“Cross.Culture.Critic.” talks to Joe Yerke of the Insyderz!

Hey everyone, Episode 2 of my podcast “Cross.Culture.Critic.” went live this weekend, and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it! My original idea for the podcast, as I’ve said before, centered on the Christian music scene of the 90s and 00s. As a youth group kid in the mid-90s, I was greatly influenced by the music I listened to, and I’ve been curious what happened to some of the bands were regulars in my Walkman. The podcast idea changed… Read more

“The Women’s Balcony”: How a Jewish Movie Taught Me What Faith-Based Films Can Be

“The Women’s Balcony” is not traditional summer entertainment. A foreign film without a massive advertising budget, I wasn’t even aware it existed until a representative emailed me in advance of its debut at one of Detroit’s art theaters. A shame, as Emil Ben-Shimon’s film — the highest-grossing film in Israel — is a welcome antidote to summer’s orgies of destruction. It’s not surprising that the movie’s flown under the critical radar; foreign-language films about religion, gender roles and community can’t exactly compete… Read more

“Cross.Culture.Critic.” debuts today

As I’ve written before, in recent years podcasting has become a hobby of mine. I’ve found its a great way to dive into in-depth interviews and talk about things in more detail than I can on this blog. For over two years, I’ve co-hosted “It’s My Favorite” with two friends, and recording those episodes has been a monthly highlight for me. Awhile back, I co-hosted a podcast for the Detroit Film Critics Society, which was great fun. Although I had… Read more

“Cars 3” Review: How Lightning Got His Vroom Back

It’s official: I’m just never going to “get” Pixar’s Cars universe. Despite the studio’s ability to make me care for friendly monsters, plastic toys, foodie rats, wisecracking bugs and personified emotions, I’ve been left cold by the adventures of Lightning McQueen and his buddies. There’s just something about their design that makes it hard to connect. Aside from their windshield eyes and bumper-lips, these are still just vehicles moving around roadways and tracks, and something in me resists suspending disbelief, no… Read more

“It’s My Favorite” Talks All Things Summer

I’m going to keep this one quick. I’ve talked before about “It’s My Favorite,” the podcast I co-host with two good friends. As I’ve said, it’s a highlight of my month to meet with Matt and Beth and talk about movies, TV and whatever else happens to be on our mind. There’s always a lot to talk about and talking with them is often the most I laugh all month. Each month, we alternate episodes. On our “main flavor” episode,… Read more

Review: “It Comes at Night” Leaves Audience in the Dark

Last year’s “Krisha” was one of the most astounding directorial debuts I’ve seen. A disorienting, visually and aurally spectacular domestic drama told through the lens of a thriller, I was immediately a fan of writer-director Trey Edward Shults. The film’s unnerving tone made me eager for his return behind the camera with the full-fledged horror movie, “It Comes at Night.” Be careful what you wish for. Shults’ sophomore effort cements his reputation as a visual maestro, capable of creating a dread-soaked… Read more

Review: “The Mummy” Makes Tom Cruise a Wrap Star

I had fun with “The Mummy,” but I don’t know that I can defend it. Universal’s attempt to reinvigorate its stable of horror icons is a mess, with a weak plot, paper-thin characters, and Jake Johnson stumbling in from another movie altogether. But Tom Cruise is as charismatic as always, there are some decent action beats, a knowing sense of humor, and Russell Crowe devouring the scenery so rabidly that I’m sure it left him with indigestion. It’s a silly… Read more

Great news! You can now watch “Step Brothers” at church!

Today, it was announced by Yahoo that Sony is going to make “clean” versions of some of its most popular titles available for the whole family. The company’s “clean version” initiative will offer family friendly versions of select movies, basically allowing them to choose the airline version of a film when they purchase the movies on select digital platforms. The movies include: 50 First Dates Battle Of The Year Big Daddy Captain Phillips Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Easy A Elysium… Read more

Lord, Save Us From Your Followers: ‘The Keepers’ and the Dark side of Christianity

Few shows have provoked as much rage in me as Netflix’s “The Keepers.” I started watching Netflix’s seven-part docuseries on Labor Day and finished it this past weekend. As a fan of true-crime podcasts and television shows, I found myself riveted by each part of this murder mystery, but also chilled and enraged at its depiction of Christianity perverted by lust and power. It’s essential viewing, but it’s not for the weak at heart. Righting the wrongs of “Making a Murderer”… Read more

“It’s My Favorite” Returns With a Pop Culture Gumbo!

If, like me, you have an insatiable addiction to pop culture, this a great time. It seems like every week, there are numerous different options hitting various streaming platforms, much of it very high quality. Right now, my wife and I are halfway through the third season of “Kimmy Schmidt” and “The Keepers” on Netflix, both of them excellent. I want to savor those shows, but I’m also aware that I still have new episodes of “Master of None,” “Fargo”… Read more