Idolaters Will Not Inherit The Kingdom of God Unless They Repent, Disregard Their Idols and Submit To Him Willingly

I am a faithful Christian who got saved by Jesus through His Holy Instrument just over a year ago. I am no longer a prisoner of religion and no longer am I a lost soul. I am free to worship Father God and His Son Jesus. I left behind the useless acts of worshipping people, worshiping man-made objects, following rituals (that have little or nothing to do with the Holy Bible) and doing repetitive prayers.

Truly, the Christian life specifically requires reading the Holy Bible and applying its lessons in life, praising the Lord, seeking and following His plan which was written even before the beginning of time.

We live in a screwed-up world. A world so divisive, there are many people who drifted so far away from the Lord and the sad news is that those people do not even realize they are spiritually lost. I’m not just talking about the non-believers but also the people who are trapped by religion.

Religion is mean and frustrating. It comes with a whole bunch of rules, traditions and rituals that truly hinder a person from establishing true faith and a true relationship with the Lord. Among the many hindrances that come with religion is idolatry.

Idolatry, in its simplest form, is the act of worshiping an idol. In the context of the Holy Bible, idolatry is the worship of an image or a created object or someone (a person). Truth behold, idolatry is a sin and no matter what religious leader would say to defend it, it is truly a sin and there is no exception for it!

The people who commit idolatry are idolaters. You worship a picture or a statue or a person you find charming? That makes you an idolater and also a sinner in the eyes of God whom we should all be worshiping directly and trust fully. Consider the following scripture.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, not covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 (NKJV)

Now this is not the first time I discussed how idols hinder people from establishing faith and trust in the Lord. The purpose of this article is to go even deeper about idols and why they are not only worthless but are elements that lead to sin.

In this messy world we live in, there are still many people who are trapped by religion and its rituals and that means they believe that God is not approachable. These unfortunate people have been misled and oriented by their religious leaders into believing that worshiping idol (be it a handcrafted object or an image or a person who is supposedly holy) is necessary to connect with the Lord. It’s simply not true!

The worshiping of a statue, or a painting or some man-made object is unnecessary. And then there is the religion-based belief imposed on people that they should see God in their worship leader which requires them to worship that particular mortal person just to connect to the Lord. This one is also unnecessary and not true.

The truth is God is approachable and He does not require believers to worship an object nor a person just to connect to Him. Worshiping the Lord should be direct (with the guidance of a worship leader who does NOT require worship of him) and free from the obstruction of idolatry!

Apart from worshiping the Lord, people (whether they trapped by religion or unbelief) are vulnerable because they easily get charmed by people whom they find charismatic, heroic and capable of making reforms happen for their benefit. A person trapped by religion who thinks he’s worshiping God through idols, can always fall for the charm of another person whom he perceives to be a carrier of hope and change that would feed his selfish desire. Above it all, these acts of idolatry make one a sinner in the eyes of the Lord!

If you are someone who had to look up to idols to worship God, be aware that you’ve been moving down the wrong path all this time. Learn from the following scriptures from the Holy Bible.

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4: 3-8 (NKJV)

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 20: 3-6 (NKJV)

Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19: 4 (NKJV)

Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, Who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save.

Isaiah 45: 20 (NKJV)

Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

Jonah 2: 8 (NKJV)

See? The holy scriptures I just shared above are clear and definitive. We don’t need idols at all! We don’t need to do any idolatry! We don’t need to worship people to connect to God who is truly approachable and we are truly free to not only worship Him directly but also repent to Him directly, thank Him directly and converse with Him directly. We don’t need those statues, statuettes, paintings, drawings, and all those other religious ornaments that are truly unholy.

On the topic of idols, an idol is not limited just to man-made objects, images and people. Even things like alcohol, drugs, sex, a relationship, a vehicle, a computer, a smartphone, a very immersive video game or computer software, a highly interactive artificial intelligence and a home can also become idols in the sense that they will take you away from the Lord. You prioritize playing a very immersive video game like Fallout 4 (where you create a character and literally live a 2nd life within the game) over praying to the Lord and reading the Holy Bible? That is offensive already to Him. As God Himself said, He is indeed a jealous God and that means we must prioritize Him with our time and attention!

