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Posts tagged "Tom Cruise"


Risky Business: Jesus Meets a Control Freak – RJ Heijmen

The second of our Fall Conference videos is here!

Risky Business: Jesus Meets a Control Freak – RJ Heijmen from Mockingbird on Vimeo.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Right: A Belated Memorial

Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Right: A Belated Memorial

When you work too much, you don’t experience events of life so much as you pass them by.  The dry cleaning piles up.  I need to take those shirts in; I do when I’m down to my last shirt.  Without realizing it, the only thing in my refrigerator is a carton of curdled half-and-half and some rotted vegetables.  I have some friends, I remember; I’ll catch up with them when work dies down (which it never does).  I need to refresh myself on the current events; yesterday I heard something about a lost airliner.  At the coffee shop, at two…

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Another Week Ends: Hitch, Facebook Blues, Baby Morality, Auden's Conversion, M:I4, The Replacements, Gorey Animation, and Knowing Yule

Another Week Ends: Hitch, Facebook Blues, Baby Morality, Auden’s Conversion, M:I4, The Replacements, Gorey Animation, and Knowing Yule

1. By now you’ve no doubt heard that legendary journalist/polemicist/personality/Atheist Christopher Hitchens died yesterday. Hitchens was always my favorite of the New Atheists, and not just because he was the funniest. Alone of his colleagues (and I’m sure he hated being lumped in with anyone!), he seemed to object to the Gospel itself, rather than the normal hangups about the Bible or the Church. He found the idea of Grace to be repulsive and morally reprehensible. “Vicarious redemption” is what he called it, insisting that the notion that a person could be forgiven by someone other than the one they…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Days of Thunder and "You're Out of Control!"

Mockingbird at the Movies: Days of Thunder and “You’re Out of Control!”

Days of Thunder is such a fun movie. For any who haven’t seen it, it’s Top Gun in race cars. Literally. Despite its therefore necessary fluff and Tom Cruise preening, Days of Thunder has at least one moment of true profundity. Here it is:

I would argue with Claire (Nicole Kidman) on one point: I don’t think that most people “automatically know” that they are basically unable to control anything about their lives. In fact, I think that the human impulse is to control every aspect of life, and we react very badly when control either slips away or is wrested…

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From The New Yorker

The Batchelorette and "That Guy"

The Batchelorette and "That Guy"

[Disclaimer: I’m a dude. I mean really a dude. I love football, BBQ, and Braveheart. I roll 6’5, 235, but I do watch The Bachelorette with my wife.] 

Many of us are making our way through the guilty pleasure of The Bachelorette: Season 6. If you have watched a few seasons of The Bachelorette (I have watched three, which is as many years as I have been married), then you have  probably nailed The Bachelorette archetypes, which reappear season after season.

There’s the “Too Good to Be True” character – Roberto this season – who just…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Another Top Ten

Mockingbird at the Movies: Another Top Ten

The Top 10 Sneaky-Good Flops of the ’00s

These are movies that “flopped” at the box office (i.e. made less money than was spent to make them). Some were spectacular flops, and some only barely missed making it out of the red. However, I really liked them all. Usually, financial flops that people like are labelled “underrated” or “cult classics.” You’ll find some of those here. You’ll also find some “overrated” films or films critics thought were just “bad,” and not deserving of the little money they did make. I’ll be interested to know your…

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Scientology: The Appeal Is Not So Strange

Scientology: The Appeal Is Not So Strange

This has been a tough month to be a Scientologist [ed note: originally posted in Oct 2009, but applies just as much to July 2012]. From the public renunciation by one of its senior members–screenwriter Paul Haggis—, to the interview-gone-wrong viral sensation by its spokesperson Tommy Davis, it seems that the Psychlos are carrying the day; however, Scientology has weathered many storms in its relatively brief existence and there is no reason to think that these will be any different. Since we here at Mockingbird are fascinated by all things celebrity and theological, Scientology holds a special place in our…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: Frank T.J. Mackey and Magnolia

Mockingbird at the Movies: Frank T.J. Mackey and Magnolia

In the wonderful movie Magnolia (my favorite movie, for those wondering), Tom Cruise plays the incredibly distasteful Frank T.J. Mackey, creator of “Seduce and Destroy,” a system for men to manipulate women into having sex with them. During one of his seminars, he sits down for an interview with a female reporter. She systematically tears down the carefully constructed facade he has created for himself, and, in response, he retreats into anger and silence, claiming only to “silently judge” her. Later, he is confronted with the evil man (his long-estranged father) who has created the monstrous Mackey, and he is…

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