Posts Tagged ‘jack bauer’

December brings a whole host of DVD releases as Hollywood tries to get as many into stores as possible prior to Christmas. Check out my thoughts on the movies I’ve seen or had reliable recommendations on. Again, if you want to know how I evaluate movies and media, check my Film & TV Mini-Manifesto.

Eclipse (Dec 4)

Twihards and TwilightMOMs will be stoked for this release in the battle of Team Jacob vs Team Edward with a nice battle tossed in at the end for the dudes including some dismembering and decapitation of various unnamed vampires. Definitely the best film of the series (yes, I’ve seen all 3) and probably the most fast-paced and least painful for bros. You know my thoughts on Twilight overall from “The Edwardian Conflict” and The Gospel According to Twilight” and, again, the movies can barely do the books justice. Look for the picture of glorified divinity in the good vampires and the concept of the eternal family. Ultimately, Team Jacob can only offer a finite relationship while Team Edward represents eternity and glory. Let’s move on.

Inception (Dec 7)

This is easily the best movie I’ve seen all year in a year of some really good ones (Shutter Island, Get Low, Crazy Heart). It’s a tour de force that you’ll have to watch multiple times. Nolan is simply phenomenal in how he doesn’t settle for some action flick with an original concept but pushes into the heart of man. I can’t speak highly enough of this film and how I see the gospel woven into the very framework. My post on the father themes in this movie is the most popular post by far of my blog (1/3 of the total hits in November!). Read it here. Read here for a fuller preview prior to viewing.

24: Season 8 (Dec 7)

I had to call this release out. Is this Jack’s last hurrah? Is it just a prequel for a big release movie? Season 8 became fascinating to me once I connected the dots that this was the final season of the series. No one is safe. No line is too far for Jack Bauer. I hated how it finished but I really loved it once I had a chance to think about it. Jack Bauer represents who we want to be while at the same time manifesting the darkness inside of us that we all know is there. My reflection on the series and finale are here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Salt (Dec 7)

I have not seen this film but felt like I should plug it simply because I have not heard a bad thing about it. The previews only show scenes from the first half of the movie and it looks like the previews way overplay the sex – from what I can tell it’s a very clean movie but for language. Watch James Harleman’s thoughts on the film below. I look forward to seeing this movie.

Other releases include the final installment (hopefully) of the Shrek saga (Dec 7), the highly rated (97% on Rotten Tomatoes!) war documentary Restrepo (Dec 7), the looks-disappointing A-Team (Dec 14), the heavily recommended
Despicable Me (Dec 14), and Wall Street 2: Greed Again? (Dec 21. The original was one of my dad’s favorite flicks).

UPDATE (1/3/11)

Salt: My wife and I enjoyed this film. By the middle of the film, I had no idea what to expect. I loved the husband and his humble confidence as well as his relentless pursuit after her to win her.  I loved how everything wasn’t necessarily tidied up at the end.

Restrepo: Simply incredible documentary that will enthrall you and break you. It follows a platoon of soldiers deployed in the insanely intense Korengal Valley of Afghanistan for a year. The scene in which one soldier is killed (off camera) and seeing the response of the other soldiers will change how you think about war. This is a must see documentary, very well done, very objective, and will increase your respect and honor for what our soldiers endure. Beware of the language if you’re sensitive to that, I’m not sure if I’ve heard more f-words in any movie (even Tarantino’s films) ever. This film is worth watching though, I highly recommend it.

Update (1/28/11)

Despicable Me: I enjoyed and laughed frequently in this movie. Steve Carell is so funny as Gru and Jason Segel is so over the top as Vector I laughed whenever he came on screen. The end is predictable and I appreciate how they don’t even try to explain the origin of the minions.


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24 Series Finale – Part 2

Read my 24 Series Finale, Part 1: here.

