Breaking News: ‘Faith-Based’ Films Take On Hollywood

Where did you expect to see former senator Rick Santorum a year after his presidential campaign? How about as the head of a new faith-based film studio?Yes, and one focused on making its own story with a stunning plot twist: They’ll offer actual quality movies, but faith-based.The Religion News Service reported: [Santorum said] faith-based films tend to be lousy, and Christians should quit trying to lock modern popular culture out of their lives. . . . “For a long time, Christians have d … [Read more...]

Superman: Not Just a Man, but a Just Man

Note: This article contains references to events in the movie Man of Steel that could be construed as spoilers.It is no state secret at this point that Warner Brothers rather cannily marketed Man of Steel to Christians, playing on the obvious and intentional parallels between Superman and Jesus the incarnate Son of God. Our own Derek Rishmawy has done solid work in untangling these parallels and parsing out the values and pratfalls of viewing Superman Christologically. But there is another … [Read more...]

Buzz-Kill Batman & the Myth of the Lone Hero

By David DunhamI can’t imagine that Batman would be very much fun at a party. He’s always so grim, a real buzz-kill. Of course, Batman would never really go to a party--he’s not much of a socialite. Even if someone did look past his brooding demeanor, he’s not likely to accept an invite. And he’s not the only character like that. There are a host of characters whose heroism is often accompanied by a deep isolationism. It’s easy to appreciate their caped-crusading antics, and yet we ought to c … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Man of Steel in Awesome, if not Guiding, Beams of Light

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.In Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the name "Superman" is only uttered once or twice, and when he wears the caped suit, it's a muted--not blinding bright--red and blue. Some viewers will chalk up the details of Snyder's (and Goyer's and Nolan's) reimagination to another instance of "going gritty"--and I suppose there's something to that, particularly in the film's controversial, climactic scene--but the mixture of grey to … [Read more...]

Studios are Selling Man of Steel, But Should Churches Be Buying?

 While Man of Steel producers are hoping that they've got another blockbuster on their hands, apparently they've been pitching to one somewhat surprising audience in particular. CNN's Eric Marrapodi reports: Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie. It seems they're not just trying … [Read more...]

CaPC Mag, Issue #5: Befriending Muslims, Human Nature in Star Trek, and Much More!

This week, CaPCMag focuses on views of human nature and how they affect our world. What does it mean for humans to be fallen yet redeemable? In two exclusive features available only in the iPad and iPhone app we look at two different ways which our assumptions about human nature impact how we treat others and interpret the world. To read these fantastic articles, make sure you download and subscribe now! (there’s a free trial if you’re uncertain. You’ll love it though, so it’s kinda redundant … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Will Smith And His Family Are Superheroes. What’s Your Family Metaphor?

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.According to a Wired Magazine article that appeared right before the premiere of Will Smith’s new movie After Earth, the Smith family has collectively saved 63,648,098,766 people. The Smiths are a celebrity family in reality and a superhero family in fiction. I don’t doubt that, privately, their family bears other identities as well. The Wired piece got me thinking ab … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: Ride or Die? A Fast and Furious 6 Conversation

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.Editor's Note: If you're worried about spoilers then this probably isn't the conversation you're looking for.A movie like Fast and Furious 6 deserves more than a review. It deserves a 3500 word email conversation. And I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather have that discussion with than my good buddy Chris Gaumer, who is a professor of creative writing, a driver of a 1998 Jeep Cherokee, and, most importantly, t … [Read more...]

Star Trek Into Misogynistic Darkness?

My wife and I like movies. We rent some, Netflix others, and spend a decent amount of time at the theaters over the summer. One constant we've come to take for granted across various genres and ratings is some level of "gratuitous" sexuality. To be clear, this isn't necessarily limited to full-on nudity, or pointless sex scenes, but can be as tame as a ridiculously dressed character. For instance, I'd be surprised to learn if most female police detectives or lab techs always wear the plunging … [Read more...]

The Moviegoer: The Colossal Vitality of Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby Illusion

Each week in The Moviegoer, Nick Olson examines new and upcoming films.I went into Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby with some reluctance. Luhrmann's penchant for superabundant style--made famous by Moulin Rouge, whose popularity still escapes me--could go one of two ways insofar as it is a competent filmic rendering of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. Undoubtedly, Luhrmann's eccentric auterism could serve well both the source material's extravagant parties at Gatsby's … [Read more...]