Archive for February, 2009

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The Dark Knight

February 28, 2009

After Heath Ledger’s Oscar win, I thought it was time to give The Dark Knight another viewing. Even on DVD, the action and darkness of the film still comes through strongly (especially watching it late at night). Much has been written over Heath’s performance which is so menacing, but so captivating. In fact the performances of the entire supporting cast raise the film above a typical comic book movie. Along with the well crafted actions scenes, the film creates suspense through delving into chaos and anarchy, and depth through its treatment of good and evil. It is those two themes which will receive comment below.

“Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order and everything becomes chaos…you know the thing about chaos – it’s fear.” The Joker’s motivation towards creating chaos is what makes The Dark Knight such an unsettling experience. Common criminals can be somewhat understood in their greed and arrogance, but the Joker creates the fear of the unknown; fear of disorder. He is right to observe that chaos leads to fear. However, put Jesus as king of the world, and chaos is replaced with order. God is a God of order and control. We have comfort rather than fear when face with chaos as we can trust that God left nothing out of his control and has a plan for our world. This is acutely felt when faced with the prospect of death. Nothing is more out of our control and so fear is the only option for those who don’t know Jesus. But he has promised a future of order, with all things under God and so beyond death is not chaos for those who trust in him.

**Spoiler Alert**

The tension between good and evil within a character is explored with great effect in the film. The goodness of the human spirit is appealed to as a sign for hope, as seen in the Joker’s failed ferry experiment. The hope of Batman and Gotham city was ultimately placed in Harvey Dent. However, this hope is a false hope as Harvey loses his ‘white knight’ morality. In the end, the city can only hope is the fake memory of Harvey, without the world knowing the truth of his actions. Although the film points to the human spirit to trust in, even the best of us fail. Only the Light of the World stood up to be a person to trust in, as he lived a consistent life of moral integrity, and is able to bring life to dark humans through his death on the cross.

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Top 5 singles – 23/02/2009

February 24, 2009

Here’s the first of my weekly top 5 singles:

23/02/2009
1 THE FEAR Lily Allen
2 YOU FOUND ME The Fray
3 LET IT ROCK Kevin Rudolf ft Lil Wayne
4 HALO Beyonce
5 GIVES YOU HELL The All-American Rejects

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The Oscars

February 23, 2009

Talent, Praise and Faith

The new-look Oscars ceremony has ended this year and Slumdog Millionaire came out on top with 8 awards. Favourites Heath Ledger and WALL-E were winners, while the upset came when Sean Penn edged out Mickey Rouke for Best Actor.

Here are some observations from the ceremony:
Talent –
What a performance from Hugh Jackman! On such a large stage (physically and metaphorically) there is such a demand on the entertainer to fill it and he did. It was such an enjoyable experience to be spared the cringing of past comedians and to watch quality musical numbers. Bring back Wolverine next year!

Praise –
Another new addition was having five previous winners in each of the acting categories return to introduce each nominee. They did so with great praise, not only for the performances, but also for the talent and personalities of the actors behind them. The tears in the best actress nominees’ eyes reminded me of the power of praise, particularly when it comes from those who are respected and esteemed by the recipient. I’m certainly going to use that as an encouragement to praise when praise is due, particularly to Him who made the world and all that is in it.

Faith –
Best Actress, Kate Winslet, as part of her acceptance speech said “I’d like to thank those who had faith in me.” It occurred to me that faith (as opposed to blind faith) is not a forgotten, foreign concept. For Kate, faith meant that those people saw who she was, trusted in her and her abilities and supported her accordingly. Faith in a Christian sense is seeing who God is, trusting him to restore us to relationship with himself through Jesus’ death on the cross and to respond accordingly in dependence and obedience. Faith is alive and well, but who you put your faith in makes all the difference.

Finally – Did you notice how many awards (including the screenplay categories) were cut from the telecast? I wonder if it was Channel Nine compensating for a late start so it wouldn’t have to cancel Underbelly. Anyway, it meant an earlier bed time for me!

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The Fear – Lily Allen >Review

February 21, 2009

As you’ll see on Monday, The Fear is one of the best songs going around. Lily Allen has enjoyed criticising modern life through her songs, all in a synth-pop style. The combination of a bubbly pop tune with biting lyrics always makes for engaging listening. The Fear is in this vein with her attention set toward the celerity world itself. It’s a timely reminder (especially during Oscar season) that those who we celebrate are often superficial and that which makes for a “fantastic” life, when analysed, is empty and misguided. However, what I can’t work out is where does Lily fit into all this? It’s all very well to sing a critique of celebrity, yet she is no doubt enjoying the benefits from it. So, is she deluding herself to think that it doesn’t apply to her, or is she genuinely living a life that is above and beyond the shallowness of celebrity. I’m sure the gossip mags will keep a close eye on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD-c6cx98ls

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Top 5 films of 2008

February 21, 2009

Well to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d put up my top 5 films for last year.

1. The Dark Knight – Viewers of At the Movies agree with me
2. In Bruges – Who would have thought Belgium would be cool?
3. Australia – No, I didn’t jump on the “it sucked” bandwagon
4. Juno – The screenplay deserved its Oscar
5. WALL-E – Because two robots showed the humans a thing or to about love

Let’s see what I will see this year…

P.S. Stay tuned as on Monday I hope to post my top 5 songs for last week.

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A Start

February 19, 2009

Welcome to “The Ton”. A blog for my comments and reviews of various pop culture items. It’s also an excuse to put my weekly top 5 songs up on the net. May the posts get you thinking about how you see the world and may it lead you to know (or know better) the author of the world. Hope you enjoy!