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Everything posted by BethR

  1. BethR


    The next replay to "medical studies & LSD" is also spam. Both of these include links to "essays for hire" sites, which just vile.
  2. BethR

    Podcast Recommendations?

    I've added a few podcast subscriptions (links to iTunes or podcast site, but they're available on whatever you like): Backlisted--"giving life to old books"--two or three British people chat about what they've been reading, then get down to discussing the week's chosen unjustly neglected book from the past. All genres, so you're bound to find something you either remember reading, or something you realize you want to read. Recent titles included: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Warren Zevon bio), Venetia (Georgette Heyer), Red Shift (Alan Garner), Lost Horizon (James Hilton, Passing (Nella Larson), and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson). The Good Die Young--"dedicated to great but obscure TV shows. We love the short-lived, ahead of their time series that end up as fan favorites." I can't remember how I found this, but the first season is devoted to The Middleman, which is one of the most delightful, good-hearted sci-fi shows ever to be cut off after just 12 episodes. Best if you have watched the series, of course. This guy really does his homework, and between reviewing the episodes, interviews series creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writers, directors, most of the main actors (including the elusive Matt Keeslar), and the comic book artists. Grapes of Wrath! I can't wait to hear what he talks about next. Shameless plug: A friend has embarked on a Buffy & Angel rewatch podcast, Conversations with Dead People, that will be featuring a lot of fan-scholars & scholar-fans, including me. The first two episodes (covering BtVS episodes 1-5) are up now. I don't think there's anything else quite like this.
  3. BethR

    I Can Only Imagine

    Front page article from the North Carolina Baptist paper, the Biblical Recorder (which I receive as a courtesy as a faculty member at a sort of Baptist university): So, somebody wants to see this movie.
  4. BethR

    Living Biblically

    I wondered if anyone else would take a look at this. I recorded & watched the pilot, and generally agree with Ken's assessment. I did wonder why the show makes the protagonist a lapsed Catholic, when it is obviously based on A.J. Jacobs' blog->book The Year of Living Biblically, which even includes a version of one of the jokes used in the pilot, "I'm Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant." Can TV only handle one Jewish family (The Goldbergs--who seem quite stereotyped, as far as I can tell, but my only other regularly watched sitcom right now is The Good Place). Including an amateur rabbi character is a nod to Jacobs, I guess. Some interesting features on Jacobs' website suggest the show might get to some good points, eventually. The laughtrack is overbearing, but I'll see where the show goes.
  5. BethR

    I Can Only Imagine

    A trailer for this played before 15:17 to Paris (which is interesting, in a way). Still have no interest in seeing it, but thought I'd share, for anyone wondering how they're going to do this. https://youtu.be/OsMyv9Q4_OU
  6. From Cathleen Falsani's interview with the late John Mahoney (link at the end to the full piece), which appears in her 2006 book The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People.
  7. BethR

    The Good Place

    Speaking of shows with vaguely religious/spiritual themes, The Good Place is a comedy about a not particularly "good" woman (Kristen Bell) who dies and finds herself in an afterlife identified as "the good place" where she feels somewhat uncomfortable. Ted Danson is the "angel" responsible for the clerical error. The basic assumptions of this series--that one's afterlife is based on one's deeds--are obviously not Christian, but match many other religions and general feelings, I suppose. I haven't seen it. Writers are attempting to infuse both a continuing narrative, comparing the show to LOST. All episodes are available for streaming via NBC.com
  8. BethR

    The Good Place

    SPOILERS for season 2 of The Good Place, which has just finished airing, in this piece by D.L. Mayfield from Christ & Pop Culture: S2 has managed to build on and twist S1 in even more surprising, entertaining, and educating ways. I don't know how long they can keep this up, but I'm about to consider assigning this show as a companion to Dante's Divine Comedy.
  9. BethR

    Lady Bird

    Shockingly, I can't find a thread for Lady Bird, now nominated for 5 Academy Awards (which we all know doesn't mean much). So either something's terribly wrong with A&F, or that I'm a terrible user of the forum's search function (probably the latter). But this was one of my favorite films of 2017, and here's a lovely interview with director Greta Gerwig on the way she chose to portray Catholic school and religion in Lady Bird. Excerpt:
  10. BethR

