parent of a young girl growing up with the American Girl Doll Series. Then if one had grown up as a father of a daughter whom had grown up with the series, no matter if a burly, pony tailed man or not one would realize the hope, dreams, aspirations, and help this series could provide a young girl. That was the case for me as I recently had the opportunity to speak with Brieanne Jansen one of the stars in the new movie Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.

As I was driving down I-70 towards Colorado from Kansas I had a phone conversation with Brieanne regarding her landing of the role in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. I was amazed and impressed with this young girls story, a story that not only had her experiencing the excitement of being in a movie for the first time, but it had her taking a step of faith in life. You see, Brieanne had experienced an abduction hostage situation in her life when she was four years old. One may say that the Brieanne taking on acting was an extension of the healing process from that horrendous experience.

I asked Brieanne about her openness regarding dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a child. She was very open in her reply, “It was really my friends who were there to help me out. You wouldn’t think that kids could help each other out, but between my friends and parents, the hugs and love from them were very important. Their part in my healing process was critical.”



When confronted with the willingness to put her life on display before others I thought she must have had some experience in regards to being in front of people, after all, acting and being on the big screen for the first time had to be daunting. “I had done a few things at church.” Brieanne replied, “but never really anything big and not that much.” “How did it feel seeing yourself on the big screen for the first time?” I asked. Brieanne was just like a young lady when answering the question; “It was kind of interesting seeing myself up there on the big screen. It was nothing like I expected. I realized after seeing myself that I had gained weight and grown since we had filmed the movie. It was just different seeing myself that much smaller.”

While Brieanna may have had a “interesting” experience seeing herself on the big screen, it is likely we as viewers will see something special about this movie. While set in the early 1900’s during the depression era, we see themes that resemble to the news stories we see today. We see issues related to difficult employment opportunities for parents, the threat of one loosing their home to foreclosure, and the need in some instances of children having to grow up all too soon and take on responsibility to help keep the family together. We also see the importance of family, and while the “traditional” family may not resemble the family situation we see in the movie that much anymore, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. One can’t help but notice the importance of the family roles that includes both parents, and even extended family and friends.

Brieanne spoke to me about her thoughts regarding this movie, and what she hoped people would get out of it. “Kit Kitteridge is a story about young girls coming of age. I really hope there are more movies like this in the future, especially movies that will show young girls coming of age, and the importance of being themselves.”

In many regards this young actress who has had to come of age from her own personal experiences, understands the importance of being a little girl. I realized this when she told me about the things she enjoys doing in her spare time. “Oh I enjoy doing and going to the theater, being and seeing plays at church, spending time with friends, singing and I really like to spend time with my dog and cat.” It was that last thing, a simple concept of spending time with pets that I was assured that Brieanne had begun to balance life out as a little girl. There were the important things, but there was also the importance of those special moments of playing with a pet.

It was here I was reminded of my own daughter in a way. A deep thinking young lady when she was a child, but nonetheless, still a child. It was a concept that got this one old burly, pony tailed man realizing that this movie may be worth seeing after all. It may be worth seeing because it challenged young ladies to be just that, young ladies. I always wanted my own daughter to experience life to the fullest, despite my own issues of having PTSD while growing up and knowing that my own daughter had to live through much of the rehabilitative process in my own life. Brieanne was convincing me that there are others out there doing this, even at a much younger age.

I was also impressed with Brieanne’s work for charitable organizations. It seems as if this young lady has a faith that is real and important to her. It is not only evidenced by her willingness to speak openly about her relationship with Jesus Christ, but her willingness to raise money for various causes, or as is currently the case, raising food for the homeless. It seems as if my own pre judgment about the dedication and seriousness of faith related to an 11 or 12 year old little girl was quickly squelched when seeing or hearing the things she is saying and doing.

“I really want to do more movies in the future, but I would love to do movies like some of those done by Michael Landon Jr. in the Janet Oke Series. I want to find an agent that understands that there are roles for Christians out there. Roles that Christians can do and those are the types of movies I want to be in.

I don’t know what the future holds for Brieanne. I do know that she has a great start and is in a valuable movie for young girls. That said movies like Kit Kittredge: An American Girl isn’t just an important movie for her, it is an important movie for all children, parents, and even burley, and pony tailed dads. It is a reminder to all of us of the potential of children. It is a reminder of the importance of growing up and the maturity that develops in children. In a world where women were put down, prejudiced against, and not given much hope, it is also a movie that shows the potential for young girls to become beautiful young women. Not in a physical attraction way though, but in a way that shows the beauty of Gods creation and the intelligence given women. I suspect that on that note, even old, burly, and pony tailed fathers can have a place in their heart that is touched by a movie speaking to young women.

I kind of knew that before speaking to Brieanne though, I had forgotten about my own daughter, Marathana’s love and appreciation An American Girl series. It was she that reminded me initially of the importance of these books and these stories. As a family we were never able to afford her the dolls while she was growing up, but she did get the books, and the words of those books permeated into her life. Now she is a 26 soon to be 27 year old young woman who was touched by the series of books and stories. She was encouraged not just by her parents, but by the books to come of age, to become a fine young woman. It is one of the things the books did for my own daughter, it is one of the things the movie will do, and Brieanne, a wonderful young lady is contributing in that way as well.

I have to admit, I still buy my daughter a doll every Christmas. I think that is likely more for me than it is for my daughter. She realizes that though, and accepts and allows me this joy of being reminded that I have a beautiful daughter who has turned into a beautiful young woman. Even though she is married now, living away from the home, I still know she is my little girl. After speaking to Brieanne, after realizing the importance of this series in the growth of my own daughter I think I may have an idea of the doll I will buy for Marathana this year. Hamm…., I wonder which one that may just be?

To see the videos listed below just double click on the video, if the video don't appear, just click on the provided link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeJNNG-wSbk



The following has Brieanne sharing her story. It is well worth watching to better understand this little girl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJCjK8bsoQ0



Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.com

You can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.

Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Hollywood Jesus
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus