Brother Orchid: The Seductive Power of Good

Friday, December 9, AD 2016

Brother Superior: When the heart speaks, Brother Orchid, other hearts must listen.

Brother Orchid (1940)

Interested in seeing a screwball-comedy-film noir gangster-western-religious flick?  I am always on the lookout for oddball films for Advent and they don’t come odder, or more heart warming, than Brother Orchid (1940).  Starring Edward G. Robinson with a fantastic supporting cast including Humphrey Bogart, Ann Southern, Ralph Bellamy and Donald Crisp, it is a trip back to the Golden Age of Hollywood when literate, thoughtful films were considered mass entertainment.  It also is a fine exponent of a facet of the human condition that is not much commented upon today:  the seductive power of good.  A review of the film is below with the usual caveat as to spoilers.

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5 Responses to Brother Orchid: The Seductive Power of Good

Review of Hacksaw Ridge

Monday, November 21, AD 2016

 

Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard,
that the everlasting God, the Lord,
the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, neither is weary?
There is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
and the young men shall utterly fall:
but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 

I’ve been where you are now and I know just how you feel. It’s entirely natural that there should beat in the breast of every one of you a hope and desire that some day you can use the skill you have acquired here.
Suppress it! You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!

William Tecumseh Sherman, address to the graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy (June 19, 1879)

 

 

 

My bride and I went to see Hacksaw Ridge last Saturday, Mel Gibson’s tribute to conscientious objector Desmond Doss who earned a Medal of Honor for heroism on Okinawa, and I was bowled over by it.  It wrenched more emotion from me than any film I have ever seen, except for Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.  My review is below the fold.  The usual caveat as to spoilers is in effect.

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9 Responses to Review of Hacksaw Ridge

  • Say what you will about Mel Gibson, he is an artist par excellence. He is a superb actor and an equally superb director.

  • “As the hearing officer concludes as he dismisses the court-martial, Doss is now free to enter the hell of a battlefield with no weapon to defend himself.”
    .
    I am not a pacifist, and I do not understand such behavior, but truly only a man utterly devoted to Christ could have such faith and do such a thing.

  • Very powerful. Do you want to change “…and the trucks baring the bodies of their dead…” to bearing?

  • Thanks for catching that Tom. Correction made.

  • Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

    Beautiful weapon and shields; The Armor of God. The quote you used made clear the weapon Doss possessed. The one unseen by most. Trust in God.

    I can’t wait to see this movie.

    Mel Gibson has a thirst that is challenged by the world’s allurement of satisfying said thirst..but through struggle, prayer and fortitude Mel is trying. Productions like this is testimony that Mel’s thirst is lining up with that of our Lord’s thirst.

    God bless you Mel Gibson.

  • Some make you wonder how God could love man at all.

    Some inspire you to believe God could not help but love man.

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  • Outstanding movie. I’ve seen it three times and every time it’s better. My father fought in this campaign and it just amazes me that he survived.

  • Violence is evil. Armed force is divine , angelic and human . So if the evil guys won who would protect our minor children, our constitutional Posterity? Our minor children are morally and legally innocent, our standard of Justice for the state. Why aren’t the enemies of truth and Justice concerned about their legacy to all future generations?

Sully: A Review

Monday, September 12, AD 2016

 

 

My bride and I last Saturday saw the movie Sully, Clint Eastwood’s take on airline Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s amazing landing of a distressed Airbus A320, US Airways Flight 1549, on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board.  We both loved the picture and my review is below the fold.  The usual warning as to spoilers is in full force.  

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2 Responses to Sully: A Review

One Response to The Better Angels: A Review

  • Thank you very much for this review and commentary. Much needed respite for me.

    I did not know this film existed. I now have it in my collection.

    Cheers!

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: A Review

Sunday, January 17, AD 2016

My family and I went to see 13 Hours:  The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi on Saturday.  I found the movie to be an exciting and moving recreation of the actions of the CIA contractors, all former  members of elite American military units,  who fought against the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12, and a damning indictment of the lack of action by the administration which left these men in the lurch, their criminal inaction leading to the death of former Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  A strong language advisory  as military men under fire have been known to swear on occasion, and I would further note that my wife had to leave the theater because she found the movie too intense.  My review is below the fold and the usual warning as to spoilers is in full effect.

 

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27 Responses to 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi: A Review

  • “Who cares about Benghazi?” -Hillary Clinton

    “Who cares about Benghazi and e-mails?” – man who introduced Hillary Clinton at Iowa gathering.

    I pray that left leaning voters watch this movie and are disturbed to their very core. I have doubts though. If they are not disturbed by the slaughter of the Innocents caused by abortion in our land, than what’s four more lives? Who cares? Who cares?

