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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

New World Order

Plot Overview

Lincoln's facediscipleshiptombstoneWyoming less than two decades after acquiring statehood: a homesteader Ruth Briggs (Kerry Knuppe) out hanging laundry is approached by four riders, hardened outlaws, escaped prisoners. Grinning James McCallister (Noah Le Gros,) tall-in-the-saddle Michael “Big Mike” Arlens (Abraham Benrubi,) heavy Boots Miller (Shiloh Fernandez,) and old timer Eustice Bedford (Clint Howard) are on their way to hole-in-the-wall Santa Rosa, Mexico where James their leader has a señorita Maria (Katelyn Bauer,) to lay low for a year and spend their stash. He kills Ruth to force her husband reformed gun­slinger Colton Briggs (Nicolas Cage) to come after him. They plan an ambush to repay an old debt. Colton of necessity brings along his 12-year-old daughter Brooke (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) teaching her how to shoot and how to cover up her socio­pathic family traits. U.S. Marshal Franklin Jarrett (Nick Searcy) riding with a posse a day behind the out­laws tries to dissuade Colton from his purpose, to let the law handle the matter instead, but he and James (“God help us”) prefer to “settle our differences in the street, the old way,”


The arc of “The Old Way” proceeds from “good people” in a “good town” of the Wyoming Territory milling about while the self-appointed law, shop­keeper Clark (Dean Armstrong) covered by hired gun­slinger Colton Briggs, hangs a man for not knowing his place—shop­lifting,—to the same town now in the state of Wyoming, inhabited by generational church­goers preparing for their annual potluck supplied by Briggs Mercantile while his home gets raided by out­laws pursued by a marshal and his men, to a Mexican village boasting women & whiskey and whose nearest lawman is two days out—four once the tele­graph line is cut. The movie tells us a lot about Christians and their history.

1 Corinthians 7In its early days in Corinth, Christianity would have been perceived as a Jewish cult, and planned marriages in the pipe­line would be honored whether or not they were mixed. It was seven years from the start of Paul's preaching in Corinth to when he wrote his answering letter about them from Ephesus:

According to Pastor Criswell, The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
Date: First Corinthians was written in the spring, probably in 57 a.d., though it could have been as early as 54 a.d. Second Corinthians was written some six months later. In 50 a.d. Paul reached Corinth on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1-4). In an eighteen month stay (Acts 18:9-11) [and then some (Acts 18:18)] a church was established. … He had received questions from the Corinthians (1Cor. 7:1) and wrote the letter known as First Corinthians as an answer to those questions. At the time, Paul was in Ephesus (1Cor. 16:8), near the end of his three-year stay there (Acts 20:31) and before his departure for Macedonia (1Cor. 16:5, Acts 20:1).

From visionary Maria Valtorta, 631. The Last Teachings before Ascension-Day: (430)

II In the Mosaic religion matrimony is a contract. In the new Christian religion let it be a sacred indissoluble act, on which may the grace of the Lord descend to make of husband and wife two ministers of His in the propagation of the human race. From the very first moments try to advise the consort belonging to the new religion to convert the consort, who is still out of the number of the believers, to enter and become part of it, to avoid those painful divisions of thought, and consequently of peace, that we have noticed also among our­selves. But when it is a question of believers in the Lord, for no reason what­soever what God united is to be dissolved. And when a consort is Christian and is united to a heathen, advise that consort to bear his/her cross with patience, meekness and also with strength, to the extent of dying to defend his/her faith, but with­out leaving the consort whom he/she married with full consent. This is My advice for a more perfect life in the matrimonial state, until it will be possible, with the diffusion of Christianity, to have marriages between believers. Then let the bond be sacred and indissoluble, and the love holy.

The apostle Paul looked upon mixed marriage as an occasion for Christian influence on the unbelieving partner, (1Cor. 7:16) “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” Paul's answer in addressing such questions of the Corinthians appears to have been in the present tense, regarding an existing marriage of a Christian to an unbeliever, but he allows for such influence on an unbeliever to apply to developing composites as well, (1Cor. 3:21-22) “For all things are yours; Whether … things present, or things to come; all are your's.” At any rate there was inevitable opportunity for mixed marriages to have occurred during those seven years, and Christians marrying non-christians would have been included in the permission intrinsic in Paul's answer.

