Category Archives: movie review

The 5 Dangers of Truthless Rock and Roll

There are movies that make us go aww and wah and there are those we just need to blog about because of so many thoughts that need discussion. Such is the movie A Star Is Born by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

This is the third remake, which means the story has reached generations of viewers who have been fed lies from the film. Don’t get me wrong. I did like the film and even got “kilig” with the idea of love amidst the noise and fame of rock and roll.

Sure I may have shared its heart-gripping clip of “Always Remember Us This Way” when it appeared on my Facebook feed even before I’ve seen the film – totally great performance by Gaga and all  — but I want to discuss more of the movie’s relationship, marriage, and ‘true happiness’ angle.

Jackson (Bradley Cooper) is a successful rockstar who met aspiring singer Ally (Gaga – the star that was born). In the beginning, Gaga was wise enough to tell his dad “F off, he’s a drunk. I don’t want to go with him” when Cooper invited her to a major gig. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be with successful hottie rockstar right? But she knew. From the beginning, she knew how drunks are and it’s not pretty.

But of course, when we’re in the moment.. like hot with adrenaline, power, and lust for change in our lives, we follow our hearts, right?

So she ties up her brain to a chair, takes that plane trip that will change her life forever. As you know, she sang her original song from the first concert, had sex with Jack on the first night, landed her own gigs herself, made a name for herself, married Jack and wow.. they lived happily ever after. Am I right?

DANGER #5 BELIEVING IN YOUR HEART

“The heart is deceitful above all things
And it is extremely sick;
Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The impulsive shopper has her own regrets – what more the impulsive lover?

DID YOU KNOW that about 14 Million Filipinos are Single Parents and about 50% of children born in the Philippines (2015 PSA Report) are Illegitimate. This number rises every year. And media and social media is making it seem like a normal thing.

What is the reason for this continuous rise of unmarried men and women who fail to believe in commitment or fail to plan for the future? Their hearts are sick.

They may have believed that at one point, having sex with someone is the answer to their problems. Or that they got involved in the wrong relationship in the first place. Some who did get to marriage eventually separate because they fail to recognize the truth in the roles of true husband and wife.

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The danger of going with someone who is dependent on drugs and alcohol instead of God is very real. Those who are wise enough to spot this from the very beginning is saved from all the trouble.

A wise, shrewd person discerns the danger ahead
and prepares himself,
but the naïve simpleton never looks ahead
and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 27:12-14)

Sometimes when all the noise of the present is too loud it clouds the real deal. The truth that what we may be feeling now isn’t exactly the right thing.

DANGER #4 BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN FIX OTHER PEOPLE

DID YOU KNOW that more than 50% of people who marry end up filing for annulment in the Philippines. And a law firm claims that a whopping 94% of these filed cases get approved. These are just the reported cases. There are more married couples that separate who opt not to file for divorce or annulment anymore.

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If you are not bothered by this then well, let’s pray for eyes that see and hearts that hear. This is an alarming number and could be one of the biggest insults thrown at a sacrament as valuable as marriage.

Sometimes, single men and women get too excited to marry thinking that they’d finally be saved from their own broken families, problematic parents, sadness, feeling of being alone, work, or monotony in life. But when finally they get married they realize it’s better and feels happier to be single all over again.

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WHY? Because we’ve been wired to believe in the lies of Same Day Edits where family and friends gather in beautiful gowns and tux. Great food is served and the unli booze bar is opened. But what we don’t know is that it takes a lot more to make a marriage work. And the truth is, we can’t rely on our own expectations or on our own self when we want a marriage to work.

It’s purely a spiritual union, designed by only God himself. So if you don’t believe in God then marriage on our own terms can’t save it. Who we are even before we get married plays a huge role in what kind of marriage we’re going to run.

Are we even willing to give up our own addictions for the growth of our marriage?

Jack is an example of a character who may be dwelling in the past for too long and relying on drugs and love for a better version of himself. Sure, he loved that she was a singer and a songwriter. He got excited about her talent. But he could have done more. No amount of success could help a person unless he denies this success and acknowledges that he is poor. And that he needs help.

In fairness, he did try. He checked in on rehab which could have been a start. But his healing was not complete. Which leads us to number 3.

DANGER #3 BELIEVING OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS ON YOUR MARRIAGE

This part is the one I hate the most. A person who is clearly of course just doing his job, STAR MANAGER Rafi Gavron approaches Jackson in his own home; catches him straight outta rehab, happy and smiling with a bright disposition almost ready to move on from an embarrassing mistake.

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Gavron then destroys this fresh beginning by telling him that other people are displeased with what he’s done to Ally’s career. That she continues to embarrass herself by staying married to him. That he was the reason for derailing HER CAREER. A career she’s willing to give up just to be with him. But to someone else (or the world) who’s just there to watch, it’s “an embarassment”. 

People, (let me just calm myself down), what right do we have to get involved in someone’s marriage like this? This goes out to all couples who are married and struggling. Yes, husbands and wives have their own shortcomings. But stay out of the way especially when the news we have is only self-serving.

