Doc HollywoodJesus in the Movies: A Complicated History
The media may have dubbed 2014 as “The Year of the Biblical Epic," but the good Lord has been in a lot of movies over the years.
Summa This, Summa ThatMusical Mediation for Holy Week
It’s time once again to embark on one of my longest-standing personal spiritual traditions: Finding some time during Holy Week to listen to J.S. Bach’s towering masterpiece, the Matthäus Passion. It grows progressively more difficult each year, because “some time” actually means 3+ hours. And Lent seems to fly by more rapidly each year. And [Read More...]
Sister Rose Movies“Small Change” Lenten Film Series 7th Episode – perfect for Holy Week
A small but loving gesture from one sibling to another brings hope to a struggling family.
Summa This, Summa ThatGesualdo’s “Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday”
The name “Tenebrae” — Latin for “shadows” or “darkness” – has been given because this Office is celebrated in the hours of darkness, formerly in the evening or just after midnight, now the early morning hours. There is an impressive ceremony, peculiar to this Office, which tends to perpetuate its name. There is placed in the [Read More...]
Sister Rose Movies“Heaven is for Real” is a compelling story, not a canned sermon
I am not a fan of the “Christian” movie genre when these films are more about teaching than storytelling and making sure audiences get “the message” rather than trusting them to use their own moral and religious imagination to savor the story. But sometimes they surprise me.
FilmChatReview: God’s Not Dead (dir. Harold Cronk, 2014)
The top-grossing evangelical movie ever made is a sloppily written, badly argued and unevenly acted bit of tribal chest-thumping. It's philosophy for people who are more interested in Duck Dynasty than in, say, Alvin Plantinga.
Schaeffer's GhostThe Merciful Railway Man
Eric Lomax’s story of Christ-like proportions.
Schaeffer's GhostDom Hemingway – the myth, the legend, and so on and so forth
A middle-aged, cockney-accented, safecracking bro.
Schaeffer's GhostCaptain America becomes a hero for the 21st century
Unoriginal, but relevant and plenty of fun.
Sister Rose Movies“Cesar Chavez” is a stirring biopic
“Cesar Chavez: An American Hero,” director Diego Luna’s latest production, is a moving biography of the late civil rights activist and labor organizer.
Schaeffer's GhostMuppets Most Wanted a True Friend
A lesson in not getting what you want.
Schaeffer's GhostWe Are All Divergent
The utopia of unity in diversity.
Geek Goes RogueGod’s Not Dead…But Films Like This Should Be (Part 2)
It’s official. God’s Not Dead, released by Pure Flix Entertainment, has been nothing short of a financial smash success, raking in over $8 million in its first three days. Opening in just 780 theaters nation-wide, the film made close to $3 million on its Friday release date alone, en route to cementing itself as the number [Read More...]
TinselReview: ‘Divergent’ Offers an Antidote to ‘Twilight’
As dark, dystopian teen drama romances go, this one is pretty good.
TinselInterview: A Religious Critic and Jason Bateman Discuss the Very R ‘Bad Words’
Jason Bateman's 'Bad Words' has much more than just bad words. It earns its R. So why is a faith-based blogger interested in hearing more?
Schaeffer's GhostVeronica Charms
How to make a movie out of a TV series, and do it right.
Schaeffer's GhostDriving Fast with Nowhere to Go
An entire movie based on driving fast and not getting caught.
Looking CloserGirl Rising: A Film About Horrors, But It’s Not a Horror Movie
“I’m told my mother burst into tears when she learned my sex. She set me aside in the dirt.” Amina was born in Afghanistan, but no one made a record of her birth date. Only boys are given that kind of attention. At 11 years old, she was “sold” by her parents as a wife [Read More...]
Sister Rose MoviesA Rising Tide of Silence – a gentle doc on Thomas Keating
“Thomas Keating: a Rising Tide of Silence” gently documents the life of Fr. Thomas Keating, integrating his personal history and spiritual journey in a compelling blend of interviews with him and his Cistercian brothers, footage of Keating’s talks at interreligious gatherings, interaction with people who come on retreat, and in one case, his visits to [Read More...]
Looking CloserThe Great Beauty (2013)
I've just seen "The Great Beauty" and I'm still a little bit drunk on its imagery. It's a feast for those with big appetites for beauty on the big screen. But alas, the meal is soured by a bitter syrup.
Looking CloserNow You Can Watch the Zany Adventure Movie That America Missed
Looking for an escape? Searching for an exciting, hilarious, fun adventure film for the whole family? I highly recommend Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Globe-trotting adventure, over-the-top comedy, extravagant costumes, Egyptian tomb-raiding, and a rampaging pterodactyl… this movie has all of that and more. And it just arrived on Netflix. Now, before [Read More...]
TinselReview: Oscar Nominee ‘Her’ and Its Sadly Small, Dehumanizing Version of Love
The Oscar contender is most interesting for the things it leaves out.
TinselReview: Spectacular ‘LEGO Movie’ Connects All the Right Pieces
Watch it once to laugh. Watch it again to think and wonder.
Looking CloserThe LEGO Movie (2014)
The LEGO Movie is, at once, a movie with more laughs-per-minute than any recent comedy I can remember; the greatest LEGO invention of all time; and a thrilling summons to unleash our own creativity — not only with our LEGOs, but with our lives.
Doc HollywoodPHILOMENA: Sincerity Amidst Cynicism
While much of the Oscar race has centered around 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, a much quieter (and more profound) picture slipped into theaters. Philomena is a modest, true-life story about a woman in search of her adopted child. It chronicles the horrific abuse doled out in the Magdalene laundries overseen by the Irish [Read More...]
Doc HollywoodHER: The Lure and Limits of iLove
We live in an era of profound possibilities and deep-seated anxieties. We believe the future is bright, but we’re scared of the present. We seek solace in our digital devices, embracing the virtual when the actual feels too weird, wild, and uncontrollable. We are hyper-connected and yet oddly isolated. As Louis C.K. has noted, “Everything [Read More...]
Schaeffer's GhostLone Survivor: The Good War
Brutal and difficult, this is one of the most surprising, and best, American war movies in a generation.
Schaeffer's GhostThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Our Understated Habit of Daydreaming
Big dreams in everyday life.
Schaeffer's GhostThe Wolf of Wall Street and the New American Dream
The land of opportunity gives way to the land of entitlement.
Schaeffer's GhostLlewyn Davis is Empty and Pointless
In case you didn’t know, these filmmakers are nihilists.
Schaeffer's GhostThe Hobbit: Second Verse, Better Than the First
A welcome return to Middle Earth.
Schaeffer's GhostMary Poppins and Saving Mr. Banks: On Loving Imperfect Fathers
What a beloved classic film and the Disneyfied history of its making can teach us about honoring imperfect fathers.