This Is the End: A Crass but Surprisingly Sober-minded Film about the Final Judgment

This Is the End, a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy and yet another recent film depicting the apocalypse, is both a ridiculous and hilarious portrayal of the end that cameos demon-like beasts, natural disasters, the extremes of human depravity, and interestingly enough, a dispensational depiction of the rapture. This sparked my curiosity. Were they just out to poke fun at Christianity, or did they actually have something to say? Moreover, why the cultural fascination with apocalyptic … [Read more...]

‘Where Is Your God Now?’ (Or, That Brief Horrible Moment We All Thought Bieber Was Robin)

"Where is your God now?" accused one of my friends. "I'd have to rethink the problem of evil and God's goodness, if it were true" said another. I—who usually am not thrown off in situations of theological doubt in the face of pain—stood there, silent, unable to muster up a response in the face of such pointless evil.What horror could throw my friends and I into such deep, existential and theological instability? This:In case you weren't aware, over the weekend Justin Bieber threw up a pic … [Read more...]

Saving the Redshirts in ‘Star Trek into Darkness’

Warning: This article contains spoilers about key details of the plot of Star Trek into Darkness. September 10, 2013 marks the DVD/Blu-ray release of Star Trek into Darkness, the second installment in J. J. Abrams’s reboot of the Star Trek franchise. When the movie appeared in May, Christ and Pop Culture's Derek Rishmawy observed some of the movie's troubling misogynistic overtones, particularly in its use of Alice Eve as the character of Dr. Carol Marcus. That said, however, Star Trek into Da … [Read more...]

The High Human Stakes of Movie Destruction

In the wake of several summers' worth of blockbusters featuring massive, opulent displays of property damage, the science fiction site io9 has some excellent takes this month on this recent wave of “disaster porn.”  This year’s Man of Steel and Pacific Rim added to the cataclysms of past blockbusters like The Avengers, the Transformers and G.I. Joe series, Cloverfield, Battleship, and countless others. But is this glut of monumental destruction becoming too pervasive?  There must be some concerns … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: A Riotously Funny, Sobering Alcoholypse

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.The World's End charts its destination by beginning with Gary King (Simon Pegg) fondly recounting what he thinks are the good old days. Twenty years prior, Gary and four of his high school buddies—Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost)—began The Golden Mile, a notorious pub crawl featuring 12 pubs strewn across their hometown, Newton Haven. Thinking this teenage s … [Read more...]

Nicolas Cage Misses the Rapture because He Doesn’t Get Left Behind

Not too far in the distant past, I saw a little internet buzz that Nicolas Cage was cast to play the lead in a cinematic reboot of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" book series. If you are unfamiliar with that series, they are action adventure books that follow the outline of a dispensationalist, pre-millienial, pre-tribulation rapture understanding of Revelation. (If you just said "Whaaaat?" check out this wikipedia page under "eschatology"). But I dismissed the buzz rather quickly as … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, three psychiatrists ask, "Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?" While acknowledging the question's troubling nature, due to the potential ramifications it has for free speech, they also point out that numerous agencies and organizations do hold that media violence is, indeed, a risk factor for real violence. Obviously, this question won't be going away anytime soon, especially in light of tragedies such as this one. … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Why Do People Pay Money To See A Movie They Don’t Plan To Watch?

Over at The Dissolve -- and excellent new film site you should be reading, by the way -- Matt Singer has written two pieces about a "strange and alarming trend": people who claim to love movies but don't actually like to watch them. In other words, people who pay money to sit in a theatre, but don't think it a big deal to spend time tweeting and texting on their phone. … [Read more...]

“Finding Nemo” didn’t lie to your kids; Pixar just chose to focus on deeper truths

Finding Nemo is easily one of Pixar’s most successful and acclaimed films. The story of a father clownfish trying to find his lost son in the ocean’s vast expanse is incredibly entertaining, aesthetically beautiful, and more than just a little moving. However, The Fisheries Blog’s Patrick Cooney thinks it could’ve been even better, if only Andrew Stanton,Lee Unkrich, et al. had been a little more scientifically accurate in their depiction of the film’s main characters.In a cheeky post with th … [Read more...]

Defeating Gnostic Forces In Fantasy Fiction

Kathy Tyers has more reasons than most to track the development of the new Star Wars films.While Disney may be the franchise’s new owner, able to continue its story in film, Tyers was among the first authors to explore that world officially after the (chronologically) final film, Return of the Jedi. At the recent Realm Makers conference for Christian fantasy writers and fans, she wonders aloud: Will the new films keep Luke Skywalker’s marriage that Tyers happily supported, and her role as … [Read more...]