The Healer – JenEric Movie Review

How This WorksRead Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 movie The Healer.

Story

The story is a nice slow pace but shifts gears from small town mystic, to wise cancer kid, to love story. What could have been an interesting exploration of God and what it means to be good is bogged down by a man-baby main character, fake lesbian, and generic sassy cancer kid.

Score: 0

Characters

The movie is set in Nova Scotia and yet there’s barely any proper Canadian accents and only background Maritime accents. The main cast is two Ontarians, three Brits (two of which are supposed to be), and an American. The majority of extras are from Nova Scotia and seem much more interesting then the main characters.

The main character was unlikable and didn’t really do all that well at a redemption arc. The love interest is unlikeable and lies throughout. If it wasn’t for the quirky extras and small town feel I might have given up.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

A cross between mystical mumbo jumbo and pseudo religious exploration is the most interesting of the dialogue not given by the extras. They make awkward dialogue into something generally entertaining.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The film makers missed a huge opportunity to showcase the beauty of the town and the landscape. Instead, they used it sparingly and awkwardly.

The music alternated between awkward and inappropriate. Having a young actress be the focus of a montage to George Michael’s Faith… is creepy, to say the least.

Score: 0

Fun

The movie was watchable, if filled with uncomfortable moments and unlikable characters. I did finish it but I’d rather not watch it again.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The movie relies on tired tropes and unlikable characters when it should have leaned more into the small town supernatural quirk and beautiful scenery. A missed opportunity all around.

Final Score: 1.5 Stars

Only Human (Serial Story) Part 13 – Conclusion

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |
Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12

The circle glowed and bright lights erupted out of it as Tim and Ginny forced the lever down on his prototype Metaphysical Transfiguration device.

Rachel, still held by the neck by the Smiling Dark, felt oddly light. A feeling of joy and excitement ran through her. It was a feeling she hadn’t felt since she was a child.

* * *

It was Christmas morning. She and Natasha were sitting in painful anticipation for it to be seven AM. The time their parents told them they could wake them up.

“What do you think Santa brought us this year?” asked Rachel, vibrating with excitement.

“I don’t know, but I hope my motion sensor camera caught him doing it,” Natasha’s eyes sparkled with delight. “You know this is just a memory right?” she asked.

The question caught Rachel off guard. “Can’t I enjoy it?”

“This was my last Christmas…” Natasha trailed off.

“Am I dead?”

Laughing, Natasha said, “Always the optimist. No sweetie. You’re not dead… Not yet.”

“Are you real?” Rachel threw herself at her sister and hugged her.

“At the moment, anything you think of can be real. Now wake up.”

“I still miss you,” Rachel’s tears fell onto her sisters back as they hugged.

“I know, but I don’t miss you enough yet to have you join me. Wake up.”

* * *

The feeling of excitement and power was almost painful.

“What just happened?” asked the man in front of her. He was shadowed as if light didn’t enjoy touching him, but he was still just a man. His face looked like an aged movie star’s, his skin closer to grey than any real colour.

“I think you just became punchable.” She punctuated her quip with a punch.

Lightning crackled around her fist as it connected with the Smiling Dark’s face. It left small burn marks on his cheek. He fell to one knee, his smile disappearing for a moment, and said, “Just because I’m corporeal doesn’t mean I’m helpless.”

His arms reached out and shadows coalesced around his hands forming dark blades. He took a fencer’s stance and started moving towards her. She could see dark tendrils of shadow moving around him like some sort of Lovecraftian monster.

The machine had turned him into a monster that creates and manipulates shadow instead of being made of it. The belief of monsters all over the world that he existed was amplified. Rachel knew what had happened to him had happened to her. The belief of everyone on campus was that she was a demi-god, and she could feel the power of the gods inside her.

“Leave now and you can live.”

“I will have you one way or another.” He attacked and she parried with blades of lightning.

“Ew!” she exclaimed before adding, “I warned you.” Turning to her friends, she said, “Leave the room.”

They fenced, Rachel letting him think he could win, until everyone had left the room.

“I am darkness, shadow, and death. You can’t kill me.”

“I am a demi-god of lightning and energy. Let’s see if you can survive with so much light there isn’t room for shadows.” She reached deep into herself for her new power and pulled it out forcing it into a ball of pure lightning bright plasma around her. She let it expand and cover every millimetre of the room.

The Smiling Dark’s screams were drowned out by the crackle of power. When the entire room was light and electricity she tried to stop it and found she couldn’t. The energy went wild and there was nothing she could do to stop it.

* * *

“Thank you,” whispered her sister’s voice as Rachel started to wake up.

Everything hurt. Rachel opened her eyes to see that she was in her dorm. “She’s awake,” yelled Ginny. Her friends walked into the room followed by a large man with an eyepatch.

“How are you feeling?” asked the large man.

“I hurt, but I think I’m ok.” She was better than that; she knew her broken bones and cuts had healed completely.