    Hillary puts the H in Chastisement.

  • Clinton and Obama deserve life terms in Marion, Illinois for what they did and didn’t do re Benghazi.

  • I wonder if the producers of and actors in this film will now undergo investigation by the IRS.
    .
    After a while, I find myself repeating how much I loathe liberal progressive Democrats ho abandoned our men, who murder babies, who sanctify sexual perversion, who despoil the morals of the nation. Eventually this has to stop, but the juggernaut of liberal progressivism is so large that it will take something monumental to reverse course now.
    .
    I hope that regardless of their foul mouths, the men who gave their lives to defend Americans in Benghazi go to Heaven. Those who in their safe luxury gave the orders for rescue forces to stand down may not have such a destination when they are called from their life of material comfort and opulence.

  • Penguin Fan.

    Amen to that!

    She could practice her “Spin techniques” on the staff and inmates.

    Himself? Well he could smurk his way to homosexual bliss.

  • Judging from my own family, the democrats are not going to see this movie.

  • Of course Demoncraps will not see this movie. In spite of the foul language of hardened military men under pressure to heroically do the impossible with nothing, it shows Godly patriotism and Demoncraps by definition are demonic and cannot handle that truth or any truth. One day Democraps will stand side by side with Islamic fanatics on Judgment Day and they will share the same fate.

  • Profanity is common military vernacular, whether under fire or not!

  • Profanity in the military will be the next target for the libs. Let’s see. Red lipstick will be mandatory for all R.O.T.C. participants during the “sensitivity week” coming up. Remember the red heels not that long ago?

    Argo ____themselves!

  • Sarcasm of course.

  • Saw the movie Saturday with my 6th grade son. What an incredible story. My admiration for the military contractors was almost surpassed by my disdain for the bureaucrats in the movie, whether they were onscreen or off. Everyone should see this movie before November. At some point, the anger just wells up. Indictments are overdue.

  • Were justice to prevail, the man responsible for this travesty (and his wife) would, after 20 January 2017, be responsible for their own protection.

  • Art Deco.

    Beautiful point of justice.

    We will end up paying for their security, but after their life on earth…….

  • “Were justice to prevail, the man responsible for this travesty (and his wife) would, after 20 January 2017, be responsible for their own protection.”

    Comment of the week Art! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • My wife and I saw the movie toite. My boss texted me to tell me that he and his wife were going to see it also. Those heroes cursed like drunken sailors and fought like the best of Roman legions. I may write more tomorrow. But as far as I am concerned, the two people who gave the stand down order – Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama – should be tried for treason. Those jerks know nothing of what it takes to preserve their freedom. And if this country elects either her or that commie pinko Bernie Sanders, then we are truly doomed for the Republic will be at an end. God have mercy on those who gave their lives. I do not have their heroism. And as I have already said, I hope they made it to heaven in spite of ther foul language and their rough ways.
    .
    “War is hell and hell is hell, and of the two, war is worse.” I think Hawkeye Pierce from MASH (that old 1970s TV show) said that. Can’t remember. Hope I never find out if it is true.

  • PS, my Filipina immigrant wife said that the movie is heartbreaking but well worth seeing. She is a typical Filipina Catholic – doesn’t know anything about theology or philisophy, and doesn’t care. Too complicated. But she does know right from wrong. “Why they not send help when asked?” My answer: “Hillary and Obama ordered a stand down.” Her response, “Oh, that wrong. They not send help? That wrong.” Rest assured that when she becomes a citizen, she’ll never vote Democrat.

  • “But she does know right from wrong.”

    That’s a lot more than many theologians understand nowadays!

  • Fox News a few months back aired an extensive interview following the timeline of events with these heroes. It was a gripping show and an apolitical show. My reaction at the time was anger that American citizens in the service of our government were hung out to dry and then one of pride in these former military men who were the rescuers despite being told to stay out of it. We plan to see the movie. Over lunch with a friend on Mon. I mentioned that actress Maggie Smith’s son is seen in the movie trailer. Whereupon my friend said, “It’s a movie aimed at Republican viewers.” I had to set her straight.
    I dislike foul language and particularly the use of it in comedies because it is gratuitous and often ruins the show. Foul language is prevalent in the military and I would guess in most all male groups, especially those in stressful situations so the use of it in the movie is realistic. As an aside a foul mouthed woman makes me cringe. Unfortunately vulgar language has crept into the media and as a result in use by the younger generation of both sexes.
    We pretty much know who the cowards are. The number of unsung heroes out there is enormous; they deserve our gratitude and our prayers.

