February 23rd, 2015

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Let Day 5 Retirement

Scripture Verses
•Mark 10:42–45
•John 14:12–17
•Colossians 3:23–24
•Ephesians 2:10

Questions to Consider
•What are the non-monetary benefits of work?
•What are the challenges you have with work?
•What do you think God has to say about those challenges?
•What does it mean to work for the Lord and not man?
•What is the role of “the Helper” (see John 14:16) in your work?
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"50 Shades of Gray" - film improves upon pulpy porn book

**50 Shades of Gray** is not a film for everybody, it is not a film that people will not admit to enjoying, but it is a film that people will secretly covet at home. At a critic's screening last Wednesday night, the audience laughed, got intensely quiet during the more graphic scenes and moaned during the cliffhanger ending. This is a tribute to Sam Taylor-Johnson's skills as a director than E.L. James' skills as a writer.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

The Imitation Game is not fake

After a mediocre 2014 at the movie theaters, it is apparent that Hollywood has decided to release their best motion pictures for the Oscar Awards season. With the exceptions of **Boyhood,** and **The Grand Budapest Hotel,** most of the best picture nominations did not go into national release until January 2015. After a long drought of visual ineptitude, these films provide hope that better motion pictures are on the horizon.




**The Imitation Game** premiered at the **2014 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival** and festival director Gregory Von Hausch could not guarantee a seat for a critic's screening. **The Imitation Game** had generated that much Oscar buzz from the European Film Festival circuit.

In the summer of 2002, I reviewed an espionage movie titled **Enigma,** which featured Kate Winslet as a code breaker who helped to defeat the Nazis. It was an absorbing story, but the screenplay ignored an important historical character, Professor Alan Turing. As played by Oscar nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, Turing is the central character of **The Imitation Game.**

The film opens in darkness with the sound of moss code. We learn that Nazi U-boats have been sinking the British Navy and American conveys with ease. British spies have located the German "Enigma Machine," but can not decode Nazi transmissions.

Enter mathematician Allen Turing, a brilliant mind with poor social skills. Placing an ad in the British press, Turing assembles a team of code breakers by having them complete a complicated crossword puzzle. Among the most gifted code breakers is Joan Clark (Keira Knightley). History shows that the good guys won World War II, but the cost of victory destroyed one man's soul. For those in love with analogue technology, espionage drama and group dynamics, then **The Imitation Game** is the film for you.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

This Mommy is no Joan Crawford

**Mommy** is a film from Montreal, Canada, spoken in French with English subtitles. It was Canada's submission to the Oscar race and was a Jury Prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival. **Mommy** is a simple story about a mother dealing with her mentally ill son.

The film opens with a car accident, as Mommy - Diane "Die" Despress (Anne Dorval) cusses out the driver she hit. She is picking her son Steve (Antoine-Oliver Pilon) from Detention. Steve's behavior was so atrocious that Detention can't reform him and that further disciplinary behavior modifications is expected.

Under this gloomy premise, **Mommy** has some beautiful moments. The Depress family makes friends with next door neighbor Kyla (Suzanne Clement), a shy academic with a stammer. From the emotional rollercoaster ride from happiness to sadness, the acting feels too real. **Mommy** is an exhaustive drama in the vein of a Eugene O'Neill or Tennessee Williams play.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Off we go into the Israeli blue younder....

**Above and Beyond** is a spirited documentary about the formation of the Israeli Airforce, circa 1948. Produced by Nancy Spielberg, **Above and Beyond** features interviews from surviving aviators and family members. Among the most recognizable faces is Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubenfeld), whose late father was one of the most heroic pilots of the first wave of Israeli pilots.

Featuring a mix of archive footage seamlessly edited with special effects from Industrial Light and Magic, **Above and Beyond** is thrilling history retold. There is personal loss, but there is also so many life affirming moments of young aviators in search of adventure. It is only through the wisdom of aging, that these young adventurers realized that they accomplished so much more for their family, faith and friends.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

(no subject)

As iconic as Albert Einstein was in the 20th century, Professor Stephen Hawking holds the same distinction in the 21st century. With appearances on **Star Trek The Next Generation** and **The Big Bang,** Hawking added gravitas to these television shows. Even if one did not understand what the man was talking about, one sensed that Professor Hawking's words were important. **The Theory of Everything** reveals the man behind the theory.

