David Bruce

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with comments by David Bruce

I receive a lot of e-mail.  I am not able to post all the mail. I have included a good sampling, however.  If the subject is the same I might group the newer messages with similar older ones.  Also, my response may appear a few days after the original posting. I can't do HJ everyday.  You must include your "name" and e-mail address within your comment if you want it posted, otherwise it will not be posted (there is a privacy issue here and we respect that).  I do, however, encourage you to give your "name" and e-mail so others can respond to you personally.
E-mail and Comments:
This page was last updated on July 5, 2001

VERY DISAPPIONTING
Subject: Very disappointing Gone in Sixty Seconds
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001
From: "Jonathan Evans"

Perhaps my understanding of this movie was too shallow, but it seemed to glorify crime, or deny that it has ill effects (e.g., to the owners of the vehicles), or perhaps to blur good and evil. I had the same problem with "My Blue Heaven."
Jonathan Evans
Interim Missions Director
Trinity Church Lansing, Michigan

I DO GET IT
Subject: I do get it. Crouching Tiger
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001
From: Michael

Yuna's comments appear to support me more than not. She indicates that this film has so much more significance to those with Asian backgrounds. That is what I mean when I say that I don't think films like this should be included along with mainstream American movies. Yuna wants us to believe that there is no middle ground between collectivism and her so-called "American Individualism". I am sorry for the problems involved for persons with bicultural issues but this movie, as Yuna states herself, can only add to the confusion. Don't let this movie make that much of an impression with you. It is, after all, just a movie.

Note to David: The terms Eastern, The Orient, and The East are not figments of imagination. Political correctness is not what you are striving for in your reviews. Please call them as you see them. Thanks.

I MADE A PAGE
Subject: Esrever Blair_Witch_2
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001
From: Heather

I have made a page with the secrets i and others have found.
http://www.angelfire.com/ar2/Heatherondo/BWP2/Esrever.html
Hope this helps people find them.
Heather

LOVED PROPHECY 3
Subject: Christopher Walken and Prophecy 3.
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: "lilianvaz"

Dear brother David Bruce,
Just a quick note to say I saw Prophecy 3 and loved it! By the way, I'd love to see a review page on this third film on this wonderful site! For those who want to know more about the actor Christopher Walken, please feel free to visit one of my sites dedicated to him: http://www.geocities.com/walkenbrazil
All the best to you all and God bless you sincerely with real love from me and Him forever and ever!
Lilian Vaz.
E-mails: lilianvaz@uol.com.br & lilianvaz@hotmail.com
P.S.: Yes, you can post my e-mail addresses here.

CHRISTIANS ARE NOT GAY BASHERS
Subject: Christians are not "gay bashers". Newsletter_24
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: Debra Johnson

Please delete me from your e-mail list. You are too liberal for me. You have said things before that I did not appreciate but ignored it. I won't this time. I am offended by the fact that you call Christians gay bashers and haters. I am a Christian. I do not hate gay people. I do not believe in the homosexual life style simply because it is what my Bible teaches. However, that does not make me a gay hater, and I certainly do not condone any type of violence whether it be against a homosexual, an abortion clinic, or any other person who has different beliefs than I do. The people of my church body feel the same way. If the e-mail in question was true (and I have never seen or heard of this e-mail before) then, yes, I would have a problem with it. Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, and Jesus was not a homosexual. I would not want that filth in my country, and, yes, I would sign a petition to ban it. You have a warped view of Christians. We are not psychos, crazy, or fanatics....we are trying to live according to what the Bible teaches.....that's all.
Sincerely, Debra Johnson

Response: I did not say that Christians were "gay bashers and haters." However, Christians, like anyone else, can be gay bashers and haters. I am sorry that you would encourage artistic censorship --especially concerning Jesus. If enough signatures could prevent a movie in this country about a gay Jesus, could it also be true that some group could get enough signatures to prevent a film with a non-gay Jesus? Personally, I cherish the religious freedom we have in this country. Free speech, and free press are important to me. How would you feel it you were arrested because of your publicly expressed views of homosexuality? Aren't you glad you can freely speak your mind. Why would you undermine that wonderful privilege be restricting others? -David

