Wish I Was Here (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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There is no denying it: Zach Braff is a phenomenal filmmaker. Continuing on from his Scrubs fame, and the massive success of Garden State, comes Braff’s newest film. After failing to find a distributor, Braff turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. By allowing the general public to essentially purchase merchandise and experiences, the film was fully funded within 48 hours. For those that have not see it, make sure you add it to your list.

Wish I Was Here is about Aidan Bloom (Braff). He is a man in his thirties who is still struggling to combine what he wants from his life, with the life that he has. Aidan is not the only one suffering, with his breadwinner wife being harrassed at work but unable to quit, and his sick father unable to continue paying for their kids to attend private school, meaning Aidan must now homeschool his children. Through teaching his kids, Aidan must find a way to learn about the world, and himself.

Like I said before, this film is amazing, and that is for many reasons.

If you just want a film to make you laugh or for car chases, then this isn’t the film for you. The film is full of emotion. One moment you will be wanting to cry, and the next you’ll be chuckling.

We know that Braff is a brilliant actor who can probably play any character he ever wants. His adult co-stars – Kate HudsonMandy Patinkin, Donald Faison, and Jim Parsons, to name a few – were all great. The length of their roles varied, but each one brought something more to the story. The kids – who both have quite extensive film resumes – make you feel bad about yourself, because you weren’t as talented as they are at such young ages.

Music is an element of film that is vital, yet often overlooked. Braff’s grasp of music is amazing. Like with his previous film, his music choices and placement furthered the story, and heightened the emotions.

Being an ‘arty’ film, it may not be for everyone, but there are sure to be a lot of people that will love the film. At times I have seen independent films like this, and felt they were trying too hard to be edgy and they only end up failing miserably. You can be sure this is not the case with Wish I Was Here.

Unfortunately, reviews haven’t been overly positive. While there are those that do see it for the brilliant film that it is, others have commented that it is too simplified and generic.

This may sound like a gush-fest…and that’s because it is. There are so many films that have earned millions of dollars that are nowhere near as fantastic as this one is, and are only popular because supposed ‘A-Listers’ are in them. When you can shout your support for a meaningful film like this, you pretty much have to.

4 out of 5 stars

The Best of Me (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Only rarely do I like a film like this, and then I usually only watch them late at night when no one is there to catch me. The Best of Me is the film adaptation of the novel by Nicholas Sparks. I don’t have a lot of experience with works by Sparks, but I do know that he has a lot of devoted fans. It’s a good story that – without giving away too much – shows that Sparks is interested in improving his writing. Worth the watch and sure to give you two hours of entertainment.

The Best of Me begins with young Romeo-and-Juliet-esque lovers. Amanda and Dawson are from different backgrounds, with Amanda’s family making it more than clear that she is too good for him. It isn’t until Dawson finds himself on the wrong side of the law and in prison that he knows that isn’t the right life for Amanda, and he tells her goodbye. But as the saying goes, it’s a small world. Twenty years pass and Dawson and Amanda reunite. Amanda – unhappily married and with a family – is torn between the life she always wanted, the life she has, and the life she still desires. To make matters even worse, trouble once again comes looking for Dawson. Will Dawson and Amanda finally be able to let go of the past, or has their story only just begun?

This film definitely has its good and bad aspects.

Firstly, without going into specifics, the film is not as straight-forward and generic as you would think. The story elements that Sparks has expanded and improved, really do make the film different from his others – and his books – and you feel surprisingly content with it as a whole.

The acting was the right level of melodrama for a Sparks film, however it is also one of the biggest letdowns of the film. There are so many actors out there, that you would think finding two that looked even slightly similar wouldn’t be impossible. Young Amanda and Dawson look absolutely, one hundred percent, nothing like Older Amanda and Dawson. This is mostly evident for Luke Bracey and James Marsden. Not only are aspects like their hair and eyes so different, but their entire body structure is. It’s also been said that the first-choice of casting for Older Dawson was actually Paul Walker, but this had to be changed after his unfortunate death. However, even Bracey and Walker don’t have enough in common to try and be the same person.

Back to good: the emotion is something that Sparks does well. He knows how to make you feel what he wants you to feel.

The soundtrack was also good and is sure to sell a lot of copies.

