Counterpoint

While I admittedly can’t provide any empirical “evidence” as to the existence or non-existence of God, as an Agnostic (yes, I know the difference between Atheist and Agnostic) and a fervent Anti-Anti-Theist, here is some conclusive and indisputable evidence of the existence of ill effects of mandated Atheism…

“Hundreds of thousands of the new people, and later the depositees, were taken out in shackles to dig their own mass graves.
Then the Khmer Rouge soldiers beat them to death with iron bars
and hoes, or buried them alive. A Khmer Rouge extermination prison directive ordered, “Bullets are not to be wasted.” These mass
graves are often referred to as “The Killing Fields”…
The Khmer Rouge also classified people by religion and ethnic
group. They banned all religion and dispersed minority groups,
forbidding them to speak their languages or to practice their customs. They especially targeted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christians, Western-educated intellectuals, educated people in general, people who had contact with Western countries or with Vietnam, disabled people…

Confessions forced at S-21 were extracted from prisoners through
such methods as raising prisoners by their arms tied behind and
dislocating shoulders, removing toenails with pliers, suffocating a prisoner repeatedly and skinning a person while alive.” – Wikipedia
on Pol Pot, Atheist.

“Mussolini was an admirer of Friedrich Nietzsche. According to Denis Mack Smith, “In Nietzsche he found justification for his crusade against the Christian virtues of humility, resignation, charity, and goodness.” He valued Nietzsche’s concept of the superman, “The supreme egoist who defied both God and the masses, who despised egalitarianism and democracy, who believed in the weakest going to the wall and pushing them if they did not go fast enough.”
He believed that socialists who were Christian or who accepted religious marriage should be expelled from the party. He denounced the Catholic Church for “its authoritarianism and refusal to allow freedom of thought…”” – Wikipedia on Benito Mussolini, Atheist.

I find the comments about “freedom of thought” particularly ironic given Mussolini’s fascist ideology.

“Although raised in the Georgian Orthodox faith, Stalin was an atheist. Stalin followed the position adopted by Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. His government promoted
atheism through special atheistic education in schools, anti-religious propaganda, the antireligious work of public institutions…
discriminatory laws, and a terror campaign against religious
believers. By the late 1930s it had become dangerous to be publicly associated with religion. Stalin’s role in the fortunes of the Russian Orthodox Church is complex. Continuous persecution in the 1930s resulted in its near-extinction as a public institution: by 1939, active parishes numbered in the low hundreds (down from 54,000 in 1917), many churches had been leveled, and tens of thousands of priests, monks and nuns were persecuted and killed. Over 100,000 were shot during the purges of 1937–1938” – Wikipedia on Joseph Stalin, Atheist.

Dark Shadows (2012)

The last third is an exercise in cliche and waiting for the credits to roll.

Until then, Depp/Burton/Elfman create the marvelously beautiful, dark, and surreal vision that is every “goth” auteur’s ultimate and most fervent desire/dream, and then proceed to slam it into the ground.  Repeatedly.

In short, it’s goth without pretension.  Bravo.

Grade: B+

7/7/13: The last third, especially the “fight scene”, is too dull and/or stupid.  Grade: B

Three O’Clock High (1987)

Dark comedy that just happens to take place during a high school day.

Casey Siemaszko is brilliant, especially during the teacher-seduction sequence that is a variant on every hetero high school boy’s dream at one point or another. How do I know that? Experience.

I wonder if ‘The Mummy’ stole the library sequence?

Ending: Yes! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! (He’s a pugilist).

Inspirational Quote: “Now that’s what I call a book report!”

Grade: B+

When I Grow Up

“that delirious state of wishing and hoping and dreaming for things, not giving up.” – Shirley Manson

Hmmm…not bad.  Maybe I should revisit my Garbage reviews.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Demon Knight (1995)

Billy Zane makes a great demon here.

He’s suave, sophisticated, intelligent, cunning, physically attractive, a brilliant liar, and he preys on people’s deepest pains and weaknesses as if they were objects to be manipulated as easily as possible and then discarded when they ceased being useful.

Why does that sound familiar?

Zane is great here, and Jada Pinkett (later -Smith) is the second-best character, IMPO.

It could use more depth to the flashbacks (you know, more than two time periods in 2000 years), but otherwise this is a good supernatural horror flick.  Meaning, it has humor and intelligence with the gore.

Inspirational Quote: “I lied.”

Grade: B-

Sphere (1998)

This movie’s pretty deep…must be, oh I don’t know, 20,000 leagues deep.