**The Theory of Everything** opens with young Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) , who is attending the Cambridge University graduate school with a major in astrophysics. He meets and courts Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), a literature student. While there is a theoretical clash between these two individuals, a mutual respect develops between the two. When Hawking makes a big theoretical breakthrough his body begins to deteriorate.

Hawking is diagnosed with a motor neuron disease and is given two years to live. As the two years pass, Hawking marries Jane, birth some children and Hawking becomes an international sensation with his theories about space, time and dimension. We witness the last time Hawking walks or when he holds his child.

Based on Jane Wilde-Hawking's autobiography, **The Theory of Everything** presents the hardships of a family dealing with special needs individual. We witness parents attempt to live a "normal life" for the sake of the children. Despite this bond, the call of academic spotlight provides the tipping point for the Hawking marriage.

In the last month, Eddie Redmayne has been attending the awards circuit and has returned home with silver and gold. Redmayne's Hawking is a transitional performance from a geeky and energetic young man, to that of an infirmed old man shackled to a wheel chair. The one constant theme of the performance is retaining Hawking's core spirit and humor.

**American Sniper** is a justified box office juggernaut and an inspirational award winning film. **The Theory of Everything** is just as inspirational, but in a quieter way. Much like the **X-Men** and **Dolphin Tale** movies, I've witnessed more people in wheelchairs attending screenings of **The Theory of Everything.**

At the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, one of the best films was titled **CinemaAbility,** a documentary about how Hollywood treats people with disabilities. As Walter White's son with cerebral palsy, actor RJ Mitte shared stories about working being a working actor with cerebral palsy. RJ Mitte will be in town next weekend to talk about his career at the **Shock Pop ComicCon.** For more details about meeting RJ Mitte, check out http://www.shockpopcomiccon.com/media-guests.html
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

This "Theory of Everything" has more heart than theory

As iconic as Albert Einstein was in the 20th century, Professor Stephen Hawking holds the same distinction in the 21st century. With appearances on **Star Trek The Next Generation** and **The Big Bang,** Hawking added gravitas to these television shows. Even if one did not understand what the man was talking about, one sensed that Professor Hawking's words were important. **The Theory of Everything** reveals the man behind the theory.

**The Theory of Everything** opens with young Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) , who is attending the Cambridge University graduate school with a major in astrophysics. He meets and courts Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), a literature student. While there is a theoretical clash between these two individuals, a mutual respect develops between the two. When Hawking makes a big theoretical breakthrough his body begins to deteriorate.

Hawking is diagnosed with a motor neuron disease and is given two years to live. As the two years pass, Hawking marries Jane, birth some children and Hawking becomes an international sensation with his theories about space, time and dimension. We witness the last time Hawking walks or when he holds his child.

Based on Jane Wilde-Hawking's autobiography, **The Theory of Everything** presents the hardships of a family dealing with special needs individual. We witness parents attempt to live a "normal life" for the sake of the children. Despite this bond, the call of academic spotlight provides the tipping point for the Hawking marriage.

In the last month, Eddie Redmayne has been attending the awards circuit and has returned home with silver and gold. Redmayne's Hawking is a transitional performance from a geeky and energetic young man, to that of an infirmed old man shackled to a wheel chair. The one constant theme of the performance is retaining Hawking's core spirit and humor.

