The Help and the Influence of Story

Richard Lindsay reviews The Help, the film based on the novel of the same name that has taken book clubs and readers across the country by storm. More after the jump. … [Read more...]

Fear Those Who Fear God

There's a tradition of reading some of Jesus' more intense sayings as prophetic hyperbole. That is, when Jesus in Mark 9:47, “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell," he doesn't really mean that we should all run around plucking out eyeballs or cutting off body parts. No one...even the most conservative Christians...believes that. Jesus is being hyperbolic here in an effort to e … [Read more...]

(Re)Visiting a Classic: "The Ox-Bow Incident"

The recent release of the West Memphis Three is a fitting excuse, if one is actually needed, to return to (or watch for the first time), the classic Hollywood Western, The Ox-Bow Incident. The film's plot would no doubt seem more ludicrous were in not for real-life cases like the one mentioned above or the rapidity with which the public cries for violent reactions to violent crimes. As a result, The Ox-Bow Incident feels just as relevant today (and maybe more so) than when it was released in … [Read more...]

Wounded Warriors

In The Magicians, Lev Grossman asks what if our favorite fantasies and fairy tales were real? Not only real, but calling out to us in some strange way to be a part of them. This is exactly what happens in the novel when Quentin Coldwater stumbles into a parallel world of magic and multiple universes. The resulting story is, as many have said, Harry Potter for adults, and it is fantastic. … [Read more...]

We Have Met the Aliens and They Is Us*

Richard Lindsay reviews the latest summer blockbuster, Cowboys and Aliens. More after the jump. … [Read more...]

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...]