This Week on Sleepy Hollow: Loneliness, the Local Church, & Beheadings Galore

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Episode 7 In case you were wondering, being a Mason won't protect you through the Apocalypse. You'll get your head chopped off just like the next person. And so will everyone else who stands between the Headless Horseman and his skull, which he needs for some reason in order to bring the other three horsemen and begin the end of the world. Will Abbie and Ichabod be able to stop the Horseman on his decapitory ride through town? Will they come up with a plan to keep … [Read more...]

Not Strange Enough: “Church Rescue” and the National Geographic Effect

Review of Church Rescue, Episode 1By BOBBY JAMIESONHave you ever seen someone gawk at an evangelical? I don’t know if the phrase is unique to him, but I’ve often heard Al Mohler refer to this as the “National Geographic effect.” What he means is that secular Westerners—especially elites—sometimes respond to evangelical Christians about like they’d respond to rumors of cannibalistic tribes in the South Pacific: “Wait—there are still people like that out there!?”If life can imitate art, … [Read more...]

Thor’s World is Becoming Cliche

Review of Thor: The Dark World, Directed by Alan TaylorAs the Avengers films become more intertwined with one another, they are becoming both more self-referential and more confident in the type of action drama they are trying to cultivate. At the same time, these films are increasingly mainstream with very few surprises.The first question about most sequels is: how does it compare to the first? Thor: The Dark World is decisively better. The action sequences, the graphic effects, and the … [Read more...]

This Week on Sleepy Hollow: Forgiveness, Freemasons, and Quaker Witches

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Episode 6[Spoiler alerts.] After a break for some reason or other (the Superbowl I think?), Sleepy Hollow is back and just as ridiculous as ever. This week, Ichabod Crane learns about baseball and our inherent right to shout at the ump ("I thought only horses slept standing up!?!"), and then gets kidnapped by Freemasons. In order to find him, Abbie has to work with her crazy sister to find the "sin eater", the one person who can use supernatural means to reveal … [Read more...]

Ender’s Game Plays by the book…or at least close enough

Review of Ender's Game, Directed by Gavin Hood[This review is written for those who have read the novel or already seen the film. Find a summary of Ender’s Game here.]“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.” – A.E. WigginFor decades—28 years to be exact—Orson Scott Card’s science-fiction classic Ender’s Game stumbled through Hollywood in a never-ending journey from book to screen. Card himself tol … [Read more...]

Redbox Review: ‘Warm Bodies’—A feel-good zombie flick?

Review of Warm Bodies, Directed by Jonathan LevineR is dead. Which doesn't stop him from being hungry, eating people, and then feeling bad about being hungry and eating people. Nor does it stop him from feeling a good deal of existential angst over his lack of connection with other people, unlike the 'Boneys', skeletal monsters who feel no such angst and indeed delight in consuming anything and everything with a heartbeat. Is there any opportunity for escape from this lonely cycle of … [Read more...]

All Is Lost: A Survival Tale Only on the Surface

Review of All is Lost, Directed by J.C. Chandor“It is the duty of all believers to be preparing themselves every day to die cheerfully, comfortably, and if it may be, triumphing in the Lord.”—John Owen, The Christian’s Work of Dying DailyThe Puritans were known for writing and preaching on the art of dying well. Those well prepared for death were thought to be better able to overcome any last-minute temptations of Satan, particularly in the area of security in one’s salvation.J.C. Chandor … [Read more...]

Halloween, Horror, and the Cross

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.—H.P. Lovecraft, "Supernatural Horror in Literature"H.P. Lovecraft, in case you've never heard of him, was one of New England's most talented and creative writers. For all his personal failings, the man had a way with words, and his stories are simply a delight to read. Consider the opening lines of Lovecraft's most famous story, "The Call of Cthulhu":The most merciful t … [Read more...]

Redbox Review: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is nothing special

Review of Much Ado About Nothing, Directed by Joss WhedonAs a longtime fan of both Joss Whedon and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (most notably the 1993 film starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh), I was delighted to hear that the genius behind Mutant Enemy would be producing his very own adaptation of this beloved play. The history of the film only adds to the charm: After years of hosting Shakespeare readings at his home, Whedon finally decided to try his hand at filming the … [Read more...]

The Fifth Estate asks good questions, but fails to live up to its billing

Review of The Fifth Estate, Directed by Bill CondonFilms made about contemporary subjects and events tread strange ground. Think, for example, of The Social Network, Zero Dark Thirty, and even Jobs to a degree. They purport to tell us a story well within our living memory, a story that we most likely remember mainly as news headlines, getting a Facebook account, or buying our first ipod. In other words, these stories have yet to pass into history’s “mythic” status, yet they are by no means do … [Read more...]