Overall, not a totally unwatchable film. The end makes up for some of the earlier downfalls, but it’s not a film that will break any records or win a bunch of awards.

3 out of 5 stars

5 Facts About Christianity

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*Not suitable for children*

It seems like everyday I come across another misunderstanding on the internet about our Dear Lord Jesus. I thought I would address some of these today.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1. Jesus wasn’t a tall, white man with long hair.

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The New Testament gives no description of Jesus. We can only figure out what Jesus would have looked like by looking at the time and place in which he lived.

Isaiah 53:2b says: “he [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Common Jewish traditions meant men had beards – and were humiliated to have a shaven face.

His hair would not have been that long. Not only does Paul says many did not like it that way, but, as a carpenter, it would have gotten in the way.

He probably had a lot of muscles, as working with the wood and stones would have been very laborious.

His family were not rich, so his robe would have looked like all others.

As we read in numerous verses, Jesus looked much like all other Jewish males of the time, and we need to remember that looks have nothing to do with the power and majesty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this so bad? Personally, while I think it’s important to know the truth and understand his appearance doesn’t mean anything, we can also view it as

2. Magi, Wise Men, or Kings?

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Almost every Christmas carol mentions either three Magi, three Wise Men, or Three Kings. But who were they?

We don’t know how many there were. It is commonly thought to be three because they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but it could have been two, or numerous.

They were not Kings. They would have been scholars who were fluent in the Old Testament and knew the signs to look for. They came from the East (the orient), which was possibly Persia or Babylon, etc.

3. The Wise Men were not at Jesus’ birth.

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In Matthew 2:1-12 we read that the Wise Men came looking for Jesus after he was born. They approached King Herod, who then proceeded to call together all of his “chief priests and teachers of the law”. From here, the Wise Men went all the way to where Jesus was. This could have been back in Nazareth since time had passed, although it was probably in Bethlehem because when Herod had the babies killed, it was the cry out of Ramah.

Herod’s order decreed the death of the children under two years old, so time must have passed.

4. They counted the days differently.

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If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday, how could he have been dead for three days? The answer lies in how the days were counted back then.

We can read more in-depth about it HERE, but there are two ways to calculate Jesus’ death and resurrection as three days.

1.

DAY 1 DAY2 DAY 3
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day. “Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the ‘three days and three nights’ could permit a Friday crucifixion.””

2. 

“The verses above tell us that the Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar year. This corresponds to our months of March-April. It is possible, then, that this Passover could have occurred during the week with the Saturday Sabbath following. Since Lev. 23:5-7 tells the people to rest on the first day (not the last day Saturday), this is a type of Sabbath occurrence. Therefore, perhaps the following chart could represent a Thursday crucifixion and a subsequent set of three “night and days” before the Sunday resurrection.”

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Passover/Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“Something worth mentioning concerning this is that in the Greek in Matthew. 28:1, it says “Now after the Sabbaths [PLURAL], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” It is possible that there may have been two “sabbaths” during that week. The first may have been the Passover related “Sabbath” and the second may have been the Saturday Sabbath.”

5. Jesus had brothers and sisters.

You’ve probably heard about Jesus, human-father Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters born after him? In numerous places in the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ siblings. These would have been his half-siblings, as Joseph was not his father (God was).

There is a great website, HERE, that explains it perfectly. Excerpts include:

“Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible
verses. Matthew 12:46Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say
that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The
Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James,
Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also
tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named
or numbered (Matthew 13:56).”

So, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about Christianity. I will be adding more Facts About Christianity, so make sure to subscribe and check back.

Grace of Monaco (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Yes I am Australian, but no, I’m not much of a fan of Nicole Kidman. Unlike what some may believe, it is not a requirement of citizenship. The film has definitely had a rough go by the critics, and despite the locations and costumes being beautiful, the film as a whole just isn’t up to the standards set by others.

Grace of Monaco is obviously a story about Grace Kelly – a former Hollywood star. She is constantly surrounded by adoring fans, protective guards, wanting producers, and desperate photographers. She is married to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and becomes what many little girls dream of being. However, there are issues with France’s Charles De Gaulle and a looming French invasion, the royal’s marriage is struggling, and Kelly desires a return to Hollywood.

There are aspects of this film that were done well. You do feel like you are back in the glamorous days of Hollywood, with flowing gowns, men in suits with slicked hair, and big personalities. The costumes were true to the time and the props made you feel nostalgic – even though I wasn’t born for another 30 years.

