Episode Eight: Red State and Godzilla

SSKREEEEOOOONK! Welcome to episode eight of “Checking the Gate: a Film and Religion Podcast” in which we look at Kevin Smith’s latest effort “Red State” and the amazing monster movie “Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah,: Giant Monsters All Out Attack!” A heartfelt thank you goes out to Kyle Yount of the “Kaijucast” for giving us a plug on his show. For all those “Kaijucast” listeners joining us, the GMK review starts at around the 18 minute mark. Here are some of the things we mentioned in this episode.

Red State

Beard Cutting

Toho Kingdom GMK Review


Jizo Bodhisattva

Eight-Headed Millennium Dragon

I was going to put a link to the Phelps website because it pertains to “Red State”, but after visiting it while researching this episode, I found the whole thing too repulsive to ever suggest that anyone else submit themselves to such appalling hatred. I felt sick just looking at it.

Next time Mike and I will scrutinize the classic “Indiana Jones” trilogy along with the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” in the TV Corner. (By the way, we recorded our episode at about the same time that the Kaijucast recorded their November 29th episode, and it is totally by coincidence that we make the same “Crystal Skull” joke.) So whether you celebrate a religious holiday or not, we hope you all have a safe and happy season, and we will talk to you again in the new year!

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Episode Seven: Book of Eli

Hello faithful listeners!  Mike and I had a lot of fun recording this episode, and we hope you enjoy listening to it just as much.  We review the 2010 movie ‘Book of Eli” and the 1989-1993 series “Quantum Leap.”  What would it be like to live in a world with no religion?  Denzel Washington finds out that it is not the way John Lennon imagined it.  We discuss the merits of this film and its comment on religion, as well as the various adventures of Dr. Sam Beckett in the TV Corner.

The Book of Eli

Quantum Leap

The Myth of Religious Violence

Next time we will be examining two movies.  The first is the new Kevin Smith movie “Red State” (which Mike and I had the rare occasion to view together).  The second is simply titled “Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack!”  Both have strong religious or spiritual themes – yes, even the Godzilla movie – so fire up your DVD player over Thanksgiving.  From now on, all episodes will be released on the first Friday of every month.  Enjoy our thoughts this month and come back on December 2 for more!

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Episode Six: Easy A

Salutations, and sorry for the late release of Episode Six of Checking the Gate: A Film and Religion Podcast.   Starting up a new job and grad school has interfered with my podcast editing.  This was so much easier when I was unemployed!   So now you have it, hope you enjoy our review of “Easy A” and our examination of Firefly’s Shepherd Book. Here are some links to satiate any lingering curiosity you may have.

Next time will feature an all out return to the sci-fi genre as we turn our attention to “The Book of Eli” and, in the TV Corner, “Quantum Leap.”  “The Book of Eli” is available on Blu-Ray and DVD, while “Quantum Leap” can be seen on DVD or free online at Hulu:

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Episode Five: Doubt

Hello loyal listeners! In this episode of Checking the Gate: A Film and Religion Podcast we take a serious look at the provocative and relevant movie “Doubt.” While we chose this movie in an effort to avoid getting a reputation of focusing totally on the sci-fi genre, we do have a segment in the beginning of the episode that helps to defend our take on the film and religion subject so far. In the TV Corner we revert back to our old ways and evaluate an episode of “Babylon 5.” Here is a link to excepts of the Pope’s letter which we refer to in the show,

BBC News – Pope Benedict apologises for Irish priests' sex abuse (sic)

and if you want to watch the video we play at the beginning, you can do so here:

Religious People Are Nerds – CollegeHumor Video

Next time we will look at the film “Easy A” and the TV series “Firefly,” specifically the character of Shepherd Book. Remember, you can always send us an email at ctgpodcast@yahoo.com, Facebook us at Checking the Gate Podcast, and Twitter us @CTGPodcast.