    Lady Bird

    Great review, Evan C. This column from (of all places) the Chronicle of Higher Education focuses on a weak point of the film, especially from the point of view of a teacher: At least one commenter replies that Christine does experience remorse and consequences, however: I think I concur with this assessment, but the columnist makes some valid points, nevertheless.
  11. Hi Bryce. You might have noticed that A&F has a whole section devoted to our "top 100" and "top 25" spiritually significant films, going back to 2004. These lists give a good idea what A&F members have admired and found inspiring.
  12. BethR

    The Sword in the Stone

    Adding this to my list of probably-distastrous Arthurian movies. I sure hope Fresnadillo is a secret T.H. White superfan and that this live-action remake will be as enchanting as Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella. But the last thing the world needs is a "dark" take on The Sword in the Stone, the sunniest part of White's Once and Future King. Sure, Kay is a bit of a bully, and some of the animal adventures are a bit edgy, but the Wart is irrepressible, Merlin is a nice old codger and everything turns out fine. Ideally, the tone should be more "A Knight's Tale," with amusing anachronisms, less Antoine Fuqua meets Evil Dead.
  13. Good list, and great write-ups by everyone! Thanks all who worked on the publishing!
  14. BethR

    The Breadwinner

    Interesting that this film is based on a novel (2000, plot spoilers in the link), because the basic premise is quite similar to Osama (2003, link to one of two A&F discussions a few years ago).
  15. BethR

    House of Cards

    Alyssa Rosenberg says "good riddance." And more...
  16. BethR


    I have watched Grantchester, and have mixed feelings about it. Would like to read the books to see how they compare. I liked this piece from Christ & Pop Culture comparing two BBC TV priests, Father Brown & Father Chambers.
  17. I’m pretty sure it was two films per director. Someone will correct me if that’s wrong, of course. This is a good list, but i’d love to see Groundhog Day and Tender Mercies make the cut.
  18. BethR

    Game of Thrones

    I can't believe there's no topic for this, but the only one that came up when I searched was in a discussion of audiobooks. Anyway, GRR Martin has just announced that a director for the pilot and one cast member have been chosen for the HBO mini-series of A Game of Thrones. Tom McCarthy, who wrote & directed The Station Agent and The Visitor, is the director. I'll be looking forward to the DVDs...
  19. BethR

    Game of Thrones

    Roy Dotrice (Hallyne the Pyromancer) has died. He also narrated the ASoIaF audiobooks. Really, given his career on stage (emphasized in the linked obituary), screen, and TV, I could have posted this anywhere. The role I first remember him in, though, is not mentioned here: "Father" in George R.R.Martin's 1980s fantasy series Beauty and the Beast. The series had a significant fandom (Henry Jenkins used it for a case study in his study of fan culture, Textual Poachers), and now seems quite weird, but it was a hit at the time. Here's a clip:
  20. BethR

    All Saints

    Saw it with my dad a couple weeks ago. It's not GREAT FILM-MAKING, but a serviceable movie about decent people doing the right thing(s) in obedience to the Great Commandments. There's not a lot of gospel drum-beating. Perhaps because it is based on reality, the characters are confronted with some serious questions about theodicy...and the answers are not miraculous. Also, surprisingly, Episcopalians FTW Joel Mayward, can we find your discussion guide online? I think since the movie has been released in theaters, reviews or thoughts are acceptable.
  21. BethR

    The Good Place

    Since apparently no one watched this but me, because you're all only watching via antennae and various streaming options or something--I salute your stewardship--you can now watch season 1 on Netflix. Since each ep is only 20+ minutes, it will be a snap to binge and you will appreciate some comedy just now. I promise.
  22. BethR

    Wonder Woman movie

    Another comic book/TV series movie. But this one will be written and directed by Joss Whedon, according to CNN, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't turn out like the execrable Catwoman or the disappointing Electra.
  23. BethR

    13 Reasons Why

    After reading this commentary on 13 Reasons Why, I thought it would be interesting to compare 13 Reasons with the recent TV movie version of Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl, in which the protagonist struggles with many of the same issues, but with different results.
  24. BethR

    RIP Martin Landau

    As John Drew explained. You can also see, from the photo on her website, that she's Barbara Bain's daughter as well.
  25. BethR

    RIP Martin Landau

    Yes, in the future, should I have occasion to post one of those "tell me something that reveals your age without stating it," I'm going to say, "To me, Martin Landau will always be Rollin Hand of Mission Impossible. Although, TBH, I don't think I ever knew his character's name at the time. And of course, he's Juliet Landau's father.