In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss the Erwin Brothers’ Woodlawn and Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night.
00:00:44- Intro, International Christian Film Festival
01:09:30- In the Heat of the Night
01:20:30- Episode wrap-up
In this episode, Tyler and Reed discuss M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit and George Waggner’s The Wolf Man.
00:00:44- Intro, spiders, Comedy Film Nerds
00:09:10- The Visit
01:08:50- The Wolf Man
01:37:35- Episode wrap-up
In this episode, Tyler and Josh discuss Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.
00:00:46- The Dilemma of Christian Film, Woodlawn
00:02:45- Bridge of Spies, The Inhabitants
00:03:20- Battleship Pretension Slasher Commentary
00:13:45- Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski
01:14:30- Episode wrap-up
I walked into Andrew and Jon Erwin’s Woodlawn with my usual skepticism. Most Christian films leave a lot to be desired, both artistically and theologically. In an attempt to appeal to a neglected Evangelical audience, these films will oversimplify every element of their stories and themes, creating art meant to inspire its viewers, but that instead panders to them in the worst way. These films often fail at every artistic level, but are forgiven because their hearts are in the right place, as though a filmmaker’s intention is the only thing that matters.
And so when I was told that Woodlawn was the best Christian film in a while, I was understandably hesitant. A film that depicted faith amidst the trappings of a sports movie (a genre that often has pandering problems of its own) didn’t do much to inspire hope for me. But, while Woodlawn is far from perfect, it left me feeling engaged and entertained, which is more than can be said for any other faith-based film. For this reason alone, I consider Woodlawn to be the best Christian film I’ve ever seen.
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies is a very good- sometimes great- movie about the importance of seeing people as they are, rather than what they represent. That this is couched in a Cold War spy story makes this theme all the more resonant. For decades, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were engaged in a non-violent war of ideologies. This war often manifested itself as a constant scramble for information; about weapons, about technology, about pretty much anything. Paranoia was at an all-time high, with special attention paid to those that could be spies for the other side, infiltrating our ranks and selling our secrets.