Glittery Vampires in Love

Twilight, by Stephanie MeyerNo, you're not experiencing deja vu (or if you are, it's unrelated). Schaeffer's Ghost has already posted a review of Twilight—and quite a good one at that. And yet, I am compelled to review the first book in the series because I have been compelled to read it by my wife (possibly as revenge for my forcing her to read The Cowboy and the Vampire, which in turn was revenge for being subjected to Jane Eyre).If you haven't read Twilight, there's a good summary … [Read more...]

God’s Favorite Place on Earth?

Review of God's Favorite Place on Earth by Frank ViolaBy COYLE NEALI am probably not the right person to be reviewing this book. Despite being an Evangelical for as long as I can remember, the majority of my devotional reading has been restricted either to openly bad theology (mostly in my high school years) or to spectacularly good/practical works. (I take full responsibility for the bad; credit for the good goes to some wonderful guides and advisors from the churches I have been … [Read more...]

Man of Steel: Powerful enough to entertain

Review of Man of Steel directed by Zach SnyderBy COYLE NEALThe Superman story has been told (and filmed) so often that it is undoubtedly a challenge for filmmakers come up with a new ‘take’ on the story that is both interesting to the viewer and faithful to the canon (assuming that "faithfulness to the canon" is a virtue to be pursued rather than a rule to be cast off—which of course is not an assumption we can always make). Chock full of nods to earlier Superman adaptations, Man of Steel … [Read more...]

Iron Man 3 is worth every nickel

Review of Iron Man 3, Directed by Shane BlackDoes this movie even really need a review? As with everything else in the Avengers oeuvre to date (with the possible exceptions of Hulk and The Incredible Hulk), Iron Man 3 is a lot of action-y goodness with light moral thematic underpinnings. Which is exactly what we want from a comic book movie. Those that over-moralize at the expense of action inevitably fail, as do those that cut the moral out completely in favor of big-name stars or … [Read more...]

If you love America, go see Pain & Gain

Review of Pain and Gain, Directed by Michael Bay"Don't be a don't-er, do be a doer." Such is the motto of body-builders/gym-rats Danny Lugo, Paul Doyle, and Adrian Doorball (Marky Mark, the Rock, and Anthony Mackie). Okay, if we're being all technical about it, it's the motto of Johnny Wu—the hottest self-help guru to come along in the history of ever. But good advice is good advice, and Danny, Paul, and Adrian have decided to be doers instead of don't-ers by going out and taking their own l … [Read more...]

Rambling Through a Classic Western

Review of Warlock by Oakley HallThe sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. (Deut. 28:23)For a Western, Warlock is a ridiculously complicated book. In one sense, it is a novelization of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Lincoln County War. In another sense, it is the story of Marshall Clay Blaisdell in his quest to keep law and order without becoming a criminal himself, as told through the eyes of the townspeople. In yet another sense, it is the story of the bl … [Read more...]

G.I. Joe Appeals to the Inner Child — and Not Much Else

Review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Directed by Jon ChuCobra Commander has escaped from a high security prison, the evil Zartan is impersonating the President, and all but four of the G.I. Joes have been killed. It seems that nothing stands between Cobra Commander and his plan of absolute world domination. Will the remaining Joes be able to foil his nefarious schemes? Or will Cobra Commander maniacally laugh his way to the destruction of all things good?You will like this movie if and only … [Read more...]

Die Hard in the White House

Review of Olympus Has Fallen, Directed by Antoine FuquaFortunately, the title of this review pretty much provides the summary of the movie [spoiler alerts from here on]. "Terrorists" have taken over the White House and are making insane demands while working on their own secret agenda. The entire government apparatus repeatedly fails to take control of the situation (despite being much more competent than the counterpart "FBI guys" of Die Hard). The only hope of the hostages—including the P … [Read more...]

The Call: Trouble on the Line

Review of The Call directed by Brad AndersonJordan Turner (Halle Berry) works in "the Hive"—a 911 call center in California. When she receives a call from a girl being abducted, Jordan does her job efficiently and well, dispatching the first-responders and assuring the girl that help is on the way. Unfortunately, help does not get there in time and the girl is murdered. Despite the reassurances of her friends and coworkers that she did everything right and that she shouldn't take things so p … [Read more...]

Mere Lewis

Review of C.S. Lewis: A Life by Alister McGrathBy COYLE NEALWriting biographies is hard work. Sometimes, there just isn't a lot of information about an individual—even if that individual is a very important historical figure. Sometimes there's so much information that sifting through everything to discover what is important can seem to be more trouble than it's worth (or can result in an interminably long series of books). Add to that the difficulty of transforming the events and facts o … [Read more...]