Wrestling with Death: The Next Big Thing in Reality TV


If you aren’t watching Wrestling with Death, you 100% should be. Wrestling with Death chronicles the life of LaFonce Latham and his family as they run a funeral home while also running a professional wrestling promotion in Osceola, AR. You see what they did there with the name of the Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 4 (Shameless Plug Week!)


My sincerest apologies for the delay on this post – my real job that actually pays me money got in the way. Don’t worry, I have found a way to prevent this from happening in the future. I set up a Kickstarter page that opens every Monday, so you Read more

"Birdman" takes lead in Best Picture Battle


This weekend produced two guild stunners that shook up the Oscar race in a big way. We all thought after Best Picture wins from many critics groups and the Golden Globes, “Boyhood” would easily stroll its way to victory. Or so we thought. The Producers and Actors guilds had different plans, Read more

The Bachelor 2015: Episode 3 (Costco is for Lovers)


Alternate Titles: Chris kissed me and all I got was this lousy t-shirt; or, Jillian's little black box; or, Big time players make big time plays, and in this case the big time player is Jade. Dear Friends Who Watched Farmer Chris Kiss Everyone on Television Last Night, I must confess Read more

Fatherhood, Faith, and Film


My son, John (Jack) Joseph Williams III, was born on October 10, 2014. If you visit my social media page or run into me, it's clear how much I love Jack. And most times, you'll find me quickly veering away from my usual favorite topics of discussion (politics, film, Read more

My Problem with Maroon 5’s New Video for “Sugar”


Earlier this week, Maroon 5 released their video for Sugar, a catchy, hook-filled, bubble-gum pop of a song. Just to clarify, no shame here, I think it’s pretty good. Whatever. The video shows Adam Levine and the boys crashing weddings and playing the song at the receptions. They have their Read more

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Selma

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

Selma Movie (2)

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Selma (**** out of 4) is ultimately about the hard sacrifices made by ordinary Americans “in order to form [this] more perfect union” mentioned in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. This sometimes means breaking unjust laws to establish justice or insuring domestic tranquility by disturbing the peace. Our nation’s history and the history of humanity in general is filled with such paradoxes in order to ensure the general welfare of our nation and other civilizations do not leave behind oppressed minorities who have historically been discriminated against and denied equal dignity. The blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity have not always been extended to everyone.

When I taught U.S. History and U.S. Government in a diverse high school, my favorite topics to teach were the causes of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. These topics allowed me to build from foundational knowledge and push my students’ thinking to new levels. One of my favorite activities was dissecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail and discussing non-violent protest with my students, pointing out how restrained and strategic agitation could successfully bring white moderates into the fold, forcing politicians to take action. But my favorite question to pose to my students was this: Would you be willing to be spit on, beat up, called numerous vulgar names, and not respond with any violence or hatred in return? If you knew your name wouldn’t be in the history books, would you still be willing to sacrifice your dignity temporarily so that dignity could be recognized by law and fact for yourself and your posterity?

Throughout my history classes, I tried to demythologize the legends from our own history. I tried to teach Lincoln, MLK, and others as the flawed humans they were so that my students could truly appreciate the obstacles they faced, sacrifices they made, brilliance they displayed, and history God gave them the opportunity to shape. I wanted them to know that these men and women were no different from them and that these eras in history required men, women, and children whose names we’ll never know.

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Sneak Preview: Favorite Films of 2014 So Far

Posted on by Clayton Martin in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

Birdman_movie

Every year I rank my favorite films of the previous year in January or February. You can find past editions in our archives, including the 2012 edition when I ranked my top 50 movies of the year. Like I said then, and will reiterate now, I need to get a life. This year I want to share my work-in-progress list early and make sure some of these films that deserve your attention get it before award season. I still have a lot I want to/plan to watch (plus some films that haven’t even come out yet).

The order is very much subject to change but here are my current standings (plus a tweet-length review): Read more

Movie Review: Interstellar

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | 2 Comments

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On September 12, 1962, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave a speech at Rice University setting the United States of America’s Space Race goals for the 1960s.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

I wish we didn’t live in the cynical world we live in. I’m perfectly willing to admit, as my wife reminds me often, that I can be too optimistic for my own good at times. Matthew McConaughey’s character is similarly ridiculed as too optimistic and too much of a dreamer in Christopher Nolan’s latest epic cinematic adventure (and first since the conclusion of his Dark Knight trilogy). But the world where he farms and raises his children is Nolan’s vision of what could result if our cynical world devolves to its natural conclusion.

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Movie Review: Gone Girl

Posted on by Clayton Martin in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

Gone-Girl-Ben-Affleck

Disclaimer: First off, THERE ARE NO SPOILERS OF ANY KIND IN THIS REVIEW – I simply wanted to share the very basics of what I thought you needed to know about the film. I feel it’s necessary to begin this brief review by first stating that this film is very graphic in just about every way possible. It’s also very dark and very twisted. Not in like a “there’s a scene you wouldn’t want to watch with your family” way, but in a “there are a LOT of scenes you probably wouldn’t want to watch with your family” way. Jeremy Wilson, I’m talking to you. Do not see this movie with your family. Definitely see it, just not with your family. Everyone else… use your own judgment accordingly.
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Elvis Week Spotlight: New That’s The Way It Is and Viva Las Vegas Digibooks

Posted on by Clayton Martin in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

Elvis- That's The Way It IsWith this year’s Elvis Week kicking off a week from today on August 9 – August 17, The Wise Guise wanted to shine some light on a timely new product from Warner Bros. in the form of an Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition Blu-ray Premium Digibook. You can own it on Blu-ray on August 12 and can be found online here.

The good folks at Warner Bros. were kind enough to send me a copy of this new Blu-ray in addition to the Viva Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Premium Digibook pictured below. Read more

Film Review – “Neighbors”

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

rogen_efron_byrn_neighbors

“Neighbors” has been a bit of an enigma heading into release. When the promotion of a film is centered on Zac Efron taking his shirt off in multiple media appearances, your expectations for high quality may be watered down a tad. And given the fact Seth Rogen’s cinematic record is spotty at best, it’s fair to see why there would be a healthy dose of skepticism for his latest outing. Read more