Okay, so the chances of a real zombie apocalypse happening are pretty slim, but if it did it would raise some interesting questions for Christians. For instance, on tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead, one of the characters who has been with the show since episode one finally gets bitten, and instead of making someone else kill them after they turn, asks for a gun so they can put a bullet through their own head.
In a non-zombie filled world, and assuming there are no mental issues involved, blowing your own brains out would be a clear case of suicide. And as the Catechism points out, this is clearly not allowed because “suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God. If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.”
But what about once you add zombies to the equation? In the world of The Walking Dead, unless you manage to chop off the compromised limb within a minute or so, a zombie bite is a guaranteed death sentence.…
So this week for Aleteia I reviewed The Croods, a movie I felt managed to pull a last minute save and extract itself from the near-omnipresent “children know best” theme found in most other animated features these days. Be warned, however, premier Catholic movie critic Steven D. Greydanus had very much the opposite reaction. But regardless of which side you choose, if there’s one thing we can all agree was missing from The Croods, it would probably be dinosaurs. Oh sure, I realize that since The Croods are an even more modern stone age age family than The Flinstones, they’ve got to be historically accurate and can’t have cavemen running around with sauropods. But still, weren’t cartoons much more fun when the facts didn’t matter…
Of course, there are some folks out there who believe the occasional mentions of dragons, leviathans, and behemoths in the bible indicate the possibility of dinosaur-like creatures running around in ancient times. The majority of modern theologians, however, tend to accept the current scientific theory that dinosaurs predated the appearance of humans and that those creatures in the bible were something else entirely.
Which leads to an interesting question for Christians, assuming current theories are correct, why did God bother creating dinosaurs to begin with? The short answer is, we just don’t know. From a pragmatic standpoint, it could just be simply that in order for a world to develop where humans could exist, maybe something like the dinosaurs were necessary to help get the place ready.…
Day 162 of reading through the Catechism in one year as a part of the Year of Faith has rolled around, and this little nugget popped up. “God speaks to man through the visible creation. The material cosmos is so presented to man’s intelligence that he can read there traces of its Creator. Light and darkness, wind and fire, water and earth, the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both his greatness and his nearness.” Of course, I understand that the Catechism is speaking about hearing and seeing God in nature much in the same way you recognize an artist’s hand in a painting. But still, wouldn’t it be neat if we really could hear what nature was saying…
Hmm, probably better to just skip all that and keep reading the traces like God intended in the first place.
Because what the world needs now is one more person on Twitter, I’ve decided to sign up and bore people with random movie quotes, instantaneous rants about whatever I’m watching, and other unnecessary things. Feel free to add me to your already cluttered Twitter feed. You can sign up in the sidebar. Actually I decided to go ahead and join up after Pope Francis followed Benedict VXI’s lead and started to send out tweets. It’s just kind of neat to look at my phone and see the occasional inspirational quote from His Holiness. So, that’s one more begrudging step I take into the modern era. Still not going to buy a Blu-Ray player though, not gonna do it.
Speaking of twits.
Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic, and all you other Christians at sea. We interupt this blog with this news flash. As fate would have it, right on the heels of our review of Oz The Great And Powerful, the fine folks at Aleteia have also requested we take a gander at Steve Carell’s latest effort, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Moviegoers haven’t seen this sort of magical mini-trend since 2006 when they were pummeled with the one-two punch of The Illusionist and The Prestige. Of course, this year’s presentation of prestidigitation isn’t quite as angsty as the previous go around, but still, if you like magicians, it’s not a bad time to be a ticket buyer.
But if the recent spate of pseudo-mystic movies hasn’t brought enough magic into your life, then not to worry because apparently there’s another place where you can catch a magician at work… your local church. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, according to world renowned illusionist David Copperfield, there’s one name that towers above the rest when it comes to magic craft, one man who rises above the great, the powerful, and the incredible, one man who is the greatest magician of all time, and that man is… Jesus Christ.
To be fair, the clip from TMZ provides no real context, showing nothing more than Copperfield spouting off a quick answer to some bothersome reporter. From only that brief exchange, there’s no way of telling if he’s being serious or snarky, or perhaps even a little bit of both.…
In less than 24 (or 48 or 72 or more) hours we could know who will chosen as the next pope! Who’s it going to be? Scola? Turkson? Scherer? Dolan? No, he’s American and everybody hates us. What about Ouellet, though, he’s a Canadian and that’s pretty close right? Maybe it’ll be someone nobody has even been paying attention to. Augh!!! Who’s going to be the next pope!?!
That’s better. I’m ready to wait and watch now.
It’s inevitable. After watching hundreds and hundreds of movies, you start to think to yourself, “I could do that. Why don’t I just write my own screenplay?” But after a bit more consideration, I just don’t think it would work. To show you what I mean, let’s take a look at what I would do with an existing script, like say the scene from Independence Day in which Steve (Will Smith) and Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) rush to get married before Steve has to fly off into space with Jeff Goldblum and an iBook to try and disable the alien mothership.
First, here’s how the original script played out…
INT. SMALL GATHERING HALL
Jasmine is kneeling as Dylan tries to zip up the back of her dress.
It’s too tight.
I had to borrow it. I guess that’s good enough.
Jasmine stands, turns to Dylan.
How do I look?
She looks great. But Dylan only gives her the “so-so” hand gesture.
You’re a lot of help.
The door behind her flies open and Steve marches in.
You know me…
I know, you like to make a big entrance.
Steve moves next to Jasmine, takes her hand.
Before we do this, I want you to know I’m sorry.
Sorry for what?
I should have done this a long long time ago.
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Do you have the ring?…
I don’t know, is it a good thing when you’re at the teen mass and the flute and drums start up, the first thing that jumps to mind is this…
Actually, I kind of prefer this to some of the hymns I’ve heard recently because this has an actual melody and isn’t played in a key that requires me to castrate myself before I can (try to) sing along with it.
Sorry. I’m in a mood. I’m just not convinced some of the stuff I hear at mass meets the criteria for liturgical music outlined in the Catechism, you know, “the beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly, and the sacred character of the celebration”, that stuff. But maybe I’m just old and crotchety. Either way, at the end of the day I’m certainly not more Catholic than the Church and I’ll (try to) sing along with whatever music she permits. Still, if you’re going to utilize songs that sound like they’re being played on bones, could you at least toss me one every now and then by playing a tune in my register?
There’s plenty of movie & religion talk going on right now, must be because of the Academy Awards. To begin with, my latest review for Aleteia is up. This time around I take a look at Snitch and try my best to explain why, though it will doubtless never be nominated for best picture, I actually kind of liked this movie starring The Rock.
Speaking of the Academy Awards, while you’re over at Aleteia, why not stick around and check out Daniel McInerny’s thoughts on the dirty hands at the Oscars.
But enough of that, right? What about the kind of movies we’re used to seeing around these parts? Well, for that, how about Warm Bodies, the zombie rom-com which Sr. Helena Burns surprisingly enjoyed.
Or there’s John Morehead from TheoFantastique looking for signs of religious fundamentalism in the Planet of the Apes franchise.
And finally, for those who want both bad movies and art together, then head on over to The Trousered Ape where the titular blogger has composed a ballad to Donovan’s Brain.
Happy reading, see you next time.…