Out With the Old? Netflix and Rethinking Film

"I'm not interested in this movie. It's old."As a part time high school substitute, I've heard many students express this sentiment when I've played them a video left by their teacher. One popular variant goes, "But it's in black and white!" For many of these kids, films are viewed more like newspapers than drama, music, or literature: the movie is only good when it is fresh off the presses.Of course, there are notable exceptions to this. Some films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones have an … [Read more...]

2008 Summer Movie Calendar: May

The summer films of 2008 are shaping up to be some of the most exciting in years. While a handful look like they will be fodder for good theological/cultural discussion, most will be visually electrifying escapist fare. While there aren't as many sequels as 2007, there are quite a few movies that look absolutely incredible. To start some early buzz for the summer, I thought I’d round up information on the big releases so you can be better informed about what’s coming down the pipe. Below you wil … [Read more...]

In Praise of Film

One problem with much of the Christian commentary on the arts is that it treats every medium essentially the same. Television, music, film, stage, the internet, literature, and illustrated novels are all treated vaguely as one giant neutral monolith by which culture influences weak Christians. The truth is that these mediums are drastically different in what their primary uses are, how they are received, the amount of influence they can have, and their conditioning effects on our culture.In an … [Read more...]

Is There Integrity in the Work Place?

Technology is moving us all faster and faster into a new world. We can now get our job done quicker, more efficiently, and with greater ease. But according to Mark Saltzman, it doesn't have to work in only that direction. Saltzman writes:"Instead of being a slave to technology, you can master it, you can make it look like you are working when and where you are not."Saltzman is 35 and is the author of the White Collar Slackers Handbook. The work is a how-to textbook for deceiving colleagues … [Read more...]

A Futurama Life is a Deprived Life

The world of tomorrow often looks, in our minds, like a time that is far more exciting, pleasurable, and fulfilling. We look at our present struggles, our contemporary dilemmas, and we hope that tomorrow will be better. Many people in the world, Christians included, live in the future and the hope for a different life down the road. One certainly cannot deny the state of instant-gratification that most young people live with today, but there is still in their minds, as well as most others, this … [Read more...]

Juno's Nagging Voice

In the first scene of Juno, a girl drinks Tang, walks through a hand-drawn cartoon credit sequence, and has a high-speed and ironic conversation with a convenience store clerk. Immediately, I'm thinking this movie is in trouble. Like a lot of people, I've grown tired of the ironic cynicism displayed in many of the most recent films and television shows. While I enjoy many of the more balanced films that started the fad, the onslaught of one-dimensional copycats has been unfortunate.Fortunately … [Read more...]

What's So Great About 2008?

Even though Christ and Pop Culture is only a few months old, we've already had some wonderful conversations about popular culture and how we as believers should interact with it. To start off the year, I thought I would give my list of the pop culture events that I am looking forward to most in 2008. Over the next 12 months I hope to revisit each of these events as they unfold and as we continue to explore the way our faith speaks to every aspect of our lives--even pop culture.TV: Star Wars: … [Read more...]

Hope Defered: No Country For Old Men

"I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea."- Cormac McCarthy in an interviewThe Coen brother's latest film, No Country for Old Men, has been released to almost unanimous praise by film critics, making it a strong contender for film of the year. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Cormac McCarthy, an author known for his unremitting violence, esoteric dialogue, and dense descriptions--preoccupations … [Read more...]

Getting Our Bearings: A Review of "The Golden Compass"

“When Polar Bears Attack” is not the name of a new Fox Television reality show. It is instead the only remotely interesting part in an otherwise confused, tiresome, and overly-hyped film. The Golden Compass directed by Chris Weitz, was billed as another Lord of the Rings-esque fantasy epic film. It falls far short.For months we’ve been hearing, reading, and talking about the dangers of Philip Pullman’s atheistic children’s literary trilogy His Dark Materials. In particular we’ve been hearing ab … [Read more...]

A New Paradigm for Christian Politics

Christmas is, “in the air,” for a longer period each year. This time around, I started hearing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving week! However, even Christmas cannot compare to the length of time we spend talking about politics, especially in a presidential election year.Government’s basic job is to create a lawful and orderly society. However, laws and societal structures are imperfect, so people and their government are continually trying to figure out ways to solve the problems and imper … [Read more...]