Monday, 11 March 2013

3 More Movies That Changed My Life

I previously wrote about 4 movies that have changed my life and am hoping to add 3 more movies to this list.  I am still quite convinced movies have the power to influence people in making the world around them a better place.  Often times people are at the threshold of truly making a difference and all they need is a little nudge in the proper direction.  Many times in my life movies have given me the nudge that I needed.   Here are 3 more movies that have changed my life.

3. The Truman Show


Nothing will change your life more than the idea that your entire life could possibly be a fraud.  The Truman Show follows a typical insurance salesman who realizes that his whole life has been on television for the whole world to watch without him having any idea.  Talk about an invasion of your privacy.

The Truman Show is a daring and charming comedy that invites everyone to truly examine the world around them.  I have discussed ideas about perceptions of reality found in The Matrix in a previous post.  The Truman Show invites its audience to ask similar questions about their life.  Is the world around me the way I percieve it?  Many times I have found myself daydreaming about my life and believing with lots of certainty that there was more to my life than met the eye.   Jim Carrey's titular character undergoes a very similar internal struggle.  While Truman actually was able to uncover the truth behind his situation I fear I will never fully understand the truth of the world I am living in, but nonetheless I will never stop looking.  The truth, to me, is to important to leave to ignorance.

In the movie, when Truman  appeals to a higher power, he is actually appealing to the TV show's omniscient creator, played by Ed Harris.

Who thought God would look like Ed Harris
I don't know how many times I have envisioned God as an omnipresent director whose only desire is to meddle in my life solely for the entertainment of everyone around me.  In my pursuit of the truth I have found that this is far from the truth, but it still is an interesting thought.

2. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story 

Using a rough outline of the career of Bruce Lee as the central story-line this dramatic biopic takes fighting your inner demons to a whole new level.  Like most people, I have struggled with my own demons, but I have never really put an importance on this fight for control of my life until I watched this movie.  It is quite captivating to watch a fight scene that is actually an inner conflict of the character, but still the stakes are quite possibly higher than any fight he has ever fought.  In the movie there are a few scenes where Bruce Lee actually uses his kung fu to fight his inner demons and more often then not he gets his ass handed to him.  

But Bruce Lee always kicks ass when needed
Obviously these scenes are dream sequences used to capture the demons Bruce Lee fought throughout his entire life and career.  They represented to me, however, that overcoming my demons was possible I just literally had to fight.  I always try to liken my life to a battle, if I don't fight for my life and what I believe is good than my purpose becomes void.  I am not talking about using violence to spread my ideals, but I am talking about not living in complacency and actually using my strength and courage to fight against mediocrity.

Just as in Dragon, Bruce Lee used his talent in kung fu to overcome his demons.  I hope to use my talents to continuously conquer my demons.

1. Gone Baby Gone

In my life I love engaging in discussions about morality and the nature of what is right and wrong.  Great discussions about objective and subjective morality are fantastic and really provide great insight into what is important to people.  Often times what is the highest good in a situation isn't very easy to determine.  Gone Baby Gone aims to examine moral situations and where morality can be found in some of the worst situations.  I don't think any movie, book or story has left me with such a moral problem that left me speechless when I tried to answer it.  Both sides of every problem the movie puts forth provide such valid reasons and both sides were presented quite beautifully.  I have no plan of ruining the story for you, but I will challenge you to watch this movie and see the beauty of the story unfold before your eyes and try and determine where you stand.

Gone Baby Gone is a beautifully acted movie.  It is the directorial debut of Ben Affleck.  You would almost think Ben casting his brother Casey is a case of nepotism or just giving his brother a break, but Casey slides naturally and perfectly into the lead role of Patrick.  Patrick is a sincerely good Boston guy, who grew up in an ugly world.  Often being good in an ugly world can be difficult and confusing.  Gone Baby Gone is filled with good people who are in the same situation as Patrick.  They want to do good, but sometimes in a broken, dark and ugly world it is harder to find what is truly good and sometimes the good may not seem all that good.

Ed Harris always brings his A game and Gone Baby Gone was one of his best movies.  This scene does an absolutely amazing job of capturing the difficulty moral relativism can provide, which is an overhanging theme of the entire movie.  I believe the scene basically speaks for itself and I don't want to cheapen it anyway with my redundant and pseudo intellectual analysis.  I challenge you to not only watch Gone Baby Gone, but even watch this scene a few times.  It's worth it.

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