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
NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING!
Subject: A_Knights_Tale
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: Emily

When walking into the theatre to see this movie I was expecting to see a serious film. But as soon as the "we will, we will rock you" cheer began to play at the jousting tournament in the beginning I knew my expectations were wrong. The movie went an like this, adding in bits of modern life to the medieval story line for a interesting twist. It took a while to get used too but once the strange comedy played out, I found myself laughing throughout the rest of the movie, something I haven't been able to do with most of the movies I've gone to see.

I was very impressed by the contents of the movie. No sex, very little nudity (only a hilarious characters bare bum), and no swearing (that I caught). I didn't walk out of this movie wondering what the point of some scenes were.

I didn't catch it at first but after looking back on the movie themes of mercy and grace played a big role in this movie. The main character, William Thatcher, struggles to change his "stars" and become more than any one believes he can be. He is always willing to show grace to his opponents that are in need of some mercy. The protagonist, Count Adhemar, uses Williams offering of mercy against him to try to win glory for himself. The biggest portrayal of mercy comes near the end of the movie after William has been arrested for his crime of posing as a knight. He is locked up until the Prince comes along and, remembering the mercy William showed him, shows mercy on William and knights him.

This is a great movie, I recommend it to everyone, young and old!
Emily

OKAY
Subject: A_Knights_Tale
Film Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: Richard

"A Knight's Tale" is an all around good movie, however, it did not have me on the edge of my seat, or rolling in the aisles from laughter, but at least it was a good clean show that is fairly entertaining. This movie was not exactly what I expected but it had a few fun surprises like the soundtrack, the whole grace issue, and the fact that they kept the movie relatively clean.

The weirdest part of the whole flick was the soundtrack. How can you take a movie like this seriously when the first song is "We Will Rock You" and the crowd is clapping and cheering to it. For some reason I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that they are trying to tell a story in both the modern age and the historical age it just doesn't work, pick one or the other.

However, despite the random soundtrack, I loved the fact that grace was not only a key theme of this film but that they actually did a good job of showing what true grace is all about. They didn't overkill it but they did not downplay it; I was thoroughly impressed with the way they told that aspect of the story.

Another aspect that they did a good job with is the whole romance part of the movie. For example, whenever William got too sappy one of his buds would make some crazy wisecrack to keep the mood light. Not only did they keep the mood light, but they also kept the romance from going overboard and having to many sexual innuendos.
Richard

A*TEEN
Subject: Music_Reviews
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: Harpist

Hi! I really like your site. I was wondering, what do you think of A*Teens? I don't have their CD, but I've heard them on the radio and I like the sound of their music. How are they from a Christian perspective? I haven't heard enough of them to judge for myself. Thanks! In Christ, Ahna

FUN, BUT HAVE A QUESTION
Subject: Moulin_Rouge
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: Darrel Manson

I won't attempt a critical review of the film, but it was great fun. The use of modern song lyrics in an anachronistic setting often brought laughs. It's a wonderful visual experience. My wife's description was that it is a mix of Carnival and a 40's musical.

A question though. The central characters are Christian and Satine. Since I'm often looking for Christian imagery, I thought it could be a Christ/Satan set up, but I certainly couldn't see that in the story at all. Anything to be seen in the names?
-- Darrel Manson ><>
Artesia Christian Church ICQ 5624184 ><>Artesia, CA http://netministries.org/see/churches/ch01198

HUGH DISAPPOINTMENT
Subject: Josie and the Pussycats
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: "amber triemstra"

