Friday, December 18, 2009

Pop Culture Roundup

I read The Boundary-Breaking God by Danielle Shroyer this week. It's relatively short (125 pages) and light. Shroyer takes a brief tour through scripture, highlighting stories where God uses unexpected people to accomplish God's work: old Abraham, the Hebrew midwives who foil Pharaoh, the pagan wise men who visit Jesus, the oxymoronic "good Samaritan" in Jesus' parable, the women who are the first to hear about the resurrection, and so on. The undercurrent of Shroyer's book is that these are but examples of what God intends for all of humanity; that God wants to expand to include everyone in the new creation that God is bringing into view. It's a pretty good book, although its themes were familiar to me. It'd make a great book study for a church group.

We watched The Proposal this week, starring Sandra Bullock as Margaret, an icy, pushy boss and Ryan Reynolds as her assistant Andrew. When Margaret, who is Canadian, finds out that she's about to be deported, she quickly threatens/bribes Andrew into marrying her so that she can stay in the country. In order to play up the charade as much as possible, they fly to Alaska to meet Andrew's family who, as it turns out, are like the "Alaskan Kennedys," as Margaret puts it: they own half the town's businesses and live in a humongous house. As one may expect, Margaret and Andrew eventually soften toward one another, there's the eventual exposure/admittance, and then the happy ending. All of this takes place in the span of three days according to the movie. Perhaps being holed up with someone you hate 24/7 during that time can cause such things to happen, but I found that a little difficult to believe. The ride is enjoyable enough, especially because I like both actors. So aside from the usual probability/logic issues that plague romantic comedies such as this, it was fine.

We also watched Push this week. This movie portrays a world not unlike X-Men, where people have different powers like psychic ability (watchers), moving things with one's mind (movers), inserting false memories into others' heads (pushers), etc. And there is an organization known as The Division that has been capturing and experimenting on them since WWII. Eventually, one person escapes The Division and needs the help of Nick (mover) and Cassie (watcher). As it turns out, the main bad guy working with The Division had killed Nick's father ten years earlier, and Cassie's mother is currently a Division prisoner. It is, of course, Cassie's ability that gets her and Nick involved to begin with. I instinctively compared this movie with Jumper, which was horrible. But Push was a lot better: better characters, better acting, better plot. The ending left Coffeewife and I a little dissatisfied, though. It suggests a possible sequel, but I don't know how well this one did to warrant one.

I caught a good portion of the new Scrubs this past Tuesday. I basically missed it the week before that. Apparently, J.D., Turk, and Dr. Cox are all teaching at a medical school now, with a bunch of new interns. One of the interns is taking over narrating duties as well. I didn't find any of the interns especially likable, and the feel of the show in general is just wrong to me. I'll give it a few more episodes, but for now I maintain that they should've just ended it last season.

What if Christmas carols had been written by committee? This video dares answer that question: