HONOR DIARIES



HONOR DIARIES is a very important documentary about the evils and abuses against women and children in the Muslim world in the name of honor. Although this concept of honor is clearly a Muslim perversion of real honor, the nine women who discuss the problem defend Islam several times and suggest the same problem occurs in other religions.
This may be true of Hinduism and Buddhism, but they also extend it to Christianity, which is NOT true. To set this record straight, Paul says there is no male or female in Christ. So, there is no Scriptural basis for the horrors created by the Koran and other Islamic texts.
That said, nine women (eight of whom are Muslim) discuss the disparate ways that the Muslim concept of honor is a patriarchal device to abuse women and children. Right up front, these women agree that honor is the concept by which the patriarchal male-oriented society controls women. Muslim men don’t let their women have an education. Very few have made it into government or any significant career.
When the women westernize, Muslim men burn and/or torture and/or shoot and/or beat and/or stone the girls and women. There are hundreds of millions of women who have been oppressed in Muslim countries.
Then, the women get into more specifics, such as female genital mutilation, which has happened to 150 million women, half of them before they’re 18-years-old, some of whom have died.
Then, they talk of child brides and little girls who commit suicide or die of the sexual act by some perverse, older Muslim man. Finally, they get into the honor killings themselves and the horrible way these women who have offended the family’s “honor” are killed.
There are several key points in HONOR DIARIES.
One is that mothers and other women often become the enforcers, not just for genital mutilation but also for honor killings. There’s footage, for example, of a woman, who says she threw acid in her daughter’s face and would do it again. According to the nine, by enlisting women to enforce the honor system of Islam, the men can say, “I didn’t do this. Women want genital mutilation. They want to protect family honor too.”
Then, number two, there’s the response or lack thereof of western authorities and officials. The nine women talked about little girls in Britain taken out of school to have genital mutilation, but the schools look the other way. They also mentioned honor killings in western countries where the men got lighter sentences because it’s “part of their Muslim culture.”
It’s clear from talking to the producers that they were interested in making a movie that would not be Islamophobic. Therefore, it has a clear feminist and humanitarian viewpoint trying to get western governments and individuals to stop excusing the horrible abuse of women and children under the concept of honor. In the process of taking this fine line, the program defends Islam and suggests that Christianity in a minor way is part of the problem, along with every other religion.
However, God is not the problem. Faith in Jesus Christ is not the problem. Jesus came to set the captives free. Christianity was essential for the freedom in Western Civilization from the evils that can be seen in Islam and other systems. Professor Alvin Schmidt’s book HOW CHIRISTIANITY CHANGED THE WORLD should be read by everyone. Hospitals, education, equality, self-government all flow out of Christianity. The evils exposed in this movie were evils that existed before Islam in pagan cultures such as Rome, Sparta, Babylon, and Persia, not to mention the Aztec culture where the pyramids ran with the blood of sacrifices, usually young women and children.
All that said, HONOR DIARIES is to be commended for clearly presenting the case that legal action must be taken to protect women and children, and that this religious and cultural behavior should not be condoned but must be condemned thoroughly.

THE LAST SHIP: Phase Six



THE LAST SHIP is a new TV series about a U.S. naval destroyer crew that believes they’re on a weapons-testing mission in the Arctic, only to discover they’re actually the secret vaccine-testing base against a worldwide pandemic disease and aren’t allowed to return home until they find a cure. The pilot episode, “Phase Six,” has a strong moral, patriotic worldview, with a strong Christian undertone containing an extended Christian funeral scene for a sailor. However, it’s marred by a brief pro-homosexual portrayal of a lesbian sailor discussing her “girlfriend.”
Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) opens the show eager to return home after conducting successful weapons testing in the Arctic. Just as he’s about to bring his ship home, he learns that two scientists on board (Rhona Mitra as an American scientist, with a Russian counterpart) are actually trying to create a vaccine for a pandemic that’s wiped out most of the world’s population during the destroyer’s several months at sea.
The scientists themselves are in great danger, as a team of rogue Russian soldiers attacks them with gunfire and helicopter missiles in an attempt to steal the vaccine from America. Soon, a nuclear missile heads the destroyer’s way and flies over into the U.S. instead, making it too dangerous to disembark as planned on the U.S. coast.
These factors combine to set up a tense face off between the lead scientist and the commander, which bodes well for the series as it has several exciting angles to pursue.
THE LAST SHIP has a solid cast that portrays courage and patriotism well and handles action with aplomb. Eric Dane in particular makes a lively hero out of Chandler without going over-the-top, and Mitra fires sparks aplenty with her own feisty portrayal of the lead scientist. The show also features MOVIEGUIDE® favorite Adam Baldwin of the 1983 movie MY BODYGUARD and TV’s CHUCK. Director Jonathan Mostow has done expert action movies before (the MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning U-571 and BREAKDOWN) and handles everything with style to spare and great tension. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that executive producer Michael Bay (the director of the TRANSFORMERS movies) helped guide this show, which seems better written and more coherent than nearly any of Bay’s movies.
With barely any foul language, no visible sex or nudity, and plenty of exciting yet tastefully shot action, the pilot episode of THE LAST SHIP is rousing viewing for teenagers and adults.

