Finding Dory and The Importance Of Being Forgetful

thumbnail_24066By the end of “Finding Dory”, the latest wildly successful, hilarious, and heartbreaking Pixar movie, it starts to become clear that the forgetful blue tang’s memory is stronger than she realizes.

Throughout the film Dory is sparked by flashbacks of her childhood and the brief time she spent with her loving parents before she was fatefully separated from them.

It’s not clear exactly what type of condition causes Dory’s forgetfulness. She claims to have short-term memory loss, but I’m not sure a marine biologist or any other underwater doctor would diagnose the problem quite like this.

I think Dory’s problem is actually more like one many of us can relate with. Her issue isn’t with her ability to remember; it’s with what she chooses to remember. Continue reading

What To Do When You Escape “Room”

'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in “Room.” (Ruth Hurl/Element Pictures)

The tension watching the movie “Room” is incredibly palpable. You can’t help but cheer for Jack and his Mom to escape the tiny shed their captor has trapped them in for years.

The performances – and the movie itself – are haunting, gripping, and deserving of all the award-season praise they received.

You feel the claustrophobia and the dread sinking in as the movie confines you to the same space they’ve been confined in. There are no flashbacks. No glances outside the room. Nothing but the grim misery of life inside “Room” as Jack and Ma try to come up with their escape plan.

As one such plan is set in motion my wife and I were literally yelling at the TV in nervous agony.

Warning – Spoilers for the movie follow after the jump:

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Following Jesus On The “Bridge Of Spies”

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what people think. You know what you did.  

Tom Hanks’ character James Donovan utters these words to a young POW towards the end of the excellent movie “Bridge Of Spies”. The soldier had been trying to explain to Donovan that he did not waver from his loyalty to America during his captivity.

os-bridge-of-spies-trailer-tom-hanks-20150616What Donovan tells the young man is that the opinions of others don’t amount too much in the long run. People will think what they want to think. What truly matters is what your conscience tells you. That’s all you can really control.

This is exactly how we’ve seen Donovan go about his business over the course of the film. The opinions of his bosses and his enemies don’t matter much to him. He simply wants to do what he believes is right for the good of his clients. Continue reading

The Santa Clause Commission

still-of-tim-allen-in-the-santa-clause-1994-large-pictureWhat if I told you “The Santa Clause” was a pretty perfect metaphor for our calling as disciples of Jesus?

You remember the plot of “The Santa Clause”, the 1994 Christmas film starring Tim Allen? Old St. Nick arrives on the roof of a man named Scott Calvin’s house only to trip and fall to his death. Calvin checks on Santa, puts on his garb and finishes his route.

After the night is over Calvin visits the North Pole and finds out, due to a hidden clause,  he is actually obligated to become the new Santa. Despite his protests he actually begins transforming into Santa over the course of the year to hilarious effect.

“The Santa Clause” is arguably a Christmas classic at this point (despite the two abysmal sequels which followed it). But is there really a deeper message hidden inside the holiday fluff? Continue reading

How To Ruin A Zombie Movie

Zombies are hot right now.

Whereas it seemed a few years ago that every horror movie wanted to focus on vampires in the shadow of “Twilight”, now we’re being bombarded with zombie movies and tv shows in the wake of “The Walking Dead”. Chances are this Halloween as you’re counting up your candy you’ll be watching some sort of zombie-tainment.

Zombie_design_for_Zombieland,_mainEvery form of zombie-tainment follows a pretty simple formula: some sort of infestation has devastated the world’s population. The infected become some sort of half-dead lumbering creatures whose sole mission is to feast on human flesh and brains in order to survive. Those who are still living do their best to run and survive.

That’s all well and good if you want to have a hit in Hollywood right now. Just cut and paste that synopsis, toss in some sort of romantic plot amongst the group of survivors, and boom – you’ll be $100 million richer in no time.

There is, however, a way you can ruin the seemingly foolproof formula of a zombie movie: instead of attacking others, have the zombies start serving others.
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What Would Jesus Watch – 7: Dial A Prayer

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Welcome to “What Would Jesus Watch?”, our summer podcast series overanalyzing the over looked genre of Christian Cinema.

poster212x312This week we follow in the footsteps of John Oliver’s recent expose and explore the story of a woman looking for faith inside a questionable ministry as we explore the movie “Dial A Prayer” on this all-new episode. 

Join Alex and Kate on the latest episode as they break down this overlooked gem from earlier this year starring Brittany Snow and William H. Macy. This movie raises a lot of interesting questions about spiritual issues and we get deep discussing our feelings on the power and purpose of prayer. Plus we talk about whether or not this is a Christmas movie, the misleading poster, Brittany Snow’s breakout performance, the surprisingly shocking twist, and try figure out exactly what the business model of the Prayer Center is. All that as well as our Prayer Requests and K8-Tracks on this week’s “What Would Jesus Watch”!

