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Posts Tagged ‘Superman’

Superman, Ali and Jesus

June 6, 2016 1 comment

Most of us are aware at this point that Muhammad Ali passed away a few days ago.  There has rarely been as controversial figure in recent history.  Whether you loved or hated him for his braggadocio, his conversion to Islam or his refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, it is difficult to recall anyone who was more of a lightning rod for controversy.

I loved Ali as a kid.  I didn’t really watch boxing as a young child, but I would see him on Candid Camera and get excited any time he was on.  This caused some conflict with my Vietnam serving father.  Despite, and perhaps because of, my dad’s strong feelings I continued to like Ali, maybe just to spite him.  That’s another story and the subject of another day.

The bottom line is that, for a time, Muhammad Ali was the most famous person on the planet, accomplishing the rare feat of the being the most loved and the most hated man alive.  He even fought Superman.

DC Comics published an over-sized comic entitled Superman vs Muhammad Ali.  In order to defend Earth against an alien invasion, Superman and Ali fought.  Superman temporarily gave up his powers and Ali won the fight.  The plot isn’t really all that important.  What’s important is that Ali was so famous that he fought Superman.  The closest thing most people could compare it to would be Michael Jordan being in Space Jam.

I’ve seen a lot of opinions on Ali since his passing.  Some were in tribute.  Many vilified.  There was no middle ground.

I tweeted that what Ali did in life, ultimately, wasn’t important.  What was important was whether he knew Jesus.  What would Jesus have said to Ali if He had met him?

I think I know the answer.  Or answers.  They would have all been variations of the same one.

The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe in the gospel.

It’s the same for me.  It’s the same for you.  It’s the same for everyone.

Ali may have floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, but if he had followed Jesus, he wouldn’t have felt the sting of death.

It’s easy to make strong, bold statements about someone like Ali.  It’s easy to call him a draft dodger or a great humanitarian.  But in Christ, there is neither draft dodger, nor humanitarian.

Someone responded to my tweet that Ali was a professed Muslim.  This is true.  Unfortunately, there will be plenty of professed Baptists dying in the same state as Ali, not knowing Christ.  Plenty of whatever brand of Christianity we are part of will do the same.

My plea to you is to not die without knowing Christ today.  We who follow Him can do all sorts of things to make this Christianity thing complex.  It’s really simple.

The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe in the gospel.

 

10 Spoiler Filled Reasons I Loved Batman vs. Superman

March 28, 2016 2 comments

I went to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice this past weekend.  It was a movie that I have been waiting decade for, as I mentioned last week in a post.  It has been lambasted by critics.  It isn’t a perfect movie, but I loved it.  Here are the reasons why.  Beware, there are spoilers below.

  1. It isn’t a Marvel movie.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Marvel movies.  I basically love all comic book movies.  However, Marvel follows their formula and you can tell each movie is, well, a Marvel movie.  Warner Brothers, DC Films and Zack Snyder went in a complete different direction.  And, I think, this is one reason the critics have hated it.  I am, however, glad to have some diversity in my comic book movies.
  2. We get the real Batman.  Critics have ripped the movie for lack of character development.  My theory is that you don’t really get character development in team-up movies.  However, the one character that is developed is Batman.  Why?  Superman had his own movie three years ago.  This is a totally different Batman from Nolan’s Batman.  He’s older.  He’s bitter.  He’s cynical.  He’s Frank Miller’s Batman from the classic The Dark Knight Returns.  He’s ticked off and beware to anyone that gets in his way, even if he is from Krypton.
  3. Wonder Woman.  Need I say more?  This isn’t Lynda Carter’s star spangled, red, white and blue Amazon.  Not, this is one that has seen a lot and is a warrior.  She is much closer to Xena than the 1970’s TV version.  She can hold her own with anyone it seems.
  4. Lex Luthor.  For the most part, villains have been been boring most comic book movies.  You can’t say that about Jesse Eisenberg’s interpretation of Alexander Luthor, son of the original Lex Luthor.  This is spoiled, arrogant, brilliant young man.  He is the smartest guy in the room and he knows it.  And he doesn’t care to let you know he knows it.  Sure, it’s quirky, but what do you want?  Gene Hackman’s or Kevin Spacey’s version?
  5. Dream sequence.  You have the Flash invading one of Batman’s dream to warn of him of what is coming in the future.  This is a nod to one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, 1986’s Crisis on Inifinite Earths.
  6. Knightmare.  Batman is truly scared of the future that could come with Superman.  We have to remember that Superman is still relatively new on the scene.  Imagine if a super powerful alien suddenly began exhibiting all sorts of powers and duked it out with other powerful beings, destroying whole swaths of cities.  It might concern many of us.
  7. Darkseid is coming.  Omega symbols.  Parademons.  Mother boxes.  Darkseid, THE big bad of the DC universe, all over the place and they don’t even mention his name.
  8. The Setup.  This movie sets up at least six other movies coming in the DC Universe.  You have Justice League, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman.  Not to mention a Batman movie with that Robin outfit.  Bring on those other movies (starting with Suicide Squad in August).
  9. Easter eggs.  Perry White mentions that it’s not 1938 anymore.  This was a reference to when Superman was created, which is what I have to say when people say that Superman isn’t like he used to be.  It’s isn’t 1938.  It isn’t the 1950’s or 1978.  It’s 2016 and Superman is different that he used to be.
  10. They KILLED Superman!!! I wan’t expecting this one.  As one who reads so much about these movies ahead of time, I’m often just getting to see what I already know.  I didn’t see this one coming.  Now, is Superman going to stay dead?  No way.  However, for the most part, people find Superman boring.  One way to eliminate the boring is to kill him.  This will allow Batman to form the Justice League and for Superman to show up and help them out.

