J.R.R. Tolkien Killed a Beatles Lord of the Rings Movie

Can you imagine a Lord of the Rings movie starring the Beatles and directed by Stanley Kubrick? No? Well, neither could J.R.R. Tolkien: Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man [Read More…]

The Real ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Wasn’t in Texas, Didn’t Involve a Chainsaw, and Wasn’t a Massacre

Film critic J.C. Maçek III examines the urban legend behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the real story of it’s inspiration, Ed Gein: Although Gein is sometimes referred to as a “serial killer”, he was only ever proven to have killed two people (his crimes were more of the “grave robbing” sort), there is absolutely no evidence [Read More…]

Snow is the New Noir

The white of ice can be as powerful a filmmaking tool as shadow, says Ian Buckwalter. Classic film noirs used their dark settings as direct reflections of their subject matter, as well as to create the sense of their heroes getting lost. They tapped into our natural fears of the dark in the same way [Read More…]

What Postmodern Ninja-Messiah Figures Fight For

The Catholic literary journal Dappled Things has an interesting interview with the critically-acclaimed science fiction writer (and Catholic convert from atheism) John C. Wright: Where films depart from the rules of objective moral order, they become merely silly. For example, there is a simply absurd scene in the thirdMatrix movie (I forget the name—Matrix Revisited? Matrix Rehashed? Matrix Regurgitated? Something like [Read More…]

Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films?

I’m a sucker for movies, lists, and religious discussions. So when Arts & Faith started compiling lists of Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films in 2004, my interest was naturally piqued. (They’ve put the list out a few other times but this seems to be the best version.) After seeing the list, though, I was left with a vague sense [Read More…]

50 Memorable (But Obscure) Movie Quotes

“Great movie quotes become part of our cultural vocabulary,” said American Film Institute director Jean Picker Firstenberg as he unveiled AFI’S 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes: America’s Greatest Quips, Comebacks and Catchphrases. The AFI list is as comprehensive as it is dull; a mix of the classic (“Here’s looking at you, kid.”), the banal (“I feel [Read More…]

110 Overrated/Underrated Films

“That movie was totally overrated. Now if you want to see a really worthwhile flick you should see . . . ” Because self-serious film buffs (like me) say this type of thing all the time so I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to actually list 55 of the most overrated and 55 of the [Read More…]

Why Indiana Jones Was Denied Tenure

Indiana Jones may be the greatest adventurer of all time, but as a professor he fails to impress the tenure committee at Marshall College: Demonstrates suitable experience and expertise in chosen field: The committee concurred that Dr. Jones does seem to possess a nearly superhuman breadth of linguistic knowledge and an uncanny familiarity with the [Read More…]

If Ayn Rand Wrote the Left Behind Novels

In his synopsis and review of the new film Atlas Shrugged: Part II, Anthony Sacramone finds the key to understanding Ayn Rand’s creation: As things go from bad to worse, people begin vanishing. Not just any people. The Elect. First there was the aforementioned Wyatt. Then a brilliant concert pianist. Then a partner of Rearden’s, [Read More…]

Reflections on the Revolution in Gotham: Of Burke and Batman

Sean Beienburg argues that The Dark Knight Rises reflects director Christopher Nolan’s Burkean sensibilities: Less apparent than the striking images are these skeptical, quintessentially British political mores that the Nolan brothers—despite Jonah’s American accent—have infused into their trilogy. Critic Devin Faraci writes that Nolan embraces the “central thesis that institutions will fail us again and again… But [Read More…]