If you haven’t seen “Dial A Prayer” before you’ll definitely still be able to enjoy the podcast. But if you’d like to prepare before watching you can check out the trailer below and find the movie on Netflix, iTunes, or at your local video store:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tjn0DuP-hJ8 Continue reading

What Would Jesus Watch – 6: Saved!

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Welcome to “What Would Jesus Watch?”, our summer podcast series overanalyzing the over looked genre of Christian Cinema.

MV5BMTQ1ODM1ODU1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjI5MzA3NA@@._V1_SX214_AL_Can a cynical satire about a Christian high school starring Mandy Moore actually teach us anything about our faith? That’s the question we try to answer as we explore the movie “Saved!” on this week’s episode. 

Join Alex and Kate on the latest episode as they break down the cult hit from 2004 also starring Macaulay Culkin, Jena Malone and Mary Louise Parker. We talk about all the happenings at American Eagle Christian School including our conflicting opinions on Pastor Skip, the importance of prom and the real message of the movie. Plus Alex shares his theories about the original script and undercover Christians on the production team. All that as well as an in-depth analysis of the soundtrack in our new segment “KateTracks” on this week’s “What Would Jesus Watch”!

If you haven’t seen “Saved!” before you’ll definitely still be able to enjoy the podcast. But if you’d like to prepare before watching you can check out the trailer below and find the movie on iTunes, Amazon, or at your local video store:

Follow along on Twitter and on Facebook to see what movie we’ll be watching next

To Subscribe on iTunes click here or search for Pop God Podcasts on the Podcast app or in iTunes and Subscribe or listen on Stitcher or listen on Podbean

Share and leave a comment and let us know what you think. Tell us what movies you’d like to see us discuss on future episodes of What Would Jesus Watch!

What Would Jesus Watch – 5: Marriage Retreat

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Welcome to “What Would Jesus Watch?”, our summer exploration into the overlooked and underexplored genre of Christian Cinema.

Ever want to spend a weekend camping with the 3 worst couples on Earth? Then have we got the movie for you. We review “Marriage Retreat” on this week’s episode! 

retreatJoin Alex and Kate on the latest episode as they try to counsel the all-star cast of couples who really seem to hate each other including “SNL” alum Victoria Jackson, Tommy Blaze, David A.R. White and Carl Winslow himself Reginald VelJohnson. Along the way they cover every bizarre feature of the “Marriage Retreat” including sweaty foosball games, uncomfortable janitors, confusing sleeping arrangements and the utter disregard for pregnant women. All that plus Prayer Requests, Listener Mail and a list of every plot point that didn’t get resolved on an all new “What Would Jesus Watch”!

If you haven’t seen “Marriage Retreat” before you’ll definitely still be able to enjoy the podcast. But if you’d like to prepare before watching you can check out the trailer below and find the movie on Netflix and other streaming services:

Follow along on Twitter and on Facebook to see what movie we’ll be watching next

Search for Pop God Podcasts on the iPhone Podcast app or in iTunes and Subscribe or listen on Stitcher or listen on Podbean

Share and leave a comment and let us know what you think. Tell us what movies you’d like to see us discuss on future episodes of What Would Jesus Watch!

What Would Jesus Watch – 4: God’s Not Dead

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Welcome to “What Would Jesus Watch?”, our summer exploration into the overlooked and underexplored genre of Christian Cinema.

“God’s Not Dead” tells the story of a brave college student defending his faith against a brash professor. Which would actually be an interesting movie – if it wasn’t surrounded by a dozen other plots! 

God's_Not_DeadJoin Alex and Kate on the latest episode as they try to untangle the many interwoven plots and characters and cameos and honestly wonder if this movie was bad as they thought would it be. Along the way they take a stand for Kevin Sorbo and The Duck Dynasty folks, discuss the horrible dating relationships on display and debate the merits of the many faith-based debates. All that plus Prayer Requests for the upcoming sequel “God’s Not Dead 2: He’s Surely Alive” (yes, really) on an all new “What Would Jesus Watch”!

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How To Conquer Indominus Rex

jurassicworldThere’s a cliche out there where people call extremely intense movies “nail-biters”. Well when I watched “Jurassic World” for the first time it was no cliche – I found myself literally biting my nails in anticipation as the dinosaurs wreaked havoc.

Though I’ve written before about how disappointing sequels and remakes can be, “Jurassic World” exceeded my wildest expectations.

I rarely get scared during movies. I don’t even bother seeing a lot of horror movies; not because they’re too scary for me, but because they’re not scary enough.

But I was literally on the edge of my seat as Chris Pratt fought valiantly alongside a T-rex. My nails cut into my wife’s hand as I watched the raptors’ claws attack the guests at the park. “Jurassic World” was so well done that it actually gave me goosebumps and had me jumping around out of fear.

Now it’s obvious the Indominus Rex, the terrifying dinosaur which causes so much chaos in “Jurassic World”, isn’t really alive.

In fact it’s not even a real dinosaur. And of course the threat of a dinosaur attack probably isn’t coming around in this lifetime (fingers crossed).

So why did something fake give me such a fright? If I was being honest I’d tell you fake thing things scare me all the time. Continue reading