To understand this, take time to read this scripture.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers. However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying ‘Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!’ But they did not listen tor incline to their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods. So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.”

Jeremiah 44: 2-6 (NKJV)

Those were God’s words above. That was His anger against His own people because even though His prophets did their best, the people refused to listen and ultimately, they disobeyed God. God’s wrath is not to be taken lightly and we can all avoid it by destroying the idols! No more worshipping objects and people! No more spending ourselves on vices or hobbies that take us apart from the Lord! We need to reform ourselves, change our lifestyles, repent to God for the idolatry committed and then dedicate ourselves to Him.

Along the way, there is the need for each and everyone of us to be born again. To learn about becoming born again, read the words of Jesus in John 3: 3 and follow the subsequent verses. Take note that in order to receive the Holy Spirit from the Lord and become a new creation, becoming born again is essential! You can also refer to the prayer on becoming born again at the end of my previous article about trusting God and disregarding idols.

So it is clear once again that we do not need religion, we don’t need idols and we don’t need rituals. Idols are clearly unholy! What we need is faith and a relationship with the Lord who is truly approachable. To be born again, one must willingly accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Along the way, reading the Holy Bible and applying its lessons on our respective lives is essential.

The path with the Lord is clear! Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. The saved souls will.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Fatmelts Diner is Back and Now Has a Cafe

If you enjoy eating within the BF Homes community in Parañaque City, then you should know that Fatmelts Diner just re-opened (or soft opening) after going through a renovation and expansion of its place for the past few weeks at the ground floor of the Pergola Mall along Aguirre Avenue.

While the exterior and interiors looked very similar to its usual look, Fatmelts Diner now has a cafe at the far end (which was a commercial space previously occupied by a pizzeria).

20190604_113737.jpg
At the cafe section of Fatmelts Diner.

Inside the cafe of the restaurant are brand new seats and tables as well as a nice looking interior (with bricks on the walls) laced with some decorations that give it a unique look. Also there was a hanging TV for customers who like to watch while having a meal. For sure, the expanded area means more places and opportunities for people (specifically families or groups of friends) to come in and eat comfortably.

And here is something interesting. Fatmelts Diner now has a brand new menu reflecting the cafe’s theme. There are now brunch meals and, of course, new coffee to select. Out of curiosity I ordered a fried chicken meal (P275) and a cappuccino (P135).

20190604_115126.jpg
The cappuccino.
20190604_115913.jpg
The 2-piece fried chicken meal with scrambled egg, rice and gravy.

About the meal I had today – the fried chicken was well cooked and was not too greasy which I like. The chicken was tasty on its own for me. The rice is very similar to what was served in the restaurant’s other rice meals. Waiting time for the meal was around ten minutes.

20190604_115931.jpg
A closer look…

The meal and the coffee were satisfying and my first time at the cafe of Fatmelts Diner was a comfortable and pleasant experience. I look forward to returning there to try their other meals and coffee using their brand new menu.

I suggest you readers who enjoy food tripping in the BF Homes community should visit the expanded Fatmelts Diner at Pergola Mall when you have the chance.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

 

A Look Back At X2: X-Men United

While I barely enjoyed the original X-Men movie back in 2000, I still had hope that its sequel would be better, more engaging and more entertaining. That hope of mine was realized on April 30, 2003 when I saw X2: X-Men United (or X-Men 2 in some countries around the world) in a cinema here in the Philippines.

Commercially X2 grossed $407,711,549 worldwide and that is 37.58% more than what its predecessor made. It also gathered several positive reviews from movie critics back then and its overall success proved that there was indeed more room for artistic and commercial growth for further superhero movies. I remember leaving the cinema happy and satisfied, looking forward to more X-Men films.

Screenshot_20190603-153716_YouTube.jpg
Kelly Hu’s screen time as Lady Deathstrike was short but she really stood out in her fight with Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

 So how did it all come to such an outcome in 2003? In my honest opinion, director Bryan Singer and his creative team learned from their shortcomings in the previous movie, create an engaging story without necessarily faithfully adapting elements of the graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (a rather unholy story) and ramp up the enjoyment factor.

