War for the Planet of the Apes: Cultural Appropriation and the Battle for the Social Narrative

In this fourth installment of the Planet of the Apes series we watch the next episode in how earth humans became overcome and enslaved by intelligent speaking apes.

This is a perfectly crafted well told epic that focuses on the personal journey of revenge for the leader of apekind, Caesar, played with understated brilliance by Andy Serkis. It is a moving and complex portrait of a leader who seeks peace, is pushed to revenge, but discovers mercy when he faces his own hatred. It’s what makes epics so… well, epic. War has ape characters that you can do nothing but root for, which makes you think twice, since they represent the creatures who will ultimately overthrow humanity on earth.

Are our enemies more like us than we would like to admit? Not always. But is it moral relativism to humanize the enemy? Not always.

Steven Zahn plays a comic relief chimpanzee who almost upstages Serkis with his lovably selfish personality (I’m telling you, Zahn rivals Serkis’ “good” Gollum paws down). The apes who join Caesar are loyal men—whoops—I mean apes of honor. The “humanization” of the apes is smartly captured by having Caesar’s band of assassins end up caring for a little mute human girl who steals your heart with every gesture she makes.

The visual effects are stupendous. Not one moment in the entire film did I ever think I was watching CGI. That is a compliment not only to the quality of the technology, but to the acting. War exemplifies the best of Hollywood visual effects, not in drawing attention to it, but in making it invisible. Bravo!

Unfortunately, War for the Planet of the Apes is also another example of bigoted Christophobia that seems to spill from the talented yet depraved souls of many Hollywood storytellers.

(Though, thank God, not all of them)

Human Exceptionalism: The Image of God

Continue reading

Godawa on Stand To Reason: Storytelling, Imagination, Apologetics in the Bible

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 2.51.44 PM

The brilliant and very friendly Brett Kunkle interviewed me on the Stand To Reason Podcast here.

We talked about some heavy stuff. Guaranteed to fascinate you. The need for Christian artists to be theologically informed and the need for theological Christians to be artistically informed from the Bible. Art, aesthetics, beauty are not merely acceptable, they are necessary to knowing God properly. But also, did you know God used artistic imagination to defend the faith? Did you know God used subversion to redeem pagan imagination and pagan art?

This is the book we talked a lot about: God Against the gods.

Here is the video presentation of God Against the gods.

GodAgainstGodsBook_banner1

Hollywood Worldviews: Jesus Told R-Rated Parables

Check out this short YouTube video on Jesus Told R-Rated Parables.

Some people think that the Bible only describes sex and violence with an historical “reporting” kind of purpose.
Boy, do they have a problem with Jesus, the master storyteller, who used extreme violence in fictional parables to communicate the Kingdom of God. And learn how Revelation’s and Daniel’s visions are virtual feasts of cinematic gore and depravity. There is a holy purpose to depicting disgusting evil in storytelling. Learn how it can be redemptive without being exploitative.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

HWseries_banner1

Hollywood Worldviews: Profanity in the Bible & in the Movies

Check out this short YouTube video on Profanity in the Bible and in the Movies.

God uses profanity in his holy Word when making important spiritual accusations. I am not exaggerating to make a headline. Some believers just don’t realize that the Bible does not fit the “Christian film” category of storytelling. It does not receive a Dove Award for being family friendly. But that doesn’t justify gratuitous cussing. Learn the difference here.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

HWseries_banner1

Hollywood Worldviews: Sex in the Bible & in the Movies

Check out this short YouTube video on Sex in the Bible and in the Movies.

The Bible is not shy when it comes to describing sexuality of all known kinds, marital, adulterous, heterosexual, homosexual, rape, fornication and more. Ezekiel 16 and 23 are R-rated sexually violent symbolic fiction. The Song of Solomon is undeniably erotic literature. Learn the reason why God is not as prudish as some of his believers when it comes to depicting sexuality in the Bible. And learn the difference between exposing evil and exploiting it in storytelling.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

Hollywood Worldviews: Violence in the Bible and Movies


Check out this short YouTube video on Violence in the Bible.

The Bible is quite explicit at times in its depiction of gory, gross or disgusting acts of evil.
Learn why it is important to God that evil be depicted accurately in stories, or the redemption of the story will not be believable.

The Bible is Rated R. Parental Discretion is advised.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

HWseries_banner1

Hollywood Worldviews: Subversion in the Movies. How Story Changes Your Mind.

Check out this short video of Subversion in the Movies.

I’m the guy whose post on the movie Noah went viral, and angered the Hollywood heavyweights and their bullying religious sycophants. Because I uncovered the true subversive meaning of the movie. In this presentation, I explain what subversion is in storytelling, and how it can be used for good or evil. In fact, I show how God uses subversion in his storytelling. And if you get the full version, you will see my explanation of the movie Noah, complete with film clips. Good and bad examples.

This is a shortened version. Get the full version here, complete with lots of film clips.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

Hollywood Worldviews: Worldview in Movies. It Affects You More Than You Realize.

Check out the short YouTube video.

Every worldview is a story that has a narrative of Creation, Fall and Redemption.
Every movie has a worldview.
I explain the components of a worldview and how they are incarnated within a story in movies.
This will help you understand the underlying meaning of movies.

Get the full version of this lecture, complete with film clips here.

You can find out more about the series here.

HWseries_banner1

Hollywood Worldviews: Incarnation in the Movies. The Elements of Good Story That Change You.

 

Check out this short YouTube video on Incarnation in the Movies.

I explain 8 elements of story incarnation, and how movies incarnate truth, meaning and worldview, through their protagonist, antagonist, drama, theme, love interest, reflection, and others.

Get the full version of this lecture, complete with film clips here.

You can find out more about the series here, including buying the downloads.

HWseries_banner1