Film of the year 2013: Captain Phillips


So 2013 another good year for film. However one above all stayed with me and it is with great admiration that I award the excellent Captain Phillips film of the year 2013.

If you haven’t managed to see this great piece of film making please ensure it is one of the first things you rent or watch on demand in 2014. Tom Hanks gives a great performance as the captain of the hijacked vessel and in the final act……well that would be spoiling but those who have seen it know what I am eluding to.

The tension created is a credit not only to the actors involved but also to director Paul Greengrass and at the films end I hardly a finger nails left and at one point was literally on the edge of my seat. 

Many great films were released in 2013 but none matched the impact of Captain Phillips.

Some further thoughts on Captain Phillips can be found in a previous blog here.


Do Not Be Afraid……..It’s A Wonderful Life


Last weekend we had a  ‘Nativiteen’ at church where our teenagers and young people took us through the Nativity story. The stand out part of the story that came across was the numerous repetitions of ‘Do not be afraid’ from angels throughout the Christmas story. To Mary, to Elizabeth, to shepherds, to Joseph.

This week we are screening Its A Wonderful Life in church as part of our film club. Christmas tradition vary across families but one of mine growing up was everyone gathering round the TV to watch a  film together. So in the spirit of that showing a film in church where our church family meets seemed a great option.

It’s A Wonderful Life is  for me THE Christmas film with its themes of redemption and the intervention of God pulling back a life that is on the brink of destruction.

The film serves as a great reminder that through life’s struggles God is for us, alongside us encouraging us, willing us forward and where necessary pulling us back from the brink.

2013 may have been good to you, for some it  may be a year to forget.

2014 is around the corner but this week and going into the New Year  I’m challenged yet again by the Christmas story and this classic film.

Do not be afraid, God is still for us,it’s a wonderful life.

*If you are in Belfast the screening is Wed 18th Dec at Fitzroy Presbyterian church 730pm – come and watch a film with us.

The trouble with trailers.

I love trailers. For me they are big part of the cinema going experience. However, recently I have noticed a problem. In our internet age trailers are now not so much a cinematic experience as a YouTube experience and the rate at which they come out is astounding. Big films provide ad campaigns counting down the days and then the real problem comes…….release day.

With the Amazing Spider-Man 2 I was as excited as anyone (i’m a big comic nerd so why wouldn’t I) the trailer came out and looks great I was excited. I then found myself getting annoyed. No sooner was the trailer released than bloggers and online publications were dissecting the detail of the trailer and pondering what certain 3 sec clips could mean.

We are no longer a patient society. The new X-men film (Days of Future Past) will be released next year but already the director has voiced what the next project will be (X-Men:Apocalypse).

I’m not saying don’t watch trailers online that would be absurd. All I’m asking for is a little patience.

Let’s not jump to dissect trailers and what they may or may not show. Let’s not worry about the next project. Maybe an idea could be to wait until the actual film release go and enjoy it (or not) and then make a decision.