  • I think trying to figure out who ordered whom to stand down can only end in a semantical rabbit hole along the lines of “it all depends on what the meaning of is is” –if only because I doubt very much a stand-to/stand-by was first ordered and later countermanded.
    .
    My personal guess is that bureaucratic infighting between State, DOD & the CIA, coupled with the complete and utter failure of POTUS to provide direction left us paralyzed for the duration of the crisis.

    The interesting question for me is: were State, DOD & CIA fighting over who was going to take the lead, or fighting to avoid responsibility for taking the lead? My guess here is that State took/was stuck with leading because this was primarily a diplomatic crisis, which they attempted to resolve –by asking the Libyans to do something about it. The reason Benghazi remains a black hole (Obama buried it enough to win re-election, so what does he care now, particularly since he’s tempermentally incapable of accepting culpability for anything.) is because it would reflect discredit upon the former Sec State –and nothing must be allowed to come between her and her rightful place in the Oval Office.

    Granted, that’s all sheer speculation. As recent events in the Persian Gulf remind us, the administration has a habit of ignoring bad news/unpleasant events in the hope that nobody else will notice either. When that fails, they start looking around for convenient scapegoats.

    In any event it seems to me nothing short of a miracle that only four lives were lost. In fact, that may be one of the biggest unspoken ironies in this story. That is, whereas the loss of the CIA Annex as well as the Consulate/Mission/Residential Compound we were renting would have been an inescapable disaster for the Obama administration, it therefore might very well be only owing to ferocious efforts of those contractors, that the Obama administration was able to successfully downplay the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith into a minor tragedy.

    Good movie. But I’m starting to get tired of the valor in the face of extreme adversity, noble stoicism in defeat vibe that’s become a recurrent theme in these dramatizations of modern events (e.g. Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor, arguably, Zero Dark Thirty –but that’s more of a “what price victory?” vibe; and American Sniper only evades that vibe through the plot device of a fictional Iraqi sniper antagonist.)

    Honestly? I’d rather see a Delta Force remake wherein the elite special forces protagonists defy all sorts of politico-bureaucratic perfidy and incompetence to fight their way, on their own initiative, to relieve the beleaguered American outpost in the middle of greater Crapistan.

  • The interesting reaction to this film has been a lack of criticism from the usual sources about “lies”, “inaccuracies”, “mischaracterizations” etc. in an effort to discredit it. Could be they don’t want anyone looking into, and verifying, the facts of what happened. While there is clear enough blame at the top, there is no question that some of politicized military and civilian higher ups declined to do the right thing and cowered in the shadows when courage was called for.

  • Her perfidy is less worrisome than is Hillary’s incompetence.
    .

  • T Shaw, to my mind they are equally dangerous in a president.

    If Hillary is nominated, look for bumper stickers with some of her deceitful, inane
    quotes, starting with her Benghazi quote, “What difference does it make?”

  • @CAM.

    Here’s another one for the stickers;
    “Religions need to change their views regarding abortion.” HC

    What a ungrateful misguided “believer.”
    If her mother had the views that she vehemently professes, there’s a great chance that she, Hillary, would of ended up in a trash pile…dead from abortion…. like so many millions of other children.

    Hypocrite. That is her name.

  • One must understand that HC is informed by her Methodist upbringing which see social action (liberal) as its raison d’etre. The Wesley brothers, who lived and died as low church Anglicans would be appalled at the church that was founded after their deaths. An offshoot, the Salvation Army was founded in the 1860s by William and Catherine Booth to do religious social work minus the political positions that were coming into the Methodist Church. This division exist today with Methodists seeing themselves in the vanguard of progressive social change and doing what they felt the Almighty would have done.

  • @ Don Link.

    Interesting.
    What would the Almighty do regarding abortion?

    To bad the Methodist, some Methodist, wouldn’t search the scriptures for the answers instead of relying on their own inclinations.
    Jesus made it very clear. “What so ever you do to the very least of my brothers and sisters you’ve done unto me.” Matthew 25:40

    When it comes to Goats v Sheep…the Goats may get the presidential votes needed to continue their social debauchery, but in the end the sheep will Triumph will the Good Shepherd.

    More goat cheese Hillary?

  • Now that it is certain that Hillary Clinton’s e-mail and server were hacked by Iran, China, and/or Russia..

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/22/exclusive-hillary-clinton-email-company-hacked-foreign-attackers/

    ..with even cautious, ever-circumspect former Sec of Defense William Gates concurring (interview 1/21/16)..

