'Spider-Man' Swings With Amazing Effects And Action

"With great power comes great responsibility" was the memorable quote from Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man in 2002, which helped propel a film franchise into the box-office stratosphere and launched a plethora of comic book blockbusters.

Arriving only five years after Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man doesn't feature a similar memorable quote, but it's probably safe to say this about Sony's reboot of the Marvel Comics' superhero: "With great special effects and action plus strong character development comes great response at the box office."

Independent filmmaker Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) takes over for Raimi and a Brit who's never been in an action movie before (Andrew Garfield, The Social Network) takes the reins from Tobey Maguire as the wisecracking, web-swinging teenager Peter Parker. Also, blond-haired Gwen Stacy (Garfield's real-life girlfriend, Emma Stone, The Help) is Spidey's love interest—not the fiery red-head Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst).

Webb's film makes deliberate departures from Raimi's original, focusing heavily on the hero's high-school life as a skateboard-riding outsider and expanding on Peter's quest to understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His search puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner whose evil alter-ego, the Lizard, becomes Spider-Man's nemesis. read more

Brother White

Pure Flix Entertainment

David A.R. White stars in the fish-out-of water comedy Brother White as an associate pastor at a wealthy California megachurch who finds himself the pastor of a poor inner-city church in Atlanta. Though neither White’s family nor his new congregation are enthusiastic about this move, everyone quickly learns that their superficial differences pale in comparison to the enormous task of saving the church. And though faced with a life-changing dilemma, the pastor discovers the true meaning and value of ministry and family. 

The cast includes Victoria Jackson (Saturday Night Live) as White’s wife and Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters) and Jackée (Sister, Sister) as parishioners who show the new minister the ropes while providing the movie’s comic relief. Though the film’s story suffers from predictability, its takeaway message includes a refreshing, biblically centered view of ministry—even while dealing with issues both serious (e.g., parenting rebellious children) and comical (e.g., showy, entertainment-driven churches). As an added bonus, gospel singer BeBe Winans makes a guest musical appearance on what is overall an enjoyable family flick. —Felicia Abraham read more

Amish Grace

Lifetime Movie Network | Starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Tammy Blanchard, Matt Letscher

TV movie Amish Grace is a story of forgiveness based on true events from Nickel Mines, Penn. On Oct. 6, 2006, a serene Amish community was rocked to its core when a man entered a schoolhouse and took 10 girls hostage. He started shooting and then killed himself. Five of the girls died. read more


Robbie Seay Band | Sparrow Records

The Robbie Seay Band's new release, Miracle, is based on what God is doing in lives at Ecclesia Church Houston, where the band serves weekly. Seay leads the vocals with his recognizable, raspy voice, and this collection offers songs that express authentically the gamut of emotions that are real in everyday life. read more


Luminate | Sparrow Records

Luminate have been together since 2005 and are ready to release their self-titled debut. First there were two: Sam Hancock and Dusty Jakubik. They met at the Visible School Music and Worship Arts College in Memphis, then decided to form a band together and moved to Tyler, Texas, home to Jakubik. Cody Clark, a friend of his, joined the duo, and eventually Dustin DeLong and Aaron Mathew completed the group. read more

Me in Motion

Me in Motion | Centricity Music

Life took a big turn for Seth Mosley after high school. He was all set to study music in Nashville, Tenn., but when he was offered a production job in Ohio, he jumped at the chance. But the long days of working made him realize he is an artist at heart. read more


Andy Croft and Mike Pilavachi | David C. Cook | softcover | 224 pages | $12.99

In Storylines: Your Map to Understanding the Bible, popular international speaker, author and founder of the Soul Survivor youth ministry organization, Mike Pilavachi joins the up-and-coming author Andy Croft to discover Christ in the Old and New Testaments. The introduction sets a lighthearted tone that continues throughout this powerful Bible study. read more

Forget Me Not

Vicki Hinze | Multnomah Books | softcover | 352 pages | $13.99

Forget Me Not is a riveting suspense novel that is intriguing from beginning to end. It is filled with drama, hidden agendas and a budding romance.

After his wife and son are murdered, Benjamin Brandt loses his faith and gives up on life. But when an amnesiac woman wearing a necklace resembling one his late wife wore walks into his crisis center, Ben sets out to solve a mystery. read more

The Blind Side - Win a DVD!

Warner Home Video | Starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron | Rated PG

Seems most people by now have seen The Blind Side or at least heard that Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy. But if you haven't, here's a recap.

The film tells the story of how a homeless African-American teen comes to live with a white, Christian family. When Leigh Anne Tuohy discovers that Michael Oher, a student at her children's school, doesn't have a place to stay, she takes him home. read more

Marvin Sapp: 'Here I Am'

Marvin Sapp has a unique ability to reach people. He likes to say that God has called him to preach and he happens to sing. He is senior pastor of Lifehouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., and he continually reaches out to his community, but also ministers to people with his gospel music. His eighth album, Here I Am, has a crystal-clear message, he says.

