Under Pressure

Stephen King is not often known for brevity, and his most recent novel, Under the Dome, is no exception.  Clocking in at 1072 pages, it's a commitment that ends, not too soon, but all too quickly. … [Read more...]

A Decade for Documentaries

As Richard and I mentioned in our review of some of the most spiritually and theologically significant films of the decade, the 'aughts were a particularly good decade for documentaries.  Interestingly enough, some of the best documentaries addressed religious subject matter.  Here is a list of ten significant religious documentaries of the decade. … [Read more...]

Ten Spiritually/Theologically Significant Films of the Decade

Pop Theology contributor Richard Lindsay and I have just completed our list of ten spiritually/theologically significant films of the last decade.  Check it out after the jump and please share your suggestions as well. … [Read more...]

Victory With (A Sappy) Heart

As a sports fan, I am well aware of games' ability to bring people together and create disharmony.  For every story of cooperation across racial and ethnic lives, we hear about violence at international soccer matches in eastern Europe or post-game violence between parents after their kids' baseball game.  Clint Eastwood's latest film, Invictus, reveals the power of sport to unite people across great distances and to even uplift an entire nation. … [Read more...]

A Cinematic Game Changer?

Unless you've been in a coma for over a year, you are probably familiar with James Cameron's latest film, Avatar.  Touted as the most expensive film ever made, it has received rave reviews for its 3D special effects and stunning other-world scenery.  Unfortunately, the plot is as thin and heavy-handed as its effects are beautiful. … [Read more...]

A Complex Evil

I recently took a break from my Christmas movie bonanza with all its images of love and peace and togetherness to watch Gomorrah, a brutally realistic film about the Camorra, one of the the largest criminal organizations in the world.  I am well aware of the debates over and problems with violence in film, but I do believe it has a place, and Gomorrah is a perfect example of this. … [Read more...]

The Rapture Exposed: A Review

Hollywood has spent billions of dollars to visualize global destruction through natural and man-made disasters.  Religious filmmakers have spent millions trying to visualize the rapture and the apocalypse.  Conrad Ostwalt distinguishes between the two as secular and sacred apocalypses in an interesting chapter of his book, Secular Steeples.  In preparing for a lecture on blockbuster films and the apocalyptic sub-genre, a colleague recommended Barbara R. Rossing's The Rapture Exposed:  The Mes … [Read more...]

He Loves to Fly and It Shows

Throughout this semester, I have frequently referenced an NPR interview with film scholar David Thomson in which he discussed how desperate times often birth great works of art.  Think of the films that released during the Great Depression (or about it) for example.  Hopefully, these tough economic times in which we find ourselves will be no different and inspire thought-provoking creative works as well.  Jason Reitman's latest film, Up In the Air, is certainly reason for optimism. … [Read more...]