Josie and the Pussycats was a huge disappointment. It is basically about three girls who end up making it big and find out that the record label and the government is sending subliminal messages to the youth of America. I found it highly annoying; it seemed to be one big really bad dumb blonde joke that just doesn't end. It was filled with advertising and bad lines, "'Why are you here?' 'I was in the comic'". It kind of seemed the movie was trying to get us to buy stuff from Target and McDonalds, all the while telling us advertising bad. The movie was like one big ad. The different corporations endorsing the movie had ads all over the movie, the plane decorated with the target logo and everybody was drinking Starbucks through out the whole thing. The ideally message is good: the media is controlling us, but how it was presented and the format of it was bad. I came out of the theatre irritated and thinking 'I never want to wear pink again'. I would not recommend this movie to someone. I went to see it because I read the comic when i was younger, it was a huge disappointment. It was just really trite. It also kind of made the all teenagers look stupid. We aren't as stupid as some people think. We get that the media wants us to buy their products and that it is mostly focused at us. We understand that fact and some of us don't buy into what the media wants us to.
by amber triemstra

THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL
Subject: Bless The Child
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: "Dallyn Kwok"

Bless The Child seemed like the typical demonic scary movie and I had to admit that I rented the movie for a good scare. As the movie progressed, I was really enjoying myself, not because it was scary, but the fact that it actually had substance in it. I really liked the fact that the battle between good and evil was put into modern context. The movie really made me see the power of devil and it's influence on young people through Eric Starks' cult "A New Dawn". It was frightening to see how naively devoted and thankful the New dawn believers were, and they don't even know what they're committing themselvse to. Although the movie was filled with evilness, but goodness always came through throughout the movie. Especially at the end, Satan's last attempt to convert Cody(an allusion to temptation of Christ), and angels descended from heaven and brought order and restoration once again. This totally reminded me of Christ second coming, Revelations 12:12 "Therefor rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." 11:16 "The kingdom of the world has become the king of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.", the last battle that need to be fought and there will be peace and harmony forever more.
By Dallyn Kwok

REVISITING AMERICAN BEAUTY
Subject: American Beauty and Traffic
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: "Steve Forsyth"

I revisited this film again after seeing the movie Traffic. I think it's interesting the contradictions coming from the same industry (Hollywood - yes I know they are from different studios, but it's the same industry in the end). In Traffic, though the film makers atemted to remain mostly neutral in their views, still they showed the dark reality of drugs and the evil that comes from it - certainly an anti-drug film. Yet, look at American Beauty from a few years earlier. The catlyst for the freeing of Kevin Spacey was has embarkment into drug use. The one 'grounded" character amidst all the fake people was the drug dealer. Drugs in this film are a positive thing.

I tried defending this film for awhile from the harsher critics, claiming the film was trying to show us ourselves in a way that might cause us to change some of our thinking. But I really regret that now. I think a much better film could have been made with all the same elements but without unnecessary nudity (meant to arouse) and showing more definite harm coming from the drug use and total self-indulgence of Spacey's character. As it is, Spacey is 'freed' when he leaves responsibility. A most irresponsible message, I think.

Again, I don't think the intent of the filmmakers was to turn us all into pedophiliac, drug-using, family churning people - but I think he should have been a little clearer with just what was wrong with this picture.

HOLLYWOOD NEEDS TO INTERPRET THE SIGNS!
Subject: Spy Kids and The Mummy Returns
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: "Steve Forsyth"

Between this film and The Mummy Returns, we have seen that Hollywood can produce films with pro-family messages when they try hard enough. What I think is really cool is how well Spy Kids has been received. With no language or sexual innuendo (an increasingly disturbing trend in many of todays "family friendly" films), this film still managed to turn a coimmanding profit - it's still playing in the min theaters in my town after several months!

Why doesn't Hollywood realize that there is a HUGE market for well-made films that are also family friendly? If you look at the current list of TOP TEN money making films, you'll find few if any R-rated films. You find the likes of Home Alone, Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic Park - I suppose the most "offensive" film on the list I can think of off the top of my head is Titanic. These are mostly clean and family friendly films. So why does Hollywood keep churning out other films filled with such garbage? I'm always thrilled when a quality film like Spy Kids does so well - it just reinforces the point that families DO see movies if they are put out for them to see. I hope there will be more like this in the future!

THE BOOK
Subject: Legend of Bagger Vance
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Paul Sullivan

Hi, I read your review and I guess each of us can manipulate Bagger Vance into what we will. Most of the people I spoke to that had seen the movie could not quite put a handle on him. I, however, read the book first. I have a different picture of Bagger. While the book portrays him as an etheral, caring, and intelligent being; he is far from God. This book was deffinatley written by a secular Author with his own versions of heaven and hell. Good book, and good movie. Nonetheless I find no "Christian" connection.
Paul Sullivan

Response: You say, he is "an ethereal, caring, and intelligent being" and yet you "find no Christian connection." Well, okay. Whatever. Thank you for contribution. Story speaks differently to each person And that is the power of story. Story even transcends the author and his/her intention. Story intersects each listener at different points. -David

GAY MYTH
Subject: Newsletter #24
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Alex Storm

Censorship frightens me too. Just a thought about where this might be coming from. The play Corpus Christi by Terence MacNally is a fantasy about a gay Jesus. It's very popular, playing at theaters all over the country. Maybe that was the basis of the bogus email about a film being produced. For all I know there may be plans to make a film version. It infuriates me when people make up crap about Jesus and try to make people believe that it is based in some sort of scholarship. But, censorship is not the answer.
Alex Storm (actor)

TELEVISION ADS
Subject: Television
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: "SHARON"

I know the main topic here has been God on t.v. What I want to get off my chest is the advertisements that are run while some of these good shows are on. I am referring to the Clairol ads for their Organic Shampoo line.. There has been a series of these ad's over the past few years. They were fairly tame, but suggested sexuality. The new ad which started showing a few weeks ago is in such bad taste that I am embarrassed to watch it. The sexual overtones are so bad, so blatant, that it should carry a soft R rating, as would a movie. I have my daughter and granddaughter living with us right now, and I have to turn the channel when the ad comes on.My granddaughter is at a very sensitive age. We monitor what she watches, but how do you monitor these type of ad's that are shown durning prime time. I am a nurse and have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. I am not a prude and am not easily shocked, but this ad disgusted my husband and I and my adult daughter. It makes me sad that an old company like Clairol has to stoop to this type of smut advertising to sell it's product. I have contacted Clairol's CEO and received no response. I have spoke with our local t.v. station manager and received no response... My next choice is to stop using Clairol products as my own personal protest to this type of advertisement. If television stations want to run these ad's let them put them on after midnight, when most children are fast asleep. Thanks for giving me a place to vent on this matter....
Sharon...Oregon

RACISM = WRONG
Subject: American_History_X
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2001
From: Mark

I'm not a skinhead,i'm white,a christian and was brought up in a white prodominant area. That's my background, here are my views. This film is amazing, it opens peoples eyes and minds. The way it was filmed is very artistic, and the message is very important-racism is a way of expressing anger, a way of passing on blame. basically it's saying racism is bad. I have certain theories that r counted as extreme, but i've got a question to ask-how many black people have been convicted of race hate crimes against whites in the UK? hardly ne, yet it goes on.if you are white and u do nething to a black person, u r going to be convicted for a racist crime, this is also a form of racism, and it has to be looked into.
Mark

MANDATORY REFUSAL
Subject: LeFemmeNikita
Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2001
From: HP

Buy USA cancelling Lefemme Nikita, Mature Audiences are left with nothing more than Kid shows to view. Most television shows are geared towards younger audiences, and lack mature plot and content. I do hope I don't have to move to France to watch a show that doesn't insult my intelligence. I refuse to beleive that a show like that does not exsist. fini~ X

NEWSLETTER #26 COMMENTS

CANCEL
Subject: Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Bruce

Sorry man..I disagree and am canceling my subscription.
Bruce

DON'T GET TOO HARDENED
Newsletter_26
Subject: Hey David. It's Scott McLain again.
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: "scott McLain"

Hey David, I have never gotten over the voicemail! :o) I am sorry to hear about your encounter with the poor soul(s) who obviously do not understand the extent of what you do. If anyone who is a born again, bible believing, Christ serving Christian would take the time to truly rifle through your site (like many hundreds of thousands of spiritually empty people have, I'm sure) they would find a mountain of very biblically sound and even (gasp!) Theologically conservative material that points directly to Jesus Christ as the savior and our only hope of salvation. Obviously, our 'friend' does not remember in Mark 9:38-40 when it says:

John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us.