Jack Bauer genuinely has had nothing go right for him and has been spiralling into darkness ever since Season 1. Let’s look at the circumstances: he loses his wife and unborn child in Season 1, loses nearly every coworker except for Chloe, gets backstabbed by friends, loses more girlfriends, gets tortured multiple times and so forth.  Now the darkness. This is a man who has killed or tortured likely over 300 people by the end. The man becomes known for his end justifies the means mentality. He’s known for being an unstoppable pain-bringing killing machine. Yet Jack doesn’t like this, ever. He’s always trying to right the ship and be different at the beginning of every season.  But he can’t. Circumstances and urgency and friends and himself don’t allow him to change.  Even the 24: Redemption movie showed he has no hope to save himself  through turning good or trying to live peacefully nor could he hope in his friends to make up for everything he’s done. He is what he is and has never been satisfied with that, for good reason. How can he change? Again, even circumstances push against that. He wrecks nearly everything he touches. Friends are always dying.  The lesser of 2 evils always seems to be the choice. Always trying to make a new start and failing utterly. Sound familiar? See Romans 7:

“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

No good deed or number of good deeds is enough to save us. This is because it is not a matter of atoning for some sins but atoning for who we are. Jack saves 10,000 people but is no different a person and descends right back into madness and death the following season. You might argue that Jack saved more lives than those he wrecked. Might be right. But it still does not redeem him. You know it. Jack knows it. Jack Bauer would likely call himself the chief of sinners. So should we all. Not even getting into the motivations of a good deed apart from God, we know it’s not enough. We know we’re lost and we feel far from home and there’s no going back. But, let’s finish Romans 7…

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

and look at Romans 5:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” (Romans 5:6-9)

We need a savior, a perfect, holy substitution and sacrifice to redeem us from the slavery of our sinful nature and restore to the home of our loving Father God. And God the Father provides His own Son as that sacrifice. We couldn’t do it. We couldn’t change. We couldn’t do enough good. We couldn’t even help each other. Jesus can and did and does.

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Last night my wife and I were able to watch the season and series final of 24, the final (or not so final) adventures of Jack Bauer. We have watched every season of 24, although mostly via DVD, and loved the first 4 or 5 seasons. Jack Bauer and President Palmer were fantastic characters, well acted, that you rooted for.  Toss in Chloe in Season 3 and it was great.

This series was a really unique concept – 24 episodes attempting to countdown 24 hours in real time. But you can only do that for so long when you just know Jack Bauer is not going to die and you know they only have 24 hrs to resolve it. You know that after 12 hours, the first baddie’s boss is going to emerge and the next 12 hours will be about stopping him instead. You know that the first plot to blow up NY or kill the president is going to be replaced by yet another crazier plot or high-level conspiracy.  There stops being very much at stake when it seems like no one else beside Jack can really die either (see: Tony Almeida).  The last couple of seasons my wife and I stuck with it but it was a show that my wife would just sleep through most of the time. But I really wanted to see it end and that is one reason why I kept engaging with 24.

Enter Season 8 of 24.  I had no idea this was the last season of the series. I don’t follow entertainment news. We don’t watch 24 on TV, we watch it online on Hulu. So when Jack’s girlfriend gets killed around episode 16 or so and he starts to spiral downward even further to where there’s no coming back, basically entering the “Tyson Zone”, I wondered just what was going on. Finally, after episode 22, I caught that it was the final series and it all made sense.

Heading into the Finale, I had high hopes. I hoped for either a redemptive death of Jack Bauer or a redemptive death of another significant character (like Chloe) for Jack. Maybe that was asking too much but if you watch, you know it was heading there, all signs pointed to something significant, a change of direction, an end. Then I heard that there was the potential for a 24 movie and I knew Jack couldn’t die – yet again. Sure enough, Jack walks away at the end of the finale in a very anticlimactic way setting up the movie. I wanted redemption for Jack and Pres. Taylor’s confession and repentance was not enough for me, especially since the Satan-like Logan is probably still alive and justice isn’t close to being done.

But maybe that’s the reality we need to engage with…

Read Part 2: here.

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