Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good Movies Teens Will Like: Extreme Days

Over the last 10 years I have done a ton of movie nights for teens, (ok, I know I say the word "ton", but that is just a metaphor, cause really, how do you weigh getting kids to watch movies together, what unit of measurement works, so lets just say that "tons" in this case means "a lot" and we will leave it at that.) and I have always ended up showing one movie more then any other, and that movie is Extreme Days.

So, why have I shown Extreme Days more then any other movie? Well, it has lots of sports montages, it is funny and most of all, it is incredibly clean, (more on that later) yet, teens still like it, (now when I say teens like it, not all teens do, there are some who don't, but I am talking in generalizations, so if you're reading this and your name is.... lets say D. Broda, no, that is giving away too much, lets just say your name is Davis B., yeah, thats what we will call you, and as Davis B. you are saying to yourself, "I didn't like it!" well you are in the minority my brother, but I still think you're awesome, so cool beans), so with that said, lets move on to what it is about and I will get back to why you will show it later.

What It Is About - Extreme Days is basically about 4 friends, (Matt, Corey and the two brothers Will and Bryan) that have grown up together doing stupid stuff and after finishing college they go on a road trip that they have been dreaming of doing all their lives. They first head to mexico to do some surfing*, and after only a short

Left to Right its Corey, Bryan, Matt and Will
time, Corey gets a call that his Grampa G has died and he has an inheritance to collect which is all the way in Yacama Washington. So the boys pack up their gear and decide to road trip to there instead. Shortly after heading in that direction they meet up with Matt's cousin Jesse, (Matt has a lot of cousins, and I mean a lot). Jesse is a smart, beautiful girl that has car troubles and is hit upon quickly by Bryan, and then joins the road trip after dismissing Bryan's come ons so that she can get back to university which is also in Washington. From there a lot of extreme sports happen, Corey bets Bryan that he can't get Jessie to do something he wants her to, (Bryan picks getting her to sing, cause she can't sing, which brings about a hysterical game of spoons) and they keep heading to their destinations where more surprises wait for them.

Why Teens Would Like It - Ok, so here it is, the moment you have
 been waiting for, the reason teens will like this movie. It has guys lighting farts on fire! Yep, that's it. Ok, that's not all, but man oh man do teens love watching farts explode into flame. Ok, the other reasons teens will like this movie is it is funny, has lots of cool sports highlights and everybody loves a good road trip. It's that simple, put together farts, sports and humor, and you got a movie that teens like.

Why Leaders Would Like It - Now as I said earlier, the main reason that leaders will like Extreme Days is that it is incredibly clean. Now, when I say clean I am not referring to the fact that it is washed in soap, or that the disc has no scratches, no, what I mean
This is the most skin you see in the whole movie!
 is that it is a teen movie that has lots of things that teens love, yet no swearing, or gratuitous violence and most of all, no sex. Yep, you heard me, it has no swearing, violence or sex, absolutely none, zip, zero, nada, (or any other word you can think of for nothing). It is a movie that you can show that won't get you in any trouble, (well, as long as your youth aren't stupid enough to try and light their farts on fire, so just incase make sure you tell them not to, cause you know someone will do it and say, "Well, you never said not to!") and what leader isn't always hyped for that, (unless of course you aim to misbehave, and then you may go looking for trouble anyway).
Extreme Days isn't a movie that hits you over the head with God, in fact, most of the time it kinda just hangs out in the background. The two main areas it does surface is first and foremost in the soundtrack. Extreme Days boast a very good and very very very Christian soundtrack. It consists of 17 songs from such artists as POD, Skillet, Toby Mac and John Reuben, just to name a few, (if
Riding in the Joyota.
 you have never heard of any of those bands, don't feel bad, you will probably like some of the music anyway). Throughout the movie they did a great job of matching music to scenes, getting the feel just right pretty much every time. Now saying that, this is not done in a way that makes the viewer really notice, especially if they don't already know the bands, (so basically, its not like every time a song comes up you think to yourself, "Yep, here comes another Christian song again"). So other then the music, the main God stuff comes up three quick little times. First in the form of Jesse mentioning that God is what
I have car trouble, and my dad was a jerk and
left our whole family, Thank God for God!
 helped her when her father left their family, when someone gave her a card that said, "God Understands". The second time is when Bryan and Will are discussing their sister dying and Bryan says, "the more you hope the more you get let down" and Will mentions that he is tired of Bryan blaming God for their sisters death, and that, "don't you think it hurt God to watch Amanda go through that". Lastly, Will does a voice over to finish the movie, mentioning that, "When God throws you a curve ball, don't duck, cause you never know what you might miss". So as I said, there is no bashing you over the head with God stuff or bible thumping, (just on a side note, bible thumping sucks in all forms, but I found this out in particular at a camp in my teens, when a leader mentioned not to bible thump people, and my friend, Mark, looked at me, then looked at his big freaking leather bound bible, then back at me, and then in one swift movement thumped me across the head with it. After my ears finished ringing, I looked at Mark and said, "What was that for?", to which he laughed and said, "Bible thumping!".**) yet it still manages to slip a few spiritual moments in amongst the sports and the flaming farts.***

