It’s the 30th of the month, so time for another End of Month Review. I know July has 31 days, but WordPress’ stats work on a 30 day cycle, so this will be more accurate. A lot has happened on Pop Culture Christ this month, with the site receiving more than twice the hits it received during June.
Kung Fu Panda (2008 )
Starring Jack Black
Before we begin, let’s have a look at the check list. Jack Black comedy? Check. Cute animated animals? Check. An inept and unsuitable protagonist who is the “chosen one”? Check. Before you even walk into the cinema, you know what you’re going to get. You know how the plot is going to go and how its going to resolve. Only one question remains – will it be worth watching?
Get Smart (2008)
Starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie. The 60s TV show is an absolute classic. But that humour worked best in a contained, smaller budget TV show. The Get Smart reunion movie in the 80s had all the hallmarks of the original, but the bigger budget and the changes in the world since the original left it feeling a bit lacking. The other thing that had me concerned was that the plot was allegedly about Max Smart on his first mission when all the “real” agents were put out of action. Suddenly I was thinking Johnny English and that’s not a good thing. So how was it?
I’m always keeping my eye out for Jesus in unusual places. Not the real Jesus (I guess I should be looking out for him too…) but pop culture representations of Jesus. I love Jesus toys. And I found a new one today. He can be found at The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. Mine looks a bit different to the one in the picture. My Jesus has really wild, all over the place hair. Very much not tame and under control like in the pic. My favourite part? He’s wearing a WWID bracelet. No that is not a mistype…
The character of Alice Cooper is the villain of his show. You’re meant to cheer against him. He says things and does things that fly in the face of normalcy and decency. He is counter cultural and digs up those things we’d rather be left buried. And that’s a good thing. He challenges us to recognise the things in this world that we’d rather sweep under the carpet and ignore. And sometimes, whilst he’s delighting us with sick fantasies, he can reveal something about human nature that we’d rather he didn’t say. Because it’s true. I DO just wanna be God.
The Dark Knight (2008 )
Starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger
Okay, cards on the table. It’s a Batman movie. I’m gonna like it. I thought Batman And Robin was one of the greatest travesties to ever grace the silver screen and I still enjoyed it because it was a Batman movie. For months I’ve been avoiding the hype about The Dark Knight. I’ve avoided the trailers. I’ve avoided the viral marketing. I’ve avoided the news reports of Ledger’s untimely death. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Batman Begins was a great movie. It had it’s problems, but I was able to overlook them. But the vibe was that The Dark Knight was in a totally different league. A much better league. So what did I think?
The article I wrote on WYD Laws has been linked to by a guy called Nathan Creitz. I don’t know Nathan personally, but his blog looks like it deals with some of the same issues as mine. He’s based out of Boston in the USA, so would definitely be able to comment on some of these cultural issues from an American perspective. Check his blog out at http://nathancreitz.blogspot.com/
I once used the Alice Cooper song It’s Much Too Late for a high school chapel service. Each student was passed out a sheet of paper with the name of the song and the lyrics printed on it. I asked anyone if they knew who Alice Cooper was. Most of the teachers put up their hands. And one student. Just one. I was pretty sure he was just trying to get some attention. So I told him if he could tell me, I’d give him a couple of minties. His reply? “She’s a poet.” Me and the teachers laughed because he got it wrong on both counts. He is a popular rocker from the 70s and 80s. But some of my favourite work of Alice’s comes from this century. Like It’s Much Too Late.