The Grey-Must Read Christian Movie Review!

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Starring: Liam Neeson as Ottway
Dermot Mulroney
Frank Grillo as John Diaz
James Badge as Dale
Joe Anderson
Nonso Anozie
Dallas Roberts
Ben Bray as Hernandez
James Bitonti as Ottway’s Father
Jonathan Bitonti as Young Ottway
Director: Joe Carnahan
Producer:1984 Private Defense Contractors: Liddell Entertainment, Scott Free Productions
Distributor: Open Road Films

As a person that loves to watch movies, over the years I find that as a Christian there aren’t many movies I can watch without displaying the use of profanity, vulgarity, or illicit sex–to name a few. Really, I have been delegated to watch mostly children’s movies because of the out right immorality.

So finding myself in movie mode on a young Monday night, I decide to take in a movie. I know better by now to watch a movie without reading its synopsis right? So I go to a certain website and read the review of the movie The Grey . It touts it as an “action packed” movie that deals with “spirituality and morality.” “A must see movie,” that delves into “human nature” and “human survival.” Even though it had an “R” rating (thinking it was more for cadavers and wolves), “sounds like my kinda of movie,” I tell myself. BY NO MEANS am I a movie critic, but this movie had such strong sentiments that as a Christian, I would be remiss not to write about it.

In a very concise review, The Grey tells the story of seven surviving oil riggers who, while flying out for another gig, succumb to a plane crash in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. The riggers not only have to battle the elements of torrent weather and snow storms, but also fend for their lives against vicious wolves that see the men as a threat to their territory.

The director does a great job with cinematography and creating a realistic dark, grey atmosphere–hence the title–that implants the viewer directly into the Alaskan wilds, right alongside the cast. However, in a few scenes the camera was very shaky and you could not accurately see what was going on.

The film is unapologetic in its tone. It takes you on a thrill ride with on-the-edge-of your seat action and has your heart racing at the turn of every scene. It is not an easy movie to watch.

Trying to critique this movie from a Christian standpoint and a non-believer’s stand point, I cannot help but come back to the same conclusions.

The Grey is laden with epithets throughout the whole movie. If one were to remove all the “cuss” words there would simply be little dialogue. On top of that there was blatant use of sacrilege, constant reference to sexual immorality and fornication.

I do understand the director may have been trying to showcase “real” human nature and the good of man, but I felt it was done on an imbalanced scale, weighing on the side of Atheism. For instance, there was a scene where the protagonist of the movie–Neeson, who’s character was named Ottway, reprimands one of the oilers from looting the deceased and later tells the men to gather the deads’ wallets so they can be identified by their loved ones. Carnahan hints there may be some type of existence of a God in a scene where one of the men wants to say a prayer for the dead, and thanks God for keeping them alive. And, in a later scene in the movie when character John Diaz chooses to die by a beautiful flowing river and says he doesn’t have anything better to look forward to than that view. That was the most tear-jerking scene in the film.

The oilers eventually get killed off one by one, with Ottway being the last survivor left. In an earlier scene, Ottway self-righteously alludes there is no God, now fast-forward to the final scene where he sits on an embankment and violently, blatantly curses God and demands God to help him. In the next minute he retorts, “fine, I’ll do it myself then!”

By all means, one can understand the hurt and anger people may feel when they deem God has forsaken them. The way Ottway’s character was written does not give the audience enough history to fully understand why he chooses the spiritual beliefs he does. Here’s a man who has neglected God his whole life and at the very end, instead of finally making peace with life, he disturbingly launches a tirade against God. Giving God a few seconds to deliver him out of this situation–albeit nightmarish. Furthermore, I cannot even understand how actor, Liam Neeson, could recite this hateful monologue against God, even if it was written in the script. Actors can challenge the writing.

It reminds me of the verse:

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36

For a movie?

This film showcases the pride and arrogance of fallen man, giving God ultimatums and when it isn’t deemed (in their minds) God is just, they curse God and continue to make themselves the God’s of their own lives.

The film, in my opinion, did not have any kind of moral to the story, no plot, or explanation, it just was. I get that every story isn’t going to have a happy ending, and the director was trying to portray realism. If anything, this film tells the unfortunate story of a group of men, all but maybe two, who throughout the course of their lives did not acknowledge God and died in their sin with no hope.

Moreover, if God’s own prophets such as The Apostle Paul, John the Babtist, Stephen, Peter, why…even God’s own beloved son Jesus, died horrendous deaths; and they were servants of God, why does the writer choose to depict a story where arrogant, unrepentant man expects to be spared death?

My spirit was troubled very much watching this movie, so much so I had to ask God’s forgiveness because of its out right use of God’s name in vain. It made me question the religious motives of the writer and director as the movie seems to be another case of Christian bashing and hatred towards God. I will do more thorough research from now on on any movie I watch.

