A Rare Glimpse Into George Washington’s Greatness

The Prayer at Valley Forge painting by Arnold Friberg.Have you ever seen the painting by Arnold Friberg called “The Prayer at Valley Forge”? It depicts General George Washington in the winter of 1777-1778, humbly calling upon God for help in his most desperate hour. I’ve often wondered what he might have said in that prayer and what answer he received, but I figured I would never know. Until now. Continue reading

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How to End a Lightsaber Duel

I watched Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and was thoroughly underwhelmed like most people, but not just because of its desperate attempt to pretend there was a plan all along when it’s obvious that these three films didn’t know where they were going. I was particularly disappointed when I noticed that I didn’t feel any suspense during the lightsaber battles. The new Star Wars trilogy doesn’t seem to understand how to end a lightsaber duel the way the original trilogy did. Let’s compare the three main duels from each because I feel like they symbolize what’s wrong with the new films. Continue reading

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The Defining Movies of the Last 5 Decades

We are on the cusp of beginning a new year and a new decade, and, with this in mind, a friend and I were recently talking about movies that define the last five decades. He’s about 20 years older than me, so it was interesting to see how our views differed. Continue reading

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Christmas Message

Merry Christmas, everyone! At this time of year, we are invited to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For my gift to you, I offer an insight into His character. I’ve heard people comment on the difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, saying that they can’t be one and the same because one is vengeful and the other is merciful. But I realized something about Jesus that explains this seeming discrepancy. Continue reading

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What Makes Rock Biter Such a Memorable Character?

Last week I was in a lot of pain, and a couple of my fingers were taped together, which made it extremely difficult to type. I saw an orthopedic hand doctor on Wednesday, and he took one look at my X-rays and said that not only was the painful finger really messed up, but it looks like all of my fingers have severe arthritis. There’s almost no space between the joints, which means that my hands appear to belong to someone twice my age. The doctor advised me to pull the tape off my fingers and simply take Aleve for the pain until I can see another doctor specializing in rheumatology next month. So that’s what I am doing.

The show must go on, so rather than take a leave of absence, I’ll simply take Aleve and get down to business. And, appropriately enough, I’m going to talk about a character who has what appear to be “big, good, strong hands.” I swear this was the article I had scheduled to write last week when it became too painful to finish it. What a funny coincidence, huh?

The Neverending Story is full of great characters who left a lasting impression on me as a kid. Bastian, Atreyu, Falkor, the Childlike Empress, and even the little gnome professor and his abrasive wife (who remind me of Miracle Max and his not-a-witch wife from The Princess Bride) are all fun and interesting characters. But the one who stands head and shoulders above them in terms of being memorable is Rock Biter. He’s only on-screen for a small fraction of the film’s run time, and he doesn’t have much of an impact on the story, but he somehow manages to leave a big impression in that short time. So much so that he is one of the few characters to appear in both of the sequels. Let’s see if we can figure out why. Continue reading

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Doctor’s Orders

I’m sorry to say I can’t publish a new article I had planned this week because I’ve gone and injured one of my fingers. It’s been swollen for many months, but it recently got so painful that I finally went to the doctor to get it X-rayed on Friday. I learned that the bones at one of the joints are out of position, which is causing the swelling and even a bit of arthritis. I’m hopefully going to talk to an orthopedic doctor this coming week to see if it can be treated, but in the meantime it’s painful for me to type on a keyboard, especially with two of my fingers taped together.

My middle finger is swollen and painful.My doctor said to lay off activities that use my hands as much as possible, which is kind of hard to do as a writer. I will try to power through in the future and come up with creative workarounds. We’ll see. I’m very sorry to allow such a seemingly small thing to keep me from doing what I love and giving you quality content. Unfortunately, my hand is tied.

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

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The Loneliness at the Top

Success is hard. It’s not just hard to attain, but it’s equally hard to endure. Have you ever wanted to do something so badly, and you worked hard until you finally did it? It might be finishing a college degree, getting a prestigious job, paying off a mortgage, winning a sports competition, or successfully raising children to adulthood. Whatever it is, it wasn’t easy to do. It’s breathtaking to reach a height few have dreamed of, but it’s also frightening for two reasons: you have so far to fall, and there’s no one to look up to.

I no longer envy filmmakers or actors whose films become runaway blockbusters because from then on, they are marked for destruction. From then on, they have to live up to lofty expectations, and there’s little chance that they will. Even if they do for a long time, someday their stars will fade. They won’t be as good-looking or talented as they used to be, and they’ll have to suffer public scrutiny on a scale I shudder to contemplate. That is the fate of most people who attain a high level of distinction in many areas of life. Just because they are able to come up with a creative idea or perform a task better than anyone else doesn’t mean they will be able to keep coming up with more ideas or remain the best when a superior challenger comes along. Once you reach the top, it can seem like it’s all downhill from there.

Let’s look at three movies that deal with the loneliness at the top. Continue reading

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