The story opens with Nightcrawler cleverly breaking through the security in the White House in an attempt to attack the President of the United States. That opening clearly showed how clever and creative the filmmakers got to not only deliver the thrills but also emphasize visually the gap between humans and mutants. To put it short, that opening sequence is still awesome to watch.

Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) returns to the mansion and tells Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) he found nothing in Canada. Wolverine wanted to know more about his unknown past but Xavier refuses to help him even though he set the deadly loner on a path.

In Washington D.C., military scientist William Stryker meets with the President (along with a fake Senator Robert Kelly who is actually Mystique in disguise) and gets authority to launch a secret operation on the mutants. Along the way, Mystique learns about the location of not only the plastic prison containing Magneto but also that of a secret base. The secret attack on Xavier’s mansion and the escape of Magneto then sets of the crucial events for the rest of the movie.

X2 can be described as a film laced with lots of improvements over its predecessor technically and creatively. I see more of the literary Wolverine in Hugh Jackman this time around while Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen showed even more traits of the literary versions of Charles Xavier and Magneto respectively. Anna Paquin showed more confidence in playing Rogue while Halle Berry and Famke Jansen showed similar results with their characters. Allan Cumming and Brian Cox are solid additions as Nightcrawler and Stryker (who is not a military scientist in the present day of the graphic novel) and they mixed well with the returning cast members.

Screenshot_20190603-154547_YouTube.jpg
Mystique and the soldiers.

Like its predecessor, symbolism was used to emphasize the gap between humans and mutants on the big screen. The scene wherein Bobby Drake/Iceman showed to his parents his uncanny ability to freeze emphasizes his reluctance to show the truth about himself…something that could potentially break the family. William Stryker, meanwhile, keeps mutants company for as long as he has control over them and combined with the fact that he bore a hatred for mutants (note: something unfortunate happened to his family), he can be compared to a slave owner from centuries ago.

When it comes to spectacle, X2 is definitely more thrilling and more action-packed. The filmmakers knew how to balance the screenplay’s exposition and dramatization with action when it is needed on the right time. The standout action sequence is undoubtedly the fight between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike (played by Kelly Hu).

The script is stronger this time. With key members of the X-Men separated during the first half of the film, character development sets in nicely. The link between Wolverine and Jean Grey got emphasized somewhat while Cyclops is away. Also Magneto delivered the film’s most memorable line: You should have killed me when you had the chance!!! That line is a nice throwback to the past friendship between Xavier and Magneto.

Like the 2000 movie, liberties from comics were implemented for “cinematic presentation.” Anyone who read Wolverine’s origin with Weapon X can tell that William Stryker was never part of it. As for adapting the 1982 graphic novel, this film is clearly unfaithful and the filmmakers decided to take the easy route on selecting certain elements to make a screenplay that can be deemed bankable by the movie studio.

Unsurprisingly there are flaws here and there. Freezing people’s movements done by Xavier is unbelievable. As a telepath he can read people’s minds, manipulate their perception, make himself invisible to others by warping their perception and even reprogram minds but freezing people is not one of those abilities. Also considering Xavier’s persistent use of his telepathy, he failed to detect before entering the plastic prison (to meet Magneto) that a trap was set up for them.

As for Jean Grey’s heroic sacrifice near the end of the film, that one took me out of the movie. She left the jet without anyone noticing, stands in front then uses her power to prevent the rushing water from touching them while slowly lifting the jet (which for some reason could not operate properly) to let X-Men survive. It sure is dramatic and it is one of Famke Jansen’s most notable moments in cinema (apart from her erotic acts in GoldenEye) but it goes against what X-Men fans know. Any X-Men fan can tell that Iceman could have used his power to freeze the water and Storm could have manipulated the weather to help out. Heck, Cyclops could have gone out and launch a massive optic blast at the water.

Another obvious flaw is the large cast of characters which prevented the film from further implementing anymore character development. The love triangle aspect continued from the previous movie barely moved forward as James Marsden’s Cyclops (a leader in the comics) was literally set aside. Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat in this movie was only used to emphasize a seconds-long chase and show off the filmmakers’ visual effects.

By today’s standards, X2: X-Men United is no longer the great superhero film it was in twenty-o-three. It is, overall, a good movie and clearly it is a major improvement over its predecessor. The many improvements on the overall quality, engagement and fun factor of X2 made 2000’s X-Men look more like a dress rehearsal.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more X-Men insight, check out my latest article about X-Men: Dark Phoenix and my review of Logan.

