Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Which Country Are You?

The Quiz Speaks

American Flag
United States Of America -
The most well-renowned country in modern day times. The
militaristic superpower, the United States of
America are also known as the bossiest nation.


Known Worldwide.

A Beacon to Others.


Fast Food.



Despised by Most Others.


Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Jasper Speaks:
Yeah and I am PROUD to be an American, not and American't.
Thank you very much!

Monday, March 01, 2004

The Passion Assaults Our Sensibilities
The Critics Speak:

Several critics have weighed in on the Passion and here are what they are saying:

1. "The problem with The Passion's violence is not merely how difficult it is to take, it's that its sadistic intensity obliterates everything else about the film. Worse than that, it fosters a one-dimensional view of Jesus, reducing his entire life and world-transforming teaching to his sufferings, to the notion that he was exclusively someone who was willing to absorb unspeakable punishment for our sins."
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

2. "Mr. Gibson has departed radically from the tone and spirit of earlier American movies about Jesus, which have tended to be palatable (if often extremely long) Sunday school homilies designed to soothe the audience rather than to terrify or inflame it. The Passion of the Christ is so relentlessly focused on the savagery of JesusÂ’ final hours that this film seems to arise less from love than from wrath, and to succeed more in assaulting the spirit than in uplifting it. Mr. Gibson has constructed an unnerving and painful spectacle that is also, in the end, a depressing one."
A. O. Scott The New York Times

3. "For the first time in my life I have a visceral idea of what the Passion consisted of. I think that those who criticize the film for concentrating on the death of Jesus and not his life teachings, miss the point. This is not a sermon or a homily, but a visualization of the central event in the Christian religion. Take it or leave it." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Jasper Speaks
It is so interesting to hear what people are thinking. I am very encouraged that this movie has, at it's least, stirred up discussion of Christ in the common world. As far as these reviews go I have numbered them above so I can rebut each.

1. The Chrsitian in me read this and said --- DUH! I had to remind myself that not all believe. Jesus' life, work and teachings all do lead up to this one moment of taking on the sins of the world. A common "scholar" would even understand this. Anyone who has ever read the Gospels will realize this. It is the climax of the story. This is true even in the most literal litary analysis of the text. I mean we are talking 7th grade English lesson here people. All of Christ's teachings were simply rising action to this moment. He came to die. Jesus said that himself on many occaisions. It is sad to think that someone would view this film and not understand that this is very true. I doubt that Mr. Turan is in anyway of believer in Christ. I pray that this movie's imagaes will continue to haunt him and he will look into the full claims of Christ as a result.

2. We need to have our spirit's assaulted. This movie is a display of historical fact. To parade a barely sweating Jesus down the Via Delarosa and then comfortably tie him to a beam of wood completely misses the accuracy of what happened. I admit this is not an easy film to watch. The times were savage. The people were savage. It is a period in history where people would flock to arenas to watch others be maulled to death by lions. Turning our back on the savagry of the time is to ignore what it really means and what we can learn from those times. I don't want an easy going Christ. That is not the God I know nor the one I choose to serve.

3. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to see that Roger Ebert (and his counterpoint Richard Roeper) actully "got" this film. It is great for him to acknowledge this not only as great film but to understand that this is a very realistic portrayal of the centerpiece event that shaped Christianity.

I was not surprised to see and hear most of the critics brush this film off as a nothing moment in film history. It was a movie that changes your soul. It was not violence for violence sake. It was not crude language or gratuitous nudity. I am not surprised that for the most part they don't get it. It is popular to stand agianst this film. I am encouraged that prominent critics like Ebert and Roeper would be willing to stand for right even if they are in the minority. Hollywood just does not know how to embrace such a powerful, true film.

Sunday, February 29, 2004


The Academy Speaks
LOTR was a clean sweep!!! It won every award it was nominated for! It is now tied for the most Oscars for one picture ever! GO LOTR!

Jasper Speaks
I actually was a skeptic and didn't believe the Academy could do this for this film so I missed a couple. Overall I did okay. I logged onto the enhanced tv thing on abc and came in the top 6% of all people voting during the show so that ain't too shabby. For a full list of what I got right and wrong just look for the Oscar logo in my previous posts! The biggest disappointment of the night was LOST IN SNOOZELAND winning best screenplay! But I will overlook it since LOTR won EVERYTHING IT WAS UP FOR (including Best Adapted Screenplay).

After a couple of last minute decisions (but before the winners were announced) I got 17 out of 24 right of the top prizes including all of the 6 top catagories. (The top are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress). This also includes catagories like Best short and Best Documentary and other stuff I hadn't even heard of and just gave a blind guess to!

My favorite moment was when FINDING NEMO won and the very ordinary looking man told his wife that he loved her. She was very ordinary looking as well. He said the first time he told her that was in a note in eight grade. I am such a sissy but it touched me that non-perfect people would win and that he could testify to longevity and love for his mate. You go Nemo!

well as s you surely understand the Oscars tale forever and I am SOOOOO sleepy as it is now like 12:15ish here. Again I say Go LOTR!!!

Thank you and good night!
And I Thought Walking on Water Was Impressive

The Numbers Speak:
Jesus Christ Works Miracles at Box Office

By Dean Goodman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mel Gibson (news) turned water into wine at the North American box office as the faithful flocked to watch the writer/director's controversial labor of love, "The Passion of the Christ," over the weekend.

The gritty movie, which revolves around the last 12 hours of Christ's life, sold an estimated $76.2 million worth of tickets for the three days beginning Feb. 27, officials for the film said on Sunday -- the seventh-best three-day opener of all time, and the best for a new release in February.

Since opening on Wednesday, "Passion" has grossed $117.5 million, which included about $3 million worth of group sales for preview screenings the prior two days. The tally represented the second-best for a Wednesday release, behind only 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" with $124.1 million in its first five days.

However, the Friday-to-Sunday sum for "Passion" beat the equivalent three-day haul for "The Return of the King" of $72.7 million. The three-day record of $115 million is held by the 2002 hit "Spider-Man."

"Passion" also ranks as the second-best R-rated opener, behind last year's "The Matrix Reloaded" with a three-day sum of $92 million.

Jasper Speaks:
This is awesome! I have refrained from making remarks about this film since I saw it more from lack of time than "passion". I keep telling people that it is not so much a movie as an "experience". (Yes, I realize how hokey that may sound but it is true). I was moved to tears over the simple moments of the movie. The scourging scene hurt me deeply but it was the actual lines written from Scripture that Christ actually said that moves me to tears.

I am taking my small group a week from Wednesday (when Kaleb gets back from his trip to Ecuador). I am looking forward to the conversation it stimulates. It has been interesting talking to other Youth Pastors and people from my church that have seen it. It has seemed to deeply affect everyone who has seen it.

I do realize that even we as Christians come into the movie with prejudices. We want to like the movie. We want to be moved. So I can understand why those who come in looking for wrong and inconsistencies find them. As I have written here before, Jesus is still controversial. I am just glad that so many Christians especially have been challenged by this new look at this central story of our faith.

I am encouraged to see that the movie is making this much money. I pray that it will continue to move people for a long time.