Archives for December 2012

Overstreet’s Favorite Recordings: 2012

Happy New Year!I'd invite you all to a New Year's Eve Listening Party, but there are just too many of you, and frankly... I'm tired. I need to sit quietly with Anne, listen to some music that will instill in us a sense of gratitude, and help us lean forward into all of the changes God will bring in 2013. (Anne and I are hoping for some big changes. It feels like it's time to step through a door and begin some new chapter of our adventure together.)Anyway, since I can't invite you all to … [Read more...]

Django Unchained (2012)

Whenever I’m asked about the work of Quentin Tarantino, I am reminded of a book that loved when I was a child.The book was called Fortunately…It illustrated the adventures of a boy who took very little action at all. He was carried along from good news to bad news in such a relentless cycle that readers were likely to become dizzy. I don’t remember it very clearly, but it went something like this: “Fortunately… the boy had a parachute. Unfortunately… the parachute had a hole in it. Fortun … [Read more...]

The Best Films of 2012? Here’s the Indiewire 2012 Critics Poll

So... was The Master a good movie, or not? What about Lincoln or The Avengers? What about This is 40 or Zero Dark Thirty?This year, I had the honor of becoming one of the film critics rating films for Indiewire. That led to an invitation to vote in their year-end poll on the best films of 2012.204 film critics voted in this year's Indiewire critics' poll.  … [Read more...]

Les Misérables (2012)

My day-job coworkers and I opened gifts from our "Secret Santas" at an office Christmas party this week, and my friend Eric received a box of the complete Lord of the Rings Pez dispensers. There they are, several hobbits, men, a wizard, and Gollum... plastic heads on plastic sticks, looking grim and yet promising a sugar high.I suspect it's only a matter of time until we see the Les Misérables Pez dispenser set. And that isn't just because Les Misérables has a similarly enthusiastic fan bas … [Read more...]

Matthew Dickerson on “The Hobbit” – Part 2

Did you read Part One of Matthew Dickerson's reflections on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?If so, enjoy Part Two... … [Read more...]

Matthew Dickerson on “The Hobbit” – Part 1

In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.And on a wooded hillside in Vermont lived a writer who loved Hobbits, their homeland, and their author: J.R.R. Tolkien.I am blessed to know Matthew Dickerson and his wife Deborah as dear friends. I've been blessed by Matthew's writing, and also by the maple syrup he boils on his own. He's an instructor at Middlebury College. He directs the New England Young Writers Conference at Breadloaf, the Gove Hill Christian Writers Conference, and the G … [Read more...]

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

This Christmas is the perfect time to revisit 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol, now available in a restored edition on blu-ray and DVD labeled as the “It's Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition.” It’s about as faithful an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story as the Muppets could make in the midst of their typical mischief.This was the company’s first big production since Henson’s death. They created a wonderful Muppet-world equivalent of Victorian England, the cobblestones, the wind … [Read more...]

Margaret – The Extended Cut (2012)

I'm grateful to the good folks at The Brehm Center for inviting me to contribute to their film site Reel Spirituality. Special thanks to Elijah Davidson, whose writing I've read regularly and appreciated for years.And my first contribution there is about a movie I've been eager to see for several years. I can't believe I'm finally reviewing it. … [Read more...]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The filmmakers took one children's book and expanded it into three movies.So I've taken this first movie and expanded it into two movie reviews... … [Read more...]

What If Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Made “The Hobbit”?

Can you imagine what Tolkien's Middle-Earth would look like through the eyes of the animators that brought us Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and My Neighbor Totoro?I can.Over the last decade, I've discovered the treasure trove of animated fantasy created by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. I've fallen in love with their intricate, extravagant style and their boundless imagination. And yet, as I watched Spirited Away, I began to realize that their style … [Read more...]