Friday November 30th 2007, 5:00 am
Filed under: music, tv/movies

51UQA3RJNiL-_AA240_.jpgi saw an amazing movie on the flight up to vancouver the other day, called once, starring Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.

it’s the story of a dublin busker (hansard) who works in his aging father’s vacuum repair store during the day, but hits the streets of dublin daily to play his guitar and sing his songs. he befriends a young immigrant single mother (irglova), who soon becomes his musical partner, foil and muse. both are in strained relationships (he with a former girlfriend who has moved to london, and she with a disinterested husband who didn’t move to dublin with her) and work to figure those out in the midst of their growing friendship and potential romance. the ending is honest, not predictable, and definitely not hollywood.

the two are both (in real life) actual musicians, and all the songs in the movie are their own. hansard is an amazing song-writer, and i have fallen in love with the songs (and downloaded the soundtrack from itunes). irglova has a beautiful voice, and is a captivating actor, bringing a fresh innocence that is spellbinding.

the movie is actually billed as a “musical”, because they perform many full-length versions of songs throughout. the songs are so good, i found myself ready with anticipation for the next song (whereas, in many “musicals” on film, the songs seem like filler). the movie won the audience choice award at sundance last year, and i can see why. i totally want to watch it multiple times.

find this movie. buy it from amazon if you have to. it really is worth it.


darth does the blues
Tuesday October 16th 2007, 5:06 pm
Filed under: humor, tv/movies

this is so random, and totally caught me off guard. i was laughing so hard i almost choked on my chicken strip.

finally, dwight schrute has posted to his blog
Thursday September 27th 2007, 6:43 pm
Filed under: humor, tv/movies

after a long summer blogging hiatus, dwight is back. just hours away from the fall premiere. yee-ha!

a teaser of the post…

Hello internetizens. I have returned from my web logging hiatus. You may be asking yourself, “what happened to Dwight all summer?” Shut up. It’s none of your business. Just focus on the present. In this case, the present has two meanings. In its first usage, it is temporal. The present is the here and now. It is also being used to mean “a gift.” This web log is a present from me to you, the reader, because you do not pay for it and I am giving it to you. Enjoy your present (both meanings).


the office: what you did on summer vacation
Friday September 14th 2007, 9:27 am
Filed under: tv/movies

this is the very definition of awesomeness:


the namesake
Saturday September 01st 2007, 6:00 am
Filed under: books, tv/movies

, by Jhumpa Lahiri. also a movie, out on dvd.

someone recommended this novel to jeannie, and she read it on our rv trip. i “ran out of books” on that trip, and picked it up. such an interesting read!

the namesake ploddingly, normally, non-flashily follows the life of a first generation couple from india (who move to the u.s.) and their second generation son. it gracefully reveals the difference in struggles between first generation and second generation immigrants. really, it’s the story of the mom and the son, while the other characters (particularly the father) aren’t unimportant. and, at the end of the day, the book is really a struggle to find an identity for the second generation son. the mom knows her identity, which has nothing to do with america, other than that it’s where her husband and children live. but the son struggles to define his identity — particularly the role india and his heritage play.

it’s not exactly a pick-me-up story. but it’s worth reading for more than it’s casual, easy storytelling. for me, it was instructional, educational. that might sound like i’m saying it’s boring. not at all! i’ve been trying to find the movie — which stars kal penn — but no one has it, so i think i’m going to have to buy it.

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welcome back potter
Friday July 27th 2007, 9:48 am
Filed under: humor, tv/movies

funny mashup of harry potter and welcome back kotter:


jack chick’s titanic
Sunday July 22nd 2007, 6:00 am
Filed under: church, tv/movies

when i was a kid, i had a collection of chick tracts (for the uninitiated, they’re little comic book evanglistic tracts with transparently thin storylines and lots of “literal flames of hell” threats and such). i thought they were cool. my favorite was “a demon’s nightmare.” the ‘plot’ (loose use of the term there) is still seared into my brain.

chick published a tract (still available for order online, and fully printed online here called titanic. so, some peeps took the actual text from that publication and mashed it up with scenes from the movie titanic, mixing in some additional animation scene work from a jack chick painting or two, resulting in this 8 minute video.

i found this somewhere in the mix of interesting, funny, creative, and disturbing.

ht to the wittenburg blog, who rightly comment:

Anyway, see if you can figure where these folks are coming from. I can’t. It’s actually a pretty effective presentation of the cost of unbelief, in a scary fundamentalist sort of way. But on the other hand, the Titanic’s orchestra plays Metallica’s Enter Sandman instead of Nearer My God to Thee. Viewers seem generally confused, judging from the comments. Some are mad because the clip makes fun of Jesus. Others are mad because it makes fun of Titanic their favorite movie. Still others are mad because it makes light of a disaster. Yea, verily, others are mad because it wasn’t funny or because the heaven/hell part either scared them or brought them down.

