Adorable pig from 1995

Babe

(Certificate G)

1995. Just like a nursery rhyme, Australian film, “Babe”, is about a farm pig who thinks he is a sheep dog. After being won by farmer Arthur Hoggett (interesting name) at a fair, the pig Babe embarks on a journey and makes friends and enemies of a bestial nature in the process. Great entertainment, “Babe” is winner of Best Comedy at the Golden Globes this year and a box office hit.

 

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers. Rating from 1996.

Published 1996, GiveWay.

Gandalf beats Potter in 2002

Rings – Potter 13 – 3

2002. The Academy award nominations were announced on February 12 with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring grabbing thirteen nominations. The Lord of the Rings, based on Catholic author J.R Tolkien’s trilogy of novels about good versus evil, was filmed in New Zealand during the late 1990’s and beginning of the millennium. Nominations for the film include Best Picture, Director (for Peter Jackson) and Supporting Actor for Sir Ian McKellen as wizard Gandalf. Continue reading

Today’s pet peeve is middle of the road blues

I was in a middle of the road church. They still had principals, and even encouraged if not ‘enforced’ them, but when it came to the faith, it was middle of the road. I realized though that the faith is not middle of the road. Jesus preached turning away from lifestyles of sin and putting one’s faith in him. The gospel of Jesus is a radical thing. One is told to follow him. So, a church is middle of the road to attract more people, but it does not explain the gospel, the basis of the faith. So, middle of the road is an annoying problem as it’s not the gospel.

All considered, but not all chosen

I’ve been reading and my reading cast a thought. That music is significant in the lives of others. It could equally apply to movies. I’ve heard it before, and I considered it again and it became more inspirational this time. That if movies are a significant reality in people’s lives, then I as a reviewer and writer of film must relate to this reality and do so genuinely. Hence, I have changed my review category to be called “review mix” in that various films, music and books are considered. However, although I may consider all movies, in the end I do not choose every single one.

Back in 1998: at the Oscars, would it be night of “Titanic”?

Oscar mania

1998. Within the typical Hollywood environment of movie deals and money making comes an event that pats the best filmmakers and artists that year on the back. It seems innocent enough. It’s all about celebrating, partying down, and giving out awards (and some artists really do deserve them). Because of this glamorous night Oscar winners are certain to accrue more money from moviegoers to go into producers’ accounts. It is really an advertisement to one billion people worldwide. It’s the Oscars. Continue reading

Preparing devotional books in my mind’s eye

I have enough devotions for the equivalent of a book’s worth of devotions, one month’s worth, but with the second book, another month’s worth, there is still some editing and additional writing to be done. I am writing and editing at this stage. I am thinking of publishing though.

The disappointment of Imagine

Imagine

Released September 9, 1971. Written 2022.

EMI Records released a digital remaster of the 1971 album “Imagine” (by John Lennon) in 2010. The album contains the famous song “Imagine” which is used in the film “The Killing Fields”, but Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror is a better place to start if we want to change the world. Continue reading

The spiritual life is an answer to being ‘left behind’

What’s on my mind devotionally this week is a verse of scripture that is in the gospel. Jesus said: “Better to enter into life maimed than to have you whole body thrown into hell.”

The spiritual life Jesus offers is also an antidote to feeling left behind in life. Continue reading

The challenge of change, but Steely Dan’s debut underwhelms

Can’t Buy a Thrill

Released November 1972. Written 2022.

Written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. The vocals are by Fagen, Becker, David Palmer, and Jim Hodder. Donald Fagen also played piano, electric piano and the plastic organ, Walker Becker played electric bass guitar, and Jim Hodder played drums and percussion, with Jeff Baxter (guitar) and Danny Dais (guitar). Gary Katz produced the album. Can’t Buy a Thrill boast the most interesting lyrics and perspectives of 1972. Continue reading

The word with those connotations: ‘sly’

The Word for Today is ‘sly’. It means having a nature that is cunning and deceitful. The key here is in the nature, otherwise the meaning of the word would fall. Without cunning and deceitful emanating from a nature, sly would just be cunning and deceitful but that can’t exist by itself. Somone is cunning and deceitful. Someone is sly. Sly is an adjective so it describes an inner nature. Someone exists or lives in that nature. He is sly.

I always have a reservation about this word because it implies a bad or wrong centered nature. But is describes a reality. Sometimes there are people we may come across that are sly which is scary. But sly is a word I keep at a distance and use it rarely as the word must fit the character, the story, the sentence, etc.

Children reviewing films

Can a child review entertainment? We were asked to review Gandhi. Gandhi is a “mature” film, but the kids wanted to watch E.T. and The Dark Crystal. But could we have reviewed those fantasy films let alone Gandhi and reviewed them effectively? It can be done, by some. Continue reading

Traditional themes and classical style action

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Released January 14, 1944. Review written 2022.

