Collateral (2004)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.•Why do big screen killers seem so glamorous? It's not the filmmaker's fault, necessarily. We're flawed and foolish people, drawn to power, to independence, to the illusion that we can be gods unto ourselves and keep our hands, hair, suits, and consciences clean.The villain in Collateral is as devilish a man as we've seen onscreen in a while. He's almost irresistible, always ready with a rationalization, and quick to turn a … [Read more...]

Is Jim Ca-Jesus… Superman?

UPDATE 8/31 : Ain't It Cool now says Mark Millar's story is 100% FALSE.UPDATE 8/30: Warner Brothers is not yet confirming that Millar's report. But Barbara Nicolosi, prophetess, talked about this a while ago in her blog. To read some crazy responses to the idea, click here...Original story:Mea culpa. Nicolosi's rumor looks like it was probably correct after all. I'm in a state of shock.Can't you see the slogan?"This time... Caviezel gets to FIGHT BACK."Mark Millar … [Read more...]

Patty Griffin, Rachel Yamagata… Music page updates!

I've added a review of Patty Griffin's new album Impossible Dream to the Looking Closer music page, along with a few comments on new albums by Rachel Yamagata and Snow Patrol.And no, I haven't forgotten that I promised an in-depth review of Wilco's A Ghost is Born. That review's taking longer than most; it's a complicated album. But it will be there. Soon, I hope. … [Read more...]

Mean Creek – Harsh, Harrowing, Truthful

I've seen Mean Creek twice now, and it improves with a second viewing. It's much more complex, truthful, and intriguing than I thought on the first go round. … [Read more...]

“Just Right.”

Her blog entries are rare, but Jessica Poundstone's entries at Utopia Parkway are usually gems that I can't wait to share with others. Today's is no exception: In a story on a new planet European astronomers discovered…"However, there is the tantalising question as to whether it lies within the "Goldilocks Zone" -- a distance from its star that is not too hot, not too cold, just right." Meanwhile, my friend and co-worker Margaret Smith, author of Holy Struggle (a profound work of poetry a … [Read more...]

We Don’t Live Here Anymore – a powerful downer

Director John Curran’s We Don’t Live Here Anymore is a hard-hitting, raw, Wages-of-Sin tale, powerfully acted by a first-rate cast, featuring Mark Ruffalo (Collateral), Laura Dern (Jurassic Park), Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive), and Peter Krause (TV’s Six Feet Under). The story, which formed through the union of two short stories by Andre Dubus, shows us in gory detail a very simple lesson: If you're married and have kids, it's a really bad idea to sleep with your best friend's spouse.For some vi … [Read more...]

Memoirs of a Geisha Gets a Dream-Team Cast

Steven Spielberg has given up on directing an adaptation of the exquisite bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha, now that he's busy with what is reportedly the most expensive film in history ... War of the Worlds.But the movie's moving forward anyway, and now Rob Marshall (Chicago) is in charge. That probably means it'll be colorful, but does Marshall have the subtlety and poetry necessary to make this anything other than a broad-stroke, commerical opera? (No, I don't mean that literally... it's … [Read more...]

Decent Films is Angry with Benji!

What new "family movie" movie offers a caution to viewers because of "a depiction of an abusive household including references to wife beating and child abuse; depiction of cruelty to animals..."? … [Read more...]

Trailer of the Moment: Wes Anderson’s Bill Murray film

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is the strangest title of the year.It also has one of the most promising trailers. … [Read more...]

Whoever you’re voting for… Will Ferrell is a funny man.

And here he is, reprising one of his greatest roles, as our Commander-in-Chief, with a special message for all Americans. … [Read more...]


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