Hey, does anybody know where to get our bags, anybody? 
So, if you are looking for a movie that is funny, and extreme sports oriented, and has flaming farts with a little God stuff thrown in for good measure, then Extreme Days is the film for you. So pack up your Joyota****, and grab all the pickled eggs you can carry, and remember to brush you teeth with Coke-a-cola, and sit back and enjoy the movie, but, "for the love of donuts" don't let Jesse sing, cause the world doesn't need to hear another coyote caught in a trash compactor.***** Until next time extreme readers, stay safe, stay toasty, and stay away from the Turkish Sailor, cause they had a problem with their meat. Blog at you later.

*I should point out that Extreme Days is not a big budget movie, so you and your teens will easily notice that the 4 friends are not actually in any of the sports montages, even though they do their best to make you think they are, so when your superknowitall teen points that out you can say, "Yeah, I know, the super cool good looking blogger guy already told me that, now shut up and watch the movie."
**After the first whack upside my head from Mark, you will be happy to know that I did some serious bible thumping myself, and it was after Mark and I had hit each other about 8 times that the leader finally saw us and asked what we were doing, to which we looked at each other for a second and then responded in unison, "BIBLE THUMPING!"
***Flaming Farts, now there is the best piece of alliteration that I have ever written.
**** Joyota, is a reconstructed jeep with a rebuilt Toyota engine, now you know.
*****This is how Matt describes Jesse's singing, which is apparently the only thing she can't do.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Well That Sucked! Movies That Let You Down.

Have you ever been totally hyped for a movie to come out, cause you saw the trailer and it blew you away, or it is a live action feature film from a cartoon series that you love, or is a continuation or, a "prequel", (curse you Georgey for messing with perfection by placing stupid crap before it)? Well, for some of us this is a huge problem, (for my BFFF this happened with Hitchhickers Guide To The Galaxy, which let him down huge) and for one family that are friends of mine, it actually prompted a first for my blog, which is, I am giving someone else a chance to talk for once. So I am going to start it off by quickly listing a few movies that have been huge let downs for me, and then I am going to turn it over to my friend Michelle for the big kibosh at the end, (Any comments that are mine during that section I will have in green writing, so no one gets confused about who is saying what). So without further blathering, lets get on with the disappointment.

So first up on my list is the abominations that are the 3 Star Wars prequels. I love Star Wars so much, (my very first tattoo was of the rebel symbol, and I was so ticked off by how much the prequels let me down that I got it covered up) and was so excited that they were
This is not my Star Wars universe!!!
 coming out that for a while I let any plot holes, bad acting and overall suckage just slide, cause I thought I was getting a Star Wars movie. Well, by the time the 3rd one came out, all that glimmer and shine had faded and all I could see was how bad the movies actually were, and man oh man, it felt like getting kicked in the gut. It ticked me off so much that I sold my copies of them and have been lucky enough to never have had to sit through one again.*

Next up is X-men Origins: Wolverine. Now, let me say that I don't think that this is a terrible movie. In fact, I think it is pretty good, well, at least for the first half anyway. The first half is really great actually, with some awesome clashes and some incredibly funny lines. Seeing Deadpool, (that is the character that Ryan Reynolds
Why did they make it suck in the second half?
 plays) on film finally was great, being the incredibly funny badass that he is, and you get to see Wolverine do his thing too, but then midway through, right after the whole taking down the helicopter, it just starts making less and less sense and sucking more and more. And then they top it all off by sealing the lips of the funniest guy in the movie? Really? What the heck were they thinking, and I am not even gonna start on the whole Adamantium bullet thing, cause I don't have the time or the patience for such stupidity. Needless to say, I was incredibly let down when it was all over as I walked out of the theater.

