Links for Friday

– Derek on the church and (in)fallibility and communing the unbaptized

– Animal advocacy and pragmatism

– This is your brain on gadgets

– BLS has been writing a fascinating series of posts on the church and A.A.

– The thought of Paul Ramsey

– The AV Club’s June round up of all things metal

– The New York Times bans the word “tweet”

– The Karate Kid remake: surprisingly good?

– The A-Team movie: not that good

UPDATE: Had to add this: Tyler Cowen points out that the Netherlands has a animal-rights-based political party, the Party for the Animals (website here, but it’s in Dutch).

A defense of Ghostbusters

As if one was needed! Still one of my all-time faves. Link.

Summer movie critic

Maybe it’s the delayed summer heat forcing us indoors, but my wife and I have recently seen two first-run movies right after they opened, a rarity for us.

I enjoyed Judd Apatow’s Funny People more than I thought I would and more than his other two flicks. Yes, it’s big, sprawling and doesn’t entirely hang together, but the performances and dialogue are winning. It also, as Ross Douthat astutely points out, has something of a conservative “family values” message, but a darker and more realistic one than his other films. And not the kind that makes for easy translation to a political platform.

Another movie I didn’t initially have much enthusiasm for seeing but ended up liking was Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep as Julia Child was fantastic, as you’d expect (as was Stanley Tucci as her husband Paul). Like most of the critics, I foudn Julie Powell’s story less than compelling and would’ve preferred an entire movie dedicated to Julia’s life. (And was any movie more designed to make you hungry after watching it? This vegetarian might not have been able to resist a bowl of Julia’s beef bourguignon had it been presented.)

Really looking forward to District 9, which comes out later this month. If the heat keeps up, I may just see it.

One sentence movie review: Revolutionary Road

I can’t decide if it was a good movie that failed to acheive greatness due to a couple of glaring flaws, or just a really well-made, but fundamentally bad movie.


Went and saw Anvil! The Story of Anvil with some friends tonight (including Camassia). It’s a documentary about a b-list (c-list?) 80s power metal band from Canada that never quite made it big, but never quit either. The movie was terrific and surprisingly affecting.

After the movie I consulted Ian Christe’s magisterial history of heavy metal, Sound of the Beast, and found this amusing nugget:

Power metal bands like Anvil, still dressing in red leather bondage outfits and playing guitar solos with phallus-shaped vibrators, felt the chance for mass popularity slipping through their fingers. They had paid their dues and paved the way for Metallica, but were lost now in the wake of dozens of faster bands. There had been an instant years earlier when Lars Ulrich bragged that his band would someday be bigger than Anvil…. (p. 136)

Here’s “School Love” from Tokyo in 1984, at a rock festival they played with Bon Jovi and the Scorpions, among others, and which seemed to be the peak of their career:

Boldly going

A buddy of mine scored some tickets to an advanced screening of the new Star Trek movie last night, and was kind enough to invite me along. I enjoyed it a lot. I consider myself a fairly serious Trek fan, if not a true, hardcore Trekkie, and I thought it was great fun. It also takes a pretty clever approach to re-booting the series without disregarding past (future?) continuity.

A boy and his robot

From the AV Club: an appreciation of one of my very favorite movies.

Big screen Eddie

How cool is this–Iron Maiden is releasing a big-screen tour documentary. Equally cool–singer Bruce Dickinson is a licensed pilot and flew the jet they traveled on (appropriately named “Ed Force One”) for much of the tour.

The movie is called Iron Maiden: Flight 666. Doesn’t get much more metal than that.

Ricky Nelson, Dino, and the Duke

The great Howard Hawks/John Wayne western Rio Bravo wasn’t just an excuse to pair Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, but it didn’t hurt:

I’m watching this tonight and just felt like posting these.


Strangely affecting! I haven’t gotten that choked up at an animated movie about robots since The Iron Giant.