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/21/former-sec-def-robert-gates-odds-are-pretty-high-russia-china-and-iran-accessed-hillarys-server-video/

    …we need to go back and look at the shoot-down of Seal Team Six, Aug. 6, 2011 (Feast of the Transfiguration, FYI). Of course, 3 months prior, on May 2nd, 2011, criminal-blabbermouth Joe Biden names Seal Team Six as the Bin Laden raid force, in an unprecedented breach of security (later affirmed by the Supreme Egotist, Obama). Aaron Vaughn, one of the ST6 group members, phoned home and notified his family after Biden’s yak-attack that Seal members had been informed that Al-Qaeda chatter, picked up around the world by US intelligence, indicated that all efforts were being concentrated on finding and destroying ST6: he warned his mother and family to clear and delete all social media communications in order to protect them, since they may be the focus of an attack. Their cover had been blown for Obama’s “victory lap”.

    http://www.newsmax.com/US/Aaron-Vaughn-SEAL-Team-6/2014/09/02/id/592048/

    Finally, while seeking a supposedly “high-value target”, a Taliban leader in Afghanistan, for the operation on Aug. 6, 2011, Hillary Clinton, the Sec of State since Jan 2009, who never had a US.gov secretary of state e-mail address on the SIPR-net secure communication system, but was receiving daily updates from Huma Abedin on copied-and-pasted info to her server, certainly received the highest-confidential information such as Seal Team 6’s operation to be scheduled on this day. Based on Gates’ assumption, this information went likely to Iran, who shared it with Al-Qaeda/Taliban operatives in Pakistan.

    A few days later, a heavy bombing raid supposedly killed Tari Qahir, the Taliban leader who had been the focus of the “extraction” of ST6. Dare we ask “why” was ST6 committed at all to this useless effort?
    When the day came, “Extortion 17”, the Chinook special operations helo arrived at the attack site, it was immediately engaged by heavy fire from 3 sides: ST6 had no escort aircraft for covering fire at all (probably just US military negligence and idiocy: we have to admit it happens, and they weren’t expecting anything but a “routine” mission: a Ranger commando unit was already on the ground, and perhaps the expectation was that the sector was secure). 25 Seals died, 5 other US air personnel also. Oh: 6 Afghani Army members, who had all been switched out at the last minute from the original 6 and who didn’t appear on the manifest, also died. Estimates of Taliban infiltration by one US general has been “1 out of 4, 25%”.

    So besides the almost-certain breach of her criminally-unsecure e-mails that informed Al-Qaeda operatives in Libya of his whereabouts and thus catalyzed the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as ex-Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty (the latter, without whom the death toll certainly would have been larger, as well as leading to a likely hostage situation), Hillary Clinton, as the Clintons always do, left a swath of death and destruction by their unfathomably arrogant dereliction of security and responsibility for US lives—not just in Ben-Ghazi, but also in Tangi Valley, Afghanistan.

  • Reminds me of the Walker family’s treason. From them to USSR to N Vietnam…. our aircraft hit by SAMS and our pilots would say, “It’s just as if they knew we were coming.” Of course, they did.
    What thoughtless hubris combined with incompetence – Biden, Obama and H Clinton.

  • There is a shit storm coming our way. Both within the Church and within the USA. We are just about leaderless. Those in power ignore reality and speak using vague language. Within the Vatican, especially. The USCCB, a close second.
    Something wicked this way comes. Bet on it.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Review

Tuesday, December 22, AD 2015

 

 

My family and I saw the latest Star Wars on Saturday and I greatly enjoyed it.  It was a fine example of slam bam space opera and a rousing tribute to the best in the original trilogy of films.  Not deep entertainment but quite satisfying.  My review follows below the fold and the usual spoilers warning is in full effect.

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7 Responses to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Review

  • This was a welcome return to greatness by the franchise. My only minor complaint is an odd one considering the criticisms of the prequels, but they actually could have spent just a little more time explaining the politics. I had a hard time understanding just what the First Order was, and what happened to the republic, but I was able to better understand it from some quick internet searches.

    FWIW, recent photos of Hamill show he has trimmed down quite a bit, so it’s safe to assume he will play a more active role in the next film.

  • Actually, I’m mixed. Thought the elimination of cutesy characters was good. Also the effort harkened back to the first trilogy in story telling though weaker than the first two movies.

    Somewhat depressed by the aged Leia and Han though this was perhaps in part due to my advancing age. Also dismayed by the poor performance of Fischer. Maybe she is ill or whatever – just felt very stiff.

    I also thought Ren had more of a the feel of a 21st Century Millennial – conflicted and in need of therapy. Thought it paradoxical that he should seek to emulate his grandfather Darth Vader when it was Vader who in the end turned back to the light and destroyed the Emperor.

