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Fireproof – Review (Kind of)

Marie and I watched a film called Fireproof last night. One of Marie’s work colleagues lent it to us, it’s a Christian movie and at first I thought it was going to be a cheesy movie about some bible story or just plain bad acting. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching to start with.

The film is basically about a couple who after 7 years things are just drifting apart to the point they consider divorce, The main character Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) is challenged by his father to take on the “Love Dare” for 40 days rather than just signing the divorce papers and while it starts hard he sticks at it. He hits rock bottom around day 20 when his wife Katherine Holt (Erin Bethea) tells him that she no longer loves him. At this point he speaks to his father who comes down to visit and shares the gospel with him and he gets saved.

Now that he is saved he has a new heart to continue on the Love Dare through to completion and beyond even though he hasn’t been shown any appreciation up to that point. The film culminates in the (somewhat expected) ending of his wife coming to him and saying “Something’s Changed in you & I want that too!”

While my brief synopsis doesn’t really do much for the story or the film itself I can say it was excellent and quite moving in places, I dont want to give too many of the story points away, but at times it was humorous, especially the tabasco sauce drinking scene! and at times it was very moving, when Katherine suddenly realised who paid the $24,000 to supply her Mum the right bed and wheelchair she needed after suffering a stroke.

I did particularly like the similarities in the middle when Caleb was asking his Dad, how can he (Caleb) love someone despite constantly being despised and rejected – Remind you of Jesus much?

For sure the acting is not hollywood level, but its not bad either, it’s pretty respectable and it did lack the cheesy cringe factor that I’ve witnessed when seeing some other christian videos, they even apparently filmed it on location in 30 days!.

Watching the film left me with an interesting thought and in many respects a warning to myself and probably any other married couple – marriages don’t just break up overnight, they break up slowly over a long time, so subtly perhaps that you probably don’t even notice something is wrong until its often too late. In fact the DVD extra features includes a music video and the film itself has as part of its sound track, the song by Casting Crowns – Slow Fade, heres the chorus:

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

This really got me thinking how easy that could happen to Marie and myself if I’m not careful, it’s not one big mistake that would cost me my marriage one day, its would be a systematic and constant assumption that “everything is fine” or making compromises for things that really shouldn’t be compromised in the first place.

For example in the film Katherine talks about the “trash” on the internet that he views, and there are further references to it, and it basically means looking at porn. while i would consider myself blessed that I don’t struggle with that temptation anymore it got me thinking is there anything that I do that might be considered to be valuing more than my wife? it’s a good reality check to make sure I am keeping anything like that in check, like the desire to always have the latest Apple gadgets like the iPad or Working too much.

The film is a good reminder that marriage is hard work and there are times when it’s not easy and it’s not just about feelings sometimes but just as much about making conscious decisions to love someone even when its hard, probably one of the cheesiest lines of the film was “Just because you fireproof your home, it doesn’t mean fire wont come to it” such a great reminder that yes as you work on your marriage, it doesn’t guarantee you safety from tests and trials but it should warn you not to get complacent

So I guess my review ends with a warning to any married couples out there to keep checking on your marriage and making sure there’s nothing that would cause you to make compromises on it or your partner. I’d actually recommend the film as well as a good watch too!

The film ends with this song, Love is Not a Fight by Warren Barfield, and I think it does a fairly good job of summing up what love (and by extension marriage too), i thought i would post the lyrics up:

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We’ll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they’re falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we’ll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It’s worth fighting for

I’ll end with this question, Is your partner worth fighting for? and if so, Why aren’t you fighting for them, even when the times are good as well as bad?
That reminds me of the Mark Driscoll line: “if you don’t date your Spouse, Somebody else will”
My answer: I’ll fight until God calls me up to make his websites run fast!



Africa United

Went to see Africa United over the weekend with Marie, Marie told me it was supposed to be an accurate portrayal of Africa. the opening sequence when Dudu (Eriya Ndayambaje) makes a football with a condom it made me sit up in my seat straight away as i knew this film just wasnt going to be any ordinary film. The story is that of 3 children’s road trip across Africa to Johannesburg for Fabrice (Roger Nsengiyumva), a football prodigy in the making, to be able to go out on the pitch for the opening of the World Cup. They get on a bus supposedly heading to the Rwandan capital for an audition but end up getting on the wrong bus and thats where there journey begins, they head through several African countries and have to fight the odds with so many things such as wildlife and bad guys threatening there journey and they pick up a couple of friends on there journey.

They hitch through Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to get there and it includes many issues other continents would associate with Africa: AIDS, child soldiers, lack of schooling, war and prostitution. But it deals with them in a matter-of-fact, occasionally light-hearted fashion. I have to say it was a sobering storyline. The film was excellent and from the limited exposure i have to Africa i have to say it is pretty accurate. Considering that the main 5 actors of the film were children i have to say that the film was very well done, and its great to have a different storyline for a change rather than the usual hollywood stories where all too often sex or violence feature in some way.

We had quite a debate after the film because the one thing it got me thinking is although its an accurate portrayal, the bit that got me was Africa’s belief that condoms will solve the HIV/AIDS problem, when in reality it wont, it only treats the symptoms when the root cause is hearts need changing. Sleeping around seems to be so prevalent in Africa and all condoms do is seem to say that its ok to do that as long as you where one you wont get HIV, i honestly believe that a heart change needs to happen before the HIV/AIDS problem is going to be reduced. God is needed in so many hearts to convict them that sleeping with more than one partner is wrong before this problem will get anywhere near going away. its sad to see a generation being destroyed because of this.

I will close with this, you really should go and see this film if you dont know what the problems in africa are, in one sense it cant capture the true scale of some of the issues in africa because it would make a very dark and depressing film, however it does highlight some of the big issues in a positive way which is so refreshing given that we only hear about these stories so often in a negative light or once or twice a year at fundraising events. It’s quite exciting to actually see positive culture shaping films making mainstream cinema




Inception – Great film

Marie Surprised me last night by taking me out to Bombay Bicycle Indian Restaurant in the holland park area, i can say it was awesome food, excellent service and an all round great restaurant, we were leaving at 8 and decided to see what was on at the cinema in Shepherds Bush and decided to see Inception.

Just as a rough guide of what inception is from the cinemas this is Vue’s description:

Blockbuster sci-fi thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a professional thief with a difference: the spoils he goes after are not material objects but the thoughts, dreams and secrets buried in the minds of other people. This rare talent has cost him dear, rendering him a solitary fugitive stripped of everything he ever really cared about. When he is offered a chance for redemption by reversing the process and planting an idea rather than stealing it, he and his team of specialists find themselves pitted against a dangerous enemy that appears to pre-empt their every move. Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine and Joseph Gordon-Levitt co-star.

the film was very cleverly put together and had me on the edge of my seat throughout (although that could have also been the not so comfortable seets at the Shepherds Bush Vue cinema!) the actors played brilliantly and i really did like the love tragedy aspect of it, it almost made it a modern shakespeare equivalent it was written so well. The film did take a few minutes to really get going though and they perhaps could have gotten things moving faster but all in all it didnt detract that much.

The story was complex and at times i got lost in the details because the film was very detailed and it covered virtually everything, it almost made me think was this real or not. the ending was very cool too, wont spoil it too much but it leaves the imagination running high of the possibilities as it leaves just one question unanswered which runs through the film via the character of Leanardo Di Caprio’s Wife.

all in all a very good film to go see on a saturday night, as much as i get annoyed when people are noisy in cinemas, it was great to go see a film where the screen was mostly full rather than being only 1 of 5 or 6 people watching, there is something different about watching a film in a full cinema screen over an empty one.




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