Time And Again


Though I’ve never seen it, I bought a copy of Wall Streeton Blu-Ray this week.

I’ve heard it’s a good movie, and rather significant, and all that, I’ve just never really cared enough to watch it.

I bought it because the sequel is coming out this weekend, and I want to watch the first one so I can watch the second.

That said, my feelings about the sequel are really not that much different than the first. It looks rather interesting, but I don’t know that it’s really something I would, for its own merits, be in a big hurry to go see.

Either movie individually, I’d be somewhat blasé about. Put both of them together, and I’m extremely interested.

Basically, it’s less the plots of either movie that I’m interested in, than the passage of time between the two. Between the two movies is a span of 23 years, and I’m a sucker for long-term storytelling like that.

I watched the original Rockyon DVD, but, while I’ve seen bits and pieces of the next four Rocky movies, I’ve never watched any of them all the way through. I never had any desire to do so. Rocky Balboa,I watched the weekend it opened. I loved the idea of the character being revisited 16 years after the last movie, and 30 years after the first.

I’m also a sucker for aging for some reason, and can easily get into movies that deal with that subject. It wasn’t as long a gap since the first movie, but that’s part of why I love Star Trek II,which is a meditation on the aging of Kirk and his crew, 16 years after the beginning of the five-year mission. It’s fascinating to see them deal with being past their prime, a theme that was even more prevalent in Rocky Balboa; you never see movies about action heroes after the action ends. This was one of my disappointments with the latest Indiana Jonesmovie, I would have preferred it deal a little more with aging and the passage of time. (One of my disappointments.)

To a lesser extent, Kevin Smith dealt with this in a different way in Clerks II;his characters are still young, but at an age that they should no longer be the man-children that they were in the first film. I’m intrigued by the rumors of a third Bill & Ted movie for the same reasons. I have a hard time envisioning a real-time-aged Bill and Ted.

And, oh, sweet Tron: Legacy. Old Jeff Bridges and young Jeff Bridges in the same movie? Yeah, count me in.

What about you? Do you have any favorite long-delay sequels?

The Hell, You Say?


This is the latest in my series of blog entries taking a fresh look at a variety of topics over the year. I’ve set up a page on the blog explaining the project and linking to my entries. This post’s topic is “Hell.”


Dante's Gates of Hell

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Today’s post is going to deal with heresy that I think is actually a bit too far out there for me.

These are some things that I have trouble accepting myself, that I don’t see as being Bibically-consistent, but that raise some interesting questions or possibilities to use as diagnostic tools for examining what I do believe.

Because, you know, really, hell is a difficult subject.

I’m empathetic to the question of why a loving God would send people to hell. I disagree with it — I don’t believe God sends anyone to hell — but I’m empathetic to it. I believe He allows people to choose hell. He doesn’t want them to, but will let them if they’re so inclined. He throws us the rope to escape it, but won’t make us grab it.

But even then, I still struggle with it. People do stupid things. It’s in our nature. It’s unavoidable. And God, being omniscient, knows that. Free will is great and all, but eternal damnation is a high price to pay for making a stupid, human decision. How does a loving God allow us to bear so high a cost for a stupid and, in the context of eternity, momentary lapse? It’s not even, really, an informed decision; we’re called to make the choice without having experience with either heaven or hell or even the cognitive ability to truly understand them.

And I don’t claim to have the answer. Don’t claim to begin to understand. There are times when the most spiritually honest and mature answer you can give is “I don’t know,” and for me this is one of them.

But I’ll share three things I’m not ready to believe that do color my thinking; three fascinating bits of heresy to play with in your free time. Continue reading