Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church
in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of
individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists
of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike
also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer.
To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org.
In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf,
Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film.
Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66." His
reviews include The Mummy Returns.
Amistad, The Apostle,
Cell, Hurricane, Dr
Dolittle 2, ELO -Zoom, Frequency,
The Patriot, Me,
Myself and Irene, Pearl Harbor,
Rush Hour 2, Shrek,
Extreme Days, The
Last Castle, Serendipity, Ali,
Potter, Lord of the Rings,
Jimmy Neutron, Mothman,
Black Hawk Down, Scorpion
Holy Jahosephat Batman, Spider-Man has a new movie. A new movie indeed,
in what could very well be the newest, biggest baddest and best superhero
movie ever. What is surprising however, is that not only is this an
incredibly fun filled movie, it is also full of Spiritual references
and significance. It is quite possible that Spider-Man is the most
Spiritual of all super heroes and this movie adaptation helps prove
it, what is even clearer is that his Spirituality is rooted in Christianity.
get me wrong; I'll readily admit that it is hard to be objective
of this movie. I longed for its release after seeing the trailers
more than a year ago; I even remember the original trailer that
had Ol' Spidey slinging a web to catch a helicopter between the
buildings of the World Trade Center. That ad was later pulled and
no component of the Trade Centers is included in the official release.
But am I opinionated? You bet, Spider-Man was and still is my favorite
comic book and super hero and for a comic book collector that's
a big deal. I was the first in the theater to grab a seat for the
first showing on the first day of release. I even took my son with
me, which meant him missing a half a day of school. I also sit here
writing this review in my favorite Spider-Man T-shirt. So, you can
see that this 40 something plus man still has a longing for the
days of his youth.
the true die hard fan, like myself, may be a little disappointed
in some aspects of the movie, the over capacity crowd at the theater
I was at wasn't applauding all through the movie for nothing. This
is a movie that has substance, not only substance but also a fun
couple of hours that you won't soon forget. As the old saying goes,
this film has legs, 8 to be exact, after all it is Spider-Man, but
this movie also has much more. There is a captivating love story,
an evil villain played magnificently by Willem Dafoe, but it is
also a story of a young man finding himself and the need to discover
his own spiritual truth and purpose.
many movies hint at the spiritual search of its players, Spider-Man
is wide open and clear about Peter Parker's search. He has a girl
whom he has loved since the 1st grade, but despite his love he holds
true to his moral upbringing. He also has an Aunt and Uncle who
not only love him but also have had a tremendous impact on his upbringing
and morality. This family makes it a point to pray before meals
and Aunt May has a nightly prayer, bedside, on her knees. We
even see her attacked by a demonic enemy who taunts her as she prays
the Lord's Prayer with its petition to deliver her from evil. The
surprising thing is that it later becomes clear that the God she
is praying to does just that.
Uncle Ben also has tremendous spiritual impact in helping raise
Peter Parker. He reminds Peter that people who are given great power
need to remember to use it for good and in a way that will bring
purpose and meaning to those around them in life. While not directly
mentioned, one can't help but wonder if Uncle Ben, played wonderfully
by Cliff Robertson, is warning Peter of the power of the Holy Spirit
that Jesus informed the disciples about. This concept is certainly
one that is portrayed beautifully from the perspective that Christians
who know Jesus and have the Holy Spirit should use the power appropriately
not only to serve their fellow man but also to serve as living models
by doing good deeds through their lives.
web slinging (appropriate spidey terminology since Spider-Man doesn't
technically fly,) is incredible. These have to be some of the best
special effects ever filmed. There are several scenes in which you
almost believe that someone is really slinging webs. This is especially
true in the sequences where Spider-Man is learning to use his web
slinging abilities. There is also a wonderful ensemble cast led
surprisingly well by Tobey Maguire, who portrays Spider-Man and
Peter Parker. I didn't know if he would be able to pull off this
role when I first heard of the casting decision, but now I can't
think of anyone who would have been better. Kirsten Dunst plays
long-time friend and love interest of Peter Parker, Mary Jane. Dunst
brings the innocence and beauty to this role that is needed to help
drive home the need for purpose concerning Peter Parker finding
his ultimate purpose and meaning to life.
remember thinking as a boy that if I could be any superhero I would
want to be Spider-Man. I didn't know it at the time but part of
the reason for that was the humanity behind the character. This
was a character who struggled with real life problems and yet was
also someone who had to learn to adapt between his humanity and
his potential. In that regard, this movie is no surprise.
readers may have already been critical from my first comment about
taking my son out of school for a half a day to see the movie. All
I know is that it was fantastic to share the wonderful dreams of
a father and a son and to have felt the same way about the movie.
His comments after the movie were, 'Wow, Papa, that movie was great.
It's even better than Shrek. I now have
a new favorite movie. I want to make sure I buy it the first day
it comes out on DVD.' While those may not have been his exact words
it is pretty close to the words of a 12-year-old boy. After having
some barbecued ribs for lunch and doing an activity together at
church, I asked him how his day was. He replied, 'Well, after seeing
Spider-Man, on a scale of 1-10 I'd give it a 12, but after doing
the other stuff at church (playing kickball and football to be exact),
I'd give it an 11.' 'Nathan' I responded, 'this morning after seeing
Spider-Man it was a 12, now it's a 11, what happened?' 'Well I had
so much fun at the movies this morning that anything after that
was going to be a let down.'
my son and me, this day was worth it. While I enjoy a lot of aspects
of movies, including the spiritual components of a film like this,
I also like to sometimes see a movie just for the fun of it. When
I can see valuable spiritual perspectives being portrayed plus still
have fun at the movies it is an unexpected bonus. It is hard to
improve on the expectations of someone like me had in regards to
seeing a movie like Spider-Man Most of the time there is disappointment
and let down. This movie didn't follow that example however, if
anything it improved on my respect of the character.
last note: I know that there are going to be a lot of comparisons
this summer between the new Star Wars Episode 2 movie and Spider-Man.
While I can't promise a surprise, I will say that I personally won't
be surprised if in the long run Spider-Man out performs and outlasts
Star Wars Episode 2. I do know that I haven't seen an audience react
to a movie like this in a very, very long time. As a matter of fact,
and this will be dating me, I don't recall the standing in lines
nor the audience reaction regarding the applause that even compares
since the original run of the first Walking Tall movie. For those
old enough to remember, that is saying something
the 8 legs that will carry Spider-Man through the summer and beyond
and the love of a father and son I'll give the unusual and rare
10 for as close to a perfect movie as there may be released all
Luke 15 www.furches.org