Beware of Covetousness

In previous times, I discussed that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly in return for their faith and accomplishment of assigned tasks.

As I learned from our pastors during bible study sessions at our church, the Lord truly rewards His faithful followers and He truly wants each and every one to prosper. In His Kingdom, there is indeed kingdom wealth and this clearly shows that there is no lack and no poverty.

For as long as we put God first while we live in the flesh being faithful, we can enjoy riches, the good stuff, the luxuries and other forms of profit plus even more so that we can afford to give to others. As I discussed before, the profit, luxuries and good stuff we enjoy here on Earth is only a fraction of the kingdom wealth that awaits us in Heaven.

While we the faithful enjoy rewards from the Lord, we must never lose track of Him. It is a fact that it is impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. At the same time, we the faithful must be aware of covetousness and its corrupting effects.

In the Holy Bible, covetousness is a sin directed towards the acquisition of more possessions. This means wanting to acquire more things (while living in the flesh) and this is ultimately self-defeating and futile. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him.

Covetousness is clearly emphasized in Luke 12: 15 which states

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

To understand the whole story, Luke 12: 13-21 was about the Parable of the Rich Fool. Our Eternal Savior Jesus was speaking to a crowd when a man said to him “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus asked him who made Him a judge or an arbitrator over him, then he told the crowd about covetousness.

Jesus then spoke a parable to them…the parable of the rich fool. The rich man in the parable wondered what to do with his crops as he no longer had any room left for storage. Then he said he will pull down his barns and build greater so that his crops and goods will be stored. As he was focused on his possessions, he would say to his soul that with many goods laid up to last for many years ahead, take ease, eat, drink and be merry.

Then God said to him: Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? (Luke 12: 20)

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 21)

God called the rich man a fool because he was so short-sighted with his life, he focused only on his wealth and possessions living in the flesh. Clearly that rich fool did not prioritize the Lord and only cared of his own interest. Covetousness will not only lead to a hollow life, it will also lead to greed which itself leads to conflicts, crime, being self-centered and carrying other negative things of life.

The acquiring of more possessions under covetousness is not limited to material things and wealth. To covet also means getting someone and this is made clear in the Ten Commandments. Here’s a scripture for you and the words are from God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20: 17)

And then there is also the coveting of the false god or idols. Long ago, God warned the people of Israel to not covet the gods of other nations. The coveting in this case on the part of the Israelites was about them coveting the freedom to commit sin that other nations had incorporated into their worship of gods or idols of pagan origin. Heed the words of God below…

You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7: 25)

So it is clear. Put the Lord first, be faithful to Him, accomplish the tasks He assigned you with (note: God has a plan for each and every one of us) and then you will enjoy riches and the good life. What could be greater than abundant rewards coming from the Lord Himself? Think about that!

Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Revelations 22: 12)

You don’t put the Lord first, then you are not rich towards God, you will be consumed by covetousness, and you won’t really enjoy your life and even your accumulated wealth. Trust me. There are rich people, in different parts of the world, living a sad and empty life. Covetousness is to think about or desire something so much, you will go to unreasonable measures to get it. To covet tells the Lord that you are not satisfied with what you have been blessed with. This, of course, blinds you of good judgment and what really matters most in your life.

Look at the different societies around the world. Covetousness clearly and negatively affected the lives of people and it is not limited towards the rich. Look at those bank robberies in which the robbers armed themselves, threatened people and even used tactics to break-in, disable security and organize planned getaways with the goal of escaping with a large stack of money or very valuable metals? The sad thing here is that these robbers are determined to harm and kill just for money! Think about that! Armed robbers would disregard other people’s lives for the sake of coveting wealth that they don’t even deserve!

Look at impoverished people who, during night time, go to a small business joint (or a family home), break in through the windows (or through a vacant aircon opening on the wall) then steal whatever valuable items they find inside. I’m talking about trespassing, damaging property and then stealing involved.

And then there are those “crime-less” acts of covetousness that get committed. A person can strive hard to earn money and/or find ways to get discounts all for the sake of buying the most anticipated video games for his gaming console. A person can go as far as exploiting the discounts of a big online sale ordering so many items that are not even needed. Along the way, the people committing covetousness can also harm himself/herself with the next bad thing – overspending!