LUCY



French filmmaker Luc Besson always seems to be wrestling with philosophical issues. Unfortunately, he’s brought his ill-informed, drug induced, gnostic musings, complete with pseudoscience, to the big screen with LUCY, starring Scarlett Johansson. Besson is commended for making his vision his movie, but beyond that, his vision is a mess.
The movie opens with Lucy being manipulated by Richard in some Chinese town to deliver a small silver briefcase. Lucy resists while trying to recover her moral perspective. Richard handcuffs the briefcase to Lucy and pushes her inside the hotel.
With fear and trembling, Lucy asks for Mr. Jang. When he shows up with his army of goons, Director Luc Besson starts inserting documentary nature footage of an antelope being attacked by cheetahs. Clearly, Lucy is the antelope, and the villains are the cheetahs stalking their prey. Besson also introduces the supposedly first primate humanoid, the one which evolutionists long ago labeled “Lucy.”
Meanwhile at some point, the movie states that the world is billions of years old. This flipping back and forth between documentary footage of a mouse getting caught in a mousetrap and the dramatic movie creates a very goofy feel. The audience doesn’t need nature documentaries to tell us that Chinese villains are coming after Lucy.
Back at the hotel, the evil Chinese shoot Richard through the door. Then, they drag Lucy up to the hotel room where everything is splattered with blood, and corpses are seen lying around the bedroom. Lucy is ordered to open up the silver case, while the tough Chinese goons tremble and hide in case the case explodes.
It turns out the case includes several bags of an extremely potent, LSD type drug called CPH4 (which is supposed to be like an atomic bomb going off inside your brain). The Chinese give a snort to a man who goes insane and is executed, before hiding the bag inside Lucy’s abdomen.
Lucy and a few other human mules (or drug carriers) are sent to Europe with the drugs inside of them to be retrieved by the bad guys in each country to eventually sell. Lucy gets waylaid, and one guy punches her in the stomach when she resists his desire to rape her. This releases the drugs, which starts the process of her purportedly being able to use more than 10% of her brain.
With her newfound intellect, Lucy escapes, contacts a professor played by Morgan Freeman who lectures on the evolution of the brain, and the movie shows percentages on the screen as Lucy’s brain increases from 10% to 20% to 30% and so forth.
Lucy informs a French police detective to capture the other human mules. Meanwhile the Chinese go on an all-out war to recover their goods. Lucy takes a moment to torture, but not kill Mr. Jang, then she goes to Europe where car chases ensue, and she finally meets the Professor. Lucy goes on a binge to take all the drugs so her brain can reach 100%.
[SPOILER ALERT] She then becomes the great “I AM” (the one true Creator God’s name for Himself). She travels to the past or follows her genetic memories to touch the first female, Lucy, imparting her knowledge to her.
Although you might not want to read the spoiler, this movie is so toxic that it might help you to not waste your time watching this movie. The good news is that Luc Besson seems to be looking for the meaning of life. What he finds is a gnostic, highly materialistic, evolutionary answer without God. The movie states that the only purpose of life is passing on knowledge. However, Lucy’s intelligence doesn’t help her become a better human being. Thus, at one point, she mentions to the professor that she’s losing her humanity; such as: her fear, love, feelings, and compassion. This is demonstrated when she tortures the mob boss and indiscriminately slaughters people, including a hospital patient in the operating room.
The direction of this story not only is depressing. It also seems like the ultimate LSD trip, except in this case, the hallucinogen mind expansion drug is a natural hormone that supposedly starts a baby’s thinking in the womb. Thus, the plot is a confused mixture of pseudoscience and Gnosticism.
If the ultimate goal is for us to become one with everything, then we can no longer individually experience love, joy, peace, and all the other cardinal virtues. What a sad, nihilistic vision of mankind’s future!
To make the movie even more absurd, Luc Besson uses all this documentary nature footage to illustrate what he’s clearly saying. He also inserts several lectures informing viewers didactically about his silly Gnostic beliefs.
LUCY the movie pushes a heavy-handed evolutionary agenda. It’s interesting that Scarlett Johansson gives one prayer to God before she goes on her “mind expansion” journey. The acting is serviceable. The music is irrelevant and adds nothing to the story.
The good news is that movie is action packed and very short. The bad news is that it’s going to give a lot of false beliefs to many susceptible individuals and contains a lot of graphic violence.

