Soundtrack Review: The Next Three Days

The Next Three Days
(Music from the Motion Picture)
Composer: Danny Elfman
Running Time: 70 min.
Released: 2011

 

 

I must admit that Danny Elfman has never been one of my favorite film composers. Even so, his score for the 2010 thriller The Next Three Days blew me away. Instead of an uninspired collection of action cues, Elfman’s score is surprisingly poignant and deep, blending quiet humanity with desperation, urgency, and heartache.

Prologue opens the album with a bevy of strings and a short, sweet piano theme that’s hard to forget once it gets inside your head. Pittsburgh’s Tough is a genuinely moving piece (all the more so if you’ve seen the film), while Don Quixote and It’s On let loose with dramatic intensity. A Warning is slow, bittersweet, and haunting; it’s followed Breakout, a brilliant cue marked by edgy string writing and a sprinkling of electronica. The Truth pretty much wraps things up, and of all the tracks, it’s probably the most hopeful. Also included on the album are two songs by Moby, Mistake and Be the One.

Buy the MP3 album on Amazon.com or iTunes.

Flotsam & Jetsam (4/4)

Robbed Hell – One of the best video responses to Rob Bell I’ve encountered so far.

Why Christians Should Read in the Mainstream – Another great article by Challies. “Though I am glad to see many Christians reading many books, I believe there is value in reading not only deeply but also widely. And this means that Christians should read more than just Christian books—we should read books that are in the cultural mainstream.”

B is for Book Giveaway – Petra is hosting a giveaway of Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed. Go ahead and enter! Done? Good. Now check this out.

J.C. Ryle Book Giveaway: April – Eric, over at J.C. Ryle Quotes, is hosting a giveaway of Ryle’s The Upper Room.

Laughter – Like the title says, check your pulse if this doesn’t make you smile.

Google Autocompleter – “Ever wonder how Google made Google Instant so fast? Wonder no longer…”

Progressive Church – Funny. And yet, not so funny, because it’s true.

“A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.” ~ C. S. Lewis

Like the Passing Cloud on the Summer’s Day

“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy!” John 16:20

“The sorrow of the Christian must be transient. It is like the passing cloud on the summer’s day; or the chill of winter which must give place to the genial warmth of spring.

“Beloved, if you now have sorrow – then your sorrow also shall soon be turned into joy; for joy is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

“Heaviness may endure for the night – but joy comes in the morning.

“The sin that causes your sorrow – shall be pardoned and subdued.

“The foes that disturb your peace – shall be converted or destroyed.

“The clouds that obscure your sun – shall soon dissolve in showers of blessing on your favored head.

“The hard and weary road between you and your eternal home – will soon be passed! The days of your mourning will be ended, and those who now go forth weeping, bearing precious seed – shall soon return with songs of everlasting joy!”

~ James Smith, The Pastor’s Evening Visit

HT Grace Gems

Book Review: The Terminal Man

Ever since a brutal car accident, Harry Benson has been prone to sudden, violent seizures that render him a danger to himself and everyone near him. But there may be a cure. Dr. Roger McPherson – esteemed head of the Neuropsychiatric Research Unit at University Hospital in LA – is certain he can help Benson through Stage Three: a unique experimental surgery in which electrodes are placed on the patient’s brain, targeting its pleasure centers with soothing electrical pulses.

The operation is successful, and for a while, Benson seems to improve. But when he figures out how to get the pulses with increasing frequency, events take a sharp turn and he escapes into the city – a psychopath with a deadly agenda.

Let me begin by saying that I typically enjoy this kind of story. The premise of this techno-thriller by Michael Crichton really does fascinate me. It had such promise, such potential for resulting in an absolute gem of science fiction. It is unfortunate, then, that this potential remains unrealized, resulting in a lackluster tale that amazes the reader with its ability to underwhelm.

For starters, Crichton’s characters are a wreck. They’re stale, cardboard cutouts that show little depth and no development throughout the course of the story. Even the maniacal Benson failed to arouse any sort of interest in me. We also have the stereotypical independent female – you know, the one who ends up making all her male peers look like a bunch of idiots.

For another thing, the plotting really lacks the intensity requisite to this type of fiction. No genuine suspense is generated by the goings-on; and far from being persuaded of the precariousness of the situation, I felt like yawning.

Which brings me to the ending, the supposed “climax” of the whole shebang. I can sum it up in one word: pathetic. Upon finishing the book, I said to myself, That’s it? Really? After all I trudged through, that’s it?

Can this story get any worse? Yes. It can.

There’s plenty of profanity scattered throughout Crichton’s story, but worse than that is the amount of sexual content, consisting of tasteless humor, crude dialogue, and suggestive behavior (one entire chapter takes place in a strip club). And this risque trash is necessary to a good story in what way?

This review is merely my long-winded way of advising you to avoid this book like the plague. You’re not missing anything. Except garbage.