Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters (Movie Review)

"Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters" is about the famous children from the German fairy tale recorded by The Brothers Grimm. Only in this story, the famous fairy tale is just the "origin story", as the brother and sister duo grow up to become professional witch hunters.

A plague of witchery swarms around a peaceful community. Large numbers of children are being abducted. It soon becomes clear that the witches of the world have something very big planned, and its up to Hansel and Gretel to stop them.

If that story sounds simplistic, that's because it is. There are no big surprises or character twists. The story is easily the weakest part of the experience. This also isn't a character-driven film, despite some nice touches to the title characters here and there. This flick is all about the mashup of a classic fairy tale with modern gamer-geek sensibilities.

The protagonists are written as though their dialogue and actions are being created at the gaming table, while the unseen gamers controlling them invisibly roll dice and eat cheetos behind the scenes. By contrast, everyone else in the story (we might call them NPCs or "Non-Player Characters") is written as though they fit directly in with the time period of the original fairy tale. (Though not the place. German accents would have been a nice touch.)

If this conjures up memories of previous failed attempts at blending medieval fantasy worlds with modern culture (A Knight's Tale and Dungeons And Dragons come to mind), this time around the blending is much more subtle, and the style of storytelling lends itself to the gimmick well. I was surprised at how nicely it worked and how much I enjoyed the experience as a result.

Dialogue isn't the only modern element brought to the table. The siblings' wardrobe and weaponry feel stylish and modern, despite looking like just MAYBE they POSSIBLY could have been made in the early 1800's.

Visual effects were standard quality. Enjoyable but not ambitious.

Make-up on the witches looked a little like make-up at times, but the pronounced and striking style looked cool despite the trade-off.

I was very happy that they used puppetry and animatronics to create the troll character, who was every bit as expressive as any CG creature I've seen, and looked 100% physically real... because it was.

The action sequences are cool and fun, but because of the emotionally detatched, wise-cracking nature of the heroes, I never felt like they had things too rough.

The theme of witchcraft is obviously central. Without giving too many spoilers, the story presents the idea of there being both "dark witches" and "light witches". Bad AND good.

In another movie, this might raise an eyebrow from me, as the Bible teaches that the practice of witchcraft (or sorcery) is contrary to God's will for our lives. (Galatians 5:19-21) Does a movie with "good witches" support the practice of witchcraft?

I don't think this one does. The version of "witchcraft" presented here is purely fantastical, as I think any modern real witch will tell you. The behaviors referred to as "witchcraft" in this film, and many films like it, are dreamed up by their creators, and bear little resemblence to REAL witchcraft and sorcery.

It's not even clear in this movie that the story takes place on earth, rather than some fantasy world. So suspension of disbelief comes easy, and unless someone is trying to find trouble, they shouldn't find any with the supernatural themes of this movie. (If they do, they probably don't like "The Wizard Of Oz", either.)

All that said, the casual nature of the experience means that it will probably provoke little or no thoughts regarding moral or spiritual issues, even though dim embers of potential for it are present.
The lack of ambition in storytelling and character means that this movie is not a must-see for now. But if you've ever enjoyed playing fantasy RPGs with your buddies, you'll want to give this one a try on home video. It's a fun little ride.

Rated R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language 

Quality: 8.0/10
Relevance: 6.0/10

Monday, January 28, 2013

Renaming The Forums

Today I want to announce an upcoming transition that I'm very excited about and hope you will be, too!

As I've mentioned before, I'm hoping to soon launch the "alpha" version of a new website called "Christian Geek Central", which I hope will help to increase the size and involvement of the great community we've already started on our forums.

My plan is to launch the alpha site in February, and soon after change the name of the Spirit Blade Underground Forums to the Christian Geek Central Forums. This will be almost exclusively a cosmetic change. The entire posting history and membership of the SBU forums will remain intact, and none of our policy should be changing, either.

Hopefully that will help put any fears of "losing" our existing community to rest. In fact, this upcoming transition should only involve gaining. Gaining more community members, more interesting content, and more potential for Spirit Blade Productions to develop new ideas, better and faster than ever before!

I'll be sure to post again when the transition is about to take place, and notify you of any changes you might need to be aware of (such as changes in URLs or navigation link names). In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or questions about this, please don't hesitate to let me know! My hope is that everyone will not only be comfortable with this transition, but be as excited about its potential as I am!

