David Bruce


with comments by David Bruce

I receive a lot of e-mail.  I am not able to post all the mail. I have included a good sampling, however.  If the subject is the same I might group the newer messages with similar older ones.  Also, my response may appear a few days after the original posting. I can't do HJ everyday.  You must include your "name" and e-mail address within your comment if you want it posted, otherwise it will not be posted (there is a privacy issue here and we respect that).  I do, however, encourage you to give your "name" and e-mail so others can respond to you personally.
E-mail and Comments:
This page was last updated on July 18, 2001

Subject: O_Brother_Where_Art_Thou
Date: 6 Jul 2001
From: Ethan efro21@icqmail.com

Great movie--Anyone have any idea what the significance the eyes have in this movie? There must be at least five characters with unusual eyes; either blind, or missing one, or wearing sunglasses. It has been a while since I've read the Odyssey. Are these all classical references to Homer? Or is there a good spiritual reason for giving the characters different eye conditions?
Feel free to post my e-mail address:
Ethan <>

Subject: Park Community Church Newsletter_26
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001
From: stephanie

Although I can't speak for where the church would stand on R-rated movies. I do have to say that I have found a church (the first one in my 30 years of attendance) that truly respects the faith journey process, no matter where you are. They are a bible teaching place that respects and welcomes people that are all along the continuum (atheist, agnostic, believer). The church is in downtown Chicago and it is called Park Community Church www.parkcommunitychurch.org

Many blessings and keep up the good work, I find your site refreshing and a wonderful way to witness to others who share my love for movies Stephanie Ricke This message is for the designated recipient only and may contain privileged or confidential information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the email by you is prohibited.


Subject: AI AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001
From: David Morrissey

Even though the story seemed to fade towards the end, I still enjoyed AI very much and (as all great movies do) it got me to think. The most amazing thing about the movie was how it looked. Even if you hated the story, you couldn't deny that Speilberg did an excellent job of making the screen look magical. Beyond that, I thought the story did a couple things to expand my imagination.

First of all, the movie, because it takes place far in the future and goes even farther by the end, it really expanded my belief of how big God really is. I was truly humbled when I realized that God is so much bigger than my life, than David's life, and than the years and years that pass in the story.

The second reason I liked it is because of how real and personal it made our quest (as humans) for "higher meaning". Joe and David even bring it up in the movie. I thought it amazing that even as a robot, David's only goal was unconditional love. The thought of that made God's gift of grace also so much more amazing.

AI is a great movie for anyone who enjoys sci-fi and a great discussion starter too.
David Morrissey
Youth Pastor
Waukeenah, FL

Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
From: "Daniel Baer"

Dear David, This letter is my two cents worth regarding A.I.

In a nutshell, I didn't much care for the movie. "In-this-world" science fiction (as opposed to fantasy science fiction) should have the feel of plausibility to it. A.I. stumbles on this count in various ways.

For example, the emotion/logic dichotomy introduced in the film--wherein the old-style robots have logical minds but not emotional ones--seems artificial. Scientists who are studying A.I. know that if a machine were to develop consciousness it would have to be of quite a different quality than the "deep blue" machines which play chess so well. Deep-blue type machines are logical but have no consciousness. Humans who play chess well (and lets not forget that grand masters still more often than not beat the chess machines) solve chess problems in an entirely different manner from that of the deep-blue type machine. Deep blues "think" through billions of possibilities; humans seem to leap over most and concentrate on those relatively few possibilities which show the most promise (this is called solving the framework problem). Merely increasing a computer's speed or the number of possibilities which it can think of per second will not bring about consciousness. Spielberg, though, seems to believe the idea that conscious-attaining machines will follow after some point in the progression of computers of today--that is, after they have attained a certain amount of computational power. Hence, he arrives at the conclusion that these first machines will be logical but not emotional. Also, even if machines were to have logical but not emotional consciousness--it is doubtful that such machines would do humans much good in their day-to-day tasks. An analogous situation is the genie who keeps on getting the wishes wrong of his master--because he doesn't understand his master's intent. A computer without emotion would be extremely user-unfriendly because it would have no idea of what its master's intent was unless its master expressed this intent in an extremely cumbersome, technical jargon (i.e., computer programmer's jargon).