CHRISTIANS CAN BE SO INSECURE
Subject: Hollywood Jesus Newsletter #24.
The Good, Bad and the Ugly
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: Rev. Linda Middelberg

Just a word of thanks. As a pastor and Christian Educator I enjoy your letters and web page very much. I have used information from your web page in classes and in our Contemporary Worship. I especially appreciated your comments in this new letter about the bogus email claiming a gay Jesus movie. I wish I knew why Christians are so insecure about their own faith that we see anything that we disagree with as a direct threat to God. I suspect that God is not as easily offended as we are. Thanks again for an alternative voice of reason.
Rev. Linda Middelberg

KEEP IT UP
Subject: Keep it up Hollywood Jesus Newsletter #24.
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: "The Florilegia Institute -- Keeping Faith & Breaking Ground"

You're doing fine work, David, and making an important contribution. Keep it up.
Gil Bailie

UNFORTUNATELY MOST ARE CLULESS
Subject: Crouching_Tiger
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001
From: Yuna

Crouching Tiger holds ultimately so much more significance to those of obviously Chinese descent as well as other Asian cultural backgrounds. I myself as a Korean American, still westernized and clueless, can only somewhat grasp the significance of these themes of honor, duty to family, and love that cannot be.

Sadly enough, most people like Michael (who wish to relegate all "foreign films" into separate categories) and Lance do not get it. Especially the ending. I think Wilson Wong said it best that the film is simply about love torn apart by the need to honor. And Richard's analysis of Jen's plunge at the end is also right on point - that her rash puerile behavior is finally overcome when she realizes she must purify herself, mature and dispel all dishonor by mimicking the act of the person in the legend.

It's difficult enough for me as a westernized Asian American to understand how someone could withhold a lifelong love for someone else, even if it was a best friend that had been involved. Or how love that seems passionate and right could not work out. But in Asia and in Asian American families then and today, there still remains the significance of collectivism over that rugged American individualism. It poses problems for bicultural products like myself and my generation and will probably always do so.

Nonetheless I believe that the honor and deeper, more selfless love that we see displayed in CTHD is a very accurate and beautiful portrayal of what's good and honorable in Asian culture. It's the Asian voice that's finally been heard in mainstream Hollywood, loud and proud. It's not surprising that most are still totally confused.

Asian is the correct terminology, not Eastern, by the way. The Orient, or the East, is the figment of some European man's imagination.
Yuna

Response: Thank you so much for your contribution, I really appreciate it. -David

DYAN CANNON. --AS LONG AS IT'S JESUS
Subject: Newsletter 23
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: Lauraye

How ever you get there what ever it takes, as long as it has Jesus it can't be wrong.

Response: Amen!

NERVOUS LAUGHTER
Subject: Dyan_Cannon
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: Chris Hartmann

Hi David After reading your statement on how Dyan uses laughter to cover up the nervousness - "As you watch the video clips (at Hollywood Jesus) notice how Dyan seems to use laughter to mask her nervousness, and yet at the same time project a strong sense of confidence" - and then watching the video clips, I realized I was watching "The Joy of the Lord is our strength" (Neh 8:10) in action! Larry was asking some tough questions, and where we've seen some religious leaders break into a sweat, Dyan broke into laughter, received strength from Christ, and answered with eloquence and fluency. Praise God for what He's doing in Hollywood! (Holy-wood?)
Blessings, Chris Hartmann

Response: Holy Wood it is. -David

NEO IS NOT JESUS
Subject: NEO IS NOT JESUS - and other thoughts Matrix
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: Brian

Hi David, Kudos on the entire site - awesome!

