Afterwards

The Road to Hell: Everlasting Torment or Annihilation? by David Pawson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Road to Hell ends with the words, “on which sober note we conclude our study”, referring to the author’s statement that those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will suffer torment with the fallen angels in hell, quoting the book of Revelation from the Bible. David Pawson’s The Road to Hell does have that kind of tone at times: a shot to the heart. Yet, The Road to Hell is other things as well. Challenging one out of complacent thinking and living so to avoid the dangers of hell as well as comforting one with thoughts of heaven and grace. Pawson is adamant, however. Getting to heaven is not by ‘cheap grace’ where one can do as they please while still being under God’s grace, but by continuing in the faith in Jesus, not disowning him, and renouncing one’s sins. Hell is a step away with complacency, but Pawson in his gentle manner encourages due diligence in the faith, although a small few of his statements may seem blunt if not preachy, however, one gets the impression in that there are not as many words to always deliver eloquently such an urgent message to Christians and non-believers.

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Clash?

Harry Hamlin as Perseus, before L.A. Law.

* * 1/2

Greek thinking is not on my wavelength (but some would say that Westerners have been brainwashed by the Greek philosophical invasion), but the 1981 original of Clash of the Titans, itself a Greek myth and action story, is a small-medium sized blockbuster (the 2010 remake was bigger but not better) so I was reasonably happy.

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Promising

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At Eternity’s Gate had one of the more interesting titles and trailers of 2018, if not the most interesting. The trailer gives us a glimpse of what to expect. I would sum this up as, the post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) comes to a point in his artistic life where the limits are not enough. He then seeks the ‘limitless’, as if the eternal dimension is something to be grasped. I found this fascinating and not beyond belief either. It goes that the mild mannered Van Gogh goes to Arles, in the South of France (a lovely place!), on the suggestion of fellow artist Gaugin (Oscar Isaac), to explore on his canvas the beauty of life there and touch on something more transcendent behind it all.  

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Artifice/substance

A.I.’s who look like this, in A.I. (2001). Played by Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law.

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So, I hear, artificial intelligence is coming to a world near you or your great grandchildren’s. Would it look more like Terminator or A.I.? A. I. (2001; Warnings: Disturbing thematic elements, violent content, and sex-related material.) poses a question, whether deliberately or implicitly, of what would it mean to have artificial lifeforms in the human world?

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Friends

Hilary (Barbara Hershey) and CC Bloom (Bette Midler)

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Beaches (1988) is about being ‘unlucky in love’ – not an apt choice to watch on this Rose Day, February 7 – nevertheless Beaches may be an alternative choice from the usual Valentine week offerings. Beaches is alternative viewing for those disillusioned by the sweet aroma of thorny roses as well as saying something interesting about—beaches.

The key characters, in Beaches, throw themselves at the men in their lives. But once CC Bloom (Bette Midler) is advancing in her acting and singing career John (John Heard) feels left behind and divorces her. You are left feeling sorry for CC. Hilary (Barbara Hershey) marries lawyer Michael Essex (James Read) but when Hilary spies on her man having an intimate moment with another woman in their house that is the end of her marriage. Poor Hilary.

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