Archives for March 2007

Why is Will Ferrell Funny?

Slate takes on one of the most pressing, urgent questions that our society must address: Why is Will Ferrell funny? … [Read more...]

Reverence, awe, simplicity, prayer: Three amazing hours at the movies.

 Last night, I watched Into Great Silence.I'll be writing about it in detail soon, but I can tell you now: I doubt I'll see a more affecting, inspiring, convicting work this year.It opens in Seattle today. Go see it.Be prepared. It's almost three hours long, and it may feel more like five.... Get caffeinated.Take your friends. Plan to discuss it afterward... but maybe not immediately.It's not a story. It's an experience... a documentary that captures a way of life. … [Read more...]

Cormac McCarthy: Now an Oprah Author

Oprah just picked The Road.Wow. That's gutsy. The Road is a dark, dark, dark post-apocalyptic work, from all that I've read about it. (Check out Adam Walter's reaction.) … [Read more...]

Indiana Jones 4 is Getting Interesting

If you had told me early on that Indiana Jones 4 would star Cate Blanchett and Ray "Sexy Beast" Winstone, I would never have voiced my pleas to leave the trilogy to rest in peace. … [Read more...]

Film Forum: The Lives of Others, Reign Over Me, Pride, Shooter, TMNT, The Last Mimzy

By the beard of Zeus, it's... Looking Closer's Film Forum!REVIEW OF THE WEEK: Nothing makes me sit up and pay attention the way I do when a film critic I admire and respect publishes a review in stark disagreement with my own feelings about a particular film. A couple of weeks ago, I posted my admiration for The Lives of Others. This week, J. Robert Parks really, really disagrees. And it's the kind of review that stirs things up. It's the kind of review that makes me want to go back, see … [Read more...]

About “300”… A Clarification

I have been out of line in some of my statements in relation to 300. I wrote things that made it sound like I was condemning the film. And I made some people who really liked the film uncomfortable.That wasn't my intention. And I apologize for getting so worked up about it.As a critic, I should not judge films I haven't seen. That's unprofessional.Now, technically, I haven't judged it. I would, in fact, be delighted if I were to discover that the film was meaningful and … [Read more...]

One of My Favorite Clowns

A legendary figure from my high-school days ... Larry "Bud" Melman, a giant from the glory days of David Letterman ... has passed on. … [Read more...]

Opus on “300”, and More on Why I’m Not Getting in Line

I'm responding yet again about the movie 300 for this simple reason: I have been baited, again and again, into extremely violent or explicit films that proved to be empty... and worse, even abusive to audiences. I have been told, "You have got to see it!", and I've been promised that all of the graphic material was justified because of what it meant. "It's about fighting for freedom! It's about fighting for a higher cause!" Most of the time, I've regretted it. While a character or two might … [Read more...]

Film Forum: The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Premonition, I Think I Love My Wife

Great Odin's raven! It's... Looking Closer's Film Forum!The Wind That Shakes the Barley When the envelopes are torn open and the winners are breathlessly announced on Oscar night, most American moviegoers have already had plenty of opportunities to see the nominated features. But when the Cannes Film Festival crowns the winner of the Palme d’Or each year, only the fortunate festival attendees get to feel the excitement. It often takes months for the rest of the world, America included, t … [Read more...]

Lesson in Learning to Let Things Go #32 – The Faith and Film Critics Circle

On March 6, I stepped down from my role as the chairman of the Faith and Film Critics Circle.It was not a difficult decision: With all of the increasing demands on my time from the Through a Screen Darkly and Auralia's Colors projects, it became obvious to me that I didn't have the time or resources to be an effective leader for that particular endeavor anymore. I probably should have stepped down six months ago.As I look back at the annual list of films we've celebrated, I'm still … [Read more...]