Pop Culture

Random Thoughts on Popular Culture: Books, Films, Comics, TV Shows, and Otherwise

“It’s Not about You!” : A Moral Lesson in Doctor Strange

Does Stephen Strange Grow into a Virtuous Person? Dr. Strange is another enjoyable entry in the Marvel Studios master plan. Of course, this film is another superhero adventure with the obligatory origin story. Familiar tropes fill the screen, with numerous parallels to another goatee-sporting narcissist (Tony Stark); though, here we trade technology for magic–yet the occult-inspired …

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Fear or Change? : The Message in Zootopia

Disney’s Zootopia is a masterpiece of quirky characters, thoughtful plot twists, and brilliant spectacle. Imagination abounds in the film’s portrait of a city containing multiple habitats and species living right next to each other. Otters, mice, polar bears, water buffalo, lions, sheep, and other animals all live and interact in a variety of spheres. I’m …

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Harold and the Ultimate Good: Ethics in Person of Interest’s Season 5

After the action-packed premiere (picking up with last season’s cliffhanger), the Person of Interest writing team take time for a more cerebral episode. Harold and company have risked their lives to carry the downsized Machine (literally trapped in a briefcase) to safety. At the end of the premiere, they had reconstructed the Machine in a make-shift …

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How Martin Luther King Saved Uhura: The ‘Escapist’ Power of Stories

I recently watched the documentary Trek Nation and learned Nichelle Nichols considered leaving Star Trek after the first season. During this pivotal time, she met Martin Luther King, Jr. and learned he and his wife numbered Star Trek among the very few shows they let their children watch. When he learned she was planning to leave the show, …

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An Environmentalist Message from Pixie Hollow: A Review of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast

After seven adventures (including the much shorter Pixie Hollow Games), who’s your favorite fairy? From the start, when I was drawn into this world for my daughter, mine has been Fawn. Since the previous films only hinted at the possibilities for her character, I was delighted to see the Disney team has finally turned the …

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Batman, Detective: Final Part

Working in the System: Truth, Justice, and Cooperation Fundamentally, the project of tracking and trapping these criminals is too great for Batman to complete alone. Despite his reputation and demeanor as a loner, Batman’s effort as detective is a communal one. Truth and justice need a social grounding. In addition, Batman sometimes makes mistakes and …

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Batman, Detective: Part 5

Villainous Games: Profiling & Confronting Criminal Distortions Since Holmes opposed Moriarty, several famous detectives have faced off against recurring villains, who view the committing of crimes as an elaborate game of wits with their opponent. Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, and a myriad of others have offered crimes as challenges to the Dark Knight. Early in his …

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