Archives for 2016

Thank you, Jim Henson

Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending...It was 2009. I was just turning 30 and, as I watched those final moments to "The Muppet Movie," tears were streaming down my face.It had been years since I'd seen the Muppets' first cinematic foray; decades, even. I don't even know what made me decide to revisit it on the cusp of turning 30. I think that, at the behest of some coworkers, I'd recently rented "The Muppet Show" on DVD and rediscovered the fondness … [Read more...]

Why I don’t need a black and white “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Well, it's happening. After months of rumor and speculation, we're getting a black and white version of "Mad Max: Fury Road." It will be coming out in December in a DVD set that also can include the entire series on Blu-Ray for $80 (four films for that price is pretty good). Director George Miller had been hinting that this version existed for awhile, so it was really just a question of "when," not "if."I’m a huge fan of “Fury Road.” I've seen it several times, and it was my favorite film of … [Read more...]

Is the Internet the Antichrist?

When my dad bought our first computer with a modem and America Online shortly after Christmas in 1998, my life changed forever. I was in my second year of college, and I'd only used the internet a few times. I acclimated quickly. While my family was at a gathering on New Year's Day, I spent eight hours online, meeting new friends in chat rooms and on Instant Messenger, devouring movie news, and marveling at my ability to communicate with people from around the world from our living room. I was … [Read more...]

The Monthly Catch: Harry Potter, Sing Street, Kubo and more

I can't believe we're September already (sorry, this is coming a day late). It's been a fast summer, and it feels like it was just yesterday that I was gearing up for Memorial Day weekend. Now we're prepping for Labor Day, the start of school and cooler weather. It's been a busy month, both on the blog and in my personal life. But there's still a lot I read and watched that I wasn't able to write about, so here is your annual roundup of what I was loving during the past four weeks!  … [Read more...]

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Review: Don’t Breathe

"Don't Breathe" is a late summer surprise, a superbly crafted genre piece thick with suspense and light on mercy. It's best seen in a packed theater, with a crowd that screams and laughs as director Fede Alvarez doesn't so much play them like a piano as beat them like a drum.Set in Detroit, the film is about three friends trying to fund their escape from the city through burglary. One is the son of an alarm company worker and they steal the codes to enter the homes, careful to only take p … [Read more...]

The BBC 100 Greatest Films list presents a learning opportunity

I love lists.I know that's not the critically correct thing to say — most critics go to great pains to say how much they hate compiling lists and how ranking art is futile, even as they regularly churn out their own best-of lists each year. And, of course, they're right. Ranking art as "best" is silly. In any given year, there are great comedies, moving dramas, superb genre pieces and whimsical animated experiments. How do you determine which of those has more value than the other?But "b … [Read more...]

Jesus VR, the Ark Encounter and fetishizing authenticity

Next month, visitors to the Venice Film Festival will have the opportunity to view the life of Christ like never before: in 360 degree virtual reality, just as God intended."Jesus VR" is a virtual reality film depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in 360°, crystal-clear video and sound. The 90-minute film will be available just in time for Christmas — for those wealthy enough to own a VR system — but a 40-minute clip will be available to film festival audiences in September. The … [Read more...]

5 Great Ideas for “God’s Not Dead 3”

If you've read this site for awhile, you're likely aware that, despite my interest in films about faith, the "God's Not Dead" films and I are not on the best terms. I called the first movie dangerous and offensive. And while I thought this year's "God's Not Dead 2" was a tad gentler, it still didn't work for me.But there was  improvement! And maybe, I thought, the series could continue to get better over future films. Alas, despite a post-credit tease that hinted at a third entry, the next st … [Read more...]

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Review: “Pete’s Dragon”

"Pete's Dragon" returns wonder to family movies.Director David Lowery's remake of the 1977 Disney musical ditches the songs and slapstick and spins a gentle tale of friendship, family, healing and faith.  Told with beauty and charm, it's one of the best family films in a year filled with great ones, and a reminder that Disney knows the key to effective remakes — hiring directors who can find a story's soul.Lowery relocates the tale from a Maine fishing seaport to a lumber town in the Pac … [Read more...]

“Film Nerd 2.0” promises a movie education for parents and kids

Back when I started this blog, I created a list of some of my favorite critics. Top of that list was Drew McWeeny, who writes the Motion Captured blog for HitFix. I've been following Drew's writing since his Ain't It Cool News days, and he is one of the critics I most trust. I don't always agree with his opinions — although, more often than not, we share sensibilities — but I always understand where he's coming from. And as I said in that original piece, I think he weaves his personal life into h … [Read more...]