Grade: D+

5/3/14: The reason I usually give one-liners as reviews is because I don’t particularly care for the movie, even if I am forced to admit it’s of a decent grade.  But this isn’t of a decent grade…it’s just boring, for the most part.  Grade: D

The A List – Movies/Long Subject

Airplane!
Aliens
American Beauty
American History X
Babe
The Book Of Eli
Braveheart
The Cabin In The Woods
Carlito’s Way
A Civil Action
Clear And Present Danger
A Clockwork Orange
Crimson Tide
The Crow
Dances With Wolves
Falling Down
The Fugitive
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai
Glory
Goodfellas
Land Of The Dead
Let Me In
Lethal Weapon
Men In Black
Minority Report
Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Nineteen Eighty-Four
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Platoon
The Princess Bride
Pulp Fiction
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
R.E.M. – Parallel
RoboCop
Rowan Atkinson Live!
Rush Hour
Saturday Night Live: The Best Of Commercial Parodies
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler’s List
Seven
Shadow Of The Vampire
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shining
Shrek
The Silence Of The Lambs
A Simple Plan
The Sixth Sense
Sling Blade
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
Swimming With Sharks
This Is Spinal Tap
Three Kings
Traffic
28 Days Later
Unforgiven
Witness

Last Updated: 9/19/14

There are others that would be here, but I haven’t reviewed them yet.  I’ll get to it.

They’re in alphabetical order because they’re all must-sees.

Masters Of Horror: Imprint (2006)

A “serious” attempt at ‘How To Get Ahead In Advertising’??!!

“It’s dull. Dull, dull, My God it’s dull, it’s so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL.” – Michael Palin

Oh, and pointless gore.

Why would anyone make this film?  Because the world is sprinkled with closet sadists.  Dull ones.

Talk to the hand…

HAIKIBA!

Grade: F-

Comparison

Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ is to Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s ‘Hagakure’ as a beautiful, refreshing, extremely lengthy wading pool is to an ocean.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Excerpts from FB’s “Anti-Theists. Pro Active Atheists. Opposing Religion.”

“If you’re religious you’re probably a mentally ill supporter of child rape”

“God is a monster”

“Catholicism: The belief that homosexual intercourse is disgusting and immoral once the child has turned 16.”

I’m assuming they’re saying all Catholics are Homophobic Homosexual Child Rapists.

Pictures insinuating all Priests are pedophiles and all umm…Rabbis or Muslims (I’m not good at picking up stereotypical racist drawings) are also pedophiles.

Israel spelled with a Swaztika, I’m assuming they’re saying Israel = Nazi Germany.

Liked “Weed-Smoking Atheists”…isn’t that illegal?

“Drugs are not good…some are superb”…isn’t that illegal?

Liked “Neil DeGrasse Tyson” and “Bill Maher”…

“I’m saying that doubt is the only appropriate response for human beings.” – Bill Maher

“…Doubt brings into question some notion of a perceived “reality”,
and may involve delaying or rejecting relevant action out of
concerns for mistakes or faults or appropriateness. Some
definitions of doubt emphasize the state in which the mind remains suspended between two contradictory propositions and unable to
assent to either of them…” – Wikipedia

“We don’t know what’s driving 96 percent of the Universe.” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Oh yeah, the vast human intellect can explain everything.

Exchange of the Day

Gee, the lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here, uh… staggers me.

Well thank you, Dr. Malcolm, but I think things are a little bit different than you and I had feared…

Yeah, I know. They’re a lot worse.

Now, wait a second, we haven’t even seen the park…

No, Donald, let him talk. There’s no reason… I want to hear every viewpoint, I really do.

Don’t you see the danger, John, inherent in what you’re doing here?
Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet’s ever seen,
but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun.

It’s hardly appropriate to start hurling generalizations…

I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power you’re using
here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what
others had done, and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the
knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for
it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something
as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you,
you’ve patented it, and packaged it, you’ve slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now

[pounds table with fists]
you’re selling it.
[pounds table again]
You want to sell it, well…

I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…

Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Condors! Condors are on the verge of extinction…

No…

If I was to create a flock of condors on this island, you wouldn’t have anything to say.

No. Hold on. This isn’t some species that was obliterated by deforestation, or, or the building of a dam. Dinosaurs had their shot, and nature selected them for extinction.

I simply don’t understand this Luddite attitude, especially from a
scientist! I mean, how can we stand in the light of discovery, and
not act?

What’s so great about discovery? It’s a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores. What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world.”

