“The Town Came A-Courtin” on the UP Network, Sunday Jan 19

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  The UP Network = Uplifting Entertainment and their first offering this year is The Town Came A-Courtin' starring Lauren Holly, Valerie Harper, and Cameron Bancroft. The UP Network used to be GMC, the Gospel Music Channel. The Town Came A-Courtin' is predictable, sweet and uplifting romance story told in a Hallmark way. It says on the packaging that it is "inspired by a true story" but as far as I have been able to tell it's based on a 2005 novel by the Southern novelist Ronda … [Read more...]

Plato comes to life in DreamWorks “The Croods”

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  In "The Croods," the prehistoric caveman Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage) is the head of the Crood family. These beings believe they are the only creatures of their kind in existence. They live somewhere on the earth in a dark cave and only go out during the day if necessary. Grug tells the younger members of the family -- Eep (voice of Emma Stone), Thunk (voice of Clark Duke) and Sandy (Randy Thom) -- the same bedtime story every night: Obey the rules of the cave that are marked on … [Read more...]

“Apocalyptic themes in movies”: 12/21/12 and the end of the world … again

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According to the Mayan Calendar the end of the world is to happen on December 21, 2012: 12/21/12. But it did not happen on all the other dates that have foretold this terrible, cataclysmic event. It is already 12/12/12  and so far, so good. We’re still here. Earlier this year I was invited to give a presentation at a local parish on “Apocalyptic Themes in Cinema”.  I wondered why people are so fascinated by the end of the world and posed the question on Facebook. Angelene Shewfelt, … [Read more...]

‘The Rise of the Guardians’ an inspiring fantasy mash-up

North (Alec Baldwin) welcomes Jack Frost (Chris Pine) in this scene from the animated movie "Rise of the Guardians." (CNS/DreamWorks Animation)

Although it took me some time to figure out what was going on and what Dreamworks' handsome, over-long film was trying to say, it became apparent about halfway through that I could easily make connections between the imaginative narrative and Christian beliefs. Seeing "Guardians" bears out the saying "You get out of a film what you bring to it" because you make meaning according to your own lens. The story opens with Jack Frost (the voice of Chris Pine) telling us how he came to be the spirit … [Read more...]

Metaphors and Journeys of Faith in the Life of Pi & Big Fish

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  Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003) and Ang Lee’s 3D Life of Pi (2012) have a lot in common, and it’s not just the fish or the almost overwhelming cinematography and artistic design that transcend the ordinary. Besides the fact that both films are based on novels, their common bond is the larger than life idea of fish and creation, imaginary worlds, and telling a fantastical story using metaphor, analogy and fable. Both stories share themes about life and death, about faith and … [Read more...]


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