Wednesday, January 28, 2009



Eagle Eye
I’m glad someone saw from his original Disney show that Shia could act. He can, and it’s good to see him move on to movies. He has a good career in front of him. This is a general action movie a bit out of the future, a little sci-fi, but good.

The Duchess
Keira did a good job. It reminds me of course of The Other Boleyn Girl, another true story that is good enough to make into a movie with some artistic guesses and embellishments of course.

The Lakeview Terrace
Samuel Jackson is funny to me because there was one year where he had the title of most movies in that year than any other actor. He is indiscriminate in his choice of movies. It really seems like he’ll make just about any movie you pitch to him as long as he’s not filming one at the same time. This one had an interesting story line though, and I recognized Kerry Washington as one-half of an interracial couple that moves into their first house next door to a Black cop whose wife was killed in a car accident possibly riding with a white man (possible affair? Who knows?).

Woah! No one told me it was a superhero movie. I kept waiting for Will Smith to wake up from his dream. No joke. I also kept saying the whole time that that woman looked like Charlize Theron. You wouldn’t believe my surprise when I found it was her during the credits. There was something about her that looked completely different.

I fell asleep. But I think it’s good. Don Cheadle is in it (someone just said I reminded her of him), so perhaps I fell asleep because it was late and not because Don was in it. He’s a good actor.


I read two interesting books recently. Have you read them?
“A New Earth” and “Eat Pray Love” They were both so interesting I thought I would muse aloud. Though “A New Earth” was an Oprah Book Club book and the author of “Eat Pray Love” was on her show, I did not choose them because Oprah said they were good. I have never read any of the books she has recommended (well I don’t know what’s on her list). Someone gave me both books. And to be honest, I receive books every year and am never able to finish all the books given me. But I look forward to that day, still, when I have finished every book given me and can begin to read books for fun. Imagine that! Luckily I couldn’t take everything to South Africa and I had to leave an African-American fiction anthology (huge book), a biography of a U.S. general of whom I had no prior knowledge (huger book), and part of a book (the rest was torn away, thanks Elisa) by a theologian. I think those are the last 3, but they are not here so they don’t count. Here in South Africa. I have only 2 left to read. And yes, you guessed it, one of those was also from Elisa. Elisa gave me probably 4 books last year to read, and I love her more and more each day for it.

The most interesting part about both of these books is that they are supposed to be New Agey. I didn’t know this of course when starting to read them, but I went to an open-air outdoor concert with some Christian people from my church (redundant or not?) and someone commented on me reading those books. Anyway, I find it interesting whenever people join a group or religion and take on its name/label and decide to believe something other than its foundational beliefs or doctrine. I am ok with people believing what they choose. They have free will. But why call it by the name of a set of beliefs and then believe something else. It gets confusing. That’s why I found it interesting that Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat Pray Love) says in the book that she is not a Christian because she does not believe that Jesus is the only way (a common stumbling point/block for many on the faith journey towards God or the Christian God). I respected that statement. At the same time, my understanding of this faith game has changed as I have learned more and these days I just feel it’s all about the relationship with Christ which she seems to have no matter how correct her theology is. So I imagine that it’s possible for someone to have a relationship with Christ-God and not believe something that Christ said (that he is the only way) or reinterpret it differently. In that way, she might label herself as a Christian. But I just respected that, according to a traditional view and a traditional orthodoxy with its fundamental or foundational beliefs, she refuses to label herself a Christian. Interesting.

Eat Pray Love
This was an interesting book. After a divorce and a break up from her post-marriage boyfriend, a woman/writer travels for one year pursuing pleasure (Eat, not sexual intercourse) in Italy, pursuing God (Pray) in India (studying meditation at an Ashram), and then pursuing balance (Love) in Indonesia. My favorite part was the pray part because there was growth from the start of the book through the end of the pray section. She really “came into her own” if you know the expression. An Italian woman I met said Italy would have been better had she been in a better place in Italy. And I agree, but she grew into India. And it was wonderful. Indonesia wasn’t as good or definitely had a drop I think. Granted, she and I have different values, and that’s fine. There are still lots of truth in her book. But I didn’t like her equating intercourse with a man to a relationship. In that case, all my relationships are negated and were non-existent. I think she had something with him without intercourse. I would also have loved to see her keep her vow throughout the entire year.

A New Earth
I thought this book was interesting because even though it was New Agey, there were parallels between that and Christianity. If he replaced the word consciousness by spirit (or the spirit realm) and the universal intelligence by God, it would be saying the same thing. The only problem is that he elevated the spiritual dimension above the physical one which is also characteristic of traditional Christianity. These days (especially with emergent views) even with traditional Protestant denominations people are more understanding that the physicality and our bodies are important to God as well and that we will have bodies in the New Heaven and the New Earth. It took awhile but the author brought us back to the dual importance of both the physical and the spiritual in the end. First he had to break of us identifying with the physical world, our bodies, beauty, materialism before properly setting us in it. I thought it interesting how he interpreting a lot of Jesus’s sayings and Biblical verses in completely different ways than I have ever heard. Some made me laugh. He thinks all religions may be similar. I think many are similar but some are very dissimilar (like Christianity). But he has a point when you look at the mystics of each religion. Christian mystics, Sufis in Islam (like whirling dervishes), Kabala in Judaism, etc. Those seem somewhat similar as they are focused on experiencing God over orthodoxy and theology.


PS Off to the job market!

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