Saturday, June 24, 2006


Winning isn't everything.

In our consumer driven society today, to win is the greatest thing ever. Winning itself has become our national pasttime. To win isn't a bad thing, but when the desire to win supercedes everything else, it can become an epidemic.

Cars, the Pixar film staring the voices of Owen Wilson (Lightning McQueen), Paul Newman (Doc Hudson), Bonnie Hunt (Sally), Larry the Cable Guy (Mater), among many others, is a film about many things about which we need reminding: to take life a bit slower; to stop and smell the roses; to never overlook the 'little' people; to respect those who have gone before us; and perhaps most importantly, that it's not about winning.

McQueen is the rookie sensation whose biggest dream in life is to win at the races. But in his rookie year, he ties for the big prize (The Piston Cup) and, to win it all, he has to race in a tiebreaker contest in California. On the way there, he and his driver doze off on the road; in so doing, he rolls off the highway into a little one-stoplight town called Radiator Springs.

While there, he learns some lessons in humility and friendship from the other cars. He learns that life isn't all about racing, and that real happiness doesn't always end in the Piston Cup.

In the end, when he leaves Radiator Springs and gets to California's tiebreaker race, he finally gets it. He understands that it's more than winning, even more than how he plays the game; what it's really all about is sacrificing for another when they need it most.

What's it really all about?

Jesus said it plainly. It's not about winning because there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend or even, someone against whom you are competing. And in that act of defiance against the way of the world is the real victory.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Superman Preview

I have not blogged in awhile because my work has actually kept me from going to the movies lately. However, over the weekend, I got the chance to see Cars and The Lake House. I will be blogging on those later this week.

In the meantime, I have posted this excerpt from TIME magazine by film critic Richard Corliss on the connection of Superman Returns with the story of Christ from the New Testament. It has a few spoilers, so be warned. Through next week, I will be blogging more about this expected summer blockbuster and its biblical allusions. Until then, enjoy this preview.

The Gospel of Superman
by Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
(excerpt from the June 26, 2006 issue)

"Earlier versions of Superman stressed the hero's humanity: his attachment to his Earth parents, his country-boy clumsiness around Lois. The (Bryan) Singer version emphasizes his divinity. He is not a super man; he is a god (named Kal-El), sent by his heavenly father (Jor-El) to protect Earth. That is a mission that takes more than muscles; it requires sacrifice, perhaps of his own life. So he is no simple comic-book hunk. He is Earth's savior: Jesus Christ Superman.

"Using snippets of Marlon Brando's performance as Jor-El from the 1978 Super-man movie, in which Brando passes on the wisdom 'The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son,' Singer establishes his own film's central relationship. It is not romantic, between Lois and Clark. It's familial--the bond of two sets of fathers and sons: Jor-El and Superman, then Superman and Jason. Each parent tells his child that he must surpass the old man's feats, improve on Dad's legend. Poignantly, this strength, this divinity, isolates Superman from Earth's humans. He can save them but not be one of them. Lois can love him but never understand him.

"The movie cogently ransacks elements from all kinds of myths, classic and modern. Superman is the god who fell to Earth, enduring a cycle of death and transfiguration. And since he has sired a boy who is part human, he could be the Jesus of the Gnostic Gospels. And Lois? Mary Magdalene!

"...The best Hollywood movies always knew how to sneak a beguiling subtext into a crowd-pleasing story. Superman Returns is in that grand tradition. That's why it's beyond Super. It's superb."