New Feedback at CT Movies

There are a couple of new letters up at the CT Movies feedback page... or, as I like to call it, the Greatest Show on Earth. You never know what the letters will be like... sometimes it's inspiring, sometimes it's discouraging, and sometimes it's the best comedy going. … [Read more...]

Are Movies Increasing Your “Capacity to See”?

At Long Pauses, Darren Hughes has posted a quote that I want to share with you here. (Thank you, Darren.) The main problem with narrative in film is that when you become emotionally involved, it becomes difficult to see picture as picture. Of course, the laughing and crying and suspense can be a positive element, but it's oddly nonvisual and gradually destroys your capacity to see.-- Michael Snow, speaking to Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema, Vol. 2 That's beautiful. It expresses … [Read more...]

Why is Will Ferrell Funny?

Slate takes on one of the most pressing, urgent questions that our society must address: Why is Will Ferrell funny? … [Read more...]

Reverence, awe, simplicity, prayer: Three amazing hours at the movies.

 Last night, I watched Into Great Silence.I'll be writing about it in detail soon, but I can tell you now: I doubt I'll see a more affecting, inspiring, convicting work this year.It opens in Seattle today. Go see it.Be prepared. It's almost three hours long, and it may feel more like five.... Get caffeinated.Take your friends. Plan to discuss it afterward... but maybe not immediately.It's not a story. It's an experience... a documentary that captures a way of life. … [Read more...]

Cormac McCarthy: Now an Oprah Author

Oprah just picked The Road.Wow. That's gutsy. The Road is a dark, dark, dark post-apocalyptic work, from all that I've read about it. (Check out Adam Walter's reaction.) … [Read more...]

Indiana Jones 4 is Getting Interesting

If you had told me early on that Indiana Jones 4 would star Cate Blanchett and Ray "Sexy Beast" Winstone, I would never have voiced my pleas to leave the trilogy to rest in peace. … [Read more...]

Film Forum: The Lives of Others, Reign Over Me, Pride, Shooter, TMNT, The Last Mimzy

By the beard of Zeus, it's... Looking Closer's Film Forum!REVIEW OF THE WEEK: Nothing makes me sit up and pay attention the way I do when a film critic I admire and respect publishes a review in stark disagreement with my own feelings about a particular film. A couple of weeks ago, I posted my admiration for The Lives of Others. This week, J. Robert Parks really, really disagrees. And it's the kind of review that stirs things up. It's the kind of review that makes me want to go back, see … [Read more...]

About “300”… A Clarification

I have been out of line in some of my statements in relation to 300. I wrote things that made it sound like I was condemning the film. And I made some people who really liked the film uncomfortable.That wasn't my intention. And I apologize for getting so worked up about it.As a critic, I should not judge films I haven't seen. That's unprofessional.Now, technically, I haven't judged it. I would, in fact, be delighted if I were to discover that the film was meaningful and … [Read more...]

One of My Favorite Clowns

A legendary figure from my high-school days ... Larry "Bud" Melman, a giant from the glory days of David Letterman ... has passed on. … [Read more...]

Opus on “300”, and More on Why I’m Not Getting in Line

I'm responding yet again about the movie 300 for this simple reason: I have been baited, again and again, into extremely violent or explicit films that proved to be empty... and worse, even abusive to audiences. I have been told, "You have got to see it!", and I've been promised that all of the graphic material was justified because of what it meant. "It's about fighting for freedom! It's about fighting for a higher cause!" Most of the time, I've regretted it. While a character or two might … [Read more...]