Thanks for being a part of this community! I can't wait to see what's coming next!

-Paeter Frandsen

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brian Godawa Interview, Part 2 (SBU Podcast)

Part 2 of our interview with Hollywood screenwriter and "Chronicles Of The Nephilim" author Brian Godawa. Plus a look at God's "alien-like" anthropomorphic communication with us, and some Thank You's passed around.


Submit Questions, Comments or Content(written or audio file) to:



visit to leave a recorded message with your phone or computer for me to play on the show!I'd love for you to be a part of this podcast!

(For more information, visit


For Community, Free Stuff and TONS more, explore the rest of the growing "Spirit Blade" universe at-

The Spirit Blade Underground Podcast is written, recorded and produced by Paeter Frandsen, with additional segments produced by their credited authors.
Copyright 2012, Spirit Blade Productions
Music by Wesley Devine, Bjorn A. Lynne, Pierre Langer, and Sound Ideas.
Spazzmatica Polka by Kevin MacLeod ( effects provided by: FreqMan

Direct Download-

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In Search Of Truth, Anthropomorphism

Genesis 6:6-7

And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."

We're about to look at Genesis chapter 6, but before we do, I want to briefly talk about anthropomorphism. Specifically, the attribution of human form or behavior to God. In Genesis 6:6-7, we see God regretting and being sorry for something he had done. But God is also described in the Bible as being perfect.

Matthew 5:48- You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

God is also one who does not change his mind.

Numbers 23:19- God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 

So how can God be sorry for anything he has done?

The answer boils down to the methods of communication God has chosen to use with humanity. (This is the part where us geeks can enjoy exercising the part of our brains that love exploring strange, alien concepts.)

God is infinite in every aspect of his being. Infinitely powerful. Infinitely good. Infinitely just. Infinitely intelligent. But even though we like throwing the word around, we can't really comprehend what it means for something to be infinite. In fact, the word infinite only means "NOT finite". Much of the time, the best we can do when describing God is to say what he is NOT, rather than what he IS.
Human language is itself finite in its capacity to convey information. No matter how much time we spend describing God in human language, we can never arrive at a point in time at which we have finally, exhaustively, described even one attribute of God.

As humans, we are made to process ideas using language and sequential thoughts. We don't think about an infinite number of ideas all at once. We think our thoughts one after the other, because we exists and operate in time.

God has been who he is, in all of his complete, unchanging "Godness", since before he created time.

Psalm 90:2- Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

He can and does operate in time, but is not in any way limited to time. Still, being an infinitely knowledgable God, he knows that we don't have the capacity to understand what he is like in his fullness. We can only understand limited ideas.

So in scripture, God presents glimpses of himself that are filtered through our human limitations, resulting in a representation of God that, while accurate as an analogy, falls infinitely short of a full representation of God.

Looking at the text at hand, we see the key words "regretted", and "sorry". Both come from the Hebrew word, Nacham, which essentially means a change of heart, disposition, mind, purpose or conduct. It also conveys the idea of grief.

God can't truly change his heart, disposition, mind or purpose. But in his interactions with humanity, in which he interfaces with time, God CAN change his conduct from one moment to the next, and be motivated by his own feelings of grief. In response to his feelings about something, God will even change his standard operations and shift into a new status quo. That's what we see happening here.

God knew this time of human sin and rebellion described in Genesis 6 was coming. He knew it before he created the universe. But in the context of this human evil, God was in some way grieved when thinking about his creation of humanity. Grieved at how his beautiful intentions in creating humanity were being grossly rejected by humanity.

And though his feelings about that time of rebellion have been and will be timelessly present within him, I believe God reacted at that time, in part, to display his character to us. To clearly link his displeasure and wrath to evil behavior, and contrast evil with himself.

Protestors indicate something about their own character and values when they speak in contrast to what they oppose. Likewise, by intervening in Genesis 6, God was revealing something to humanity about himself. He revealed that he is not content with human suffering and violence. He does not approve of selfishness and hatred. He made it clear that human life is not meant to persist in evil and that we were created to be good.

As we move forward, we'll see more and more of who God is and who we are, as he reveals himself both in analogous description and in the laws and covenants he makes with humanity.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thank You!

As some of you may know, I've been mixing all of our projects on the same computer since 2004. It's hung in there for longer than I've had any right to expect, though not without prohibitive glitches and lagging performance.