The locations and sweeping landscape shots were perfect, and echoed the magnificence of the lives of most Hollywood starlets.

Now, about the acting. Not all of the performances were spot-on. As I said before, I’m not much of a fan of Nicole Kidman, but she wasn’t ‘too’ bad. It’s a very difficult job to play a real person, and even more so when the person was loved so much. Most people have also probably heard of a lot of the cast, and they have shown they have acting chops.

The part of the film that lets the rest of it down is the issue of authenticity. Though, Kidman has said that the film is neither a documentary nor a biopic, and is instead more about Grace Kelly’s “vulnerability and humanity”. Grace Kelly’s children have also been very vocal about their dislike for the film, requesting changes and condemning it for its over-dramatics and lack of facts. There have also been fights between the French parties and the American parties over what to include, which does not make the finished product sound very promising.

The film has received very negative reviews – mostly online. As an aspiring film-writer, I shudder to think that the months (if not longer) that everyone spent on this, comes down to such bad words. For the most part, however, the critics seem to just be overly protective of Kelly, and so they might be more inclined to find fault.

These kinds of films are not particularly my favourite, but this one was not completely unlikable. I don’t know exactly where the film deviated from the factual events, but you will never get something like this that is perfect. Overall, not a bad movie, and I think it might be more well-received by the general audience than by the vocal critics.

3 out of 5 stars

WolfCop (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Let me begin by saying that Teen Wolf is one of my favourite television shows, and comes from one of the best movies the 80s has to offer. As per the natural reaction, when hearing the name WolfCop, immediate thoughts do not go to ‘award winning’ and ‘influential’, but that does not mean you will not enjoy yourself. This film is a perfect mix of comedy and horror, and is the next in line of popular B-Grade films.

The film follows Lou, an alcoholic policeman who has a habit of making a mess of things. While he is used to waking up in unfamiliar places, when he begins to become hirsute, even he knows there is something strange happening. With turning into a werewolf just part of a bigger, scarier, story, Lou will need to figure out how to save the day, and hopefully become a better man.

The story is interesting, but has trouble working as a full-length feature. Lowell Dean (the director) had won a trailer contest that gave him $1 million USD to make the film, but it probably would have been better as a slightly-longer short film. Parts of the story were fleshed-out, while others were only granted a short screen-time before we were moved along.

B-Grade films have been rising in popularity over the last couple of years – including Sharknado and Piranha – and WolfCop is definitely set to be one of them. It does not try to be anything more than what it is, and allows the audience to escape their lives for two hours and have some entertainment.

The actors are not A-listers, but they play the characters well. When it comes to films, personally, I like it better when I am not seeing the same actors over and over again. Even though this film is far from realistic, not knowing the actors makes it more believable.

Creating a mix of genres is where a lot of films fail. WolfCop was not too bad. Its horror was more gory than scary, but some lines can get a chuckle.

The filming style/technique of WolfCop is also notable. While other feature films are spending millions of dollars on computer-generated imagery, Dean instead used practical effects. This not only let them work on a much-lower budget, but also allowed the team to have greater control over the production.

The reviews have been quite mixed. There are always going to be those that do not appreciate a B-Grade movie for what it is, and mock it for its style. But for those that see these types of movies for what they are, they will understand how brilliant it is.

Obviously this is not a film suitable for kids, and there are many out there that do not like horror and gore. Me, I am in the latter category, but for everyone else, this is sure to be a mindless and enjoyable film.

2 out of 5 stars

Manny (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier. We have all heard of these world-renowned boxers. But there is one name that is quickly growing in fame and popularity, and that name is Manny PacquiaoManny is one of the better feel-good and inspirational sports films that has been released of late, and is one that can be watched by everyone in the family.

The film Manny follows the life of Manny Pacquiao. This – for some time relatively unknown – Filipino boxer has his story translated by Hollywood alum, telling the tale of his rise from impoverished teen who began his boxing journey just to feed his family, to a thirty-five year old eight-division world champion. We follow him as he becomes known by the world, and furthers his career, entering politics and film. The film deals with the ups and downs that go with becoming a professional athlete, and the more personal side of it.

