HARDLY A LION, DEFINITELY SECOND-HAND The new film Secondhand Lions was written and directed by Tim McCanlies (The Iron Giant, Dancer Texas; Pop 101). I liked The Iron Giant, and Dancer was surprisingly good, but this film suffers from the problem of having one (non-genius) person write and direct. There are story problems here that [Read More…]


SEABISCUIT: A GOOD MOVIE BY A NOSE… Seabiscuit is a good film – particularly for those peope who say they don’t go to the movies anymore because, “it’s all garbage.” This is a film which – except for two or three profanities – has no garbage. It is good storytelling about a group of beings [Read More…]


IT’S JUST A QUESTION OF WHICH DISTRIBUTOR… From yesterdays Variety: Interest is heating up for Mel Gibson’s controversial Aramaic and Latin-language pic The Passion. A number of distributors — Newmarket, Paramount Classics, Sony Classics and Lions Gate, among them — are talking to Icon Prods.’ Bruce Davey and ICM chairman Jeff Berg about a possible [Read More…]


…so funny…I thought when we first went out, we were really goin’ somewhere…but this is it– we’re just goin’, huh? (from Bonnie and Clyde, 1967) [Read more…]


UNIVERSAL CALL TO…ARTISTRY The notion that the arts are optional is absurd in the same way that the suggestion that making choices could be optional for human beings. We are constituted as a kind of being that chooses and a kind of being that decorates. Both things set us apart and define us. The Pope [Read More…]


A TALE OF TWO PRIORITIES Too many people think that the arts are optional. Especially in the Church. Especially in rectories…. sigh. Story… A couple of years ago I was running the liturgy at my parish somewhere here in L.A. We had one overworked priest and half of our people were “undocumented aliens.” Very poor [Read More…]


PRAISING NEMO FROM KOREA I’m in Korea until Tuesday, and after that will actually be home in Los Angeles for nearly a month, so blogging should get back to some kind of regularity. Meanwhile, did I mention that I’m in Korea? Love it here. People are just wonderful, food is fabulous and social (you have [Read More…]


“I left Kit in the parlor and went for a stroll outside the house. The day was quiet and serene, but I didn’t notice, for I was deep in thought, and not even thinking about how to slip off. The world was like a faraway planet to which I could never return… I thought what [Read More…]


REALITY TV: JUNK FOOD FOR THE SOUL My latest on Catholic Exchange… A few words are missing which is curious. But the idea is still there. I actually think this is one of the best things I’ve ever written. Feel free to concur. [Read more…]


LIGHTS, CAMERA, MARXISM! There was an article in Last Sunday’s L.A. Times that is garnering a lot of buzz here in Hollywood. Written by David Weddle, the piece lambasts film theory programs in many universities as being (in Roger Ebert’s words), “a cruel hoax for students, essentially the academic equivalent of a New Age cult, [Read More…]


“So that was Mrs. Lundegaard in there? And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than money, you know. Don’t you know that? And here you are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well, [Read More…]


REVIEW: DISNEY’S PIRATES STAYS AFLOAT Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is much better than I expected. In an industry in which movies that have “swords and sandals” are generally panned, this film keeps its head above water with both a good story and one outstanding performance by the exceedingly talented Johnny [Read More…]


BLOGGING PROSPECTUS AND LIFE SINCE THE PASSION We are just at the end of our first week of the Act One 2003 summer program. We have thirty-one wonderful new students and a really packed schedule which doesn’t let up until August 2. I won’t have a whole lot of time to blog while the program [Read More…]


T-3: SETTING UP AHNOLD, T-4, AND THE AUDIENCE Terminator 3 would be better titled, “Acts One and Two of Terminator Three.” The film isn’t bad, it’s just all set up for the next film. Action in the first hour could easily have been condensed into about half the time. The studio clearly didn’t want to [Read More…]