Sunday, November 16, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Ark

This might be the film that inspired me to get into the film industry. Besides being one of the most iconic adventure films of all time, it's just great filmmaking in every aspect. The attached scene is, in my opinion, the best chase scene of all cinema. Great camera work, amazing cutting and stuntwork. Spielberg shows off all of his talent in this one. It's too bad that the latest installment has disappointed. I still haven't seen it.

The Southland Is Burning!

What a couple of crazy weeks! We have a new President-elect, Proposition 8 passed, and now the Inland Empire is in flames. The picture on the left pretty much shows what the skies of Los Angeles have looked like. What's next? Oh yeah, we're way, way behind schedule at Lost which means I'm working every weekend which then means I see very little of my family. I hope we'll be able to catch up enough this upcoming week so that we won't have to work again next weekend. We'll see what this week brings us. I have to say I'm not surprised at the angry backlash at the passing of Prop. 8. Last Sunday was very tense in our Stake as our Stake President was nervous about potential disruptions of meetings because of demonstrators marching around the perimeter of the temple grounds. Our chapel is adjacent to the Los Angeles Temple so President Bragg assigned various High Council members and others to patrol the parking lot to make sure no one tried to cause trouble. I think prayers were answered because we haven't experienced any disruptions, although we still have to keep an eye out until the emotions of this vote simmer down a bit. It's an emotional issue no doubt and they have every right to protest. Now we just have to wait and see what happens with the various lawsuits against Prop. 8.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grand Canyon

Another link to a trailer of one of my favorite movies. I had a difficult time finding an actual scene on You-Tube to link up, so the trailer will have to do. Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Return of the Jedi, Silverado, and The Big Chill to name a few, made this film about the lives of six different people in Los Angeles in the early 90's and how they intertwine. Think of this film as the serious side to the funny movie L.A. Story which also starred Steve Martin. This film has a phenomenal ensemble of Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, and Mary-Louise Parker. And if you're a current Law & Order fan, you might recognize a very young Jeremy Sisto playing the teenage son of Kevin Kline and McDonnell.

The Day Is Almost Here . . .

At last! In just a few days, we will know who will be our next President. We will know if Proposition 8 passed or not. Even better, no more political ads flooding the airwaves. I just pray that I don't wake up on Wednesday morning to turn on the news to see that provisional ballots are being counted and that it's still too early to call. Just the thought of the mess of the 2000 elections makes me ill. I have to admit, I feel good about Obama's chances. The polls are in his favor and he even seems to be doing alright in McCain's home state of Arizona. I do have to say something that's been bothering me for awhile. Why does it seem that if you're a Democrat and you're LDS, that you have to keep it on the "down-low"? Why do I hear members of the Church express fear that Obama is someone to be afraid of, that he will allow Islamic extremists to overrun the country if he is elected. Why do I see "Joe the Plumber" endorse the idea that Obama is in favor of terminating the state of Israel? Where do these ideas come come from? Fox News? Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Sarah Palin? Does anything in Obama's behavior or actual political views resemble anything near these extreme right-wing water carriers are squaking about on their daily radio shows? In fact, I just received a mailer today for a "Yes On 8" that was distributed by a coalition of inner-city ministers who believe in standing up for traditional marriage. Guess who also believes in the same? Barack Obama. If you have the mailer at home you'll recognize the quote. Speaking to a group of Southern California ministers back in August, Obama said the following: "I'm not in favor of gay marriage . . .". On the same flier, there's an additional quote saying: "Now, for me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. God's in the mix." Does that sound like someone who would be tolerant to Islamic fundamentalism? If someone out there can explain to me or document to me anything with real journalistic integrity that Obama is a secretly raging Islamic fundamentalist, please do. Please, nothing from Limbaugh or Hannity or William Kristol, I want something from a real unbiased source. Perhaps these pathetic notions of the country needing to be afraid of Obama come from a place within ourselves we don't want to have to face, racism. Are we afraid that if a black man is elected into the Oval Office, that he'll go Simon Legree on us white folk? Maybe I'm completely off base, but somehow I don't think I am. I just wanted to get that off my chest. It's the elephant in the room nobody want to talk about. Please flood me with your comments, rants, and pontifications as I know I surely have.