**American Sniper** is a justified box office juggernaut and an inspirational award winning film. **The Theory of Everything** is just as inspirational, but in a quieter way. Much like the **X-Men** and **Dolphin Tale** movies, I've witnessed more people in wheelchairs attending screenings of **The Theory of Everything.**

At the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, one of the best films was titled **CinemaAbility,** a documentary about how Hollywood treats people with disabilities. As Walter White's son with cerebral palsy, actor RJ Mitte shared stories about working being a working actor with cerebral palsy. RJ Mitte will be in town next weekend to talk about his career at the **Shock Pop ComicCon.** For more details about meeting RJ Mitte, check out http://www.shockpopcomiccon.com/media-guests.html
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

This "Timbuktu" won't make you think of Eartha Kitt

The best thing about the awards season is that interesting motion pictures are being released at local theaters. **Timbuktu** has been nominated for best foreign language motion picture, the first entry from Mauritua, a country from the continent of Africa. **Timbuktu** is a beautiful motion picture, but with a depressing theme about Sharia law. Not since **The Stoning of Soryaya M.** has a motion picture addressed the terrors of Islamic Fundamentalism.

**Timbuktu** opens and closes with symbolism, a group of thugs race across the desert with automatic rifles - shooting at a racing deer, most likely a doe. Moments later, the thugs use sacred relics as target practice. The tone of the film shifts to a bucolic setting of farmers and cattle ranchers.

With low key acting, we watch a husband and wife quietly discuss the affairs of the day. While under the tent, these individuals entertain themselves with stories and the playing musical instruments. They talk about their dreams, expectations and a better future.

Yet in town, we witness a primitive Orwellian world. The hooded thought police troll the streets in search of neighbors violating Sharia Law. Rumors, gossip & hearsay are treated as fact in the kangaroo court of the land. This surreal environment creates a distressing situation that eventually leads to multiple tragedies between honorable people and profane sycophants.

The word **Timbuktu** evokes exotic romance. Director Abderrahmane Sissako provides these expectations with glorious cinematography, but he also creates a human story about a culture that is so foreign to the American way of life.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

Had the rhetoric been more balanced, "Selma" could have had a better box office

With much media hype, but modest box office gains, **Selma** has been nominated for best song and best motion picture. Much like last year's **Les Daniel's The Butler,** **Selma** presents producer Oprah Winfrey's perspective of civil rights history. Both films are entertaining with humane themes. Yet when one walks out of **Selma,** one feels as if they sat in a historical lecture from a biased professor. The rhetoric veers towards propaganda with incomplete historical detail.

Most notably, the casting of British actors Tom Wilkerson and Tim Roth as President Johnson and Govenor Wallace, respectively. The two British compatriots come across stereotypical two face cackling villains, which detracts from David Oyelowo's sincere performance as Martin Luther King.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"American Sniper" earned it's success

Much like his previous success with the Oscar winner **Million Dollar Baby** and the box office champion **Gran Torino,** Clint Eastwood's **American Sniper** has managed to break a January box office record with an amazing 104 million dollar gross. **American Sniper** has garnered six Oscar nominations, including best picture and Bradley Cooper's performance as Navy Seal shooter Chris Kyle.

The film opens in a most dramatic fashion. While stationed on top of a roof in Iraq, Kyle targets a woman and a boy. In his telescopic lens, Kyle spots a hand grenade. Should he take the shot or not?

The film flashbacks to Kyle's youth in Texas. A successful rodeo rider, Kyle watches CNN news and sees an American Embassy being bombed. Kyle realizes his life's calling - to protect and defend the people of the United States of America.

**American Sniper** focuses on Kyle's four tours of duty. While on leave, Kyle and his wife, Taya (Sienna Miller) raises two kids and attempts to adjust to civilian life. Yet, Kyle is haunted by the soldiers he feels he is abandoning on the battle field.

From the opening scene to the quiet closing credits, everything about **American Sniper** feels appropriate. As "the Legend," Bradley Cooper gives a genuine performance of stoic emotion. He is a true soldier who cannot acknowledge his vulnerability - even to the woman he loves. **American Sniper** deserves it's Oscar and Box Office success.
Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"Song One" is a sweet one

**Song One** stars Anne Hathaway and Mary Steenburgen. This is a quiet drama about a guitar singer who becomes brain damaged after being hit by a taxicab. His estranged sister Franny (Hathaway) tries to reconnect with her comatose brother though his interests.

**One Song** is a simple, sweet movie about musical therapy. Romance blooms, but that is not the focal part of this fascinating movie. This film is about the importance reconnecting a loved one through art and entertainment.