Attitude Is Everything

I recently found a video of the most incredible man who refused to be a victim in life in spite of his facial disfigurement. I did a double-take when I saw this video’s featured image, not because the face looked odd but because it looked familiar. I knew that man. He’s the husband of a woman who worked at the same company I did, and I had been introduced to him a couple of times at get-togethers. He’s married to a great woman, so I figured he had to be a great man, too. I had no idea how amazing he was, though, until I watched this video. Continue reading

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What Makes Superman Super

What makes Superman super? Is it his superpowers? Is it his heroics? Is it the red S on his chest? All of those are elements of it, but they’re not the whole answer. The real answer to this question is found in Superman: The Movie, specifically the famous rooftop scene where he is interviewed by Lois Lane. Up until this point in the film, Superman has remained nameless. Perry White listed off a number of attempts in the previous scene, but none of them do him justice. It is left to Lois to give him a name, which she does after her interview with him. Continue reading

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Wouldn’t It Make More Sense for the 2 Schumacher Batman Film Titles to Be Transposed?

As we all know, the four Batman films that came out from 1989 to 1997 are called Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin. Those first two Tim Burton titles are fine. Batman appears on the scene and then he returns. Makes sense. As for the other two (directed by Joel Schumacher), wouldn’t it make more sense for their names to be switched? Then it would be Batman, Batman Returns, Batman & Robin, and Batman Forever. It’s more than a cosmetic change. I will offer several compelling reasons why it would be far more appropriate for Batman Forever to be entitled Batman & Robin and vice versa. Continue reading

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Movies That Force Heroes to Make an Impossible Choice

Great movies force their protagonists to make hard choices that help us understand their true character traits and motivations. Sometimes those choices are extremely difficult, messy, and uncomfortable while others only have the appearance of being like that while they are quickly ameliorated or otherwise solved without compromising the hero’s integrity.

Let’s talk about four movies that softened their heroes’ hard choice and four that didn’t offer an easy solution, but hit them head on. Continue reading

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I’ve Never Found Cruelty Funny

When I was a kid, I remember being really uncomfortable as I watched one particular episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon show entitled “Michelangelo’s Birthday.” In it, Michelangelo is excited one morning because it’s his birthday, and he can’t wait to celebrate. It’s not even that he feels entitled to a party and presents or anything like that. He just wants to feel a sense of camaraderie as his brothers and father figure Splinter acknowledge their gratitude that he’s part of their family. He even starts out the day by making a special birthday pizza not for himself but to share with his brothers.

And what response does he get? Indifference. His brothers feign ignorance about the importance of this day to Michelangelo. They gobble up his birthday pizza without even taking a second glance and acknowledging what it signified. They did that to prevent Michelangelo from spoiling the surprise about their own party that they have planned for him later that day. But what they actually do is make him feel worse and worse. They could easily find a nicer way to go about it or even throw the surprise party sooner, but they stretch out his misery to the point of cruelty.

After enduring hours of teasing and rudeness, Michelangelo finally runs away, leaving a note to say that they don’t seem to love him anymore, so they’re better off without him. Only then do they seek to make amends, but first they have to go through several life-and-death situations that could have been easily avoided if Michelangelo hadn’t run away. If it weren’t for a magical plot device at the end of the episode, they would have paid a heavy price for their cruelty. Continue reading

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Taking My Future Into My Own Hands

Last December, I noted that my left middle finger had swelled up and was quite painful to use. That was a rather detrimental development for a hands-on writer like myself. It’s been an interesting year since that discovery. I’ve gone to a rheumatologist on many occasions, had blood drawn a half-dozen times, gotten two cortisone injections right into the knuckle, and taken a variety of medications to get the swelling under control – all to no avail.

I have symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. On top of that, at the start of this month my left index finger began to swell and be intensely painful, prompting me to see the rheumatologist two months ahead of schedule. He was surprised that none of the treatments have worked, and, if anything, my condition has continued to worsen. He suggested I administer an expensive shot to myself on a weekly basis for three months and see if that helps. I pondered on it for two days and prayed to know if that was a wise course of action for me, or if it would be better to do something else. I promised to do whatever God told me to do. I received an answer on the second day that I should take my future into my own hands, so that’s my plan now. I stopped taking the various medications I was on, canceled my future appointment, and got some helpful advice from my parents and younger sister on how best to proceed.

In His HandsI will continue to write as long as there is life in me and my hands, and I will seek other types of treatment. I trust that I will be healed one day, and all I have to do is persevere and hold onto hope. I suppose it’s not so much that I’m taking my future into my own hands, but I’m simply recognizing that I am in God’s hands. And those are good hands to be in.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

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Aladdin Is a Love Story Between Mankind and Jesus Christ

I am excited to share something I just realized about the 1992 animated film Aladdin. I won’t bother discussing the live-action remake because that one took out some of the key elements that contribute to the symbolism of the original. What I realized about the original is that the main characters are playing roles similar to ones in the scriptures. It’s basically a retelling of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In fact, the entire movie can be seen as a love story between mankind and Jesus Christ.

It might seem farfetched at first, but as we examine Aladdin, Abu, Jafar, Jasmine, the Genie, and the flying carpet, you will begin to see how much they resemble Biblical figures. Continue reading

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Will Hollywood Survive? And Should It?

I’d much prefer to talk about positive things instead of dwelling on the negative, but sometimes we have to face hard truths. This year might go down in history as the beginning of the end of Hollywood. I don’t think it will recover, and the sad thing is that I don’t think it should recover either. What will happen when restrictions are taken off of movie theaters? I don’t think people will react by going back to their old habits. We’ve gotten used to staying away from large gatherings, and I believe people will continue to act warily rather than put themselves at risk. More than that, I don’t think we’ll have the resources to keep patronizing theaters, nor will we care to reward debauchery. Here are four reasons why I think the old way of doing things, when it comes to the movies, is over. Continue reading

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COVID-19 Has Been a Blessing to Me

The quarantines, lockdowns, and other restrictions that were put in place in 2020 to stop the spread of COVID-19 are annoying and detrimental to many people. I’m grateful that I have been spared pretty much all of the ill effects of these things. I’m still employed, healthy, and happy. But I haven’t remained the same as I was before this started. In fact, in many ways COVID-19 has been a blessing to me. I’d like to share how my life has changed for the better in the last six months. Continue reading

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My Favorite Movie Character: Al Frazier

I imagine most people, when asked who is their favorite movie character, would take it as a fun exercise to go through their favorite movies and try to think of the characters that they most enjoyed watching go through struggles and emerge on the other side as heroes. Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, Mr. Spock, Atticus Finch – so many famous characters to choose from. They’d be happy to pick one and then discuss all of the great scenes with them. It’s an exercise in finding a common bond with others.

For me, revealing my favorite movie character is a much quieter, humbling act. It feels like exposing a sensitive part of my heart. You see, he’s a side character in a mostly forgotten film, so I doubt you’ve ever heard of him. He’s not involved in any action sequences, he could be seen as nothing more than a plot device to move the story forward to the climax, and he really only appears in a handful of scenes at the very start and very end of his movie. And I absolutely love everything about him. Continue reading

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