A Movieguide Survivor Responds to the Previous Post

This comment was added to my previous post, and I'm grateful to Sean Gaffney for his input and perspective. Wow, Jeff, where to begin.I had the interesting experience of writing freelance reviews for Movie Guide years ago (way too far down the food chain to even meet the founder). On one hand, I feel for you, brother. On the other – congratulations! If Mr. Baehr thinks you deserve attack, it probably means you are doing quality work.And my heart goes out to all the reviewers working u … [Read more...]

There He Goes Again: Ted Baehr Slanders Christianity Today On the Air.

Yesterday during the James D. Kennedy Coral Ridge Broadcast, Ted Baehr once again slandered Christianity Today and my colleagues in Christian film criticism. And in the meantime, he either got the facts wrong, or he lied... you decide.From a friend who heard the broadcast: Ted Baehr (who starts the broadcast by taking credit for The Passion, Chronicles of Narnia, Madagascar, and other films) notes that he gave The Passion a “movie of the year” award last year. Then he says: "Christianity To … [Read more...]

My Trendsetting Haircut

I've never thought of Looking Closer as a trend-setting site. But Entertainment Weekly has noticed that apparently my haircut is starting a wave of variations.I'm so proud to be influencing culture. I'd like to thank the Academy.I'm sorry, guys. You only wish you were this sexy!Oh, and by the way, that photo is of me trying to survive the trailer for Failure to Launch. Man... that title is such a gift to critics who have to write about it. … [Read more...]

Sarris on "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" – the raves continue

Andrew Sarris (The New York Observer) on Sophie Scholl: The Final Days: Another surprise — perhaps as much for you as for me — is that in her last days, Sophie doesn’t emerge as some kind of secular saint, but rather as a deep believer in her mother’s Protestant Lutheran faith. Hence, when the German prison chaplain comes to give her the last rites, she explicitly beseeches him to entrust her soul to God’s mercy — this despite the agnosticism preached to her by her own beloved father from early … [Read more...]

Wolcott’s Take on "Vendetta."

James Wolcott warns us about V for Vendetta: V for Vendetta may be--why hedge? is--the most subversive cinematic deed of the Bush-Blair era, a dagger poised in midair. Unlike the other movies dubbed “controversial” (Fahrenheit 9-11, The Passion, Munich, Syriana), it doesn’t play to a particular constituency or polarized culture bloc, it’s working on a deeper, Edger Allen Poe-ish witch’s brew substrata of pop myth. Cultural conservatives will loathe it without seeing it (they love not having to l … [Read more...]

Introducing… The McPassion!

My friend Rik Swartzwelder, director of the award-winning short film "The Least of These," wrote and co-produced this marketing parody of the commercialization of The Passion of the Christ.And... yikes, it stings like a cat o'nine tails!Watch... The McPassion!!* (Caution: Some may find it irreverent. But I'd argue that the film isn't making fun of Christ. It's making fun of just how tactless and clueless many modern marketing endeavors can be.)And prepare for The Second … [Read more...]

What Would Make Jesus Laugh?

The Big Lebowski and Annie Hall aren't exactly titles you'd expect to see featured in a film festival for Christians.Craig Detweiler asks... "Why not?!" … [Read more...]

Favorite poets

Prompted by my earlier recommendation of the Jane Hirschfield book, a reader asked me for a "top ten list" of favorite poets.I can't offer a list of my favorites in order of preference, but I can easily come up with a list of writers whose work I whole-heartedly recommend to you... poets that Anne and I read often and with gratitude.Here they are, in no particular order... … [Read more...]

Specials: DaVinci suit. V’s prophetic. Wenders tips.

Let me just say that I have never been afraid of clowns. Until the Olympic closing ceremonies.Was that creepy, or what? … [Read more...]

Half-shot #9: Michael Knepfer names that movie!

Michael Knepfer has figured out that confounding Half-Shot #9.The film is Harold and Maude.This means that the next Half-Shot will have two hints:Reverend (for The Cubicle Reverend, who won Half-Shot #8) and Michael (because Michael won this round.)So stay tuned... … [Read more...]


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