Guilty music pleasures and the great creation/evolution debate on CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC.

I’m going to keep this short, because this is a fun one and I can’t wait for ya’ll to hear it. Joe and I have been doing this CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. podcast for a few months now, and as I’ve said before, it’s exceeded my expectations. Not just in terms of downloads, although that’s been pleasantly surprising, but in terms of fulfillment. It’s truly a lot of fun to sit and record this show with him, and there have been times when… Read more

Movie of the Week: ‘A Face in the Crowd’ (1957)

This is a new weekly feature I’m going to be running here. I hope you enjoy it. A lot of these will be films I’m watching in grad school, but we’ll get some other movies in there too. Feel free to submit your picks as well in the comments, on my Facebook page (link below) or via email. I hope you enjoy this new addition!  This semester, I’m taking a class about depictions of journalism and politics in film. We’re… Read more

Steve Taylor Talks Newsboys, Christian Culture and Donald Trump on CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC.

If, like me, you grew up listening to Christian music, you know the work of Steve Taylor. In the 1980 and 1990s, he was a provocateur, with songs like “I Want to Be a Clone,” “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good” and “Cash Cow” not only bringing Christian music to the masses but also pointing a finger at the church and its hypocrisy. As a teenager, he was deeply involved with albums by the Insyderz, the Newsboys and Sixpence… Read more

Review: “It” is Scary, Surprisingly Tender Coming-of-Age Story

Adolescence is terrifying. Bullies are in constant pursuit, your body rebels against you, and adults seem imposing and untrustworthy. For many, it’s the most horrifying period of their lives. And that’s without killer clowns. Stephen King’s “It” is one of the author’s most beloved novels because it understands that the scariest part of being a kid isn’t supernatural beasts or grotesque horrors. No, the most terrifying thing is knowing that a big, unpredictable world lurks outside your front door and… Read more

Christian Movies Need More “Blue Like Jazz” and Less “God’s Not Dead”

Whenever people find out that I’m a Christian and a film critic (but not, I should stress, a Christian film critic), there’s one movie they always ask me about. Depending on their background and leanings, they either expect that I love it or want to know why it’s so terrible. That movie is “God’s Not Dead.” I’ve had friends ask me if I like it, reporters ask me why it’s so bad and I’ve talked about it on podcasts. The most… Read more

Movies, comedy and parenting advice via podcasts!

Well, we’re in the thick of fall now (except, of course, on the calendar). My son started kindergarten this week and my second year of grad school is officially underway. I got back into the screening groove this week with “It,” which you can read about next week, along with an announcement detailing why it’s a bit delayed. And there’s some good stuff I’m working on to post in the coming days, including my thoughts on the recent re-release of… Read more

Christians: Read the Room

If God has a PR person, they should be fired after this week. At a time when the public perception of Christianity in America is already in the toilet, this week it took another hit on two fairly large fronts. First, megachurch prosperity preacher Joel Osteen caught heat when it appeared he was closing the doors of his Houston church to residents seeking shelter from Hurricane Harvey. Although Lakewood eventually opened its doors — and Osteen claimed they had never been closed —… Read more

Punk Rock, Theme Parks and More on a Double Dose of CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC.

Don’t worry, we’re going to get back to movies soon. I intentionally try to take a breather from new releases in August. The summer movie season exhausts me, even after one as strong as this summer. Plus, the fall season is looking insane. That’s not a bad thing. A glimpse at the fall film release schedule shows me there’s something potentially great coming nearly every week, and as I prepare to balance the awards season review slate with grad school,… Read more

What Are the Greatest Comedies of All Time?

Comedy films and comedians often don’t get the respect they deserve from film buffs. Think of the last pure comedy or comedic performance to walk away with an Academy Award or to top an end-of-the-year list. People often mistake “serious” for “good,” and neglect to acknowledge that making people laugh often takes more skill and calculation than making them cry. To this day, I’ll insist that “Borat” should have been nominated for an Oscar, and that Sacha Baron Cohen should… Read more

A Summer Break

It has been a heck of a summer. Usually by August, I’m ready to toss in the towel and never set foot in a theater again, worn down by sub-par blockbusters and action flicks. This year, though, summer has been one for the books. “Dunkirk,” “Detroit,” “War for the Planet of the Apes,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Baby Driver” and “Spider-man: Homecoming” are just some of the films I’ve been so thrilled to get to write about. And… Read more

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