“Martian Child” is one of those heart-warming movies, where you know exactly where it’s going the whole time, but you enjoy getting there, anyway. John Cusack plays David, a young widower who tries adopting a socially awkward little boy named Dennis (Bobby Coleman) who says he’s from Mars. David’s sister Liz (Cusack’s real-life sister Joan) is something less than supportive, but his almost-girlfriend Harlee (Amanda Peet) helps everyone adjust to each other, and overcome the many emotional obstacles. Satisfying, even without any suspense.
“In Bruges”: Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) play two British hit men (one English, one Irish) sent by their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes) for a little R & R in Bruges, Belgium. Ken seems to be a gentle middle-aged man just enjoying the sights like any tourist, but Ray, younger and much more impatient and tightly wound, can’t wait to leave, until he meets a striking woman named Chloe (Clemence Poesy), and now he is suddenly more interested in staying a while. But all is not as tranquil as it appears, as the past begins to catch up to them all. Ray is dealing with enormous guilt about a “hit” on a priest gone bad (not because of the hapless priest, whose offense remains mysterious, but because of the unintended collateral damage). So our main characters find themselves in old cathedrals discussing the afterlife, divine retribution, and other seemingly sublime theological topics, especially for a couple of murderers for hire. Throw in some other very odd sequences, like doing drugs with a racist dwarf, and a fistfight involving both male and female patrons in a swanky restaurant, and you have this really quirky adult story with an ironic sense of humor, and somehow the tight script and the first-class actors hold it all together. But a genteel person might walk away wondering what planet these people inhabit.
Even more difficult to watch than “In Bruges,” because of
the torture scenes. Jennifer
Sylvester Stallone reprises his one-man army role, but
“violent” doesn’t even begin to characterize it.
Rambo now captains a small river boat in
Questions For Discussion:
1) Where are the world’s current locales for ongoing genocide? What would a constructive intervention look like?
2) What’s your observation about the adoption of older children? Has it worked out well for everybody? Should single adults be eligible to adopt? Regardless of their sexual orientation?
3) Have you ever clicked in to a website where you chose to remain anonymous? What are the potential consequences of wholesale anonymity?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian