Commentary

August 8, 2014

Fly Over: ‘Crazy Love’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Timothy Boyer and Nestor Cruz

crazy-love-francis-chan1

‘Crazy Love’

I must begin this review with full disclosure – the book being reviewed is about God told through the perspective of Christianity. If you are someone who is uninterested or offended by these topics, this book is not for you.
If, however, you are one of the millions who are interested in learning more about the Christian faith, as is evidenced by the recent scores of blockbuster movies on the topic, or if you are a Christian who wants a deeper look at what your faith means, this book is a must-read.
In the book “Crazy Love,” author and pastor Francis Chan takes the reader on a life-altering introspective journey into faith.
The book begins by instructing the reader to stop praying, and to spend time listening to God. Chan explains that prayers are often filled with a laundry list of demands of God, rather than contemplation on who God is and what he desires for his followers.
Next, Chan reminds readers of their mortality, and that every second on earth is actually a blessing and ought to be used. Next is the chapter in which the book got its name.
Chan explains that it is absolutely crazy that the creator of the universe would desire to have a relationship with mankind. He explains that God does not need people to be content, but that he wants those relationships. God desires a real relationship with people, and the only way to have a true relationship with people is to give them a choice. This answers the question of why people have the free will to either follow God or go another direction. But Chan’s main point is that it is crazy, in a good way, that the God who created the earth, animals, plants and people would desire a relationship with you or me.
After exploring the nature of God’s love comes what I found to be the most difficult part of the book, a “profile of the lukewarm.” This chapter challenges the reader to question their commitment to their faith and their motives. Through this evaluative process, the reader comes away with a clearer picture of places in their faith that need work.
Chan is careful to point out that this book is not designed to discourage people who identify shortcomings, but rather to encourage them to make the changes in their lives to rectify those issues.
“Crazy Love” is written with a clarity often lacking in inspirational books. Chan has an ability to grip the reader while keeping the writing to a level that is easy to understand.
This book in mentally exhausting, and there are even moments in the book in which the author directs the reader to stop reading and to let the information process.
The question may arise as to whether you need to be a Christian to enjoy this book, and my answer to that is no. While it was clearly written for those who claim to be Christians as an intended audience, reading this book for the nonChristian will help to expand his world-view and understanding of the Christian faith.
For those Christians who take the time to read this book, it will give you a renewed perspective on what it means to live out your faith.
This book is definitely worth the read for anyone interested in faith and religion.

 

Guardians-poster

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Marvel Studios continues its winning streak with their latest blockbuster release, “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
One may think “Another superhero movie??” Well, not exactly. Pardon the geek reference but think of this as “Firefly” with a Marvel spin.
Nongeeks: this is more or less “Ocean’s 11” in space.
The great thing about “Guardians” is it’s a lesser-known Marvel property, lesser than say “Spider-Man” or “Avengers.” This fact allows a wider audience to jump in and enjoy the fun without high expectations (except the expectation inherent nowadays in a Marvel Studios movie).
“Guardians” tells the tale of human adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), who calls himself “Star-Lord” and wishes other people would call him by that name. Quill steals a mysterious orb and tries to sell it to a buyer, but when he mentions being chased by henchmen working for Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), the buyer quickly changes his mind and backs out of the deal.
Gamora (Zoe Saldana), for reasons of her own, decides this is the perfect opportunity to steal the orb from Quill. Coincidentally, this is also the moment Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) spot Quill and decide to capture him to collect the bounty on his head. The four are arrested by Nova HQ enforcers and carted off to the space prison Kyln.
Every inmate at Kyln wants to see Gamora dead since she’s the daughter of the mad titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). She forms an uneasy temporary alliance with Quill, Rocket, Groot and fellow inmate Drax (World Wrestling Entertainment megastar Dave Bautista) to break out of prison and sell the orb to another buyer.
The prison breakout scene is one of the most memorable moments in the movie, showcasing each character’s personality and abilities. Gun-toting Rocket blows away prison guards with gusto and uses his knowledge of electronics to help the group break out. And Gamora continues Marvel’s tradition of token butt-kicking femme fatales.
Drax stands out as the surprise character of “Guardians” using his muscles and uber-literal mind at all the right plot points of the movie. Wait for the part when he says “My reflexes will catch it!”
It is revealed at some point in the movie that the mysterious orb contains one of the Infinity Gems, gems of great power and each with the ability to grant its bearer total mastery over an aspect of the multiverse: Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality and Power. For those keeping score at home, this is the Power Gem and the third Infinity Gem revealed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the initial appearance of Thanos at the end of 2012’s “Marvel’s The Avengers,” comic book fans knew it would be a matter of time before the mad titan collects the gems into a weapon called the Infinity Gauntlet.
Ronan succeeds in acquiring the Power Gem, prompting Quill and company to retrieve the gem and save the galaxy.
Writer and director James Gunn manages to pack action, heart and good old fashioned fun into a two-hour movie. Throw in an amazing soundtrack of songs from Quill’s “Awesome Mix tape Vol. 1” – from Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” to the classic Jackson 5 hit “I Want You Back” – and “Guardians of the Galaxy” gives summer moviegoers exactly what they are looking for.
“Guardians” is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and some language.




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