"Our focus and our goal is to make sure people are encouraged and uplifted through our music. ... This particular CD ... pushes people to think differently, to look at things differently ... about who they are as individuals and ... about who they are as people in general, as the saints in the body of Christ."

Sapp also wants people to find solace through these songs. "His Hand's on You" reminds us that God is always with us no matter what situation we are facing. "Don't Count Me Out," Sapp says, is his testimony and was inspired by the life of David. read more

Her Mother's Hope

By Francine Rivers | Tyndale House Publishers

Best-selling author Francine Rivers delivers another captivating novel with Her Mother's Hope, her first full-length work since 2003. Main character Marta, born and reared in Switzerland by a controlling father and a placid mother, rejects the poor and miserly life she sees ahead of her.Working her way up through jobs in various cities, she eventually meets her husband-to-be, Niclas. Terminally ambitious, the two move to California, where they raise their four children. read more

The Map

By David Murrow | Thomas Nelson

David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church, outlines a man's spiritual growth guide in The Map: The Way of All Great Men. The map is a metaphor for how Jesus' ministry is highlighted in the Gospel of Matthew.

The first third of the book recounts the international treasure-hunting intrigue that supposedly led Murrow to the figurative ?map.? The author then reveals the story is fiction, but mines it for examples and illustrations. read more

The Gospel According to Matthew

Nest Family Entertainment | Starring Bruce Marchiano

Bruce Marchiano portrayed Jesus in the 1995 film The Gospel According to Matthew. In the word-for-word account, he showed Jesus in a light that many viewers were not accustomed to. "This is a Jesus who smiles, laughs and rolls up His sleeves to work and play with those He loves," Marchiano said of his portrayal in a 1995 Charisma cover story. read more

Adie: 'Just You and Me'

Three years ago Adie released her debut album, Don't Wait. With her sophomore release, Just You and Me, she offers a collection of worshipful songs that she says is more "organic and raw."

"This year I'm truly learning what it is to seek the Lord with all my heart and sitting at His feet without things being a distraction to me, hence the title of the album, Just You and Me," Adie says. "I want to grow so much more and learn what it is to really worship Him in Spirit and truth."

Adie, who is married to singer Jeremy Camp, shares her thoughts on life, motherhood and her new album. (Click here to purchase Just You and Me.)

Q: How was recording Just You and Me different from your debut, Don't Wait?

A: It's been about three years since I recorded Don't Wait; I feel like I've grown so much since then. I think the Lord has settled my heart a ton but also given me lots of direction in my life. read more

Pieces of a Real Heart

By Sanctus Real | Sparrow Records

Many listeners have already connected with the single "Forgiven" from Sanctus Real's fifth album, Pieces of a Real Heart. The band streamed this song on their Web site and asked fans to share stories of forgiveness. Sanctus Real was surprised by the response as hundreds of people from around the world sent in their stories. read more

Everything Is Different Now

By Stellar Kart | INO Records

Stellar Kart changed things up a bit for their fourth album, Everything Is Different Now. They deliver the punk, pop-rock music they're known for, but this album is more worshipful. read more

That Was Then This Is Now

By Chasen | INO Records

Chasen trumpets the true essence of God's nature in their new release, That Was Then This Is Now, out today. The CD is replete with themes of love, redemption, grace and compassion that are designed to draw listeners into authentic worship. read more

Catalyst Music Project

By Catalyst | INO Records

If there ever was an album for the body of Christ it's the Catalyst Music Project. Catalyst, a leadership organization, set up a songwriting contest and more than 300 worship leaders submitted 750 songs, representing more than 500 churches. The album features 12 of the contest songs from contributors such as Rod Attaway, Scotty Willbanks, Jeremiah Jones, Phil Wickham, Laura Story, Heather Williams, Fee and many others. read more

Passion: Awakening

By Passion | sixsteprecords

Releasing today, Passion: Awakening from sixsteprecords features leading worship artists Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Hillsong United, David Crowder Band and others on a dozen tracks of emotion-charged anthems recorded live. Eight of the songs are new, first-time releases. read more

Alice in Wonderland

Walt Disney Pictures | Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry | Rated PG

Sometimes a filmmaker finds the perfect story to match his or her particular talents, and I can't think of a better match in recent memory than Tim Burton making Alice in Wonderland.

Lewis Carroll's two Wonderland novels combined an imaginative, fantastic children's world with a somewhat creepy undertone of insanity, and Burton is known for his visually stunning style that combines creativity and creepiness. read more


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