Elsewhere: A collection of interesting links and articles that I’ve come across in the last week or so. For more of the same, follow me on Twitter.
The Internet Monk on “Religion and Culture”:
So the challenge for all Christians is to think through what elements of their beliefs and understandings are culturally particular; not necessarily to abandon them but to understand those elements as nonessential parts of the faith. Good advice, I know, and almost impossible to do.
Christ and Pop Culture reviews The Last Airbender and concludes that it is “not a good movie”.
Meanwhile, the Vulture urges us: “Don’t Give Up on M. Night Shyamalan”:
…no filmmaker nowadays — not Michael Bay, not Brett Ratner, not Joel Schumacher, not even Uwe-freaking-Boll — seems to prompt this kind of visceral, personal loathing. Which is a shame, because Shyamalan was once a rare talent — a director who could make serious, somber, and suspenseful dramas about grief that spoke to mass audiences. And we see little reason why he can’t be again.
I like Wovenhand’s The Threshingfloor well enough but I agree with PopMatters’ review:
The fire and fury remain, but it’s hard not to feel only satisfied and not truly invigorated at this point.
For what it’s worth, my favorite Woven Hand album remains Consider The Birds.
You want a media in which nobody says anything interesting, insightful or provocative for fear of being fired over a single unguarded, poorly thought out, or clumsily phrased public remark? Keep this up. Again, we’ve got to develop more tolerance for this sort of thing — and it’s not really tolerance if you already agree.
Topless Robot has been on a roll lately: “The 30 Greatest Star Trek Villains”, “The 15 Greatest Songs from The Simpsons (So Far)”, and a readers-submitted collection of the best tweets from G.I. Joe and Cobra.
Twitch reviews Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance:
The changes to the story are all wise ones, all moves that bring the core ideas and themes into sharper focus while jettisoning some of the more frivolous elements. And, likewise, the new animation is a big step forward from the original series — a made for tv production whose humble budget often placed serious limits on what director Hideaki Anno and company were able to achieve. This new Evangelion is simply gorgeous to look at. Whether an epic robot battle — of which there are many — or a more quiet moment, the visual work is absolutely top notch and a wonder to behold.
I had gone to Hong Kong with a mission to watch Hong Kong films, and this one clearly made my trip worthwhile many times over, coupled with so many hilarious moments to laugh along with.
I loves me some slick, ultra-stylish Asian action cinema, and to that end, The Man From Nowhere looks pretty solid indeed.
Pressing beyond “niceness” is imperative when it comes to dealing with religion, or so John Mark Reynolds argues:
People are all similar. Reality does not change from person to person, but the interpretation of reality can be different. Nobody should be so “nice” they end up insulting other faiths by refusing to admit they make truth claims that cannot be sustained.
Most great religions are mostly right, but “mostly” is not good enough. Making an error in physics, even a small one, can be fatal to the body. Making a metaphysical error, even a tiny one, can be fatal to the soul.