Jurassic Park III & Movies for discussion starters

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Just to make you smile;-)Jurassic Park III is being premiered in my town here in Montana. The producer, director and the palentologist whom the movie is based upon are here.(Tues.July 17,)By the way the lead character played by Sam Neil is based on Jack Horner who resides in my town. Anyway when I go to see movies I am always thinking about how to use movies in bible discussions. Are there any movies that come to mind that can be used to discuss the Bible. What are your thoughts?

-- Anonymous, July 17, 2001


Since I am a semi-accomplished actor and amatuer film critic :-) allow me to submit my 2 cents on this topic. First, I only go to the movies to be entertained. Tinseltown is not designed to provide informative documentaries. If I desire to be informed about something my instincts tell me to pick up the NY Times, Wash Post, catch a lecture by William Safire, Cass Sunstein or Karen Armstrong or tune in the History Channel or PBS. I saw the movie "Last Temptation of Christ" and defended my decision based on artistic freedom of expression [albeit heretical] and not theological endorsement. I don't need Tinseltown trying to "inform" me about scientific truth. Now concerning our dinosaur friends in Jurassic Park III, I predict this movie will be the biggest box-office flop of the summer. I saw the first two movies in this series but I can't envision what can be done to maintain cinematic interest by making another installment. I mean, unless the dinos are talking or playing bid wiz and some enormous lizard "runs a Boston", what is the point of showing the hazards of altering dino-DNA patterns? The absence of Sir Richard Attenborough in JP III makes for an especially dull and uninspiring story line. QED

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Bill, as always you make me laugh. Cokesbury publishing has a Bible study for young adults called "reel to real" in which certain movies are looked at for discussion, some of the movies are awakening, patch adams, star wars etc. Some of the topics include presense of God, morality, etc. Cokesbury is the United Methodist Publishing Company by the way. I am thinking of ordering it for our young adults. So that is where I got the question. One of the things as a Pastor I am hoping to impart to our young people is how to be a Christian in this secular world. Since so much money is spent by young people going to the movies,I think it important for them to be aware of what they are watching. For example the movie Star Wars famous line is "may the force be with you" well for us as Christians that "force" is God! I just want to come up with some creative ways to help young people see that God is working in all aspects of their lives. Even Jurassic Park III is ripe for discussion, God created the universe, should humans be cloning animals, people etc. I just want to get some discussions going and a thirst and desire to read the Bible.

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

That is a good way to open up a line of communication.

Two movies that I have heard many Christians use as topics for discussion are The Matrix, and The Green Mile.

Although I saw the Matrix, it was a bit much for me, but I can understand the symbolism that could be used. The Green Mile should stir up a great deal of conversation.

I admire how you are willing to reach out to all people.

In Christ, Carmen

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Carmen thanks for the vote of support, as a matter of fact the Matrix and the Green Mile are part of this curriculum. The green mile is so rich for christian discussion, I think of forgiveness, grace and transformation. How did the green mile touch the discussion board family. And Carmen, I too would love to hear from others about the Matrix and what themes they see in the movie. And lastly, God is so good, and powerful and love filled I praise him for never giving up on me. And I am excited because I am in a denomination that encourages creativity. God is good all the time!

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

I like the Matrix...many of us perfer the illusion rather than reality. Then too, what is reality?

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Here is my review of "The Matrix":

A surrealistic tale of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo with a predictable "forces of good vs. forces of evil" plot and an unnecessary complicated romantic twist. Where is the theological value in a movie which trivializes reality and worships illusion? The special effects were OK but do not come close to say the current Asian film wonder Crouching the Dragon or even cult classics like Terminator II or Raiders of the Lost Ark. Having worked in the area of applied mathematics for close to 20 years I have benfitted from solving real "matrices" by hand calculation as well as computer simulation. Perhaps the producers of The Matrix should have enrolled in a non-linear algebra course to better appreciate what reality is really about, seeking solutions not distortions. Hmmmm....I'm sensing my next career move may be in cinematic criticism. How's the pay?? QED

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

Hey Bill...

In your post you compared the Matrix to Crunching Dragon Hidden Dragon...did you know that Yen Wo-Ping choreographed both films? His animation company is the "bomb!"

-- Anonymous, July 18, 2001

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