If by year’s end I were to craft a list detailing my favorite scenes of all the movies I watched in 2018, the weather advisory in Deadpool 2 would be at the top.
What did I do to deserve such a comedic gem?
I like to think that my blatant enjoyment of this parachute sequence (I was laughing so hard I had to turn to my neighbor, I couldn’t contain myself) is a reward for all the times I have sat in a movie theater, indifferently observing men in tights saving the planet over and over again.
Every superhero movie that I have ever watched is not so unmemorable now that it led, in one way or another, to the creation of this unparalleled comedy spectacle.
With one hand can I count the movies that have made me squirm so uncomfortably in my seat as the cringe inducing Ingrid Goes West. So what made me react so strongly to this movie, which is not particularly memorable besides Aubrey Plaza’s loopy performance?
My theory is that the Instagram Age has turned everybody, regardless of follower count, into an artist. Naturally we strive for success, measured in the ever precious likes and comments. When we fall short we risk losing exposure, the lack of which can prove fatal to our purpose of staying relevant. And once that’s gone, what is left but a seeming announcement to the world that we could not make it, that we are not good looking, popular or funny enough?
Maybe the fact that this made me so uncomfortable is because I too have fallen prey to the allure of the like. Hashtags, witty captions, that perfect angle; I want to appear cool because I don’t feel like I am. I want people to like me because I am lonely. The movie’s resolution does not provide a remedy to the need for validation from strangers, but gives in to it. The protagonist will continue to lead a life dictated by the interest of others; whether that’s a happy ending or not depends on what kind of an Instagram user you are.
The most horrific movie sequence of 2018 surely belongs to Tully: a barrage of cross cuts showing the non glamorous, filthy, maddening tasks of being a mother.
It is easier for somebody who does not believe in an ever loving God to make sense of the injustices of this world. A believer, on the other hand, must come to reconcile the truth of a benevolent and kind God with the bitter realities of a life marked by pain and disappointment.
How do the children of God carry on in the face of profound sorrows? The Rider, a frequently moving and lyrical picture, posits that the Almighty has crafted each and every creature on this earth for a purpose, so we should pursue it, against all odds.
I look at myself, weary and slowly losing faith of ever achieving my dreams, and wonder. If God made me with a purpose, why aren’t I fulfilling it? Why am I stuck with such a mediocre and unexceptional existence? Prayer is hard to come by now, so preoccupied are my thoughts on what to do next. It was never supposed to be this way.
I had so much hope for the future, so much love and trust in my Savior, so much joy in the today. But more and more that feels like a bygone era, a person who was unaware that this world destroys goodness and God is…where is God?
“Executive sir, would you like to fund my movie?”
“What’s your movie about?”
“About a serial killer”
“Sorry, those stories are a dime a dozen”
“But wait, let me finish. The serial killer used to break horses as a kid, but was traumatized. So now he breaks people.”
“Take all of my money”
The universal language of hope is why this flick has broken every box office record in history. As cinema it is not particularly profound, nor does it prove insightful to the follies and manners of humankind. But who really needs our nature to play out on the screen, when most of us go to the theater to escape reality, not dive deeper into it?
Superhero movies are box office behemoths because they portray the world as it should be-sure, there’s extraterrestrial invasions all the time, but there are also men and women of good, men and women who do right for right’s sake, who willingly lay down their lives for strangers, and who will never stop until all darkness has been vanquished.
It is this what we aspire to do, to be able to correct the wicked course of the world. Superhero movies are wildly, maniacally successful because they display our dire need for a savior, and how incredibly cool it looks when we finally let them take the wheel.
I really do, but just not this movie.
A friend asked once why I was against premarital sex. I told her that as a man I had no problems with it, or any of the plethora of pleasure seeking activities so in vogue nowadays. There is no reason why people should not be allowed to imbibe their hearts desire, whatever it may be.
However, I continued, as a Christian I cannot agree with it because disagreement with the Word of God is akin to being disobedient to Him. I cannot indulge in the desires of my heart because my heart is wicked, and I defer to the better judgement of the Almighty when He said to drop everything I wanted, take up the burden of the cross and follow Him.
When electing officials to public office, how do you measure integrity? There are two candidates in play. One of them has been unfaithful to their spouse, and it has become common knowledge. The other let a woman to drown and die, but nobody knows.
A vote for candidate one is an implicit vote on marital infidelity. A vote for candidate two seems, on the surface, the better choice, but now you have given the keys to the city to a murderer. Is cheating worse than being a coward? If both candidates are liars, who lies more often? The questions this produces can be never ending.
When talking about integrity and politics we should be careful not to fall into the trap of surface level discussions, and consider that public officials are rarely the ideal of the man and women we should be aspiring to become.
If Hollywood is to be trusted, planet Earth is the most coveted real estate in the universe. The last decade alone has seen aliens invade it, try to subjugate it or blow it up. This gets tiring after the umpteenth iteration of watching skyscrapers tumble and unnamed pedestrians fleeing for their lives; life ceases to matter, so disposable it has been shown to be.
A Quiet Place is not one of those movies. Like the recent Annihilation, by shrouding the Apocalypse in unknowns it generates the type of interest in the destruction caused by aliens that other flicks like to pretend they do. “It`s Sound!”, reads a newspaper headline. It is a scary and ominous a headline as has ever been printed; one can easily imagine the horror of mankind upon such realization. And then the movie progresses, and one does not even have to imagine it anymore; you feel it.