Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

The Hobbit: Start of Production

Posted 15 Apr 2011 — by nick
Category Fun, Movies, Spirituality

Some of you know I’m a huge nerd at heart. Tolkien’s epic stories of hobbits, magic and wizards were books I read early in my teenage youth and returned to several times. That was when it was still in the fantasy/nerdy genre. Along came Peter Jackson who brought to life the stories on the screen – introducing a whole new generation to them, distilling the stories for mainstream consumption.

These stories are deeply shaping and inspiring. Tolkien, at times, very thinly veils his faith in the stories. There are tales of sin enslaving creatures (Gollum), the shared burden carrying of community (the fellowship), the guiding priestly figure of Gandalf, etc.

My heart warmed and excitement jumped as I saw this video post today. Video production of The Hobbit has begun. Hooray!

New Toy, I Mean Phone

Posted 13 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Apple, Fun, Movies, music, News, Technology

This has always been more of an inevitable thing, my friends asking “when are you going to get one?” instead of “are you going to get one?”

It’s been about 3 weeks now since I purchased my iPhone, it’s sexy 🙂

Overall I’m happy with it, though it definitely shows the signs of an early product still being developed. Biggest complaints: iCal doesn’t support multiple calendars, wireless has known issues which make it interesting here on campus, and there is no way to delete learned wireless networks.

Apple announced the iPhone SDK last week for developers to be able to build custom applications for the iPhone as well as promised support for Microsoft Exchange making the iPhone more corporate friendly.

Now playing: The Fratellis – Flathead
via FoxyTunes


Posted 21 Jan 2008 — by nick
Category Friends, Fun, Movies, music

This weekend I had the chance to watch an excellent film, a rarity, the excellent part. Receiving high praise from friends whose musical taste I trust I decided it worth the adventure and rented Once to watch with Amy on Friday night. The film had been sold to me as a musical romance between two budding musicians, complete with a soundtrack begging to be purchased.

You need to see this film.

At first, describing the film as a musical left me uncomfortable. (This can probably be chalked up my general distaste for genre and misunderstanding of how everything is classified as either a “comedy” or “drama”). Thinking about it now, I am more content describing it as a musical. In all honesty, the story is told through the music. The characters lack names yet feel complete enough to be a good friend – we learn about them through their music and bond with them as their pain pours through their voices. After all, isn’t this part of the draw of music, the stories songs tell, the emotions they invoke, their empathy.

In honor of not sharing plot points or ruining the film for others, I’ll end on this note. My enjoyment resides strongly on the amazing soundtrack but also in the themes presented. Watching, I was reminded of the goodness of remaining faithful to commitment, the pain and worthwhileness of forgiving, the beauty of romance and the honor in being a person of moral character.

PS: The film has a low budget or indie film feel due to it’s minuscule budget of $160,000. More interesting back story, including how neither of the main characters are or plan on being professional actors, can be found here on the ever helpful wikipedia.


Posted 10 Jan 2008 — by nick
Category Fun, Movies, music

Last night I had the chance to see Juno at the Champaign Art Theater – the pretentiousness of this theater felt right for this film. Since seeing the film I’ve had the above song in my head and thought I’d share it with you. Time is rather hard to come buy right now so this post isn’t to in depth, I invite you to interact with me about the film via comments or emails or in person. I really enjoyed it.

"We’re Awakening"

Posted 08 Dec 2007 — by nick
Category Jesus, Light, Movies, Spirituality

Last night I watched Awakenings, an older film from 1990 long been residing on my list of “I’d like to watch that someday, but its not to pressing right now.”

The movie tells an emotive story of a shut-in doctor, scared to engage with those around him. Taking a job caring for patients whom have been comatose for decades after surviving an encephalitis epidemic, proves first to challenge these tendencies. His gentleness and care with the patients tells of a deeply sensitive and caring man isolated by social insecurity. Upon trying an experimental drug his patients begin to awake from their coma-like-state hardly aware they had been gone. The gift of life, the simple things – taking a walk, dancing, singing are celebrated as they stir to life. The greatest awakening though happens in the doctor, who begins to live. To risk and engage with those around him.

Watching the movie provided an almost out-of-body experience, almost like watching the past years of my life. The doctor and I share some of the same story, a heart isolated but rescued to begin beating once again.

I was attempting to clean my room this morning when I came across a letter I wrote myself about 3 years ago at Ignite:

“God, you rescued my heart this conference. The process you began months ago by showing me the hardness of my heart and how closed off it has become has peaked here and now. Thank you for drawing me out and revealing wounds in my life and reasons for the state of my heart. You’ve brought me to the point where I am so completely frustrated with being emotionally cold to those around me and alone that I have no choice but to change. Hurting is at least feeling so at this point I’m ready to start the painful journey of healing. I want to live from a heart fully alive.”
Ignite closing reflections 2004

Three years have passed since my pen bled those words, life has taken me many places since then, but God’s leading has never been so apparent. This road is one of heart rescue.

Now playing: Eisley – Brightly Wound
via FoxyTunes

Daft Hands

Posted 13 Aug 2007 — by nick
Category Fun, Movies, Technology, Videos

So I haven’t posted in awhile and nothing to serious… so I’ll break part of that trend and post a cool YouTube video Ben Chase showed me awhile back. Enjoy!

Music + Friends + Running = Fun

Posted 23 Jul 2007 — by nick
Category Creation, Fun, Movies, music, Running

It’s been a bit since I last posted. Odd how compelled I feel to apologize and explain how life has been busy – only that would seem to imply I have points of non-busyness. It’s been quite the norm as of late though, packed days, long hours at work, early morning running – all along the list of people to catch-up with and things on the backburner boiling over. I just returned from Wilderness LT and I feel like I need another vacation. This weekend served as a bit of a break. I can’t remember the last time I got to work on a Monday and thought “that was a really fun weekend!”

On Friday Chris, Marla and I went to Mike and Molly’s to see Elsinore play – tangent: These guys are awesome, great song writing, great vocals, original style and feel. You should buy their CD Nothing for Design on iTunes and Ryan Groff Solo CD People In The Midwest from Parasol.

On Saturday I got up extra early and joined the Buffalo – the trail running group of Second Wind Running Club. Marla has been inviting me out to run with them for over a year now, figured I’d finally take her up on the offer. We did a 10 mile loop around Lake Clinton. It was a beautiful morning, the temperature cool, the shade nice, and the trail clean. That evening there was a going away party for a friend who is moving back to Taiwan and then I caught up with some friends at Cowboy Monkey for a bit.

Early Sunday morning Darren, Marla and I joined the Second Wind fall marathoners for a long training run. Feeling a little beaten up by the trails the previous day I only did 11 miles instead of the planned 16. The remainder of the day was relaxing, some dinner and watched The Last King of Scotland. I fell asleep last night with a smile on my face – good music, good friends, good running.

"Close your eyes, Open your heart"

Posted 08 Mar 2007 — by nick
Category Fun, Movies

At some point I’m gonna need to sit down and write thoughts on a lot of the films I’ve watched recently, well the good ones at least:

This week I watched The Science of Sleep with a couple of friends. It takes a lot these days to really draw me into a story, to allow me to turn off my brain – this film did it. The story is painfully true to how awkward life can feel, at least my life. In an uncanny way it captures the feeling of being trapped by growing up. The movie has an almost music-video-ish feel to it, especially during the dream sequences. If you’ve not seen this film you should.