It’s pretty amazing that a movie like Noah even exists. A big budget retelling of a Bible story with big name actors and a special effects budget that would make a film student drool, directed by a guy best known for his quirky, arty films. Surely this is going to be a disaster. The Bible crowd will either love it or hate it and it’s going to be a tough sell to get anyone else even interested.
As an epic fantasy movie with Biblical allusions, Noah is a great film. As a Biblically faithful account of the life of Noah… Well it makes a good fantasy movie.
Have you ever sat in church or had a conversation with a Christian and wondered when they stopped speaking English? One second they’re speaking perfectly normal, then all of a sudden they start using strange words and you’re wondering if this is what Swahili sounds like. Just like any other group of people, Christians have their own lingo. Words and phrases that we use that are particular to us. And there’s usually nothing wrong with those words. But sometimes we forget to explain what they mean to the new guys. Or even worse, we use them ourselves without ever learning what they actually mean. Every now and again I stop myself and ask “What does this actually mean?”
I can’t hear the word “holy” without thinking about the old Batman TV show from the 60s. Each week, Batman and his youthful side-kick Robin would fight the colourful criminals of Gotham City. And each week Robin would exclaim some variation of his catch phrase – Holy Fate Worse Than Death – Holy Mechanical Marvel, Holy Diversionary Tactics. It just wouldn’t be Robin if he didn’t use the word “holy” so often you’d think he was getting a commission. But what does the word actually mean?
I’ve done my time in the front lines of the retail industry. I’ve worked the cash register and answered phone calls. I’m sure it’s a common experience for retail employees to have experienced their fair share of… unusual customers. People who ask for all kinds of crazy, unrelated products. Or just say things that are widely inappropriate for the social situation. I can only begin to imagine how much worse it would be in the kingdom of the nerds. Our Valued Customers is a webcomic created by a comic book shop employee. He takes the things said to him or overheard in the shop and turns them into comics. And these comics are equal parts insightful and disturbing.
The comic that I’d like to discuss fulfills both those criteria. It gives a great insight into our lives. But of course it has a bit of a disturbing feel. And it all has to do with thought balloons in comic books.
Lady Gaga rocked up to the 2011 Grammy awards inside a giant egg. She then proceeded to perform her latest song, Born This Way, while dressed as an egg yolk. This should come as no surprise. Lady Gaga has crafted her entire celebrity around being provocative and attention grabbing. She needs your attention and she’s going to get it by telling you exactly what you want to hear.
Born This Way is a celebration of the uniqueness of self. But it is also a glorification of sin. Because this song is a lie. It presents a world where sin does not exist and there’s not a single thing about you that needs to change. Every thought you have, every thing you do is not only acceptable, but applaudable. Do not conform but be yourself. You are perfect in every single way. That’s the gospel of Lady Gaga.
But it’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A movie about a group of ordinary people holed up in a diner, surrounded by desert, using machine guns to fight off angels. This should be an awesome movie. Right? Right? Well it isn’t. Thankyou Legion for taking a good concept and turning it into a very, very bad movie.
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
Is anyone reading Harry Potter reviews and actually undecided about whether they want to see this movie or not? This is the sixth movie in the Harry Potter juggernaut. By now you’ve already made a commitment to the series. And if you haven’t seen the first five movies in the series, Half Blood Prince is a really bad place to start. This movie is filled with raging hormones and the darkening of the Harry Potter world. There’s way too much of one, not enough of the other.
There once was a time when heroes were upright citizens. They fought crime and saved the world because that was the right thing to do. Being a hero was not just about saving the day but also making sure the way you saved the day was heroic and just. After Watchmen, heroes were ultra-violent nut jobs in trench coats with severe psychological problems and an inability to interact in social settings. Thanks Rorschach.
The theme of this issue is reflections. What do we see when we look into the mirror? And what is there looking back at us, lurking underneath the surface?
There’s been an advertising campaign for Eclipse Mints going on around Sydney. The campaign involves posters with a young, good looking person having fun while wearing a t-shirt with a slogan on it. The slogan that grabbed my attention was “Sins: Why Stop At Seven?”
Back in the July school holidays, St Luke’s Liverpool held their second annual kids Holiday Club. The theme this year was “Willy Wonka”. Through an adaptation of the 70s movie, the underlying theme was that it is impossible to completely obey God on our terms and we need Jesus if we want eternal life with God. I gave four talks over the week outlining the good news of Jesus. I was assissted by the talented Thom Bransdon. Below the cut are videos of the four talks.
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.