Other problems: How is it that Monica can be resurrected for one day only? In the hard sciences, constants generally are vanishingly small or of astronomical proportions (think Avogadro's number). The idea that there exists a constant in the space-time continuum of "from sun-up to sun-down" somehow rings on the contrived side.

Also, if David imprinted onto Monica, why couldn't the robots of 2,000 years into the future simply create a simulation of Monica which would make David happy? Obviously David didn't imprint onto Monica's personality--the imprinting process occurred only after Monica said five words--therefore, the imprinting must have involved Monica's looks, her voice, or her handprint (she was holding David behind the neck). These things could easily be duplicated by the futuristic robots (with or without a strand of hair).

Also, why do Professor Hobby's speeches to David just so happen to explain so much and also advance the plot along. Again, things seem contrived. I found it difficult to believe that the speeches just happened as opposed to being "set up" by Spielberg to move the story to the next plot point. Also, what about the manner in which David's memories show up on the futuristic robots' faces? Never mind that today we have computers which have screens that fit right in front of one's eyes--2,000 years in the future they'll still have full-facial screens. This wouldn't have anything to do with Spielberg attempting to "show not tell" something, would it?
Sincerely, Daniel Baer

Subject: ai AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001
From: Ken Tunnell

Greetings David,
I've been visiting your website for years now and thank you for the work. Our views on Christianity and movies are generally similar (to give you a real quick sketch of where I'm coming from I'll use our common language and tell you my five favorite films - The Matrix; BladeRunner; Chariots of Fire; MP's Holy Grail & Life of Brian and I trust The Lord of the Rings Trilogy will usurp something from this list); but, we are far apart on AI. I left the theater feeling the film had several serious flaws - and upon further reflection have divided these into plot and message.

First, the more mundane area of plot. That the father would be so involved in the beginning and then fade away for no apparent reason was troublesome. I found it quite odd that the mother would imprint alone - I saw this as a spiritual scene also, but more reminiscent of Eve's Temptation and Fall in wanting to be like God (by creating a being to love her outside of the natural order). Interesting that in the Fall story, Eve is also alone (some have indicated that this reveals the male's primary sin of disattachment, of not engaging - but that's a different topic all together). And again at the abandonement, father is remote and absent. The death of Joe's regular customer just seems a quick and dirty method to move Joe into the escape story (OK, so Moses killed and that's why he fled too - but in the film it just seems to come out of nowhere, better to have Joe kill a human who was abusing someone). At the Flesh Fair I saw the turning of the audience against the "prophet" as utterly unrealistic - if these were truly rebelling against artificiality, then David should have been the epitomy of anethema. That he escapes so easily does not ring true (as for the baby Jesus imagery, it would have been much more true to have him pursued - Herod certainly did). It is the triumph of appearance over substance, but I'm getting into the message part. So, they find the place where the lions weep in a wasteland, but lo, this is a highly sophicticated assembly plant for mechas. Where's the infrastructure? Who in their right mind would do this here? The Cain/Abel scene seemed gratuitous and just furthered ambivalent feelings towards David. If the creator wanted him to come home (seemingly of his own free will - "we gave you just enough information"), why did they just let him escape? Where did they go? It seemed inevitable that we would have the creator/being conflict ala Frankenstien or BladeRunner. But no, the creator just disappears. How can spinach totally inactivate him but freezing salt water is no problem? Why do the cops show up and only take Joe? What the heck does he mean by saying "I AM, I WAS" as he ascends? Is Joe the Christ figure, leaving David to sort it all out? I just found myself repeatedly thinking, this makes no sense. Yes, it's a fairy tale, but they especially need to make sense on the mundane level or the message is further diluted.

