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About Jason Thompson

Married to Jesus... and Angela. Father of Joshua, Sarah, and Grace. A son of the living God. Hidden in the Midwest...somewhere.

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    Performance, Death, and Grace in Sing

    Performance, Death, and Grace in Sing

    Buster Moon desperately wants to save his theater… and himself. When he was a young koala, his parents took him to see a stage production in which a sensational Suffolk sheep named Nana Noodleman (voiced by Jennifer Hudson) sang about ‘finding a way home’ and ‘carrying a weight’ as she gracefully performed an operatic rendition of the Beatles’ Golden Slumber. That moment convinced him that the theater would not only become his career aspiration, but his very identity and legacy in the world. Sing, directed by Garth Jennings and starring Matthew McConaughey in the lead role as Buster, aptly demonstrates…

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    Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

    Fathers, Sons, Law, and Grace in August Wilson’s Fences

    My mother and father always attempted to instill into me and my brothers an appreciation for culture. Mom was and remains extremely well-read in classic literature, hailing Steinbeck as her favorite; she enjoyed foreign cinema and took me (while in the womb) to an Ingmar Bergman film festival; she could reference renowned plays and decided to middle-name me after Neil Simon; and her record collection lined the living room perimeter containing everything from Funkadelic to Simon & Garfunkel, Temptations, Barbara Streisand, The Police, Rick James, etc…

    But I think the most significant (though at the time not fully appreciated) exposure came…

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    My Best New Years Eve(r)

    My Best New Years Eve(r)

    In downtown Milwaukee, there’s a Starbucks attached to an ice rink where every winter, you can drive past and see families, singles, couples, and kids of all ages gliding in graceful rotation over an artificial frozen pond. The sight evokes the kind of Americana sentimentality one might feel upon seeing a Norman Rockwell painting or a 1980’s Speilberg film. It just looks like the thing to do – the thing you ‘ought’ (read Law) to do in the winter, in the Midwest, with your wife and kids…especially during the holidays. It seems so inviting to sit with a cup of hot coco or…

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    A 2016 Movie Wrap-Up

    A 2016 Movie Wrap-Up

    Here we go! A look into some of 2016’s most-talked-about films…

    Birth of a Nation. Nate Parker’s film shares a title with D.W. Griffith’s 1915 technical masterpiece, yet inverts the idyllic narrative that championed the victory of white supremacy over the supposed societal dangers of Reconstruction. Where Griffith’s storyline details the violence that ensues when fear drives one people group to inflict genocide on another, Parker’s 21st century vision shows us the violence preceding the redemption of a people who have historically responded to oppression via artistic innovation and spiritual transcendence.

    A rare film abundantly flowing with references to Scripture without attempting…

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    Playing Chess with the King of Kings: Moments of Grace in The Queen of Katwe

    Playing Chess with the King of Kings: Moments of Grace in The Queen of Katwe

    Disney’s The Queen of Katwe prefers subtle nuances over soap-boxy platitudes, which tend to posit overly simplistic answers to the complexities of life in a fallen world. In veteran director Mira Nair’s vision, we see references to faith quietly pervading the film without ever becoming overbearing. Here, we have the kind of creative and engaging expression of spirituality found in such recent works as 2015’s Selma and The Revenant and this year’s Hail Ceasar!, Hell or High Water, and Birth of a Nation.

    Based on true events as chronicled in the 2012 book Tim Crother published for ESPN, The Queen of Katwe stars newcomer Madina Nalwanga, who delivers a quiet, yet forceful…

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    The Mission of Self-Justification in Hell or High Water

    The Mission of Self-Justification in Hell or High Water

    David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water must be the year’s most unintentionally Christian film. Aimed more at capturing the mood and the cultural atmosphere of rural Texas than it is at making an argument for or against religion, the film ironically succeeds at presenting us with a rich tapestry and various threads of religious iconography, Biblical themes, and a soundtrack (performed partly by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis) that not only underscores key plot points, but accurately reflects the inner lives of the conflicted characters, namely a bank robbing fraternal duo hellbent on a mission of self-justification.

    Tanner and Toby Howard, portrayed by…

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