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Posts Tagged ‘Grand Canyon’

On last Tuesday evening, I watched the movie: “Exodus: Gods And Kings” (2014).  The movie stars Christian Bale as Moses, the protagonist in the Bible’s book of Exodus, which describes the Hebrews release from slavery (“bondage”) by the Egyptians around 1400 to 1300 BCE.  The Pharaoh, Ramses, is played by Joel Edgerton.  I really intended to go see this movie at the theater because I am big fan of viewing “spectacle” special effects on the big screen.  Just as seeing a large picture of the Grand Canyon doesn’t do justice to seeing the Grand Canyon, so viewing a tidal wave on a 32 inch screen three feet away is not the same as going to the movies.  I think this is a revelation to movie goers at multiplexes.  They “think” they are seeing a movie on the “big” screen, when actually they are seeing most of the movies on the secondary screens and the viewing experience is actually viscerally different.  But, that’s a discussion for another day…
Exodus” is a longish is movie which takes time to develop a lengthy re-telling of a man’s conversion to faith.  Despite frequent “miracles”, Moses simply refuses to accept the power of God until the very end of the movie.  Some viewers will have a problem with this (the length of the movie) for a host of reasons.  For the person of faith, what does God have to do to make you believe?  For the average movie goer, “Man this movie is taking forever to get to the FX!”  As someone who struggled with finding (and keeping) faith, for most of his life, the movie’s slower pacing (in parts) did not particularly bother me.
Does the movie follow the story from the Bible or its most recent and popular depiction (DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments“)?  Sort of, but with fairly significant changes.  Do they matter?  If you are a Biblical literalist, yes.  And, they (the differences) may even be offensive.  If you are someone looking for a rational explanation for some of the 10 plagues / “miracles”, no.  Well, yes.  There is still no rational (i.e., natural) explanation for what happens, but at least the story tries to throw you a bone.  In either case, literalist or rationalist, my question would be: what are you really expecting from a major motion picture?  You’re only expectations should be a “fair” treatment of the source material and entertainment.  I think this movie / adaptation tries – and mostly succeeds – to deliver both.
The acting is pretty good, but several of the “big” acting names have fairly trivial roles – Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley, to name just two.  The special effects are pretty good.  (Again, I regret not seeing this on a big screen.)  The movie, I think mostly due to variance from the Biblical story, is not as predictable as I thought it was going to be.  I frequently thought, “they did that well” or “that’s not what’s in the Bible“, and I think that is a good thing because it raises questions which make me want to go back to the source material (the Bible) and see if my memory or the interpretation is correct – or if the interpretation (movie) brings me new light to and new understanding of the Bible.  I personally feel anything which makes me go back to the Bible is a good thing.  But again, that’s a discussion for another day, too…
Final recommendation: strong recommendation!  Good entertainment value without any sex and very little violence (considering there’s a couple of battles and a whipping scene).
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On This Day In:
2014 Not In Any Sense
2013 The Circus On TV
2012 To Be Stronger
2011 Are You Sure?

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Back on December 14, my younger brother (Sean) called and I made a typically crude male joke about a recent “minor” procedure he just had to remove a sore on his tongue.  He’d had a similar procedure about five years ago, so it didn’t seem like a big deal.  His response shook me: “Yeah, about that.  I’ve got cancer.”
Of course I didn’t believe him and thought he was trying to punk me with a riff off of my joke, but when I said, “Man, you’re just kiddin’.”  He replied, “No, really.  I just got off the phone with the doctor and they just got the biopsy back.”
I felt dizzy…
We spoke for a few moments.  I told him how much I love him and how I’m here if he needs anything.  He broke down crying and said he had to hang up now.
I waited about an hour and called back.  We talked some more and he sounded better.  He apologized for earlier and said he just had to get used to the news so he could move forward.
About a week later, I went to the doctor with him and his doctor said it was “good news, bad news”.  The good news was the earlier operation appeared to be successful and they got it all off of his tongue.  They took off a bit around it and there was no cancer there (more good news).  But just to be safe (the bad news), my brother really should agree to another – more lengthy – exploratory procedure in his neck (his lymph glands) to see if the cancer has spread.  The doctor was reassuring, saying it was probably only a 25% chance they’d find anything, but better safe than sorry.  He wanted to get my brother’s agreement so he could arrange for the surgery in early January.
Well, to make a longer story shorter, tomorrow is the procedure.  It’s supposed to take 6+ hours, so it’s not a trivial “nip-n-tuck”.
If you believe in God (and I do) or some ultimate force for good in the universe, please offer up a prayer for my little brother.  (He’s bigger than I am, but he’s still my “little” brother.)  If you don’t believe, just think a positive thought for him.  To quote John Coltrane: “One thought can produce a million vibrations…”
I love you, Bro…

Sean and me at the Grand Canyon

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Sean and me at the Grand Canyon

Everyone with a younger sibling eventually discovers (becomes aware of the fact) they actually have a brain.  I’m not exactly sure when this happened with Sean and me.
I do remember at some point late in our teens, Sean and I sat and talked about the world and I discovered he was a Conspiracy Theorist.  In fact, he was the first conspiracy theorist I ever met and back then, I didn’t even have a name for it.
Anyway, his explanation for the world (as he saw it – and still sees it) was so RATIONAL, it stunned me.  I felt like Saul on the road to Damascus!
So, what else does an introverted young nerd do but write a poem about the experience…  This (“The Genius Shook“) was my homage to my “little” brother.
Later, Sean continued to rock my world by introducing me to Gil Scott-Heron and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised“.  Who would have guessed, it wasn’t televised because  it would be YouTubed instead (on demand).
Enjoy!
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These are some photos taken on a business trip to Phoenix. I took advantage of the trip to spend time with my brother (Sean), nephew (Sean Jr.) and to visit my cousin (Michael Romero). We drove to Phoenix via the Grand Canyon and then came back through Yosemite.
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