Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

 If you’re a big fan of CCM (Contemporary Christian Music), which I’m not, you may readily recognize the song behind this movie. So far it is the best-selling single in Christian music of all time. You may even have some knowledge of Bart Millard’s story and the true events that shaped his life and inspired him to write the song “I Can Only Imagine.” Though I had heard the song, I knew nothing about Bart’s story when I watched the movie. This was probably an advantage because I had no idea how the story would unfold. The movie explores a very familiar theme: forgiveness. Bart grew up listening to Amy Grant and other CCM artists, whose music helped him escape the reality of an abusive father. We see Bart’s dad burn Bart’s homemade helmet. Later, we hear his parents arguing. Bart lies in bed and braces himself when his bedroom door…

Read more

Review: The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson

Review: The Way I See It by Melissa Anderson

https://amzn.to/2N9Wr85 I enjoyed this memoir by Melissa Anderson (Melissa Sue or Mary on Little House on the Prairie). It is decently written, and she does a fine job describing how she got on the cast of Little House and what the overall experience was like to be on a popular TV show like that. She matter-of-factly shares some fun behind-the-scenes stories that are entertaining and reveal more about the cast and life on set. She also traces her career and mentions other projects she worked on over the years, though mostly she talks about Little House. I’ve not followed her career beyond Little House and wasn’t really interested in anything beyond that. A few things jumped out at me that I particularly liked: She doesn’t glorify her past indiscretions and sexual exploits, if she even experienced them. Her book is a contrast to Melissa Gilbert Prairie Tale, which spends too…

Read more

Review: H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

Review: H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

Earlier this year the History Channel featured a much-hyped and rather gruesome series called American Ripper. The series speculated that H. H. Holmes, whom some have dubbed “America’s first serial killer” (which isn’t true, by the way), was also Jack the Ripper. If you’ve watched my blog, you might have seen my candid review of the flawed TV series. After watching the series, I recalled my delight in reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (one of my favorite authors, by the way). Soon I noticed Adam Selzer’s book (Adam was featured as a consultant in American Ripper), and after reading snippets, I decided to purchase it for my Kindle. What a great read! If you’ve read The Devil in the White City, you’ll find this book to be not only supplemental but even more comprehensive in exploring Holmes and his history and character. Selzer often plumbs the depths…

Read more

American Ripper Heavy on Gore but Light on Proof

American Ripper Heavy on Gore but Light on Proof

The year 1888 was busy in the annals of crime. While Jack the Ripper preyed on prostitutes in London, H. H. Holmes oversaw the construction of a large hotel/office building designed with unique amenities. It included hidden rooms, doors literally going nowhere, an airtight vault, and a chute going all the way to a basement crematorium. By the time of his execution in 1896, H. H. Holmes, Chicago serial killer at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair, had reportedly murdered more than twenty people. The History Channel series American Ripper gives us the H. H. Holmes treatment but with a twist.  The premise is that H. H. Holmes was also Jack the Ripper. Jeff Mudgett, Holmes’s great-great grandson is determined to prove his ancestor was the notorious Jack and partners with Amaryllis Fox, a former CIA operative, to hunt down the proof. First-Rate Production First, the positive. This production is top notch when it comes…

Read more