Movie(s) Review: Veggie Tales! Veggie Tales!

They’re a little “loud” for my taste (I prefer a more Mr. Rogersesque vibe in my children’s media), but I have to admit, they’re pretty entertaining and they do a good job of teaching scripture stories.

I haven’t found any material or lessons I find objectionable, and many have surprised me with how much I appreciate the lessons taught. For example, An Easter Carol confronts the evils of consumerism and commercialization of sacred holidays, without going so far into zealotry the other direction that it makes me uncomfortable. Madame Blueberry is a full frontal assault on the idea that material things make us happy, even not-so-subtly sending up Wal-Mart. And Sweetpea Beauty is a perhaps cliche, but still much needed, reminder for girls that beauty on the inside is what matters. [Read more...]

Meet The Polygamists Next Door

MikeInWeHo is an old friend of BCC, and currently serves as our Special Media Correspondent, providing commentary on TV shows we can’t watch because we’re too cheap to pay for cable. His past work can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Sunday night brought the premier of the new series Sister Wives on The Learning Channel. The affable Kody Brown and his three wives have opened their home to the world, and we get a new take on contemporary polygamy. This is billed as a reality series, but are these people for real or is this TV with an agenda? [Read more...]

Movies, Mormonism, and Meaning

I’m going to start this off with a couple of Nike commercials that I watch on Youtube when I am trying to motivate myself. No endorsement of Nike (or YouTube) is implied. [Read more...]

Monday Night Lived Mormonism Poll: R-rated Movie Spirituality Edition

If yes, can you provide specific examples? If no, what specifically leads you to believe that this is the case?

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Book of Mormon / Epic Beefcake Movie


George Chakiris “King Balam” and Yul Brynner “Chief Black Eagle” in Kings of the Sun.

For a kid in the 1970s, Mormon-themed media was pretty scarce. So I was nothing less than astounded one Saturday afternoon to turn on the TV and discover a movie about the Nephites and Lamanites!

Of course, they weren’t called by those names, but they fit the images perfectly. There was a group of “whiter,” more civilized Indians — new settlers in the land — who were building a city centered on a temple/pyramid (the Nephites). Outside their walls lurked a group of traditional Hollywood Indians, loincloth-clad and living in teepees (the Lamanites).

Even better, the Lamanite chief was none other than Yul Brynner. In my family, Brynner held an essentially canonical role in Cecil B. DeMille’s scriptural epic The Ten Commandments. [Read more...]

BCC Zeitcast 47: The Neverending Zeitcast

Two Zeitcasts in one week?!? Clearly, these are the last days.

Download here or subscribe to the BCC Zeitcast in the iTunes Store.

In this episode, Scott, Steve, and Cynthia take turns revealing who is on their genocide lists, and discuss famous Mormon unibrows and the danger of urinating on downed power lines.

Links for your convenience:
1. Mitt Romney’s New Book
2. The Raymond Takashi Swenson comment.
3. A typical Raymond Takashi Swenson comment. Standard Raymond Takashi Swenson Comment (or “SRTSC”) defined here.
4. The Unibrow Bandit
5. What not to do in rural Washington.
6. Cynthia, revealing her utmost desires.
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The Illuminated Matsby, Vol. 2

By Common Consent is pleased to present this week’s graven image, by the beloved craftsman, that master artist, that Painter of -itesTM, Matthew Page (or Brother Matsby). As always, please respect the reverence for which BCC is known and keep an appropriate tone, even that of quiet dignity, in your comments. [Read more...]

Bloggernacle Classics: The R-Rated Movie

Bloggernacle Classics, a Continuing Series

It is time once again for the young students of the Bloggernacle to open their notepads and prepare for study, as I present the second installment of my fledgling series, Bloggernacle Classics.[1] You may recall the first entry revolved around the exploits of BCC’s own Aaron B., who has recently returned from the ranks of the Emeriti to grace BCC’s screen on a more regular basis. Today, my subject matter is the R-Rated Movie. However, the purpose here is history, not doctrine; therefore, the pros and cons, the virtues and evils, of R-rated movies will not be reviewed.[2]
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Twilight: harmless fun or dangerous fantasy?

A (slightly edited) conversation I recently participated in:

  • I have now spoken in person to three adult LDS women who have seen this movie in the past 36 hours.  They just gush about it, you can’t get them to shut up, and they all plan to see it again within the week.  What am I missing? Also, all three commented at length and favorably about the amazing bod of some guy in the film.  Turns out he’s 17.  Adults in their 30s lusting after underage teenage flesh, how creepy is that? [Read more...]

Apocalypse Whenever

This is another in an ongoing series of posts by members of Dialogue’s Editorial Board. Eric Samuelsen is Associate Professor of Theatre and Media Arts at BYU, and Dialogue’s Film and Theater Editor.

In Sunday school last Sunday, the lesson was about the apocalypse, the End of Days. It’s always a depressing lesson for me, because i don’t want to be around for the End of Days. I don’t want anything to do with the Apocalypse. I think it sounds terrifying–death and horror and disease and war. As Mormons, I don’t think we can even take comfort in the ‘neener neener neener, I’m getting raptured and you’re not’ vibe apparently some evangelicals take comfort in, because we don’t believe in the Rapture, unless we do. [Read more...]

