Black Mass and Relative Goodness

Pretty much all the writing and talking I do is at Reel World Theology these days. Check out our latest podcast on Black Mass. Fizz and I talk with Tyler Smith of Battleship Pretension and One More Lesson about a movie we kinda liked but we think largely missed the mark. However, it doesn’t stop us from having a great conversation!

Black Mass and Relative Goodness


…Stay Sweet My Boy…

I already knew this story and it still made me cry. Love our big man and my wife for sharing this simple, yet sweet, story.


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This is my sweet boy.  My oldest little man.  The most intelligent 6 year old I know (seriously, he multiplied 23 x 7 yesterday at church). He’s skipped 1st grade, has one season of soccer under his belt and is constantly thinking.  Often I joke that he is an old man stuck in a 6-year-old body, but I really do believe that most of the time.  He’s an old soul–whether in good ways or bad (cranky old man anyone?).

Micah Joseph has always had a sweet heart.  He’s a tender kid, who often will become emotional during movies when he isn’t sure how it will turn out.  But he also can be pretty rude and arrogant, so please don’t get the impression that he’s the perfect kid. 🙂  Micah and I are very similar in nature.  Not necessarily intelligence…

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An Open Letter to Fox on the Cancellation of “Firefly” aka My Sad, Short Ode to the Best Show That Only Lasted One Season


To Whom It May Concern That Worked at Fox Network in 2002-2003:

I write this letter to you more than ten years after the fateful decision to cancel what has become a favorite TV show of mine, Firefly, written and directed by the very wonderful Joss Whedon and starring the likes of Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, etc.  I do not write this with a heart of discontent or open rage, but a deep and abiding sadness that drips acidic tears that burn with the fire of the many suns of the Firefly universe.

It is with the lament only a Jeremiad can produce that I will never be able to see the many gritty adventures of the only sci-fi/western ever to exist.  Talk about a distinct point of view, a western set in outer space!  How in the world does that possibly strike you as anything but a golden formula for an awesome show that could have buoyed your network when shows like Vanished, Stacked, Head Cases, The Princes of Malibu, The Simple Life, and Til Death polluted your airwaves and insulted our collective viewing intelligence in the 2000s.  Take all the wonderfulness of Star Trek, strip down all the super-techie stuff and alien races, combine it with the bleaker elements of Stagecoach and old west drama, throw in some cussing in Mandarin, and you have something so different, unique, and shiny that it begged to move beyond a mere 14 episodes.  If Christopher Plummer slipped on the bathroom floor and invented time travel right now he would so go back in time and make sure this foolish decision was reversed immediately.

As a result of your complete muddling of this show, such as airing episodes out of order and changing some of the show’s grittier elements, you completely destroyed what the Boston Globe called, “[a] wonderful, imaginative mess brimming with possibility.”  You created the mess and it STILL had possibility.  The show was ahead of the up and coming generation that desired to see a space universe that wasn’t all obsessed with science and progress, but took an honest look at what would happen if humanity reached the farthest reaches of space and what would happen when an inter-galactic war ravages the lives of the losers, as well as the winners.

I digress from your poor decision making and continue to lament that I will never see Mal and Inara blossom into a relationship.  Never will I find out why Shepherd Book lived in an abbey and knew so much about war, crime, and had such a sway with the alliance (granted, we found out some years later from comic books and Whedon himself, but it was never able to be fleshed out on the small screen).  And Jubal Early!  How many rad episodes could have been made when he miraculously returns from floating in space to torment the crew of Serenity and then eventually join up with their ranks!  Oh the humanity!  You have watched a possible TV zeppelin flame out in your very faces!

It is with saddest regards and with the burning ire of Jayne’s scowling expression that I end this letter before I kick  your gorram posteriors and banish you the mud pits of of Canton and sing that catchy number inspired by the scowling Mr.Cobb himself!

Not Sincerely,

Josh Crabb

Firefly fan and honorary Browncoat

Gone Surfing/Fishing/Sleeping/etc.


Taking a break this week through Easter from the blog in order to take care of some stuff here at work and to work on my Philosophy of Ministry and Mini-Sermon for the Church Planting Assessment Center next month.  I’ll be back at it on April Fool’s day with a special Music Monday ketchup catch-up.

Morning Brew 02/25/13 – Music Monday



Spotify Playlist of the Week – Inspired by other lists, I have started the running best of music of 2013.  Best in Show 2013

Check out my new Last.Fm profile.


Watch Tame Impala perform on Jimmy Fallon and share a live version of Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

The Bonnaroo lineup has been announced and it’s being hosted by one of my favorite entertainers of all time.  Weird Al Yankovic!

Consequence of Sounds shares Atoms for Peace, the side project of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, and their new album Amok.

Yo La Tengo announced their new touring schedule and sadly they come nowhere close to Wisconsin.  *sigh*  Oh well, check out their new album, Fade, on Spotify.  It’s fantastic

Jack White shares his invention, the Triple Decker Record with VH1 while at his Third Man Studios.  Always good stuff when Jack White is involved

RIP the Temptations’ Damon Harris 

New music from Seryn, an up and coming band with a solid debut EP

Thanks for reading this week!

