Saturday, September 27, 2014


Now Showing Marquee 5

I watched a double feature for Aleteia this week. “Believe Me” and “The Song” are the two latest faith-based films to hit the big screen and, surprisingly, they aren’t terrible. Oh, I’m sure the usual suspects amongst the Christian film critics out there will tear them apart because they aren’t art, but each movie is pleasant enough as light entertainment. “Believe Me” has some actual laughs, especially if you’ve spent time in the world of modern Protestant worship, while “The Song” is overly formulaic, but perfectly fine for a Christian date night.

Oddly enough, atheist Neil Carter from the Godless In Dixie blog kind of liked “Believe Me,” or as he calls it, a Christian that doesn’t suck. Of course, he mostly enjoyed it for all the Evangelical self parody going on in the film, but still, he liked it. His comments make me wonder, though, where are all the self-deprecating atheist movies out there?

Speaking of atheists, over at The Catholic Thing, Brad Miner ponders the Godless space of modern sci-fi movies.

I suppose sometimes it’s just easier to find God in the classics. At least that what it seems like over at Speculative Faith where Brandi Midkiff discusses Forbidden Planet and the evil which lurks in the hearts of men. While you’re over there, you may as well check in on E. Stephen Burnett as he muses on ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and the Subversion of Human Nature.

While we’re on the subject of classics, Matt Page from Bible Films Blog is taking a brief look at one of the queen mothers of all cult movies, Alejandro Jodorowsky's “The Holy Mountain.” We really need to tackle that movie around here at some point.

And finally, at Religion Dispatches, Robert M. Geraci takes note of the 40th anniversary of the game Dungeons & Dragons, its lasting affect on all entertainment that followed its introduction, and the religious plurality found in the pages of the Monster Manual.

Happy reading, everyone, see you next time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


This week for Aleteia I reviewed “Boyhood,” the new film from Richard Linklater which has received something akin to worship from most of the major film critics out there. Chances are, you also might find it to be a deeply moving cinematic experience… or a complete waste of three hours of your life. It really depends on if you manage to make a personal connection to the film’s message.

I say the film’s message, because you probably won’t connect at all with the film’s characters. They range from uninteresting to downright irritating. Mainly it’s the parents. The mother’s only concern seems to be in keeping a man (any man), so when her son admits to staying out drinking and doing drugs all night, she just shrugs. The father’s only worries are finding himself and creating dialog. Well, that and making sure nobody ever votes for George Bush. They do live in Austin, TX after all.

You know, someone needs to teach the parents in “Boyhood” how to really be involved in the lives of their children, maybe someone like the Addams Family…

For me, one of the appeals of the Addams Family has always been that, once you remove the veneer of comedy/horror, you’ve basically got a family that truly loves another. And Gomez and Morticia, they’re real parents. They nurture and guide their children, they protect and punish them, and, as this clip proves, they’re absolutely vigilant about what information goes into their kids’ heads. In the fictional universe of the Addams, I’m sure there’s no copy of the Catechism lying around, but if there were, they’d probably have this passage highlighted:

“The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’ The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable. Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.”

I actually liked “Boyhood.” I thought it communicated a deep truth about how our identities are formed, not by the big events in life, but in the small day to day situations we find ourselves in. But, yeah, the parents bugged me. Give me the Addams Family over them any day of the week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Twenty-five years ago today, my wife and I stood in a small church we had never set foot in before and held hands while a good friend strummed his guitar and sang John Lennon’s “God Bless Our Love.” He certainly has.

Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Not too bad, I suppose, considering the average duration of a marriage in the United States these days is 8 years. It’s even more amazing when you take into account that my poor wife probably wakes up each and every morning with something akin to this running through her head…

And yet, despite the thing she married, my wife’s love hasn’t wavered once. You know, maybe our dissimilarities have actually helped us stay together all these years. It’s like Pope Francis said this last Sunday when he presided over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica. “This is what marriage is all about,” the Holy Father commented, “man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences.”

Well, “Vive la différence!” we like say around these parts (after which we smack ourselves upside the head for speaking French). And may God grant long life and health to the woman who, 25 years ago, married a monster and made a man out of him. Words can’t express the love.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Now Showing Sign

Rather than trudge through the barren wasteland that is the period between the Summer blockbuster months and awards season, I’ve decided to spend some time at Aleteia catching up with some of the interesting movies which have come out this year. First up is Code Black, a new documentary focusing on residents in the LA County emergency room and the completely broken healthcare system they have to deal with. It’s not the most exciting film you’ll see this year, but it’s an important one.

In other medical movie news, Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report passes on the announcement that acclaimed writer Andrew Klavan has signed on to script the movie based on the atrocities committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Again, probably not a feel good story, but one deserving of attention.

More in line with our usual fare, Jason Deitz at Non-Modern reviews the latest Doctor Who episode, Robot of Sherwood. I like his take on the Christian themes of the episode, but I have to admit my opinion’s still out on the season as a whole until they resolve some plot threads.

Speaking of doubts, over at Speculative Faith, R. L. Copple expresses his own over the “positive” portrayals of religion in Star Trek and Firefly.

And finally, reader Aniya Granato shares with us an inforgraphic she helped create looking at some of the highest grossing Christian films in history compared to some similarly successful secular films…

Christian Movies

You can see the full size image at along with some more information.

See you next time.