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...]

The movie vs. the flannelboard

We saw the movie Noah.  It had some good cinematic touches (such as the imagery with the seven days of creation), and I don’t begrudge some of the imaginative liberties (such as having the animals be in suspended animation on the ark).  I was even finding myself liking it for awhile.  Some of the criticisms, I saw, were ill founded.  (That they made Noah a vegetarian?  Well, compare Genesis 1:28-30 and Genesis 9:2-4, which suggests that God gave permission to eat animals after the flood.)  But the flaws in the movie kept getting more and more damaging.  Like an ark that has a few leaks, which let in more and more water, the force of which makes the leaks bigger, until the sides stave in and the vessel goes down to the watery depths. [Read more...]

Actor who played Frodo’s Sam is a Lutheran

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings movies, has gotten vocal about his Christian faith.  Not only that, he has become a Lutheran. [Read more...]

Noah, the Kabbalah, and Gnosticism

If you’ve seen the movie Noah, you might have wondered about where the filmmaker is getting all of that extra-biblical stuff.  Adam and Eve as beings of light?  The angels imprisoned in matter?  Blessings from the skin of the serpent in the garden?  Brian Mattson shows that all of this and more–down to the names of the angels and jargon such as “Zohar”–comes from the Jewish gnosticism of the Kabbalah.

The use of the Kabbalah and gnostic texts is so blatant that Dr. Mattson asks how all of the Christian leaders who endorsed the movie could have missed it.  He calls on all seminaries to require their graduates to have read Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, since we are, in effect, he says, back to the 2nd century. [Read more...]

Classical education goes to the movies

Classical education does quite a bit with aesthetics and encourages deep reflection on works of art.  Thanks to James Banks for alerting me to a new website entitled FilmFisher.  It features movie reviews by classical educators and their students, as mentored by the classical educators.  The discussions of the films–which thus far include Noah, 300, American Hustle, Gattaca, Non-Stop–are very perceptive, going far beyond the usual reductionistic Christian movie reviews.  (Some of you high school or college students should sign up to be a reviewer!) [Read more...]

What did you think of the movie “Noah”?

Have any of you seen the movie Noah?  What is your verdict?

After the jump, excerpts from a revealing interview by the ace religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky about what he was trying to convey in the movie, including its themes of  original sin, justice, and mercy. [Read more...]

“Scare the living daylights out of nonbelievers”

Final:  The Rapture is another end times movie.  It’s billed as a “Christian horror movie.”  The purpose, according to filmmaker Tim Chey, is to “win people to Christ” by scaring “the living daylights out of nonbelievers.”

After the jump, I excerpt a story about the movie with various quotations that I put in bold.   I know that the Law terrifies, as it drives us to the Gospel.  But that doesn’t mean that anything that terrifies is the Law.  Does there seem to be either Law or Gospel in this particular evangelism project?

And what do you make of all of this interest in this particular interpretation of the End Times?

[Read more...]

The Lego Movie

From the other extreme of Final:  The Rapture, I found myself watching The Lego Movie last weekend.  I know.  It’s a toy movie.  It sounds like you need to see it with a 7-year old.  But it is a very funny, creative, intriguing movie.  Its theme is, basically, the two different ways of playing with Legos.

After the jump, some over-the-top praise by movie critic Christy Lemire, plus the trailer. [Read more...]

Why the family & the church are prior to the state

In the context of a discussion of the movie The Wolf of Wall Street,  Dr. Jack Kilcrease discusses Luther’s concept of the “Orders of Creation” (in each of which we have vocations).  God established the family (the marriage of Adam & Eve) and the church (ordering His relationship with Adam & Eve) BEFORE the Fall.  God established the state AFTER the Fall, as a response to human sin, which now needs to be restrained for society to be possible.   Thus, the church and the family are more basic to human existence in God’s design than the state.  When these orders get confused–as when the state takes the place of the church and the family–trouble ensues. [Read more...]

George Clooney after “Batman & Robin”

George Clooney is a successful actor, director, and producer.  But the turning point in his career, he says, was appearing as Batman in the worst and most critically-panned movie in the franchise, Batman and Robin. [Read more...]