Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Step DOWN 3

As I walked out of the ornate movie theater last night, I had the distinct impression that I was most certainly NOT in Thailand anymore. I really didn't know where I "was" (I knew I was in Bangkok, but it didn't feel like I was there) -- maybe it felt like the States, or even the Philippines, but not Thailand.

I had just watched Step Up 3, which I strongly advise NEVER SEEING, and with all the fast-moving dancing going on, I admit to feeling rather pumped. My body was on a kind of 'high' if you will, and instead of acting slightly more subdued (because, let's face it, Thais aren't known for their show of emotions) than normal, I was acting like a typical American coming out of a typical American movie theater. I was talking loudly because I had officially become deaf (the movie theater blared the sound at you and you literally felt the seats vibrating under you), gesturing wildly, and doing my version of dancing while I pranced down the stares and stood on the escalator. I tried not making eye contact with any of the Thais around me because I was sure they were staring.

After descending into the very pit of hell known by other people as the first level parking garage (the elevators were so packed we took the narrow service stares that wound narrowly around and around -- the lower we went, the hotter it got), we crept out into the humid air. It was there I saw the one thing that reminded me that I was, indeed, in Thailand: a pack of dogs lounging in front of another entrance to the garage. These dogs are used to people, and some of them might even be pets, but they lied there and took no notice of us. Not ten seconds later I saw another remnant of Thailand: a large rat. These rats are fairly friendly considering it took it's good sweet time scurrying away as we approached on the sidewalk.
But enough about the sights and sounds. More on the epic fail of a movie known as Step Up 3.

Basically, they took models and dancers-turned-actors and had them prance in front of the camera. The dialogue was so disgustingly corny, I found myself rolling my eyes and stifling laughter the entire time. I was glad my movie buddy sitting next to me felt the same, otherwise I would have felt rather embarrassed for making fun of the movie. Sure the lead character was nice to look at, but the movie was an absolute flop. I think the only reason people were coming to watch the movie was because 1) it's such a long weekend and they needed something to do, 2)Step Up 2 was such a success, and they felt this one would be just as good, and 3) Thais have been so completely inundated with previews of this movie on every Skytrain in Bangkok, that they had to see what the hype was all about.
Spoiler alert -- but what happened to tough guys being tough guys?? When you stalk another guy into the dingy bathroom at a club, it's usually with the purpose of beating him up -- NOT proposing a dance-off. In a bathroom?? What kind of pretty boy are you?
Cheesy line after cheesy line with no feasible plot couldn't even be salvaged by the fast-paced dancing (that was also computerized. What a disappointment). Sure, they were innovative and brought a few new dance moves to the floor, but all in all, it just looked like a very very bad remake of the second movie with cameo appearances of about six of their dancers. It was one dance competition after another -- and they even redid the whole dancing-in-two-inches-of-water thing from the second movie.

Step Up 2:
Step Up 3:

Let me try another analogy for you: porn. It's full of sex, has cheesy dialogue, and contains no plot. People don't care about the dialogue or plot, they just want the action. DISGUSTING.
Step Up 3: It's full of dancing, has cheesy dialogue, and contains no plot. People don't care about the dialogue, they just want to see the dancing because fluid body movement is amazing and they wish they could move like that. BLAH.

So unless you like dance-porn, I'd pick another summer flick to watch.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Face of Jesus

I want to see the face of Jesus.
I want to know what He actually looks like.

I'm not talking metaphorically speaking. You know, like: "He's the face of love; of truth and justice; of compassion; of grace and mercy. He is what purity looks like. Perfection. Splendor."

No. That's not good enough for me. These things don't have a face. They're attributes, sure, and they're good ones to describe Jesus. But that's not what He physically looks like.

I've started reading "Captivating" again (more like picked up where I left off almost 2 years ago), and it talked about a passage in Isaiah that reminded me that no one knows what He looks like. At least no one living.

I know there are several passages (many in Isaiah) that describe His physical features as being unnoticeable, plain, homey, not one to catch anyone's attention -- certainly nothing deserving of the kingly status He so rightly deserves. He was not regarded as handsome to women (which would be awkward -- how would you feel if you were attracted to Jesus, the ruler of the universe and were thus distracted by his outward appearance and couldn't concentrate on His message?).

But we don't know what He looks like. All the pictures we have of Jesus that flood American walls show him as a sallow, gentle-looking, white man with a beard and long hair. Well we know He wasn't white. Nor was He necessarily sallow. He was a carpenter by trade, and therefore I am assuming He had the muscles to prove it.

He probably looked quite rough with large carpenter hands, the grooves of his fingers permanently ground with dust or dirt. Although He was a Nazarite, His long hair was probably not as well-groomed as the pictures make Him out to be. I wouldn't go so far as to say He had a full head of dreads down to His waist (like one European hippie I saw today had), but it more than likely was as groomed as any other outdoorsy man at the time. As much as we'd like to think of him as our own race, we have to come to grips with the fact that He was definitely born to parents of middle-eastern decent (and yes I know it was miraculous conception and He probably didn't have any DNA connecting him to either Mary or Joseph); however, He had to fit with His people and look like a Nazarite. His skin was not porcelain or untouched by the sun. His average smile broke with chapped lips burned by living in the desert.

I want to see His face. I want to see His middle-eastern face with dark brown eyes and near-black hair. I want to see His stature -- His less than average height, muscular build, and very rough hands.

I want to feel Him wrap his big hands and arms around me and tell me that no matter what, everything will be okay because He is there to protect me and walk me through the difficult times.

I want to look into His deep brown eyes and feel the intensity tingle my spine with the knowledge that He knows everything.

And I want to know if I wouldn't even recognize
Him as the Son of the Living God;
if He really is as physically forgettable as all the stories say.