Weekend Brew 02/23/13 Celluloid Saturday


CELLULOID SATURDAY! aka I was too busy to post yesterday!


Dark Skies – Early review are not so good.  Another run of the mill thriller/horror movie.  Never been a big fan of horror movies, and this is no exception.  Let me know if I’m wrong on this one, but I’ll take a pass.

Snitch – The premise seems good enough.  A father, played by The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), goes undercover for the DEA to free his son after his son is on the wrong end of a drug deal and is wrongfully imprisoned.  Early reviews are not so good on this one either, and it doesn’t look like anything more than a normal Dwayne Johnson movie.


Remember how I said early reviews have not been good for Snitch?  Matt Mueller at calls Snitch “a dull fraud”.  Todd McCarthy has a more favorable review, albeit a lukewarm endorsement, at best.

I hadn’t heard about this film, but “Bless Me, Ultima” seems like an interesting coming of age story about a rural New Mexican boy.  I would see this over the other movies out this Friday.  Here’s a review from Christy Lemire at Yahoo! Movie News.

The Rabbit Room has a discussion on the classic movie Amadeus.  Pete Peterson explores some of the major themes addressed from the pages of Biblical theology and also asks some questions regarding the writer’s treatment of the historicity.  Good discussion and article.

James Harleman, at Cinemagogue, has a great review of the new movie, Escape From Planet Earth.  He gives it a favorable review and touches on some of the biblical allusions and redemptive themes in the narrative.


AP picks Argo as their Best Movie of the Year.  This seems a shoe-in to win best picture, but I still give Silver Linings Playbook a puncher’s chance.

Speaking of the the Academy Awards, Yahoo! Movie News shares some super cool historical facts about the Oscars.

OOOooooohhh!  A lightsaber class!  This might just be a tad past my nerdom, but I salute these gentlemen and ladies on their commitment to a false reality.

Empire Blog has a story with Mark Hamill on where the agreements are at with the classic Star Wars class of characters and their involvement in the new Star Wars movies.   “They’re talking to us,” Hamill says. “George Lucas wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out.”  I would rather see this than recasting them.  However, their involvement seems probable.

IMDb 250 – Twelve Monkeys

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, and Bruce Willis’ rear end

Quick Synopsis

Venture into the future as an imprisoned James Cole (Bruce Willis) is volunteered for a special mission by a group of goofily dressed scientists.  We come to find out he and the rest of the world lives in the underground, as a deadly virus has wiped out 5 billion people and only 1% of the people now survive on the earth.  Cole is then sent back in time to try and ascertain the virus’ origins and obtain a sample in its pure form so the scientists can study it and find a cure.   

When Cole is sent back, at first he inexplicably ends up in 1990, six years before the virus is unleashed, and is tossed in a mental institution, where he meets compassionate psychiatrist Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) and the eccentric and quite loony Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt).  After escaping the hospital, James manages to be sent to the correct time period and beings his quest to locate the source of the outbreak.  He again crosses paths with Dr. Railly and they work together to find Goines, who is connected the mysterious eco-activist group, The Army of the Twelve Monkeys, which is believed to be the source of the virus and the end of the world.  Through a series of unexpected events, this story takes many twists and turns that ends completely different than you expect. 

Quick Take

Seriously, Bruce Willis’ posterior deserves full credit in this film.  As much as I enjoyed this movie, I can’t help but think that Willis made a bet with himself that he could reach a full (moon?) saturation point by showing off his butt in this movie.  Anyways, let’s move on to talk about the movie, shall we? 

Twelve Monkeys is a fantastic commentary on the “what-ifs” of consumerism, lack of attention to the environment, and the over-medication of society.  The story explores how something good, like technology and medication, can be over-used and become merely a replacement disease for the disease we were curing or the suffering we were alleviating.  You have to ask yourself, “Is progress, consumerism, and self-actualization worth it if it all ends like it has in Twelve Monkeys?”  Pitt’s character reflects that it is not normal to be ant-consumer.  Life’s problems are solved through consumption and self-actualization and to think and act otherwise is to be considered crazy, and then you end up in a mental institution, like Goines.  It’s not a matter of right or wrong, in the movies opinion, but of popular opinion.  The movie is also a battle of moralistic assumptions and who sets the standard of right and wrong. 

Pitt’s performance in this movie is fantastic.  He is just the right mix of crazy and fun to make Jeffrey Goines believable and is a pre-cursor to his more prominent, anti-consumer role as Tyler Durden in Fight Club.  Willis is cast differently than his roles as John McClane, the action hero, and he does a fantastic job of having a sort of crazy, frenetic edge to his character throughout most of the film. 

Overall, this is a thought-provoking, well-acted, quality movie well worth its position in IMDb’s Top 250.  I really like this movie, and after seeing it again, like it more than I did the first time. 

Best Quote

“There’s the television. It’s all right there – all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We’re not productive anymore. We don’t make things anymore. It’s all automated. What are we *for* then? We’re consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you’re a good citizen. But if you don’t buy a lot of stuff, if you don’t, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact – if you don’t buy things – toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers… “  – Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt)