Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Can Anything Good Come from Clooney?

 

George Clooney helped save my life. It was mainly Jesus, but Clooney gets a nod.

Many years ago, before I knew Jesus, I knew VideoCity. I used to pick up movies a couple of times a week and spend a few hours on my days off immersed in Hollywood fantasy.

Around the same time, I was wrestling with questions of fact. My wife had recently been baptized and was growing in her knowledge and faith in Christ. I was skeptical, to say the least. I kept looking for rational, or even philosophical reasons to believe in something I couldn’t see with my own eyes.

Then one day I rented From Dusk Till Dawn.

(Let me pause to offer a disclaimer: From Dusk Till Dawn is an awful movie. Nobody should ever watch it. Seriously. It’s a Quentin Tarantino vampire movie. Do you get where this is going? Let’s continue.)

The plot of the movie doesn’t matter, but for the sake of context I’ll sum it up. George Clooney ends up in a roadside bar on the Mexican side of the border, fighting off vampires alongside a former preacher who’s lost his faith.

The preacher is cowering and just trying to survive the battle. During a lull, Clooney’s character pulls him aside and gets in his face.

“What I know is that whatever is out there trying to get in is a demon straight from the pit of Hell, and if there’s a Hell, then there has to be a Heaven. There has to be.”

I didn’t think much about this scene at the time. It kind of dissipated into the gore of the movie’s third act. I watched it, and later returned it, and went on with my life.

But when God wants to tell you something, He keeps at it until you’re willing to listen. You can ignore Him, run from Him, try to push Him aside, and pretend you didn’t hear Him, but He persists. He will seek you out over a thousand hills to bring you where you were meant be: home.

I can’t tell you how long after I watched the movie that the revelation occurred, but I remember vividly sitting in church beside my faithful wife listening to a pastor, pastoring about something and my mind began to wander. I remember looking up into the rafters of the converted gym that served as the church sanctuary. I looked at the white painted beams and pipes and imagined a vampire sitting up there, but only briefly. Because the second I formed the image, I heard the words of George Clooney in my mind. “What I know is that whatever is out there trying to get in is a demon straight from the pit of Hell, and if there’s a Hell, then there has to be a Heaven. There has to be.”

It hit me like a thunderbolt and I started to pay a little more attention. Later, I started to read. I was a criminal justice major and a history minor in college. I studied evil every day. What is evil? What is good? How can we understand a concept of “evil” without a contrast by which to judge it? What is God? Who is God? Which concept of God holds up to observed data? The questions came fast and furious and I had to deal with them. I wanted to deal with them. I was eager to learn. God was giving me a thirst to know more about Him.

Darn George Clooney.

In the years that followed I began to learn the truths of scripture, hear testimonials from others similar to mine, and discover the reality that God uses strange, unorthodox, and sometimes fantastic ways to get through to us. He will meet us where we are and take us where we may not want to go. But He won’t force us. He’ll just continue to call out to us, speaking kindly but firmly wherever we are, because we can’t outrun Him, and we can’t ignore Him — even when watching a Tarantino vampire movie.

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  1. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Vince Guerra: But when God wants to tell you something, He keeps at it until you’re willing to listen. You can ignore Him, run from Him, try to push Him aside and pretend you didn’t hear Him, but He persists. He will seek you out over a thousand hills to bring you where you were meant be: home.

    The Hound of Heaven

    • #1
    • May 8, 2018, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    There is no getting away from God.


    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under May’s theme of The Power of Words. And if words written by some schlock writer for a bad movie can have such a profound effect, surely there are greater words out there to be found and explored. Why not explore words that have been important in your life? We still have seven openings on the schedule and sign-up sheet for this month. Testify!

    • #2
    • May 8, 2018, at 9:44 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Oh, and Clooney can have good things come from him when paired with the Coen Brothers. Hail, Cæsar! was beautiful for making fun of Communists, actors, and many others, while the heroes are a studio fixer and a cowboy actor/singer.

    • #3
    • May 8, 2018, at 9:48 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. PHCheese Member

    A friend of mine in college was in that movie. His name is Tom Savini. His character was Sex Machine. He is a real nice fellow. However last time I saw him I think I was a disappointment. Sorry Tom I never saw any of your movies. He remarked that he has managed to make a good living. He is also a makeup artist specializing in gore, actually had a school teaching it.

    • #4
    • May 8, 2018, at 10:07 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Oh, and Clooney can have good things come from him when paired with the Coen Brothers. Hail, Cæsar! was beautiful for making fun of Communists, actors, and many others, while the heroes are a studio fixer and a cowboy actor/singer.

    Burn After Reading FTW. Clooney has done a lot of good work, even without the Coens.

    • #5
    • May 8, 2018, at 10:11 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Hoyacon Member

    The VG Up In The Air deserves mention as well, if for no other reason than I regard it as semi-autobiographical. Well, not really. But close.

    • #6
    • May 8, 2018, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Quake Voter Inactive

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    The VG Up In The Air deserves mention as well, if for no other reason than I regard it as semi-autobiographical. Well, not really. But close.

