Interview with Amanda G. Stevens, author of the Haven Seekers series

There’s enough bad Christian art out there and more than enough snarky writing about it — much of which, admittedly, I’ve been guilty of. Lost in that discussion, however, are the Christian artists who are producing strong work and working to change the cultural conversation. This is the first part of what I hope becomes an ongoing feature on this blog: conversations with these artists and discussions about how Christian art can grow and improve.  Full disclosure: I’m friends with author Amanda… Read more

The glorious mess of Fox’s “The Passion Live”

Before saying anything else, let’s just appreciate this fact: last night, in a time slot usually reserved for Will Forte pooping in a margarita pool, Fox spent two hours observing the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If nothing else, the network’s much-hyped, Tyler Perry-hosted musical event “The Passion Live” presented the story with sincerity, reverence and creativity. It didn’t attempt to water down or re-invent the story; near the end, Perry talked openly about Christ’s death, salvation from… Read more

The Road to Easter 2016: “Easter Mysteries”

When I started this series, my intent was to get away from standard cinematic depictions of the Christ story. I’d seen enough Easter cantatas and church pageants to last a lifetime, and I was interested in films that examined who Christ was and how he affected the lives of his followers, not somber recreations of biblical tales. So it’s a bit amusing that the film that affected me most was originally written as a church production and could easily be… Read more

The fleeting fame of Palm Sunday

We love celebrity. Our televisions and computer screens are constantly filled with the latest information about the rich and famous. We declare our support for politicians on bumper stickers, and voice our love for movies stars with our hard-earned money. When someone entertains us, moves us or promises us something great, we don’t hold back on our praise. We lavish it. But we’re also fickle. We’ll turn our back on artists when they go stale. Politicians who don’t deliver on their… Read more

We can’t answer Donald Trump’s noise with our own

A few years ago, my wife and I were walking through Ann Arbor on a date night. As we headed toward the University of Michigan campus and one of our favorite coffee shops, we noticed a commotion coming from a street corner about a block up. As people passed, we heard them whispering. “Did you see him? Did you see the Westboro guy?” We couldn’t see him at that moment, but we could hear him; we couldn’t make out what… Read more

Producer Ron Simons talks “Easter Mysteries”

  On Tuesday, moviegoers can see a unique look at Jesus’ life during a special cinematic performance of “Easter Mysteries,” broadcast to select theaters by Fathom Events. John O’Boyle’s oratorio tells the gospel story through the eyes of Christ’s disciples. It’s unique in that it’s a stage show performed live for an audience, but filmed for the cinema. Like most oratorios, the story is almost completely told through song, with characters in costume but minimal set dressing and props. I’ve seen… Read more

Will Indy regain his soul in ‘Indiana Jones 5’?

Looks like it’s time to dust off the fedora, grab the whip and maybe shine up that walker. Because Indy’s coming back, and he’s gonna be old. Walt Disney Pictures sent out the following release today: Indiana Jones will return to the big screen on July 19, 2019, for a fifth epic adventure in the blockbuster series. Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy… Read more

The Road to Easter: The Young Messiah

I was skeptical of “The Young Messiah.” Some of that was my usual hesitation with films made for Christian audiences. But I was also worried that this might be an attempt to franchise Christ. The film is produced by Chris Columbus, and part of me wondered if this was an attempt to give the gospel the Harry Potter treatment. Based on Anne Rice’s novel “Christ Our Lord: Out of Egypt,” it tells the story of Jesus’ childhood, beginning years after the… Read more

Detroit area readers! Win free tickets to “Easter Mysteries”

This seems to be the year of the Jesus movie. We’ve already seen “Risen,” tomorrow I’ll be writing about “The Young Messiah” for my Lent column, and on Palm Sunday, Tyler Perry will host Fox’s live passion play. There’s one last film event happening this Easter season that I’m particularly interested in. “Easter Mysteries” is a one-night only theatrical film that will presented as a Fathom event at participating theaters on Tuesday, March 22. Fathom — which often does these one-night presentations of… Read more

Review: “10 Cloverfield Lane”

There’s very little that “10 Cloverfield Lane” has in common with “Cloverfield” on a narrative or aesthetic level. Matt Reeves’ 2008 found footage movie followed a group of twenty-something New Yorkers in the wake of a monster attack. The new film, which producer J.J. Abrams has called a “blood relative,” is a more classically filmed thriller, more interested in creating claustrophobic tension than showcasing large-scale destruction. Yet there is a thematic similarity to the films, which both use of-the-moment fears… Read more

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