7 Great Overlooked Gems





Unwind is a mind-bending science-fiction novel written by Neal Shusterman.  It has a pretty strong cult following, but unfortunately a lot of people haven’t heard of it yet.  It takes place after a second civil war has been fought over abortion and ended in a compromise.  Abortion is no longer legal, but now parents can have their teenage children “unwound,” meaning salvaged for body parts, which are held in incubators for needed transplants.  The lies of the culture say it is not death, but a “divided state.”  The story follows three teenagers who were to meet such a fate but ran away and their struggle to survive.  It’s a very eye-opening tale that reminds us of the evils of abortion and how ridiculous the lies are that we often tell ourselves.

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Syfy’s take on the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is an adventure unlike other adaptations.  The citizens of wonderland are like humans but have less emotion, and the Queen of Hearts takes humans and drains them of emotion so that the citizens (and herself) can digest them.  These are distributed to “tea shops,” one of which the Hatter runs.  Alice stumbles into Wonderland in search of Jack, her boyfriend, who has left a ring with her that she did not desire.  After meeting the Hatter, the two of them embark on a journey to find Jack, which brings her surprises she never expected to encounter.

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It’s unfortunate that so few read classic literature anymore.  Shakespeare has many good works, but Macbeth has to be my favorite.  After being told by three witches that he will become king but then be killed, Macbeth, by the encouragement of his wife, carries out an assassination of the king.  Once he is on the throne, he begins paranoid and has everyone killed who he thinks might kill him.  The irony of the tale is in the end, he was killed because he thought he had to make the prophecy happen.  One of the biggest lessons in this story is in who gives him encouragement – his wife.  Be careful who you choose as your companions, because they can make you or destroy you.

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The Skypilot

I saw The Skypilot when they opened for Fireflight last year, and I enjoyed their performance more than I did Fireflight’s.  After the show I immediately bought their cd, and I got to talk to them for a while after as well (they’re really cool guys, by the way).  An Australian acoustic duo, their songs reflect the kinds of messages that Christians ought to be putting forth in their songs.  Not turning worship into pop culture, but thought-provoking scriptural messages.

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Abbott and Costello – two 10s for a 5

Most people probably know these two comedy kings for “Who’s on First Base,” but “Two 10s for a 5” is just as hilarious.  It’s a short five-minute clip that you can find on YouTube, and I highly recommend it.

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Arsenic and Old Lace

Just as it’s a shame that so few people read classic literature anymore, it’s also a shame that few in my generation are willing to watch black and white movies.  This one, starring Cary Grant and based on a 1939 play by Joseph Kesselring, tells the eccentric tale of a newlywed man who visits his aunts to find that they have been … shall we say euthanizing the old men of the neighborhood.  This turns into a panic for Mortimor, trying to figure out how he can resolve the situation.  Things get more complicated when his criminal brother Jonathon shows up with his own secret.  For comic relief, there’s also the third brother Teddy, who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt.  It’s a fantastic movie that easily ranks in the top ten films I have ever seen.

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Bella is an independent film that should get more exposure than it does.  It tells the story of a Jose, famous Mexican soccer player who hit and killed a young girl with no one around and refused, like his manager encouraged him to do, to flee from the scene.  He lost his career as a result and finds himself working as a cook in his control-freak brother’s restaurant.  The main story follows a young woman, Nina, who is working as a waitress there and gets fired at the beginning of the movie.  Jose leaves for the day and spends it with Nina, who is considering an abortion.  It’s a great heart-touching story about what a difference one day can make in a person’s life.  It also serves to remind us that while there are evils in abortion that we ought to expose, sometimes we forget to address the desperate circumstances that drive some women to abortions to begin with and give them an alternative.


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