Crazy Stupid

Looking to Hollywood for marriage or relationship advice is about as foolish a task as you could possibly undertake. On the other hand, Hollywood productions often provide interesting avenues through which to check the pop cultural pulse on both. Similar films like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits take one approach to which many viewers might relate...or wish they could. The most recent star-studded rom-com, Crazy, Stupid, Love embraces an element of those (casual sex) but attempts … [Read more...]

A Host of Horrors: A Review of Dark Dreams 2.0

Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has described the horror film genre as "one of the last of the brave genres of film." Unfortunately, many critics and audiences reject the genre out of hand, while the growing collection of film and religion scholars have failed to give it it's due...aside from films like The Exorcist (1973), Rosemary's Baby (1968), and the other usual suspects, of course. While Charles Derry does not dwell on the religious/theological/spiritual implications of the horror genre in … [Read more...]

It's All Over

Richard Lindsay and I finally get around to posting our thoughts on the latest Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and briefly reflect on the end of an era. We couldn't think of a better way for the series to go out. … [Read more...]

They Eat their Young, Don't They?

In preparation for an upcoming sermon I'm giving on Jacob wrestling with the angel, I've been re-reading some Old Testament commentary. In one source, the authors claim that a central theme of the Jewish creation narrative and God's calling out of Israel to be God's chosen people is one of order out of chaos. This ordered universe is held together, in part, by God's command to mankind to be stewards of the earth and God's covenant that he establishes with Israel. Of course, as we all well know, … [Read more...]

Quo Vadis: Forgotten Classic of the Sword-and-Sandal Genre

Richard Lindsay looks back on the Christian epic, Quo Vadis, after the jump. … [Read more...]

On Religious Tradition and Ecstasy (the drug)

The basic premise of Holy Rollers is interesting enough: an Orthodox Jew gets involved in an international ecstasy smuggling ring. Directors could have taken it in a variety of directions from the hilarity of a Coen Brothers' film to the fast-cut action of a Guy Ritchie film. In this case, director Kevin Asch takes it between the lines in a rather dry approach that offers up surprising opportunities for reflection on themes of sin and forgiveness, community and tradition, and the sacred vs. the … [Read more...]

A Cosmic Melodrama

After some technical difficulties and a "tree of life" experience of my own, I can finally post my and Richard's conversation about/review of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, one that will certainly qualify for 2011's most spiritually significant film of the year and, perhaps, of this next decade. … [Read more...]

A Disturbing Mix

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of film The Handmaid is. It’s definitely a good one, but is it a drama, a thriller, a revenge film, a black comedy? That the film keeps the viewer questioning is certainly one of its strengths. In the end, it’s just the type of film our economically stratified times demand. … [Read more...]