Seeking a Better Country Than Middle Earth

A Review of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Directed by Peter Jackson By PAUL D. MILLER  I previouslyblogged about the surprising darkness and pessimism in J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit. That book is often mistakenly called a children’s book, and even though there is nothing childlike about its tales of genocidal war and cynical realpolitik, [Read More...]

Lord of the Rings: A Timeless Trilogy

Review of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Directed by Peter Jackson By PAUL D. MILLER It is hard to remember how firmly entrenched the conventional wisdom was that The Lord of the Rings was unfilmable. A disastrous animated attempt in 1978, stuffed full of 70’s cheese, covered just half the story. The film only [Read More...]

The Hopeless Innocence of Amelie

Review of Amélie, Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet By KENDRICK KUO I’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 [Read More...]

I’m Dreaming of a Selflessly Sacrificial Christmas

Review of White Christmas, Directed by Michael Curtiz By ALEXIS NEAL Once upon a time, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis were in the Army together. On Christmas Eve in 1944, Davis (an aspiring performer) saved the life of Wallace (an established Broadway star) and the rest, as they say, is history. After the war, the [Read More...]

Smug Seuss Cinema Sells Story Short

Review of The Lorax, Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda By PAUL D. MILLER I am torn by movies like The Lorax (2012). It is a nicely-animated, moderately-fun kid’s movie with a pro-environment message. It is also horribly preachy. Why does environmentalism seem stuck in a stance of permanent sanctimony? Sneed-ville is a walled [Read More...]

The Wave of Fascism and Redemption in the Church

Review of Die Welle (The Wave), Directed by Dennis Gansel By KENDRICK KUO Is a resurgence of fascism possible? Die Welle answers yes. This German film is based on a 1967 social experiment in a Californian high school that sought to recreate a fascist society in a world history class. “Die Welle” means “The Wave” [Read More...]

Twilight: Sucking the Blood out of Sin

A Review of the Twilight franchise by Stephenie Meyer By JENNILEE MILLER I think the term typically used to describe someone like me is “Twi-Mom.” Yes: I am a mom who loves the Twilight franchise. Of course, I think the term originally referred to a mom who picked up her daughter’s glossy paperbacks with the [Read More...]

Hitchcock’s Analysis of Love and Murder

Review of Hitchcock, Directed by Sacha Gervasi By KENDRICK KUO  The opening scene of Hitchcock met with erupting laughter from the theater audience. Ed Gein—the inspiration for the novel Psycho—killed his brother with a shovel to the head in a most comedic way; after which the camera panned to Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) who speaks [Read More...]

Life of Pi’s Aesthetic as Theology

Review of Life of Pi, Directed by Ang Lee By KENDRICK KUO Life of Pi asks big questions but leaves audiences with few answers. This latest Ang Lee movie is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Yann Martel, which already had a large readership before Lee announced the upcoming film release. Life of Pi [Read More...]

Mad as Hell

Review of Network, Directed by Sidney Lumet Reviewed by PAUL D. MILLER Before 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 [Read More...]


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