Even from just watching the two-minute trailer, you can feel the way the film gathers you and inspires you. It does more than make you want to watch the film, but also to get out and make something more happen for yourself. If Manny can do it, you can do it.

This film has some Hollywood bigwigs behind it, powering it out of the plain ‘documentary’ world, and onto the stage with other feature films. The famous faces help us to connect with the rising figure that many probably haven’t heard of before. These stars include Liam NeesonMark WahlbergJeremy Piven and Jimmy Kimmel, who aid us in relating to a film that is in another language. Manny also featured original music by Lorne Balfe, whose name is on Inception, The Dark Knight, and Iron Man – to name a few. To have this kind of power backing you, Manny Pacquiao must be a big thing.

The colour and cinematography of the film also raise it to another level. It feels like a feature film with the odd-angles and slow-motion sequences, and it makes the experience all the more entertaining and enjoyable.

One thing people need to remember before taking their young children to see this film, is that it definitely involves violence and blood. For some, it is inappropriate, and for others, it just isn’t their cup of tea. However, there are also those that will only care about the boxing and not about Manny’s political, etc., successes and aspirations.

There is a lot of anticipation and expectation around this film, which comes to me as a surprise. I was surprised by the attention, by the A-lister stars, and then by the story. Manny has what it takes to be a hit. The film points out how successful Manny Pacquiao has been in boxing, politics, and as the representation of the low-income people of the Philippines, and it wouldn’t be too much of a leap for Manny to gain a healthy film following too.

3 out of 5 stars

What’s Happening December 25th?

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 7.43.17 pm

There’s something special coming up, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Oh yeah…CHRISTMAS!!

I was looking on Facebook when I noticed the news trending bar on the side showed the image above. If it hasn’t loaded, it says: ‘Christmas: Dec. 25 Marks Holiday Celebrating Birth of Jesus Christ’.

A few thoughts went through my mind.

  1. Why would anyone need to be reminded of such an obvious event/holiday? Is this revelation really news? I’m more surprised we’re still allowed to mention the J.C. name.
  2. Are there people out there who actually haven’t heard about Jesus? Of course there are, and this makes me feel so sad. I consider Jesus to be not only my God, but my best friend. He is the only one who is always there for me, and always championing me on to do my best. AND lastly,
  3. I love the wording. One of the ridiculous comments Christians usually get around Christmas time is: “You know Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th right?” Like that’s something we’ve never heard before! Of course he wasn’t. With the shepherds out watching over their flock, that time of year wouldn’t make sense. And yes, it does fall on/near a Pagan holiday, but that was pretty much only to give Christians something to do and focus on while they were doing their thing (better explanations are available). What I love about the wording is that it shows that December 25th is a date set aside to celebrate Jesus. Personally, I try to celebrate Jesus everyday; but this is one day of the year where we all focus on the fact that our Powerful Lord Saviour came down to us as a vulnerable babe, lying in a trough.

What does December 25th mean for you?

black-baby-jesus

Dinosaur 13 (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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Dinosaurs are something not just loved by nerdy little boys. There are so many questions surrounding their types, way of life, and death, that it is a mystery that attracts all. In Dinosaur 13 (not as cool of a name as the 2002 book from which it comes – Rex Appeal), we look back twenty-four years, to a group that were looking back even further. This documentary had all of the interesting points – discovery, dinosaurs, and even an apparent big-scale conspiracy theory – but still found itself lacking in entertainment.

The film follows the story of Peter Larson, a palaeontologist whose group makes the biggest dinosaur discovery before or since. The event occurred in 1990, but it was what happened afterwards that turned it into the bigger story. Two years after excavating an almost-complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton – named Sue – the team found themselves battling the United States government, museums, Native American tribes, and other palaeontologists. The film follows the ten-year battle, that saw fossils taken, careers in jeopardy, and one member of the team in prison. Why was this discovery so controversial, and how would it all end?

For the most part, this film wasn’t bad. It had its moments where it dragged and the audience could easily lose interest, but the story was an interesting one, and you wanted to see how it would all end.

Like I said before, dinosaurs aren’t just a topic of interest for little boys, but the seriousness of the film and the emphasis more on legal/political matters, might not make it the kind of film that will be for everyone.
The video quality is oftentimes quite poor as well, as some of the footage was taken back in the 90s before cameraphones and HD video. This might turn-off some of the younger audience members who weren’t alive then.