Covetousness, again, is about desiring something or someone so much, you will take extreme measures to acquire successfully.

Clearly the Lord does not want people to commit crime or commit any bad deeds to gain something. The Lord knows fully well that criminals and other people consumed by covetousness are indeed foolish and sinful. The Lord is watching us all on how we spend or use the blessings He gave us, how we react on what is made available for acquiring within the flawed world system we are living in and what we do with what was acquired.

To really enjoy rewards from the Lord, you need to have faith in Him, repent to Him, prioritize Him and accomplish His assignment for you. This means opportunities to become a Kingdom Investor which I will emphasize in the future.

Clearly, you can enjoy riches, luxuries and the good life that the Lord will bless you with for as long as you prioritize Him and be faithful to Him. Don’t forget to discipline yourself with the money and other forms of blessings you received from the Lord.

What I have discussed with you here is not religion…it is the Biblical Truth. In my old life, there was never a single religious leader who ever warned me about covetousness or how we should handle the blessings we receive from the Lord. Religion did not help me connect to the Lord.

Religion will trap you. Religion will frustrate you. Religion will even corrupt you and lead you to greed and covetousness. The truth from the Holy Bible and having faith in the Lord and worshiping Him directly will set you free. I know! Because I experienced these in my life. I have been saved by Lord Jesus through His Instrument (a very dear friend of mine). Religion in my old life was darkness. As I learned along the way, it is better to be faithful to the Lord than to be religious.

There is more to your personal relationship with God than religion. You also need the Holy Spirit. You need to be born again and become a new creation in Jesus. Those are all true and you will realize it all eventually.

Are you a lost soul right now? Have you been living in darkness? Were you corrupted by covetousness and greed? You can still be saved and you have the power to decide to truly reform yourself! Reform does not happen because of a pretentious idealist who rants a lot on Facebook. Reform truly happens with the Lord and with His Spirit in your heart.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Clean yourself of the religious values that prevented you from connecting to the Lord.

Then pray the simple prayer in one of my past Christianity articles. It’s located at the end of my article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols and you only need to click here.

Remember that the Lord always blesses the faithful abundantly and He really wants us, the faithful ones, to prosper, be happy, be good and be able to give to others. Along the way, we ourselves have responsibilities to handle and we are still responsible over our circumstances just as we receive love and blessings from the Lord.

Resist the devil (whose tools include covetousness, lust, the frustration caused by religion and wickedness) by always being faithful to Jesus whose victory we should always remember.

With faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit in your heart, you can be victorious, prosperous and happy eternally. Also never forget what Jesus said in Revelations 22:  12 in the Holy Bible.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

Carlo Carrasco’s Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

After five long years, we finally got ourselves another big budget Godzilla movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary – Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

I can declare it out loud that this new giant monsters movie, even though it has some notable flaws, is indeed a more enjoyable cinematic experience than the 2014 Godzilla movie (directed by Gareth Edwards). What I like about it is that the movie studio and the filmmakers responded to people’s complaints about the 2014 movie.

Screenshot_20190529-153930_YouTube.jpg
Godzilla and King Ghidora!

I will start with the strong points of the film with comparisons to the previous film. In the 2014 movie, people I talked with complained that there was not enough of Godzilla and the grand final battle was barely enough to make up for the monster’s lack of presence. This movie solves that with a lot more of Godzilla on screen and the final battle is grander! As sentimentalism was thrown out, the film also concludes a lot stronger as well!

Some people complained of the lack of giant monsters action in the 2014 film which had lots of slow scenes, a reliance on in-story news media coverage of disasters and an over-emphasis on building up suspense. Godzilla: King of the Monsters solves all of that by ramping up the giant monsters action (lots of monster battles with more than enough action to satisfy moviegoers), established a faster pace on storytelling (as a result, the movie never dragged and did not feel like a 131-minute movie at all), and noticeably reduced the news media focus as well as the suspense build-up.

In the 2014, Monarch’s purpose on monitoring the global presence of giant monsters was established and this sequel raised the stakes further pushing the organization on doing what it was established to do. Ken Watanabe’s Dr. Serizawa has noticeably less screen time due to “competition” for spotlight with the many other characters but the filmmakers managed to make the most out of him.