I first read your review not long after viewing the movie on the big screen around the 3rd time. I realize this response is a bit late... However, your response to "NEO IS NOT JESUS" was rather curt (maybe even bigoted) - don't you think????

You said, "Neo ... is the Christ figure."

After reading the 1996 version of the script several times and watching the movie a dozen or more times (many individual scenes more than that), I've changed my personal interpretation of the story almost as many times.

Don't get me wrong! With the death and resurrection scene along with the "ascension" at the end, I not only fully understand your view. But, I once held it myself. However, I see things a bit differently now. Just as when I was a young believer in Christ, I held much different views than I do now.

That said... let's set aside personal bias for a moment and look at some additional facts... First, besides the obvious meaning "son of Sleep, god of dreams", Morpheus can also etymologically mean "changed one".

Next, Morpheus says that the Oracle (the prophets) "has been with us since the beginning... she looks good for her age". (probably not an exact quote) My point is... what does this say about Morpheus' age???

The Oracle also tells Thomas (the doubter) Anderson that Morpheus' devotion to him is without limit. (I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.) In fact, "before the day is over" (Today being the only acceptable day of salvation) Morpheus will give up His own life to save "the One" and he (Thomas) will have to make the decision to do the same for Morpheus' sake (lose his life) or save himself (continue to live in carnality and selfishness).

Finally, as for the death and resurrection scene... it's so obvious! Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." Paul said, "For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection". And to the called-out in Philippi, "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death". And to Timmy, "For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him." True, these all speak of a glorious future event. But, also of a daily event if we "walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh."

But, it was Morpheus' love and "sacrifice" that caused Thomas to return the love and sacrifice and ultimately become Neo. "Greater things will you do than I have done." (Jesus)

A few asides...
Trinity (the Comforter)... have you noticed that in every scene, she is beside Neo? (That is... after his "rebirth".) He isn't always AWARE that she is there. Sometimes, she is only beside him in reality and invisible in the Matrix.

Matrix... The Greek word translated "world" in New Testament is kosmos but actually means "orderly arrangement" or, you guessed it, "matrix".

Agents... My first impression of these "bad" guys was that they represented Satan and his angels. However, after considering Jesus' antagonistic view of the religious leaders of his day ("You stand in the door not allowing anyone to enter [reality] neither will you enter yourselves."), I realized the lower "agents" or "gatekeepers" might also represent the pharisees of all time as well. Whether they be sadduccees, rabbis, popes, bishops, pastors, whatever.

One last item: In the 1996 script, there are several lines I REALLY wish they would've used in the movie...

As Neo walks into the kitchen and asks, "You're the Oracle?", she says, "Bingo. I got to say I love seeing you non-believers. It's really a relief. All that pomp and circumstances just plain tucker me out." Then, after Neo takes the cookie from the Oracle, she says, "Make a believer out of you yet." Oh, I love it!

David, I hope all this helps you to "free your mind" just a little. Keep up the good work! Brian

Response: You are right that Morpheus does have some Christ-like features. But, he is nonetheless, the father figure (instructing and guiding Neo). Neo's role is multilayered and does not fit perfectly into the historic Jesus story, but he is a Christ figure complete with virgin birth, wilderness experience, death, resurrection and conquest of the enemy. But beyond all this, stories speak differently to each person. How it speaks to you is different than to any body else. If Morpheus is Jesus to you -so be it. This is what's so powerful about story. So, thank you for bring your ideas to the table. -David

BEST FILM I'VE SEEN BY FAR
Subject: Memento comment
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: "Can Nakkas"

First of all I have to point out that I saw "Memento" last year in Switzerland (it was released earlier here in Europe) and it is the best movie I've ever seen by far. Only few other films made me feel this way, e.g. "A Simple Plan". It's not only the narrative structure that makes this film stand out, putting you in the same position as Leonard Shelby who's sufffering from anterograd amnesia, thus making him unable to create new memories. And it's not just the fact that the end is the beginning and the beginning the end , which may come closer to the true nature of reality than we'd like to believe ("I AM the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end"!).