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is at a basic level a story of revenge. Yet we see and feel plenty of classical style action, adventure, love, and honour. It is a romantic style film. Based on the Arabian Nights tale, Ali Bab and the Forty Thieves was released on January 14, 1944, which puts it among the Golden Era of Hollywood filmmaking. I would like to see a Christian film with the same premise, where an Arabian Tales paced-epic is transported to a Christian-based romantic adventure. Continue reading

It’s not unusual

The weather here is not typical for the season. But it has happened at this time a few times before in the last decade or so, so although untypical, is not unusual. I would like to see what happens in three weeks. Going by the times before, we should get more typical seasonal weather then. If not, it would set a precedent.

What’s on my mind devotionally

What a disaster before me! I might have thought of a gospel verse because of hearing about all the slew of events taking place in the world and how the world is crumbling but is this a reaction to media input or reality. Not only are there stories on major disasters, but people caught up in the middle of them. Continue reading

Update: devotional writing

Eventually got around to writing a devotional this week, and am thinking about how to publish the devotions I have, as one publisher cannot work with me due to their way of doing things (i.e. delivery of renumeration), so have thought of self-publishing e-books. But I will check out traditional publishers first to see if there are any others that are suitable.

Creation chorus: begin again

The creation

 

Six days unveiled the fresh green earth, the deep blue sea;

A display to behold of cosmic beauty.

Land and ocean rising in symphony.

 

At the end of each day, God’s greatness turned a page

And the earth resounded in God’s good grace.

 

God’s own, Adam and Eve, agreed; and

With a heart full of God’s undying love,

They celebrated the wonders they see.

 

 

A temptation and fall

 

In a garden of paradise, came a temptation.

From a certain one who

Fell to earth just in time for Creation.

 

Thrown out of heaven for wanting

To make the world in his image

And not God’s own, The Devil, once an angel,

Found a way to get into creation, and worm

His way into the heart of the man and woman of God

 

So seduced they were,

The temptation ended in a fall that poured out to everyone else,

May God grant the grace to everlasting life.

 

Take away the path to pain and

Prepare the way to life, again.

 

 

Justice

 

Jealousy ran deep and

Cain killed Abel

 

Blood ran from Abel’s body.

 

An innocent man’s blood cried out

As God said, Run, Cain, run,

You tiller of soil

The fertile ground has turned to red, cold blood.

You destroyed.

 

I seek an answer,

His blood calls out for justice,

A punishment so grave,

For this terrible thing you’ve done.

 

But may you confess and find in your heart the way out,

 

May you settle you in a town and

Become alive again

 

My son, my son,

Begin again

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

Gratingly realistic: drama movie re-creates the Boxing Day tsunami

The Impossible

Released October 11, 2012. review written 2022.

One may not grasp the difficulties of the survivors of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but The Impossible pulled off the impossible, by making one feel something of it. The power of re-creation enabled this and while not the same thing is still a way of conveying the magnitude of the disaster that the viewer is forever changed. Continue reading

The truth

When objective reasoning is filtered through perception one is no longer able to tell the difference. In cricket, when it is obviously out it is obviously out and can be confirmed by a number of witnesses. Sometimes, the third umpire gets it wrong even with the benefit of hindsight. But perception has so taken over the truth.

Immediate concerns

Times are particularly challenging for many people. There’s expenses and the cost of living. One worries about money and where it’s coming from. Can one afford it anymore? One must get another job, another career, but just a job is enough, as one can’t afford a career at the moment. It appears we don’t live in prosperous times now. They say it gets better. That the good times will come. But not looking in the future, leaves you with the immediacy of the present. One focusses on the now. That’s real rather than the future. So, one decides to make the present work–somehow. One must or do the best one can.

Actuate

Writers actuate. They cause a character to act in a particular way which is the meaning of actuate. In real life, there are people who would like to actuate. They would like to have you act in a particular way. Sometimes, they succeed. Actuate is one of those action-orientated words that describes the way of the writer on a character and the way of a person on somebody else. These can fuse to produce a story that is realistic–the actual manipulation of a human being as a character in a story. These can make for disturbing unpleasant stories or ones where we can detach.

The outlook is better

How does one respond to recent events such as the last three years? One mustn’t blame. It was his fault or someone’s fault. But if one survived and can see an opportunity in the mess, then one comes out with a better outlook and attitude than without. Adversity can make one see life anew. If one finds trouble, one adjusts their temperament to survive. One does not give up but can turn over with a view to stay alive and live. One can even think about how they relate to the Creator: what is my relationship with the Creator of the world like? How can I draw closer to God during adversity?

Redisturbed on trend?

