Monday, May 31, 2010


     This BBC film was nominated for three Academy Awards this past year: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.  It came out in 2009.  When I rented it, I was thinking it would be in the vein of the Poison Ivy movies, ie a teacher-student fling.  I had not done a lot of research on it, and it actually turned out to be quite a different movie than what I had expected it to be.
     Carey Mulligan plays Jenny, a cute school girl who falls for a man more than twice her age, David, played by Peter Sarsgaard.  She is bored with her daily routine and going to school.  She needs a change. She wants to break away.  David is able to offer her travels, cultural experiences involving exposure to art and music, money, and attention.  He seems like a great guy, but there is more than meets the eye. You'll have to watch the movie to find out what that is, if you haven't seen it yet.
     This movie is a good examination of older guy, younger girl hookups. What is the draw for each party involved? What needs are being met on both parts? The movie allows you to draw your own conclusions about the morality of the actual relationship.
     The topic of education could also be studied using this movie, which is based on a memoir.  How much value is there in formal education? How could school be made more relevant to everyday life and peak the students interests and engage their passions? I think the movie shows that there are some lessons you can not learn in school. Life outside the brick walls has to teach you them. And you may have to learn the hard way. 
     Emma Thompson holds steady as Jenny's headmistress, while Alfred Molina is good as Jenny's dad, Jack.
     This one is on the slower, artsy side of things, but i'm giving it a 3.75 out of 5.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


     Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have been making country music together as a duo for a couple decades, and racking up over twenty number one's in the process.  They can sing about having a good time in a bar, and matters of faith equally well, and perhaps that has been part of their draw.  We are all 'saints and sinners' depending on the day or the hour.  There is a certain realness to their songs.
     THE LAST RODEO tv special aired this past Sunday night on CBS from 8-10pm est.  It was actually filmed though in Las Vegas shortly after the Academy of Country Music Awards.  As with any tribute show, this one had its' share of hits and misses.  Chick magnet Keith Urban gave a solid performance on 'Brand New Man' with its' religious lyricism.  Brad Paisley in a trademark white cowboy hat, did justice to the upbeat"Workin' on my Next Broken Heart'.  Carrie Underwood donned a nice silver dress and covered 'Neon Moon' which she said she'd been singing since she was eight years old.  I particularly enjoyed Taylor Swift's performance of 'Ain't Nothing Bout You'. She came out in a sparkling purple dress and was certainly not lacking in the energy department. I hope she records this one! Swift has a likeable, innocent personality.  I loved it when she tossed her guitar and took to the mic. 
     Other performances left me unmoved at times.  Darius Rucker's 'Hard Workin' Man' fell flat for me, but it was superb compared to Jennifer Hudson's awful take on 'Believe'.  Sugarland attempted to be artistic with one of my favourite Brooks and Dunn songs 'Red Dirt Road', but it was so slow it was almost depressing.  No one dared touch 'My Maria'.  I would have liked to have heard someone do "You can't take the Honky Tonk out of the Girl'.  I love that vid by the way!
     There is no doubt Brooks and Dunn influenced those who came after them.  They have set records that will be hard to beat as well.  Best of luck with your solo careers after one last tour together guys!

Monday, May 03, 2010


     I received this Joyce Meyer book from my dad this past Christmas. NEVER GIVE UP came out in 2008 and is published by Faith Words.  I used to watch Joyce on tv more frequently and generally liked what she had to say. 
     This book is a must read for anyone who is going through, will go through, or even has gone through difficulties of any kind, whether the troubles be of a financial, relational, emotional, physical, psychological, or spiritual nature.  I like the book because unlike some prosperity teaching it starts with the premise that we will all go through troubles and can't just wish them away.  They are a part of life for believer and non-believer.  Troubles can be persistent. They are not easy to work through.
     I appreciated Meyer's honesty in revealing some of the difficulties she has had to work through over the years.  These include suffering abuse at the hands of her father, and facing ridicule as a woman trying to enter the ministry.  While she does not go into too much detail, she gives enough that she seems just like the rest of us trying to work her way through this thing we call life. 
     Reading this book you will learn the importance of properly using God's Word, purposely thinking in a proper manner, and defending yourself against the devil's attacks.  She assures the reader that rewards will come for our diligence and faithfulness, but they may not come in the form we desire them to or at the time we think they should.  Bravo Joyce! 
     This book could be used in so many ways really-to fight self-doubt, self-pity, depression, the list goes on.  Whether you are a post-secondary student, a middle-aged parent, or a senior citizen fighting loneliness you will find helpful tips in this book. It's easy to read and encouraging!