Justified is Righteous

In one of the concluding lines to the first episode of the new FX series, Justified, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), an on-the-ropes Deputy U.S. Marshal, sneaks in to his ex-wife's house for a late-night chat.  In the course of their conversation, she tells him, "Raylan, you might just be the angriest man I've ever known."  The line works so well because he tries so hard to hide this anger. … [Read more...]

Soul Storage

Last week, I wrote a short review of Seconds and the "what-if-ness" of cinema.  This weekend, I watched a recent dark comedy, Cold Souls, that blends reality and the "what if" in really interesting ways. … [Read more...]

Filming Revolutions: Film History as Church History?

After the jump, check out a video of my presentation at the Theology After Google conference last week in Claremont, CA.  Below the video is a link to the other presenters' videos.  More will be added throughout the weekend.  Enjoy! … [Read more...]

No Third Chances…

"What if" is the basis of cinema.  All filmmakers, to some degree, ask themselves this question.  Their success, in part, relies on their ability to answer that question.  "What if" plays a significant part of our daily lives as well.   Hopefully, we live our lives in such a way that those "what ifs" don't plague us.  I came across an old film recently that takes an interesting approach to this notion,  John Frankenheimer's Seconds (1966). … [Read more...]

Hitchcock and Murder

David Thomson is one of the most accomplished film historians and critics working today.  His books, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film and The Whole Equation:  A History of Hollywood, are must-owns for all film fans.  While, I was excited to read his most recent book, The Moment of Psycho:  How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder, it wasn't quite what I was expecting.  Nevertheless, it's still a fascinating slice of film history. … [Read more...]

THE FIFTH ELEMENT: The Gospel According to Luc

Marion Grau, Professor of Theology at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, makes her first (and hopefully not last!) contribution to Pop Theology on the cult classic, The Fifth Element.  Check it out after the jump.  Thanks Marion! … [Read more...]

Creative Gaming

Thankfully, in the recent publication, Halos and Avatars:  Playing Video Games With God, editor Craig Detweiler and his contributors forego the well-worn arguments of whether or not video games promote violence and take a deeper look at their theological and spiritual potential.  A Belgian film, Ben X, reveals such potential while continuing to raise questions about video games as violence-inducing or as a location to vent pent-up violence. … [Read more...]

Now That's the Truth

As far as pop-culture creations are concerned, The Wire is pretty much unbeatable across a number of genres.  Most critics worth their salt argue that it is, and will likely remain, the greatest television series in the history of the medium.  We've yet to see the end of, much less a beginning to, the creative responses that it will likely engender from imitation series to collections of essays and articles about the series cultural impact.  Thus far, the greatest response has been The Wire:  Tru … [Read more...]