Jungle

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On one hand, I admire these sort of intrepid adventurers who abandon their comfortable existences to trek into places that, in occasions, resemble a different planet than the ones they are used to. On the other, I consider them idiots.

This one time I encountered a Frenchman living on a shack right next to the beach. I asked him what had brought him to such a far away place, and he said he had always dreamt of leaving civilization behind. He was the only white man for dozens of miles, now living in poverty in one of the most violent nations in the world. He seemed at peace. I never saw him again.

C+

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Juliet, Naked

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Scene: Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) just had a heart attack. He is in the hospital resting.

Characters: Annie (Rose Byrne), Tucker’s son, Tucker’s twin sons, Tucker’s daughter, Tucker’s two ex wives, Tucker’s ex-wife’s new husband, Tucker’s other daughter that he has never even met before, Tucker’s daughter’s whom he has met, and whom just had a baby, boyfriend.

Result: Hilarity.

Also, the obligatory and now traditional omg Rose Byrne!! comment.

B+

Vice

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I recount here the life decisions of a 23 year old woman who I consider to be one of the best people I know.

Born into an affluent family, and raised as such, she went to a private high school, and then got a scholarship to a liberal college in the East. Before graduating, she was interning for a very respected European vehicle manufacturing company. She was dating somebody who after interning at Amazon during the summers was set for a cushy first gig at the online retailer. Everything was set for them to get married, have a comfortable existence where money would never be in short supply, and pass it on their children.

“I know I’m probably going to be very poor, but the freedom and joy of serving God for a living outweighs anything else in life”, she tells me.
She long ago broke up with her boyfriend, who was never as interested in mission work as she was. She moved to Albania as a short term missionary first, and then long term, after she met a youth pastor who grew up in an orphanage and doesn’t have a penny to his name.
“His zeal for the Lord is contagious”, she says.

I suppose better to have zeal for God than for money, as the characters of Vice do.

B+