The Incredibles (2004)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today in November 2004. -Kids are going to love The Incredibles, and it's possible their parents will love it even more. I'm betting a lot of dads and moms get action figures of Mr. Incredible and his wife Elastigirl in their stockings this year, and they'll be proud to display them at home or at work. While The Incredibles looks like a movie for the kid in all of us, the storytelling of writer-director Brad Bird is aimed straight at the c … [Read more...]

I ♥ Huckabees (2004)

This review was originally published at ChristianityTodayMovies.com.-I ♥ Huckabees is "all about what it's all about." At least, that's what the studio's summary of David O. Russell's fourth film boasts. If that means that the movie asks, "What's it all about?"… they're correct. We haven't seen a movie so intent on uncovering the meaning of life since Richard Linklater's Waking Life. But anybody who claims Huckabees delivers a satisfactory definition of life's meaning is sorely mis … [Read more...]

The Looking Closer Interview – David O. Russell (or, The Day the Director of I ♥ Huckabees Turned Me Into a Priest) (Featuring an appearance by Mark Wahlberg.)

When I walked into the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle to interview director David O. Russell, I thought I was prepared.  … [Read more...]

Sam Phillips – The Looking Closer Interview

Introduction: An interview anticipated for two decades. I was 22 years old when I attended my first "celebrity interview." … [Read more...]

Hero (2002)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.-The Grand Canyon. The Northern Lights. Van Gogh's sunflowers. We've all been stricken speechless by vivid displays of color. For me, there's the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico; the shimmering metallic blue of Pacific Ocean waves at twilight; the day I discovered first-hand that ladybugs sometimes hibernate on mountaintops, clustered together in masses, blood red against white snow (hard to believe, but … [Read more...]

Collateral (2004)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.•Why do big screen killers seem so glamorous? It's not the filmmaker's fault, necessarily. We're flawed and foolish people, drawn to power, to independence, to the illusion that we can be gods unto ourselves and keep our hands, hair, suits, and consciences clean.The villain in Collateral is as devilish a man as we've seen onscreen in a while. He's almost irresistible, always ready with a rationalization, and quick to turn a … [Read more...]

The Clearing (2004)

Jeffrey's review of The Clearing was published at Christianity Today in July 2004. … [Read more...]

Catwoman (2004)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today. •Reviewing Catwoman, a film critic can take the easy road: find the most readily available derogatory metaphor relating to cats."It's the pick of the litter box," for starters. Or, "This kitty's just roadkill that's been left to bake in the sun too long." Too grisly? How about, "The summer's biggest hairball!" No, that was probably used in a review of Garfield—still, Garfield looks good compared to Catwoman. Critics will have a … [Read more...]

Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

This review was originally published at Christianity Today.-If you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with anybody in the world alive today, who would you choose?Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has done even better than that. He's brought together many of his favorite pop culture figures and filmed them while they talk to each other over cups of coffee. He's been doing this for twenty years, and now moviegoers get to enjoy the results. Coffee and Cigarettes is a film for people who want … [Read more...]

The Looking Closer Interview: Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman

kaufman gondry winslet

[Some of this material was previously published in March 2004 at Christianity Today.]-My review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind led to an unexpected opportunity: a chance to interview the two creative masterminds of this remarkable film. It was a privilege to meet Charlie Kaufman, writer of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, and director Michel Gondry, and to ask them why they are so attracted to unconventional stories.The following conversation does include a discussion … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X