Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2014 Edition)

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Oscar night group selfie

Pop culture was, as always, in a giving mood in 2014. Hollywood gave us blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Television parceled out its annual allotment of crime procedurals, prestige dramas, reality shows and zombies. Ariana Grande gave us a “Problem” (with help from Iggy Azalea). Grand […]

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Television Tops 2014: Paul Asay’s Year-End Picks

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My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic

Television just keeps getting better and better. It also gets worse and worse. It’s the frustrating paradox of reviewing television. While TV-based stories have gotten more nuanced and complex, they’ve also become more needlessly foul and salacious—and sometimes it seems like Emmy awards often go hand in hand with withering content. Which leaves discerning viewers […]

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Hope for Those Who Still Haven’t Set Up Their Christmas Tree

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Boy Dragging Christmas Tree

There is an informal series of Christmas-themed cartoons that Bill Watterson included in his much-loved Calvin and Hobbes strips. Some of them have become favorites around our house every holiday season. The gist is always about the same, that Calvin’s excited about Christmas and Dad is pretending to not care a whit about it. One begins […]

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Why I Like ‘The Interview’

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Still from The Interview

We talk a lot at Plugged In about how influential movies can be in our lives. But rarely do we see one cause an international incident. The Interview was supposed to be a silly, throwaway R-rated comedy—counter programming to the slew of high-prestige Oscar hopefuls trundling out this month. I mean, the flick stars Seth Rogen […]

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Game Goods 2014: Bob Hoose’s Year-End Picks

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Right out of the clamshell box let me say that 2014 was a pretty decent year for video games. Those little digital bundles of button-mashing entertainment continued to push the boundaries of story and adventure. Thanks to the powered-up latest-gen consoles that were released at the end of 2013, some pretty impressive titles showed up […]

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Bale’s Take on Moses: Schizophrenic, Barbaric, Mercurial

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Still of Christian Bale as Moses in "Exodus"

Every time a big-name Hollywood director announces he’s going to tackle a familiar biblical story, I hold my breath. On one hand, it’s exhilarating that these scriptural epics are getting mainstream screen time—not to mention eye-popping budgets and special effects to retell these tales on the grandest cinematic scale possible. On the other hand, when […]

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What in the World Did He Just Sing? Or, How Plugged In Reviews Music

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Each week here at Plugged In, I review at least one music track and an album. And that can actually be kind of a tricky thing. Because music is such a deeply personal medium—in fact, I’d argue that music might just be the entertainment category that fans identify with the most fervently—we regularly get questions […]

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The Little Mermaid Turns 25 (Which Is a Few Years Younger Than the Garden of Eden)

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The Little Mermaid opened nationally in theaters 25 years ago Monday (Nov. 17). It proved to be a pretty significant day in the annals of animated filmdom, marking not just the beginning of Disney’s fabled renaissance (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King followed hot on the Mermaid’s scaly heels) but also an […]

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‘I Didn’t Even Notice’

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The Entertainment We Consume Becomes a Part of Who We Are

Not long ago, someone sent me an article by the Rev. Craig Groeschel (senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv) titled “What’s the Big &%#*! Deal about Profanity?” What impressed me about the article was how eloquently he discussed the need for Christians to be discerning when it comes to their entertainment. For me, it was like reading […]

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