Some of my favorite reviews, most of which serve as a springboard to considering larger issues of faith and life. My love for science fiction is obvious, but largely that is because the genre explores important questions more often than most tend to do:
James Cameron’s epic is hardly a beacon of orthodox theology, but it does offer a very nice image of resurrection to go with its incredible visuals and world-building.
Patch Adams, the not-so-closely “based on a true story” tale of one doctor’s quest to make the practice of medicine more loving and humane, is not only funny but also an outstanding exploration of the hope and danger of unconditional love.
Syrupy, cliched and over-sexualized as they are, romantic comedies are more than just hopeful and life-affirming; these movies also almost always imply that it isn’t enough that you love one another, you also have to become better people because of it.
Exploring the power of words and the corporate nature of evil, the film version of Ian McEwan’s novel dramatically illustrates the web of interlocking choices that prevent us from ever truly saving ourselves.
Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker is one of the most haunting pictures of personified evil ever captured on film, but The Dark Knight also thoughtfully explores what it takes to stand against such an evil, and the answer isn’t a bigger gun.
One of the best things about LOST was the way it constantly forced its characters to choose whether to become better or worse than they were. Throughout the series there was speculation regarding whether the Island was in fact purgatory, but this possibility became especially important in the last season, with intriguing implications that even the finale never fully resolved.
Few mainstream television series have given a more prominent role to religion than Battlestar Galactica, allowing now only human spirituality but also a central place for divine leading and intervention. But this is no Sunday afternoon drama, exploring both the best and the worst that belief in God or the gods can bring out in us.
Is it really imaginable that humanity could have the central role in the cosmos that Paul and other biblical authors suggest, now that we know how unimaginably vast the universe truly is? The Stargate franchise has explore that question from a remarkable number of angles over its history, but few are more interesting and sympathetic than that depicted in Stargate Universe.
An alphabetical listing of the reviews I’ve posted. Some are full reviews; others focus on particular aspects of a work as part of a larger discussion:
- The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud
- DUNE – Frank Herbert
- Everything Bad Is Good For You – Steven Johnson
- The First Law Trilogy – Joe Abercrombie
- A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
- German Quickly – April Wilson
- Get Into Graduate School – Kaplan
- Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
- Harry, A History – Melissa Anelli
- Hurt: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers – Chap Clark
- The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Princeton Review: Cracking the GRE 2010 Edition – Doug Pierce
- The Shack – William Young
- Snowcrash – Neal Stephenson (first sidebar at the bottom of the page)
- Surprised by Joy – C.S. Lewis
- A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
- Why I Am a Christian – John Stott
- Army Wives
- Battlestar Galactica:
- Life on Mars
- The Olympics Opening Ceremony
- Stargate: Atlantis
- Stargate: Universe
- Better Luck Tomorrow
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- Evan Almighty
- Get Smart
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Just Like Heaven
- Knocked Up
- The Lord of the Rings
- Patch Adams
- Prince Caspian
- The Shawshank Redemption
- Star Trek
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
- The Time Traveler’s Wife