Vintage Chrisicisms: Reopening the ‘Cloverfield’ mystery box

Eight years later, “Cloverfield’s” biggest legacy might be its trailer. That’s an odd thing to say for a movie that brought in a healthy $80 million at the box office and was one of the first hits for JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, let alone that one that has a pseudo-sequel coming out this week. But admit it, what “Cloverfield” is best known for is its trailer. And it is a great trailer. It shows just enough to let us… Read more

“It’s My Favorite” talks childhood adventure, and we talk the future of this blog

Hello everyone! First off, I’m happy to announce that the podcast I co-host with two friends, “It’s My Favorite,” just dropped its monthly movie club episode. It’s a great listen if you’re interested in hearing about movies where kids take on a whole host of aliens, Army guys and, um, Falcor. This blog is really one of the highlights of my month, mostly because it gives me a chance to get together with friends and talk about pop culture, movies… Read more

Bread and wine

I’ve taken communion hundreds of times since I first grabbed a stale cracker and thimbleful of grape juice from an usher at the age of six. I’ve taken it by candlelight with family on Christmas Eve and with friends at a wedding. I’ve served it to a stranger during summer camp. I’ve eaten the bread in our youth center while learning about Passover, and I’ve sipped the cup while running the soundboard during Sunday service. I’ve dipped bread in a… Read more

‘Fuller House’ is inexcusable in the age of great family sitcoms

After 20 years away, it looks like the Tanners aren’t going anywhere soon. This week, Netflix announced that it had renewed “Fuller House,” the revival of popular ABC sitcom “Full House,” for a second season. Netflix famously doesn’t release its viewership statistics, but it’s safe to assume that fans of the original series turned out in large numbers for the return of the San Francisco clan. I understand the excitement. I was a fan of the show when I was a kid,… Read more

New ‘Ghostbusters’ trailer brings something strange to your neighborhood

One of the highlights of 2015 for me (with the exception of my daughter’s birth, of course) was spending 20 minutes on the phone with Ernie Hudson talking “Ghostbusters.” Hudson, who hails from the Detroit area and even attended my alma mater, was in town to introduce some local screenings of the movie during Halloween weekend. As we talked about his time on set and his memories of the film, one thought kept going through my brain: Oh my gosh, I’m… Read more

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

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