What’s So Funny? – Part 2

World's End - Pegg

When I reviewed The World's End — for laughs, it's still my favorite movie of last year — I heard from someone who was distraught by my praise for it. Hadn't I seen Paul, the previous film by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost? Why would I praise a movie that involved people who had, in their last project, made fun of Christianity? The fact is that I still haven't seen Paul. I don't avoid it because it makes fun of Christians, but because most of the reviews I read made me it sound generally … [Read more...]

What’s So Funny?


An ex-con, striving to change his ways and serve as a good husband, steals a newborn baby for his barren, broken-hearted wife. Are you laughing? A band of disciples pursues a man named Brian, who they've mistaken for the Messiah. When he disappoints them, they crucify him. And he shrugs, whistling a tune and singing "Always look on the bright side of life!" Are you laughing? … [Read more...]

The Incredibles (and Other 10-Year-Old Films); Jesus Films; Matt Zoller Seitz; Scott Cairns


I haven't posted any Hi 5s on ths blog in a while, but it's... um... "hi time" that I got back in the habit of it. Gratitude is good for the soul. What is Hi 5 to the Face? Find out here. Let's get started! This time, I'm sending Hi 5s to the following superstars... Ken Morefield over at 1 More Film Blog, for inviting Steven Greydanus to toast Pixar's The Incredibles, which is now ten years old! … [Read more...]

Put Your Name in the Credits

Looking Closer Screenshot

Breaking news! The times, they are a-changin' here at Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet. … [Read more...]

Not Gonna Bow: Notes on the Oscars

"We will not bow! Not until you acknowledge that Tom Hanks was snubbed!"

[This post was originally published here on January 16, 2013. I'm revising and reposting it on the occasion of Oscar Sunday.] It appears that a lot of people have completely misunderstood what cinema is for, concluding that it's all some big cockamamie competition. … [Read more...]

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 Beauty3

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 DecentFilms.com, 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 … [Read more...]

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

St VIncent 2014 cover

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 God4

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...]