How a movie can go terribly wrong

Imagine a movie with two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, directed by an Oscar winning director, based on a best-selling novel, and backed by the bottomless pockets of a billionaire.  That’s a sure fire formula for a hit movie, right?  Well, not necessarily.  After the jump, an account of a movie with everything going for it that went straight to video. [Read more...]

“Unbroken”: the Christian cut

The movie version of Unbroken, about the trials of World War II hero Louis Zamperini, left out the account of his conversion to Christianity and his trip to Japan to forgive the ones who tortured him as a POW.  But now a new version of the movie is being released on video that supplements director Angelina Jolie’s film with documentary footage and interviews that tell the rest of the story. [Read more...]

How they hate us

We saw the movie The Kingsmen this weekend, a throwback to the over-the-top James Bond style “gentlemen spies.”  It was mostly entertaining, and lots of conservatives like it because the villain is a global warming fanatic who wants to exterminate the human race to save the planet.  But it included a scene in which the hero goes into a crowded church and just slaughters everybody, men and women alike, the bodies heaped up on the pews and in the chancel.

This was supposedly a “racist” church, though among its members’ crimes was being opposed to abortion. And the hero was supposedly sent on his rampage by the villain’s mind-control devise, and a couple of characters said how awful it was.  But the scene of church ladies getting shot in the face, the minister getting impaled, and crosses and a Bible used to kill people, was played as entertainment–not as shock–and there were just too many laughs in the movie theater.  It struck me just how much many people in the world hate Christians–just HATE us–and how what happens in the fantasy of the imagination may well happen some day in real life.

What else Turing did

The movie The Imitation Game focused on how mathematician Alan Turing broke the German “Enigma” code, a major contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.   Those interested in artificial intelligence talk about the “Turing test,” the goal of making it impossible to tell whether a machine or a human being is responding to questions.  But  Turing’s most enduring contribution is not known so much.  He wrote a paper about 0′s and 1′s and computable numbers that basically invented the concept of software. [Read more...]

“Fifty Shades” to revive sex in movies?

Fifty Shades of Grey is a huge hit, despite terrible reviews, thanks to hordes of women who flocked to the sadomasochistic romance fantasy.  Now observers are saying that its success will inspire Hollywood to churn out more sex movies, after several decades of overly-explicit movies being box office poison. [Read more...]

50 Shades of Black & White

Opening on St. Valentine’s Day and hyped as the big date movie for the night is 50 Shades of Grey, based on a series of novels that have sold some 100 million copies, the vast majority of which have been bought by women.  It’s a romance novel about a woman whose handsome and rich lover ties her up, blindfolds her, and beats her.

So now we are seeing another normalization and social approval of something that used to be called, quaintly, a sexual perversion:  sado-masochism.  Surely eroticizing violence and brutalizing sex are going to have bad consequences, don’t you think?  Isn’t sado-masochism more problematic than homosexuality? [Read more...]


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