A MOST WANTED MAN



A MOST WANTED MAN is a spy thriller based on a novel by acclaimed novelist John le Carré. Never a patriotic spy novelist (unlike the creator of the James Bond novels), le Carré has turned increasingly Anti-American and Anti-West in his novels. So, this story is a leftist critique of President George W. Bush’s rendition policies, the policy of kidnapping terrorist suspects and sending them to other countries for interrogation, countries that might engage in torture activities that go beyond practices such as enhanced interrogation or waterboarding. In his more recent fiction, Le Carré stacks the deck so that Americans, or in at least one case, Israelis, are the worst characters and Muslims or patriotic communist spies and leftists become innocent victims of the evil Americans or western capitalism. This is pretty much what happens in the novel and the movie version of A MOST WANTED MAN, although the movie’s main American character doesn’t turn out to be really bad until the very end.
The story of A MOST WANTED MAN centers on Gunther, a chain-smoking middle-aged man who runs Germany’s secret anti-terrorist division in Hamburg, the port city where the leader of the 911 hijackers was stationed. Gunther is focused on co-opting Abdullah, the head of a large Muslim charity group, who launders some of his charity monies to a shipping company in league with Muslim terrorists overseas. A young Chechen Muslim named Issa is a key to Gunther’s plot. Issa entered Germany illegally and is trying to become a German citizen. Issa’s mother was raped by a Russian military officer with lots of money in a secret German bank account.
Gunther and his team co-opt a beautiful young attorney named Annabel, who’s helping Issa get legal papers. Issa doesn’t want his father’s money. Instead, he wants to use only a small part of it to get his citizenship papers. So, Gunther and his team convince Annabel to convince Issa to give his money to Abdullah’s charity. Then, Gunther will have leverage on Abdullah to convince Abdullah to help Gunther get the goods on the terrorist leaders behind the shipping company.
Can Gunther convince the heads of the German spy agency and the local chief of the CIA’s bureau in Germany, a woman, to go along with this plan? Even if they do, will Gunther’s plan succeed?
As in many, though not all, of le Carré’s work, the hero here is a master of manipulation. However, A MOST WANTED MAN is another case where the manipulative hero is himself manipulated and even betrayed. Although this makes for thrilling, intricate, compelling storytelling, the tendency to make the western powers, especially the Americans, the bad guys, and the Muslims or leftists the good guys (or at least the innocent guys) continues to be annoying and evil. Le Carré’s more recent stories, thus, have become too much like ham-fisted leftist propaganda rather than well-written novels of intricate intrigue.
The worldview seems highly Romantic, but sometimes borders on misanthropic. Thus, the characters in this le Carré story, as in many others of his, are part of a world where the social and political order has corrupted people, who seem born good. Still, one also gets the sense that le Carré sees people as incapable of being transformed for the better. Thus, le Carré’s world is a world without Jesus. Ironically, the hero here makes an offhand remark about the saving power of Jesus Christ, but it’s clear that he himself doesn’t believe in it, despite the inner sense of decency that his character sometimes displays.
MOVEIGUIDE®, therefore, can’t commend A MOST WANTED MAN. Ultimately, it seems to side with the bad guys, the Muslims who either commit heinous acts of terror or let them occur under their nose. Some of le Carré’s earlier stories, such as THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY or TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, seem to be much better, more rewarding examples of this style of fiction and of le Carré’s best work. Clearly, the Richard Burton version of THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD and the TV version of TINKER featuring Alec Guinness remain the two best versions of a le Carré novel. Le Carré means “The Square” in French, by the way.