Screenshot_20190529-153804_YouTube.jpg
I can’t help but think that the filmmakers tried to outdo what Steven Spielberg did in Jurassic Park.

Speaking of giant monsters, this movie heavily outclassed its predecessor! Apart from Godzilla are other notable kaijus from the long-running Japanese Godzilla film franchise like the 3-headed dragon King Ghidorah, the deadly Rodan and the grand looking Mothra!

It is clear that director Michael Dougherty and the team made sure that each of those iconic monsters from Japanese cinema not only got sufficient screen time but also honored them with spectacular scenes! King Ghidorah really looks terrifying and even horrific. Rodan alone made the high-speed flying sequence in the film memorable while Mothra was a giant monster that very few people would wish to destroy.

Apart from the giant monsters action, the film’s action sequences are a big improvement over its predecessor even though there were some common action cinema elements recycled (note: tough guys with guns). There the definitely are a lot more thrills now that the suspense build-up has been reduced. Godzilla: King of the Monsters was clearly made to entertain and prevent moviegoers from getting bored.

Screenshot_20190529-153628_YouTube.jpg
The daughter and her mother played by Millie Bobby Brown and Vera Farmiga. Don’t let their smiles fool you because the cast in this film is the weakest element.

The movie obviously is not perfect. I never expected it to be perfect at all and as I suspected, the film’s biggest weakness is, again, its human characters. Like the 2014 film, this one has a cast of many people who were created to make moviegoers care for them as the story moves on. Clearly the filmmakers and the actors failed to deliver the goods but in fairness, the cast is more interesting compared with that of the 2014 movie.

In the 2014 Godzilla, the cast was weak, the characters were mostly not worth caring for and there were so many scenes with them. There were times back then I wished the character “development” scenes were cut to speed up the pace. In this sequel, the cast was nowhere as boring as their 2014 counterparts but their dialogue was either weak or had too much exposition (I felt like the characters explaining this and that were talking to the moviegoers).

Speaking of the script, the film failed to justify its concept of the Russell family which first appeared in a short scene (that took place during the 2014 film’s story). The family focus started decently with Vera Farmiga as Mrs. Russell (with her daughter living with her) working with a device that could help humanity gain some control over the giant monsters. As the story went on, the spotlight had to be divided by the large cast of characters and the monsters which ultimately made the Russell family less relevant. Kyle Chandler’s entry into the film as Mr. Russell did not save the family aspect of the story even though he proved to be the “instant resourceful and knowledgeable” character of them all.

While the cast had mostly one-dimensional characters, at least Charles Dance’s performance as the human villain proved to be interesting. Apart from being the leader of a team of armed personnel and having a history of being disillusioned with humanity which led him to becoming an anarchist eco-terrorist, there is still this element of mystery about him. Although he leads a group, could he be working discreetly for some sort of secret society or a group of elite people with sinister intentions for reforming the world? We won’t find out until the next movie.

Charles Dance casting in this film seems inspired. I remember how good he was in playing the villain in 1993’s Last Action Hero. His role is not very loud but still his presence in this movie is the best thing of the weak cast.

Other problems? As great as the giant monsters spectacle were, there were these camera framing problems. There were many monster action strikes that were “filmed” too close to the camera. I felt that the filmmakers tried too hard to deliver moviegoers the “in your face” action with the monsters and ultimately those efforts ended up being an annoying experience. With regards to storytelling, the plot is serviceable at best but, then again, we cannot expect a very engaging story with Godzilla so this is not a surprise. At the very least, this sequel’s plot works better than that of its predecessor. The plot here does not drag mainly because the filmmakers put heavy emphasis on spectacle and speed.

If there is an advantage the 2014 movie has over the sequel, it’s the sense of scale. The giant monsters are indeed gigantic but they moved rather fast for their size and this breaks the sense of scale for moviegoers. They looked gigantic but they don’t feel gigantic when in motion.

As for Milly Bobby Brown’s character, the scenes in which she escaped from the secret facility going into Boston and then entering the baseball stadium’s operation room without even being detected or prevented by security measures were just unbelievable. And I thought the concept of poor security in Terminator Salvation was bad. Oh yes, Bradley Whitford’s attempts on providing humor ended in failure. He was more annoying and never funny.