“The ache will pass with time. It’s a side effect of returning you to your human self.”

“Ok.” It was all she could think.

“You fought well, Rachel, and for that I hold no grudge for you copying my son’s powers. Just don’t do it again.”

His son? Rachel’s eyes went wide. “Odin. Oh my…” she trailed off.

He chuckled. “If you so choose, your place in Valhalla is guaranteed.” With that, he disappeared.

“Way to go, you amused and impressed the All-Father,” Tim said, probably meaning it to be a joke, but sounding just as amazed as she felt.

“Wow.”

“So whatever you did, vaporised my lab and the entire Transmutation building.” Tim still sounded amazed, and seeing her worried look, he quickly added, “Don’t worry about it. It happens more often than you’d think. Transmutation is a volatile area of study.”

“Dowan and I got everyone out in time,” said Ronnie smiling at Dowan.

“Naw, it was mostly you, man,” Dowan replied smiling back.

“Oh, get a room,” gagged Tim.

Turning to Tim, Ginny said, “That’s not a bad idea.” She cocked an eyebrow and crooked a finger. Tim turned bright red and rolled to the kitchen. They closed the door behind them as they entered the kitchen area.

Both Dowan and Ronnie looked uncomfortably around the room until she said, “I’m not up for a threesome.” Their eyes opened wide until they saw she was joking.

“Who would you have chosen?” Dowan asked, with a twinkle in his eye.

“Yeah,” smirked Ronnie.

“Me. If I had to choose someone to die, it would have been me.” The boys looked a little disappointed with her answer and she added, “If you’re asking who I choose now, I don’t know. I like both of you and I’ve had a long few days. Why don’t we have a few dates before I decide?”

“Ok,” they said at the same time.

“I’m not opposed to that threesome,” said Dowan, and he winked at Ronnie before disappearing.

Ronnie turned bright red, something Rachel thought vampires couldn’t do, and said, “Take care,” before walking out of the room still blushing. There would be a lot of time for her to choose. Avenging her sister made her feel more at peace than she’d ever thought possible, and now she was looking forward to her classes and flirting with two hot boys. Her life was looking pretty good.

Both Tim and Ginny were in the kitchen. Ginny walked back in and asked, “Anything I can do?”

“I’m ok. Thanks.”

“I’m glad you’re alive. Sorry you lost your god powers.”

“I’m not. I like being me. I like being Only Human.”

The End

Morality Without God

I came across an argument on the internet the other day that stated that Morals could not exist without a God.

The idea being that Morality is intrinsically tied to Religion because of the authority of God.

I’m not going to argue the benefits of religion, atheism, or anything in between. Let’s stick to morals.

Merriam-Webster defines Morality as, “beliefs about what is right behavior and what is wrong behavior” and defines ethics as, “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad”

There is also the philosophical discipline of Ethics witch, “deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior: a branch of philosophy dealing with what is morally right or wrong”

It’s extremely easy to get lost in a doctorate level of research into Ethics and Moral Reasoning. Let’s stick to a derivative definition that says Morality is the beliefs about what is right and wrong and Ethics are the rules around right and wrong.

Where do morals come from?

  • If morality is the purview of God than it should be unchanging and perfect.
  • If it’s the purview of man, morality is in constant flux.

One of the statements above is false.

Yep. Good job, it’s the first one. I don’t care what your stance on God is, humanity is flawed and it’s humanity that interprets God’s theoretical Morality.

It could even be argued that the changes in what we see as Right and Wrong are due to our own faults and not God’s.

If we take God out of the equation we have to assume that either Morals have a evolutionary survival benefit, or a societal benefit.

So that means that Morals come from one of two places:

  • Humanities interpretation of God’s morals, or
  • Humanities ideals on what is best for ourselves and each other

Either way Morality is the domain of humanity. Either we decide for ourselves or interpret God, the end is the same; Humanity chooses.

Aren’t Morals set in Stone?

No, and consider yourself lucky. The morals of the past included all kinds of crazy things. At several points in history it was considered Right to own people. It was proper to cut off genitals to protect royalty. In the days of the Witch Hunts you could be killed for being single and attractive.

Morals vary from society to society. What is considered Right for some is considered disgusting by others. We don’t eat Cats, Dogs, or Horses but in some societies that is considered ok. Stop to think logically and figure out why a Cat or Dog is morally superior to a chicken, pig, or cow.

But everyone in my society has the same morals

Nope! Ask a friend who’s a proud vegetarian and then go talk to someone who’s a proud carnivore and tell me everyone in your society has the same morals.

Conclusion

Morals can exist without God. It’s up to us to think about what is Right and Wrong and not just accept what someone else says.

Doubt and critical thinking are the best friends of Morals. Always think how your actions affect others and how they affect the world.

If we all do this we’ll live on a much better planet.

What are your thoughts of Morality?

Éric

 

Faith

Oh what a troubling word. Faith can mean many things to many people. At its core it means to believe in something. It’s often associated with religion or spiritual belief.