    My biggest complaint was with Rey. I thought Ridley did a very good job with the role but I had a problem with how Rey basically came to master the Force through her own efforts. In the past, Jedi needed to be trained by a Master. Now, Rey comes to be able to control the Force through her own self. She gains such control that she is able to beat Ren who one presumes has been trained for years. Felt this ability on Rey’s part was a betrayal of discipleship and humility taught in the first two movies.

    As for prognostications about Finn, I suspect he is also a Jedi (note how he was able to so effectively shoot down enemy fighters though he had limited training in the equipment.) So we shall see him in the future performing some heroic role.

  • You didn’t mention the Skellig Michael monastery scene. (Catholic content!)

    Amusingly (to me), Skellig Michael in pagan times was known as Teach Donn, the house of the god of the dead, Donn. In Christian times, it was said that if you were really desperately lovelorn and wanted to get married, you should go on pilgrimage to Skellig Michael. (And there’s at least one old song about it, which was sung every Spring to tease the local confirmed bachelors and old maids.) So that may be movie-relevant, heh!

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  • His death by his geeky son with Princess Leia, Vader wannabe, Kylo Ren, (Ben Solo) portrayed well by former Marine Adam Driver, was truly shocking.

    Oh c’mon, how could that possibly have shocked you. They telegraphed that the minute Kylo Ren stopped in mid-stride and cocked his head. Even through the mask you could see him thinking I sense something; a presence I have not felt since….

    And like Phillip I’m pretty sure Finn’s not really dead, just sleepy.

  • “Oh c’mon, how could that possibly have shocked you.”

    I expected an attack. I did not expect him to kill Hans Solo.

  • Repeat to yourself three times: “It’s just a film”. As Samuel Goldwyn is reputed to have said, ” If want to send a message, I’ll call Western Union.”

The Dark Knight Rises: A Film for the Age of Obama

Wednesday, August 1, AD 2012

I saw the film The Dark Knight Rises with my family last week.  I thought it went on too long, some of the various plot threads were confusing and the film required too much suspension of disbelief, above and beyond what is usually required in a superhero film.  It will not make my top ten list of favorite films for the year.  However, what is stunning about the film is that it conveyed fundamentally conservative messages.  Andrew Klavan tells us how, and the usual spoiler alerts apply:

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7 Responses to The Dark Knight Rises: A Film for the Age of Obama

  • And the Democrats were going to use the criminal Bane as a play against Romney’s Bain. I do not think they are capable of seeing and understanding the truth, whether it be portrayed in entertainment fashion or given to them straight like medicine.

  • I finally saw the movie last night, and can definitely see the implicit conservative, or rather anti-radical message. And, fwiw, it would definitely make my top ten list (not that I’ll even see ten movies). It was certainly better than the Avengers.

  • I don’t think the Occupy movement is going to be happy with this movie. I don’t know the Nolans’ background, but they appear to be students of history. I was struck by the scene where the Stryver character is brought in front of the kangaroo court. His appeal to the arch villain Bane echos the appeal of Genrikh Yagoda to Stalin during his show trial. It’s nice to see that there are few people out there who know that history loves re-runs.

  • I almost cried at the Cops marching in force against a more armed force.

  • Also, they got all the characters right! And I lost count of the number of scenes that were DIRECTLY from comics.

  • So, I’m not quite sure the actual reviewer nor the original poster of this quite got the message. To believe this movie is inherently conservative or anti-radical is pretty absurd. The movie’s message can be seen as quite radical. In fact, quite radical to the nth degree. Wealthy Capitalists and vagabonds are seen as the destructive forces inside of Gotham CIty. The League of Shadow, the major organization in the movie, has sought to destroy Gotham from the first movie. Their leader blamed the cold, criminal, and apathetic wealthy alongside the lower blue collar criminals. The point was that crime was rampant in every sector of life in Gotham. What Dark Knight Rises, and its source material suggests, is that when compassion, heroism, and justice are absent from a society, it crumbles. Absolutely crumbles. In each movie of the trilogy, wealthy trample the poor, poor trample the wealthy, and the government uses lies and deception to improve their circumstances. In fact, the movie makes its attempt at throwing away both forms of life. This is echoed in the film’s final moments when “Robin” repeats that rules become shackles, to which he then is implied to take up the mantel of Batman. It’s a view of American society as a whole, not just against the Obama administration.

  • Problem: only rich crooks we see are working with Bane. Vs the normal criminals who are criminals, and the victims of his envy politics, who are rich to middle class.