When most of us think of religious toys and games, we probably go straight to the satirical...the Looking Good for Jesus makeup kit, the Buddy Christ, or even the controversial Left Behind video game.  The authors of Toying With God:  The World of Religious Games and Dolls, Nikki Bado-Fralick and Rebecca Sachs Norris, address these games but also take readers on a journey into a world rich with both satirical and serious religious components, uncovering implications for religious e … [Read more...]

Slapped Senseless

Exploitation films of the '60s and '70s are a fascinating study.  Are they exploitative, as the genre asserts?  Are they liberating?  Both?  A recent indie film, Bitch Slap (2009) attempts to parody (s)exploitation films like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Last woman on Earth, etc.  While its actresses might have similar dimensions to their predecessors, the film has none of its predecessors' soul. … [Read more...]

Oh That Lady!

From cultural, theological, and moral perspectives, the Studio Era of Hollywood is a fascinating study.  On one hand, conservative viewers might praise the absence of overtly offensive images on screen.  On the other hand, more liberal viewers might bemoan the limited worldview (white, heterosexual, and decidedly middle to upper class...mostly) that these films often set forth.  Yet, without question, the regulations against representation and dialogue forced writers and directors to be ex … [Read more...]

Epic Fail

If anything, the mechanical owl in the original Clash of the Titans signaled a level of fun and playfulness.  These filmmakers weren't taking themselves too seriously.  We can't say the same thing about the re-make, which releases today, even though the owl makes a cameo appearance. … [Read more...]

Broken but Healing

As would be expected, Pedro Almodovar's latest film, Broken Embraces, is an alluring mix of beautiful filmmaking and captivating storytelling.  The ways in which this film comment on filmmaking itself and themes of family, love, obsession, and secrecy demand repeated viewings. … [Read more...]


In keeping with my recent academic obsession with the undead, I came across Lynn Schofield Clark's From Angels to Aliens:  Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural.  In this book she explores the rising interest in the supernatural among teenagers and the potential roles that American evangelicalism might play in its resurgence in pop culture. … [Read more...]

The Time is Now

Recent Pop Theology contributor and self-proclaimed Bare Naked Ladies addict (seriously, we need to conduct an intervention), Jessica Margrave Schirm, reviews their latest album, All in Good Time, which releases today. … [Read more...]

Save the Next One

In preparation for our trip to Belgium next month, my wife wanted to watch In Bruges, and since I absolutely love the film, I had no problem watching it yet again.  It proved to be yet another rewarding experience as I continued to find new elements that stood out in ways I hadn't noticed before. … [Read more...]