Location: Forest Town, California, United States

Many people ask where Helga and I (Vinnie) met. It was at a Jesus Freak festival in the days of my squandered youth. Some brownies were going around that tasted funny and the next thing I know, I'm married to a hippie. But she was cute, and I wouldn't serve a church that hired a divorced pastor, so we are still together till Judgement Day, when I assume we will go our seperate ways. Let me (Helga) add, that it seems the Universe brought Vinnie and I together, who am I to argue. He does have a judgmental nature though, which I find unforgivable.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mission Impossible III: Two Views


My wife, Helga, has been urging me to look at things more positively. Now I don't normally go in for that Norman Vincent Peale gibberish, but my doctor has said a more positive outlook may lower my blood pressure, so I will make an attempt to find something positive in the new Hollywood schlockbuster, Mission Impossible III.
Now first of all, let me alleviate any concerns of those in my congregation who think their offering plate donations went to line the coffers of Paramount Studios. It just so happens that Helga and I have a favorite picnic spot that is next to the local drive-in theater. With one thing and another, we weren't able to get to our picnic till evening when the show was about to begin. And we happened to bring along a radio. We couldn't get a clear signal on either my Gospel station or Helga's Air America. The only signal that came in was the movie soundtrack.
There are some that will avoid this film solely on the basis of gossip they have heard about the film's star Tom Cruise. People seem to be disturbed about Mr. Cruise's relationship with Katie Holmes which is reasonable. She was found with child before they were in a matramonial state, but I expect that from the morally absentee Hollywood crowd. But Cruise's character, Ethan Hunt, is just as morally bankrupt as the actor. Hunt lives with his fiancee before their marriage.
People also seem bothered by Tom Cruise's lifesytle choice, apparently he is some kind of scientist. I myself have nothing against scientists per se. Mr. Newton believed in God, and yet also invented gravity, which has proved very useful. But if Mr. Cruise is one of these scientists advocating evolution, then I can understand why people don't like him. There is an interesting parallel again, as Hunt also seems to be some kind of scientist-inventor with a new gadget for every occasion.
But onto reviewing the film proper. It is your usual Hollywood stew of sex and violence. Woman driving sleek cars and wearing skimpy little things and hanky-panky in hospital supply closets and machine guns firing left and right and fine machinery blowing up. These are things one has come to expect from Hollywood, and is reason enough to skip this film
The plot is something about the search for a weapons system known as the "rabbit's foot". Now they are never too specific about what this weapon does, but the name refers to a luck charm, so obviously it has something to do with the occult. Another reason to avoid this film.
But if you need one more reason to avoid the film, you should know that the villian of the piece is played by Seymore Phillip Hoffman, who just this year received an academy award for playing a well-known homosexual author. Do you want to support a film that has an actor that shared a platform (literally and metaphorically) with the makers of Brokeback Mountain?
But I said I would find one good thing to say about the film, and I did find something. The main character, Ethan Hunt, is a covert spy, but he says he works for the Department of Transportation. This is the one thing in the film that really makes sense.
Have you every wondered why there seems to be so many road workers, but so little road work gets done? That the Department of Transportation is really a front for a spy agency makes as much sense as anything coming out of Hollywood.
So skip this film, and remember, a good sermon is all the fun you need.


As Vinnie said, we are making an effort to make positive affirmations, so I will make a positive affirmation about viewing Mission Impossible III: the stars in the sky above the screen were lovely and there was a wonderful breeze and I enjoyed the soft grass beneath my skin.
The movie itself was severely challanged ethically. But I did find myself torn morally about certain things.
For instance, I abhor violence in all its forms. I especially abhor gun violence. But I also want to see woman portrayed as strong and able to take care of themselves. So, you can see, I am torn when I there are scenes in the film of women capably using weapons and blowing stuff up.
Which leads me to another moral tension. There are a number of sports cars, helicopters and trucks in the film that of course pollute our Mother Earth. And I would not be truthful if I didn't admit I enjoyed seeing these vehicles crashed, demolished and obliterated.
There is one moral evil in the film that I certainly my speak out against. There is a machine in the film that manufacters masks that can make any person look like any one they wish. Can there be any doubt that certain Beverly Hills plastic surgeons are working on such machines right now? Soon these machines will be used to make every woman look like Carma Electra and every man look like Tom Cruise. And when that happens, I'm going to miss Vinnie's ugly puss.
Alright, I will say one good thing about this film which is itself a source of karmatic dissonance. It does show the need for more difibullators. At crucial times in this film, life and death depends on the presense of a difibullator.
It is no mere coincidence that this film comes out just as PASA (People Affirming the Superiority of Animals) is conducting a fund raising drive to buy solar powered difibullators for animals. I hate to think of all the times during our rescue raids, in an attempt to save sister and brother lab rats and mice from research labs, the poor beings have suffering cardiac failure due to the excitement.
If only we could shave those little furry chests and apply the paddles, bringing forth their life forces. You can do your part. Give generously to the Rodent Heart Fund through your local chapter of PASA.
So till the Universe brings us together again - Smell the Flowers, not the Films.


Blogger St. Matthew's Episcopal Church said...

You know, I wasn't too interested in seeing this movie before. Been there, done that.

But after reading your positive reviews, I guess I need to rethink my decision...

12:07 PM  

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