Monday, June 11, 2012

The Avengers - my thoughts

Back in November I wrote about Thor and Captain America and how I hoped The Avengers would be on par. (It's a Marvel! Good movies do still exist!)  The Avengers, was, in my opinion, a fun movie to watch; the messages it contained were much more subtle than Captain America and Thor. Marvel did a pretty good job maintaining a consistent level of cleanliness.The movie was as clean as Captain America but not as clean as Thor: There was language, some innuendos (but nothing explicit), plus one scene where a character found himself without clothing. However, there wasn't anything sexual about the scene. It was just awkward as a viewer (kind of like almost walking in on someone in the bathroom).

My thoughts on the movie:
The characters seemed like real people despite their super powers and amazing talents.
It was neat to "meet" Natasha, Dr. Banner, and Iron Man. I haven't seen the Hulk and Iron Man movies, so they were new to me.
Lots of fighting, action, and humor, making it a fun film.
The relationship between the Black Widow (Natasha) and Hawkeye was interesting. It was neat to see how they comforted each other; they seemed like marooned souls clinging to one another amidst a storm of self-reproach.
I think that many of us see a little of ourselves in the Hulk.  Sometimes when you're so angry you can hardly control yourself.  Sometimes you just want to SMASH. You don't know always know what you want to smash, but you want to destroy something, or even anything. Fortunately, most of us are still aware that we don't want to break our valuables and that kicking or punching furniture or the walls will result in more pain to ourselves, so we don't do it.  
New York always gets flattened when aliens and superheros show up.
I think that this film did a good job showing the dust and debris that results from the destruction of buildings.
Tony Stark would be rather annoying in real life, but he always has some snarky comment and often performs with cool panache.
I saw the movie in theatres twice and both times when the Hulk grabbed Loki and thwacked him against the floor like a ragdoll, the audience cheered. It's what we'd all been wanting: someone to finally stop him in his tracks. The others just seemed so incapable of stopping him for whatever reason.  Sometimes brawn is superior to brains.
I think Thor couldn't bring himself to harm his brother. Not an unreasonable sentiment.
Pepper is probably one of the few people who could actually have an involved long term relationship with Stark without letting him walk all over her. Still, I don't understand how someone of her intelligence could love him. 
Speaking of Stark, he tried to startle Banner into turning into the Hulk for no reason other than curiosity. What is wrong with that guy?! That was a childish act, like a kid who pokes his finger into a power outlet out of curiosity, except worse because he's a grown man and knows that the Hulk is dangerous.
Yet Stark has a moment of true heroism when he flies the nuke into outer space and almost dies.
The government dropping nukes on it's own citizens: not cool, at all. That makes me so angry. And afraid. It's really rather disturbing.
Colson is not just the jerk from Thor who took Jane's science equipment, but a character in his own right. He has some interesting quirks and it was quite funny when he overrides Starks' phone and security system and Stark has no choice but to answer the phone (kind of like the Chuck Norris cell phone joke: there is a picture of a cell phone screen showing that Chuck Norris is trying to call. Instead of the buttons: answer and ignore, there is only: answer and answer.) 
Natasha (the Black Widow) is a really interesting person. She reminds me of Mara Jade from Timothy Zahn's StarWars book series. Red hair; tight, black clothing; a dark past; information extractor; fighter; loves someone who understands her, accepted her past, and who has amazing talents also.
Off course, I love Captain America's declaration, "There's only one God, and He doesn't dress like that."
Also, the part when he saves the old man who refused to bow to Loki was great. However, I think the dialogue could have been better. It was a place for some real profound lines, but they didn't appear.
That part reminds me of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego's stand. When they refused (on pain of death) to bow to an idol that everyone else bowed too, they were thrown into a furnace but God protected them and they came out unscathed!  (Daniel 3)
 Natasha spoke of the "red on her ledger," (her assassin work before she joined the good guys,) and how she wanted to make up for it. Intriguing. In our lives, we all have red on our ledger: horrible acts we wish we had not committed, moments of hatred, of wanting to scar and hurt. But nothing we do can wipe that away. Instead, they become scars on our own souls. Ugly red wounds that turn to ugly scars. The only way our ledgers can be wiped clean and the pain of those wounds healed is by the blood of Jesus. His blood washes away our list of crimes.
A ledger is a good description of reality, for the Bible says that our sins are recorded in a book for the final judgment: "Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books...and each person was judged according to what they had done." Revelations 20:12b-13.  If you have been forgiven by God, then you don't need to worry, you ledger is clean.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Road goes ever on and on without me

Photo Credit: Edana A.

"The Road goes ever on and on
 Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone,
and I must follow if I can,
 Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
 Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."
~ from The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Photo Credit: Edana A.
Sometimes I want to just take a road and follow it all the way from it's source to it's end, wherever that may be, and just see what happens to it. Does it grow larger or smaller, what places does it pass through, does it meander through the woods and little towns, does it pass through big towns or open country? Where does it go?

Sometimes my heart cries out in restless desperation because I cannot follow all roads (usually when I am sight-seeing and exploring), I cannot go around every corner. On and on, the road and the land go, and I always wonder, "what's around the bend, what's over the next hill, the next stone?"

Just as in the poem, the road goes on ahead without me, and I chase it with my small feet, but then I meet a fork, or some side path, or I have to go back for I have neither time nor energy to keep going.

Bilbo spoke of being "swept" of his feet, and he told Frodo, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step into the Road and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.  Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further to worse places?"

Sometimes you leave the house and you don't know what will happen in the course of the day or were you will go, you may have a destination, but that may change, or other destinations are added, or a wrong turn will bring you to sights and places you didn't expect to go. It's like life.  

Like little hobbits, we live out our humdrum lives, but maybe we will be called to a higher purpose and go to lands we never dreamed of.
Photo Credit: Edana A.