Archives for December 25, 2008

And to all a good night.

A Christmas Carol by G.K. ChestertonThe Christ-child lay on Mary's lap, His hair was like a light. (O weary, weary were the world, But here is all aright.)The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast His hair was like a star. (O stern and cunning are the kings, But here the true hearts are.)The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart, His hair was like a fire. (O weary, weary is the world, But here the world's desire.)The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee, His hair was like a … [Read more...]

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

A review by Jeffrey Overstreet· Portraits of Suffering: Reflections on Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves a review by Jeffrey Overstreet PARENTAL NOTE:  Caution. "Dancer in the Dark" is rated PG-13, but the intensity of the violence and the suffering of the central character should have earned it an R. "Breaking the Waves" has much strong language, sexual subject matter, and violence onscreen, and is rated R.   NEITHER FILM IS SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. HIGH-RISK HEROINES Dancer in the … [Read more...]

The Departed (2006)

You might be a cop. You might be an undercover agent. You might be a crime kingpin, or a sexy psychiatrist. No matter who you are, it's like the Bob Dylan song says... "You gotta serve somebody."In The Departed, Martin Scorsese's hyper-violent remake of the Honk Kong crime classic Infernal Affairs, everybody has secrets, agendas, and a willingness to pull the trigger. And underneath their carefully composed disguises, all of them are devoted to the service of somebody-either a criminal, a … [Read more...]

The Devil Came on Horseback (2007)

A review by Jeffrey Overstreet · Directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern Directors of photography - Jerry Risius, Phil Cox, Tim Hetherington, William Rexer II, Anne Sundberg and John Keith Wasson Editor - Joey Grossfield Music - Paul Brill Producer - Anne Sundberg, Ricki Stern, Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, Ira Lechner, and Eileen Haag and Cristina Ljungberg International Film Circuit. 85 minutes. This film is not rated. ·We've seen a lot of American heroes saunter across the big screen w … [Read more...]

Distant (2004)

A review by Jeffrey Overstreet, originally published in The Other Journal, April 2005.·Writer, producer, director, director of photography - Nuri Bilge Ceylan.Editor - Eyhan Ergursel and Nuri Bilge Ceylan.Art director - Erbu Ceylan.Released by New Yorker Films.110 minutes. Unrated. In Turkish, with English subtitles.STARRING: Muzaffer Ozdemir (Mahmut), Mehmet Emin Toprak (Yusef), Zuhal Gencer Erkaya (Nazan), Nazan Kirilmis (Lover), Feridun Koc (Janitor), Fatma Ceylan (Mother) and … [Read more...]

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

Perhaps you think this photo is funny.And it is, in an "Oh, I feel sorry for that guy" kind of way.But would you think it was funny if the joke went on and on, at the expense of the fat girl? Would you think it was funny if that poor young man collapsed with her on top of him, so that his face became stuck in her crotch?If you think that's funny, then this, I'm sorry to say, is the movie for you.I'm convinced that the guys who made Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story are not the … [Read more...]

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) – A conversation with Scott Derrickson

An interview and commentary by Jeffrey Overstreet, originally published in SPU's Response magazine. • Do You Believe in Demons? In "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," a Christian filmmaker challenges audiences to face the horror of the devil. Do you believe that people today can be possessed by demons?That's a question you might not want to toss out during the family dinner, or on the bus with strangers. Most Christians would not hesitate to say they believe in spiritual warfare, but when it comes t … [Read more...]

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

[This first draft of this review was published at The Phantom Tollbooth on January 5, 2002. It was soon revised and re-published at Looking Closer.]Merry Christmas, readers and moviegoers.It would be good, in these days of frenzied merchandising, to remember the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, which he included in a letter to his son Michael in 1962: … [Read more...]