 

What about recycled movies? Or a haunting little masterpiece and something more mysterious? What was 10 Cloverfield Lane (Pictured)? Redisturbed on trend? Another in a long list of disturbing movies? A thrill? A pill? A chill? A fill? You wouldn’t want to meet the disturbed character in this not that we could. Run a mile away, but watch from a safe distance, while it’s trending. Art. Don’t waste. Recycle. Do it again.

Montaged to some effect

I believe in not wasting, like when it comes to food, writing, books. Use everything, reuse, don’t waste it, it means more than that. Or they tell me I’m real tidy. So, here is a montage of some photos I didn’t want to waste but had little use for them. Call it recycled art.

But is some art worth recycling?

It can be recycled all together into montaged art and a new hybrid movie. Like my montage (above)?

It’s quite easy really

A Christian perspective is quite easy really when it comes to it. Sure, one can think of theological and sociological things to bring up, while the ordinary, everyday filmgoer bites into an ice cream, and popcorn flows all over the place, but a Christian perspective is just this: it is reacting or responding to a film as someone who is a Christian. It is just reacting to the material and if faith is important to a Christian then there is a reaction or response that kind of way.

A nice place to post

This week I have been starting to post my pieces of writing through blogger as the other place was not technically working for me. Another place, Substack, requires a lot of work to get subscriptions to your blog, so I find blogger just a lovely place to post my older and newer work and get an audience where there are no hassles. Here’s my latest piece, here.

Deep red

Crimson is a rich sounding word. It means rich as well, as in a “rich, deep red” inclining to purple (but not exactly purple). I asked myself, how would you use this word? When would you use this word? Crimson is an adjective so describes something. The word sounds so rich it could be used to describe the inner state of someone, as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson. One would have to know what a deep red would signify if using crimson as a metaphor. His heart bled crimson, but what does it mean?

New venture

My experience at Vocal has been good thus far though there are some teething problems which are being sorted but nothing major as in major. I found my first article, before I submitted to the editors, prompted me to write to a certain word count and I found this good as it enabled me to try a little harder, think a little harder, and improve the article overall. If they accept the piece, I will be submitting more, until there comes a point that I should stop writing there for some reason, but for now, all is good. Continue reading

This one is spelt with a ‘h’

There are some words one knows but doesn’t really. I know what whisked means instinctively, but would I know how to articulate what it means? If this is a question I ask, I add the word to my notebook of words I got to learn.

Whisked is easily remembered by me by recalling the word ‘suddenly’, as in a person or thing was suddenly taken away or “whisked” away. I took a second glance on how to spell it, not ‘wisked’, but with a ‘h’, as in whisked.

Reviewing the list of words in the notebook

One of the things I have been recommended to do is to keep a notebook of words. So, I have, as this helps me learn novel words. I write down the word with a memory jogger as to its definition. But I got to review these words every so often as some will slip through the memory and be forgotten. I recommend keeping a notebook of words that one can learn and to review them every so often so one won’t forget. It can only make one understand that much better.

 

Feeling right

I spent a few spare hours of writing a couple of interesting posts (if I must say) on my new ventures with Medium and Substack, but my initial feeling was to not start out with it. To leave it be and not do it. The initial feeling was confirmed when the response to my posts and marketing of them were minimal. It’s not encouraging going ahead. Yet I forced myself to think harder about what other kinds of material I could produce so this material may come to fruition someplace else or closer to home base.

On new posts

This blog has been various shapes and forms of which I think it has been a matter of experimenting with shape and form and content until coming to something satisfactory or a composite of all those. I trust that Talking Writing or peteswritingnotes.com is this, which brings back my notes on the writing life more to the forefront as well as keeping with positing old articles, etc, and new pieces when possible.

My aim, in the long-term, is to produce e-books (or some variation thereof) of articles and reviews, the kind of things I have been posting here for the last six months as well as include the material that did not get published here.

So, I am pleased to present Talking Writing…And Posting Writings which I trust is more in the form I find manageable. It means I can write freely about the writing life and publish writings when I like. A lot easier to produce and in turn brings more variety.

“You have a feeling that you are doing something worthwhile”

New Year’s honour for Wendy

2004. Lower Hutt woman Wendy Zamanek says it’s neat to be listed on the New Year’s honours list. Receiving the Queen’s Service Medal for Community Service not only makes her proud, but she says the award recognises the two women’s organisations that she sweated blood and tears for during the 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading

Back in 1927: the first Hardy Boys mystery tells of a not-so-distant past

The Tower Treasure

By Franklin W. Dixon

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Released 1927. Review written 2022.

The first Hardy Boys mystery The Tower Treasure was in the words of your grandfather or great grandfather, who read the book when it came out all those years ago (almost one hundred years!), an “exciting page turner”. Continue reading

Genesis chapter one: God and creation

MEDITATION. I heard someone say where is God in today’s world which has gone to custard? If God was the creator, has he left us now? Is God an absent landlord?

