Knives Out | ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Ann and I are fans of the detective-sleuth genre. This movie plays in that arena. We should have liked it more than we did. I thought that the story-line was a tad predictable and sluggish at the beginning but picked up steam midway into this two hour flick. It had some pretty good twists and turns in the second half. Thought that Daniel Craig, the lead actor in this ensemble cast, may not have been best suited to play a part that involved speaking would a southernish drawl - can you imagine him saying Bond, James Bond with a twang?

Even so. I did like the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★☆☆☆.

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Just Mercy | ★★★★★★★★★★

Pictured to the right is Bryan Stevenson and actor Michael C Jordan - the subject and the star of the movie "Just Mercy". Bryan is an amazing person. His book of the same name (reviewed here) is a heartbreaking account of injustice in Alabama. The movie takes the books main narrative and creates a compelling look at systemic racism in the South.

The movie was hard to watch but communicated such a strong message of how one person with passion can impact society and change lives. I thought Jamie Foxx did a great job playing Walter McMillian, a man falsely imprisoned for 6 years. I consider the movie a must watch.

On a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★★★.

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Do Video Games Keep Kids Inside?

This cartoon cracked me up! Reminds me how I loved to play outside when I was a kid. When it was cold outside I would play board games inside with my sisters but when the summer came I was outside all of the time playing with my neighborhood pals.

Can you relate to that? Do you think that video games keep kids today from playing outside? Not sure that I do because my son usually just played with his Nintendo when the weather was bad or it was dark. He loved to be outside. Yet I do think that, generally speaking, video games keep kids indoors.


Ever had really high expectations and have somewhat of a let down? Fifteen years ago my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in Niagara Falls. Our hotel room overlooked the horseshoe falls on the Canadian side. Here is the view from our room.

Quite majestic. And awesome. If only I didn’t have expectations. Hype and preconceived ideas are not the best way to approach something as monumental and unique as Niagara Fall.

It is also not the best west to approach God and prayer.

I think that we often imagine God to be someone, or something, that he is not.

Before traveling east I imagined Niagara to be much different - I was sucked into my own imagination. I envisioned something much taller, much louder and frankly more majestic. At first glance, from my hotel room, I was disappointed because of my expectations of the Falls.

We can, in the same way, be disappointed with God when he does not meet our expectations. We often imagine that he will do something in one manner - then he acts, or doesn't act, in a way contrary to our thinking. And we are disappointed. We often come to God in prayer expecting Him to answer according to our imaginations. And we are disappointed when he doesn't.

After the initial letdown my wife and I journeyed closer to the Falls. A few more pictures.

Taken from the Maid of the Mist as we headed towards the Falls

The overwhelmingly breathtaking view from the Maid of the Mist.

You know, when the view changes … when the perspective or context is different … a different dynamic is at play. When I saw the falls from the boat I was able to take in the power of the falls. Up close the waters seemed more powerful. The sounds much louder. Everything seemed different.

Rainbow arching over the Falls.

Later that day we returned to our hotel room. I looked out the window and saw this image.  When I saw the bow I was reminded of God’s blessings. Sometimes we can only see the blessings from afar.

I think that a different perspective often brings us to a new place of appreciation for God’s working in our lives - if we can only get past our expectations and imaginations.

Rocketman | ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Elton John is one of the most iconic performers of my lifetime. His music is legendary. His sound is unique. Even so, this movie surprised me. I was not ready to watch a movie that was so transparent and so revealing.

The flick takes us on a journey. Beginning with childhood Reginald Kenneth Dwight, Elton's name before he changed it, showed somewhat of a musical genius. He played his grandmother's piano at age 7 and won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when he was 11.

His life trek continues as he meets his life long song writing partner Bernie Taupin and finds success and eventual fame in Rock and Roll. Yet Elton's life is fraught with pain. And the pain morphs into addiction. John reveals a lot about himself as he uncovers his painful past.

I thought that Taron Egerton did a great job playing Elton. I loved that he sang the songs himself and didn't try to copy John's voice while keeping true to his sound. The film was a good mix of music and drama. I really liked the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★☆☆.

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