Archives for July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

I’ve been down on the bottom of a world full of lies I ain’t looking for nothing in anyone’s eyes Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.- Batman Okay, no, Batman didn’t say those things. Bob Dylan did.But those lyrics certainly sound like something Bruce Wayne might say in The Dark Knight Rises, the overbearingly ponderous, furiously violent, relentlessly climactic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy. … [Read more...]

From Desert Planet to Ocean Blue… Stanton’s Finding Nemo 2

It was bound to happen.Oh, the mixed feelings! … [Read more...]

Attention, Fiction Writers: Tell It… Slant!

Breaking news from Wipf & Stock Publishers and Gregory Wolfe, author of Beauty Will Save the World, and publisher of Image: There's a new fiction imprint in town! … [Read more...]

Batman Begins (2005)

[July 2012 Update: Revisiting my original review of Batman Begins, I remember just how dazzled and awestruck so many of us were by Christopher Nolan's reimagined Batman. He showed us what a superhero movie could do, and how much it could ask us to consider.Then, The Dark Knight raised the bar even higher.But there have been other Nolan films. And the grim, ominous tones—in the storytelling, in the imagery, and in the simple musical motifs—have begun to feel redundant. Inception, for exa … [Read more...]

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

First… where it takes us. Second… what it finds there. Third… How it presents these people, places, and ideas. And fourth: What, if anything, it suggests we take away from the experience.There is a lot to consider when we talk about any movie. But Beasts of the Southern Wild gives us a lot more to talk about than most films.Given that Beasts is one of most unusual movies to play for large audiences across the U.S. in 2012, I’m inclined to say very little about its storyline. Moviegoers wi … [Read more...]

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and the Pending Deluge of Bible-Based Movies

You've probably heard by now that Darren Aronofsky — director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan — is now making a movie about Noah's Ark.Perhaps the news has reached you that Russell Crowe will play Noah. And Jennifer Connelly, of course, will offer comfort to Noah's beautiful mind.You may have even heard that Anthony Hopkins is playing Methusaleh.But have you seen the first image of the ark under construction?I suspect this means that we'll se … [Read more...]

Barnes and Noble Wants to Break Your Budget

You may wish to say the Lord's Prayer — particularly the part about "Lead us not into temptation" — before you visit this link. … [Read more...]

Does the Brain Need Stories?

If you invited me to a seminar led by brain scientist John Medina, New York Times-bestselling author of Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Baby, and told me he was going to talk about the brain and its need for narrative, I would sign right up.Medina, a developmental molecular biologist who is also the director of the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University, blogs at Brainstorm. (I happen to be that blog's editor, but I often forget I'm editing because I get … [Read more...]


I've been curious, but not enthusiastic, about the idea of a feature film about Janis Joplin. … [Read more...]

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

[July 2012 Update: In the buzz of recent Hollywood news, we've learned that Jennifer Connelly will reunite with Russell Crowe for Darren Aronofsky's epic retelling (reinvention?) of the story of Noah, the Ark, and the Deluge. That inspires me to look back at Crowe and Connelly's last collaboration, the Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind, directed by Ron Howard. Here's my original review—perhaps "rant" is a more appropriate word—with some minor revisions. It's almost ten years old now, bu … [Read more...]