Posts in Movies & Television
Tolkien and Friendship

The recent film Tolkien spends relatively little time portraying the works for which J.R.R Tolkien is famous. He does not even begin writing The Hobbit until the last scene of the movie. Instead, the movie focused on his early life, specifically his friendship with three schoolmates to whom he was intensely loyal. Although this might seem like an odd storytelling choice, it provides an illuminating glimpse of Tolkien’s life and presents a clear picture of what friendship can and should be.

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The Oscars' Popularity Problem

It comes down to the simple fact that people no longer care about the Oscars because all they seem to do is award films that the general public has never seen, let alone heard of. Popular films for the most part are kept out of the main categories and delegated to technical categories—Black Panther and A Star is Born are excellent examples of this. Both tapped into the mood of the nation, moved audiences, generated a sizable profit, were nominated for the highest prize but got nothing more than a proverbial pat on the back.

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Forgive, But Don’t Forget

Szekely admitting to his gross behavior and withdrawing for self-reflection is a far bigger gesture of repentance than many of his celebrity colleagues have made. It raises the question: if a public figure genuinely demonstrates regret for causing others pain (rather than merely being sorry for having been caught), should we as a society show some sort of mercy and accept their apology?

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Life Without Love Is Blind: The Philosophy of Bird Box

The recent Netflix phenomenon, Bird Box, presents two radically different understandings of life. Malorie, the main character, values survival above all else. This seems like a prudent philosophy to adopt in an apocalyptic world, but Malorie takes it to an inhuman extreme. Malorie's philosophical counterweight is represented by the character Tom. The movie subtly reveals the differences between the two characters as the plot unfolds and Malorie slowly realizes that she must embrace Tom’s philosophy of life as more than survival in order to live life well.

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Heroes in a Sea of Victims

When the Academy counts its votes for Best Picture, the choice should be clear: Dunkirk. Last week it was nominated, but it probably won’t win. This is a kind of movie which defies the normal war film genre because it uniquely places the viewer in the action. It is not the type of movie the esteemed members of the Academy are likely to reward. 

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Evil in Defense of Liberty: HBO’s Deadwood

Beneath the vulgar grittiness of HBO’s Deadwood lies the struggle of a lawless community attempting to preserve its own unlikely liberty when confronted with the tyrannical regime of George Hearst. Viewers see how a spontaneous “law beyond law” is challenged by authoritarianism in the search of a gold fortune. Throughout the series one sees how evil is the primary force halting a greater evil in an attempt to save the freedom enjoyed by the people of the camp preceding governmental annexation

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The Incredibles and Tocqueville: The Dangers of Democratic Excess

Americans love democracy. We credit it for our success as a nation and attribute many international problems to a lack of democracy. Most American pop culture takes it for granted that democracy is unequivocally good and anything else is inherently bad. It was therefore quite surprising to find an articulate critique of democratic tendencies in a popular superhero movie.

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Dead Poets Society Should Trouble Any Lover of Liberal Education

The movie shows the problem of loving beauty without an understanding of what makes a thing beautiful. The Christian is able to love beauty because he sees in it a reflection of God’s beauty. Additionally, the Christian knows that he lives in a fallen world and does not expect life to always be beautiful but has faith that one day he will see a world with beauty beyond our imagination. He is therefore able to maintain hope and endure days that present him with nothing worth seizing.

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