The Monuments Men film review

If you had no military training, were past your physical prime, and were making a good living doing what you love to do, would you be willing to risk it all by entering into a war zone in an attempt to save some of the most important historical works of art from possible destruction? While this might make for a great start to a game of “What if,” for a group of men in the 1940’s, this very challenge became their reality.

World War II was winding down, and it had become known that Hitler had stolen many of the great works of art from the museums in the European countries he invaded. He was collecting the art to display in his own museum, which was to be built after he claimed victory in his conquests. But with the prospects of victory looking dimmer by the day, he left a different set of instructions: in the event of his death, all the art was to be destroyed. Picasso’s, Rembrandt’s, Michelangelo’s gone.

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Gimme Shelter review

True stories about people who have performed incredible acts of humanitarianism tend to be very heartwarming, but lacking in the kind of conflict that can make for an entertaining film-going experience. Even when the central character is known on a larger scale for their exploits, say Mahatma Gandhi, the films around them can tend to get bogged down in boring details and lose site of the heart of the work the person was engaged in. While it may make for a great History Channel biopic, it’s not as interesting to watch as a story of someone who overcame great adversity to find success in life. This was my line of thinking as I sat down to watch the upcoming film Gimme Shelter, well once I first dismissed the idea that it had something to do with the beginnings of the Rolling Stones- it doesn’t.

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The Conjuring Film Review

Before Ed and Lorraine Warren encountered the Amityville house that has already been made famous in film, they helped Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five girls to be free of some very strong, evil spirits in a farmhouse they were living in. The paranormal activity involved voices in the night, moving furniture, strange bruises on the family, injury to pets, and even the possession of Carolyn. The latter event resulted in Ed performing an exorcism despite not being ordained by the Catholic Church. The story of this event is the main subject of the new film The Conjuring- opening Friday.

The film adaptation of the Warrens’ account of working with the Perrons, was done by brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (White Out, House of Wax). They draw the audience in immediately with what could stand alone as an excellent and very scary five-minute short film about a possessed doll. Taken from a story of an encounter the Warrens had previously, it is used perfectly as a self-contained opening that instantly makes the audience jump even while knowing the scare is coming. It is a relief when the lights come up at the end of the sequence and we find that Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are giving a presentation on possession and the doll is now safely locked away in a room in there house.

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Are Evil Forces at Work In The World?

The Conjuring Possesses the Mind With Deep Theologial Questions

When I was 12 years old, my parents bought a house that was constructed around 1900. It was an old two-story house with creaky floors and squeaky pipes; the kind of house one might assume to be haunted. Shortly after moving in, while sitting alone in one of the upstairs bedrooms, I threw a quick glance towards the door just in time to catch a figure moving out of view down the hallway. Wondering who it was, I got up and followed, only to find the corridor and subsequent rooms that branched off it to be empty.

Certain I had just had an encounter with the paranormal, I shared my experience with my family and friends. From that day on, every settling of the house, howling of the wind, or flickering of a light bulb took on a new significance. It wasn’t an old foundation, a shoddy window or faulty wiring; it was confirmation of the belief that we weren’t living in the house alone. It was a fun belief that added excitement to moments that would have otherwise been fairly mundane.
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Man of Steel Review

As I waited for my food at a small restaurant near the theatre, a woman next to me noticed the ticket I was carrying. “You’re screening Man of Steel?” Her question hung in the air with bated anticipation of my answer. As I began to nod, she immediately replied, “You’re so lucky, I can’t wait to see it!” It was then that I realized how intense the buzz is for this film. Although, I should have recognized it when I met up with my “plus one” friend for the screening and saw that he was wearing a Superman shirt.  I might have instantly felt somewhat less professional, were it not for the enchanting quality of his childlike giddiness—a giddiness I must confess to engaging in.

Man of Steel opens Friday, and it will undoubtedly be the top movie at the box office.  The basic story of Superman is one that almost everyone knows, whether it be from the comics, the 1950’s TV show starring George Reeves, the series of films starring Christopher Reeve, the Bryan Singer rendering (that we’ve made an unspoken pact to agree never happened), or the two TV series that focus on the human aspects of Superman’s life: Lois & Clark (the alter ego Clark Kent) and Smallville (Kent’s coming of age in middle America). The story of a man, sent from a world beyond, who has superhuman abilities and chooses to use those abilities to help others, is one that people have found fascinating for centuries.

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Zac is a graduate of Asbury Seminary, working in the film industry as a producer and director. His next film, Out of the Ashes, goes into production this fall.

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