Sunday, June 26, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: "Bad Teacher"

 Bad Teacher - Bad Movie
Still reeling from
the epic failure of
quest continues for
the great comedy flick
of the summer. So I
attended an opening
day showing of Bad
Teacher, starring
Directed by Jake Kasdan, Bad Teacher offers, if nothing else, a bold commentary on today’s culture. In short, the movie goes the distance to project the message that as long as you’re a hot chick who dresses like a stripper — even a forty-year-old hot chick who dresses like a stripper, you can do no wrong — no matter what. In fact, there’s absolutely nothing endearing about Diaz’s character — Elizabeth Halsey, a junior high school teacher, obsessed with financing her boob job — at all costs. Simply put, Halsey is an unlikable, lying, cheating, self-centered, alcoholic, drug-using gold-digger who is nothing but nasty to everyone in her life — including her tweenage students. But she’s a hot chick who dresses like a stripper, so the fact that she’s a horrible person is somehow okay.

Throughout the film, Halsey is pursued by the gym teacher, Russell Gettis, played by Jason Segel. But for the life of me I don’t understand the attraction — except for the fact that Halsey is a hot chick who dresses like a stripper. When Halsey gets busted for stealing the answers to an upcoming state student exam, she gets off scott-free — which we're led to believe is awesome ’cuz, remember, she’s a — well you get the idea. And when she’s confronted by another teacher whose only apparent crime is being a happy and positive person, the audience applauds when Halsey triumphs. Even Justin Timberlake’s character, a goody-two-shoes substitute teacher named Scott Delacourt, is portrayed as a dolt, until Halsey succeeds in leading him to compromise his values.

To be fair, I must admit that Bad Teacher does have several laugh-out-loud moments. However, there were just enough of those to justify spending the $4 on my discounted matinee ticket. Actually, this could have been a worthwhile film, but like so many others these days, a potentially clever story was sacrificed and dumbed-down in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. My quest continues.

-Christopher Long
(June 2011)

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Saturday, June 18, 2011


My cousin Dorothy and her awesome
family at my Orlando book signing.
I was faced with a
certain spiritual
dilemma following
my "awakening" last
year. I was "hungry"
for the Word of God, however, I had
difficulty connecting with the language
used in my tried and
true King James
Version (KJV).

Fortunately, my cousin Dorothy had a solution. Dorothy and her family attended my book signing in Orlando, FL in April 2010. I’d mentioned to Dorothy previously my anxieties regarding the KJV. At the end of the event, she handed me a colorful gift bag with fancy tissue paper sticking out of the top, containing a new Bible — a New Living Translation (NLT). This was a version even I could understand and it was exactly what I needed.
Just as we all enjoy unique personal relationships with our earthly fathers, we likewise all have special connections to our spiritual Father. Consequently, I don't believe that any particular version of the Bible is a one-size-fits-all translation.
Although the language used in the KJV is certainly beautiful, I struggled with the "verilies," "heretos" and "therefores." Yet with its streetwise simplicity, I began burning through my NLT like a hot knife through butter. Here's just one example of the differences between the KJV and the NLT...

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you , If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain , Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

You don't have enough faith, Jesus told them. I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

I'm certainly NOT suggesting that any one translation is better than another. I'm merely suggesting that if you too "hunger" for the Word of God, but feel overwhelmed, there are several options and I encourage everyone to seek out the version that best "speaks" to them.

-Christopher Long
(June 2011)

 The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.
Also from Christopher Long...
Available on Amazon.