Stylish Fantasy Series About Angels Premieres



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Stylish Fantasy Series About Angels Premieres

By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Not only are there more movies with faith and values opening at the box office, but there are more TV networks aimed at the large faith and family audience in America. UP TV has set the pace by improving the quality of its programming with each TV movie.

Now, Parable TV has produced a very stylish series called THE RECORD KEEPER.

This 11-part series has the look of the movie HUGO, combined with DOCTOR WHO. However, it takes place in Heaven as the Record Keeper tries to keep track of all the angels, not just all the good angels but all the fallen angels.

This is a fascinating concept. To make it dramatic, which it is, several episodes deal with two angels who are friends, one who remained loyal to God and the other who chose to go with Satan in his rebellion. The arguments between the two angels highlight the difference between someone who’s willing to give, share and do the will of the Creator, and someone who feels they’re not given enough recognition, power, etc.

THE RECORD KEEPER is an interesting series and a great start for Parable TV. Sometimes, the episodes suffer from style over substance, where the story is neglected, and there are portions of static dialogue, where the production looks very theatrical like a theater production rather than a television production. That said, there are some good acting, some nice camerawork and some beautiful design.

MOVIEGUIDE® congratulates Parable TV and looks forward to them improving the quality of their programming, especially THE RECORD KEEPER.

 

SEX TAPE



SEX TAPE is a raunchy, very R-rated comedy about a bored married couple who tape themselves having sex and then scramble to get the videos back when the husband accidentally emails it to their closest friends and family. SEX TAPE has a strong mixed pagan worldview with solid moral elements about having a good marriage and being good parents, but it contains abundant crude content making it unacceptable.
The movie stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as Jay and Annie, a married couple who used to love sex anywhere, everywhere and in every way imaginable when they first met, but who have lost their spark after 10 years and two children. Annie is about to sell her blog about mommy life to a major online distributor headed by Hank Rosenbaum (Rob Lowe). Hank is an apparent white-bread milquetoast who loves Annie’s wholesome image. She and Jay decide to celebrate by shipping the children off to grandma and having a wild sex night.
Even then, however, they are too stressed to enjoy themselves. Through a series of mishaps large and small, Jay and Annie wind up worrying that they’ve lost their sexual attraction for each other. Until, that is, Annie suggests using an iPad to make a sex tape of themselves, with the intention of erasing it the next day.
Instead of erasing it, clumsy Jay accidentally sends the video out to a group of friends and family whose used iPads are linked together. So, Jay and Annie, with their two best friends in tow, go on a crazed overnight quest to grab all the iPads back before the sex video can be seen. Complications ensue when Annie’s new boss becomes a prime target.
A title like SEX TAPE should make it clear that this isn’t a movie for media-wise viewers with moral concerns. It definitely is one of the more sexually graphic movies to come out of a big Hollywood studio in years. There are numerous sex scenes, played mostly for laughs, with the most graphic nudity thankfully left to the viewer’s imagination. The movie’s frequent sex jokes and dialogue about sex are also hindrances. SEX TAPE also contains an inappropriate comical scene about cocaine use.
Despite all the raunchiness, the performances are comically adept across the board. Director Jake Kasdan gives the movie’s cleanest parts – the hunt for the video and iPads – a lot of energy. One extended sequence at the home of Annie’s boss Hank is a gem of comical surprises, particularly with Jay’s battle royal against a vicious dog. Seeing that the movie can be funny without the raunchy sexual focus makes one wish that the filmmakers would just make a solidly funny movie without so much graphic content.
The movie’s raunchy pagan content is mixed with some solid moral elements showing the protagonists are devoted to each other and are good parents, even if they are sex-obsessed. By the end, they come to the conclusion they don’t have to either be deprived of sex nor constantly focused on it. Instead, sex should just be one part of a balanced married life.

What Do the Emmy Nominations Teach Us?



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What Do the Emmy Nominations Teach Us?

By Michelle S. Lazurek, Contributing Writer

Remember when you were in high school and in order to be a part of the popular crowd you had to dress and act just like them? Then, once they deemed you worthy to become one of them, you had to constantly conform to their standards, even if what they were doing conflicted with your values and belief systems?

Some things never change.

Last week, Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly hosted the live broadcast of the nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy awards. Leading the pack was Netflix’s  original series HOUSE OF CARDS with 18 nominations. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK followed closely behind with 12 nominations, the most of any comedy, while highly acclaimed show BREAKING BAD received 16 nominations. Although each of these shows have completely different plots, they all share one thing in common:  all of them are rated MA for mature content.

