Your favorite films of 2001?

So, it’s been ten years…Now that you’ve had a decade to chew on these films, I’d be curious to know what you would now choose as your top 5, 10, or 20 of 2001.It’s a list that includes titles that weren’t accessible in the U.S. until 2001, with the exception of a festival or two. It’s quite a bit different than how I’d rated my favorites in 2001, although my favorite is *still* my favorite. … [Read more...]

Is Today’s Young Adult Literature “Too Dark”?

If you were to ask me that question, I would refer you to my favorite Young Adult novelist: Sara Zarr.And she would say something like this... … [Read more...]

10 Things My Friends and I Said On Facebook Since Friday

It's been a lively weekend on my Facebook page.Are you following the news and conversations there? Choose "LIKE" to do so.Here are some recent comments....1. "Whoa, as in, kick ass." … [Read more...]

Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (2011)

My review of Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians is up at Filmwell. … [Read more...]

The Hobbit casts Bard the Guardsman… and Smaug.

Well, for fans of The Hobbit, there have been two more big questions related to casting Peter Jackson's upcoming movie.Who will play Bard the Guardsman, a strong fellow whose skill as an archer becomes very important in the story?And who will give a voice to the dragon Smaug?We learned both answers today. … [Read more...]

We’re All Beginners

Beginners is a very persuasive film, largely due to nuanced performances—and that includes the charming Jack Russell terrier who plays Arthur, a four-legged grief counselor (via subtitles).Unlikely as it sounds, director Mike Mills weaves all of these emotional storylines together—and anthropomorphizes a canine—without stumbling into sentimentality or emotional manipulation.It feels true, lived-in, every single moment. … [Read more...]

Beginners (2010)

This review was originally published at Good Letters, a blog hosted by Image.-During a lecture last March, I spoke fondly of a friend whom I had recently lost to cancer. Halfway through the anecdote, I suddenly recognized his wife, the mother of his two young children, in the audience, listening in rapt attention. She was far from home, a surprise visitor. I almost choked. And I suddenly began weighing my words with much greater care. Had I represented her husband well?Loss makes … [Read more...]

My Kind of Loser.

To continue this week of celebrating the 30th anniversary of my favorite adventure movie, here's an excerpt from my memoir of dangerous moviegoing... the book called Through a Screen Darkly: •The Paramount Studios logo — a crooked, rocky peak — fades out, replaced by a real-world equivalent, a stone pinnacle jutting into an ivory sky. We’re looking at it through a gap in the trees that edge the screen. A silhouette steps into the frame, classic and unmistakable: a bullwhip slung from his bel … [Read more...]

30 years later, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is Still, For a Lot of Moviegoers (Including Me), the Big Screen’s Greatest Adventure.

raiders_of_the_lost_ark

Apparently, I'm not the only one...Here's Ryan Holt: … [Read more...]

The Tree of Life: My First Impressions

My first-impression thoughts on The Tree of Life are posted at Image's blog - Good Letters. ...  … [Read more...]


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