Movies Worth Seeing

I enjoy going to the movies. It is one of the ways I disconnect and recharge (golf being another). Thought provoking movies are the best, even better if they are based on a true story. Few movies tend to fall into these categories making the ones that do of particular interest to me. Making them a worthwhile use of your time.

These are movies worth seeing:

Dunkirk

Dunkirk checks all of the boxes. Thought provoking. Based on a true story (with the added bonus of being a military story).

As I watched this film I couldn’t help but ponder hope and hopelessness. The entire film is an observation on hopelessness. You feel the sense of despair of the main characters. The loss of hope of the soldiers stranded on the beach. The loss of hope of the pilot trying to fend off the German airplanes. The loss of hope of the civilians trying desperately to reach the beach and save as many soldiers as they can.

How do you handle a hopeless situation? Dunkirk confronts you with this question.

Hacksaw Ridge

Just like Dunkirk, Hacksaw Ridge checks all of the boxes. Thought provoking. Based on a true story.

It has sort of a folksy feel to it because Desmond Dawes (Andrew Garfield) is very idealistic and innocent (the heavy accent plays into that as well).

Also, Vince Vaughn as a serious character is a nice twist. He does a pretty good job.

I appreciated how the movie highlighted his faith as a motivating factor in his service. The theme running through the film is just his perseverance and willingness to serve in the capacity that his faith allowed him to. Just think about it, a soldier unwilling to fight choosing to go into combat.

The action and drama of the film is incredible. You will have to see what happens.

The Finest Hours

Again, checks many of the boxes. Based on a true story with a military-ish perspective. This one has a similar feel to Dunkirk in the sense that you feel the fear of the stranded sailors but also the determination of the rescue team. One of my greatest fears is being stranded out on the open ocean, so the drama in this film impacts me in that sense. The dialogue of the rescue team captures the essence of sacrifice present in Dunkirk and Hacksaw Ridge. I love their determination in the face of near certain death.

The Greatest Showman

I have linked to the trailer of the film, but must admit that the trailer does not capture the storyline very well at all. You will have to see for yourself. With that said, this is one of my favorite movies in recent memory. My wife and I loved it. Honestly, films like this are not exactly my style with the music and theatrical aspects. However, Hugh Jackman is one of my favorite actors (he also happens to be a very talented singer and dancer) and the message of the movie is particularly impactful as a young man and new husband. In short, the movie captures something I think men in particular struggle with: the pursuit of significance at the expense of family. This is a very enjoyable film for everyone.

Check these out if you haven’t already and let me know what you think!

 

 

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What the World Won’t Tell You

Whether you realize it or not, you are constantly bombarded with messages from the World around you. Media, movies, advertisements, entertainment, etc.

Our culture is noisy and the messages are relentless. Some of the classic messages address our views on money, power, and love.

Money = Security (have you seen how many ads there are for financial advice?)

Power = Control (have you seen the ferocity of our political environment?)

Love = Emotion (have you seen a single episode of the Bachelor? Strangers falling in love all over the place)


I grew up with these messages and honestly they have been around long before I showed up on the scene. However, there are some new messages being shared to my generation and the next.

Activity = Achievement

“If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” has been replaced with “If you do something but don’t share it on social media, did you actually do it?”

Our culture is teaching us to derive a lot of short term satisfaction from the approval of the masses at the expense of our presence in the present.

Political Disagreement = Disdain

I am politically Conservative. I have friends that are not. Do we hate each other? No.

If you turn on the media for a nanosecond or hop on Twitter for a minute then you would think that we should. I understand the media needs to generate interest, but the polarization as a result of generating interest is infecting our society.

Digital = Social

A couple of quick questions:

  1. How many friends do you have?
  2. How many of those people would help you in an emergency?

The answer to question #2 is probably a more accurate representation of the answer to question #1.

We ARE more connected now, but I am not sure our digital connections translate to real relationship. BUT I think the world is telling us that they do. Hence our struggles on the social media front. We surrender the “here and now” for the “there and then”. I don’t think that is a wise tradeoff.


I have spent all this time identifying the messages the world tells us but the title of this is What the World Won’t Tell You. Here are a few truths correcting the messages above –

Money = Tradeoffs

You CAN make a lot of money if you pursue it. You just have to be willing to give up other facets of your life in order to do so. What are you willing to lose in your pursuit of money? Is it time, your health, your integrity? Life is all about tradeoffs and this is never more true than when it comes to money.

Power = Temporary

Nobody stays at the top forever and the illusion of control through power fades away when you realize this. Political winds change direction often, businesses rise and fall, leaders are replaced in short order. Pursuing power is like chasing the wind.

Love = Hard Work

Emotions are great, but they can never form the basis of Love. Don’t believe me? Think back to your first relational/emotional experience growing up. Okay, now fast forward to today. Do you think that feeling could sustain a marriage, family, and career ALL at the same time? Of course not. (Sadly the often quoted divorce statistics of our nation prove this as well)

Love is only sustained through hard work and the decision to commit regardless of the presence or absence of emotion.

Activity = Habits

What you do repeatedly WILL determine who you become and where you go with your life. This fact is inescapable because we cannot escape our habits. This quote (often repeated in different formats) comes to mind –

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;

watch your words, they become actions;

watch your actions, they become habits;

watch your habits, they become character;

watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Political Disagreement = American

To disagree politically is to be American. Enjoy it. There are some nations where dissenting opinion can lead to death and we are over here blasting our government on social media with no consequences whatsoever. How awesome is that?

And while we are on this topic: we are not as divided as the media says we are. Don’t fall for that and don’t allow a disagreement to destroy meaningful relationships in your life.

Digital = Distraction

This is an easy one and I will end on it. The next time you are in public, I want you to take a moment to see how many people are looking down at their phones.

We are a distracted people, and our social framework is diminished because of it.

Thanks for reading.

– Brian