What Makes a Movie a Success?

There’s never been a movie that appealed to everyone, a motion picture without a single critic. Take two films awarded Best Picture, Chariots of Fire and Braveheart. One Chariots critic went so far as to state that the movie was “an affirmation of clouded and second-hand values—and, as a result, it becomes vulgar.” With Braveheart, […]

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War Room: Fighting for the Time To Pray

War Room: Fighting for the Time to Pray

War Room surprised everyone when it muscled its way toward the top of the box office standings. Not very many people thought a movie about prayer had a, well, prayer of achieving something like that—let alone doing so while showing on significantly fewer screens than its competition. More important than that, though, is what War Room […]

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Miley, What’s Good?

Sunday’s MTV’s 2015 Video Music Awards were, naturally, again all about Miley Cyrus. She hosted it and managed to dominate it as only a savvy, shock-centric self-promoter can. The online press spent yesterday talking about her outfits (their huge number and tiny size), her dizzying references to marijuana, her “accidental,” somehow-not-so-shocking-anymore wardrobe malfunction. But perhaps […]

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What Spy Movies (and Grandma) Say About Media Discernment

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is not the headiest of movies, but it still got us thinking. In this, the second episode of the Plugged In Vodcast, Paul explains why spy movies always make him think of his grandma and how a particular conversation with her got him thinking about the ways we make exceptions […]

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An Entertainment Adventure in Garage Saling

As we do almost every year, my wife and I spent vacation time in July visiting our out-of-state daughter. And although you’ll probably find this a bit strange (for that matter, I find it a bit strange), over the last couple of years at least we’ve found ourselves spending some of that R&R garage saling. […]

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‘Dirty Deeds’ (Almost) Done for Real

An ongoing controversy in the 1980s revolved around whether certain rock bands’ music inspired isolated, unstable listeners to commit heinous crimes. Perhaps the highest-profile of these cases was that of convicted serial killer Richard Ramirez. Ramirez, who came to be known as the “Night Stalker,” was convicted in 1989 for the murder of 13 people […]

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What Is a Christian Movie, Anyway?

Still from Mom's Night Out trailer

A year ago, as 2014 opened, the entertainment world was declaring that it would be the year of the Christian movie. Hollywood, we were told, heard our cries! They answered our longings for movies that speak to us Christians and our God-loving souls! We Christian moviegoers would show the entertainment industry our true and mighty […]

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

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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