The Wilderness

Sten has come up with a lovely little clip of Jesus in the wilderness using lego.  Bravo!  Encore!

Christmas in 50 Words

This is a beautifully done look at the nativity.

Again this is from Igniter Media who aren’t very open source with their resources.  If you would like a version that doesn’t have a watermark you will have to pay the piper.

A Social Media Christmas

I’ve a few videos to share with you before your christmas services.

If you remember last year there was a social media video of the nativity.  This one is more poignant than the comedy one.

They are both from Igniter Media.  Sadly they aren’t very open source with their resources.  If you would like a version that doesn’t have a watermark you will have to pay the piper.

Trinity Sunday

Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape

For a while I’ve been looking at social media as a communication tool.  You will have noticed that I have posted  many blogs about the ways in which the internet can create a sensation that either builds up or destroys its target.  This flash mob video is a great example of how something can spread like wildfire and become a sensation.  However, who can forget the 10 million hits that destroyed United Airline’s reputation?

Above we have a great example of how the internet viral has challenged mainstream communication.  By bringing all of the viral clichés together with the words “Jennifer Aniston’s Sex Tape”, Smart Water pinpoint two key things:

  1. Viral video clips sell things by word of mouth and recommendation unbelievably well.
  2. We can identify what has worked in the past but it is really difficult to say what will work in the future.  It is a totally deregulated phenomenon and out of the hands of “the man”.  “The man” wants to use it but doesn’t know how.  And if it is used by “the man” people are less likely to pass it on as it stinks of “the man”.

Easter Video

I’m not a big delerious fan but I came across this video via @EasterLIVE and I think it is really good.  I may use it Easter morning.

Keep Going

This film has a strange beginning but keep going.  It is all about that entrepreneur we harbour inside but expressed through our art.  I haven’t seen anything so affirmatory in a loooooooong time!

Tropic Thunder

We decided to leave the packing and go to the cinema.  Tropic Thunder wasn’t as good as I hoped but it was worth it just for the fake trailer to Satan’s Alley!

The Dark Knight

I went to see The Dark Knight on Monday and it was really good.  Heath Ledger’s performance was amazing – this is what a truly psychotic mad man is supposed to be like!!  I highly recommend going to see it for that alone.  I also loved the messianic under/overtones.

My only criticism is that since the batman films had to abandon the comic book world perpetuated cinematically by Tim Burton and enter the real world, the costume doesn’t quite fit.  That said, Batman without the costume is just ‘Man’.

Some people can take it a little too far though.

PS I still wont place a DC Comics catergory on my blog 😆

I Am Iron Man.

So those of you who read my blog regularly may be starting to realise that I am a bit of a fan of Marvel comics.  I would say that it is a bit of a throw over from childhood but that would denigrate the whole comic book experience.  Some of the best social commentary of the last century has been done through the medium of comic books.  The writers and artists who produce much of the Marvel Universe have used this vehicle to produce some magnificent insightful into the human condition.  Some may say that comic books are for kids but they have obviously been reading the Beano.  Perhaps it is time to put aside the milk and move on to solid food.

Whilst I advocate the Marvel Universe on a regular basis, it does sometimes appear a little inconsistent in its quality.  There is no greater example of this than the way in which some of the greatest comic book characters have been translated onto the big screen.  Until recently all attempts were thwarted by the inability to portray super powers in a convincing manner.  We can probably all remember the Spider-man films of the 1980s and the cringe worthy wall climbing escapades worthy of Adam West and Burt Ward.  However, the world changed when technology caught up with the imaginative possibilities of living in a world of the super human.  Finally Spider-man was able to bounce around and swing from walls believably in a live action film where previously this was only possible in cartoons.  However, in spite of this there have been many cinematic let downs.  My previous post about The Hulk is a prime example of something that offers much promise and fails to deliver.  Who can forget the horrific plastic fantastic portrayal of Ben Grimm?  Modern Marvel movies tend to inhabit the extremes of the quality spectrum.  Either we are in for a cinematic treat or a huge disappointment.

It was this in mind that I went to see Iron Man last night.  There were several considerations that made me uneasy about the experience.  Firstly, Robert Downey Jnr had been cast as Tony Stark.  Now Robert Downey Jnr has a list of credits as long as your arm and everything I have seen him in was good… but the last I heard of him in recent times was that he had been thrown off the set of Ally McBeal and into jail for his recreational drug use.  Would he have the screen presence to present Tony Stark in a credible way?  Would he be able to convince us of the depth of character that is needed to portray a personal transformation?  To add to this concern, when characters have been translated from the page to screen we have seen some visual disasters.  Would Iron Man become another foray into the world of dodgy costume design and bad CGI?  My main concern about anything cinematic is always the depth of story.  Will the film speak to us about anything important?  Will it change the way we view ourselves or the world around us?  In short, would the film live up to the great expectations that should come with any Marvel outing?  Of course there was the most important question of all, would Black Sabbath feature in the sound track?  Of course they would!!

I have to say I was greatly impressed by how good the film was.  Robert Downey Jnr gave a great performance as Stark.  His outlandish playboy lifestyle was shown in a truly extravagant manner.  His moral transformation was believable and showed a depth of character develop throughout.  It was obvious that on many levels he had been cast for his looks, being a dead ringer for Stark.  It was good to see that the effects used to bring his alter ego to life were well thought out and allowed him to develop the character without being taken into a purely computer generated world.  One of the best things about the film was the way in which the suit was developed from a rudimentary escape plan to a high tech, hotrod red vehicle for Starks crusade against the illegal arms trade.

The film was great and it would seem that Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark is set to become a greater fixture in the Marvel world as individual stories of the films, as with the comics, become intertwined with each other.  He is already credited as appearing in the upcoming Incredible Hulk movie.  S.H.I.E.L.D. appeared in the film and there were allusions to an Avengers movie after the credits in a cameo scene by Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury.  It looks like we are set for even more of Marvel’s big budget, big screen blockbusters staring all our favourite characters.

On a personal note: Oh the shame that my wife had never heard of Stark Industries or Iron Man!