About Anthony Weber

Anthony graduated from Cedarville University in 1995 with a degree in English Education, and from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana in 2004 with a Master's Degree in Theology and Philosophy. Anthony is a husband and father of three, an author ("Learning to Jump Again"), high school and college teacher, pastor, blogger (tcapologetics.org, empiresandmangers.blogspot.com), and co-founder of etcetera, a "street-level philosophy group" in Traverse City, Michigan.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Comics is on a roll. Guardians of the Galaxy opened with a stunning $94 million dollar weekend, breaking the previous Guardians-of-the-Galaxy2August record for a movie opening. In spite of bewilderment within the entertainment industry leading up to its release (there was in interesting discussion about this on Rotten Tomatoes’ podcast), critics and audiences have been giving it well-deserved reviews.

It’s funny, surprisingly moving at time, and loaded with great special effects. It’s not perfect (it’s got some crude language, and the scope and severity of the violence was minimized and at times too light-hearted), but as far as summer blockbusters go, it’s very good. I was certainly entertained. I was equally challenged by a thought-provoking scene near the end of the movie.

When Peter Quill, aka Starlord, realizes that he finally has a chance to stop running from hardship and do something truly noble, he tells the other soon-to-be guardians of the galaxy what he has in mind. Rocket soberly summarizes what is painfully clear to all of them: “You’re asking us to die.” [Read more...]

HBO’s True Detective: Touching the Darkness

“Matthew Coniglio’s Georgia home held a trove of child pornography, more than 50,000 images and videos stored true-detective-poster-540x390on laptops, external hard drives and thumb drives. Among the stash, hidden in a bedside table turned around to conceal the doors, authorities made an even more horrifying discovery: 56 8-millimeter cassette tapes they say show him raping and molesting girls. All were unconscious, apparently drugged, FBI Special Agent William Kirkconnell, who viewed the tapes, told The Associated Press. Some were so incapacitated they were snoring. The camera was always turned off before they awoke.”  - “Stash of child porn belonging to alleged Georgia pedophile reveals more victims,” New York Daily News

I read this two days after I finished watching Season One of the immensely popular True Detective (it broke HBO’s previous rating record, and HBO GO crashed when when too many users logged in to use the streaming service). If you’ve seen the show, this news story sounds eerily familiar. There are monsters among us. It’s not a pleasant thought. If you are looking for a fictional story to help you come to grips with that kind of horror in the world around us, True Detective will do just that. [Read more...]

Days of Future Past: Do Our Choices Matter?

“So many battles waged over the years… and yet, none like this. Are we destined to destroy each other, or can we change each other and unite? Is the future truly set?” – Charles Xavier

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a story about free will and human nature. It’s many other things as well – an excellently craftedofficial-poster-x-men-days-of-future-past-2014-movie-wallpapers-1024x640 movie, an equal rights parable, a commentary on human atrocities, a discussion starter about evolution – but the latest installment in this thought-provoking franchise is perhaps the most cerebral of them all.

As he considers the carnage of the Mutant/Human war, Xavier wonders, “Are we destined to destroy each other? Or can we change who we are?” The Mutants have found a way to jump a few days into the past and avoid small catastrophes, but changing single events cannot alter the larger arc of stubbornly insistent history. All seems lost; both the characters and the conflict are succumbing to the chaos. Bryan Singer noted in an interview:

“[Days of Future Past] confronts the notions of hope and second chances. It’s characters that are lost trying to find themselves. In X-Men one and two, the characters had come into their own and knew who they were. In this one, they’re all lost. And they’re trying to keep it together.”

[Read more...]

All You Need Is Kill/ Edge Of Tomorrow

All You Need Is Kill, Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s widely praised breakthrough novel, was nominated for Japan’s Seiun Awards,img000001 published in Japanese and English, and adapted to manga beginning this past January. Warner Bros. is bringing it to a theater near you on June 6 as Edge of Tomorrow, featuring Tom Cruise as yet another unlikely Japanese warrior (for more info, see The Last Samurai – or maybe not).

In Sakurazaka’s imaginative literary world, the United Defense Force has been fighting Mimics, a nightmarish advance force sent by a race that wants to remake the earth into a habitat in which they can live. That means humanity has to die.

Keiji, a rookie warrior, sustains a horrible injury in his first battle. Rita Vratiski, a virtual goddess of destruction reverentially known as the Full Metal B****, finds him as he bleeds out. He manages to ask her if this is the end. ”Yeah, “ she tells him, “But I’ll stay with you until you die.” And die he does. [Read more...]

Who Are We? Personal Identity and The Walking Dead

The Season Four finale of The Walking Dead attracted 15.7million viewers, 10.2 million of whom were in the 18-49 imagesdemographic, shattering the previous records  (the Game of Thrones season finale garned 5.4 million; Duck Dynasty reached 6 million; Breaking Bad’s Season Four finale recorded just under 2 million, and the final show of the entire series hit 10.3 million).

 In other words, The Walking Dead is a cultural phenomenon. A lot of people are turned off by the gore (and it’s certainly gruesome), but The Walking Dead offers a gold mine of philosophical, moral, religious, and cultural talking points. I’ve written elsewhere about these issues (see links at the end). What caught my attention at the end of Season Four was the way in which Carl brought up one of the most important questions of all.

Michonne, Rick, and Carl are walking toward Terminus, a fabled place of sanctuary and rest in the midst of the apocalypse. As they get closer, Carl asks, “Will we tell them what we did?” Rick responds, “We’ll tell them who we are.” And Carl asks the right question in response: “Who are we?” [Read more...]