Archive - 2008
Today I finished watching HBO's documentary Hard as Nails. From the HBO web site:
When Justin Fatica steps to the altar, he becomes a whirlwind of energy, using a mix of professional wrestling, hip hop and Scripture to bring Jesus to his audience. An unordained Catholic minister and the founder of the Hard as Nails youth ministry, Fatica employs an intense, over-the-top approach that has connected with thousands of troubled teenagers, but also inspires resistance within his own Catholic Church. HARD AS NAILS paints an intimate portrait of this driven, charismatic man.
It was an interesting documentary. The Hard as Nails ministry uses a lot more yelling and screaming than I'm used to hearing. Maybe it's effective, though I guess I don't see much precedent in scripture. Justin seems like a dedicated guy. I like his idea of frequenting a barber shop on the black side of town and interacting with the folks there because it makes him uncomfortable.
I give it 3 out of 5.
With all the recent discussion of race in American politics (e.g. Obama taking heat for the high racial content of his church's message; Bill and Hillary Clinton taking heat for playing racial politics, etc.), it was great timing for me to hear the "Babies Buying Babies" segment of the 18 January 2008, installment of the This American Life radio show.
I won't go into any more detail so that I don't spoil it, but let me simply say that it was fantastic!!! Here is the teaser from TAL's site:
Elna Baker reads her story about the time she worked at the giant toy store, FAO Schwartz. Her job was to sell these lifelike “newborns” which were displayed in a “nursery” inside the store. When the toys become the hot new present, they begin to fly off the shelves. When the white babies sell out, white parents are faced with a choice: will they go for an Asian, Latino, or African-American baby instead? What happens is so disturbing that Elna has a hard time even telling it. (16 minutes)
Have a listen online. Here is a link to the web page where you can listen to it in your web browser: link
Another good listen that is somewhat-related (deals with race in America) was the 23 January 2008 installment of the "Democracy in America" segment of The Economist's podcast. It features a conversation with Michael Dawson of the University of Chicago who discusses...
...what's at stake for African Americans in this election, and whether Barack Obama has a chance
Here is a link to the mp3: link
A 12-year-old orphan and failed inventor finds his world turned upside down when a 13-year-old takes him into the future in hopes of fixing a time-space continuum problem caused by some villains' nefarious plans.
It was enjoyable but nothing special. I give it 3 out of 5.
People involved in the making of and reporting on a holiday movie react to news that some of the performers in it might receive award nominations, all while dealing with studio changes to the film to make it more commercial.
I enjoy the mockumentaries from these guys, and this was no exception. I give it 4 out 5.