Review: Church Ball

After having directed three consecutively worse comedies, the real question one has going into Kurt Hale’s fourth LDS comedy is just how bad is it? Suprisingly, it’s not that bad. In fact, I’m willing to say it’s actually his best. It’s a major upswing from The Home Teachers, at least. It was also much better than Halestorm’s recently released Suits on the Loose, which was so bad I didn’t even feel like typing out a review. Continue reading “Review: Church Ball”

Commentary: Reading the Bible as Literature

My all-time favorite BYU class was Steve Walker’s The Bible as Literature. It was the best of both worlds ““ it had the spirit of the very best religion classes and the stimulation of the best literature classes. What was particularly impressive about the class, though, was not that we covered so much material, but that we covered so little. Throughout the entire semester, I don’t think we covered more than 20 pages of text. The class was two and a half hours a session, once a week. And in each class period we discussed only a single passage, such as Gen. 22: 1-8, Psalms 102: 1-21, Luke 15: 11-32, and the single chapter Book of Susanna from the Apocrypha. I think the most text we covered in a single class was the four chapter Book of Jonah. Continue reading “Commentary: Reading the Bible as Literature”

Review: Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration

The Snarker appears upset at the omission of discussion of the recently released, church produced film, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, so I thought I’d appease him. The bloggernacle will no doubt provide better commentaries on the film from people who know their history better than I, so I will leave the details of the historicity of the film aside. Instead, I am interested in the aesthetics of the film. Continue reading “Review: Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration”

Commentary: 2005 AML Writer’s Conference

I attended the 2005 Association for Mormon Letters Writer’s Conference, which was held Saturday at Westminster College in Salt Lake. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend half of it because, for some reason, the conference was scheduled on the same day as the single biggest event in the state of Utah ““ the BYU vs. Utah football game. I imagine it wasn’t much of a conflict for most of the conference’s audience, but it had to be for some. I’m not sure that it was due to the game, or whether the speakers, location, or other factors played in, but I did notice that total attendance was way down from the last time I went, two years ago in Provo. Those not in attendance missed out because the half day that I was there for was really good. A few comments on the sessions I attended: Continue reading “Commentary: 2005 AML Writer’s Conference”

Review: Banner of Heaven

Disclaimer: It is not my desire to bring any of the many piles of refuse from the fall of Banner of Heaven within the pristine walls of A Motley Vision. If you want to read or comment on the ethics of the situation, you can do so here. (Or here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, or here.) Continue reading “Review: Banner of Heaven”

Review: The Work and the Glory: American Zion

The primary problem in dealing with a film like The Work and the Glory: American Zion is its episodic nature. Kind of like the second of The Lord of the Rings, American Zion has neither a real beginning nor a real end. After quick introduction to the characters and back-story, the film begins with the marriages of Nathan and Joshua Steed and ends with all narrative and thematic threads up in the air. Though its episodic form is understandable, I still think some temporary closure could have been brought to the some of the storylines, at least so that it felt more like a movie than an episode of a soap opera. Overall, though, I do think it’s a better product than its predecessor. Continue reading “Review: The Work and the Glory: American Zion”

Idea: In the wake of The Work and the Glory.

The world of historical fiction seems to be alive and thriving in the LDS community, but I’d be interested in seeing the sales figures for all these series. Are they actually selling that well, or are publishers just putting them out in hopes of hitting the same popularity jackpot snagged by The Work and the Glory series? Whatever the case, historical fiction currently makes up an astoundingly large share of the LDS fiction market. Continue reading “Idea: In the wake of The Work and the Glory.”