Posts tagged "Pixar"
Another Week Ends: Religious Justice, Self-Esteem Pathologies, WWE SummerSlam, and Jealous Partners

Another Week Ends: Religious Justice, Self-Esteem Pathologies, WWE SummerSlam, and Jealous Partners

1)  Well, if you planned on taking your kids to see Planes, thinking it would be the aviary of the Cars legacy, think again. As it has happened before, Pixar has created something seemingly unrepeatable, except unto itself (and unto scripture), and the Atlantic tells us what it is. Luke Epplin says it is the Charlie Brown that is missing in today’s films—and replacing it is the “magic-feather” of self-determination that any chalky character can stir up within to reach his or her dreams. It’s not that the cult of self-esteem is just the name of the game with most…

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Another Week Ends: Blame Games, Law/Gospel Lunches, FOMO, Tom Wolfe, Lou Reed on Yeezus, Luther S3, and Middleton’s Law

Another Week Ends: Blame Games, Law/Gospel Lunches, FOMO, Tom Wolfe, Lou Reed on Yeezus, Luther S3, and Middleton’s Law

Let the pinning commence – not sure what we were waiting for but Mbird is now on Pinterest! Pretty gratifying to see six year’s worth of visual silliness in one place. Also, pre-registration for our Fall Conference near Houston, TX opens next week, on August 1st. Theme this time will be “Overextended, Under God: Christian Freedom in a Non-Stop World.”

1. Kicking things off this week in the mercy-not-sacrifice department is a doozie of an essay by Barbara Fried in the Boston Review entitled “Beyond Blame,” which takes as its starting point the observation that “recent decades have been boom years…

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Pixar and the Beauty of Ugly Emotions

Pixar and the Beauty of Ugly Emotions

The reviews are in for Pixar’s latest project, Monsters University, and most of its criticisms direct readers to previous films in the franchise, implying Pixar has produced better (reinforcing the Law of High Quality Content). But the reviewers still say that the film is immensely entertaining. I can’t disagree. I loved its parallels with the classic college stereotypes—the overly peppy orientation leader, the coffee-guzzling finals studying, the privilege-pompous frat stars. The film even disguises a game of beer pong as monster tic-tac toe.

And while these tropes are fun to see re-enacted with Oozma Kappa in the Scare Maze, they neglect…

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Another Week Ends: Snowden Psychology, Child Stars Grown Up, Sleep Perfomance, the Science of Risk-Management, and Ira Glass on Jesus Freaks

Another Week Ends: Snowden Psychology, Child Stars Grown Up, Sleep Perfomance, the Science of Risk-Management, and Ira Glass on Jesus Freaks

1) I guess the graduation speeches were of quite the well-suited ilk this year—fitted more for the heart and less the diploma. Jonathan Safran-Foer spoke at Middlebury’s graduation (the transcript was then printed for the Times), and talked a lot about today’s ease of communication and, thus, today’s relational retreat. Entitled “How Not To Be Lonely,” he catalogues some of the cultural and social restraints of technology, something we love…to…talk…about, but what’s more interesting is the focus he takes on power of intervention and attention.

He remembers sitting in a park, next to a woman who crying in public. Not knowing…

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Wrecking Ralph: Extinguishing the Quest for Glory

Wrecking Ralph: Extinguishing the Quest for Glory

Score one for this year’s winter film season! With a half-dozen movies premiering on Mockingbird’s *must* see list (including The Hobbit, Les Mis, James Bond, Django Unchained…), Wreck-It-Ralph kicks off the winter with a pixelated parable of judgment, love, and identity so potent,  you half-expected to see Martin Luther listed as a guest-writer in the credits. Okay, so perhaps I’m a bit over-enthusiastic in my praise of Disney’s newest in-house release, but when movie critics call Wreck-It Ralph “pixar-esque,” well, we’ve kind of got to take notice.

Perhaps there’s no better world to play out the drama of law-trapped characters than the unforgiving…

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Mothers and Daughters and Bears, Oh My! Pride and Expectation in Brave

Mothers and Daughters and Bears, Oh My! Pride and Expectation in Brave

Just in time for Independence Day, a wonderful (if spoiler-heavy) review of Pixar’s latest from resident animation guru Jeremiah Lawson. Have a great Fourth and we’ll see you back here on Thursday:

Now in its 17th year of box office activity, Pixar may have entered into chronological adolescence, but the studio is far from becoming a brazen teenager who’s unaware of the past. With Brave, the people that brought us the Toy Story trilogy–arguably the greatest film trilogy originally conceived as a story for the screen–have given us a movie that, at first glance, runs the risk of being confused with…

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Another Week Ends: Our Dreams, Pixar and Brave Honesty, Lebron Bravery, Why Americans Apologize, Why Ryan Leaf Wants Prison, Why Women Pray More

Another Week Ends: Our Dreams, Pixar and Brave Honesty, Lebron Bravery, Why Americans Apologize, Why Ryan Leaf Wants Prison, Why Women Pray More

1) The Harvard Business Review released a behavioral study on the divergent ways apologies happen in American and Japanese sociality. It turns out not everyone apologizes in a way that implicates the apologizer as guilty (who knew?)…What’s more interesting, though, is the connection made between implied guilt and trust, that the Japanese way of apologizing without direct condemnation of personal responsibility actually allows for trust to be repaired more quickly, while the American (Western) way of the “apologizing culprit” tends to falsely distinguish sheeps from goats, making lines between those who have flaws and make mistakes from those who do…

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Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

1. You’ve probably heard the classic arithmetic question, “A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” If your kneejerk response is in the double digits, well, think again. Jonah Lehrer kicked off his new post at The New Yorker with a couple of terrific new pieces. “Why We Don’t Believe in Science” was the first and “Why Smart People Are Stupid” is the latest, and it in particular warrants some excerpting here. Another cogent reminder that self-knowledge (or knowledge in general) is not…

