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Our (almost) free summer movie fest (with notes, of course)

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

So the desperate good folks at Blockbuster sent us an offer last week. We rent 1 new release (at 2.99) and get 1 free movie a night until July 4th. While I’m not a fan of Blockbuster, I am a fan of movies. And I’m a huge fan of taking advantage of silly corporate moves like this without contributing another dime to their bottom line. So we’ve watched a lot of movies this week. One a night, in fact. For free. Thanks, Blockbuster.

Here’s the list. We went mostly with movies that weren’t high on our netflix list or we couldn’t stream on netflix. I might also point out that I let K make a lot of the choices since I tend to be the one the picks the movies. And of course, I can’t help but make a comment or two about each.

True Grit – loved this film! Great performances. Even though it’s a western and a remake, it felt like a Coen brothers film (which I love). If you haven’t seen it – you need to see this movie. (K liked it too, btw)

Other Guys – This is the first time Will Farrell has been funny to me in a long time. Wahlberg is great, too. Ridiculous movie, but fun.

Kid movie – Rebekah picked it. I’m sure she loved it.

The Switch (aka Jennifer Aniston still plays Rachel pt.100) – I agreed to this b/c I love Jason Bateman. And he’s pretty good in it. Some funny moments, but it’s a rom com. SPOILER ALERT: The whole formula is there. Zany circumstances. They can’t be together. Wacky best friends (Jeff Goldblum is great in this role btw). The heartfelt revelation. I never want to see you again. Soul-searching montage. Reconciliation. Wedding. Weird thing from earlier in the movie is resolved. Happily ever after.

Just Go With It (aka Aniston as Rachel in Hawaii) – See above. Sub Sandler for Bateman (although I’m not as big a fan).

Underdog – Kids got to pick again. I have to admit – I kind of liked it. I loved the cartoon as a kid and the movie stays pretty true. They even go overboard to make Peter Dinklage look like Simon Barsinister.

Tron: Legacy – This just made me sad. First, George Lucas beats my childhood to the ground with the prequels (you know what I’m talking about) and Indy 4. Now, Disney has finished it off by sucking the life out of Tron. Remember all of the things you loved about Tron? Well, they aren’t here. Instead, we get 10 minutes of light cycles and disc battles and then 45 minutes of Jeff Bridges channelling “The Dude” while sitting in the Lotus position and “talking to the sky”. I felt like I needed to apologize to the kids for making them sit through it.

The Dilemma – I like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. And I like Ron Howard films. My issue with this movie isn’t that it wasn’t good, I thought it was OK, the problem is that the movie that is advertised isn’t the movie that’s delivered. The trailer makes this film look like a comedy. It isn’t (really). There are some genuinely funny moments, but there is a lot of drama and friendship stuff worked out all the way through. Oddly enough, about 30 seconds of the trailer is cut from the film.

So there you have it. More opinion than you want, but perhaps some fair warning. Any suggestions for our last movie tomorrow?

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Categories: films, life Tags: , ,

you can’t lose

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Bottom of the third. First game of our biggest tournament of the season. 9-1 lead. As the Dirt Dawgs take the field, the coaching braintrust decides to save our starting pitcher’s arm, so I tell the pitcher to move to second and Nathan to take the mound.

At this point, I should note that Nathan had never  pitched in a game. In fact, he’d only thrown about 20 pitches off a mound after practice as we were messing around to see if he could do it. So telling him he was going to pitch in a big game was first, shocking and second, terrifying.

After I got back to the dugout, I turned around to watch him warm up and saw him in a near panic as he was giving his name to the umpire and getting ready to throw his warm-up pitches. To head off the impending meltdown, I jogged back out to the mound to explain the situation to my 9 year old little man.

“We’re up 8, the most they can score is 7 (this tourney had a run per inning rule). No matter what you do, you can’t lose this game. You can’t fail.”

The shoulders relax. The grin comes out. Now we’re ready to play ball.

First batter – hits the first pitch hard back to the mound. Nathan fields it clean and throws him out. 1 pitch, 1 out. The grin gets bigger.
Second batter –  bunts for a hit. Then scores on the next pitch as he steals second and gets around on a error.
Third batter – strikes out on 5 pitches. The grin is now so big I’m afraid he’s going to trip over it.
Fourth better – grounds out to 3rd.

Four batters, 13 pitches, 3 outs, we win. Nathan runs off the field and jumps into my arms, convinced that this pitching thing is easy.

As I think about it (with probably an unhealthy amount of pride), I’m struck by the power that comes from understanding that there is no way to fail. Fear turns to confidence. Freedom and faith break out. Tears are swallowed by a grin that just keeps growing. Confidence gained yields a greater willingness to risk again.

What if the Church created space for dreamers to go big, but with a safety net beneath them, just in case? What if success wasn’t measured in results, but rather attempts?

What would you tackle if you knew you couldn’t lose?

Categories: Church, family, Jesus, life, sports Tags: , ,