Review: “Baywatch” Is a Beach Bummer

The funniest moment in “Baywatch” happens at the end of the opening credits. Head lifeguard Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) is starting his day  when he spots a swimmer in peril. In super slow motion, he runs down the beach, dives into the ocean and rescues the man. He emerges from the water like a superhero, the victim cradled in his arms as the music swells. As Johnson gives a powerful stare to the camera, the title — all in caps — rises triumphantly behind... Read more

Announcement: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Podcasts?

I’m a product of nineties youth group culture. I was raised in the Baptist church. For the first 12 years of my life, we attended a very strict one, the kind that prohibited dancing, drinking or attending movie theaters. The only music I was allowed to listen to was Christian rock. Even though we moved on to a more relaxed church when I hit middle school, my parents still encouraged us only to listen to music from that subgenre. My... Read more

The Truman Show, Freedom and Less-Wild Lovers

In their book “The Sacred Romance,” Brent Curtis and John Eldredge discuss the rut that many people often find themselves in. Yearning for lives of adventure and romance but finding that those very things require risk, many settle for what the authors call “less-wild lovers” — distractions that temporarily pacify desire without requiring too much. There are two forms these “lovers” often take. The first is addiction  — drugs, pornography, materialism — that give the rush you’re looking for without asking for... Read more

Holiday Road: My 5 Favorite Movie Road Trips

As you read this, I’m on a week-long vacation with my family. As such, I’m taking a bit of a social media break, aside from making sure posts hit Facebook and Twitter accordingly. But I didn’t want to leave you content-less, so I have two posts hitting this week. This first is lighter and fun. The second, which posts Thursday, is a deep dive into one of my favorite films. There’s a bit of a vacation tie-in to these posts.... Read more

Review: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” keeps Marvel weird

It’s easy to forget that “Guardians of the Galaxy” was the first big question mark for Marvel. After having great success with its earthbound heroes, the studio took its first big leap into the cosmic realm, anchoring it to a group of misfits that included a Walkman-wearing Earthling, a green-skinned assassin, a tattooed warrior, a badass raccoon and a sentient tree named Groot. It was easy to see this as a possible bridge too far for mainstream audiences, especially since the... Read more

Kicking off summer with “Is Genesis History,” MST3K, Batman and more!

Constant readers have probably noticed that the writing here has been a bit slower in the past month. It’s been two weeks since my last post, and a look at my Letterboxd account this weekend revealed I only saw two movies in the month of April. There’s a reason for that: I’ve been in the final weeks of my grad school semester, crunching on a paper that took up pretty much all of my free time. We’ve been short-staffed at... Read more

How the movies helped me reconcile faith and science

Writing about the relationship between faith and science for the blog series on National Geographic’s “The Story of God” was one of my highlights from last year. I was honored to be asked to participate in the blog carnival, but I also had no idea how the project would also send me on my own faith journey. Discussing my views on the origins of the universe caused me to address questions I’d been wrestling with for years. I knew that the... Read more

Review: Charm keeps “Fate of the Furious” from stalling

The final 45 minutes of “The Fate of the Furious” are some of the most gleefully ridiculous in the 16-year franchise. There are cars on ice, a Russian submarine and The Rock redirecting a torpedo with his bare hands. Miles above, another character gets in a blistering fight on plane, a gun in one hand and a baby in the other. Director F. Gary Gray delivers pure insanity, which is what the Fast and Furious movies do best. It’s a welcome boost... Read more

Crashing: Christian in the wild

HBO’s new series “Crashing” finished its first season on Sunday. As with many of the network’s other comedies, I highly enjoyed it. The combination of star/creator Pete Holmes and executive producer Judd Apatow made this look into the stressful world of stand-up comedy heartfelt, awkward and funny, often in the same beat. But it’s the show’s spiritual side that made it resonate. “Crashing” follows Holmes (playing a slightly fictionalized version of himself) as he tries to make a break in... Read more

Holy Week Viewing: 7 Films About Jesus

We’re about to enter the most important week of the Christian faith. As we commemorate Palm Sunday this weekend, our attention will then turn from the Triumphal Entry to the road to Gethsemane in preparation for Good Friday and Easter. And as such, I find it might be an interesting time to revisit films about Jesus. Over the years, I’ve come to love movies about Jesus. Cinema gives us the great opportunity to view this beloved story from different angles... Read more