Taking Lassie straight to merchandising

The Hollywood studio DreamWorks has the rights to Lassie, the TV show about a heroic collie that is the third longest running TV drama of all time (behind Gunsmoke and Law & Order).  But the studio thinks the character is too old-fashioned for a new TV show or movie.  So the plan is to take Lassie straight to the true goal of making movie heroes these days:  merchandising.

Finding that Lassie is still beloved, she will be making appearances on TV shows, commercials, and a host of Lassie-related products.

Do you agree that Lassie, while still popular, is unable to entertain children today?  That children have to have explosions and superheroes; otherwise, they will be “bored”?   That’s the view expressed after the jump. [Read more...]

Death of a Lutheran saint. . .

. . .and sinner too of course, but Norwegian Bishop Børre Knudsen lived a life of faith and of love and service to his neighbor that even his enemies have come to respect.  He was the foremost pro-life activist in Norway.  He also battled the state church positions on homosexuality and women’s ordination and was the force behind the confessional “Norwegian Church in Exile.”  When he could no longer accept the teachings and practice of the state church, he refused his state salary but continued his ministry!  Learn more after the jump. [Read more...]

A true comic book movie

After lamenting the state of summer movies, we finally saw one that was just right for the season:  The Guardians of the Galaxy.  And finally, a comic book movie that has the feel of a comic book.  It is exuberant science fiction fantasy with Marvel’s trademark witty dialogue and off-the-wall but highly individualized and engaging characters.  (Here we have the 1970s-obsessed human, Star-Lord, a tree creature of few words [those being "I am Groot"], the eloquent but literal-minded Drax the Destroyer, a green girl named Gamora, and Rocket, a wise-cracking raccoon.)  Yes, it has its tedious havoc and a grandiose story-line like a series in a comic book, but it also has the visual panache of comic art and the quality of comic books that I remember from my childhood as fun. [Read more...]

What happened to summer movies?

Summers are usually the season to go to the movies, when studios released their fun pop-corn flicks for the out-of-school and summer vacation crowd.  But what happened to this summer?  I haven’t gone to the movies once because there haven’t been any that I’ve been interested in.

Sure enough, according to the article excerpted after the jump, the summer box office has been a disaster for Hollywood.  One reason given is Netflix and what I have noted as the renaissance of television!

We’re thinking about taking in The Planet of the Apes sequel this weekend.  Is it worth seeing?  Are there any other movies that you would recommend? [Read more...]

Hollywood, desire, & the Santa Barbara murders

Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday on the Santa Barbara murders:

As deranged manifestos go, the final YouTube video made by suspected Isla Vista, Calif., mass murderer Elliot Rodger was remarkably well-made. Filmed by Rodger in his black BMW, with palm trees in the background and his face bathed in magic-hour key light, the six-minute diatribe — during which he vows revenge on all the women who rejected him and men who were enjoying fun and sex while he was “rotting in loneliness” — might easily have been mistaken for a scene from one of the movies Rodger’s father, Peter Rodger, worked on as a director and cinematographer. [Read more...]

The vocation of a movie critic

Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday “came out,” as they say, as a Christian, writing a thoughtful essay about her faith and her calling.   [Read more...]


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