Double Indemnity: Bleak Justice in Classic Noir

Review of Double Indemnity, Directed by Billy Wilder Billy Wilder was more than the Steven Spielberg of his era. While Spielberg is one of the most prominent, acclaimed, and decorated directors of all time, Wilder is that and a writer as well. He wrote the screenplays for most of his best movies, including The Apartment (1961), [Read More...]

Star Trek Into Moral Leadership

Review of Star Trek Into Darkness, Directed by J. J. Abrams A confession: I am not a Trekkie. I watched the film as someone with very little education on the Star Trek universe, having only seen Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: First Contact, and J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek. If you want [Read More...]

Star Trek Into Terror

Review of Star Trek Into Darkness, Directed by J.J. Abrams Star Trek Into Darkness is a thrilling, fun, loud, dazzling movie–a perfect summer popcorn flick.  It is also much more fun if you know absolutely nothing about it before you go.  I have no intention of spoiling that fun for you, which makes it difficult [Read More...]

Gatsby: Tragic Hero of Hope

Review The Great Gatsby, Directed by Baz Luhrmann I rarely disagree with what the internet tells me to think about a movie, but today I do. The critics dislike Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. It has a 45 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. They are wrong. Gatsby is a fine film. Baz Luhrmann [Read More...]

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro, by Hayao Miyazaki  My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a quiet, calm, beautiful film. There is no dialogue for very long stretches of story while characters explore, watch, and discover—akin to the opening sequence of WALL-e. There is no sass talk, there are no quick cuts, no pop-culture references, and no special effects.  [Read More...]

At Any Price: A Study in Discontentment

Review of At Any Price, Directed by Ramin Bahrani Profoundly American and profoundly disturbing, At Any Price, the newest release by acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop), strikes at the heart of our enterprise and reveals the broken souls drifting along this cycle of greed. The Whipple family is steeped in Iowa’s agriculture [Read More...]

Iron Man 3 is worth every nickel

Review of Iron Man 3, Directed by Shane Black Does this movie even really need a review? As with everything else in the Avengers oeuvre to date (with the possible exceptions of Hulk and The Incredible Hulk), Iron Man 3 is a lot of action-y goodness with light moral thematic underpinnings. Which is exactly what we [Read More...]

Kon-Tiki and the Risk of Faith

Review of Kon-Tiki, Directed by Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg Kon-Tiki is a name that has faded from popular memory, but launched a generation of explorers and adventurers, including astronauts. Kon-Tiki is the name of a raft that carried a crew of five Norwegians, a Swede, and a parrot named Lorita, all the way from [Read More...]

At Any Price: Interview with Dennis Quaid and Ramin Bahrani

At Any Price tells the fictional, but oh so real story of the Whipple family, caught up in the Darwinian struggle to survive in the modern agriculture business, which thrives under the banner “expand or die”. We watch as this attitude of never having enough seeps from the corporate level down to the individual lives [Read More...]

The General: A Train Full of Laughs

Review of The General, Directed by Buster Keaton In our effort to blog our way through the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films, I picked out one of the few movies on the list I had not only not seen, but never even heard of:  The General (1927).  For some reason I expected a somber [Read More...]


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