Over at New Republic, Elaine Teng has written a really interesting piece on Peter Jackson and The Hobbit:

In 2001, when Fellowship of the Ring kick-started the Jackson/Tolkien collaboration, sprawling movie franchises were not yet standard Hollywood cash cows. When Jackson was in negotiations for The Lord of the Rings, he actually had a hard time convincing studios to let him make two movies, let alone three.

Click here to read it in its entirety. The-Hobbit-550x281

An Announcement: Christmas Break for the Writers

Posted: December 18, 2014 by Blaine Grimes in Uncategorized

We here at Reel Thinking would like to share an important announcement with you this Advent season. As you probably know, writing for Reel Thinking is not a full-time job for us. Therefore, in order to spend time with our families and friends this Christmas season, we are going to be taking a short break from the site.

Fear not! This is only a temporary leave, and we will get back to providing you with weekly content shortly after the new year. In the meantime, we will try to stay active on our social networking sites, highlighting new trailers and any noteworthy articles we encounter; so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thank you to all of our readers. We wish you a merry and joyous Christmas and will see you in 2015.

—Soli Deo Gloria

Trailer Tuesday: Taken 23 . . . I mean, 3

Posted: December 16, 2014 by Blaine Grimes in Uncategorized

The tagline on the poster says, “it ends here.” But I bet it doesn’t.

Top 5 Worst Christmas Films

Posted: December 15, 2014 by jperritt in Uncategorized

buddiesWe’ve all heard the saying, You can’t judge a book by its cover.  While I appreciate what this phrase is trying to accomplish, I completely disagree with it.  You absolutely CAN judge a book by its cover – I’m thinking of those pornographic romance novels you see at your local supermarket.  I will judge those books by their cover until Jesus returns.

The same can by true of movies.  There are some movies – maybe even most – that you can judge by their poster/preview.  If we’re honest, there are few movies that end up pulling surprises on us.  Take Jurassic World, for example.  I am excited about this movie and, Lord willing, I will go see this movie, but are we really going to be surprised by anything?  Maybe so, but I would venture to say that dinosaurs will eat people and (most) of the main characters will live.  Please don’t mishear me.  I am not saying we should give up on movies because most plots are similar or recycled.  All I’m saying is that we can judge movies based on their poster or preview.

And, this has been a roundabout way of stating that I haven’t seen any of the below movies.  I’m simply judging them by their covers.  So, hopefully after you survey the below films, you will agree that you can judge movies without having to watch them.  Some of you may object to this, but I would assert the importance of abstaining from films.  After all, we only have a limited amount of time on this earth and it’s not ours to waste.

Without further ado, below is my list of the Top 5 Worst Christmas Movies.  [If any of you strongly disagree, let me hear from you in the comments section.  Please be nice though…it is Christmas, after all.]

Jingle All the Way

Santa Buddies

The Santa Claus 3

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Jingle All the Way 2

Bad Santa

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Weekend Reading Roundup

Posted: December 13, 2014 by Blaine Grimes in Uncategorized

photo 3Moses at the Movies:

“Ridley Scott isn’t the first filmmaker to tackle the story of Moses, and he certainly won’t be the last. There’s drama in the prophet’s confrontations with the rulers of Egypt, there’s spectacle in the miracles he performed to liberate his people, and there are lessons to be learned from the way he led the Israelites and forged them into a nation, not least by giving them the Law. And filmmakers have been turning to Moses’ story for inspiration since pretty much the dawn of cinema.”

Family Man: An Unsanitized Picture of Marriage:

“This is the strong point of The Family Man.  It gives a truthful and glorious picture of marriage.  The exhaustion, the frustration, the joys and the blessings are on full display in this movie.  While husbands and wives can grow in areas of their marriage, marriage is work and TFM is a film that shows this.  However, TFM doesn’t only display the difficulties, but the blessings that come about because of the work.”

Top 5 Christmas Movies:

Take a look at the list, and let us know about your favorite Christmas films.

Hidden Mickeys in Disney Movies:

Apparently Disney has a thing for hiding Mickey in their films. See how many you’ve spotted. 

Top 5 Christmas Movies

Posted: December 11, 2014 by Blaine Grimes in Reel Lists
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At this station in my life, I usually have some time in December to catch up on movie watching. I always try to see some of those movies that “everyone should see,” as well as those recommended to me by friends. At the same time, however, there are certain movies that I like to revisit as Christmas rolls around each year. With that in mind, here is a list of my top 5 favorite Christmas movies.

Home Alone

This has been my Christmas favorite for years. It still makes me laugh after all these years, but it’s best enjoyed with friends and family. My absolute favorite moment is Daniel Stern’s iconic scream when the tarantula is on his face.

