Mere Christianity – Review

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Published in 1952

Pages: 227

Genre: Apologetics, theology, Christianity

“Every one has heard people quarreling.”

Many people are familiar with C. S. Lewis through his science fiction and fantasy novels, but the author was much more than a fiction writer. A war veteran, an academic, a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien (for a time) and a former atheist, Lewis converted to the Church of England and became what is known as a Christian apologist; those who seek to defend the faith using reason and logic. In Mere Christianity, Lewis attempts to filter the basic beliefs of Christians and present them in a way that is palatable. Continue reading “Mere Christianity – Review”

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Music Monday – Mastodon: Leviathan

Album: Leviathan by Mastodon

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Leviathan

Released: August 31st, 2004

Band Info:

Mastodon is a progressive metal band from Atlanta that was formed in 2000 from the ashes of two disbanded acts. The group has had the same lineup since its formation which consists of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher, and drummer Brann Dailor. Mastodon has released seven studio albums to date; four of these have been concept albums. Initially known as a stoner and sludge metal band that used growling vocals, Mastodon has sought to expand their musicianship and genre with each record. Each musician brings a masterful and unique style to their instrument and Mastodon is noted for having three vocalists (Sanders, Hinds, and Dailor). Though the band that recorded on 2017’s Emperor of Sand sounds very different than the one which released Remission in 2002, the same four amazing musicians continue to persevere and carve their own unique place in music history.

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Band members Brann Dailor, Troy Sanders, Brent Hinds, and Bill Kelliher circa 2004.

Continue reading “Music Monday – Mastodon: Leviathan”

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Review

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Directed by Wes Anderson

Written by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness; inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig

Cast: Starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, and Tom Wilkinson

Length: 1 hour and 39 minutes

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama

MPAA Rating: R

Description from IMDB:

“The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.” Continue reading “The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Review”

Geek Love – Review

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Published in 1989

Pages: 348

Genre: Novel

“When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”

Come one, come all, and see the strange weirdness of Binewski’s Carnival Fabulon! Narrated by Oly, the hunchback, albino dwarf, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love is an esoteric tale of love, lust, and infatuation that challenges the accepted norms of our society. Embrace the weird, hold onto the ugly, and cast away the normal with a story that is thought-provoking in its blunt honesty. Continue reading “Geek Love – Review”

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) – Review

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Directed by Edgar Wright

Written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright; based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Cast: Starring Michael Cera, Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Satya Bhabha, Bill Hader, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, Keito Saito, Shota Seito, and Jason Schwartzman

Length: 1 hour and 52 minutes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:

“Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes to win her heart.”

Continue reading “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) – Review”

Music Monday – Manchester Orchestra: A Black Mile to the Surface

Album: A Black Mile to the Surface by Manchester Orchestra

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A Black Mile to the Surface

Released: July 29th, 2017

Band Info:

Manchester Orchestra is an indie-rock band that was formed in 2004 by rhythm guitarist-singer-songwriter Andy Hull. It currently includes him, Robert McDowell on lead guitar, Andy Prince on bass, and Tim Very as their drummer. Known for their ability to go from jarring rock tunes to comforting acoustic ballads, Manchester Orchestra have developed with each of their five studio albums, and it was in the wake of 2014’s Cope that Hull and McDowell were asked to create the soundtrack for the film Swiss Army Man (2016). The duo took the lessons they learned by creating music with a cinematic scope and combined them with their mastery of dynamics to create their latest offering, A Black Mile to the Surface.

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Manchester Orchestra with producer Catherine Marks.

Continue reading “Music Monday – Manchester Orchestra: A Black Mile to the Surface”

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

First published in 1891; 2008 Penguin Classics edition

Pages: 213

Genre: Philosophical novel, English literature

“The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.”

High class intrigue and the virtues of vice are among many subjects covered in Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. A tragic tale of beauty, its merits, and corruption, the novel follows the life of eponymous character Dorian Gray. One day, the young man makes a Faustian request that entwines his fate with that of his portrait, and brings him into situations and deeds that make the loftier classes blush. Continue reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray – Review”