Lots of things going on so let's do a quick catch up:
Las Vegas was great fun! I'll share a couple pictures as soon as I download them from the camera. Highlight for both my lady wife and me had to be the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. She got her photo taken with a Klingon,I got to sit in the Captain's chair on the bridge of the Enterprise and I have my very own phaser now! Exceedingly cool. We gambled a little. She won a bit on the slots, I won a bit on blackjack and lost it on roulette (roulette is a sucker bet. But it's kind of fun). We saw the Grand Canyon, had dinner with old friends, walked the strip, gawked like tourists. We're looking forward to going back some day. Best deal is the monorail on the strip and the bus service, worst deal is breakfast. We spent more on breakfast several days than we did on other meals. It is possible to go to Vegas and not spend a ton of money. We stayed at a casino (Sahara) for $79 a night. You can do food pretty cheap (lots of chains and fast food available. Even eating at the casinos can be done with a little work for not too much). And you don't have to gamble at all and still have fun.
Seen two movies in the theaters in the last two weeks.
Iron Man - This was my boyhood favorite among the comic book heroes. Conflicted, not impervious to destruction and just the right amount of snappy repartee. So I was concerned about how it would translate to the big screen. About half of the comic book movies are just dreadful (Fantastic Four as an example). But I really liked this. Robert Downey Jr as Stark is great, love the rest of the cast. While I understand the complaints about Pepper Potts being a bit of a wilting female "oooh, save me Iron Man" I don't think it's too over the top. Besides Gwyneth Paltrow is stunning as a red head and I think I'm in love.
Also an interesting commentary on the American way of life and foreign policy. Highly recommend.
Prince Caspian -
The second Narnia movie is another highly recommend. The CG stuff is better, the movie is a faithful representation of the book. It did get a little noisy at times with all the girlie sighing coming from my lady wife and daughter every time Ben Barnes who plays the title role was on the screen. My whole family really like the first movie in this series, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but were in agreement that this one is even better.
I think both movies would make great starting points for discussion with youth groups.
Wow, I'm way behind on movies so let's do it quickly:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind This is a well written, well acted, well directed,nicely filmed movie...that I didn't like at all. Weird, huh? The problem is that I don't much like either of the two main characters. It mirrors my feelings about "Lost in Translation". Plus I'm appalled at the way Netflix describes some of these movies. This one was described as a "romantic comedy". Romantic, yes. Comedy? Not even. Saw it. Moving on.
Gandhi - A movie I've seen several times before. Stunning, wonderful and powerful. Love everything about it. Even it's astounding length.
Ten Items or Less - Now here's a quirky little movie that I loved. Morgan Freeman is on my list of people I'd watch doing just about anything. And Paz Vega is on my list of people I'd just watch. Period. Funny, silly, a little off center. Really enjoyed it.
Forrest Gump - I'm always amazed at the folks who take pot shots at Tom Hanks as an actor. He takes risks (come on he's playing a mentally challenged person in this role who has to carry the whole freaking film!)and he creates lovable, believable characters. Really enjoyed this movie. Has a great supporting cast too. I completely understand the 6 Oscars it won.
Schindler's List - This one blew me away. Especially the final scene (which comes as a wonderful surprise so I won't spoil it) Powerful and challenging. Great cast and great performances. Yes, it's another very long movie (two discs) but well worth the time.
Looking back any of these movies would be a great discussion point for youth ministry. Even "Eternal Sunshine". I'd just never watch it for enjoyment.
My pace for watching movies has slowed. I've been watching a BBC production called "Foyle's War" which I've been enjoying too.
Ok, now I'm back.