Maria Full of Grace (***)

Starring Catalina Sandino Moreno, Guilied Lopez, Patricia Rae, Orlando Tobon, John Alex Toro, and Yenny Paola Vega. This was one difficult movie to watch. It is even tougher to review it now. I am not even sure where to start. The movie is the story of Maria, a 17-year-old Colombian that is dealing with life as we all do in a every day basis. Her world seems to be coming down on her to the point that she makes the decision to become a mule for a drug trafficking ring.

The movie is very well done, and even though it was produced in the US it was true to Colombia in both the Spanish spoken as well as the human interaction. The story was very well told, but a lot of the empty subplots I could easily fill in by being from that country. That is where my first issue with the movie starts. The way that Maria interacts with her family is not truly explained by the movie. Her struggle to be rebellious about giving money to her family clashes with the real reason she is becoming a mule. Her ultimate goal would be to help her family out. That is just the beginning of my problems with the movie. There are too many to bring up in just one post.

Colombians in movies are portrayed as thugs, mules or drug lords. It saddens me to see my country always portrayed that way. I cannot remember the last movie from Hollywood that I saw where a Colombian was actually in a role that showed a better face of the beautiful land that I am from. It is a reality that Colombia has problem both political and socio economic. I was born there and I never had anything to do with drug trade, my family is not involved in any way. I sometimes feel like the drug traffic is a cross that all Colombians have to bare as unfair as it might seem.

This is a movie review so I will stop my rant, and tell you that I do recommend you see the movie, but please keep in mind that while this is a window onto the life of a drug mule it does not represent all that Colombia is. Also keep in mind that this woman is doing this not because she wants to get rich, but because she believes this is a way to help her family and to help herself. While I do not agree with her Choice in the movie, I know this is the cruel reality that plenty of people have to live, not only that but many of them die as a result of it. Watch it, be open-minded and let me know what you think.

Logtar’s Rating System
* Don’t bother
**If there is nothing else in the video store
***Rent it for sure
****Go watch it in the theater today, or buy the DVD

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Interview Meme

My buddy Michael had an interview meme up and I agreed to participate now knowing that I would have to then interview 5 people :) well he will be one of the victims (evil laugh) leave me a comment if you want to be interviewed! Here is his interview and my answers…

1. May I call you Loggie? No, I guess not. For those of you who don’t know, Logtar was born in Columbia and spent some of his childhood in Columbia. Could you share with us some of your memories of growing up in Columbia, please?

No, Logtar is quite cool! Believe me, everything under the sun has been said about that handle. Growing up in Colombia was quite and experience and one that I love sharing. The country is such a beautiful place but it has such a negative connotation from the press it is sometimes an uphill battle to show that it is not all about drug trafficking even though that is a reality there.

Growing up in Colombia I played a lot of soccer; it was one of my favorite past times when I was kid. Another thing we used to do as kids was to hang around in the front porches around the neighborhood and just sit there and talk for hours.

Food was also a lot different, breakfast over there is a big meal every day and I miss having hot cocoa every morning. Only recently with Cielo I have been enjoying awesome coffee every morning, and it brings good memories of growing up back.

2. Logtar is lucky enough to have met Cielo and fallen in love with her. Also lucky for him, she loves him also and has agreed to marry him. All right buddy. Tell us about the first time you met Cielo.

We had a lunch date, and it was actually a hard first date. We were both very guarded and even thought we liked each other quite a bit, we were not able to show it until months later. We can say we were friends first and then fell in love. I did know from the first time that I saw her that there was something in her eyes that told me that she was something special, someone that would change my life and it has been awesome. Thinking back on it, even from that first moment she had a little part of my heart because once she left that date I did miss her, we had a good time.

3. Often when I’ve chatted with Logtar on-line, he’s invited me up to visit him and hit the big city of Chicago for some fun. If I were to come up to visit and we could only visit one thing in Chicago, what would it be?

Not fair, not fair at all… I will get you back for this question I swear. If you could only visit one place while you were in Chicago it would be Navy Pier. The reason being that it is a beautiful place in many levels. It has a great view of the city and plenty of places where to sit and just chat. A cup of coffee looking at Michigan Lake while having a chat with a good friend would be an awesome time.

4. Another thing I like about chatting with Logtar is that his faith is very important to him. I think this is one of the first things you’ll notice about him if you do chat with him or by reading his blog archives. Please tell us about the importance of your faith and your daily walk.

Faith is what keeps me going every day. I know God has a purpose for all of us and I feel very strongly about how he has given me so much. I also cannot look at the sky without thinking how great it is… you can see that on my moblog and the numerous sky pictures. Every time I look at the Sky I see God’s awesome power and love for us for giving us such beauty.