The last two I will talk about before I hand it over to Michelle are The Score and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus . The Score is a movie that should have been awesome, it has Edward Norton, (who is the main redeeming thing in the movie) Robert De Niro and one of Marlon Brandos last performances, but sadly it is not that good a film. Also, the trailer for it made it seem like a much more complex a plot then it really was, and so I think that made for part of the problem. As for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus , the hype surrounding this movie was huge cause it was the last movie Heath Ledger made before his untimely passing, and it had a really good cast. Sadly though, it had an incredibly muddled plot, poor acting and was so boring that Bethany and I only got through half of it before turning it off. Both movies left me disappointed, and annoyed, but that is nothing compared to how the Russell family felt, and for more on that, here is Michelle.
This is the Russell Family, in all their awesomeness.
My family, not unlike most other families, is usually super busy with lots of places to go. That's true almost every day of the week, except Saturday. On Saturday mornings we wake up when we want to, and then snooze until we get hungry for breakfast. The kids all jump into the parents' bed, and we watch Saturday morning cartoons (which aren't as good as they use to be), (I totally agree with Michelle on this point, Saturday morning cartoons used to rock hard, now they just show stuff that they already show the rest of the week, and have almost entirely given everything over to anime, not that anime is a bad thing, but it just shows a lack of creativity on the north american animation side). A few years back, a new cartoon came on called "Avatar - The Last Airbender". We watched it and quickly got caught up in the story line.

The core of the story is that - The long lost master of the elements has returned to the world. He awakens to find that the World is at war and "out of balance". The foundation of their world is that there are four main elements (represented in four tribes of people), one of the elements/tribes (FIRE) has become too powerful and is trying to dominate all the other elements/tribes, (why does fire always have to be the bad guys, for once it should be someone else, like the salad people, cause we all know that salad is evil**) . It turns out that the Master of all the elements (The Avatar) was just a kid when he was told of his overpowering responsibility to ensure the world stayed in balance, so he got scared. You see 100 years ago the boy thought it a really big responsibility to keep a whole world in balance, so he decided to take a vacation before starting his Avatar training. After running away, the stupid kid accidentally used his powers to suspend himself in time, and his short vacation has turned into a hundred year sleep, (I did this once, I think it was called high school). He awakens to the fact that his race is now extinct, and he is - THE LAST AIRBENDER.

That's a great starting point, but what really gets you involved in this cartoon is the characters. Aang is funny, innocent, and powerful, but by himself he can't carry the whole show. He needs a sensible and determined friend/love interest, to join him (named Katara). He also needs the brilliant and hilarious brother figure (named Sokka). Together these three provided my family with laughter and excitement on a sleepy Saturday morning. The three main characters traveled their world, meeting a huge cast of unique characters. The quest is to train the young Avatar for the day he must face the Fire-Lord (and bring peace back to the world). That's not all, the writers were awesome enough to also provide us with a full blown prodigal son character. Our main villain is embodied in the banished son of the Fire-Lord named Prince Zuko. The prince has with him (as he chases Aang) his wise and seemingly lazy Uncle Iroh who is just an older form of Sauka (Aangs' comic relief).

My family would not start our Saturday without first waiting to watch the next episode of this show. Everyone laughed, and at the end of the episode we would all talk about the events and what we think should happen next. Then we heard about the movie being made. We got so excited because our little Saturday morning ritual was going to be made into a full blown movie - with awesome special effects, and real fight scenes, and more Sokka jokes. It had the blessing of the outstanding co-creators, and of the studio (Nicolodian). It had an award winning director and some-what known actors. What it did not have was the writing staff of the original series or a good special effects team.

The day my family went to see this film we were so excited. The movie was DISASTROUS. We couldn't figure out why none of the main characters resembled their original counter-parts. They even had different names! Who renames a main character? Should we rename Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne (with an e) Shirley, or Aragorn, or Harry Potter, or King Arthur? NO... No director or writer should ever mess with the name of the main character. But he did...

