bookmark_borderThe Chosen – Review

Now, just a warning to fans of The Chosen show, I hate it. It is because of films like this that I temporarily quit the film industry, the people I was around actually like this gargage, so i thought, “Oh no, if I make more films, it will be like this boring #$%^&.”

Yes, this show is so bad, it makes me swear in my thoughts, and I swear so loudly, I don’t even know what swear word it is, just a bunch of random characters. But why exactly do I hate, “The Chosen,” if I do not hate the people it is based on?

Theory 1. “Thou shalt not bear false witness…”

It must because I do not hate the people it is based on, that’s why. That series bears false witness against apostles, calling the Apostle Matthew a Roman collaborator, a snitch, a traitor, a corrupt sabbath breaker, and lots of other things in the very first episode. If I made a film like that about Martin Luther, Joseph Smith, or your favorite Pope, you’d probably go nuts. (Maybe I will.)

Back when Oscar Wilde wrote Salame, that play was banned in the UK for blasphemy, even though John The Baptist is a minor character and it does not even slander anyone. I was able to enjoy Salome, perhaps because the characters imagined are not distorted. And because it doesn’t slander important characters like apostles, it just tries to understand a character. Who was Salome, the one who danced for Herod? How did she react?

Theory 2: “Thou shalt not add to the word which I command you…”

“The Chosen” makes light of demon posession and it replaces scriptures with modern philosophy. And it choses the dumbest philosophies, too.

But, do I really hate all religious movies? I liked Charton Heston in The Ten Commandments. I remember watching Samson and Delilah as a child, and thinking, maybe the Bible is not so bad after all. I even remember laughing at History of the World, Part I. (Or was it Part II?) I loved Veggie Tales’ Jonah. So, I am not like the people who banned Salome. If it is done well, I actually enjoy religious movies. The problem is, it is usually done terribly, so I generally refuse to work on anything religious.

Theory 3: It takes you away from real religion

Sadhguru warns people against fake yoga, in that it takes you away from real enlightenment. I think of The Chosen as fake scriptures. The time you waste watching that garbage, could be spent reading real scriptures, or at least movies like “Veggie Tales Jonah” that have real Bible stories in them.

If the Apostles were around today, I bet they would rather you do fake yoga than watch that fake “Chosen.” At least fake yoga doesn’t slander Bible characters. (I can imagine them now, “Call us veggies, make fun of us in parody, just don’t throw us in some half baked script that turns us into a third-rate soap opera. Now excuse me, while I practice my sun salutations.”)

I enjoy films that distort other religions. Keanu Reeves was entertaining as Siddhartha in “Little Buddha.” I liked Ray Harryhausen’s puppets in “Jason and The Argonauts.” So, what is the real reason that I dislike the app “film” so much?

Real reason: It is boring and stupid

The real reason I dislike The Chosen so much is not only does it insult some people I respect from the Bible, it also insults the audience. I hate it for the same reason that I hate the new Star Treks, where you have Spock dancing like a Kung Fu master from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Propaganda.

But at least the new Spock dances! The new bible characters, well, they just stand around and talk. The camera work is boring, the screenwriting is terrible, and the acting is okay for a school play but nothing special.

Oh, but the camera work is great, you say. It has great production values, you say. I don’t really care. That is like complementing a self-published book because there are no typos in it and the writer knew how to align-justify. The fact that someone can film the actors and control the focus dial is not a reason to watch a film.

No, I did not get past episode one or two, and the only reason I even attempted to watch an entire episode of “The Chosen” is because nice people kept recommending it. I do not hate you for recommending that garbage, because as Saint Augustine once said, “love the Sinners, hate their apps.” I just lost any respect for your taste in movies. Especially if you recommend an app while recommending the show.

The Chosen is my least favorite TV show of all time. If I were a Hollywood moghul and that script landed on my desk, it would be “The Rejected.” It may have a few famous faces involved, but I give it zero stars.

bookmark_borderSome Birds – Review

When they hand you voting cards at a film festival, I never know what to tick. The first film always seems great, it is better than the documentaries you are used to, perhaps it is the first time you have been in a cinema in a while, the atmosphere is contagious.

And then, the second is even better. If I could give Some Birds more than five stars, I would. I am not saying it is better than perfect, although it is great (especially for first time filmmakers), it is that I had already given five stars to another film at this festival, and Some Birds was better than that.

The filmmakers started their journey five years before the festival. Yes, it does take that long to make a movie. The director had an idea from his personal life, and the writer could relate. So, they met at a workshop, and decided to work on it together.

In other words, the story starts with an insider story, writing what you know. But they didn’t end it with their knowledge. They had expert guidance, from experienced filmmakers in an incubator program. And, they even spent a year observing different care homes, asking questions to the director of a care home when they had idea.

The main character is put into a care home by his son. The second main character ends up looking after him, as some kind of juvenile rehabilitation project. Well, the main character does not like it in the care home, and wants to escape, to prove that he can look after himself.

Is that a spoiler? Oh well. Here, the creators did their research, and asked the care home how somoene could be discharged. The scenes in the film are authentic, not only drawing on the creators lives, or the lives of others who are in the homes, but out of questions the creators asked, to see what options the characters would have in real life. They seem to have done more research than the writers of most biopics.

And, I think that is why I like the film. Of course, it helps to have a main character who is charismatic. The actor has had small parts in films before, but is better known as the voice in movies. When his movie-grandson heard the actor’s voice, he said, “you are Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh!” He isn’t really a rabbit, but he is the Hungarian voice of Rabbit.

All of the actors do their parts well, and even before I heard it was anyone’s first time film (it was the writers first, director’s, and the DOP’s first), it was still my favorite film. This film was much more powerful than other films I had seen by seasoned directors. It was more real than documentaries. But it probably won’t win the festival. That usually goes to something political.

I would also recommend Some Birds to learners of Hungarian. There are lots of sections that can be cut out and used as lessons, basic words that A1 or A2 learners should be able to understand. There are also longer sections that are more difficult to follow, and there are a few characters who speak German. But the basic language is interesting, it really fits the lives of the characters, or certain scenes of them anyway, much more naturally than a langauge textbook would.

Yes, I recommend this film. Watch it until the end, and you will see why even the title fits, and why it is called, “Some Birds.”