Hmm, quite a rant it seems. Now on to the message part. In the beginning scene, a colleague of the creator asks if this is an ethical issue, and they all seem to be amused by it - as if some reference to the world being flat has just been made. So, David is set out for a test run by the creator - with seemingly little preparation for the real world and no further guidance by the creator. It seems that all you need is love. David is cast out of his own garden of Eden and left to make his way in the fallen world. To help him we get two creatures who are admittedly less than he is. He finds his creator only to realize that David's purpose is to be just a cog in the industrial machine (he is not unique) so it's escape once more. He prays to his God for two thousand years and when he finally gets to touch his God archetype, it is hollow and crumbles. So, he settles for the appearance, the facsimile of his Garden of Eden, his paradise. The triumph of appearance over substance. This film left me with a very hopeless materialism - and if God or anything supernatural exists it is either uninvolved or just in it for fun and profit (I wonder if this is why the creato's name is "Hobby").

I agree that the film is technically a treat, but I found the plot devices to be very weak and the message quite in contrast to the Christian worldview. In your review, you state that, "Again, in a very real sense, the film is about the search for true humanity, love and God." If this is so, then the film would seem to say, none of it exists - so the best you can do is just settle for your own little dream. Realize that this is a quick lunch-break review, so if there's anything that doesn't make sense or seems undeveloped, please ask me to clarify.
Under The Mercy,
Ken Tunnell

Subject: JesusMiniSeries
Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2001
From: viviena

hi! i'm from Malaysia, an islamic country in the far east and i saw this miniseries in DVD.

it is a very interesting story. it makes me laugh & cry at the same time and also love the fact that there are two women in love with jesus (mary magdalene's affections is truly transparent).

bravo to jeremy sisto for his sexiness in the epic. thanks

Subject: Rosemarys Baby
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001
From: georgie141@webtv.net (Georgie Osborne)


Response: There is no part 2, that I know of. -David

Subject: Final Fantasy
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001
From: Kevin Hooper

First things first, the movie carries a PG-13 rating, not PG as mentioned in the review under the cast listing. This is due to the violent nature of the film, as well as some profane phrases which were spackled into the script. Secondly, seeing as how none of the sequels of the game used any of their predecessors for back-story and were basically 9 (so far) mostly unrelated games, Brian's rant about the movie not being based on the games is rather a moot point. Thirdly, and possibly most important to the theme behind this site, is the fact that there is about a 99% chance that no pre-meditated Christian influence went into the screenplay for this movie. That does not say, however, that you cannot get something out of this movie that is relevant to our daily effort to walk with God. (This from a guy who once used Monty Python's "Dead parrot" skit for a group devotion). I am a huge fan of the games, and have noticed that, in all of the games, no matter how powerful the enemy, or how hopeless the situation, the Heroes always come out on top. Otherwise, how could you beat the game? Many times, the heroes cannot make it on their own, & have to put their faith in other things that were once strange to them, whether it is Espers, Gardian Forces, or whatever. Kind of familiar, don't you think? Many christians still cannot explain alot about their faith, & noone here on earth can ever know everything about God, yet we put our faith in Him, and through Him, we overcome obstacles that are much bigger than ourselves. Expect the same type of parrallel in the movie. Thank you for your time.
-Kevin Hooper

Subject: Vertical Limits
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001
From: Helen

I can see Vertical Limit as almost a modern-day parable of Luke 10:1-11, when Jesus sends out folks in pairs to do his work, with nothing extra.

In Vertical Limit, the rescue team has to work in pairs. We need to do this (but often don't) as Christian Disciples.

In Vertical Limit, rescuers could only take what they could easily carry. In Luke 10, Jesus tells the disciples to take very little. And today, we should not take "baggage" with us as Christian Disciples.

In Vertical Limit, the head of the rescue team puts pairs together not by how comfortable they are with each other, but by pairing a strong climber with a weaker one. In our Christian Discipleship, we may also be able to get more done for God's Kingdom by becoming paired in new ways where we can help each other.

