Sunday Recap: Religiosity Edition

• The week in reviews:"Seriously, it looks like someone filmed dress rehearsal and the studios sent it off to the printers in hopes of soaking a few more dollars out of Jon Heder before his 15 minutes ran out. Unfortunately, it looks like they were too late." "And, I guess — given what The Guardian had going against it at the outset — that I was a bit surprised that I didn’t actually loathe it; indeed, it’s a typical, glossy, mainstream, more-than-adequate piece of entertainment, even if it has absolutely nothing original or marginally interesting to say (though the hooey-filled ending may leave you gagging for the better part of the night.)" "Montiel has trimmed away all the flourishes that would have set his story apart from the thousands of other coming-of-age tales we’ve seen before, and the resulting film is a wobbly mix of youthful verve and grown-up posturing." "While the film is an illuminating look into a growing niche of hard-line faith, it’s also a jaw-dropping and often sad look at the kids caught in the middle. It is, for lack of a better word, unsettling." • It's good that someone else sees through for Mitch Albom's phony act. Seriously, I was forced to read Tuesdays With Hurry Up and Die Already when I was a sophomore at the oft-referenced but never specifically mentioned private religious university I attended in the Texas desert, and my anger at having to slog through that pabulum was only matched by my extreme disappointment that the college of biblical studies was the one responsible for distributing that crap. (It was a class required for graduation, and I spent 16 weeks listening to bucktoothed classmates expound on the allegorical similarites between Jesus and Forrest Gump, which was easily among the most damaging things that's ever happened to my faith.) • Granted, it's nothing new for Time to ask really loaded questions in their features and ramble on for a few thousand words without actually getting anywhere, but still, this is an interesting read. Osteen, Hagee, et al.: dangerous. • Man, this takes me back. You should also know that this guy went to prom with Grace. Gotta respect that: