From Ben Hur to Star Wars

It should come as no surprise to anyone to learn that the chariot race from the original Ben Hur movie inspired the pod race scene in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. IO9 shared this video that intersperses the two for comparison: Is it just the chariot race, or is there more connection between [Read More…]

Realistic Indiana Jones Movies

I apologize for the language in this, but it still seemed worth sharing, especially as it came my way so close to the first day of classes of the new academic year: The Indiana Jones and Lara Croft movies, in which the archaeologist swoops in and takes things even when chased by locals, should disturb us, [Read More…]

Matrix Regeneration

The Matrix movies came out a long time ago – the original film was released in 1999! And so the allusion to them in the title of this blog is seeming increasingly dated. And so I’ve decided that it is probably time to rename this blog – even though rumor has it that The Matrix 4 [Read More…]

The Theology and Ethics of Star Wars

The above discussion of theology and ethics in Star Wars at Conway Hall includes Biblical scholar Francesca Stavrakopoulou. It uses LEGO Star Wars images, discusses orientalism and radicalization in the films, and includes reading from the scripts (the stage directions in which are often significant for how we understand some key moments). It is definitely worth [Read More…]

The Average Faces of Jesus and Satan

I had the two images above forwarded to me by a blog reader. They represent the average composite that emerged from combining the features of actors who've portrayed Jesus and Satan in films. I'll bet you can tell which is which without needing captions. Does this tell us anything about our stereotypes regarding these figures? [Read More…]

Bond Who?

I’ve been rewatching the James Bond movies with my son, who hadn’t seen them yet. We just watched On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and are Whovians, and so it is time to mention the “James Bond is a Time Lord” theory. I’ll include a summary of it below. But even more fun, I think, is [Read More…]

The Bible: Better With Godzilla?

Cracked shared a series of movie posters which have Godzilla added to them, and one of them was Noah. That got me thinking: which Biblical stories would be better with Godzilla in them? Share your suggestions/stories/images in the comments section.   [Read more…]

Could Jesus Win This Contest?

The website IO9 asked, “What Real Historical Figure Is Portrayed The Least Accurately Onscreen?” Suggestions thus far have included Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, and Rasputin. No one has mentioned Jesus as of my writing this blog post. Do you think he should be in the running? Ought he to win? Has anyone been portrayed onscreen less [Read More…]

Faith in Film

I was recently interviewed by Kandra Polatis on the subject of religion and science fiction films. The resulting article is called “Faith in film: Why science-fiction movies abound with religious themes” and can be read on the Deseret News website.   [Read more…]

My Bacon Number is 3

Someone shared the “Oracle of Bacon” on Facebook. Through it, I learned that I have a Bacon Number of 3, assuming that one is calculating connections of all genuine friends and acquaintances, and not only people who were in movies together. Krystina Ptasinski, an actress who majored in religion as well as theater at Butler [Read More…]