Five Years Later: Pixar’s Up Remains an Achievem- … SQUIRREL!


This summer is the fifth anniversary of the theatrical release of Up, and it is standing the test of time as one of Pixar's greats. If it weren't for the "dogfighting" at the end, which took things a bit too far for me (talking dogs — okay, I'll go there, but talking dogs that fly airplanes?), I'd be tempted to call it a masterpiece.Here's my original commentary on the film, which was originally published at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image, on July 24, 2009. … [Read more...]

A Novelist, A Horror Filmmaker, and Two Critics: Conversations Worth Hearing

Derrickson and Greydanus

I love it when people I love interview people I love. … [Read more...]

Viewer Discussion Advised! 12 Steps to More Rewarding Moviegoing


Well, the secret is out.I've been hosting a secret church-basement movie club. It's controversial. It's lively. It's unpredictable. It's populated by a wide range of people, from film students to casual moviegoers to people who are extremely suspicious about movies. And... … [Read more...]

The 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant – Contestant 2: Ewa


I've been searching the cinema of 2014 for beautiful women.I don't mean fashion models. I'm looking for female characters who manifest true beauty rather than the superficial sort celebrated by pop culture and Hollywood. And I'm not looking for supporting characters — I want central characters. Surprisingly, I've found several impressive new movies that deliver just that. In this "beauty pageant," I first focused on the lead character of Pawel Pawlikowski's film Ida.Here's another — Ewa, … [Read more...]

The 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant — Contestant 1: Ida

Ida 3

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall... who's the fairest of them all?"In the famous fairy tale, that's what the vain and wicked queen asks her own reflection. Nevertheless, when it comes to the women of pop culture, that seems to be the question that American moviegoers can't stop asking. The more I watch the ways in which actresses become household names — making themselves a more popular subject than their characters — the more I see similarities between the Celebrity Factory and the lurid mat … [Read more...]

You’re Not a Sexist Moviegoer. Or… Are You?

Trinity the Matrix

We're about halfway through 2014, and as I look at the Top 20 Box Office hits so far, something troubles me. Where are the substantial, meaningful leading roles for women? … [Read more...]

How to Train Your Dragon 2: How to Spoil a Sequel


This isn't really a review of How to Train Your Dragon 2. It's more of a sigh of disappointment. … [Read more...]

Looking Closer at How to Train Your Dragon 2


This is the first weekend in a long time that is really a weekend for me. I can rest, read, write, walk, explore... and go to the movies.I'm thinking about seeing How to Train Your Dragon 2.I'm normally frustrated with Dreamworks Animation films — they're usually obnoxious and misguided and pandering. But that film surprised me with impressive characterizations, an unexpectedly thoughtful plot, and 3D flight sequences. We watched a young Viking named Hiccup learn to consider his enemies w … [Read more...]

Pray for Seattle Pacific University.

SPU Grass Garden 2 Autumn 2013

Thursday afternoon:Report 1 - 4:30pm. :I am in a conference room here at Seattle Pacific University with the staff of University Communications — my coworkers — and with some of our amazing student interns, some of whom have been preparing for graduation.Please pray for our community. Over the coming days, we will be in charge of communicating with the SPU community and the media.Pray for the victims, the students, the staff, the faculty, the families. And for the shooter. Christ … [Read more...]

Confessions of an X-Men Ex-Fan [Revised]

DF-07871   Hugh Jackman as Logan in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

 When Mutants aren't fighting for their rights... what do they do? Do they vacuum their apartments? Do they go to baseball games? Do they watch cat videos?Or does the Mutant Experience require constant employment of powers against those who hate Mutants, or against those Mutants who abuse their powers? … [Read more...]