We tried to get past the name thing but we were immediately presented with another major problem. Nobody was funny! Not one hint of a laugh throughout the whole movie. Zuko was super stiff and so was his uncle. Aang had very few lines (and he couldn't act so maybe that's why he wasn't allowed to speak), and Sauka had even less to say. Why is it that the three main characters don't have anything of real substance to say? Maybe because they didn't have time.
Oh No You Didn't!!!!!!!!!!!
The story line moved through the events of the television series as though it was a checklist of events that had to be done. Actually; they didn't get the checklist done either. They left out Souka's first love interest (the
Kyoshi Warriors) and barly touched the fact the Katara wasn't allowed to practice her waterbendin (because of sexism). When the first real fight scene came, it was a real let down. In their world when people fight, they use their ability to bend the elements to do the fighting for them. Not in the movie. The acting was stiff and the special effects reminded me of the days of claymation. It was so obvious that there was no connection between the effect and the actor. My whole family groaned when it took seemingly forever for someone to "generate enough power to pick up some water". We continued to watch, hoping and willing the movie to get better, but it was all in vain. The climax scene near the end when GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL. In the cartoon it is an awesome display of the power of the spirit world, but in the movie it did not happen.

The season ending scene of the tv show begins with Aang surrendering himself to the WATER SPIRIT, to be used to avenge the death of his beloved MOON SPIRIT. Through Aang the Water spirit creates an overpowering water monster that single handily destroys the entire Fire Nation Navy. The people that bow down to him - live. The people that don't bow - get smashed. In the movie - that doesn't happen. The Water Spirit swims helplessly as the Moon Spirit is murdered. The fights take place between the people, and at the end when the Moon is brought back to life, Aang water-bends a big wave to gently push the Fire Navy ships away.

Could this movie been more disappointing? Recently I decided to watch it on DVD again, just in case I was too hard on it the first time. I must say that I got even more disappointed. It's because I was able to really appreciate the huge vacuum that was left. It was as though the characters we watched on Saturday mornings were not even there. Not their names, not their powers, not their humor, not their friends, not their anything. I
This is Justine, she kinda
hates me right now cause
I said I liked the movie.
 blame the co-creators (Michael DiMartino and and Bryan Konietzko) and Nickolodian for abandoning Aang and friends to the half-hearted whims of a one-hit wonder director, (this is where I hugely disagree with Michelle, M. Night is an incredible director that has some amazing and successful movies. The Sixth Sense made $661,500,000, Signs $407,900,000 and The Village $114,195,633 at the box office, and that is not including DVD sales, so one hit wonder he is not, also he made number 17 on my top 20 best movies of all time list, so just cause you hated this movie, don't hate the man). If the original writers were used instead of "Shyama-bomb" ,(ah ha ha, that is so creative of you Michelle, taking M. Nights name and putting Bomb in it, you should do this for a living) then maybe this movie might have had a fighting chance. After watching the film I felt compelled to immediately watch all the TV episodes on DVD to purge myself of the bad taste left in my soul. Needless to say my family is really hoping that Nickolodian does not give permission to Mr. Shyamalan to make the next two seasons into a movie. He just can't do them justice.

Michelle Russell

So there you have it, movies that were a huge disappointment to me and my friends. Let me know some of the movies that you felt like this about, cause it is my experience that it varies from person to person. Until next time, stay classy true believers, and always eat your breakfast with a spoon, no matter what it is. Blog at you later.

*I introduced my daughters to Star Wars last year, and they now tell their friends on the play ground that start talking about clone wars and prequel nonsense that, "Those aren't real Star Wars movie!", and oh does it make me so proud.
**My oldest daughter Marajade would disagree with me on this point, cause she loves Salad, but I stand by my statement, it is evil.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

There Can Be Only One - Who's The Best Bond

So this weeks question is easy, who was the best James Bond? You have 4 Bonds to choose from, I am not including anyone that has not been in at least 2 movies as the British super spy, oh, also you can't have the name Daniel or Craig, so sorry Daniel Craig, you're not allowed to play and vote for yourself, (ha, you think I didn't know that you read my blog, did you Daniel, well the jig is up bub, and I got my virtual eye on you, and let me tell you, your next Bond effort better be a whole lot better then that last piece of mediocre tripe you put out, your first film was great, do more like that). So let me know, who is the best Bond, and I will crown a winner in two weeks time, so make sure your vote counts, (cause I don't want to hear any whining and complaining if Dalton wins and you think otherwise, it's all on you).

