Looking Closer’s Film Forum: Perfect Stranger

Perfect Stranger Rotten Tomatoes shows that critics are placing Perfect Stranger under citizens' arrest. Religious-press critics agree that this one's a waste of time and talent. Commenting on director James Foley, Christian Hamaker (Crosswalk) calls Perfect Stranger "a sad case of an artist whose career once seemed promising. Two of the director’s early films, After Dark My Sweet and At Close Range, garnered attention for their stylish look and moody performances. The filmmaker peaked s … [Read more...]

The New Yorker on “Into Great Silence”

Into Great Silence is "ridiculously popular" in New York, according to a new article in The New Yorker. And when New York's only Carthusian shows up to talk about his order, things get even more interesting. … [Read more...]

“Morality, Movies and Ratings”

Greg Wright at Past the Popcorn is considering the everlasting questions about movies and morality. In this new article on the subject, it looks like he's been reading Through a Screen Darkly and the new edition of Robert K. Johnston's Reel Spirituality.Wright writes: Discernment is obviously required, as is spiritual maturity. And when it comes to our children, parental guidance is always a necessity, whether it’s the bad theology of The Sound of Music, or the violent reality of The P … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Film Forum: The Lookout

The Lookout J. Robert Parks: "I’m not arguing The Lookout is some kind of masterpiece. The bank robbery is fairly paint-by-numbers, and the blind character is one we’ve seen many times before, despite [Jeff] Daniels’s charisma. But this is the sort of movie Hollywood should be making–and getting behind. Movies that don’t insult your intelligence or make you feel dirty for watching. But because The Lookout has a small marketing budget, this is a movie where it’s up to the critics to let you know … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Film Forum: Grindhouse

Grindhouse Before we join the rush of religious-press reviewers who are condemning Grindhouse outright, let's understand what it is first.Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have a particular nostalgia for films like those they watched growing up. Many of those films were cheap, exploitative, spectacularly bad, and filled with gratuitous violence, graphic nudity, and characters who flaunted their way with profanity. They were populated with strippers, zombies, monsters, and muscular … [Read more...]

Looking Closer’s Film Forum: The Hoax

The Hoax Todd Hertz (CT Movies) calls The Hoax "a mix of Catch Me If You Can, Shattered Glass, and A Beautiful Mind. But unlike the characters from those better films, there's nothing redeeming about [the central character]. I enjoy 'spiral into madness' movies, but this one can feel unsettling and smarmy because it's not a good man spiraling out of control until he realizes what he's done. Instead, you're merely watching a bad man get worse — with no eventual lesson learned or expression of c … [Read more...]

Film Forum: The Reaping

The Reaping "Oh, it's very biblically based," said the promoter who called me to encourage me to see The Reaping.I'm still trying to figure out what that meant. For all of its God-talk, The Reaping is just the kind of "faith-based film" we don't need. What hath The Passion of The Christ wrought? With only a few notable exceptions, it hath wrought a plague of exploitative, superficial, theologically confused, audience-abusing movies like Constantine and this big-budget howler. … [Read more...]

Tonight: Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park) at 6:30 pm

Tonight at 6:30pm, at the Third Place Books store in Lake Forest Park, I'll be talking about my favorite films, my favorite director/actor interviews, and my favorite “film-critic hate mail.”Oh, and yes, and my book about a life of dangerous moviegoing... Through a Screen Darkly.Third Place Books Lake Forest Park Towne Centre 17171 Bothell Way NE Lake Forest Park, WA 98155 Tel: 206-366-3333 … [Read more...]

Rod Dreher on “The Reeking”… I mean, “The Reaping”

Thanks to Peter Chattaway pointing out "Crunchy Con" Rod Dreher's comments on The Reaping, which was filmed in his hometown. Apparently, it's not just the movie that's ridiculous.Even the claims made by Hilary Swank about the history of the area in which was filmed are false! … [Read more...]

Armchair Interviews on “Through a Screen Darkly”

Armchair Interviews has discovered Through a Screen Darkly.Just a reminder to those of you who have read it: You can do me a huge favor by writing what you thought of it... as an Amazon review! … [Read more...]


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