Archives for February 2014

Is Groundhog Day the Most Meaningful Comedy Ever? Or The Truman Show?

On Monday, I'm going to share a special two-part post on comedy. That's because the great Steven Greydanus of The National Catholic Register is stirring up conversation about great comedies with his introduction to the newly published Arts and Faith Top 25 Divine Comedies.  … [Read more...]

The Great Beauty (2013)

The Great Beauty. You have to have some ambition to give a movie a title like that.And Paolo Sorrentino has ambition. Huge ambition. Maybe a little too much.I've just seen The Great Beauty on the big screen, and I'm still a little bit drunk on its imagery. Turns out that the title is entirely appropriate for so many reasons. Sorrentino's camera-eyes are as wide open to glory as Terrence Malick's. (This film seems as heavily influenced by The New World and The Tree of Life as it so … [Read more...]

Before You See That Noah Movie, Read This…

A few days ago on my Facebook page, I declared, "Steven Greydanus has written *the* must-read article on the 'controversy' over Darren Aronofsky's NOAH." And I linked to the article itself: "Everybody Chill Out About the Noah Movie."Steven, who has a website of his own at, and who is currently writing about movies for The National Catholic Register, has been my favorite film reviewer for almost as long as we've been friends — several years now. But what he's written here i … [Read more...]

Listen Closer: St. Vincent, Beck, Neneh Cherry, Lost in the Trees… and U2

Got headphones?St. Vincent's new self-titled record is every bit the fireworks show that we've come to expect. I'm listening to it right now, and it's melting my head. … [Read more...]

Hard to Be a God — The Science Fiction Film of the Decade?

Hard to Be a God...That title first won my attention when one of my favorite film critics, Michael Sicisnki, rated it a perfect "10." I've learned to sit up straight when Sicinski responds like that.The last time he awarded a "10," he'd just seen Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, which remains my favorite film of this decade so far.I began to dig for information. What is this movie? Why such a bold title? … [Read more...]

Now You Can Watch the Zany Adventure Movie That America Missed

Looking for an escape? Searching for an exciting, hilarious, fun adventure film for the whole family?I highly recommend Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec. Globe-trotting adventure, over-the-top comedy, extravagant costumes, Egyptian tomb-raiding, and a rampaging pterodactyl... this movie has all of that and more.And it just arrived on Netflix. … [Read more...]

The LEGO Movie (2014)

Skeptical? No, I was downright cynical.A big screen movie about plastic building blocks? Give me a break. This has got to be the hardest evidence yet of Hollywood's imaginative bankruptcy. "Okay, Blockbuster Movie Council, what are your new ideas?" "Well, we've made movies about bestselling pregnancy guides. We've made movies about the game of Battleship and and the Pirates ride at Disneyland. What are the best-selling toys in the world?" "Let's make a movie about LEGOs! Kids will line up … [Read more...]

Me? Interviewed for The New Yorker? What a Surprise…

I've just been informed that Sam Sweet at The New Yorker has published a piece about "The Christian Oscars." I play a supporting role — not in the "Christian Oscars" (thank goodness) but in the article.I'm as surprised about this development as you probably are.I spoke with Sam a couple of days ago. He was troubled by all that he was learning about Movieguide, The Movieguide Awards, and some of Movieguide's colorful personalities like Ted Baehr and Tom Snyder. Sam and I had an enormously … [Read more...]

Six Movies to Revisit Before You See The LEGO Movie

[UPDATE - FEBRUARY 7: I'm almost finished with my review of The LEGO Movie. It's taking awhile because when it comes to this movie... everything is awesome. In the meantime, let me send you to Christianity Today to an excellent review by Jackson Cuidon, and to The National Catholic Register for another excellent review by my good friend Steven Greydanus.)•It's one of the toughest challenges that film critics face: Fulfilling our promises to refrain from posting our opinions about the m … [Read more...]

Philip Seymour Hoffman: The Actor, The Philosopher, The Master, The Wrestler

I feel like I've been hit by a truck this morning, trying to absorb the reports that drug addiction has apparently taken the magnificent actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from us. … [Read more...]