White Rose Review
Loving Truth and Resisting Error
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Amazon Review: "Watching Movies, Watching Stories"
My Amazon review of my friend Troy Kinney's new book
Watching Movies, Watching Stories: An Interactive Guide for Engaging Culture Through Film
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Enlightening and Interactive Guide to Movies!
November 10, 2018
This is a fun and exciting book which repays huge dividends for its relatively
small size (about 150 pages). Here are a few items to consider:
1. It is truly interactive. The judicious use of QR codes throughout the book to give
examples from actual film clips is innovative. When Troy Kinney writes about
the various elements of film (lighting, sound, camera, editing, etc.) he then provides
a number of examples through the use of the QR codes. It's like having an expert
film reviewer show you the elements of film in actual time. I found this use of QR
to be effective and infectious--I kept turning the page wanting to see "just
2. Troy Kinney ably works through the basic grammar of film-making. His
discussions of camera angle, focus, and movement was educational. Again,
through the effective use of QR codes the reader is able to not only read
about these elements but to experience them. I particularly enjoyed the
discussion about the use of the camera in "Rocky" during the famous ascent
up the steps. There are actually two scenes in the movie with Rocky running
up the steps and the placement of the camera tells its own story...but you'll
have to read the book to get the full story!
3. Troy Kinney is always looking for integration in at least two areas. First,
although he analyzes the individual elements of film he is keen to keep his
eye (and our eye) on the final product--the whole story of any individual film
The importance of editing is discussed as well as the flow of the whole story.
Troy Kinney guides the reader in understanding the major kinds of allusions
found in many films and gives helpful counsel on how to watch for this element.
Second, Troy Kinney is a Christian and he seeks to provide an integrated Christian
worldview when watching films. From this perspective, he leads the reader into
discussions of "messianic" themes in various movies. Troy Kinney is able to
educate and inform so that Christian film-watchers can be confident in their
abilities to analyze films correctly and confidently. There is no need for the
fear that paralyzes much of contemporary Christianity when it comes to culture
and Troy Kinney is an able guide to movie-watching in this regard.
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