The Arts & Faith community, which I have been part of for over a decade now, released its fourth Top 25 list today — and the theme this time is “Divine Comedies”. Before the vote, there was some debate as to what this term even means, and after the vote, there was some debate about the results and whether they were diverse enough, etc. But you can get a sense of what the list is all about by reading this introductory essay by my friend Steven D. Greydanus. As before, with our list on films about marriage, I wrote two of the blurbs: one on my second-favorite film of all time, The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), from which the picture above comes; and another on one of my favorite Jesus movies, Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979).
My initial reaction to the film version of The Da Vinci Code was almost one of relief. The film was a dud, a complete bore, and most critics, secular and otherwise, seemed to think so, too. Perhaps, I thought, this movie would bring the whole phenomenon to an untimely end.
But in the days since, I have come to think that the film, in some ways, constitutes an even worse offence against the Church than the Dan Brown novel on which it was based.
THE PATRIOT pretends to be a noble historical epic, but it is, in truth, a B-grade revenge thriller. Despite the versatile, charismatic presence of Mel Gibson — who was paid a record $25 million to star in this film — there is no getting around the utterly formulaic script (by Saving Private Ryan’s Robert Rodat) and the stodgy direction (by Roland Emmerich, whose credits include more honestly junky fare like Independence Day and Godzilla).