How to Watch A Movie (As A Christian)
By Pacific Parable
"How do Americans learn about anything? At the movies." (Weekend Edition, NPR) Movies are our culture's most popular form of storytelling. It's through the lens of these stories that we see our world, and ourselves. Join PJ, Ben, and Riley as they discuss how Christians should approach different movies.
How to Watch "Matilda (2022)" (As A Christian)
In this episode, we discuss Netflix's new adaption of "Matilda," based on the beloved children's book by Roald Dahl and also on the award-winning 2010 musical All three of us have daughters; and "Matilda" hits at the feels for dads--well, for Riley. PJ and Ben disagreed, not really enjoying the film at all. We discuss why this is, and come to realize that sometimes the genre is not "your cup of tea," and therefore stand in the way of your enjoyment--even if you recognize that film's merit objectively. We also discover Matilda's greatest themes: righteousness and rebellion. Join us as we discuss 2022's Matilda!
January 27, 2023
How to Watch "The Last of Us" (As A Christian)
One of our most-anticipated shows of the year, "The Last of Us," just dropped on HBO. We sit down with Josh, who along with PJ, has played the game a whopping 5 times. We talk about how the show manages to adapt a beloved game, and what it gets right, and what it all means. Specific to the themes of the show is "love," but The Last of Us has something unique to say about it. Join us as we ask "How to Watch the Last of Us (As A Christian)"!
January 19, 2023
How To Watch "The Menu" (As A Christian)
Are you the type of person who can't help but take one-hundred pictures of your food at a restaurant; or the type that is so hyper critical of your dining experiences that you end up losing the love and joy of just eating some yummy dumplings? This episode we welcome Javan to the podcast as we discuss the question: "Which table are you sitting at?" in regards to the different character groups portrayed in the 2022 film, 'The Menu.' We also discuss the 'price of perfection' and how that relates to both the film's narrative and the character of God. Spoiler warning: we spoil this film.
January 13, 2023
How to Watch "Home Alone" (As A Christian)
Even though PJ hasn't seen it in 10 years, Home Alone is for most people a Christmas classic. What makes it have such staying power? What makes it funny? Good? Heartwarming? In this episode, we examine the 1990 film by Chris Columbus, and perhaps get to the point where we agree: Home Alone is a perfect movie.
December 09, 2022
How to Watch "The Office" (As A Christian)
"The Office" is one of our favorite TV shows. Actually, for PJ and Ben, it might be THE favorite. Is that okay? How should a Christian watch a show that has been criticized in recent years for being inappropriate, crass, even harmful in its joke-telling? We examine that question and more, such as "What is an 'everyman' character?" in this episode.
November 18, 2022
How to Watch "Werewolf by Night" (As A Christian)
So you know how we feel about Marvel. The MCU is on thin ice with Riley, Ben, and PJ. However, we were intrigued by the latest entry, a Halloween special based on comic book character Werewolf by Night. So we gave it a watch! In this episode we examine why (we felt) Werewolf by Night didn't stick its landing or penetrate our hearts. Though capably made, in the end, the film felt forgettable. Why is that? Why sometimes do stories not "hit"—why don't they "have teeth"? We explore that question and more about what makes films great, and disappointing.
October 29, 2022
How to Watch "Rings of Power: Season 1" (As A Christian)
Okay, we've gotta talk about season one of Rings of Power. We had covered episodes 1 and 2 in our first discussion of "How to Watch A Movie (As A Christian)," but now that the season finale has aired, we felt it needed revisiting. We ask the question of whether this series has left us satisfied or disappointed. And as PJ and Riley are LOTR nerds, where do they come out on season one? Does it live up to the hype? Or to the budget? Sometimes stories disappoint; they don't live up to their expectations. Why is that? And how are we supposed to think about it? And lastly, how does the Gospel story live up to its expectations? Does it disappoint, or does it live up to the hype? (Actually we don't get to much spiritual discussion in this episode. I guess we were distracted.)
October 21, 2022
How to Watch Scary Movies (As A Christian)
For many Christians, scary movies are taboo. Whether they are seen as "demonic," "evil," or just "bad for you," not many followers of Jesus understand why they exist and what they're for. On this episode, Ben, Riley, and PJ talk about the merits of scary movies. Why do storytellers utilize fear in conveying their purposes? Is fear something we should embrace as audience members? And what can horror films do that no other genre can?
October 14, 2022
How to Watch "Thor: Love and Thunder" (As A Christian)
"Thor: Love and Thunder" is not the second Thor movie, nor is it the third. It's actually the fourth--in case you forgot about the first two. After Ragnarök, we were excited to watch Thor 4. But ultimately, we felt like it missed the mark, both as a Thor movie, and as a chapter in the MCU. PJ, Ben, and Riley explore why that is the case. We explore what makes a movie great, beginning with the provocative question, "Is this the end of Marvel?"
October 07, 2022
How to Watch "Toy Story" (As A Christian)
Toy Story changed animated movies. (Where did all the 2D movies go???) In 1995, our kid brains saw it as a fun "story about toys." But reexamining it today, we can see that it's laden with themes and rich subtext with truths about who we are and how the world works. In this episode we watch Toy Story from a Christian perspective, zooming in on the main characters Woody and Buzz—asking, "What do these characters represent?"
September 30, 2022
How to Watch "The Dark Knight" (As A Christian)
Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" is one of the most beloved movies ever made, landing on top 10 lists everywhere. What makes it so great? Is it the story, or the action, or the plot, or the music? Or, like many claim, is it the Joker? No doubt Heath Ledger's iconic performance as Gotham's clown will go down in history as one of the greatest portrayals of all time. But at the time of this movie's release, it was controversial--because it seemed to be glorifying evil. This Joker was different because he was logical, motivated, and dare we say, relatable? We look at "The Dark Knight" from a Christian perspective by asking a question that opens up a whole ton of discussion: "Can a villain be a main character?"
September 23, 2022
How to Watch "Pinocchio (2022)" (As A Christian)
So, Disney Plus just released ANOTHER remake of a classic cartoon—this time, Pinocchio. It's no secret that we have not been big fans of the remakes, as they often rob the soul, remove the color, and miss the point of their originals. But this doesn't mean they have NO merit to them. On this episode, PJ, Riley, and Ben examine the 2022 version of "Pinocchio," which is based on the cartoon, which is based on the book. How does it stack up? Does this one get the point of the original story? We begin with the question, "What's the point of this movie?" which is a great place to start, especially with fairy tales such as Pinocchio. Every story has a purpose. So what's the point of 2022's Pinocchio?
September 16, 2022
How to Watch "Nope" (As A Christian)
Jordan Peele is one of our favorite film makers. How does his latest film, Nope, stand up compared to the rest? PJ, Riley, and Ben talk about the movie's themes, and how we as Christians should view stories through a thematic lens, if we are to truly engage on the level intended by film makers like Peele. Follow us on YouTube!
September 08, 2022
How to Watch "Rings of Power" (As A Christian)
PJ, Riley, and Ben discuss Prime Video's latest show "The Rings of Power," coming out September 2nd. How should a Christian approach this show, its themes, its lore and source material? Listen and find out our thoughts!
September 06, 2022