A very special package arrived over the weekend that I'm very excited about. (The above picture was taken just before it shipped out to me.) But first, I have some thank yous to hand out today, as I prepare to open up and connect my new, super-awesome, work computer.

First, I have to thank my brother in law, Sean Corbett. He is both a fantastic musician and a technical wizard, with far more years of experience and know-how with audio production than anyone I've met. He offered to custom-build a mixing computer for me a few months ago, making it possible for me to have a computer that will meet my needs (and then some!) for many years to come, at a price far less than what I would  have paid for it otherwise. (In fact, I COULD'NT have paid for it otherwise!)

I also need to thank my older sister, Jhannea and her husband Chad. She is not a sci-fi/fantasy/horror fan by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, over the years we've come to disagreements over geek-genre entertainment on a few occasions. But Jhannea believes that the work I've committed to, inspiring, encouraging and equipping Christian Geeks to live for Christ, is important. So despite geek-entertainment and culture not being a passion of her own, she and her husband recently made a significant, sacrificial, and very moving donation to Spirit Blade Productions, that paid for well over half of the cost for my new computer. This wasn't just love for her brother. This was a gift from a man and woman who want to serve the Kingdom of God and impact lives they will otherwise never reach themselves. Their generosity and "Kingdom perspective" is a humbling example to me.

Finally, I need to thank all of you who have purchased any of our products, or who have partnered with me as a Spirit Blade Insider. Our company is small enough that when I say "your purchases and financial support make what we do possible", that isn't an abstract or "big picture" philosophical statement. It's real, and it's practical. YOUR purchase or donation (and yes, I mean you individually), made the difference. I wasn't able to pay for this computer just a few months ago, but now I can, which means Spirit Blade 3 can move forward as planned.

Of course no one I've mentioned would have contributed at all if the Holy Spirit hadn't equipped them and moved or orchestrated their involvement in some way. So I'm also reminded of the constant dependence I have to have on God, and the constant gratitude he is owed for every good thing that comes my way.

Thank you so much for being a part of what Spirit Blade Productions is doing. I hope you'll continue to join me as we step into the future in anticipation of what God has planned.

-Paeter Frandsen

Friday, January 18, 2013

Brian Godawa Interview, Part 1 (SBU Podcast)

Part 1 of an interview with Hollywood screenwriter and now fantasy author Brian Godawa, Ben Avery shares his thought clouds on the Phantom Stranger, and we take a look at the continued fall of humanity in the book of Genesis.


Submit Questions, Comments or Content(written or audio file) to:



visit to leave a recorded message with your phone or computer for me to play on the show!I'd love for you to be a part of this podcast!

(For more information, visit


For Community, Free Stuff and TONS more, explore the rest of the growing "Spirit Blade" universe at-

The Spirit Blade Underground Podcast is written, recorded and produced by Paeter Frandsen, with additional segments produced by their credited authors.
Copyright 2012, Spirit Blade Productions
Music by Wesley Devine, Bjorn A. Lynne, Pierre Langer, and Sound Ideas.
Spazzmatica Polka by Kevin MacLeod ( effects provided by: FreqMan

Direct Download-

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SBP 2013 Resolutions

Well, it's the start of a new year, which means a new set of hopes and dreams are in front of me that I'd love to see come about. But as I look back at previous January posts, I notice how bad I am at predicting what will actually happen for Spirit Blade Productions in a given year, or even a given month.

Last year at this time I hosted the reading session for Spirit Blade 3, with plans to begin casting in February or March. In actuality, I decided to focus on recording the returning actors first, saving new casting for later (which is now looking like February or March of THIS year.)

The "Golden Knight" audio book was released as planned, but the Spirit Blade Card Game was set back by significant redevelopment. (Far from abandoned, however! I'm considering a release date that will build toward, or coincide with, the release of Spirit Blade 3!)

As I'm reminded again, tomorrow is promised to no one, and our plans can only be made with the understanding that God's agenda may be very different from our own. However, taking that into account, here are some goals for 2013:

1. Launch the unofficial (alpha, if you will) version of in February.

2. Finish recording all Spirit Blade 3 principle actors by May. (Those remaining include Randy Hesson, Holly Frandsen and Myself)

3. Hold auditions in February-April and begin recording secondary roles before May.

4. Complete half or more of the mixing work on Spirit Blade 3 before December.

5. Decide on the subtitle so I can stop calling it Spirit Blade "3"!

6. Launch the new version of the Spirit Blade Productions Website before May.

7. Launch the Christian Geek Central Network (more on this later).

I'm aiming conservatively this year, so it's hard to imagine that most of these things won't happen. But God has taken me through so many unpredictable turns over the years that I'm trying more and more to keep a loose grip on the steering wheel.

Whatever may come, I'm committed to Spirit Blade Productions' vision of encouraging, equipping and inspiring Christian geeks like you and me to live more and more for Christ!

I hope you'll continue to join me for the ride and maybe even become a part of how the engine works!

-Paeter Frandsen

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Search Of Truth, Genesis 4:8-16

A few months ago we began looking at some key passages in the Old Testament that give insight to who God is, who we are, and the nature of our relationship with God. We've been laying the foundation for an examination of the sacrificial system and major rituals of the Old Testament, which we will aim to begin looking at in the coming months.

We've looked at the fall of humanity, as the first humans rejected God's instructions in favor of their own desires. We've seen the lasting consequences of that choice. Now we'll see, in this passage and beyond, how humanity continued to fall, becoming increasingly evil.


Here the first murder is recorded. Rather than accept God's correction and become better as a result, Cain let bitterness grow inside of him and ultimately killed his brother because of it, trying to avoid responsibility for his actions afterward.

Our natural tendency is the same. We aren't all murderers, but it's easy for us to become silently bitter toward someone making better choices than us instead of learning from the good examples of others. We are also quick to shift responsibility away from ourselves, either in our outward conversations or our inward thoughts.


God hadn't yet commanded humans not to murder each other, but instead intervened after corrupted human freedom led to murder.

Sometimes people complain that God gives us too many rules for our lives, as though we would be more free and better off without God's laws. But this kind of "freedom" was given more than a fair chance by God. What we see between the fall of humanity and the Exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, is a period of time in which God intervened largely with consequences for unguided choices rather than preemptive rules to help avoid sin.


Again, we see God's mercy in the midst of punishment. Just as God provided clothing for Adam and Eve while expelling them from the Garden, God puts a protective mark on Cain to prevent him from being murdered.

On a side note, you may notice the implication that there are numerous other humans in the world at this time, not including those specifically mentioned in Genesis to this point. A reasonable explanation for this is that Adam and Eve, and their children, had many children not recorded in biblical geneolagies, which often included both large and small gaps. Unlike today, the purpose of ancient geneolagies was not necessarily to provide an exhaustively detailed record of a family line.


A final consequence of Cain's sin was his departure from God's presence. Whether from an implied command, his newfound inability to grow produce, or his own shame, Cain left "the presence of the LORD".

Distance from God is both a just and a natural consequence of making our own will a higher priority than God's will.

I can be a very self-indulgent geek. I love my hobbies so much that I can become absorbed in them for days, giving as little attention as possible to anything and anyone else (as I discovered over my recent vacation). Then when I come up for air, or when I need comfort or encouragement, I wonder why God seems so distant.

The truth is that I allow myself to become distant from God when I make my own entertainment and escapism a higher priority than serving God and seeing the world through his eyes.

Thankfully, because of the untiring love and forgiveness of Jesus, every day, every moment, is a fresh start and a clean slate. (Romans 8:1, Lamentations 3:22-23) A chance to "reload my save" and start the level again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Posts Resuming January 14th, Podcast Resumes January 18th

Hi Everybody!

I wanted to give you the heads up about a minor delay to my return from vacation.

I woke up at 5am on Christmas morning to begin a three-hour puking event. (You know you're creating a special memory when some water from the bowl splashes up and back into your mouth. Luckily I had flushed down my liquid stool just moments before beginning to vomit.) Most of my immediate and visiting extended family followed close behind later that day.

We all spent most of the week between Christmas and New Years Eve quarantined in our homes recovering, losing close to a week of precious family time.

Although I had planned to return to work the middle of next week, I want to take advantage of every chance I have to make up for lost time while my sister and her family are still in town. For this reason I hope you'll understand that I'll be coming back to work a little later than I'd originally stated, and the next podcast will not go up until the weekend of January 18th.

Sorry for the delay and thanks so much for your understanding.

-Paeter Frandsen