I see lots of parallels between this movie and bible story. Thanks for your site!
peace- helen+

Subject: Pearl Harbor
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001
From: Sarah

I enjoy reading your movie reviews, though I admit I haven't been to your site for about a month. I was visiting this afternoon, though, and I wanted to let you know a few things about Pearl Harbor which are inaccurate.

First, in talking about Roosevelt, you say:
I really appreciated the films portrayal of President Roosevelt in a wheel chair. It is not the first film to do this, but I think it is the first film to portray it as a strength. One of the most tremendous scenes in the film is when Roosevelt is faced with a table full of US military leaders who have nothing but "can't do" excuses. Roosevelt places his hands on the sides of his wheelchair and struggles to stand. With great effort he finally stands on his withered legs, "Don't tell me that it can not be done." That's great, but that scene never actually happened.

The directors, when asked, said no, it didn't happen in real life, but "it should have." I thought the scene was touching, as well, but it's sad that, from now on, there will be a misconception that it really happened. (Of course, the scene never actually happened -David)

Second, you say of the shot of the boys in Hawaii playing baseball as the Japanese planes flew overhead:
Nobody plays a baseball game this early on a Sunday morning. It's placed in the film as symbolic of the shift from innocence to devastation. From Paradise to Paradise lost. It is the Garden of Eden story couched in an actual historical event.

That's not true. There were actually boys playing baseball as the planes flew by overhead. It wasn't an actual game, just boys playing ball. That's one of the few details of that dat that the film portrayed accurately. Yes, it was early, but these are children. Children get up and play very early. Can you even imagine what those boys were thinking? They likely didn't even know what those planes meant, and 10 minutes later, their world was just shattered. (Thank you, I did not know there were boys practicing baseball. But, still, there was no game. The game was symbolic of America's loss of innocense. Thank you for the info).

You certainly pegged the sexuality thing on the mark, though. I really was glad that the director chose to have Rafe and Evylyn not have sex. That's likely the choice they would have made back then. And I was equally glad to see old-fashioned values come into play when Evylyn chose to stay with Danny, because he was the father of her child, rather than return to Rafe.

Anyway, I appreciate your website, I just wanted to point out a few inaccuracies. (I appreciate your kind words. Thank you. -David)

Subject: No Subject Rosemarys Baby
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001
From: linda oliver

anyone know who played satan? the 'official' cast list says 'clay tanner' i've also heard it was anton lavey, founder of the church of satan (1966), rewarded with the role for 'technical advice' (?) the truth is out there..........
linda oliver

Subject: Update on Blair Witch Secrets BW2
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001
From: Scott

My wife posted her Esrever page a couple of months ago which contains the secrets. We recently found that if you go to BlairWitch.com, click "search" and type in some of the words "hidden" in the movie "Seek me no further or" you get to enter your name on a list of people that have found the secret. If you enter other words in the search feature such as "bring something back" I believe you get an extra scene for the movie and a screensaver. I don't exactly recall since it's been so long since we found this out. Hope this helps!

Subject: Tomb Raider
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001
From: Mike

Don't expect too much form this movie! After seeing The Return of the Mummy (5 stars), Tomb Raider seem a little too tame and the story lacked content. I'm a Tomb Raider fan of Lara Croft and enjoy playing the games. If the producers could have beefed up the special effects and created longer action scenes it may have reached some of my expectation. They left out Lara's famous under water scenes and other stunts that are expected by gamers. The games are better than the movie though I expected the movie to be better than the games. Also, if the movie left out some of the provocative scenes (the showers and a few bad words, which are not in the games) that would have made me feel more comfortable bring my children to see the movie. I give the movie 3 stars.


Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001
From: "Traci"

I am surprised that there are so many christians who don't recognize something bad when they see it. Now I like movies as much as the next person maybe a little more. I like Sci-Fi best of all. I wait and wait for the next good one to come out. I am not in a rush to like them all though. You have to be espectially discriminating when it comes to S. F. Don't be fooled by the good feeling generated by this movie. It is full of hatred of the human race as a whole. The humans are the bad guys in this movie and the only enlightened and good beings are artificial intelligence or aliens. I knew from the first few lines of the movie what I was in for. Humans had destroyed the earth and caused the polar ice caps to melt. Humans were only out for what they could get and on there way to decimating themselves which we saw happened soon enough in the movie. They were nearly all selfish, mean, and violent.

Response: Actually Traci, there is a great devotion toward humans at the end of the film and a real search for true humanity and human value throughout the entire film. To miss this is to miss the intent of the film. There is a cautionary note about the harmful exploits of humanity toward the environment, but this should not be read as hatred for humanity.

In terms of humanity, according to the Bible, "all have sinned... there are none righteous." It is human rebellion that brings the apocalypse (as in the movie). The Bible also teaches that God's wrath will be poured out on humanity. Do you see the Bible as filled with "hatred of the human race" because of these statements? By the way Traci, there are no aliens in the film. Those "aliens" represent the works of humanity. According to scriptures, after the "end of the world" (as in the movie) humanity will be judged by their works (as in the movie). Spielberg personifies our works as Mechas. I think, Traci, you are confusing your political views with biblical teaching. -David

Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001
From: Mark

Paul said, "The key to a righteous life is to believe in hope." David was the only character to have hope, and hope in something more powerful than man or machine. And he was rewarded." A wonderful film.

Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001
From: Michael Franz

While other "Christian" reviewers seem to do nothing but complain about the number of "f"-words in a movie, you always seem to find profound spiritual meaning in the most unlikely of places. It's people like you that restore my faith, not just in God, but in humanity. There's a review of AI from another Christian site that is much like your own. I think you might find it interesting. It's at http://promontoryartists.org/lookingcloser/ai.htm. I've never seen such a comprehensive and deep look at ANY movie before.
Check it out!
Michael Franz

Response: Thanks for the good words.

Subject: AI
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001
From: "Hiawatha Bray"

The bad reviews for this movie leave me mystified. I think it's the best SF film in years, and one of the best movies Spielberg has ever made.
Hiawatha Bray
Technology Reporter
Boston Globe

Response: Absolutely. This is an amazing film. Critics should take a second look at this important film. There is nothing else like it. -David

Subject: Robo Cop
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001
From: "Can Nakkas"

Just a few thoughts on the RoboCop-Christ comparison:

1) According to the Mediabreak clip in the beginning, 31 cops were murdered, then the severely wounded Fredrickson dies, too. So when Murphy dies that makes him victim number 33. Christ was 33 when he was crucified (at least according to Christian lore). And just like Christ was resurrected, Murphy comes back to life as RoboCop.

2) If you look at Murphy's first name, it's Alex. One could interpret this as a Greek-Roman composite , a-lex, i.e. "no law". Christ came to liberate us from the law (cf. Letter to the Romans).

Subject: Final_Fantasy
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2001
From: ictnet

Is not easy to speak about a film not yet aired. But my feelings are that this fila, as 7th art, will be among the good ones. Because the acting, the script, the story, the sound. and not because the actors are computer generated. This will be the success for this film.

I'm really waiting to see it. The trailer is exciting and full of promises. I hope those promises will become true too.

Subject: Fort White UMC Newsletter #26
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001
From: "Jeff Peppers"

David, Your story of your encounter with some narrow-minded Christians was quite enlightening. As a word of personal encouragement to you, David, let me encourage you not to fall into the same trap of

I pastor a small United Methodist Church in a rural part of North Florida (Lower Georgia, really) -- not exactly a bustling cosmopolitan arts pool. We show movies to 15 to 20 teenagers on Friday nights (in fact, they should start arriving here in about 90 minutes). We don't show only G or PG movies. In fact, most are rated R or PG-13. [Note: if they're rated R because of sexual stuff or excessive profanity, we don't watch it.]