Screenshot_20190529-153731_YouTube.jpg
One of the three heads of King Ghidorah! Up-close, they look terrifying!

Overall, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is indeed highly entertaining and anyone who loves on-screen battles between giant monsters will surely enjoy it a lot. Its cast is weak (although nowhere as weak as the 2014 film), its storytelling is flawed and there were some parts that made the 2014 look better but still the good stuff outweighed the bad stuff. As far as Hollywood-made giant monster movies go, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is indeed the best!

Oh yes! One last thing! The playing of threads from the theme music from the 1954 Godzilla movie was a very nice touch and will resonate with any moviegoer who enjoyed the Japanese Godzilla films. Clearly the MonsterVerse continues to deliver the fun and greatness!

Bring on Godzilla vs. Kong!!!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

A Look Back At Prime #1

As a comic book collector, 1993 was a notable year. That year Marvel organized the 30th anniversary celebration of the Avengers and the X-Men (which I’m a fan of). Image Comics meanwhile released a lot more comics showcasing the works of many creators apart from the publisher’s Seven Founding Fathers. Over at DC Comics, Superman was brought back to life but after they started the Reign of the Superman storyline. Oh yes, there was Valiant which scored hits with Turok #1 and even partnered with some Image Comics creators to produce the Deathmate crossover comic books.

At one corner was Malibu Comics which made a brave entry into the highly competitive superhero genre of comic book publishing in America by launching the Ultraverse, a line of superhero comic books which was the result of brainstorming by several comic book creators (many who previously worked with Marvel and DC Comics).

They launched a lot of comics (all those with #1 on their covers) which made it on the walls and shelves of local comic book stores I visited. Among the many Ultraverse launch comic books displayed was Prime #1 which had a great cover drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

CoverPrime
The cover with nice art.

Co-written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones with art by Breyfogle, the comic book introduces readers to Prime, an overly muscular, caped man who tries to do something good but is quite flawed with his approach.

The story begins when Prime confronts a junior high school coach named Meyer accusing him of being a pervert. Meyer reacts surprised since he personally does not know Prime (“Who are you? What are you?”). He claims that he does not know what exactly the big guy knows. At the side were two high school girls witnessing the encounter.

And then Prime said his words, “I saw you, coach Meyer! I saw you on the basketball court in fifth period..touching those girls!”

Prime2

Prime3

The coach fought back causing Prime to react. Because the hero was not aware of his strength, he miscalculated with his grip on Meyer breaking his arm unintentionally. Prime’s reaction clearly showed his realizing his mistake.

The incident scared the one of the girls away and carelessly Prime tries to explain himself to the other girl standing by. He even called himself as the girl’s “protector and avenger”, telling her not to be afraid of him.

As it turned out, the incident was a recently past event within the narrative of the comic book which is a nice touch. The coach, already injured, gave his testimony expecting cash from a shadowy organization collecting information not only about Prime but the Ultras (the in-universe term referring to beings with super powers).

That’s as far as I will go with telling the plot details. Prime #1 should be read from start to finish and the good news is that old copies of it can be found online at affordable rates and there are lots of copies in overall good condition.

Other notable elements of Prime #1 worth discussing, without spoiling the plot, is the way the story was structured by Strazewski and Jones. At least for 1993, it somewhat defies the tradition of following the views of the protagonist. Instead, Prime is emphasized through the views of others from the injured coach to the soldiers and the media. This approach does not necessarily make Prime a supporting player in his own comic book but rather it was an efficient way of showing how he thinks and acts, what he is capable of doing and how he reacts to others. By the time the comic book ends (with a very intriguing ending no less), you will get to know Prime a lot.

I also liked the way the writers used corporate media as a key element on exploring the connecting elements of the Ultraverse. Hardcase is shown briefly while a reference was made on Prototype. Check out the page posted below on how corporate media looks at Prime.

Prime4
Corporate media exposure and conspiracy efficiently told in one page.

