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Dramatic Insights News

All the latest goings-on with Greg and Jenn Wright, Hollywood Jesus Books and DIM.

About Greg & Jenn Wright: Greg and Jenn Wright have been married since 1999, and share passions for God, drama, literature and movies (among other things). In 2003, they were honored as Best Actor and Best Actress in a production of While the Lights Were Out at Redwood Theatre in Redmond, Washington; since then, health issues have kept them off the stage. Freelance writers and editors, they both have degrees in Literature and Theology, and are proud to be members of Harambee Church in Renton. Greg is Writer in Residence at Puget Sound Christian College in Everett, Washington, and is the author of Peter Jackson in Perspective: The Power Behind Cinema's The Lord of the Rings (HJ Books, 2004) and Tolkien in Perspective: Sifting the Gold from the Glitter (VMI, 2003). Together, they have edited and published a number of other books.
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We Did It!!!

And being there was itself not the biggest obstacle! Our doctors, naturally, were most concerned about the risk of injury and exposure to infection—uncontrolled, unsanitary conditions, contaminants in the water, lack of ordinary conveniences like showers and toilets.

And then there were the feeding issues—TPN for the PICC line, and cans of liquid nutrition for tube feeding, plus problems of electrolyte replacement and hydration.

But thanks to some good luck with weather, a great boat crew, helpful raftmates, and oodles of past experience, all that turned out to be rather inconsequential.

The real ordeal was just getting there, and getting the various hospitals, home healthcare agencies, medical suppliers, and the outfitter all on the same page. Clearly, adventure travel with PICC lines and feeding tubes is just not a run-of-the-mill thing.

But we owe big chunks of gratitude to Sandy Harmer at Western River, our guides Steve and Johnathan, Joy and Jamie at Coram, and Doctors Patterson, Thirlby, and Hohmann at Virgina Mason.


But what a trip...

Recent Reviews

Greg reviews: First-time director Pink just gives us a passably-made yawner that finds as many excuses as possible to field the acronym SHIT—as if that’s the absolute pinnacle of sophomoric humor. Personally, I’d have been thrilled if Hannibal Lecter had come along and chased down not only Dean Van Horne but every one of these nitwits—Bartleby Gaines included. The problem is that Accepted is designed as a John Cusack vehicle—only Cusack is now too old to play the central role, and the spirit of the film is locked into a certain 1980’s John Hughes mentality.

The Descent
Greg reviews at Hollywood Jesus: Neil Marshall tells a grisly and claustrophobic tale of survival. Occasionally, Marshall’s low budget gets the better of this film, but by and large The Descent works remarkably well—both as a horror film, and as pure entertainment. But one thing is for sure. This movie will not be everyone’s cup of tea. For some, the spelunking itself will be too intense. For others, the violence will be too graphic or distasteful. For those who can get past the darkness and bleak ferocity of the story, however, there’s a powerful message lurking under the surface.
And comments at Looking Closer: The Descent transcends the conventions of both the adventure-gone-awry and the horror flick. In fact the film this most reminds me of—in terms of inventiveness, symbolism, and thematic content—is Apocalypse Now! The third act of The Descent borrows directly from Coppola’s visual and thematic toolkit. Like Coppola, Marshall juxtaposes symbols of primitive survival—animal skulls instead of Coppola’s stone faces—with increasingly savage and impassive human visages, primarily those of Juno and Sarah, the story’s central characters. They must become primeval in order to defeat the primeval.

Greg reviews at Hollywood Jesus: Audiences may respond to the central message of the film: that selfless sacrifice is noble and worthy. “A strong man stands up for himself,” Ben tells Otis, “but a stronger man stands up for others.” And that’s certainly true. But why not take that concept a step further? Why stop at drawing the boundary at the barnyard fence? Borders always provide the definition of who’s on the inside and who’s on the outside. And while it is indeed noble to stand up for your family, your team, or your country—those on the inside— who’s standing up for those on the outside?
And comments at Looking Closer: To be fair, Barnyard even makes some nice points about adoption and other social concerns. But if you missed the distracting incongruity of my synopsis, you can’t fail but note it when you see the movie: Ben and Otis are cows. Cows. Not bulls. They’re cows. With udders. Otis stands udder to udder with Ben and calls him “father.” This makes my head spin. Is there something wrong with me??

Greg reviews: Buried underneath the Adam Sandler formula, the Man-Learns-A-Lesson-About-Life formula also struggles for credibility. The struggle is worthy, if not terribly convincing. Newman does learn that his family’s opinion is more important than his boss’s. He does learn that time is fleeting, and it’s better to enjoy what you’ve got before it all passes you by. He does learn that the mistakes you make with your children can have devastating downstream effects. But Click seems like nothing more than an over-extended gag-reel metaphor for family-man Sandler’s struggle to pay proper attention to both Home and Work. Click also seems to demonstrate that Adam Sandler the Producer has yet to strike the right balance.

Further Archives

January 2005

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