Looking at how God created the world according to Genesis chapter one, shows God made an investment in creating the world like a caring father makes an investment in attending to his sons and daughters. Why would God change? Continue reading

Brought up in a home for boys was hard, then life turned for the better

Around the world with your baggage

2002. It’s no easy road finding God. At least, for Ian Head (Pictured above). In 1956, he was going to end his life by jumping off the Westminster Bridge in London. A pull to go to the remotest part of the world was stronger. Ian arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, later that year. It was not until 1987 that the emotional baggage he brought with him started to fade. Continue reading

Classic, foreign and Hollywood all feature on spiritually significant list

Top one hundred “spiritually significant” films

2005. First there were the Top 100 American films of the 20th century. Then followed the top one hundred cinematic comedies and thrillers. Recently, top movie songs were honoured. After lengthy discussion and debate among a group of web users, the Top 100 “spiritually significant” films ever made evolved and were announced in June this year. Continue reading

Saying it without having to explain

There can be a difference between writing a review and giving a view. A review stays within the parameters of review: explain your reasons for accepting or rejecting a piece. But a view can state the view without necessarily having to explain things in detail.

Although there are two kinds of views: one which can be explained and the other is like being asked a question about what you thought and answering without explaining why. You just say it. So, I intend to write more of that kind, where it is like someone asks me, what I thought, and I say it. These are typically short.

SLT sees training for Christians as wholistic, for life, and from “God’s perspective”

God’s rule and reign in every area of life

2000. God’s perspective must filter into every area of your life, says Barbara Thomas member of the Strategic Life Training board.

“God’s principles apply to every area of life. It’s not just for Sunday’s or church meetings or that you deal with any area of your life differently,” she says. Continue reading

“Important” healing ministry given permission to work in archdiocese

Healing prayer ministry proceeding cautiously

2006. The facilitator of the School of Healing Prayer, set up last year in the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington, says the healing ministry is a neglected area because “Satan has been getting his own way for all too long and has nearly succeeded in killing off the healing ministry, especially in the Western Church.” Continue reading

Retail outlet for Christian resources has quite an extensive range

House of Hope making a difference

2000. Petone’s House of Hope (In New Zealand) was born out of a “fairly evident need for resources and ministry”, explains shop manager and chairman of Jubilee Ministries, Selwyn Stevens (Pictured above). Continue reading

Support for church initiative to instill values into council planning

Recovering “village values”

2003. Pictured above: The Hutt City Council. A community charter initiated by local churches and adopted by Hutt City Council aims to support Lower Hutt as a safe and connected community, what Lower Hutt Mayor John Terris calls an effort to recover “village values”. Continue reading

Some moments to write about

My listening post session for September 30-October 6. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.

It may have looked good this week in ’72, at best. But nothing to write home about. Billy Preston put out an album in 1982, his last for Motown, and his back story makes for interesting reading. R.E.M looking strong with another album, but not up my ally. Life Goes On, for Le Ann Rimes in 2002; the song felt quite visceral, not the rest of the album though. What did you say? 2022 music? It must have escaped me.

Children from India inspire Kiwis to lend a helping hand

Compassionate response to unemployment

2001. While watching a slide presentation of underprivileged children from India at a house group meeting, Ken and Wendy Fraser were impressed that God wanted them to help unemployed people in the Hutt Valley (in New Zealand). Continue reading

Penalising approach not welcomed

Backing for beneficiaries

2005. A church agency representing the views of the national representatives of four mainline churches (in New Zealand) is concerned that a government bill at select committee stage will unduly penalise domestic purposes beneficiaries who do not establish paternity of their children. Continue reading

The echo

Time makes such amends

For what’s missing in time

Just when life seemed hopeless

Along came time to soften wandering through the pages

 

Maladjusted by my unravelling

Depth and meaning were the challenge to my soul, but

Time had a way of healing,

For relief from superficialness.

I found soothing in an echo from time

The breeze blew toward me,

A grace I was assigned

Misaligned, I was, but saved despite the swirl of agony

In a moment of time

The forecast wasn’t as grim

My music listening session that covers a week of releases September 22-September 29. 1972. 1982. 1992. 2002. 2012. 2022.

The verdict: What do you do when even the classics don’t speak? Catch Bull at Four, remember it? Why does Christian music from 2002 sound two note? 2012 just sounds a little bit fuller. Just commercial enough to satisfy the intended audience? Costs less to make? The oldies are just sounding above mediocre with their new releases. Two picks this week.

“They were coming because they wished to meet with other people”

Loaves & Fishes only community meal

2001. The Community Outreach Mission for the Salvation Army Crossroads Community Church in Lower Hutt (in New Zealand) runs the only regular community meal in the city. Continue reading