Friday, July 13, 2007

Pop Culture Roundup

I finished both my books this week. Jesus Out to Sea was well-done, and I really like the short story format because I can read one in a sitting and then set the book down to do something else rather than try to remember the events before where I left off. James Lee Burke's collection is one that explores human desperation and despair, where one's limits are tested by their circumstances. Which brings us to The New Friars, where emerging types elect to live with the poor in some of those circumstances. A recurring theme in Bessenecker's book is that throughout history when the church seems to be caught up in its own laziness and pride, monastic orders have been the ones to revive it by going out to do the work required of it. The difference this time, I might argue, is that before the church could rest on its place in society and that place is eroding. So the work of these "new friars" may not restore the church in that sense, but certainly might in terms of its true calling.

I've been to a movie theater three times this past week, but have only seen two movies. The first was Transformers, which I saw both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. It's the first movie in quite a while that I've jumped (JUMPED~!) at the chance to see a second time in the theater. It's all action and fast-paced car driving and FREAKING OPTIMUS PRIME VS. MEGATRON THROWING EACH OTHER THROUGH BUILDINGS AND STUFF~! I'm not the premier Transformers fanboy, but dang if it all didn't come rushing back to me while I sat there watching. And Shia LaBeaueuoaueaueeuf has great comedic timing (my favorite line: "Can't talk right now, getting chased by my car"). I wish there'd been more Decepticon interaction, but surely there will be sequels.

The second movie we saw was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. At the last minute, I was convinced to go to a show on Tuesday at midnight with some friends I hadn't seen in a while. Each new movie is less and less concerned with people who aren't familiar with the books and characters, which is a good thing considering they need to adapt over 800 pages to screen. This was one of the better movies in the series, too. Harry's teenage angst comes across well, and Umbridge is every bit as spectacular a villain on screen as she is in the book. I won't say much else since it's still opening weekend and all. But both when I read the book and again while watching the movie, I couldn't help but wonder if Rowling had the current state of our world in mind when she wrote this one.

Whenever I come back from New Jersey, particularly when I've had the chance to jam with my cousin, I head straight for my classic rock CDs. So this week has featured a lot of Pink Floyd and Allman Brothers.

Around the web, A Church for Starving Artists has been added to the blogroll.