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content pic American Sniper (2015)
What Soldiers Can't Unsee
Jacob Sahms
As a doctor later implies to Kyle, there are things you can’t unsee. Whether it’s who he kills or who he watches die around him, from Iraqi citizens to his own comrades, the weight of death burdens Kyle, snowballing into an impossible weight of unresolved pain, anger, and sadness.




content pic Annabelle (2014)
Laying Down Our Lives
Jason N.
When the chips are down, the Forms are forced to face the reality that it's not all about the safe suburban storybook life they've created.




content pic Hobbit:The Battle of Five Armies, The (2...
Greed, Love, and Racism in the...
Melinda Ledman
I admit it. I might not be the most qualified person to review The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, but I do love a good story wrapped in the fabric of a good film! The Battle of the Five Armies finishes the trilogy in a very satisfying manner, and still holds its own as an independent work.




content pic Blackhat (2015)
Some Wear Their Hats Better Th...
Maurice Broaddus
Panning from computer terminals through wires down to the level of creeping code, Mann breathes a semblance of cinematic verve into a cyber-attack. The power plant suffers a meltdown. Unfortunately, this harrowing sequence was the last visually interesting thing he accomplished in the movie.




content pic Selma (2014)
This Year's Big Important Movi...
Darrel Manson
It is made clear in Selma that non-violence is not passivity. The protestors were seeking a violent response from those in power and it should be remembered that the SCNC was a Christian organization, one that traced its understanding of non-violence back to the "emptying" of Christ—the power of the Cross.




content pic Agent Carter (TV Series, 2015)
Finally, a Female (Super) Hero
Arnaldo Reyes
Although a two-hour premiere seems a bit long, it didn't feel that way. ABC and Marvel came out the gates with a 1940s spy drama that has that Marvel lightness without being campy.




content pic Two Days, One Night (2014)
Campaign for a Vote
Darrel Manson
The question at the heart of the film is how do we make moral decisions? Should we vote for our own self-interest or should we vote for something that may help another even if it is at our expense?




content pic Zero Motivation (2014)
Military Sloth
Darrel Manson
Zero Motivation might be seen as an Israeli M*A*S*H lite. It carries the same sense of the frustrations and futility of army life for people who really don't want to be there.




content pic Unbroken (2014)
A Second Look
Jacob Sahms
A second look, a deeper respect. Angelina Jolie's cinematic take on Louie Zamperini's life is well worth seeing.




content pic Wild (2014)
Why Was She Walking?
Darrel Manson
That is the question I wanted answered. Why was she doing this? Was it a form of penance? Was it seeking some sort of perspective and wisdom on life and death? Was it just to see pretty scenery and lose toenails because her boots didn't fit?




content pic Homesman, The (2014)
Precious to the Lord
Darrel Manson
When a movie includes a scene where mules are given the names Grace and Redemption, you know you need to pay attention. The Homesman is a story that is infused with explicitly Christian understandings. There is grace to be found, and redemption, but there are also lessons of lost hope and of judgment.





content pic Into the Woods (2014)
Disney Undoes Fairy Tales
Yo
Into the Wood starts off well enough, but before long it becomes an extensive deconstruction of fairy tale tropes, which is all fine and good, but unfortunately it also seems to include biblical perspectives among things that belong in the category of "fairy tales."




content pic Song of the Sea (2014)
Bringing the Magic into Our Wo...
Darrel Manson
This is a wonderful adventure in storytelling. It brings together the traditional stories and the modern world in such a way that we truly want to believe in legends and fairytales. Such stories make life richer and remind us that a world without magic is impoverished.




content pic Big Eyes (2014)
Truth Will Set You Free
Jason C. Stanley
One day she is visited by two Jehovah's Witnesses. Something between the women clicks, and Margaret invites them in. As Margaret reads the sacred words to Jane later that evening, those about truth and the ethical value of truth-telling speak to her. These words give her new life and she stands up for herself, perhaps for the first time ever.




content pic Imitation Game, The (2014)
Solving the Puzzle
Darrel Manson
The film is really a story about puzzles and codes. The Enigma code was a huge puzzle. But for Turing, speech itself was a code. He had a hard time understanding how people could use words to mean something other than what they really meant.




content pic Gambler, The (2014)
A Great Debt
Darrel Manson
Bennett is in control neither of the cards nor his life. Yet, he seems to be the recipient of grace. There are people who despite all there is about him to dislike, choose to offer him a chance at salvation.




content pic Annie (2014)
It's A Hard Knock Life...
Jacob Sahms, Editor
The second is more specific: that there are kids in our schools and streets and communities who need love—and literacy. I'm aware that some of those kids have parents who are trying really hard amidst work and life to care for them; I also know that many of them are homeless or, in every regard that matters, orphaned.




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Magician's Twin, The (2012)
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 HJ Staff, 12/7/12

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 Devin Brown, 11/18/12

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 Devin Brown, 11/25/12

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 Devin Brown, 12/2/12

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
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 David Bruce, Webmaster, 5/18/12

Prometheus (2012)
Spiritual Connections
 D. W. Bruce, Webmaster, 6/1/12