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Another Week Ends: John Carter, Obesity FAILs, Mary Karr on Suffering, Winning!, Friends with Kids, Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and Community Returns

Another Week Ends: John Carter, Obesity FAILs, Mary Karr on Suffering, Winning!, Friends with Kids, Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and Community Returns

1. “I am not Jesus, but I have the same initials.” Thus sang Jarvis Cocker on the classic Pulp track “Dishes” (at bottom), and it now looks like he has a new contender to the throne, Tim Riggins himself, Mr. John Carter of Mars. That’s right: Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton’s first live-action feature is out this weekend, and the consensus thus far is that there’s no consensus. Some claim that it’s an overblown mess, others that it’s the sort of exceedingly fun pulp adventure that doesn’t get made anymore. But Stanton is a filmmaker that I trust over any…

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Another Week Ends: DFW50, Simpsons 500, Ira Talks Radiolab, Rowling Talks New Novel, Helpless Women, Helpless Kids, Lenten Identity, Cormac McCarthy Pictionary

Another Week Ends: DFW50, Simpsons 500, Ira Talks Radiolab, Rowling Talks New Novel, Helpless Women, Helpless Kids, Lenten Identity, Cormac McCarthy Pictionary

All the best wishes for those mockingbirds at the Liberate Conference in Fort Lauderdale this weekend, including our very own David Zahl.

1. Along with the rest of the blogosphere this week, we wish David Foster Wallace a happy 50th birthday. There’s too many blessings to recount, but the web has exploded with numerous avenues for you to get your feet wet or soul soaked. Take a look at The Awl’s “46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace’s 50th Birthday,” a piece of which includes an 86-minute interview with German TV ZDF, the first of which you’ll find…

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Another Week Ends: Immortal Smartphones, Jefferson Bethke, Adolescent Rewards, Profound Comedy, Therapeutic Irony, more George Lucas, Pixar and Hunger Games

Another Week Ends: Immortal Smartphones, Jefferson Bethke, Adolescent Rewards, Profound Comedy, Therapeutic Irony, more George Lucas, Pixar and Hunger Games

1. In last weekend’s NY Times Magazine, Carina Chocano explained “The Dilemma of Being a Cyborg” – AKA what our current obsession with “data” has to say about our humanity – dropping her usual allotment of insight bombs along the way. Not only does she point out the increasingly prevailing illusion that if something wasn’t ‘documented’ it didn’t happen, she gets at the real crux of our smartphoned existence: the false promise of immortality. In other words, a familiar serpent has found its way into the, um, Apple Store:

This is the dilemma of being a cyborg: It’s not just that…

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Finding Freedom in Finding Nemo: When Andrew Stanton Tried to Get Fired

Finding Freedom in Finding Nemo: When Andrew Stanton Tried to Get Fired

From the New Yorker’s recent profile of Andrew Stanton, Pixar writer/director extraordinaire of Finding Nemo, WALL*E and the upcoming (live action!) John Carter, starring none other than Tim Riggins himself. The author writes of Stanton’s cathartic, career-making crisis a couple years into the Nemo process, when Stanton, in response to enormous internal pressure (not to mention the Law represented by Pixar’s winning streak), faced his worst fears and experienced what can only be called a “bottoming out” moment of repentance. It almost reads like a Judgment and Love entry:

For years, Stanton believed that the original braintrust—Lasseter, Stanton, Docter and Joe…

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Friendships and Fender-Benders in Cars 2

Friendships and Fender-Benders in Cars 2

The release of Cars 2 this past summer marked the first Pixar movie to receive almost unanimously poor reviews. While some of this criticism was probably veiled jealousy of Pixar’s consistent success, I still have to admit that this film lacked the heart-tugging storytelling I’ve come to expect. The film has lots of flash – with some enthralling technical wizardry, but the substance was disappointingly thin. Or better, I didn’t enthusiastically identify with any of the characters.

The success of a movie usually depends upon the audience’s ability to sympathize with the main character – if we don’t care about them,…

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Another Week Ends: Of Gods and Men, Unitarian Boundaries, pi Haters, Pinksy on Cowper, Jayhawks, Wilco, Morrissey, FNL, Falling Skies and Brad Bird

Another Week Ends: Of Gods and Men, Unitarian Boundaries, pi Haters, Pinksy on Cowper, Jayhawks, Wilco, Morrissey, FNL, Falling Skies and Brad Bird

1. No doubt you’re familiar with the martyrdom of the monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, who were assassinated in 1996 by Jihadists. It is, without question, one of the most inspirational true stories of the past twenty years – regardless of where you’re coming from on the religious spectrum. You may have even heard that the recent film based on the events, Of Gods and Men, was Grand Prix winner at Cannes last year. If that weren’t high enough praise for it shoot to the top of your Netflix queue (when it becomes available on Tuesday 7/5), Andrew Sullivan’s stirring…

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Another Week Ends: Free Won’t, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cars 2, more Super 8, Antinomian Letters, The Killing and Futurama

Another Week Ends: Free Won’t, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cars 2, more Super 8, Antinomian Letters, The Killing and Futurama

1. I can’t stop my leg! A fascinating post on Psychology Today about the groundbreaking research of neuroscientist Benjamin Libet into the area conscious choice/willpower, entitled “Free Won’t,” ht JD:

Given our common sense notion of how our actions work, we might expect that we first have a conscious awareness of an intention or urge to act, then the brain activates the motor area that sends a signal to the muscles of the wrist or fingers. The surprising thing is this is not what Libet found.

Surprisingly, the participants’ reports of their conscious awareness of the urge to…

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