This goes out to everyone who may have good intentions but who do not understand marriage. In-laws, friends, officemates, churchmates, random grab driver. Always, when people seek advice, the first thing to do is tell them to DISCUSS WITH THEIR PARTNERS FIRST.

And this is the reason why married couples are advised against getting advise from other people. BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS, there’s no better advice than what the bible says.

“What God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9)

If we know and believe this truth, that couple could always come through every problem stronger together.

IF ONLY Jackson Maine fed on the word instead of the world, he could have responded to this moment better. Which leads us to the next….

DANGER #2 BELIEVING IN WORLDLY SUCCESS

I just hate how this movie depicted that success onstage means unsuccessful marriage or vice versa. I’m telling you, we can all have successful careers and marriages if only we put our trust in God. But in the event trouble comes, remember that we cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)

God has warned us to be careful with the desires of this world. Instead, to always check on our hearts.

HOW COME people who chase their dreams sometimes end up sad, depressed or even miserable despite the success in their goals?

Maybe, consider that they’re chasing the wrong dreams?

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21)

Sometimes, our hearts feel like we want to get married. Or we want to go abroad. Or maybe become a singer, an artist, a lawyer, a husband, a manager, etc.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THESE. But let our plans be approved by God first. The one who determines and blesses our goals in life. Trust that He will guide us along the way – so that in our setbacks, we learn and in our successes, we glorify His name.

The world’s lie is to follow your own plans but God’s truth is, He determines our steps.

“seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

God will bless our heart’s desires if we seek Him above all.

Lord, will I be glorifying you if I become the President of this company? Will I only be serving my selfish wants when I choose to marry this person? How can I improve my relationship with you so I can be a more responsible adult/wife/husband/boss/employee?

Through this, let Him guide you.

DANGER #1 NOT BELIEVING IN A GOD

The world’s lie is that there is no God. He cannot be proven. “Unless you prove that a Jesus ever walked the planet, then all these are mere stories for stupid people who are too weak to live life themselves.” This is a real comment I found on the Internet one day. And I’m not gonna lie, it did affect me. It prompted me to search for more.

But just looking at the reality of life today… some people who don’t believe in the change and the blessings that God has planned their way end up turning to drugs, isolation, sadness, and suicide to cure their problems.

In my understanding of the Bible, proof of the kingdom of God lies in us. We cannot say today, God if you are real, part the red sea.. take out the trash and let us live a billion years more.

While it’s true that he’s always watching us, we need to do our part to effect His power in our lives.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 148:18)

We need to acknowledge Him first. Call on him and ask Him to come to us in spirit.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. (Acts 10:44)

In the movie, just right before Jack killed himself, Ally was seen and heard praying for her husband. She’s a faithful girl I can see. But it could have helped if she understood her role as a wife and became more intentional in sharing the gospel to his husband earlier on. Instead, she’s been busy chasing the wrong purpose. (More about this on the next blog.)

What’s the point here? God is very real but his reality appears on changed hearts. Hearts that choose to follow Him and effect His message into the world. Faith is nothing without action. In other words, we need to werk gerl!

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Jackson had faith. He did. But he needed someone to help him acknowledge that the pain or the sorrow he’s been feeling for a long time towards his father or his brother could be surrendered to someone more powerful than he is. He needed someone to tell him that his wife was a blessing from God designed to help him in all his ways. That their marriage is special and that no amount of fame could ever replace that kind of special union.

He needed to hear the truth that one embarrassing mistake doesn’t mean the end. It doesn’t mean he failed his wife. If only he had someone or a group to support him to know God better, maybe, he could have realized that his wife’s forgiveness is far more important than other people’s expectations of him. That he can rise above this through the grace of Christ from whom all power overflows. 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 43:3)

There are some things that we cannot explain. That is why it’s called FAITH. It’s always a leap. It’s believing that something does exist despite the reasoning and the lack of proof.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Sometimes, children believe in things that encourage them to dream and become the best version of themselves. The Bible promises that if we become like a child with a pure heart, we will see God in this world.

You may be thinking: HEY JAZZ YOU ARE AWARE THAT THIS IS JUST A MOVIE RIGHT? WHAT’s WITH THE MADNESS? Lols. Na-carried away lang kaw naman. 😀

Baka lang kasi, if I could help in the discussion of the film, we could focus on the one thing that happened in your life, during a troubled or a blessed time, that you can give God the credit for. And be the witness to His truth.

Jack and Ally could have been the perfect couple. Talented, ambitious, rich, famous, and they had each other. They were almost complete. But one thing is lacking – the strength of the spirit.

Rocking and rolling life away is great but the path is dangerous for those who don’t recognize the truth and our purpose.

What do you think of this movie and this danger list I shared? Message me or comment!

Is Wonder Woman all of us?

WARNING: Contains Spoilers

She was “sculpted from clay” or the daughter of the gods, so her unbelievably small waistline and perfect face may seem slightly unattainable by mere mortals.

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But despite this unrealistic version of a woman, the Wonder Woman movie successfully hits practical issues that affect real women in this modern world. Issues that even Gal Gadot’s character herself, wasn’t able to escape – sexism and misogyny.

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Set in the World War I era, Wonder Woman AKA Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta, portrays a naïve yet passionate personality attempting to help the victims of war by ending the source of war, Ares.

Unfortunately for her, despite the pure intent to help humankind, she later realizes that even the very group of people she wanted to save isn’t entirely out of flaw.

Here are some scenes that prove that even Wonder Woman experiences societal prejudice:

1. Belittlement. Stereotyping. in a room full of men

As a female, this begins with the condescending remarks made towards her when she and Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor were soliciting help to get to the war.

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Meeting men for the first time, she was reduced to a mere pretty face, discounting the fact that she’s adept in science and is multi-lingual. The perfect definition of a beauty and brains persona who can carry on deeper conversations with anyone.

In present day Philippines, this remains a problem, which, sad to say; even the media exploits by creating programs that portray ‘pretty and sexy’ women as dull or for display only. Luckily, some TV programs are gradually taking steps to change this.

2. Doubt. Mistrust. in a situation that needed saving

Getting to the “center of war” proved to be tough for Wonder Woman as well, because even on the trail she already sees wounded soldiers and children crying for help. Finally, at the bridge, an impasse dubbed as the “no man’s land,” Diana sees a woman crying for her small village held captive by armed Germans. Naturally, she wanted to help.

But right then and there, she was shut down by Steve who said that there’s nothing she can do about that small village. “We can’t help everyone,” he says. “Our goal is to cross this bridge” (non-verbatim) “This barricade has been here for a long time, there’s nothing we can do. YOU can’t help them.”

Hearing this was too much for Diana. So she proved him wrong, complete with costume and skillz! Leading to one of the best scenes in the movie where she experiences war up close for the first time and reveals she’s Wonder Woman.

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This scene is so important because it says that when it comes to war and saving people, she will save whoever she can. There’s no such thing as a group worth saving more or less than the others. And in the real world, this is how women in general think. It’s always for the good of the whole family – no one gets left behind.

Today, some women are told “there’s nothing you can do about it” despite having done so much. How long will they keep proving themselves before all doubts about them be dispelled finally? Saying a woman (or a man) cannot do anything belittles that person’s values and beliefs.

Will they have to put on a complete costume (aka show their best efforts) first before they get backup support? Until when?

3. Judgment and blame. For what she wore.

At General Erich Ludendorff’s party, Diana was instructed by Steve and his team to stay put because she is not dressed up for the occasion; implying that her clothes couldn’t even defend herself or worse, are not good enough for her to come with them.

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A reflection also of today. Many, many times women get blamed and judged for what they wear. To some extent, I agree – especially when I see women wearing close to nothing in public places. I mean the book of Genesis did show us how malice came into the minds of people, so we have to adjust. But often, even when women dress up well enough and appropriately, they still receive blame – for harassment, for rape, for incompetence.

In the end, it’s truly not about what we wear but how you were brought up. In a popular tweet, I quote “Kung kabastos bastos yung suot nung babae kailangan mo bang harassin? Ibig bang sabihin na kung kasuntok suntok yang mukha mo pwede ka nilang suntukin?”

4. Disbelief as a form of betrayal.

Even after everything that she has done as Wonder Woman, and everything that she and Steve have been to, Steve still didn’t believe that an Ares existed. Bringing hurt on the part of Diana, who thought all along that this guy supports her and believes in her.

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Sometimes in life, even with our partners, this remains an issue. Knowing that someone doesn’t believe you, especially when that person is a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife doubles the hurt because we expect that out of the millions of people in the planet, they are our backup support. It hurts to find out that they are not 100% onboard after all.

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And why is complete trust vital? It’s because some things in life may sound as absurd as a god of war responsible for the earth’s destruction. Other times, it may mean that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive and is at work in us. But when our husband or wife doesn’t believe us, it hurts our commitment, our idea of the truth, which will eventually affect important life decisions.

5. Finally, the “love mentality.”

A child psychology professor in U.P. once asked each student in our class, “What is your reason for having sex?”. She started with the males who all answered in different ways but point only to one common denominator, to prove their manliness. Every girl in that room, on the other hand, had only one answer: “love.”

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And even in the end of this film, the real wonder of a woman revolves around the extent of her love. She may not entirely understand why humans are evil, and despite being hurt and doubted many times by his ka-M.U. Steve, she still rose above the trouble because of her love for him. For humankind.

It wasn’t even clear if Steve sacrificed himself for Diana or if he just wants to leave earth for his personal desire to be a hero. But it was clear that Diana won over Ares because of her love for Steve and the people.

And now that I’ve written it this way I am not so sure now if that’s a good thing.

A lot of women these days choose to stay within an ugly relationship despite receiving physical or mental hurt from their partners because they “love” them. And then we wonder why women are strong!

This brings me back to one line that Diana’s mother Hippolyta tells her before she goes: “They don’t deserve you.”

And it’s true; some people don’t deserve our love. But we love them anyway.

*All photos from the Internet.