At the instigation of our web administrator and designer (whose name will be kept secret to protect the allegedly innocent), a new series commences with this post — namely — what movies, dvds, or television episodes the Harts watched this week. The series name stems from the remarkable habit of our cats, Isabelle and Cordelia, to sleep through whatever we watch. Odd for cats to sleep so much, no?
One other word of introduction: since some readers mistake this blog as a form of ministry, do not take this or ensuing reports as an endorsement for all Christians. Since Paul wrote that some believers could handle meat offered to idols and others could not, readers of Old Life should consult any title for themselves before watching or ordering. IMDB is a good web resource for movies and television and should provide enough information to warn consciences appropriately. Rottentomatoes is another source for reviews of movies that I use occasionally. Readers will need to rely on their own powers of discernment.
The week started with Troubled Water, a Norwegian movie (subtitles, of course) about an ex-con who tries to make good life by playing organ for a church and befriending the female pastor’s boy. Since his crime led to the death of a boy, and since he returns to the town where the deceased boy’s family lives, his attempt to resume life is — let’s just say — complicated. The film is another reminder of how easy it is to make people who commit wicked acts into monsters (when we never see the monster in the mirror).
The week continued with the first three episodes of season three of In Treatment. Gabriel Bryne continues to play his role as a psychologist with lots of baggage in a mesmerizing way. The producers and directors also continue to make counseling sessions riveting. It was good to see Debra Winger on the screen again.
Also this week I persuaded the Mrs. to go to the theater to see Ted — and I lived to tell about it. I figured we needed to get out of the rut of staying in and streaming. So we went to the local theater, not exactly an art house establishment, and saw the best on display. Angelo Cataldi and company had recommended this movie, so I had misgivings. It was like so many Hollywood comedies, an interesting premise — a talking teddy bear who is a lifelong companion of the person who first received the stuffed animal as a gift. But once you get past the first prank of the teddy bear as grown up — smoking a bong and swearing — the movie descends into debauchery and juvenilia. Subtlety is not a three-syllable word that Hollywood does well, even though the writers did get off at least a half-dozen guffaw producing lines.
Last (it was a slow week in Hillsdale, alright?), we watched Welcome to Sarajevo, a 1997 movie about the Balkans War. Stephen Dillane, whom I like a lot, plays a journalist who turns activist and helps Muslim orphans to leave the city. The film seems to include a lot of footage from the war, which is hard to watch. The human story line is compelling but for me it could not offset what seemed to be a missed opportunity to explore a part of the world that the West has never come lost to understanding, perhaps because the Ottomans, Turks, and Muslims spook too readily.