Fallen Angels

Sometimes I go to Blockbuster and am pleasantly surprised by a movie I know nothing about.  The other day I had that experience as I rented and watched the movie Snow Angels.  Snow Angels is a movie based on the book by Stewart O'Nan. The movie features Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale, and Michael Angarano. Rockwell and Beckinsale portray a recently separated couple, Glen and Annie, who were high school sweethearts. While, Angarano plays a teenager, Arthur, who used to be baby-sat by Annie.Snow A … [Read more...]

3 Ways to Watch Film and Build Community

In my previous post, I wrote about the importance of embracing community when we choose to indulge in popular culture. I want to take that a step further and say that it is possible to use popular culture in order to embrace community. In other words, we ought to think of community as primary in our lives, rather than popular culture. When we neglect community for pop culture, that should be a red flag. When we are in the midst of community, pop culture ought to aid that sense of community … [Read more...]

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Flannery O’Connor, patron saint of all things Weird and Southern, wrote, “The image of the South, in all its complexity, is so powerful in us that it is a force which has to be encountered and engaged. The writer must wrestle with it, like Jacob with the angel, until he has extracted a blessing.” Several of us here at Christ and Pop Culture are Southerners of one stripe or another, and I, for one, find it refreshing to see how non-Southerners react to the various mixes of the holy and the profa … [Read more...]

Memoirs from a Sci-fi geek

This past weekend I was getting my geek on by spending my Labor Day holiday at DragonCon in downtown Atlanta.  If you've never heard of DragonCon, it is one of the largest sci-fi, fantasy, gaming conventions in the U.S.  Just over 30,000 fans of comic books, anime, sci-fi/fantasy and gaming converged at this 4-day conference.  My own personal niche of interest was sci-fi and fantasy.  During DragonCon, I had the chance to meet the stars of my favorite shows and movies such as Battlestar Gal … [Read more...]

Hamlet 2: Is “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus” Blasphemous?

If you’ve heard anything about the movie Hamlet 2, it’s probably the ridiculously chipper chords of “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus,” the key number in the titular high-school-musical-within-a-movie. The song, usually taken out of context, has drawn the ire of Christians and earned the film the coveted “abhorrent” rating from the previously discussed MovieGuide.org.Is the song—and, by extension, the film—actually blasphemy? Short answer: I don’t think so. Nevertheless, as the chorus constantly loops throu … [Read more...]

Kick'n Video Games, Old School

Before vacation I got a chance to see the critically acclaimed documentary, King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters .It is a documentary about two modern day warriors battling it out in the arena of classic video games.  The two adversaries consist of a suburban middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul both vying for pride, honor, bragging rights and the Guinness World Record for the highest score on Donkey Kong.The hot sauce mogul is Billy Mitchell. While a teenager in the 80's, … [Read more...]

Netflix on your Xbox 360: New ways to watch

This morning at Microsoft's E3 Press Event they announced a new partnership with Netflix to bring their streaming movies and TV shows to your TV via an Xbox 360. Essentially, if you have a Xbox Live Gold Membership and a Netflix membership you can access Netflix's Watch Instantly library through your 360, with no extra charges. In addition, Microsoft announced Mii-like Avatars which will be used on Live. With an Avatar and a Netflix account, you can invite other Live members to watch a movie … [Read more...]

CGI Storytelling: Why WALL-E Works and Kung Fu Panda Doesn't

One of the most dangerous phrases for Christians who are striving to think biblically about culture is, "it's just a _______." The trump card against all criticism, this phrase is used to justify a creation by simply appealing to its existence: it's just a song, it's just a book, it's just a sitcom, it's just a cartoon, as if somehow any demand for excellence is inappropriate (or elitist) when it comes to pop culture. The practical result of "just a" thinking is that we can justify any … [Read more...]

A Superhero "Smaller than Life"

Note: the following post contains language that some may find offensive.Will Smith is the golden boy of Hollywood, especially around the Fourth of July weekend. His movies are not only guaranteed box office smashes, but pure summer entertainment. Yet with all of these high expectations, Will Smith's latest performance is getting less than stellar reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes.Hancock (Will Smith) is a superhero, but this is a very different and unusual superhero story. First of all you … [Read more...]

Enter Into the Great and Disturbing Silence

I just finished watching a fascinating documentary, called "Into Great Silence". This movie is about the Carthusian monks, who are considered the strictest order within the Catholic Church.  The Carthusian monks seek God in solitude on three levels: separation from the world, life in his cell, and inner solitude or 'solitude of the heart."In the monastery, every monk lives in a room or a "cell" as they are called. There he spends the larger part of his day alone. These monks are extreme … [Read more...]