Thomas Hibbs Gets “The Dark Knight.” Plus: Andrew Sarris.

And here... we... GO!Thomas Hibbs from First Things: It would be hard to imagine a more compelling embodiment of the escalation of evil in Gotham than what Nolan and actor Heath Ledger have created in the character of The Joker, whose insouciant embrace of chaos eclipses the malevolence of Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs and John Doe from Se7en. What makes Nolan‚Äôs latest film such a success is not, however, Ledger‚Äôs compelling presentation of evil, on which critics have focused … [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...]

Specials: Sarris on where "Brokeback" is broken. Pretty woman, Gump may join Mike Nichols. CNN on religious media.

Wednesday's specials:SARRIS DARES TO SHRUG OFF BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN Courageously stating some of the obvious problems with Brokeback Mountain, Andrew Sarris demonstrates that he's willing to swim upstream against the tidal wave of hype: Hence, I suppose that my ultimate objection to Brokeback Mountain lies in its stretching out what originally begins as a physical relationship between two young men to, after 20 years, Ennis and Jack quarreling like an old married couple about the forced … [Read more...]