Hate and Love
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”:
Yes, Johnny Depp can really sing.
And so can Helena Bonham Carter.
The Stephen Sondheim musical, based on an 18th-century
urban legend, is beyond dark; it’s gothic ironic.
Lots of cruelty, revenge, and cold-blooded murder.
It creates a mood, all right, but even in its music,
there’s no love; only hate.
The polar opposite of Sweeney Todd.
In this bright-eyed modern fairy tale, the main character
is a fairy princess named Giselle (Amy Adams) who’s so cute and
sweet and upbeat it’s hard to believe she’s real.
Well, actually, she starts out not real, an animated
character, but because of the wicked witch Narissa (Susan
Sarandon) who doesn’t want to give up being the Queen, Giselle
finds herself on the streets of New York in her ginormous wedding
dress, still looking for her gallant groom, Prince Charming.
She’s lost her way, but never her good cheer, even when
confronted with impossible obstacles.
Yes, Prince Edward (James Marsden) is on his way to rescue
her, but what if his foray into the “real world” exposes him
as intrepid but vapid? Would
our fairy princess actually prefer someone with more depth of
character, even a bit rough around the edges?
A sweet little charmer of a film.
And the Chipmunks”: Could
we really be interested in a whole movie based on a novelty song
from 50 years ago? But
” clicks because the writers and director are all veteran,
award-winning animators, and the main human character is played by
Jason Lee, an award-winning television actor.
The computer graphics make the three singing chipmunks
“real”, and we find ourselves enjoying this cute little
cartoon comedy, despite our initial reluctance.
Another sweet little charmer of a film.
“I Am Legend”:
Definitely not a sweet little charmer.
Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last man alive.
lives in an empty
New York City
, where the weeds are growing through the streets and he tracks
wild deer down
, and he picks corn from the stalks in
. It seems that three
years before, some smarmy researcher claimed she had found a cure
for cancer. The
trouble is, it killed cancer cells, all right, but was itself an
incredibly virulent virus, completely resistant to any known
medication. It turned
people into rabid zombies, who then preyed on those not yet
infected, until there was nobody left except Dr. Neville, medical
researcher, somehow immune. So,
after “borrowing” a few Van Goghs for his private digs (why
not?), he’s still doggedly doing experiments on captured
mutants, trying to “cure” them, but he’s slowly going out of
his mind, because there’s no one to connect with.
The zombies are like vampires, burned by the sunlight, but
come roaring out at night like ravenous wolves, and the whole dark
world is filled with hate and violence, and God seems have left
(Psalm 53:1). When
Eve finally does show up at Adam’s door, with Abel already in
tow and no Cain in sight, he banishes her from his (Madison
Square) Garden to go find her own East of Eden (Genesis 3), where
the number saved is considerably less than 144,000 (Revelation
14:3), but not before, Messiah-like, sacrificing himself to save
the elect remnant. So,
what if the post-apocalypse destroys as pervasively as The Flood
(Genesis 8)? Does
anyone really want to be the Last Man Standing?
Questions for Discussion:
Is it possible that we will have a
plague for which there is no cure?
Is it possible that God would choose
to decimate the earth in this way? (Genesis 8:21-2)
Is it possible that Prince Charming
would turn out to be sincere but shallow?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen,
Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church,