So my question to these people really and truly is the same question he asked you: "which Jesus do you serve?" The Jesus I know wants to reach lost people. I believe your website does that. Only those who are called and drawn by God's spirit are going to find, ingest and act on the spiritual content anyway. Are we to tell God how to work? I think it is the other way around. Doubtless these people would have had a serious problem with John the Baptist as he ran around in camels hair eating locusts and honey, proclaiming "Behold! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" I for one, support you fully, brother.

However, so as not be a 'yes' man and rubber stamp everything you say and do (publicly) , I would like to note that your obvious and vociferous hatred of the 'church at large' may leave you unduly disgruntled towards those who may agree with you theologically, but do not understand the finite nature of your quest. At times, it seems you go entirely out of your way to not identify yourself as a Christian. While I agree with your stance on the way the world perceives Christianities (well deserved) 'judgmental moron' perception, I also refuse to let all of the uninformed religious "Christians" out there to cheat me out of my title as a 'little Christ', or as one who identifies himself as a Christ follower. I deeply believe that there ARE indeed times when we should guard our eyes and ears, and not just ingest anything. It would be foolish to suggest otherwise. I would sincerely hope that you do not argue this point (and I don't believe you would) as I noticed in your comments that you specifically talked about videotape as means to fast forward, skip or even eject films that offend the conscience. I am curious though, do you every actually exercise that right? Are you finally so hardened to the idea of self censorship that you won't - just to spite the religious fervor of some? I know you are fighting a cause, my friend, but do not ever harden you conscience to the point of no return. That would be a shame. All in all, I still love the mission and purpose of Hollywood Jesus, and I would love to shake your hand someday. Who knows? I may be out in LA sometime this next year. Maybe I'll look you up. Also, I again suggest www.rockthechurch.com They play secular music right along with some rockin version of regular churchy stuff. The mission is simple: reach the unsaved with the gospel.

Feel free to print my name and email.
Scott Mclain
Endless Sky Productions
79 13th Ave NE Suite #212
Minneapolis MN 55413
612 378 0088
www.endless-sky.net

Response: Your point is well taken. You will also note my repulsion of "crappy" R rated. Most films, I must admit, are not worth the ticket price. If I didn't review em, I would not otherwise see them. At the same time I dearly love film. -Thanks for caring, David

DO NOT CARE ABOUT R-RATED
Subject: Newsletter_26
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Anderson

You've made some good points in your discussion of this issue. I personally don't care for sex and nudity and bad language, but blood and guts and a whole lot of action make a movie fun! You're right about motives...but I wonder about putting our minds in places where they don't belong. It takes a mature Christian not to fall into the trap of saying a little watching is okay, then falling into an even bigger trap of watching more, then more, then maybe participating in the sin that is being depicted on the screen. We need to take it to the Holy Spirit and let Him be our guide.

I appreciate your reviews and feel mature enough to make my own choice, I would hope that we all as adults would take that into consideration. I also know we're all sinners saved by grace, and while you are very open about the movies you see, your critics should be equally open about their sins.....it's a whole lot harder to remove the log from our own eyes then to grab the speck out of the other guys!
God Bless You!