With all of these shows with mature thematic material receiving Emmy nods, this creates a disturbing trend for network TV. Shows with tamer storylines will now have to add more violent and sexual content to keep up with the shock value these Emmy nominated shows portray.

The main plotline of BREAKING BAD involves an introverted Chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston) who, along with his former student (Aaron Paul) start cooking Crystal Meth in order for Cranston to provide for his family after his sobering diagnosis of Stage 4 lung cancer. Although some may relate to the show’s main character, most episodes involve gruesome violence, all communicating the pervasive message that life is not to be considered sacred if it gets in the way of a big payday.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK takes a comedic approach to life in prison as white-collar woman Taylor Schilling serves a prison term of fifteen months for being an accessory to her former girlfriend’s covert drug operation. Black’s plot has very little violent content, but includes gratuitous sex scenes so graphic, they border on pornography.

What does this mean for your favorite, mildly themed shows?

Much like high school, the popular kids of cable are making gratuitous sex and violence the norm and major networks are going to have to up the ante if they want to contend with them.

According to an article entitled “More Sex, More Violence, More Troubled Kids,” author Kristen Fyfe confirms that TV shows are in fact portraying more graphic content. The Parent Television Council found “that portrayals of violence are up 75 percent since 1998. And, the violence portrayed is now a fundamental part of storylines, whereas in 1998 violence was incidental to plots. The study also found that violence is depicted more graphically than ever before.”

Fyfe continues, “A quick glance at a prime time lineup makes it easy to see why violence is up:  C.S.I., C.S.I.:  New York, C.S.I. Miami, 24, House, ER, Criminal Minds, Crossing Jordan, Bones, Prison Break, Medium, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, NCIS.  Hour after hour after hour prime time is filled with shows that plumb the darkest reaches of human nature, and show the grisly aftermath of murders, rapes and assaults.”

With shows receiving awards for the more disturbing content, one can only assume the trend of more maturely rated shows will increase, creeping their way into the major networks’ prime time lineup.

Now, excuse me, while I return to watching reruns of “The Brady Bunch.”

 

New STAR WARS Actor Takes A Jab At Political Correctness



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New STAR WARS Actor Takes Jabs at Marvel’s Political Correctness

By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor

Tuesday morning, breakout star John Boyega who has a leading role in the upcoming STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, went on a tongue-in-cheek rant against political correctness regarding recent Marvel Comics news.

Recently, Marvel made two announcements regarding two pivotal Avengers characters who’ll be stepping down from their heroic duties in the print versions of their comic book characters.

As announced on The View, a woman is replacing the male character Thor, but she will carry on his name and legacy in the comics, even though, in Norse mythology, Thor was male. Later, it was revealed that Steve Rogers is setting down his shield as Captain America and his good friend and ally Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, an African American character, will take over.

John Boyega took to the Twitter-Verse and wrote, “So Captain America will be a black man! Erm okay. . . Can we have character information, origin story and Steve Rogers comparison.” He continued, “There is no need to emphasize the ‘black’ man. Falcon has been by Steve’s side for some time.”

Marvels decision isn’t comical (pun intended) and ridiculous because they are switching up the race and gender of two popular superheroes (though, making Thor female does pose some questions). What’s so silly about Marvels “huge” decision and what John Boyega points out on Twitter is that they’re caught up in their own political correctness. Instead of telling positive, inspiring stories for everyone, they have decided to appease as many advocacy groups as they can. A few minutes later, Boyega sarcastically used the new Marvel movie GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY as an example.

 

 

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Sam Wilson taking over for Captain America makes a lot of sense for Marvel, but the way they told the world reveals just how out of touch they are with the majority of Americans. We didn’t watch CAPTAIN AMERICA:  THE WINTER SOLDIER because Steve Rogers was white or male. We didn’t watch and love THE HUNGER GAMES:  CATCHING FIRE because Katniss was female. People all over the world love stories that give them hope regardless of race and gender.

Let’s stop pandering to people out of fear. If Marvel tells good, uplifting, moral, and family-friendly stories, none of the other stuff matters.

Boyega wrapped up his thoughts on the subject by tweeting, “Steve Rogers will always be my favorite Cap. Will defo [definitely] miss Sam as Falcon.”

 

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