Archives for July 2005

Today’s Specials: Overstreet on Hiatus! And More…

I've been away for a couple of days, preparing for my presentation at Seattle Pacific University University's UR (University Relations) Staff Retreat.The retreat was yesterday, and I had the incredible privilege of talking to about 75 SPU staff members about my history as a moviegoer, the development of Looking Closer; the changing dialogue within Christian communities on the subject of film, Christian liberty, and conscience; the different ways in which we watch and should watch movies; the … [Read more...]

Specials: Leary on Dynamite; Brothers Quay + Gilliam; V for Vendetta; The Island

Today's specials:Michael Leary on Napoleon Dynamite.Twitch scoops an intriguing collaboration between The Brothers Quay and Terry Gilliam. Wow. Sounds promising indeed. Go here for news and stills.The trailer for Natalie Portman's new film with the makers of The Matrix: V for Vendetta.What did I say about The Island being built out of parts stolen from other movies? … [Read more...]

Too Bad a Tsunami Didn’t Destroy "The Island"

"We're about to fall 70 stories!" "Don't worry. We'll walk away from it."There are a few spoilers in the following thoughts on Michael Bay's new movie. So, if you really want to spend your hard-earned money on this massive waste of time, space, and other resources, you may want to turn back now.I would use the word "obscene" to describe Michael Bay's The Island... for the way that its story is made up almost entirely of ideas stolen from other, far better science fiction movies; … [Read more...]

J. Robert Parks Raves about "The World"

J. Robert Parks says he's found one of the best films of the year. A few days ago, my friend Garth asked what I was reviewing this week, and I replied "The World." He was confused at first, and I hastened to add "The World" was the film's name. "That's a pretty broad title," Garth joked. It is, and yet I'm not sure I could think of a better one.The movie stars Zhao Tao as a young woman named Tao who works at the World Theme Park. The park is an actual (and bizarre) tourist attraction in … [Read more...]

Is it really Paul Thomas Anderson directing "Prairie Home Companion"?

Robert Altman is, officially, the director of the big screen version of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.But reports from the set, according to MNSpeak, suggest otherwise. Apparently, Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch-drunk Love, Magnolia) is shouldering a good deal of responsibility. MNSpeak says, "the producers of the film probably insisted that Altman commit to a "backup" director because of his age ... and some say [Anderson is] basically running daily production of the film. [...] … [Read more...]

I’ve Got a Golden Ticket to Narnia!

Woo hoo!!! I've just been informed that I have the enormous privilege of covering The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for Christianity Today.And since I'm enormously skeptical about the whole affair, rather than a blindly loyal "Narniac" who's already calling the film a "classic" before seeing it, I hope I will give it a fair shake for all of you.The season of the witch can't come soon enough.... … [Read more...]

My thoughts on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

After reading some early negative reviews, I was pleasantly surprised by Tim Burton's latest.It's becoming more and more clear that Burton, despite his fetish for the phantasmagoric, is not so much a storyteller as a stylist. And Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gives him a big, bold framework across which he can drape his latest outrageous decorations.It's a challenge to take a story about people who do little more than tour a building and turn it into something consistently entertaining. … [Read more...]

The Dilithium Crystals have Shattered. Mr. Scott is dead.

James Doohan is dead. Long live Scotty. … [Read more...]

"ET 2, Barrymore?

Peter Chattaway somehow came across some Google news stories about Drew Barrymore and Steven Spielberg discussing a sequel to E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial that would focus on a grown-up Gertie.I'll be shocked if it happens, and disappointed. E.T. is a perfectly complete story. It doesn't need a sequel. Spielberg's a much different person now, and I'm not sure he can write a story that takes place in that world anymore.I'm guessing this merely represents Barrymore trying to find something … [Read more...]

"Secular, Sacred … or both?"

Kate Bowman has me cheering for her new commentary at Christianity Today: "Secular, Sacred ... or Both?"Great stuff. … [Read more...]