Happy 70th Birthday, Bob Dylan!

In honor of the king of American music, here is my review of I'm Not There, the great film by Todd Haynes about the life of Bob Dylan. … [Read more...]

Be Mindful: Beginners is Coming.

On Sunday, I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of shaking hands with filmmaker Mike Mills and actor Ewan McGregor, and sitting down with two other journalists (Sarah Fetters and Keith Simanton) to interview them about their new film Beginners, which also stars Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent. They were very good company, and I wish our 25 minutes had gone on for an hour. I had a lot of questions for them, because the film really inspired me. Beginners is a pleasant surprise. … [Read more...]

Filmwell Returns!

Over the last week, I've been thrilled to see Filmwell - the collaborative and strange film blog for adventurous cinephiles that I started with Michael Leary a couple of years ago - transplanted to a new home base at The Other Journal, an online magazine I've admired and enjoyed for a long time. I kicked things off with a "We're Back!" post, and a few notes on the new Kelly Reichardt film Meek's Cutoff. But I'm very excited about what happened at Filmwell today... … [Read more...]

Wait… Who Gets “Left Behind”?

My friend Matthew Dickerson, author of Ents, Elves and Eriador: the Environmental Vision of J.R.R.Tolkien and Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: the Environmental Vision of C.S.Lewis, presented this meditation - a challenge to the conventional understanding of "the Rapture" - at a gathering of The Chrysostom Society a couple of years ago. I found it to be quite intriguing. So I'm pleased that Christianity Today has published it for everyone to read. I realized, listening to Dickerson, that … [Read more...]

Return to The Suburbs: Two New Arcade Fire Songs!

Thanks to the folks of ListenBeforeYouBuy.net, we can listen to two new songs from the upcoming deluxe edition of Arcade Fire's Grammy-winning album The Suburbs. … [Read more...]

Worst/Best Fake-Out Trailers of All Time

I submit that this was the worst fake-out trailer of all time. When the audience realized the real subject of the movie, and saw the horrible execution of an already idiotic idea, there was almost a riot in the theatre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhwHZ0Cs8AI Wow. Every time I see it, I feel physical pain. Not only does it lack a single original idea, but it parrots the genre cliches without even trying, without a single spark of enthusiasm, style, or bravado. What a spectacular … [Read more...]

Remembering Raiders

On June 12, LookingCloser.org will celebrate the 30th anniversary of my favorite adventure film: Raiders of the Lost Ark. How? Here are the details: … [Read more...]

Reviews and Reviews and Reviews! The Ale Boy’s Feast on the CSFF Blog Tour

  Terrence Malick's new film The Tree of Life played at Cannes this week, and there are suddenly dozens and dozens of reviews all over the Internet. The differences in viewers' reactions are striking, sometimes even confounding. And many of their responses read more like reactions than reviews. But some reviewers have taken the time to think deeply about the film, about what it might mean, about the risky decisions that the director made in juxtaposing scenes about the origins of the … [Read more...]

In Memory of Jim Henson.

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The New World (2005)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today. A follow-up review was published at Image upon the release of the "extended cut" of the movie.. Both are reproduced below. - The New World - Theatrical Release Review (January 20, 2006) It's all in the eyes. That's one of the lessons in The New World, an epic story of love and change, from the celebrated writer/director Terrence Malick. As the Europeans arrive on North American shores in 1607, we watch history unfold … [Read more...]


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