All in all, an interesting take on that mesmerizing and maddening cultural phenomenon, the Jack Chick tract.


american idol concert report
Friday July 20th 2007, 3:15 pm
Filed under: music, tv/movies

well, i survived. liesl loved it. here’s a pic:


and, for your enjoyment or annoyance, a little quiz i made up this morning…

possible answers:
Haley Scarnato
Jordin Sparks
Sanjaya Malakar
Blake Lewis
Chris Richardson
Chris Sligh
Gina Glocksen
LaKisha Jones
Melinda Doolittle
Phil Stacey

the questions:

1. Official sponsor of the tour?

2. Even though this Idol has a great voice and great looks, who is still completely unmemorable?

3. Who sang a Whitney Houston song (“I will always love you”) that gave liesl chills, and brought a tiny tear to the corner of my right eye.

4. Who has a great voice, but still looks like the love child of dr. evil and mr. spock? and (same answer), who yelled out “San Diego!” more than all the others combined?

5. Who talked about late-night girl chats about “the lord”?

6. Who is every youth pastors dream student?

7. Who is, in my opinion, the hottest idol?

8. Who got some boos mixed in with the cheers?

9. Who played the guitar on many of his performances and a few others?

10. Who got the loudest cheers, by far?

11. Who sang in more songs than any of the others?

the answers:
1. pop-tarts. it was ev-ry-where. a pop-tart in a costume was walking around pre-show. if only they’d handed them out.
2. haley. every time she’d come out, i’d lean to liesl and ask, “which one is she again?”
3. lakisha. the girl can sing. dang. and knowing a bit of that “from flint, michigan” story adds a bit of emotional punch.
4. phil. dude, sorry, but the navy is calling you back.
5. melinda, with jordin. in a bit of on-stage banter, we found out they love to have late-night girl talks. sometimes about boys. and sometimes about the lord.
6. jordin. cute and friendly. humble. spiritual. mature. and can front the youth group worship band like nobody’s business.
7. gina. rar (that’s my tiger sound).
8. sanjaya. oh, sanjaya. at least it looked like you were having fun. i’m sure you know it will be short-lived.
9. chris sligh. actually played acoustic, electic, and bass, at various times. oh, and chris r played the drums adequately. and phil stacey wasn’t a bad keyboard player. probably the most unintentionally funny moment of the night was when the five guys came out and sang and played as a band (without the real band backing them). chris r played drums, phil on keyboards, chris s on bass, blake occasionally strumming an acoustic. and, this was the funny part: sanjaya comes out with an acoustic guitar. but when the two songs start, he swings it around to his back, and played a tambourine. when the songs were finished, he pulled the guitar back around to the front to walk off stage.
10. blake. crazy loud, every time. i have to admit, the guy is cool.
11. chris r. the dude was almost omnipresent. you’d have thought he was the winner.


100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers
Thursday June 14th 2007, 6:59 am
Filed under: tv/movies

this is just fantastic, if you like movies. don’t have a clue how they researched this thing!


evan update
Tuesday June 12th 2007, 2:00 pm
Filed under: family, tv/movies

liesl and i had a great time at the world premiere of evan almighty. she loved walking the 1/4-mile-long “green carpet” (it was green instead of red, because the movie was the first made with a zero-carbon-footprint). this picture is on the green carpet, but as it wound through the backstage stuff at universal — i should have taken it when we were walking down the part that was lined with barriers and hundreds of onlookers and cameras and news peeps interviewing the stars and such.


we had a couple dozen star sightings, all mere feet away, including steve carell. also saw about a half-dozen “the office” cast members. kevin nealon and kevin james, and a bunch of “that guy” stars (people we’ve seen in lots of movies, but don’t know their name). i had a short chat with john from switchfoot at the after-party, and a longer chat with thor ramsey (comedian who is at all the youth workers conventions).

liesl and i also had a great time at universal theme park the next day (monday), and stayed for a bit of the “rock the boat” concert last night (we stayed through ‘decemberadio’ and ‘reliant k’, but left before jeremy camp and switchfoot). here’s a goofy pic of liesl with dora the explorer, which totally made me think of this funny dora-mocking video (maraka).


OH!, and we really enjoyed the movie. i’ll be seeing it again tonite with the staff of ys in a private screening nearby our offices.