Dinosaur 13 does, however, have a strong way of gathering the Davids in the hope of slaying Goliath. They do well in making you want the ‘little guys’ to win and find out the real reason behind why all of these events had to happen. But, they tend to play the sympathy card a bit too much. Sure, we feel bad for them in that their whole lives were turned upside down, but there are a lot more important things going on in the world. They also focus more on emotion, than on logic. There were more angles – like the deeper legal implications – that were simply not explored as thoroughly as they could have been.

Reviews have been quite mixed. It obviously has struck a cord with an audience, giving it a wider release than previously expected. The online reviews have been predominately positive, and it’s sure to be played in a lot of schools all over the world.

Overall, this film is worth taking a look at.

3 out of 5 stars

Million Dollar Arm (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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I am not an athlete. I played team sports in school, but it was not something I was passionate about, nor particularly skilled in. That being said, for some reason, I find myself drawn to sports films; and this is my kind of sport film. Like the series Friday Night LightsMillion Dollar Arm is a sports film that is not about sports. The film is based on true events, which I hadn’t heard about before. The story is quite simple, but enjoyable.

Disney’s Million Dollar Arm is the story of sport, triumph, and unity. JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) was a successful sports agent. He worked because he loved what he did, and he had a good time doing it. That is, until the playing field became a lot less fair and even. Faced with the prospect of losing his business, JB searches for any way to save it, and finds it: cricket. JB and his partner head to Mumbai, and come back with two eighteen-year-old boys with throws that can knock the breath out of you. Will this be enough to save JB’s business? Is baseball ready for a change? And will these boys get signed to a major league team?

I will begin by saying how good the acting was in this film. The lead – Jon Hamm, who shot to fame from the series Mad Men – definitely plays a different character, and is a likeable leading man. The Indian teenagers are also brilliantly acted by Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma. They have both acted before, but do not have extensive film backgrounds. It was not particularly surprising for them to be able to hold their own, as recent films like 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips (review HERE) have shown that Hollywood casting is pretty spot-on, even for those that haven’t acted much before.

The story and script was also engaging. There were some very funny moments and lines were delivered seamlessly. There were no visual effects or special camera movements; just a good story.

I also like their mix of cultures. There have been a recent slew of American/Indian films – mainly starting with the roaring success of Slumdog Millionaire, and continuing with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Hundred-Foot Journey – and it seems to be working well.

Reviews have been mostly positive. I would be surprised if they won any major awards, but it does what it sets out to do – educate and entertain. For the most part, the criticisms have claimed that Disney dulled the story down for a younger audience, and that India was only shown from a ‘tourist’s-eye’, such as disregarding the very low-income areas. But in defence of the film, I don’t think they needed to give a history of India just to have characters come from there.

You might not want to bring little kids, because it does contain some swearing, but otherwise, I think most people will enjoy it.

4 out of 5 stars

Little Drummer Boy – A Christmas Carol Study

This song quickly became my favourite after I heard it performed by a band called Pentatonix. I even wrote a review about it HERE.

If you’re after more, check out my other Christmas carol studies: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, and Silent Night.

Listen to the song, and come along with me as we delve into the meaning behind the lyrics.

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum

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Who came? This song tells the story of a young boy, coming to see baby Jesus. It does not hold true to any first Christmas records, so don’t try and find it in the Bible. As you will see, it is a beautiful telling of a child who travelled to see baby Jesus, and offering as a gift the only thing he could give: a song on his drum.

The use of a child, instead of an adult is, I think, a beautiful way of commenting on Jesus’ love for children. Jesus often spoke of the beauty of a child’s love and faith. This child was coming before Jesus’ ministry, with enough faith to come for his very birth.

Why a drum? I don’t know about this, and would welcome any thoughts and opinions. In the interest of expanding my knowledge and having an input for it here, I did some research.

There are a few times when percussion instruments were mentioned in the Bible. I found a great site (Drums & the Bible) which explains quite in-depth.

So while I’m not sure if this was what the song writer intended, it is cool to see the connection.

A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum

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Where would you expect a king to be born? In a palace? Surrounded by legions of loyal followers and servants? How about in a manger in a stable, surrounded by smelly animals? Jesus had only just been born and he was already a King. As both the Son of God, and God, he is the King of us all, and if we accept Jesus’ gracious gift of salvation, we get to spend eternity with him.