What makes this film so special is that at it's core it's an existentialist study on the conditio humana, on human nature itself . Just like Leonard we create our own truth on a day by day basis. But by what rule of faith? As "Memento" portrays it, it is the quest for the meaning of life which makes us embrace one truth and discard the other. Leonard is lost in a world that makes no sense and has no meaning anymore. Everything that ever mattered to him (his wife, i.e. Love) is gone. But he isn't able to mourn and then continue with his life, because he doesn't have a life anymore. And he'll never will have one. He's stuck with the memories of his wife, the only memories he'll ever possess from now on. Letting go of them would mean he'd have to let go of his entire past, his entire life. Since he can't do that (or can he? "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it") there's only one solution: what was important in is past must stay important forever, that's the only way he can maintain the illusion he's leading a meaningful existence. For Leonard this means searching for the fugitive killer and eventually meting out vengeance.

Since he can't ever really trust anyone, not even himself, this quest for vengeance takes on a tragic element: can he be sure that he's looking for the right man? Somehow he realizes that for him this question doesn't matter: the need to punish someone and make someone pay for what he and his wife had to endure is greater than the quest for truth. But how could we judge him? "Truth" simply doesn't exist anymore in his life, due to his condition. He makes it up while he's going. A metaphor for postmodern man? In essence this masterpiece shows us what happens when the journey becomes more important than the destination.

Nevertheless, there are no easy answers to the questions "Memento" raises. Many of the readers will say Jesus is the Truth. Of course He is. But what does that mean in everyday life? Does it mean a trivial WWJD? Yes, we should live our lives by The Book, but should we lead our lives "by the book"? Look the answers up in a book? Are the moral issues in life so easy? And where does the Holy Spirit fit in then? If anything this film makes people think about what they accept as truth, and moreover why they accept it as truth. Because they know/believe it's true, or because they want it to be true?

Can Nakkas

PS: As a note to the editor (not a part of my comment). I see you've listed the Jesus miniseries and reviewed it, so I wondered if you could add "Paul of Tarsus" to your list, too (as it is made by the same multinational production)? I for my part didn't think Johannes Brandrup did a good job as St Paul; not enough zeal and fervour if you ask me.

RHUESEL COLES'S TOP FILMS
Subject: My top Spiritual Films
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: Rhuesel Cole

The Matrix
This film displays How a people were waiting for the coming of the ONE (Neo). How he was baptized, borned again, filled with the spirit, Killed (crucified) Resurrected and defeated the enemy through his resurrection. He also provided a way for man to be aware of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and to join on with him to Zion.

Shindler's List
How so much alike many people are through oppression and hateful spirits? How it takes just one person to get tired of the ugliness and to step forward and stop it.

ANNUBIUS VS. GOD?
Subject: The Mummy Returns
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001
From: "Mike Parnell"

I saw the film yesterday and I was taken by the fact that one of the key elements of the film was the role played by Annubius and God. Annubius was the author of the army that came from the sands. God was the guide of Rick. Rick was to be a Magi based on his tattoo. When Im-Ho-Temp crossed over into the golden pyramid he had his power taken away by Annubius. He stated that it was Annubius's will he fight as a human. Yet in the end it was God who had the victory, because the good guys won (which is more Hollywood than theology). My point in all of this is that the film is more about Zoroastrianism, which held that there would be a battle between good and evil, but the outcome of it was uncertain. Both good and evil had equal power and therefore the victor was not known.
Mike Parnell

FALSE MOVEMENT
Subject: Dyan_Cannon
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: R Chan