– Jurassic Park (the movie…the book is a lot better)

The Thing (1982)

John Carpenter has made exactly three good films in his 40+ year career.  And it’s not like the guy’s Stanley Kubrick, who was a perfectionist and only put out a film when he had made absolutely sure it was completely the vision he wanted it to be.  Carpenter churns out movie after movie, most of which are cheezy and/or mediocre.  So Carpenter’s success ratio is pretty wretched.

This is one of the three…probably the best, too, although that’s more indicative of Carpenter’s body of work than how good this is just taken by itself.  The special effects and “horror” imagery are just as good if not better than when he regurgitates them 13 years later for a similarly flawed but entertaining movie(‘In The Mouth of Madness’), not to mention much more fresh.  But there aren’t really any likeable characters here…there aren’t really any characters at all.  Just a bunch of last names to differentiate man A from man B from man Z.  Which makes it a lot easier to see them being killed one by one…you tend to feel more sympathy for a character when he’s more different from the next one than just “smokes weed” vs. “loves dogs”.

It gets a little hokey near the end…the guesswork is a lot of the fun, and the fewer contestants there are the fewer guesses there are to be made.  But for those who care, here is J.C.’s “best”, preserved from 30 years ago for a whole new generation of horror fans who probably couldn’t care less about it since it’s thought-not-gore based.  At least, somewhat.

Inspirational Ignorance: Sweden = Norway

Grade: B

7/19/12: It’s D@MN good for a movie without characters…D@MN good… Grade: B+

Con Air (1997)

‘The Flying Rock’.

Differences that matter: Not as dumb, not as macho, more accepting of what it is (escapist action).

Also: Nic Cage plays a better hillbilly than special agent (Wow!) and J. Malkovich > S. Connery.

Differences that don’t matter: Setting, “plot”, the usual…

It’s a huge fun pile of steaming meaninglessness and one-liners.

Inspirational Quote: “I despise rapists. For me, you’re somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you’re really thirsty.”

Grade: B-

4/1/14: MAN I was feeling generous…BARELY: Grade: C+

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

To get the actual movie quality review dispensed with, here it is…

The “action” sequences are almost as cheezy as the quasi-60’s “epic” film score.

At all other points, it’s very well-made and it is certainly as disturbing as it is intelligent.  A fictional documentary of perhaps the absolute height of parasitical development – The infestation in human form.

For all the morons that worship serial killers for their “Non-Conformity” to banality, here’s the Sterling example of the problem with that…for every person that conforms to societal norms of limits/regulations of acceptable conduct because they’re too stupid and/or afraid to do otherwise, there’s one (hopefully many more) that does so because they accept the fact that without certain simple, basic generally accepted absolute limits on behavior (e.g. you can’t kill and eat someone for sadistic pleasure as Hannibal Lecter does) the world would be even more fcked up than it already is.

Only Pure Anarchists, Lunatics, and Liars would dispute this.

Hannibal Lecter, and any real-life variation thereon = Tremendous and complete waste of vast human potential reducing said person to the equivalent of any other parasite…a mosquito or tick, for example.  That such a trivial thing can be worshipped is a statement on the desperation of some for an escape from the very same banality they supposedly despise.

Grade: A-

Rush Hour (1998)

Chris Tucker is no Eddie Murphy (circa BHC and BHC2…BHC3 sucked).

Nor is he Will Smith (circa Men In Black)

Jackie Chan is no actor (although he’s entertaining and fun to watch in his sincerity, effort, and self-effacing humor(see the outtakes)…and a great martial artist).

But they work up a simply (by that I mean simple, not purely) charming on-screen relationship, aided by a good script, good supporting cast, and good ideas.

Chris Penn is great as a briefly-appearing convincing criminal, and the bad guy’s main henchman is amazingly soft-spoken, cunning and Rabid as a Wombat.

It’s quite entertaining to watch if you don’t demand Master Thespians.

Are you not entertained??!!

Inspirational Quote: “Wipe yourself off, man…you dead.”

Grade: B+

7/19/12: For cop-buddy films that focus more on comedy than violence, this is right up there.  Grade: A-

The Fugitive (1993)

One of the best chase films I’ve ever seen.

And it has nothing to do with car chases, explosions, or any other generic action-film sh1t.

It’s about one brilliant mind versus another.

Grade: A

8/17/14: Too many parts aren’t up to the intelligence of the whole: too obvious, too dumb, or too cliche. Overall the movie’s good enough to survive this and it has some great parts, but these moments are noticeable and undeniable. Grade: A-