Films For Your Soul

About This Blog

I think many would agree that movies are more than entertainment.  They are modern day expressions of dreams and aspirations, love and fantasies, adventures and reality, visions of the past and of the future, entanglement of how it is and how we like it to be.  In other words, movies are art.  I wish for this blog to be a bit different from just another movie review or critique.  I often appreciate a film from a literary perspective, seeing the message and the theme by unfolding what the director packed into each scene.  But the excitement only begins when it speaks to the soul, stirring what is sitting calmly inside the body that ends up adding sparkles in the eyes, realizing there is a revelation that inspires one to become reverent.  Do I dare to say spirituality?

 

EYE IN THE SKY

When the audience sit on the edge of their chairs, listening in to the strenuous debates between the politicians, the military, and the legal advisors whether they have the justification to engage with the drone attack on a secretive terrorist gathering in Nairobi, Kenya with the possibility of fatally injuring a civilian girl, they are also viewing the portrayal of the inner battle of western conscience in the most dramatic form. (Read more)

 

 

LUCY

Went to see a movie on Saturday night with the intention of seeing a beautiful woman kicking ass (or whatever she wants to do) but end up stumbling on a profound conversation on evolution, human potential, and God.  Scarlett Johansson is accidentally dragged into an international drug ring where she is forced to transport drugs stored in her abdomen.  Due to a leakage, large doses of the drug enters her body rendering her able to fully utilize her brain cells over 24 hours…..(Read more)

 

 

AUGUST:  OSAGE COUNTRY

The story is about three daughters Barbara, Ivy, and Karen, getting back together to visit their mother at the disappearance of their father. Every character is trapped within her own situation with no way out. The pain is like a disease passed from one generation to the next. Symbolically, the mother (played by Meryl Streep) has cancer in her mouth, and her youngest daughter Karen needed to have a hysterectomy because of cervical cancer. Like the cancer, the broken relationship is also passed on from one generation to the next, which is evident when Barbara’s daughter rolled up the car window as she was driven away by her dad…..(Read more)

 

 

AMERICAN BEAUTY

American Beauty received a lot of buzz when it first came out in 1999, not only because it won itself five Academy Awards including best picture in 2000 but more so because of the common reaction of “What was it about?”……As the story unfolds, we might think that the theme of American Beautyis going to be, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” But the movie is anything but sensational. It’s iconoclasm marks our media-generated illusions without resorting to either a simple fatalism or a perverse cynicism. (Read more)

 

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY

When I walked out of the theater yesterday, I found myself lost for words to describe The Hundred-Foot Journey.  Images and vague concepts flew in and out of my mind without leaving any concrete ideas that kept slipping out of my pointless effort to grasp even the tail of what I just experienced.  And then, it came to me like a divine revelation.  Poetry!  It was sheer poetry! (Read more)

 

 

 

EXODUS:  GODS AND KINGS

The biggest question for me is “What am I looking for?” It’ll not be wise to see how faithful the movie is to the biblical story or how it stands against my expectations.  I suppose it has to do more with satisfying a curiosity – a curiosity of how it compares to Ten Commandments and how the director interprets this age-old story with a 21st century perspective.  The answers didn’t come easy.  One has to first figure out from which angle the director approaches the story, and things did not sink in for me until several days after watching this film…..(Read more)

 

 

WINTER’S TALE

Movies that are based on a novel often struggle with the choice of being faithful to the original work or creating a life of its own.  Without a good balance, the audience would feel like watching a juggler who keeps dropping things while he tries to rescue the day.  Such was my experience from watching Winter’s Tale

 

 

 

 

PHILOMENA

When you go to a movie starring Judi Dench, you can be sure that you’ll be seeing something good.  Whether she’s ‘M’ in a Bond movie or Philomena Lee in Philomena, Dench delivers a performance that has the kind of substance that conveys extraordinary in the ordinary.  But it was not until the end of the movie when you realize you’re watching something with a powerful message of grace and forgiveness. (Read more)

 

 

LIFE OF PI

When Life of Pi was first shown in the theater, friends rushed to me with excitement and told me that this film has a very spiritual flavor.  I could tell from their enthusiasm that they believed that I’m going to love this film.  For sure, it is beautifully done.  I basically agree with all the positive reviews out there that give high regards to the cinematography, the fine work of the director, the theme, and, yes, the spirituality….For its artistry, I’d give it an A plus!  But I don’t like this movie for what it says.  It is the message that rubs me wrong. (Read more)

 

 

THE GREY

The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, came out in between Taken and Taken 2, so it gives a false impression that it is another tough guy movie.  Instead of fighting criminals, Neeson is going to beat up grey wolves in Alaska because his plane crashed.  To my surprise, this movie is a piece of literature……As for the moral, the subject is on existentialism. (Read more)

 

 

The Subject-Matter of “Sin” in The Village, Babel, and I Am Legend

Would you believe me if I had told you the world is seriously talking about the problem of sin and they are looking for deliverance from God?  Well, it is true.  They are.  All that happened in a different language that Christians might not have understood.  In the last four years, three different movies, directed by three different directors, explored the subject of sin with such depth that not even Christian films have commonly achieved.  They looked at the subject matter from very different angles and dealt with completely different concerns. (Read more)

 

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