The month of Christian movies

It appears that “Risen” was just the beginning. Two weeks after the Joseph Fiennes historical drama hit theaters (and has raked in more than $20 million so far), Christianity will be hitting the box office big time. While faith-based films have begun making more of an appearance since the success of “God’s Not Dead,” I can’t remember seeing so many films about Christ or Christianity releasing so closely together. Whether a major release, a one-time event or a television special, it… Read more

Spotlight: Oscar gets it right

I was prepared to go home crabby. Early in last night’s Oscar telecast, it looked like the impossible might happen. “Mad Max: Fury Road” swept nearly all of the technical categories, upsetting critically beloved — but thematically hollow — “The Revenant” in all tech categories except for cinematography. When the Oscar went to “Mad Max” for editing, I perked up. Was it possible that this genre film — the fourth film in a series spanning four decades — could actually walk away with the… Read more

The Road to Easter: Godspell

When I was a high school freshman, I scored a bit part in our fall play. I don’t remember much about the actual production itself, but I do remember hanging around backstage with the rest of the cast in between scenes. I was the only freshman in the play, so I was excited to be around older students for the first time. And many of them were hard-core drama geeks, with hopes of moving on to Broadway or Hollywood after… Read more

The decision point for American Christianity

I know you come to this site looking for movie news and reviews. And 90% of the time, that’s what I want to give you. But I believe our thoughts on film and entertainment are shaped by our culture, and a good student of film will have other interests. We’re at a crucial time in our nation right now; a time that is scaring me. And I couldn’t leave these thoughts bottled up inside.  I had a thought last night… Read more

Why I love the Oscars

Wow. We’re at Oscar weekend already. I thought about doing an Oscar prediction post this year, but I’m horrible at making those (although if you want to hear me take a stab at it, you can listen to the latest episode of the “Far From Hollywood” podcast). And I also wanted to tackle each of the Best Picture nominees (I got as far as The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road), but I became so excited about writing some other… Read more

‘The Witch,’ ‘Risen’ and the problem with faith-based films

Last weekend, indie horror film “The Witch” debuted head-to-head against faith-based historical drama “Risen.” One film was a horrifying depiction of evil, the other an inspirational tale of faith. “The Witch” courted controversy by winning the endorsement of The Satanic Temple; the same day that endorsement was announced, Pope Francis met with “Risen” star Joseph Fiennes. It had, as I previously wrote, all the makings of a box office holy war. So in the end, with tickets tallied and opening weekend… Read more

The Road to Easter 2016: Jesus Christ Superstar

With “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” we looked at one of cinema’s most straightforward adaptations of the Christ story. With “Jesus Christ Superstar,” we come to one of the more unorthodox. Where Pasolini’s film was sparse and no-frills, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is frantic and loud, fueled by music from Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s popular rock opera. Those wanting a clear look at who Jesus was will likely walk away confused — the Christ on display here is… Read more

“It’s My Favorite” talks “X-Files,” “Hamilton,” OJ and more!

Hey everyone! For about the past year, I’ve had the great joy of co-hosting a pop culture podcast with two good friends. “It’s My Favorite” is a show where we banter about pop culture, life and our favorite things. We do two episodes a month and we just hit our one-year podcast anniversary! This is one of the highlights of my month, and I’m excited to share it with all of you! In our latest episode, we talk about the… Read more

Review: ‘Risen’ is a fresh take on the gospel story

“Risen” isn’t a movie that will change the world. It’s not going to take home an Oscar. It isn’t likely to win over skeptics or make much of a dent outside the community of people who already believe its story. But those who want to see their faith portrayed on screen with some sincerity and imagination could do worse. It’s not much of a pull quote, but it’s high praise in a world of wretched faith-based dramas like “War Room”… Read more

Review: ‘The Witch’ is terrifying and troubling

A masterpiece of tension and atmosphere, “The Witch” left me disturbed and unsettled; it’s not hyperbole to suggest that it rattled my soul. Not merely scary, it’s the rare horror movie that is legitimately horrifying. Whether that’s a compliment or a caution, I’m not sure. It’s probably both. Billed as a “New England folktale,” Robert Eggers’ directorial debut tells the story of a Puritan family cast out of their community after the father, William (Ralph Ineson), confronts the town elders… Read more