A Christmas Story

MV5BMTI1NzY1NjkyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjYxNjE0MQ@@._V1__SX1390_SY676_Jean Shepherd’s subtly humorous, silky-smooth voiceover narration as Ralphie helped this film achieve its status as a classic. It’s a very nostalgic movie, and I can’t really explain why I like it so much. Maybe it has something to do with the 24 hour TBS marathon every year. If you see something many, many times over the years, you’re bound to start liking it. Then again, I have friends who despise it for the very same reason.

Elf

It’s equally charming and funny, and it is easily my favorite Will Ferrell movie. If you haven’t seen this one, you now have homework. The dethroning of the mall Santa is priceless.

The Santa Clause

Okay, I’ll admit, it’s a pure nostalgia pick on my my part. I remember watching this movie as a young boy, and revisiting it brings back some good memories. Also, this is the movie that gave me the courage to try eggnog (see the scene below), and my life hasn’t been the same since.

The Bourne Trilogy

bourne1There’s all sorts of problems with this being on the list. First of all, it’s three films instead of one, making my top five a list of seven. Niether are these movies (to my knowledge) set in or around Christmastime. So why are they on my Christmas movie list? Admittedly, there is a Romans 9-like element of the potter having the right right to do as he wills with his own vessels in this decision; but basically, these movies make my list because, for some unknown reason, I watched them with my family one year while I was on Christmas break in high school, and it’s been a yearly tradition ever since (and don’t pretend like your family doesn’t have weird Christmas traditions). Also, they’re just good movies, so why not watch them on one of those cold winter nights?

 

 

Well, that’s my list! And after reflecting on it, it looks like the Christmas movies I like the most are the ones I have enjoyed with my family and friends over the years. That’s why I don’t consider this a definitive list of the five best christmas movies of all time; they’re just the ones I enjoy revisiting every year. How about you? What is your favorite Christmas movie, and why? Sound off in the comments! Finally, be on the lookout for John’s 5 worst Christmas movies. 

Trailer Tuesdays: The Walk

Posted: December 9, 2014 by jperritt in Uncategorized

familyIf you’ve followed this site much at all, you know that The Family Man is a film I watch every year around Christmas time.  I know, I know…Nicholas Cage is the star, but this was before he got to be the Nicholas Cage who stars in Left Behind.  For those of you who’ve only grown up with this Nicholas Cage, I need to remind you that he won an Oscar for Best Actor.  And, I would also say that his acting is good in this film.  Therefore, if you haven’t seen this film, give it a shot.

With that endorsement, however, comes a warning.  There is some questionable content, but I would argue that the content isn’t needless – it’s illustrative of the overall message.  The movie shows the emptiness of worldliness, but it must do so by accurately depicting worldliness.

However, a specific aspect of this film I enjoy is its depiction of marriage.  I was helped to see this through a conversation I had with a friend.  While I was sharing my enjoyment of this film, my friend exclaimed that he didn’t like it.  As I inquired further, I discovered that his dislike was due to the fact that the husband and wife “argued too much.”  I would simply say that this is part of the reason I do appreciate it.  Many Hollywood films sanitize marriage, love, and relationships to such a degree, the audience ends up being lied to – given a false hope for what marriage should be.

Listen to the opening words of Tim & Kathy Keller’s, The Meaning of Marriage:

I’m tired of listening to sentimental talks on marriage.  At weddings, in church, and in Sunday school, much of what I’ve heard on the subject has as much depth as a Hallmark card.  While marriage is many things, it is anything but sentimental.  Marriage is glorious but hard. It’s a burning joy and strength, and yet it is also blood, sweat, and tears, humbling defeats and exhausting victories.  No marriage I know more than a few weeks old could be described as a fairy tale come true.

This is the strong point of The Family Man.  It gives a truthful and glorious picture of marriage.  The exhaustion, the frustration, the joys and the blessings are on full display in this movie.  While husbands and wives can grow in areas of their marriage, marriage is work and TFM is a film that shows this.  However, TFM doesn’t only display the difficulties, but the blessings that come about because of the work.

So, anyone can understand why we long for a sanitized image of marriage.  Scripture tells us that marriage was designed to communicate Christ’s love for his church. (Eph. 5:22-33)  Our desire for the “perfect marriage” will only take place in the new heavens and the new earth.  This, again, is why I appreciate TFM.  It reminds us that marriage will not be heaven on earth.  Yes we get tastes of that, but it reminds us that we still need redemption and – I don’t know about you – but I like films that point us to our need for that.

Terminator Genisys Trailer

Posted: December 4, 2014 by Blaine Grimes in Uncategorized