So I watched Twilight last night…

Introduction/disclaimer: I haven’t read the books and had no desire to, so I thought I’d check out the movie once came out on DVD, just to see what the big fuss is about. I threw it in my Netflix queue, couldn’t have had lower expectations. Here’s my first reaction: UPDATE: here’s a video “summary” of Twilight for those who haven’t seen it. Heh.

First off, I can definitely, definitely understand Natalie’s reaction in calling it porn for women. The women-porn force is strong in Twilight. Except for the -ahem- very rare moments when I got a little sucked in by it, I was just laughing and marveling at the absurd levels to which the blatancy of its women-porniness rose.
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Mormon Shame

It has recently come to my attention that we, as mormons, have done something shameful, I thought it may be too hot to post, but I can’t be silent.  [Read more...]

Richard Dutcher, Vehicle of God’s Grace

I was talking to Jay yesterday about Keith Merrill’s response to this talk from Richard Dutcher, and for the millionth time, I noted how utterly incomprehensible it is to me that people could see Dutcher’s work as unsupportive of faith or religious devotion, or in any way detrimental to the church or its members. In my experience, Dutcher’s films are so very supportive of both our community and its faith that I find Merrill’s response to Dutcher’s work utterly mystifying. [Read more...]

“That Sounds So Mormon”

I’ve seen New York Doll probably 5 or 6 times with different groups, and discussed it after viewing with probably 30 people, all of them more or less active LDS. We all tended to notice the same things and the comments after viewing the movie with a group of friends could have been recycled from the conversation following a previous viewing. [Read more...]

States of Grace

I know I’m several months over a year behind here, but I finally watched Richard Dutcher’s States of Grace and loved it. Modern Mormon storytelling doesn’t get much better. It has a nice Christmas theme too, so if you haven’t seen it, try and pick it up over the holidays.

My Divided State (a movie review)

Once upon a time, I was an angst-ridden college student living in Utah, shocked and appalled at what I saw as the BYU administration’s inexcusable hostility to academic freedom. I had just returned from my mission and English professor Cecilia Farr was being denied tenure under what appeared to be pretty dubious circumstances. Professor Farr had, among other things (or maybe not among other things, which was itself part of the controversy), publicly espoused a rather moderate pro-choice position on abortion (carefully clarifying that she agreed with the Church’s stand as to abortion’s immorality) and all Hell had broken loose. My vision of what academic freedom at a university should be (yes, even a Mormon one) was not consistent with BYU’s actions, and I was quite the unhappy camper. Although there were a lot of lessons to be learned from this episode (and a lot of different ways of framing the issues that were in play), one of the bottom lines, as I saw it at the time, was this: An inordinately large number of Mormons have an inordinately difficult time recognizing the difference between their passionately-felt political views and the religious doctrines of their Church.

It’s been quite a few years since I lived through the angst and irritation of my BYU days, but much of it came flooding back to me the other evening, as I watched THIS DIVIDED STATE, a documentary that has just been released on DVD. [Read more...]

Why I Hate George Lucas (and you should too)

Over at the Kulture Klub, we all had to endure a recent nerd-filled chatterfest about pointless Star Wars trivia. (Seriously, look at those geeks in the comments section. Sure glad I’m not them). That may have been a fun thread, but trust me, folks — this one is sure to be much more cathartic. Indeed, consider it long overdue therapy at no charge.

As you all know, Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is opening exactly one month from today, and I think it’s time we all release our collective, pent-up angst at George Lucas for how he’s ruined the Star Wars experience; might as well get it out now, so that when you head for the theatre, you’ll have already processed your rage and you’ll have lower expectations, ensuring a consequently less-torturous cinematic experience overall.

(Some might say that this thread would be more appropriate elsewhere, but since Boy George Evans and the other powers-that-be over there didn’t see fit to invite me to participate in their little cinematic & musical love-in, I see no reason to respect their monopoly on all ‘Nacle discussions of geeky films.)

For those wondering what possible “Mormon” connection there is to any of this, I would kindly point out that: (1) George Lucas is Mormon; (2) the “Force” is the Priesthood; and (3) Yoda is President Kimball. Enough said. Or if not, perhaps those of a more philosophical bent can discuss whether and to what extent George’s apparent church inactivity relates in some way to why his movies suck so hard.
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Movies By Rating

This weekend, while rearranging our DVD collection, I decided to conduct a little experiment. Just for fun, I wanted to know how many movies we had of each rating under the MPAA. The results and follow-up findings, while not shocking, started me down the path of, you know, thinking.

[Read more...]

The Passion Recut: Mormon Friendly?

Mel Gibson has removed five to six minutes from his monumental film, which is to be re-released March 11, 2005. Interestingly enough, the film’s distributor, Newmarket, has no plans to release this version on DVD or VHS. Rather, the idea is to release this version of the film each year around Easter, an intriguing marketing concept. But that’s not really the scope of this post, read on for some more details and the real discussion I have in store for you.
[Read more...]

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