Are Satanists using ‘The Witch’ to start a cinematic holy war?

I haven't seen "The Witch,"  Robert Eggers' upcoming horror film. I heard all about it several years ago when it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and impressed critics with its shocking visuals and eerie presence.Now, it appears as if it's also inspiring more than just reviewers. From a press release:Beginning February 10 in New York City, The Satanic Temple (TST) will launch premiere screenings of the highly ­anticipated historical horror film, T​he Witch,​amid interactive performan … [Read more...]

My essentials: My 10 Favorite TV Shows

Welcome back to week two in a series I'm calling "My Essentials." As I continue this adventure at Patheos, I feel it's best if you know some more of my likes and the things that inspire me when writing about art and faith. Last week, we talked about my 20 favorite movies . This week, we're going to cut that number back and talk about a different medium, but one that grows increasingly exciting with every new month.For years, TV had a stigma attached to it. It was an also-ran to movies. Film … [Read more...]

“Groundhog Day,” Ecclesiastes and the many faces of Bill Murray

As I alluded to earlier, I had some minor outpatient surgery yesterday, and I've spent the past two days laid up on the couch. It hasn't been horrible —the surgery went quickly, and while I'm a bit achy and sore, there's no excruciating pain. Plus, I was given the doctor's blessing to lay around watching movies all day. I caught up on some good ones. Given all my thoughts about the Coen Brothers recently, I binged on a few of their films. I rewatched "A Serious Man" and "No Country For Old Men," … [Read more...]

Listen to me talk about the Coens on ‘Far From Hollywood’!

Hello everyone!I'm currently mending from some minor elective surgery, and laid up on the couch with some Blu-Rays, DVDs and books. I actually think I might publish a separate entry this week about what I watched, but for right now this is about as deep of a post as you're getting until the pain meds wear off :-)One of my favorite hobbies I picked up over the past year is podcasting. I currently co-host two podcasts: a pop culture one called "It's My Favorite" and a film-centric one … [Read more...]

Mad Max — Crashes and compassion on the Fury Road

The continuation of our discussion about this year's best picture nominees.    Mad Max: Fury Road Nominations: 10 (Best picture, director, cinematography, editing, production design, costume design, makeup and hairstyling,sound mixing, sound editing, and visual effects) NOTE: SPOILERS FOR MAD MAX: FURY ROAD I'll start by posing the same question that's been running through my mind ever since I walked out of the press screening for "Mad Max: Fury Road" last May: Can you believe this movie ex … [Read more...]

Weekend Read: Movies and mourning, Netflix, and ‘Hamilton’

First, thank you all for the comments, shares and support during my first week at Patheos! When I moved my blog over here, I hoped that in time I might generate an audience, but I've been extremely encouraged to see just how much of a response these first few posts have gotten.It was a busy first week; I can't remember the last time I posted blog entries for five straight days. But it's been fun to get such a running start, and it's been a ton of fun. I can't promise that there will be new … [Read more...]

The Revenant — A frozen doughnut

We're officially less than a month away from the Oscars. And while there's definitely controversy this year that must be addressed, I find that I'm still excited for a month of talking about movies. So over the next few weeks, I'm going to take some time to talk about each of the nominees for Best Picture.  As a reminder, the nominees are: The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Room, The Big Short and Brooklyn. The Revenant Nominations: 12 (Picture, di … [Read more...]

He-Man, Simpsons and things the church banned

When it was announced last week that McG would direct a film adaptation of the beloved '80s cartoon "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe," my reaction was fairly muted.Part of the reason for that is that I'm almost 40; I'd be worried if I was overly excited about yet another cartoon from my childhood being resurrected. My 4-year-old son has recently discovered the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- which I was obsessed with as a kid -- and I often find myself laughing about how stupid that … [Read more...]

My Essentials: My 20 Favorite Films

It’s long been cliché for a critic to lament that lists are meaningless, but I think they may have some benefits. Ranking “bests” might be silly, but I think knowing a person’s favorites gives us insight into who they are and helps establish a sort of “critic DNA” for the reviewers you follow. Plus, I really like to make lists.So as we start this journey, I thought the best way to help you know a bit more about my tastes and outlooks would be to spend a few weeks listing some of my favorites. … [Read more...]

The church must pay attention to the Oscars’ diversity problem

It's old news by now that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a diversity problem. The pasty-white nominations for this year's Oscar ceremony have been the non-blizzard, non-Trump talk of the nation for the past few weeks. Will Smith and Spike Lee are boycotting the ceremony, Chris Rock is rewriting his monologue, and the Academy has announced changes to begin righting this wrong.I've been party to many conversations recently where people can't grasp why an all-white field of … [Read more...]