Sean Connery
So first up is the original James Bond, Sean Connery, and because he was the first James Bond, quite often he is considered the best. This is mainly due to the fact that every Bond after him was always compared to him in some way or another. Starting the franchise off with the movies, "Dr. No", "From Russia With Love", and "Goldfinger", he set the ball rolling for a character that has lasted almost 50 years, and is still going. Basically, he set the tone for all that was to follow, and although this might or might not make him the best, it certainly adds some credibility to the argument. Plus, in case you I forgot to mention it, he is Sean "Frickin" Connery, and you basically don't get any cooler then that.
Roger Moore
The second man to drink from the shaken not stirred martini glass was English actor Roger Moore. He took Bond as more of a light hearted jester killing machine kinda spy and is responsible for, "Octopussy", "For Your Eyes Only", "A View to a Kill" and 4 more other films. Moore was the Bond I grew up with as a kid, so I have lots of fond memories of him, particularly when he used the front skid from a snowmobile to snowboard down a mountain, man I wanted to do that, and I would have, if only I would have had a front skid from a snowmobile, a mountain and super spy skills, all of which I was lacking at that age, (still missing the mountain and skid, but I got mad spy skills now that I am adult. In fact, I am so sneaky that I have snuck into your room while your reading this and am standing behind you*).
Timothy Dalton
The 3rd man to have a license to kill is Timothy Dalton, (Ha ha, you see what I did there, Timothy Dalton stared in a movie called Licenced to Kill, and mentioned that he had a licence to kill, this is gold I am giving you people, pure GOLD**). Now I have always kinda liked Dalton, cause he was Bond during my teen years and he is Welsh, and my Dad is from Wales, so I kinda had a whole heritage pride thing going on, now unlike the earlier Bonds, Timothy Dalton only made 2 movies, "The Living Daylights" and "Licence To Kill" but even in such a limited run, there are still people today who think he is the best. So vote for him, and as they say in Wales, "llannddrunllemhanrr tam thellwodd"***

Pierce Bronson
Fourth and last on the list is Pierce Bronson, who is someone that fans had clamored for years to don the mantel of the double o's. Bronson did a great job filling the shoes of Bond, bringing a bit of a different take on the spy, but also hearkening back to Connery more then anyone else. He started with one of my favorite Bond movies "Goldeneye",which later became one of the best Nintendo games ever, (which was also called, "Goldeneye" in case you were not around to play it, or are not very smart, both of which would be sad) And then he followed that up with, "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World Is Not Enough". All in all Bronson did 4 films with decent success before handing over the reigns to the current Bond, but was he the best 007? That is up to you guys.

I will get you for this incredibly good looking blogger guy,

So there you have it, the four Bonds in the running. You have 2 weeks to get your answers in, and then I will throw in my two cents and will crown a winner. So who is it, who do you think reigns 007 supreme. Until next time, remember, be shaken, but not stirred, and blog at you later. Now Moneypenny, wear did I leave my gun?

*Ha ha, made you look, actually I am hiding in your closet, but the door is stuck and I really have to go to the bathroom, so could you please let me out, PLEASE!
** Not of the Finger variety mind you, but Gold none the less.
*** This is not actually Welsh, but it could be, they use lots of double letters. Now if it was actual Welsh, it would say, "A vote for Dalton is probably a waste of a vote, but thanks none the less"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 Days Of Dinosaurs Or Darkness

For this installment of Q.O.T.W. I am giving you a whole month long vacation away from the normal drudgery of life, and giving you 30 days in two incredibly different locals with two very different types of wild life. (ok, now before anyone makes the stupid comment, "I wouldn't pick either one", lets just assume that some super secret government agency has kidnapped you and is giving you these as your only options, cause they are big government jerks, so you have to pick, ok, great, moving on).
So first up is the beautiful tropical island of Isla Nublar, or as most of you probably know it better, Jurassic Park.

So you all know the story, "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates
Come for the sights, stay for the meal.
 dinosaurs. Dinosaurs eat man, Woman inherits the earth."* well I don't know about that last part, but that is the main story of Jurassic Park. So you would be on the island, for 30 days, with the dinosaurs set loose and hope to do your best to survive the flesh tearing, claw ripping dinosaur roaring inhabitants.

