The Hopeless Innocence of Amelie

Review of Amélie, Directed by Jean-Pierre JeunetBy KENDRICK KUOI've known about Amélie (2001) for a long time, but only recently decided to sit down and watch it after a co-worker of mine said it was one of her favorite movies. This French film follows a woman named Amélie Poulain from her mother’s tragic (if rather darkly comedic) death in her youth to her adult life coping with her reclusive father and waiting tables at the Two Windmills café. Her life changes the day Princess Dianna di … [Read more...]

Mad as Hell

Review of Network, Directed by Sidney LumetReviewed by PAUL D. MILLERBefore Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, before Keith Olbermann and Chris Mathews; there was Howard Beale. With astonishing prescience, Network (1976)—the story of an angry-man newscaster—prefigured almost all the tropes about media celebrities four years before CNN, twelve years before Limbaugh, twenty years before Fox News, and thirty years before Twitter. Howard Beale is a normal, boring newscaster who is fired for poo … [Read more...]

The Slavery of Spite

Review of Rebecca, directed by Alfred HitchcockBy PAUL D. MILLERRebecca (1940) is a creepy film. From the opening shot of trees in the mist to a key sequence in the fog to the closing shot of a mansion engulfed in smoke, the film is pervaded with wisps of the gray stuff, a visual analog to the murkiness of the world in which it takes place. Unease and anxiety build through almost three-quarters of the film—without any clear reason why. There isn’t even a living antagonist until the very e … [Read more...]

Terminator 2

Review of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Directed by James CameronBy ALEXIS NEAL It is the summer of 1995, eleven years after Kyle Reese made his fateful trip through time to save (and woo) Sarah Connor, thereby ensuring her survival and the eventual birth of hero and savior of mankind John Connor. But ten-year-old Connor is no hero yet—he spends his days shoplifting, playing video games, and generally disregarding his increasingly at-a-loss foster parents. Meanwhile, his mother Sarah la … [Read more...]

Dark Knight Rex

Review of The Dark Knight Rises, Directed by Christopher NolanBy PAUL D. MILLERWhat do you get when someone rewrites A Tale of Two Cities, sets it in modern-day New York with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis underneath, turns Robespierre into a drug-addled terrorist warlord modeled on Darth Vader, and ends it with an apotheosis copied straight from Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus?  You get The Dark Knight Rises (2012).Christopher Nolan’s Batman finale is one of the most ambitious, sophisticated, and … [Read more...]

The Rocks Cry Out: Finding the Gospel in (Very) Unexpected Places

Review of Die Hard, Directed by John McTiernanBy ALEXIS NEALOnce upon a time, a man and a woman were married.  Then one day, the woman left her husband.  She moved far away and started a new life without him.  She even abandoned his name.Then this woman was captured by evil men who threatened to harm her.  Despite everything, the man still loved his estranged wife, so he risked everything to save her from the evil men who had taken her freedom and planned to take her life.  The man was woun … [Read more...]

The Gospel According to Nemo

Review of Finding Nemo, Directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee UnkrichBy PAUL D. MILLERFinding Nemo (2003) ages well.  It is the best Pixar film, among the best films of the past decade, one of the finest family movies ever made, and, on my list, one of the greatest movies ever.  WALL-E (2008) is usually ranked as the best of Pixar—it ranks higher on and Metacritic—but compared to the simple sincerity of Nemo, WALL-E’s insistent romance is mawkish.Nemo—the story of a father in search o … [Read more...]