When Paul enjoins the widow to remarry “only in the Lord” (1Cor. 7:39) if at all, he is using the phrase adverbially telling her not to proceed “wantonly against Christ” (1Tim. 5:11-12). He's not curtailing her liberty by insisting she wed only a Christian husband, as would be the case if the phrase were applied adjectivally. This movie would follow scripture correctly allowing Ruth a “good [Christian] woman” to mate out­­side her faith if she wants. Fact is she seems to be following the Lord's example (Luke 15:4-7) where a good shepherd leaves ninety-nine sheep in the fold and goes off rescuing a single stray. There's an abundance of Christian single men in the growing West who would love to marry her, but she ignores them and takes up the lost one. Colton Briggs is, as the marshal put it, “about the meanest s.o.b. I ever met.”

Her remarkable conversion of him into a family man is allegorically expressed with Brooke's visit to her dad's store. In comes an unkempt, unwashed customer to buy flour for his mom's potluck cake. No more apple pies because they “taste like sh!t,” supposedly because the apple tree was too close to the out­house. This is hooey. It doesn't work that way. The cause of the scato­logical flavor is given away by the customer's remark about his old bag of flour being full of weevils, as suggested in a Joseph Schuster novel:

The baker had complained that his last shipment of flour had weevils in it. “Look at this,” he'd said opening a plastic vat, revealing pale insects burrowing into the flour, scurrying up the sides. It was evident … that the fault probably lay with the baker; his kitchen was filthy. Stain­less steel bowls sat unwashed in the large sink and the floor was covered in grease. (102)

Brooke notes that the customer put his dirty hands into the jelly bean bin. After he leaves she wipes the beans individually, sorting them by color. Similarly, Ruth had cleaned up her man one lousy bean at a time, pointing out that she does for him in myriad ways, so he can do this one little thing for her. They add up. She followed the old way working on converting an unbelieving husband rather than marrying one of the abundantly available Christian men.

Six months after addressing in a letter the Corinthians' concerns about mixed marriages (allowed), Paul wrote 2nd Corinthians in which he told them, (2Cor. 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...” referring in its context to corporate worship and practice, as also indicated by the plural ye pronoun. Here the marshal is the champion of Wyoming being now a “part of a new country,” with its “laws and due process” by which they will “catch 'em, take 'em to trial, and they will hang.” Accordingly, “People just don't go on murdering other folk; that ain't the world anymore.”

Daniel's accusers fed to lions(Gen. 9:5) “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” To keep violence in check after Noah's flood, God instituted capital punishment. In primitive societies with­out sophisticated implements, wild beasts were used, e.g. lions den, snake pit, ant hill. A man's brother was expected to carry out retribution before they had a developed legal system. This movie reverts in the end to the old way.

Production Values

middle age man” (2023) was directed by Brett Donowho. It was written by Carl W. Lucas. It stars Nicolas Cage, Noah Le Gros and Ryan Kiera Armstrong. Not­with­standing Cage's star power it is Kiera Arm­strong as a mini Mata Hari who steals the show. Cage plays the same hombre at ages set apart twenty years, and the younger one does look older than did Cage twenty years prior in “Match­stick Men,” but not more than can be attributed to the rough life in the West.

MPAA rated it R for violence. The opening, hanging scene was—pardon the pun—stretched out more than usual for Western genre films. My city council has banned noose displays altogether, not that a DVD is permitted public display in the first place. Maybe some day free speech will arrive.

The long shots of Montana scenery looked swell, but the closer focused material seemed confining. The music went well with the action, how­ever. Unfortunately, it's not a West that's as exciting as movies can make them. Runtime is 1 hour 35 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

The tension manifests itself nicely throughout the whole film and the actors don't seem to know how it will end, much less the audience, to say nothing of the marshal who is bringing up the rear. Westerns were easier to follow when one could tell the good guys from the bad by the color of their hats. Here the marshal removes his to scratch his head. I don't blame him.

Movie Ratings

Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Action factor: Well done action flick. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three and a half stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

Schuster, Joseph M. The Might Have Been. Copy­right © 2012 by Joseph M. Schuster. New York: Ballantine Books, 2012. Print.

Valtorta, Maria. 631. The Last Teachings before Ascension-Day. in The Gospel as Revealed to Me. Vol. 5. Translated from Italian by Nicandro Picozzi, M.A., D.D. Revised by Patrick McLaughlin, M.A. This 2nd English Edition has now replaced the First English Edition, The Poem of the Man-God. Web.

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