You could spend your 30 days in the isolated yet stunningly
And then he said, "No, I already gave
at the office". Can you believe the
nerve of some people.

beautiful Barrow, Alaska, where for 30 days a year the town goes completely dark, its kinda like the sun takes a vacation. Now that sounds kinda bad, but you still get to be in a town, and that is good, so there are buildings and a store, but wait, I forgot, there is something else that is also in the town, and that is Vampires, which have made the trip specially to Barrow for the 30 Days Of Night.

So the choice comes down to this, would you rather spend 30 days with dinosaurs that are trying to kill you on a hot island, or
Yeah, I'm shocked I have a career too!
30 days in wintry Alaska where Vampires are searching house to house, looking to eat you with smiles on their faces and a glimmer on the fangs. As always, post your answer and we will see what is scarier, Dinos or Vamps. So until next time, stay away from vampires and 
Pick Me!
Pick Me!

dinosaurs, and remember, stay away from vampires and dinosaur, yeah, I said it twice,
but you can never really get enough of such sound advice as that, and that's what I am all about. Blog at you later.

*This is a quote from Jurassic Park, in case you were wondering, which I know you were.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Faiths Double Edged Razor: A Theological Movie Review Of Contact

So I have been super busy in the last couple of weeks, with my BFFF's wedding. (I was the best man, cause I'm awesome) modifying my DVD towers and buying and trying to not fall off a unicycle, yeah, you heard me, a unicycle, so although most of this post was put together 3 weeks ago, it has taken until now to actually get it published. Sorry about that, I know how much your lives all revolve around my musings, so I will make sure to keep them coming for the next while at a steady pace. Now with that out of the way, onto the post.

It takes just as much faith to believe that there is no God as it does to believe that there is. Faith is a tricky thing, cause you can't always be 100% sure about what you believe. I actually think that God made it this way on purpose. You see, if everyone had unshakable irrefutable undeniable proof, that God is exactly who He says He is, (like in every gene that was spliced the words, ‘God Made This’ popped up, or God showed up on every TV, Internet and radio channel all across the world at the same time, and blew people away with his awesomeness, such much so that no one could be stupid enough to argue) then there would be no real choice on our side, we all would just believe and accept, but it would not be called faith. For example, no one doubts that people need oxygen to breath and continue living, not one person on the planet debates this, (and if they tried to without the use of oxygen it would be a pretty quick debate anyway) it doesn't take any faith to take in a breath of air and know that it is real. So instead of God removing all doubt from everyone, thus leaving us nothing to contribute, He gives us a bunch of proofs for those who want to look for them, (in nature, science, morality and the all important slices of toast which seem to have Jesus' face show up in them often) and allows us to say, "Ok, I believe!". Now, where I am going with all this is that in the movie Contact, this argument is brought forth in a really interesting way, looking at science, belief and faith and how they all actually share a lot more in common then we often think they do. So, with that, onto the movie.
Plot: That is the story for those who don't know.
As you might expect, the main plot point of Contact is about making contact, and in this case it is referring to aliens making contact with us. Now the driving force behind this discovery and the main character of the story is Dr. Ellie Arroway played by Jodi
Getting strong psychic vibrations here, I am seeing,
I am seeing.... aww crap, I lost it.
 Foster. She has been fascinated by radios and looking for extraterrestrial life since she was a child and carries this through to her career as a scientist, (they never really say what her official title is, so scientist it is) where she excels but turns down teaching positions to join SETI, which stands for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (I cut and pasted this from Wiki so as to not get it wrong, aren't I smrt, I mean smart, yeah, definitely the second one), which most people in her field view as a waste of time and career suicide, (but she kinda had to do it, cause A: she passionately believes that there is life on planets, and B: if she didn't we wouldn't really have any kind of movie to watch now would we) So she goes to the Arecilbo Observatory in Puerto Rico where she is given time on a nice big radio to track for, "little
What do you mean I only take
my shirt off once, but I'm
Matthew McConaughey,
Don't they know that!
green men". It is here she meets a good looking "man of the cloth without a cloth" which means he was going to be a priest, but liked women, so he gave it up. Well "Not Quite Priest Guy", (played by Matthew McConaughey who for the first time ever only takes his shirt off once in a movie, this could be a sign of the apocalypse) and Ellie hit it off and although they both disagree about God and faith, quickly fall into bed together. Just as soon as this happens Ellie is kicked off of her ultra cool telescope and she bands together with her coworkers to try and find funding to continue listening for little
Pick Me Jodie Foster, Pick Me!

