What was Actually So Great About 2008

In January, I wrote about the culture events I most looked forward to in 2008. Some events turned out to be better than I expected, others much, much worse, and still others never even happened. Now that 2008 is coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time to look at my predictions and see which cultural events actually had an impact this year. TV My prediction: Star Wars the Clone WarsThe last film I saw in theaters this summer was perhaps the worst movie I have even seen (and, Lord … [Read more...]

Slumdog Millionaire: “It Is Written"

Slumdog Millionaire is, without question, one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It’s well structured, the music and the cinematography blend to create an energetic, just-short-of-chaotic whole, and the acting raises the story above a mere rags-to-riches tale. It also, to me, presents some interesting possibilities about God’s role in shaping human lives.Slumdog Millionaire is centered around approximately two days in the life of Jamal Malik, a contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants … [Read more...]

RetroPost: Could You Play Gay?

 In RetroPost, we feature a post from at least one year ago (ancient in pop culture time). The posts are featured because they have some relevance to current happenings, because they are timeless in nature and speak to a relevant issue, or because we plan on providing a follow-up in an upcoming post.This week: The reaction to Proposition 8 has been a substantial one, and the average American is grappling with homosexual issues now more ever. Even today, gay people across america were … [Read more...]

Sunday School Musical: Why do Christians Do This?

Pop Quiz Question: If you decided that there needed to be a "Christian" version of Disney tween sensation High School Musical, why would you keep essentially the same message ("Be yourself!", "Singing and dancing is fun!", "We can do anything together!", etc.), while neglecting to include the caliber of choreography that is the HSM franchise's best feature?The sad truth is that many may answer that question by saying, "That's the sort of thing that Christian knock-offs of pop culture always … [Read more...]

Podcast #32: Tis the Season to Argue!

Click here to listen!This week: Rich and Ben take the gloves off and go head to head! Duels commence over the following topics: how Christians should celebrate Christmas, Twilight, and Redemptive themes in film. (SPOILER: They are still friends in the end.)Posts discussed in this show:The “Twilight” Movie: Redefining “Natural” by Means of the SupernaturalRobert Downey Jr., Walk the Line, and the Problem of Redemptive ThemesEvery week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss … [Read more...]

Robert Downey Jr., Walk the Line, and the Problem of Redemptive Themes

Often, your best friends also tick you off the most. No exception here. My buddy Drew constantly teases me about CAPC. He likes to pick on me for being a poor dresser, too, but he's basically right about that so I can't complain.His favorite joke is that at CAPC all we do is try to find, "redemptive themes," in movies. "Where was the redemptive theme in THAT?" he asked, 30 seconds after we walked out of "The Dark Knight."My friend's unfair (and uninformed) joking is a humorous pain in the … [Read more...]

The "Twilight" Movie: Redefining "Natural" by Means of the Supernatural

The lowdown on Twilight: if you liked the book, you’ll most likely enjoy the movie. If you didn’t like the book, you won’t like the movie. If you have never read the book, you’ll probably be confused by the movie. For those of us who liked the book but were not blind to its flaws, the movie actually presents some improvements. The pace is faster, and the movie introduces the villains—evil vampires who, unlike Edward Cullen and his family, drink human blood and dress like hippies—much earlier by s … [Read more...]

Podcast #30: Rich and Ben "Bond"

Click here to listen!Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a sneak peak at the week ahead.This week: The new Bond movie, The Secret Life of Bees Bible Study, losing an election, and Heroes.We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. W … [Read more...]

High School Musical 3's Sinister Plot

As my wife and I pulled into the theater parking lot on the opening weekend of High School Musical 3, we were struck by just how empty the parking lot was. At first, we thought that perhaps the movie had bombed. Then we realized that there were most likely quite a few middle-school aged kids here to see the movie. Their parents had simply dropped them off. It takes a lot of confidence in your sexuality (seriously, I'm straight. And relatively mature for my age) to admit to a desire to see this … [Read more...]

The Secret Life of Bees

Note: It’s rare that I go to a movie simply because I want to write a review panning it. I admit that the film version of The Secret Life of Bees never had much of a chance with me, because of my strong feelings against the bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd. So prepare yourselves for a biased commentary. Over the past few years, I’ve developed the unfortunate habit of telling nice, middle-aged, white women that their favorite book is racist. It begins when they ask me about my dissertation top … [Read more...]