    Semi-autobiographical for me too, except for the Vera Farmiga affair, so not really at all.

    Advice about Asians on any line, even TSA Pre is spot on. Bank on it.

    Also, that is a killer opening line.

    • #7
    • May 8, 2018, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    Great story. I have always found some of the interviews with exorcists that I’ve run across mainly on EWTN to be startling and how the priests laugh about it! They say the devil is very un-original – really?! Apparently the guy that made the movie The Exorcist, William Friedkin is releasing a live exorcism as a “documentary”, that he witnessed in Italy and they allowed him to record. I’m not sure that’s a good idea…..If that doesn’t convince someone of heaven and hell, I don’t know what would! No – I don’t plan to see it – it was hard enough listening to the interview with Raymond Arroyo on the radio when he was a guest on Fox!

    • #8
    • May 8, 2018, at 11:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):
    . Clooney has done a lot of good work, even without the Coens.

    He actually has quite a few movies I enjoy, but he’s fun to make fun of. I don’t hold Batman and Robin against him either, that was all Schumacher. 

    • #9
    • May 8, 2018, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Quake Voter Inactive

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Oh, and Clooney can have good things come from him when paired with the Coen Brothers. Hail, Cæsar! was beautiful for making fun of Communists, actors, and many others, while the heroes are a studio fixer and a cowboy actor/singer.

    Burn After Reading FTW. Clooney has done a lot of good work, even without the Coens.

    He’s a genuine movie star. Charisma, class, good humored with a glamorous accomplished wife.

    I give him credit for being politically complex. Ides of March is a fine takedown of pretty boy liberalism. Hail Caesar would have won rave reviews from Whittaker Chambers.

    His reaction to South Park’s Smug Alert was pretty classy.

     

    • #10
    • May 8, 2018, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Hoyacon Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    TheSockMonkey (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Oh, and Clooney can have good things come from him when paired with the Coen Brothers. Hail, Cæsar! was beautiful for making fun of Communists, actors, and many others, while the heroes are a studio fixer and a cowboy actor/singer.

    Burn After Reading FTW. Clooney has done a lot of good work, even without the Coens.

    He’s a genuine movie star. Charisma, class, good humored with a glamorous accomplished wife.

    Which explains why his presidential candidacy as a Democrat should be scary to those on the right. From a strict quotient of “attractiveness,” he has Reagan similarities. Unless there are some Hollywood skeletons lurking, I believe that he could be elected.

    • #11
    • May 8, 2018, at 12:50 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Hey, From Dusk to Dawn provided fodder for my Movie Churches blog. And I agree with others that Clooney has done good screen work. Love all his Coen films (well, Intolerable Cruelty not so much.) 2/3rds of the Ocean films are fun and Out of Sight and Three Kings are both excellent. Clooney the director is prone to liberal screeds.

    • #12
    • May 8, 2018, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vince Guerra: He will meet us where we are and take us where we may not want to go. But He won’t force us. He’ll just continue to call out to us, speaking kindly but firmly wherever we are, because we can’t outrun Him, and we can’t ignore Him — even when watching a Tarantino vampire movie.

    That’s a good lesson for human persuasion too, I think. We can’t foresee or understand or plan anything like God does. But sometimes we need to kick the dirt from our sandals and walk away, waiting for a better moment to share truth or love. Sometimes we need to personalize a debate by searching for examples or insights in the other person’s own life and interests. 

    Also, we need to listen to idiots, kids, lunatics, and amateurs. Even naive or willful fools can have surprising insights occasionally. 

    • #13
    • May 8, 2018, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Linguaphile Member

     

    In the years that followed I began to learn the truths of scripture, hear testimonials from others similar to mine, and discover the reality that God uses strange, unorthodox, and sometimes fantastic ways to get through to us. He will meet us where we are and take us where we may not want to go. But He won’t force us. He’ll just continue to call out to us, speaking kindly but firmly wherever we are, because we can’t outrun Him, and we can’t ignore Him — even when watching a Tarantino vampire movie.

    But when God wants to tell you something, He keeps at it until you’re willing to listen. You can ignore Him, run from Him, try to push Him aside, and pretend you didn’t hear Him, but He persists. He will seek you out over a thousand hills to bring you where you were meant be: home.

    Your story brought to mind a couple of quotes from CS Lewis’ Surprised by Joy (his autobiography). A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful… God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

    And this from later in the book: 

    You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?”

    • #14
    • May 8, 2018, at 2:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ll stick with Aunt Rosemary.

    • #15
    • May 8, 2018, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    Out of Sight

    Love that one, but not really for the Clooney.

    • #16
    • May 8, 2018, at 11:28 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Suspira Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Advice about Asians on any line, even TSA Pre is spot on. Bank on it.

    Also, that is a killer opening line.

    Please share. I’ve only seen the movie once and didn’t care for it enough to want to see again for these nuggets. 

    • #17
    • May 9, 2018, at 5:58 AM PDT
    • Like

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