 green men in New Mexico. It is at this point she is given money by a super smart reclusive gazillionaire and the listening and searching continues. Cut to 4 years later and baddaboombaddabing all of a sudden a signal starts coming through and the entire world goes nuts, (well, that is the quick way of saying that the government jumps in,) so they get a signal, and sooner or later find a design for a machine in the signal and then it all becomes incredibly political with governments and committees deciding who is the person to go into the machine and represent the earth to who ever it was that sent the message. This is where "Not Quite Priest Guy" comes back into the picture, now as the Presidents spiritual adviser and famous pop culture writer, and Ellie and him start up their relationship again,  well, kinda.  From there, after a bunch of mishaps and problems, (you know, like people dying from massive explosions cause no one bothered to check the credentials of an incredibly easy to spot religious nut who was carrying a bomb, sure, like that would happen) and Ellie gets to go into the machine and has an experience that will change her life forever.
Ohhhh, The Claw, I mean, Ohhhh, The Machine
Main Theme: Belief in the unseen.
This is a theme that the whole movie pretty much depends upon, but funnily enough, I think many people miss the fact that Ellie's unwavering faith that there is life in the universe other then humanity, is completely unsupported by any actual fact. She believes so much that we are not alone, that she devotes her life to trying to prove it, yet, she can not understand how people can believe in God, (we will talk more about that later). The belief that whether there is proof or not that something "is" true pops up constantly in Contact, in the science talk but also in the faith talk as well. This climaxes in the end when all the same arguments that
Ellie being Razored
 Ellie used for God not existing earlier are then applied to her when she makes first person contact with aliens and has no proof for it. Believing in something that is unseen is essential for this story, as it is for people in the real world, (not the TV show from the late 90's, I actually mean the real world were we all live) and whether or not you doubt there is a God or not, we all have a belief in things we can not see, and often can not fully understand. For most of us, it all comes down to one of the two following five letter words, "Proof" or "Faith". That is what Contact is really about, the question of can you believe if you have no proof, especially if what you have instead of proof is a very deep personal experience. In the end, it leaves the answer up to the viewer, but it does do a great job in asking the question.

Would you  guys tell Jodie Foster to stop bothering me,
Just because I am green and little does not mean I am an alien.
I am not an alien, I am a monster being, thank you very much!

Theological discussion points
I will be really honest, I am finding this post incredibly hard to write right now, (this was three weeks ago remember) not sure why, so I am just going to give you some bullet points, and you can catch the bullets and do what you want with them*. Sound good? Yeah, ok, so let’s go.

•   Scientific faith, in such things like black holes, and light travel seems very acceptable, but God is impossible?
•   Why does a man who is considered to have the spiritual pulse of America defend the faith so poorly?
•   If Occam's Razor state"the easiest answer is most likely"****, why do they never bring up the fact that millions of years of chance with no direction what so ever is a lot harder to believe in and less likely then believing that a super powerful God made it?
•   Is proof really necessary for belief?
•   How many times does it take a wood chuck to eat pasta? What? Wood chucks don't eat wood, but they gotta eat something, don't they?

I don't know who this guy is but amen to that.

So, in closing, faith is necessary for, well, pretty much everything, and that’s all I got. Stay healthy imaginary webbers everywhere, and blog at you later.

*Word of caution, bullet catching is very dangerous, for cinematic proof check out Christopher Nolans brilliant film, The Prestige, where Christian Bales character loses a finger, and so does his brother. It must be hard being brothers.**
**I just did two thing there, I made a Forest Gump reference, and I just spoiled a part of The Prestige for anyone who hasn't seen it, well at least I didn't mention the cloning thing, cause then I would just be a jerk.***
****I actually found out that Contact was not really using Occam's Razor properly, and it actually flat out misquotes it, so for anyone who is interested, it actually states, "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything", so Hollywood got it wrong, shocking!