A Boy, a Beanstalk, and the Power of Storytelling

Review of Jack the Giant Slayer, Directed by Bryan Singer By ALEXIS NEAL Once upon a time, giants roamed the English countryside, crushing and consuming anyone who stood in their way. After much violence and property damage, a solution was finally found in the form of a magical crown that enabled the wearer to control [Read More...]

The Cat’s in the Cradle and John McClane’s in Russia: A Good Day to Die Hard

Review of A Good Day to Die Hard, Directed by John Moore By ALEXIS NEAL Where does our favorite modern-day cowboy go on vacation to get away from it all? Why, Mother Russia, of course, to track down his missing son—an apparent ne’er do well who’s been incarcerated (in Russia) for unknown reasons. McClane quickly [Read More...]

Love Conquers All: Romance and Idolatry in ‘The Mummy’

Review of The Mummy, Directed by Karl Freund By ALEXIS NEAL You really should know better than to read aloud anything you find in an ancient tomb in Cairo. But when the long-lost Scroll of Thoth is discovered, a certain archaeologist’s assistant decides to do just that: read it aloud—and in the presence of the [Read More...]

Big Trouble in Little China: Tina Turner Was Wrong–We DO Need Another Hero

Review of Big Trouble in Little China, directed by John Carpenter By ALEXIS NEAL Jack Burton is nobody special. He’s just your average red-blooded American—a loudmouth truckdriver with a gambling habit and a knack for getting into trouble. When his friend Wang’s fiancée Miao Yin is kidnapped by sex traffickers, Jack agrees to help get [Read More...]

Finding Your Soul-Mate

Review of The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, but Why?, by Gary Thomas By ALEXIS NEAL I’ve read a lot of marriage books. Not all of them, mind you, or even most of them. But as someone who tends to believe that there is no obstacle you can’t study your [Read More...]

Gonna Fly Now; Or, the American (Non)Gospel

Review of Rocky, Directed by John D. Avildsen By ALEXIS NEAL I feel a little silly describing the plot of Rocky (1976). Still, I know there may be a few young whippersnappers out there who never sat around on Saturday afternoons watching old action movies on TNT and who thus don’t know who this Sylvester [Read More...]

Alexis’s Top Reads of 2012

By ALEXIS NEAL This would be me jumping on Ye Olde Bandwagon (Bookwagon?), if you will. As Coyle and Kendrick have done before me, I include only books I read this year, not books that were necessarily published this year—and no re-reads, either. Only books with which I had my very first encounter in 2012. [Read More...]

Grace Accepted; Grace Rejected—A Review of Les Misérables

Review of Les Misérables, Directed by Tom Hooper By ALEXIS NEAL After years of imprisonment and hard labor, one-time thief Jean Valjean is finally released from prison, only to discover that, for an ex-con life on the outside is harder than he expected. When the Bishop of Digne unexpectedly takes pity on him, Valjean promptly [Read More...]

Faith, Reason, and the Man in the Big Red Suit

Review of Miracle on 34th Street, Directed by George Seaton By ALEXIS NEAL Young Susan Walker is an intensely practical child. Her mother Doris has only ever told her the truth—her childhood has been uniformly free of such frivolous and fictitious nonsense as fairy stories, happily-ever-afters, make believe, and most importantly (for our purposes, anyway): [Read More...]

I’m Dreaming of a Selflessly Sacrificial Christmas

Review of White Christmas, Directed by Michael Curtiz By ALEXIS NEAL Once upon a time, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis were in the Army together. On Christmas Eve in 1944, Davis (an aspiring performer) saved the life of Wallace (an established Broadway star) and the rest, as they say, is history. After the war, the [Read More...]


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