August 17, 2021

What’s true of The Shawshank Redemption is really true of most of the movies I discuss here: though my pieces tend to focus on a specific reading, there are infinite potential applications. Again, I usually just focus on one to keep my writing somewhat coherent, but with The Shawshank Redemption there’s just too much on the plate to ignore. And so, we’re going to spread this out over the course of a few meals. Consider this the first in a... Read more

August 9, 2021

If applicable, think of the first person who growing up inspired you to lifelong religious living. Maybe a parent or a youth/congregation leader? How did it feel when you realized this person was flawed? Perhaps deeply so? How did this affect your attitude toward the church you were a part of. I guess the idea of flawed role models has been on my mind a lot recently, what with last week’s musings on The Boy and the Beast and me... Read more

August 2, 2021

Going to church would be much easier without all the people getting in the way, right? Goodness, life would be much easier if we never had to interact with anyone who challenged us. I’m reminded of a film that knows exactly how aggravating it can be to be saddled with someone who just grinds your gears. But the film also recognizes how much two imperfect souls need each other. My favorite anime film, Mamoru Hosada’s The Boy and the Beast,... Read more

July 29, 2021

Superhero movies tend to come with ready-to-order religious applicability. Stories with supremely virtuous protagonists who redeem mankind with their selfless actions inevitably recall the life of the Savior. But what about when your hero is far from Christlike? With Marvel’s Thor being a remix of the eponymous figure from Norse mythology, a literal god, the film invokes naturally invokes celestial imagery. You see this with the heavenly Asgard and Odin as a close shadow of God the Father. What I... Read more

July 21, 2021

Throwback to the film that made Marvel want to rope Brie Larson into their squad. Room follows a mother and her five-year-old son who live in a shed little more than a hundred square feet. The story is told from the perspective of the son, Jack, who has lived in “Room” all his life. Jack does not realize that “Ma” was victim to a sexual predator’s ploy to trap her in this shed years ago and that there is a... Read more

July 17, 2021

Alright. We’re fresh off of Disney and Alfred Hitchcock on my docket of spotlighted movies. It’s time to highlight the more secret corners of the film library. Robert Ellis Miller’s 1968 film “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” is adapted from Carson McCuller’s 1940 novel of the same name. The film follows the deaf-mute John Singer (played by Alan Arkin) who takes up an ad for boarding in the house of the young Margeret “Mick” Kelly. Like everyone else in... Read more

July 14, 2021

And now presenting, the one movie in which James Stewart is the guy you DON’T want to emulate. In terms of films you don’t want spoiled before a first viewing, “Vertigo” is a little ahead of “Charade” and a few steps below “Arrival.” Proceed with caution. The film follows a private investigator, “Scottie,” who is traumatized after his acrophobia costs the life of his colleague. Scottie’s old coworker offers him easy work: observe his wife, the hauntingly beautiful Madeleine, to... Read more

July 10, 2021

I don’t know about any of you, but growing up I often heard my local church leaders going on about the sinfulness of Disney’s 1989 film, The Little Mermaid. I mean going on and on about that movie, especially that whiney Ariel girl. Maybe you’re familiar with a lot of these talking points: Ariel teaches little girls that they should disobey their parents, or that a little deal with the devil never hurt anybody. And what’s she doing dressed like a... Read more

July 7, 2021

I grew up in a household that did not watch R-rated films. This practice, while not an explicit decree, did stem in large part from the expectations of our faith. Part of keeping one’s self pure meant not intaking media that offended the holy spirit. For many of my faith (though I dare not estimate exactly how many), an R-rating signals a film unacceptable. I adhered to this guideline all the way through my early years of college. I came... Read more

July 3, 2021

Given the thorny nature of the film’s subject material, I debated for some time about whether or not I was ever going to spotlight this film. I admittedly don’t recommend it for all viewers, but I maintain that for the agreeable viewer, even a film as dark as this offers a glimpse of something truly heavenly. Anyway … Based on the play by Steven Fletcher, “The Woodsman” follows a former child molester, Walter (played by Kevin Bacon), who tries to rebuild... Read more

Browse Our Archives

Close Ad