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

5. You used to do movie reviews on a regular basis, but of late not that many. Not any movies worth reviewing or just no time? What is the best movie you’ve seen? The worst?

It is a mixture of 2 things. I really want to re-map my movie reviews to make them a lot simpler to search and view. Also organize them by category and rating. Make it a lot more functional since people seem to enjoy them. Time has also been a huge issue, work has picked up quite a bit and I am working more hours than in the past 3 years. I will review some movies soon, one about Colombia in particular hopefully before the end of the week. The best movie I have ever seen is also a really unfair question, I will have to cheat and do it using Genre’s Best action movie ever is Blade, simple because of the mixture of martial arts and just overall great plot. Comedy will have to be there is something about Mary, the first time I saw this movie I could not stop laughing… I had to see it another time just to catch all the jokes I had missed from the uncontrollable laughter. Drama will have to be the notebook, if you have not see this movie see it now, it is a beautiful representation of what Love is supposed to be all about. Now worse movie ever… oh man, I have a list of movies that have wasted my time… some had redeeming qualities… if I had to pick one it would have to be Malibu’s Most Wanted. That movie was the worse movie I ever saw.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (****)

Digital Fortress was difficult for me to rate this book. While I could not put it down once I started reading it, it was not quite the suspense build up that Angels and Demons was nor the fiction/fact collage that The DaVinci Code was. It was an awesome love story, or maybe it is just that I am in love.

The book is very similar to the other Dan Brown titles in style, and I was able to concentrate on the story rather than on all the techno-babble that was in the book. Most of the topics discussed were really not that foreign to me because of my familiarity with cryptography, encryption and computer stuff. Brown did fall a little short in the build up of his main bad guy. Both the Code and Angels had scary bad guys, that kind of made your skin crawl when they were near their targets, the guy in this book did not really transmit that feeling at all.

Overall it was a very engaging book that I loved due to the love story that played inside. I am sure conspiracy theory buffs will eat this one up, because we all know Big Brother is watching… for now I just go by saying that my love for Cielo is without wax!

Logtar’s book rating

(*) Don’t bother even reading the synopsis
(**) If you want to kill some time
(***) Great reading for a long trip
(****) Must Read

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Weekend Recap

Easter was excellent, we had a very cool meal that Cielo prepared. A Huge Ham, Scallopped potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Green Beans, Black olives, Cottage Cheese, Sweet and Hot Pickles and Buttermilk Biscuits… the works :) We went to Church service on Friday and it felt excellent. All I can think about was that this was the woman that I want to marry. Ty got a very cool easter basket with not just tons of candy but some cool clothes and he seemed very excited about it.

It was a relaxing weekend, and it felt great. I cannot wait for warmer weather and more stuff to do during this summer. How was your easter? what did you guys eat?

Terri Schiavo’s Case

For the past week I have been trying to form an opinion about this case and I cannot come up with a concrete one. I have heard about this case for a while now. If you do not know about this case you can read this article in CNN, it also has a link in the sidebar to a very informative timeline.

I see the positives of this whole ordeal that is being played by the news over and over being only that more families now have to discuss one of the more difficult topics. Death. I have always wanted to be cremated once I live this world, but a loved one brought up a good point… what about a place to go visit you afterwards. It is a morbid though but it did make me reconsider my decision of being cremated. I think it is important to let your loved ones know what your wishes are, such as being an organ an tissue donor as well if you want to sign a DNR (Do not resuscitate).

Terri’s case is complicated, we are not in the position that the family is. While the husband has the legal backing by being the guardian, I see how the parents can feel that she should stay alive if they see a hope for cure. If the hope for cure that has been presented by doctors is just a legal move to reinsert the feeding tube, then I feel that the parents are being a little selfish by not letting this women move on and rest in peace. If there are doctors out there that really believe that there is hope for her, I think they should be very careful with that prognosis. What should be considered a real chance, 5% 1%. I know that I would have a hard time making this decision for a loved one, but I am quick to say that I would not want to be kept alive artificially for a long period of time. Quality of live and dignity should count for something. Also that people need to live on, not stop their lives. There is a saying that we used back in Colombia that is someone cold, but true. “The dead to the tomb and the living to the party.” I have also really admired that the Irish celebrate death by having an all out party after the funeral. I would like that to happen the day I leave this world, all my friends and family just drinking to my honor and having a good time. I would like to remember for the fun that I had and not mourned.

The other side to all of this is that, it is kind of sad that the media is spending so much time in this case. Every day people have to make this kind of decision for a family member. I know this because there is someone actually close to someone I know that is close to passing away. A couple of days ago 45 people died in Iraq and our media still covering this case more than those deaths. I am not making a judgment call here for Terri, but if it were I, my tube would have been removed already.