Dyan Cannon is sucked up in a false movement that is packaged to look like Christianity, but comes straight from the kingdom of the cults. She is focused on esoteric experience and not focused on biblical truths of true Christianity. Just as she said in her interview with Larry King, she has NO biblical training, formal or informal. This I believe, because of her answer on "born again." She is using socio-psycological manipulation, hypnotism, and mesmerism tricks. sleight of hand and sleight of mind. In other words people are being deceived. As P.T Barnum once said "There's a sucker born every minute." She has shown absolutely no proof of a true healing, and if the ones that are supposedly healed, it is from psychosomatic illness. I say to all Christians that read this, it's not about an experience. Test everything in the light of scripture. Stand for the truth. (2Timothy 4:2-3, Jude 1:3)

Response: Jude 1:3 reads, "Dear friends, I've dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting-begging!-that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish." I think this is exactly what Cannon has done. She does cherish her faith and has taken a stand. Are you always so mean to others as you are in this letter? Do you like hitting people over the head with your Bible? Personally I find Cannon refreshing. Certain other Hollywood stars asked her not to mention their names during the interview. They fear self righteous people like you. As soon as a person of note says "I am a Christian", the holier-than-thou Christians line up like vultures to pick them apart.

In terms of Cannon not having all of her theology together, so what. Neither do you. Even Paul admitted to seeing through a glass darkly and wrote "..until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ." -Ephes. 4:13. None of us have arrived. Let's help each other in loving ways..

Here is a thought: "My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God." -1 John 4:7
-David

30,000 TIMES
Subject: movie Something To Sing About
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: princess

I have seen this movie for about thrity thousand times and I enjoy seeing the film. I am now trying to show this film to the people that are not save and want to have a relationship with God. When I saw the end I wanted to cry cuz i thought tommy was dead. Then it made me laugh. Its a wonderful movie if u have any more movies like this or similar to this one please contact me at annoited_vessel@yahoo.com so I can get the other people invovle.
Thankyou very much God Bless Nery!!!

BOGUS GAY JESUS FILM
Subject: Newsletter 24
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001
From: "Mike Parnell"

David, I think that people respond to this because they feel guilt for their lives and it is an easy way to take a stand without taking a stand. Many people claim Jesus as savior, but they do little for Jesus in their lifestyle. When something like this comes down the pipe they rush to respond in a manner that makes them feel like they have done something for Jesus. It is the same mindset that is at work in the petition that is supposedly before the FCC to remove religious broadcasting from the airways. Another aspect of this is to try and regain the loss of position that has come in the shift in the culture. Many authors are declaring that the age of Christendom is over. The church now is out of the center of the culture and its role has fallen by the wayside as the moral director of the culture. This is a way to try to regain that.
Mike Parnell

GOD MUST BE PROUD OF YOU!
Subject: pokemon
Date: Mon, 07 May 2001
From: Becki

Hi, my name is Becki, a 12 year old UK Pokémon fan. (Yes, a true fan, not just one of those kiddy-fad followers.) =D I've got to say, that you really are a true Christian. Most every Christian website with articles about Pokémon on them proclaim is as satanic and evil. But, then I find your article, and I see that you see the true good in Pokémon!

I really love your kind, mature and spiritual approach to Pokémon, and the movie. (Could you do reviews for the others? I'd love that!) Anyway, all the best wishes for your future(and the success of your website)!!!
~ Love, Becki

By the way, could you email Lisa, who sent the email under the topic 'POKEMON SAVED MY LIFE' and ask her if I may have her email address / AIM / MSN username??? I would love to get in touch with her! Thank you so much!

Response: I do not have her e-mail any more. But I will save yours. It she reads this and emails me her email I will put the two of you in touch.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG?
Subject: Blair_Witch_2
Opening Song: Date: 6 May 2001
From: Nathan

I watched Blair Witch 2 today and i was wondering if you could tell me the name of the song that plays during the opening credits, it sounds like Marilyn Manson. But im not sure. Please help me out.

You are on Comments page 74
Index to all the comments May 03 to Sep 12, 2001
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