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Kim Kardashian: modern day Jezebel?

When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. (2 Kings 9:30 ESV)

Whether we care to admit it or not Kim Kardashian is an outwardly beautiful woman. It seems at the bat of her alluring eyelash the world is under her seductive spell.

In this season, Kim Kardashian’s name is on everyone’s lips and her brand is ubiquitous. I never really paid attention to all the hoopla surrounding her. Then, all of a sudden Ms. Kimberly’s world came crashing into mine! Everywhere I went family, friends, co-worker’s were all watching and talking about her reality show.

So I started to wonder just what is this Kardashian business all about? At one viewing I found myself laughing hysterically at the family’s antics while simultaneously disturbed by the common use of epithets. But, nonetheless I continued watching. It had become a guilty pleasure! I must admit I felt convicted watching it. After about the fourth viewing I had a reality check! I had to ask myself: as a person wanting to know God’s heart more intimately does this show’s values line up with my spiritual walk? Does its message correlate with what the word of God says on how to conduct one’s self: Christ being the head of our life
(1Corinthians 11:3), not worshipping idols (Colossians 3:5), abstaining from premarital sex (Heb 13:4), not lusting after material things (1John 2:16), not lusting after money (1Tim 6:10)? The answer was an astounding no!

Most reality shows deem to portray power, overt sexuality, and covetousness as the status quo, as the worldly trinkets to strive for, while subsconsciously seducing with its superflous, extravagance, and materialism. Its objective to mirror greed, violence, and immorality as common place to a naive viewing audience; ‘this is what the American dream is’, it taunts! It beguiles to make one accept its behavior as normalcy, slowly desensitizing the masses against the very values Christ died for!

Jezebel is a spirit of seduction, sexuality, lust and greed! (Revelation 2:20-23). It looks beautiful and inviting but is inwardly wicked and evil! It lures you in, bates you with its power and worldly riches, then devours you! So many souls are lost each day trying to attain this false image presented before them. More and more isolated incidents are making headline news of people embezzling money, committing suicide, murder, Ponzi schemes trying to bite into the proverbial carrot the devil keeps dangling in front of them.

This spirit seeks to seduce, entice, and brainwash. Anything that is an impasse, it seeks to annihilate; anything unlike itself–just like the priestess Jezebel! In the book of 2 Kings she sent out a decree to kill Elijah:

Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” (1Kings 19:2)

Because Elijah killed her prophets who were practicing evil, Jezebel sent out a decree to kill Elijah. Elijah represents Godliness, discipline, holiness. This Jezebel spirit hates righteousness, purity, and integrity.

The Jezebel spirit is particularily rampant in the entertainment industry. This demonic spirit seeks to spiritually demolish those who live for truth, righteousness, vitrue, and morality with spirits of impurity, violence, profanity, and fornication in this generation. The hunt for Elijah is very meticulous yet subtle. This Jezebel spirit is very daunting, imposing, and seducing. Really, just turn on the TV it’s there! It seeks to manipulate and restructure our thinking with excuses such as:
“this is the times we live in, or this is normal,” but in actuality the metaphor I like to use is it’s like a winding, choking, anaconda, slowly enrapturing and swirling around its victim until it goes in for the kill!

Reality TV is only one of the many new millennium tools Jezebel is using to spread her mayhem. As a Christian young woman I am appalled to turn on the TV and see grown women fist fighting and using such obscene language. It saddends me even further that as a daugter, sister, and aunt that most of the female reality shows are laden with violence, sex, and hatred towards one another. Is this really the legacy we have to leave for the next generation? Women that’s made up to look like over sexed, money hungry, street walkers? With no substance and dignity. Revelation 17 calls her the great prostitute, sexually immoral, full of blasphemous names. And most importantly, Revelation 17:6 goes on to say she is drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus!!!
Beloved, we are Elijah! We have to wake up! Jezebel is after us, our children, our families! She wants to kill us! She wants to murder our seed of greatness! We have to fight back! Starting with ourselves, monitor what we are allowing into our spirit: what we are reading, listening to and watching on TV, most importantly; the media and images in the entertainment industry we are allowing our children to ingest into their spirit. Take a stand! Boycott the programs in your home that have no moral value or integrity. Wage a war against Jezebel! Don’t allow her to demoralize your spirit. Pray dilligently and ask God to kill the Jezebel in your life.

In the beginning of this post I opened with the verse referencing Jehu. Jehu was the physical manifestation of Elijah’s prophecy from God of Jezebel’s death.

2 Kings 9:30-37
When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” And he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him.
He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her. Then he went in and ate and drank. And he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, ‘In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’