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

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As I said above, who would bring expensive gifts to a baby from a no-name family? The Bible tells us of three gifts given to baby Jesus: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Have you ever thought what these specific gifts meant? Were they chosen by the wise men (remember, they were not kings and were most likely more than three) because they were symbols, or did they also have more practical reasons? Let’s have a look together.

GOLD – Gold represents kingship. At numerous times in the Bible, gold was a gift given to kings. It was also something that would pay for their journey.

FRANKINCENSE – Frankincense could have symbolised Jesus’ priestly role. At the time, frankincense had been used for health, funeral purposes, and in the temple. It was used in sacrifices, and could have symbolised the sacrifice they knew Jesus would have to make.

MYRRH – The gift of myrrh was possibly a comment on his future – as it was often used in death and embalming. I found an article on website (HERE) that explains it much better than I could. It reads:

Myrrh was also a product of Arabia, and was obtained
from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a
spice and was used in embalming. It was also sometimes
mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink
was given to our Savior when He was about to be crucified,
as a stupefying potion (Mark 15:23). Matthew 27:34 refers to
it as “gall.” Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and
affliction. The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a
man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life
on the cross for all who would believe in Him.

So to honour Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

While it is unknown where the little drummer boy was supposed to have come from, the wise men (Magi) most likely came from Babylon or Ancient Persia. Despite what the Christmas carols and nativity scenes show, a cursory read of the gospels shows that the wise men actually wouldn’t have been at the birth of Jesus. From their talk with Herod, and other mentions, they would have arrived 1-2 years later. They still brought gifts, but not at the birth.

Pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum ahh

Chinese-drum

Drumming…

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum

We have heard them call Jesus the “King”, but here we see another part of Jesus. He came down to Earth to live as a human. Here, he was a little baby. What is more precious that a little baby? The fact that the most powerful became something to little and vulnerable, is awe inspiring.

I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum

I’ve heard different opinions on the wealth of Jesus (well, at this time, Mary and Joseph).

What we know about Joseph was that he was a carpenter. Nothing seems to indicate they were wealthy in anyway, and we are repeatedly told Jesus was poor. During his ministry, they relied on the kindness of others to supply them with lodging and food.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, Joseph did not have enough money or prestige to get them an appropriate place to stay. The gifts from the Magi (even if they were given 1-2 years later) would have helped, but it most likely would have been used to fund their escape to Egypt.

I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a king, pa rum pum pum
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
(pum pum pum part)

Have you ever felt like someone has given you so much and you could never repay them? How about when Christmas comes around and everyone is swapping presents, and you realise a lot more effort and money went into the present you were given than the one you gave out? Wouldn’t you feel worse if the one getting the short end of the stick was God as human Jesus who came to earth to die for our sins?

In this song, the little drummer boy, he is a poor boy who travelled to greet the Lord in human form, and didn’t have anything worthy enough to give as a gift. With God doing so much for us, it is easy for us to feel inadequate, but we must remember that God loves us and only wants us to accept the sacrifice his son made. There is no list of good deeds that will make us worthy, and no gift we can give to God, because everything is already his!

So what does the little drummer boy do? He shares the gift of music that he had been blessed with. One common misconception about Christianity (from those that want to make it fit to their desires, not God’s) is that as long as you do your best, you will go to Heaven. While the little drummer boy did his best, he did it FOR Jesus. We need to acknowledge that Jesus is God (in the Holy Trinity), that he came to earth as a human, taught, healed, died on the cross, and rose again, all so that we could have eternal life with him in Heaven.

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum

I read something the other day about Joseph not being mentioned in the birth records; not even a ‘midwife’. The Bible says Mary wrapped Jesus in the strips, and Mary laid him in the manger. Being a first time father, there might not have been much he could have contributed. In this song, Mary nodded. I love this mother-son bonding.

The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum

I don’t know what to comment about this part. If you have any comments, please leave them below. I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
(pum pum pum part)

As it was said before, there is nothing better than giving your best to God.

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

This song ends with Jesus showing not just his approval – which could have been a nod – but his love, shown in a smile.

I love this song and really enjoyed looking into the meanings behind the lyrics.

What did you think?

Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below so it can be made well-rounded.