Response: Thank you for your thoughtful reply. If certain films are not good for ones soul, then one should not view. -David

KEEP THAT SMILE DAVID
Newsletter_26
Subject: R-rated
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Pat

I LOVED Shrek...didja see it? We saw it with our best friends and laughed til we hurt...what a delight. Then, my gallant neighbor, 80s??, and I had a hot date and went to the 50 cent matinee at mall to see Cast Away as we are the only ones in the whole world who hadn't been yet. Oh well. I don't get out much some months! It was a WOW too... Good newsletter, just keep that smile in your voice and pen and more importantly- in your heart so this world doesn't get to ya---God's good folks are all around, just mixed in with a few turkeys, too. I choose to dwell on the great ones, and blow off the others. Works well...and occassionally I IS one of the others and don't even know it! Well dang....see ya.
Love, Patti

Response: Love ya too, Patti! Thanks, David

LOVE GOD, NOT CHURCH
Newsletter_26
Subject: Believer that does not go to church
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
From: Mary

Going to church is painful for me. I was raised a Baptist, but things changed when I was in my late teens. They became so judgemental. I quit going. I do love God however. Since I like film, Hollywood Jesus has be come my "church." Thank you David for what you are doing, you help keep me in touch with God.
Love ya,
Mary

Response: Thank you Mary. Church can get difficult sometimes. There are some cool churches out there. Let's will chat off line. Warmly David

COOL CHURCH
Newsletter_26
Subject: Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: eric bramlett

I am the Creative Arts Director for Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. We have a church that digs the arts- the arts that God created, and seeks to redeem the arts that man has distorted. We are into experiential worship and love Hollywood Jesus. Have peoples check us out, at one of our two weekend locations, (Naperville and Romeoville) or on the web at www.communitychristian.org
love you,
god bless
eric bramlett

COOL CHURCH
Newsletter_26
Subject: Central United Methodist Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: "Penney Rahm"

Dear David, I am the pastor of the Central United Methodist Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Our worship service is traditional (we still sing hymns with an organ), although we do sing some praise songs. I am an evangelical and call people to faith in Christ, but I try to be open and accepting. I enjoy the movies, R-rated though they may be, and occasionally use them in sermons. People in this church are generally open and accepting, since we sometimes have folks from the homeless shelter come and worship. I would welcome anyone to our church. Who knows, if the right folk came through our doors, we might have the makings for a praise band and a contemporary worship service. There are several of us who long for that day. God loves all people. I try not to be judgmental and leave it to the Holy Spirit to change people's lives. If this counts as a cool church, then please list us. We may not be way cool, but I think we're open to it. If you have any questions, please ask. in joy and hope,
Rev. Penney Rahm a friend of Jesus
pmrahm@prodigy.net

RATIONALIZATION
Subject: R-Rated Newsletter_26
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Aspch

Sorry, David. The world is in enough mess without Christians adding fuel. Unfortunately, not all people are as self-controlled as you seem to think you are. Call me what you will.

MY COOL CHURCH
Newsletter_26
Subject: West Pines Baptist Church in Lake Worth (Greenacres) FL.
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Tillie S

I was looking for something to click on, but my church doesn't fit any of those. I go to West Pines Baptist Church in Lake Worth (Greenacres) FL., in the Palm Beach area. It is an Independent Baptist Church that preaches the Bible and Jesus as the only way of salvation. We are growing at the rate of 10 new members a month. The first month we were in our new building we had to buy 100 new chairs. We have all kinds of things going on for each age group. We have a wonderful "Childrens' Church", Awana, Singles Groups, get-togethers for older folks, and mixers for all ages! I can only speak for myself, but as far as I know, no one judges anyone else. I heard one old saint say, "I never judge anyone, because anything they have done, I have either done myself or thought about doing." We focus on our own sins and how to become more holy rather than pointing fingers at our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we get a new member who smokes, we all pray that he will quit. They appreciate the help! Most of us dress nicely as if we were going before the King, but don't look down on those who don't. Everyone seems to love everyone else, no matter what they do, what they look like, how they dress, what color they are, etc.
Come see us at
4906 Melaleuca Lane
Lake Worth (Greenacres) FL
561-963-9150.
Tillie S

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