It’s a beautiful concept, to believe in something but I wonder if it’s that simple. It often seems that devoutly religious person would have the strongest faith and that the non-practicing wouldn’t. I think that’s wrong.

I think faith, as an integral belief which you whole heartedly honour, isn’t only the purview of religion. I think faith, in one form or another, is present in everyone. I’d go as far as saying faith is not only pervasive but essential to a healthy life.

Difference Between Having Faith and Needing Faith

There has to be a distinction made between having faith in something and needing faith in something.

You can have faith in God, Science, or Humanity. There’s a lot more but the point is that you can even have faith in yourself. How you’ve gained this faith or why doesn’t matter. The power of it, is that you have it.

Needing faith, is how you get to your belief. No matter how much you study you’ll always need faith that there is a God. But, if you spend a couple of decades training and testing theories, you can prove evolution through fossil and empirical evidence. You don’t need to have faith in something for it.

I suppose you need to have faith that the scientists that did the work, did it while respecting the scientific method. But you don’t need to have faith in evolution, just in the people who have proven it, over and over again.

The difference is simply in the method. Needing faith is a path to belief. Having faith is the last stop on that path but reaching the last stop can always be done through another path.

Why I think it’s important

I think as human beings we need to have a certain amount of stability in our lives and beyond that we need hope.

Faith, in every form, is about hope and the belief that things are going to be ok. As an example let’s take the afterlife.

Christian religion tells us that we will be judged and either go to heaven or hell (or the in-between places). Science tells us that we will decompose and that our atoms will return to the earth and help spring forth new life. Eventually our world with be destroyed and our atoms will float through space until they are used to create a new planet, sun, or other astral body.

Are both of them true? Who cares, that’s needing faith part. Are they both beautiful? Yes to a certain extent. Heaven can sound down right horrifying to some (That’s a whole other post) while the idea that we’re made of “star-stuff” might seem cold and unfeeling to others.

Having faith isn’t about what other people believe it’s about what you believe and how it make you feel.

My Beliefs (Cause I know you care)

I believe in stories and I believe if humanity. Although it’s not always easy I have faith that humanity is genuinely good.

I believe in being nice to people. I believe that life is a beautiful and magnificent thing that needs to be cherished. I have faith in the power of words, love, and kindness. Most of all, I believe that the pursuit of knowledge should be the goal of our lives.

What are my thoughts on the afterlife? I hope there are further challenges after our bodies stop working. I believe that the consciousness, or soul, must be bound to the laws of physics that say no matter or energy is ever created or destroyed. What it becomes after death is a great mystery to me but I don’t think it disappears completely.

I also believe that you live on in the hearts and minds of your friends and family. And they say the internet never forgets.

If you need to label me, this all means I’m Agnostic. Meaning I’m not sure what to believe but that we should keep trying to find out.

 

What do you have faith in?

Calculating God – Book Review

Calculating Gob by Robert Sawyer has an interesting premise. Aliens believe that Earth’s fossils could help find proof of God.

Robert Sawyer is a Canadian Science Fiction Writer and Futurist. You might have seen the name when you watched Flashforward on ABC a few years ago. He wrote the book, of the same name, that the show was based on.

I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Sawyer after he gave a talk at the Museum of Science and Tech in Ottawa. He’s an engaging speaker, which that comes through in his writing. There are science facts and ideas that could have been dull but he managed to parse them out and make then interesting.

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my post here.

Characters

Sawyer’s characters are always interesting. They always feel well rounded and real. This book isn’t an exception. Each character is believable and likeable, even the aliens. The only exception is the villains they felt like an afterthought. It felt a little shoehorned in and they were a bit boring.

For characters, I give it 4 out of 5

Writing Style

Sawyer has a unique writing style that is understandable and educational. He makes even controversial or heavy subjects interesting. Unlike some hard sci-fi authors, I don’t get the urge to look up every fact to see what he means. He explains it that someone with my limited science background would understand.

He has a wonderful way of combining dialogue and facts. I find it makes a reader feel like they are having a discussion with the characters.

I give it a 5 out of 5.

Story

Most of the time I feel that the discussion in his books, doesn’t overwhelm the story. In this case, despite the strong characters and the great premise, I find that the story felt like a vehicle for the philosophy and science rather than a counterpart.

I give the story a 3 out of 5

Fun

The story was bare bones but the character interactions were highly entertaining. Lines like, “Take me to a Palaeontologist.” Make the book enjoyable.

Another rare and wonderful thing about this book was its lack of judgement. Whenever a book discusses God, I expect to get a lot of defending for one point of view. Sawyer never pushes one point of view over the other. It was unbiased, interesting, and informative.

It’s not the first book by Sawyer I’d recommend friends to read but it’s certainly a lot of fun for those who are interested in the philosophy.

I give it a 3 out of 5 for fun

Overall

Final score is 75%