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Episode Four: Dune

Salutations, loyal listeners!  Sorry about the delay in July’s episode (as it is already August); grown up stuff got in the way of fun stuff but here we are again.  Our thoughts on “Dune” and “Futurama” appear somewhere in between our riotous laughter, but we promise those thoughts are profound. So put on your stillsuits Fremen style and get ready for Episode Four of the Checking the Gate Podcast. To begin, we have a follow-up to our “Thor” episode and some thoughts from a follower of the Asatru religion, that is, the religion that worships the Norse gods.  Special thanks go to Mark Ludwig Stinson.

Remember, if you want to contact us with your own thoughts, send us an email at ctgpodcast@yahoo.com, Facebook us at Checking the Gate Podcast, and Twitter us @CTGPodcast.  Next month’s episode will focus on the award winning movie “Doubt,” starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis.  Our TV Corner will be on one episode of the show “Babylon 5” entitled “Passing Through Gethsemane.”  Both are available on DVD from Blockbuster, Netflix, Amazon, or your local library.


Temple of our Heathen Gods

Linda Hunt on CNBC.com

Dune-Behind the Scenes

Flying Space Underwear

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Episode Three: Superman Super-Special

Hello faithful listeners! Episode three of our humble podcast is the Superman Super-Special. We look at the Christ-like imagery as it is seen in the movie “Superman Returns” and the television show “Smallville” and try to determine if it is an artistic or commercial decision on the part of the film makers. Here are some of the articles referenced during the podcast for your own study.

Some view new Superman as Christ Figure

Clark Kent is Jesus Christ Superman

God in a Cape?

Next time we will be looking at the David Lynch movie “Dune” starring Kyle MacLachlan, Sean Young, and Sting. Our TV Corner will look at a few selected episodes of “Futurama” in honor of its return this month to Comedy Central. Please leave any comments or complaints for us at ctgpodcast@yahoo.com. Remember this next episode will be up at the end of July. Until then, keep the faith and peace out!

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Episode Two: Thor!

Greetings, true believers! I’m stealing Stan Lee’s trademark salutation because in our second episode, Mike and I are going two on one against the mighty movie “Thor.” In this podcast, we praise the work of this movie’s director, Kenneth Branagh, and ponder if this movie is as offensive to modern day heathens as “The Last Temptation of Christ” is to Christian fundamentalists. On the TV corner, we lament the loss of our favorite show “V” starring Joel Gretsch as our favorite Catholic priest, Father Jack Landry. If you like what you hear or if you disagree with every word we say, please let us know at ctgpodcast@yahoo.com.

Here are links to some of the books we mentioned:
Norse Mythology: The Religion of Our Forefathers
Norse Mythology: A-Z

The next podcast will be another two weeks from now, and that brings us back to our regular monthly schedule. On that show we will be looking at “Superman Returns” and then “Smallville” in the TV corner. It’s a Superman Super-Special! Until then, keep the faith and peace out!

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Episode One: Avatar

Greetings! You are one of the lucky few who have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada. Just Kidding! Actually, you get to hear the much more epic, Checking the Gate: A Film and Religion Podcast: Episode One! In our premier podcast, we play beach ball on Pandora and try to discern any hidden meaning in the biggest blockbuster of all time, Avatar. After that we have our TV Corner in which we finish our discussion on “Doctor Who”; you can find the first part of this on our preview episode.

Along the way we mention a few things, which we promised to put in the show notes. So, here are links where you can find Screening the Sacred, Religion and Film, and Film and Religion. You can find the CNN article we mentioned here. Avatar is available on DVD and Blu-Ray in two different versions, the original and the special extended editions.

Next month, we look at the movie Thor, which is still in movie theaters. Go see it and in two weeks we will have episode two available. We plan to make this a monthly podcast but to get started we will give you a double dose! Mike and I will also discuss the recently canceled “V” in the TV Corner. Thanks for listening and enjoy our first episode!

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