Theme as the Organizing Idea of a Movie

Somebody asked me why I am always harping on bad movies in terms of theme. The querier challenged me to write what I mean by theme. Is it okay if I write what Aristotle means by theme? _____________________________________________________ In The Poetics, Aristotle lists “Theme” as the third most crucial element to a dramatic story. Confusion [Read More…]

“Man of Steel” – Movie of Slop

Directed by Zack Syder; Written by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan; Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner (and lots more under-utilized talents); Rated PG-13 for “destruction” and language. Man of Steel is an excruciatingly long and loud sloppy mess of a story. The big question for the Christian critics/pastors/leaders/scholars [Read More…]

Why You Don’t “Care About the Characters”

(My business partner at Catharsis, Vicki Peterson, and I, are working on a book of salient points about visual storytelling. I spent most of today writing about character. Here’s a tease for the upcoming sure to be classic, “Little Gems”…) One of the most frequent notes that gets bandied about in Hollywood about a bad [Read More…]

Bearing Patiently with Longmire (for now)

Longmire (A&E) Exec producer Hunt Baldwin, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, and Katee Sackhoff I admit it. I only started watching this show last season because I was a ridiculously obsessive fan of Battlestar Galactica (2003), and particularly the Starbuck character played so memorably by Katee Sackhoff, and Katee has a supporting [Read More…]

Not About Movies

I have a long piece up over on the Catholic side of Patheos. It’s about the sad state of catechesis in the Church today. Here’s a snip… “Who can name the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?” It was Pentecost, and our pastor was walking up and down the middle aisle with a goofy grin and [Read More…]

’42’ Makes You Believe in Racists

42 – Written and Directed by Brian Helgeland; Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. Rated PG-13 for a few curses and probably the 82763 uses of the N-word. I can’t really say the new movie 42 is about Jackie Robinson. The movie never really gets into the heart and soul of the man. There is [Read More…]

See Barb in Houston!

See Barb speak! I am very honored to be giving the annual Lee Lecture at the Univ of St. Thomas in Houston, TX next Wednesday evening. I will be doing the latest version of my presentation called “Breaking Out of the Christian Sub-Culture.” If you live in the area, do consider coming out. [Read more…]

Hollywood Taking on the Church’s Problem With Sexual Abuse

Nikki Finke is reporting that there is a new movie in the works at Dreamworks and Participant on the Boston priest sex abuse thing. Life rights have been acquired to the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight Team” of reporters and editors, including then-Globe editor Marty Baron, special projects editor Ben Bradlee Jr., Spotlight Team editor Walter “Robby” [Read More…]

Why I Am a Catholic in 200 Words or Less

Patheos asked. So….. I am a Catholic because I have had several undeniable experiences of God usually while I was praying in front of the Eucharist. I have also had several terrifying experiences of a dark, intelligent presence that was so full of hate that it would have eaten me and all of us long [Read More…]

Why All the Fuss?

A protestant friend shared with me yesterday that she was riveted by this conclave. She said, “I’m not Catholic. Why do you think I care?” I think the answer is that, regardless of religious denomination, we are corporately suffering in the early 21st Century from a leaderless world. And it is scary to us because, [Read More…]