42 and Jackie Robinson’s Legacy of Nonviolence

Review of 42, Directed by Brian Helgeland The story of Jackie Robinson is familiar to most Americans, but being an American who grew up overseas, I must confess ignorance of this iconic hero before watching 42. (The educational value of the film itself makes it worth watching: among other things, 42 underlines the exalted position [Read More...]

Rambling Through a Classic Western

Review of Warlock by Oakley Hall The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. (Deut. 28:23) For a Western, Warlock is a ridiculously complicated book. In one sense, it is a novelization of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the Lincoln County War. In another sense, it is the story of Marshall Clay Blaisdell in his quest to keep [Read More...]

The Raiders of the Lost Ark Discover That “Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Directed by Steven Spielberg When I was growing up, I read a lot of The Hardy Boys and The Sugar Creek Gang series, adventure stories in which boys solve mysteries, chase bad guys, rescue strangers, discover mysterious caves, explore abandoned mansions, recover exotic artifacts from far off lands, [Read More...]

End of Watch: A Portrait of Male Friendship

Review of End of Watch, Directed by David Ayer  The first thing I heard about End of Watch was its realistic and moving portrayal of male friendship. I watched the film with that expectation and it did not disappoint. End of Watch follows the patrols of Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña), [Read More...]

The Sense of an Ending: Meditations on Memory and Self-Deception

Review of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending is a novella by Julian Barnes that explores the limits of memory and how memory affects defines us. Published in 2011, it won the Man Booker Prize in October of that year. Often, The Sense of an Ending reads more [Read More...]

The Evil Dead: “Please, God: Give Me a Break”

Review of Evil Dead, Directed by Fede Alvarez Some viewers like movies that leave them thinking about themes and ideas for weeks and months after they see them. Others want an experience at the cinema, a couple of hours that make them laugh, cry, scream or jump out of their seats. The pleasures of those [Read More...]

Jurassic Park Is Back and Better Than Ever

Review of Jurassic Park 3D, Directed by Steven Spielberg The year is 1993, and fictional bajillionaire (and genetic engineering tycoon) John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has finally done the un-doable: he has brought the dinosaurs back to life. Using DNA recovered from prehistoric mosquitoes preserved for millions of years in amber (and supplemented with frog DNA, [Read More...]

Integrity and Fatherhood Beyond the Pines

Review of The Place Beyond the Pines, Directed by Derek Cianfrance Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) and Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) have parallel lives, though on the surface Luke is a criminal and Avery a policeman. Luke and Avery both have a woman and child, their mother-in-law lives with them, and they both are absent fathers. [Read More...]

How to Murder Sin

Review of The Mortification of Sin by John Owen This is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. Every Christian would benefit from reading this book: no one would profit from skimming it. Read this book, but do so slowly. Turn the page only after the previous one has worked its way into [Read More...]

May the Force Be With You

Review of Star Wars, Directed by George Lucas  If you ask a cinephile what his favorite decade was, chances are he will pick the 1970s.  That decade was full of movies that movie lovers love to love–really dark, gritty, tragic, violent movies like A Clockwork Orange (1971), Mean Streets (1793), Taxi Driver (1976), The Godfather, [Read More...]

Lost in Thailand Chinese Style

Review of Lost in Thailand, Directed by Xu Zheng If you know anything about the Chinese box office, you know that James Cameron’s Titanic and Avatar are among the highest grossing films—not to mention the incredible popularity of 2012. But who knew that low-budget comedy Lost in Thailand would rocket to the top of the [Read More...]

The African Queen’s Happy Ending

Review of The African Queen, Directed by John Huston Not all movies are deep and profound, but I do expect “classics” to have something to say. Movies become “classics” because they are more than mere entertainment; they are supposed to speak to something higher or deeper; to hide nuggets of wisdom; to hold lessons about [Read More...]

The Host: A Pro-Life Invasion of the Body-Snatchers

Review of The Host, Directed by Andrew Niccol By Jennilee Miller The Host opens with different snapshots from around the globe, panning out on different faces, distinctly human but with striking eyes encircled with a silver rim around the pupils:  beautiful and kind of creepy all at the same time.  A voiceover tells us that [Read More...]

G.I. Joe Appeals to the Inner Child — and Not Much Else

Review of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Directed by Jon Chu Cobra Commander has escaped from a high security prison, the evil Zartan is impersonating the President, and all but four of the G.I. Joes have been killed. It seems that nothing stands between Cobra Commander and his plan of absolute world domination. Will the remaining Joes [Read More...]


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