Look, I haven’t watched a movie yet that was perfect.  This one wasn’t.  However, it was everything I wanted and more.  I can’t wait to see it again and then the Ultimate Cut on video later.

Have you seen this movie?  Are you going to see it?

Why Listen To Movie Critics?

March 25, 2016 2 comments

In just a few hours I’m going to see Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve been waiting for this movie for decades.  It’s finally here.

Critics are ripping the movie and director Zack Snyder’s production.  It seems like there is a concerted effort to stop the movie before it even gets started.

Guess what?  I’m going to love the movie.  Why?  I don’t go to movies unless I’m going to love them.  If I went to 100 movies, I would love 99 of them.

What I don’t understand is why anyone really cares about what critics say.  What gives them any credibility when it comes to reviewing movies anyway?  Every time I watch some movie critic on TV, I wonder what exactly they did to get that job.  My local station that I watch has a young guy review movies on Sundays and I never understand what the appeal is to the movies he likes.  Likewise, he hates the movies I like.

I have begun using what critics say as a guide to avoid movies more than what I watch.  If critics love it, there is a 99% chance I will hate it.

I also find this to be the case with Academy Award winners.  There was one I gave in and watched a couple of years ago.  After it was over I couldn’t figure out why I  had really watched it.  By the way, the critics loved it as well.

What I have decided is that critics and I are out of step with each other.  I have decided something else as well.

We pay way too much attention to the opinions, in general, of others.  We want to be in on what is hip and cool.  I’ve been guilty of that in the past.  I’m not necessarily immune to it now.

So, I’m going to see Batman and Superman duke it out tonight.  I’m going  to love every minute of it.  And I don’t care what one critic says about.

Unless, of course, they agree with me.

How do you choose what movies you will see?  Do you care what critics have to say about it?  Why?

What I Have Learned From Batman vs. Superman Already

Friday night will find me watching Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  I may not have ever been this excited to see a movie (unless, of course, you count Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.)  In fact, I have already learned a lesson.

You see, I was an avid comic book reader until I reached the realities of adulthood, which is that marriage could not support my comic book habit.  In fact, my oldest remaining comic book is a Justice League of America issue from 1973.

In the back of comic books in those day were letters to the editor.  I remember many of those old books dreaming of a Justice League movie and fancasting who would play those heroes.  While we had Superman in 1978, I never truly believed that we could ever have all of those heroes together in one movie.  Of course, we’ve had the Avengers since then.

Think about that for a minute.  I have been waiting almost 40 years for this movie. That’s enough time for the children of Israel to wander around in the wilderness until they could enter the Promised Land.  It’s how long Jeremiah preached without a convert.

What this movie does, when I reflect on it, is how good God is.  He may not give us what we want when we want it, but He will in His own timing.

Is it silly that I can see a God lesson in a movie that I haven’t even seen yet?  Maybe.  But it also goes to show that we should be looking for what God has to show us about Himself in everyday life.

Even if it’s a movie I’ve been waiting for since I was a kid.

Secret Identities

June 18, 2013 9 comments

For Father’s Day, I was given something by my kids that I had never gotten before. Tucked inside a book they gave was a Fandango gift card. That’s right, I’m going to the movies soon.

If you know me well, you can probably guess what movies I will see. I’m a bit behind right now. I plan to go see Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel. If I have any left over, I plan to go see The Wolverine next month. As you can guess, I’m a bit of a superhero geek.

Most of us know the basics about Superman. He came from the planet Krypton, crashing as a baby into a field in Kansas and found by the Kent family. He was raised as Clark Kent and hid who he really was. On one hand he was stumbling, bumbling Clark Kent. On another, he was the most powerful man on the planet. Talk about identity crisis.

Iron Man is completely different. Rich beyond belief, Tony Stark is a narcissistic genius. Captured by terrorists, he is ordered to construct a weapon. Instead, he builds a suit of armor which he uses to escape. He perfects it when he gets back. Later, in a press conference, he announces to the world that he is Iron Man. Tony Stark is Iron Man. Iron Man is Tony Stark. One and the same.

Wolverine is a little trickier. His name is Logan. He is a mutant that cannot remember his past. He recalls a few fragments here and there. This is frustrating because he basically has no idea about his past or who he really is.

I think we Christians fall into these categories as well.

Too many of us seem to be like Superman. We claim an identity in Christ, but for some reason we try to hide it. We create separate identities for our church life or Christian life and the rest of our life. We hide behind the masks we create for ourselves. In some ways, this makes us live confused lives where we don’t truly know who we are.

Others of us are like Tony Stark. We are who we are. There is no separation between our life in Christ or any other part of our life. We are comfortable with who we are. We aren’t hiding who we are from anyone, much less ourselves.

Others of us seem like Wolverine. We have no idea who we are. We go through life in a state of confusion, not knowing how our lives of faith fit with the other parts of our lives. We try to connect the different parts of our lives, but don’t know how they fit together or even if they do.

Each of us have our own identities in Christ. Our challenge is to figure out who we are and live the life we are called to live in Him.

Do you know who you are in Christ?