But we don't just view these movies for entertainment. From your reviews and other websites, I assemble discussion questions, and we all read the applicable scriptures together out of our pew Bibles, and then we discuss the Biblical concept.Usually we do the Bible lesson first, then watch the movie, then (when they're tired and sleepy-eyed) we look for the illustrations. Almost always, they identify the scenes we had in mind, and sometimes go a little further. Then we go have ice cream or something in the fellowship hall.

having said that, I can understand the views of others who might not be as open minded as we are. Your reference to defilement coming out versus going in was perhaps out of context. Certainly, the other party could have responded with references that about where your heart is, about our call to meditate on the word of God, and whatsoever things are of good report... You get what I'm saying, I'm sure, David. There is an ad on our local Christian radio station, goes something like this: "Man, that garden just won't grow. I tilled, fertilized, water it. But all I get is weeds." "What seeds did you use?" "Seeds?" Jesus said, if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out; it's better to be blind than to burn."

So I guess I'm middle of the road. To some, a flaming liberal who allows trash into the minds of formative kids and calls it gospel. To others, a narrow minded fundamentalist advocating long dresses and no makeup.

Interested to know your take, if you have time. God bless you in your vital ministry, David.

Jeff Peppers
Pastor, Fort White UMC
Fort White, Florida

Response: Teaching youth how to think, react and most importantly dialogue with the world around them is a valuable gift. Keep on doing what you are doing. Jesus took his disciples into the world to train them. Today we isolate them from the world.

Subject: Truman Show
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001
From: Thomas

Much has been said of the movies' religious themes: (I think it is a negatvie comment on faith in the Christ). But, what about T.V. Come on. T.V. has taken over the world for the last 30 years. People want to watch others live and will all go along with the deception and not even world governments are as strong as Television. True, there is a vocal minority (as is stated in the movie) but materialism conquers even even faith in the Christ and eventually death is the only way out according to the movie. Lot's -o- stuff in the film
--thanks. Thomas

You are on Comments page 93
Index to all the comments May 03 to Sep 12, 2001
For more recent comments click here
Go to page 109
Sep 08-12, 2001
Go to page 108
Sep 01-07, 2001
Go to page 107 Aug 30-31, 2001
Go to page 106 Aug 26-29, 2001
Go to page 105 Aug 24-25, 2001
Go to page 104
Aug 21-23, 2001
Go to page 103
Aug 18-20, 2001
Go to page 102
Aug 12-17, 2001
Go to page 101
Aug 07-11, 2001
Go to page 100 Aug 03-06, 2001
Go to page 99
Aug 01-02, 2001
Go to page 98 July31, continued
Go to page 97
July28-31, 2001
Go to page 96 July 20-27 2001
Go to page 95
July16-19, 2001
Go to page 94 July 07-15, 2001
Go to page 93 July 01-06, 2001
Go to page 92
June 23-30, 2001
Go to page 91 June 20-22, 2001

Go to page 90 June 15-19, 2001
Go to page 89
June 13-14, 2001
Go to page 88 June 12, coninued
Go to page 87
June 11-12, 2001
Go to page 86
June 11, coninued
Go to page 85
June 11, 2001
Go to page 84 June 10, coninued
Go to page 83
June 10, coninued
Go to page 82
June 09-10, 2001
Go to page 81
June 03-08, 2001
Go to page 80
June 01-03, 2001
Go to page 79
May 29-31, 2001
Go to page 78
May 24-28, 2001
Go to page 77
May 22-23, 2001
Go to page 76
May 22 coninued
Go to page 75
May 12-21, 2001
Go to page 74
May 06-11, 2001
Go to page 73
May 03-05, 2001

For earlier comments click here

Your Comments.
Post your thoughts for all to read.
Please include your "name." I will not post your e-mail address unless you want me to.

Your Private Comments.
I will not post these comments. What are your personal thoughts?  I also welcome your spiritual concerns and prayer needs.  I will correspond with you, usually within two weeks.

Hollywood Jesus News Letter
Receive the Hollywood Jesus Newsletter FREE.
Sign up here