When it comes to the art, the late Norm Breyfogle (1960-2018) delivered visuals that had that cartoony look and yet the visual expressions are quite mature, even dark and gritty. It is a very nice approach and it is no surprise, looking back, that Breyfogle went on to draw a lot more issues of Prime for Malibu Comics. Breyfogle died on September 24, 2018 due to heart failure in Michigan. Before making his mark on the Ultraverse, the late artist drew a lot of comic books for DC Comics and is known for his contributions on Batman.

More on hero himself, Prime is a flagship character of the Ultraverse and the combined talents of the writers and artist were major factors behind it. On face value, Prime looks like the Ultraverse answer to DC Comics Superman but in reality he has a lot more common with Shazam/Captain Marvel. I can explain why but that means spoiling the plot more here.

Overall, Prime #1 is still a very good old superhero comic book to read. It is fun and intriguing from start to finish. Considering its very good quality and being a nice showcase of the talents of the creators, Prime #1 is one of the best Ultraverse launch comic books. It is too bad, however, that there are no signs from Marvel Entertainment (note: Marvel Comics acquired Malibu Comics in the mid-1990s) whatsoever on the possible revival of the Ultraverse which remains in limbo under them.

Even so, I still say that Prime #1 is highly recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Also if you are interested to join an Ultraverse-related community online, I recommend the Facebook group here.

Praise The Lord and Be Faithful To Him Eternally

Today is Sunday, the day the Lord made. Every Sunday, we go to church with our family members and our friends. We gather together not merely as a community of people but as faithful worshipers as well as a large spiritual family dedicated to praise and worship God and His Son Jesus.

Why go to church every Sunday? Is it because we do it as a tradition? No! Is it because we do it as an obligation? No! Is it because we practice religion? Absolutely not! We go to church on Sunday to praise and worship the Lord, learn the lessons from the Holy Bible (the ultimate authority filled with holy scriptures!), realize our true purpose as members of God’s Kingdom and be always faithful to Him! The praise and worship to the Lord are meant to be eternal!

Being faithful to the Lord is different from being religious. Religion, by nature, will frustrate you, will trap you, will limit you and will hinder you from truly connecting to God and His Son Jesus. I know! Because I experience that in my old life! To end the darkness and break away, I decided to truly reform myself by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Truly there is more to your relationship with God than there is to religion. To realize your true purpose under God, you need to be born again (read John 3: 3-7). You need to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and only then will the Holy Spirit come to you and place Itself in your heart. You have the power to decide and make it all happen. What could be better than entering the Kingdom of God and be recognized as one of His children and be blessed with Kingdom Wealth, love and peace?

If you are a lost soul or a religious person whose soul remains unsaved, it is not too late to be born again and truly receive the Holy Spirit. Upon realizing your true purpose under the Lord, you will become a new creation. You will learn to pray in tongues (praying with the spiritual language), read the Holy Bible and understand it and live with it, do tithing, singing praise to the Lord with Christian worship music performed by the church band (complete with drums and electric guitars), engage more with members of your spiritual family (as Born Again, you are all children of God and members of His Kingdom), learn more from the pastor (who communicates with God), learn a lot from the ministry, and then you will realize how essential praising and worshiping the Lord directly really is.

As a new creation, you will realize how unnecessary religion truly is. You also will realize the futility of worshiping idols, both the living and the man-made non-living idols. You don’t need religion to connect to the Lord…you need faith, be born again and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. You can break the chains of religion and get rid of all those idols! Get rid of those statues and those images of the living and non-living idols because they are not worth of worship. Certainly those idols are not worthy of praise!

If you want to be saved, refer to the prayer at the end of my faith article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols (published April 17, 2019).

Going back to praising the Lord directly, learn from the holy scriptures of Psalm 150 (Let All Things Praise the Lord) I prepared for you below.

Psalm 150: 1-6

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in His sanctuary!

Praise Him in His Mighty firmament!

Praise Him for His mighty acts;

Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet,

Praise Him with the lute and harp!

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;

Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Praise Him with loud cymbals;

Praise Him with clashing cymbals;

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,

Praise the Lord!

In concluding this piece, I embedded below the YouTube video of You Are Holy performed by Hillsong Worship. This is an example of praising the Lord with the performance of Christian worship music done by a band with singers playing with true holiness.

May you have a very blessed Sunday and keep strong faith in the Lord.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com