Friday, July 15, 2011

Pop Culture Roundup

I just started reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Vergese, though I'm not very far into it yet so I can't say too much about it.

I watched Chaos Theory this past week, starring Ryan Reynolds as Frank, an efficiency expert who is incredibly organized and punctual for everything. His wife, meaning to set the clocks ten minutes forward in order to help him be on time for a big presentation, sets them back instead and makes him late, which starts a domino effect of events that disrupt his entire life outlook. Or at least, that's the premise. First off, reading that description caused me to expect something along the lines of Yes Man: overly cautious guy learns to let go and try new things. I was pleasantly surprised that this is a far more weighted film: it does have some humor, but what happens to Frank is far more upsetting and serious. Reynolds, of course, pulls it off very well. Second, the fact that he's ten minutes late is not necessarily the reason why what happens next happens - it could have happened whether he'd been on time or not, but that didn't bother me too much. At times, there isn't really a likable character to be found, but that's part of the messiness that the movie portrays. It was a great piece of dramedy, probably one of the best movies I've seen so far this year.

We went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 last night/this morning. I write this in a bit of a haze since I haven't had that first (second, third, and fourth) cup of coffee yet. Regardless, this was a great finish to the franchise. It had a lot of action, mostly consisting of the final battle at Hogwarts. But it also managed to hit the right dramatic notes when presenting Snape's background, Harry's preparation to meet Voldemort and accept his initial fate, and the overall chaos of battle that includes the loss of beloved characters. It managed to be a well-balanced movie that way, never feeling slow but also never feeling bogged down with the action sequences. As a bonus, there's a trailer for next summer's The Dark Knight Rises shown beforehand, which I was as excited to see as the movie itself.

The artist formerly known as Real Live Preacher, Gordon Atkinson, has re-emerged at a new blog called Tertium Squid. I'm very glad to be able to read his writing again.

I came across this praise song the other week, called "Revelation Song." I like this version despite the 4,297 people on the stage who don't understand the concept of "less is more." I like the tune itself, and plan to bring it to a certain rural Ohio UCC church in the near future in a much simpler, more stripped down manner: