The Pesky Power of Words

I’m on assignment in Miami right now (I know, I know, tough work), and in the midst of flights and flight delays, I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. It’s all very interesting, and I’ve learned something new with practically each paragraph. (Did you know, for instance, […]

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The Hunger Games a Game No More

The grand, bloody finale of The Hunger Games series—The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2—will plant its flag in theaters next week. Some have wondered how the movie will stay within the PG-13 rating, given how wrenching the book is, and I’m anticipating that it’ll be difficult for me to sit through. Which, I think, […]

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Journey of a Pop Culture Prodigal

If you’re here, you’re probably somewhat familiar with pop culture. Odds are good that you’ve also heard the story of the Prodigal Son. You may have even wondered what that story might look like if revamped by pop culture. Jeff Bridges would be the Father, of course, and Chris Hemsworth would do quite nicely as the […]

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Are Christian Films the New Roman Road? Woodlawn’s Jon Erwin Thinks So.

The Plugged In team has literally screened thousands of movies—and sometimes a moviemaker brings a film right to our very own campus. But when filmmaker Jon Erwin (October Baby, Mom’s Night Out) came to Focus on the Family back in July to screen his new film, Woodlawn, he made the decision to not show it—even […]

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The Clock Ticks, The Tech Pile Grows

One pleasant advantage of having a few years under my belt, is the ability to drone on endlessly about my phenomenal, life-changing adventures in the ’70s and ’80s. And as I pontificate about my collected memories, I can watch happily as Millennial listeners sigh and consider their own meager experiences. They may have youth and […]

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Dealing With Death in the Digital Age

When I was growing up back in the 1980s, the whispering buzz among my peers would amp up when something particularly transgressive began to infiltrate our collective adolescent consciousness. Often it involved stories of friends who somehow managed to see R-rated movies that, theoretically, they shouldn’t have been seeing. But there was one franchise of […]

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P!nk Unleashed

P!nk got in touch with her inner Tipper Gore—the woman most responsible for getting parental advisory stickers slapped on music albums—after this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Even though the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) is hardly a stranger to racy, enveloping-pushing songs and videos herself, P!nk didn’t think much at all of this […]

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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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Of ‘Goonies’ and ‘Bridges,’ Pilgrimages and Relics

In the Middle Ages, many Christians believed that taking a spiritual pilgrimage to visit holy shrines and relics would give them a chance to experience God more deeply. Jerusalem represented the ultimate destination for faithful followers of means. But for the vast majority of believers, such a journey was, practically speaking, impossible. Instead, they might […]

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