Life, Above All

Review of Life, Above All, Directed by Oliver Schmitz By KENDRICK KUO Rating: 7/10 Life, Above All is not a film for the faint of heart. This gut-wrenching South African film, adapted from Alan Stratton’s novel Chandra’s Secret, is a fictional thread in a very real piece of South Africa’s fabric—namely, children orphaned by AIDS. [Read More...]

Percy Jackson and the Absent Father

Review of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan by PAUL D. MILLER The Lightning Thief (2005) is a perfectly serviceable young adult fantasy novel. It is the sort of book you read without much concentration for a few hours’ or days’ pleasant diversion, one that makes few demands of you. As [Read More...]

Argo: A Hollywood Feel-Good Fantasy

Argo, directed by Ben Affleck by Paul D. Miller No wonder Hollywood loves Argo.  It is a movie about how movies save the day. Argo has already won Best Picture at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, the BAFTAs, and the Critic’s Choice–and probably the Oscars, by the time you read this.  All for good [Read More...]

The Schaeffer’s Ghost Oscar Roundup

BY PAUL D. MILLER The Oscars are on Sunday.  Here is a wrap-up of coverage from Schaeffer’s Ghost on some of the nominees. For Best Picture, we reviewed seven of the nine nominees–all except Argo (the current favorite to win) and Silver Linings Playbook. Kendrick Kuo found Beasts of the Southern Wild, a coming-of-age story [Read More...]

Which Short Films Will Get Oscar’s Nod?

By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER It’s a well-established truth that Oscar-nominated films in the Best Picture category are about Important Topics, and thus demand long running times. Sometimes those running times are justified, but it’s not unusual for a Best Picture nominee to wear out its welcome well before the final credits roll. This year, eight of [Read More...]

I am what I am, is that all that I am?

Review of Who Do You Think You Are? By Mark Driscoll By COYLE NEAL Mark Driscoll may not know it (or heck, maybe he does), but when he wrote a book about searching for personal identity he stepped directly into one of the fundamental philosophical questions of the 20th century: who am I? When philosophers [Read More...]

Looper, a third view

Review of Looper, Directed by Rian Johnson By KENDRICK KUO  A bit slow in coming, but I finally had the opportunity to watch Looper on a recent flight and came away with some different thoughts than Coyle and Alexis Neal, who reviewed this film here and here. They viewed the film as anchored in unconditional [Read More...]

Gilead and the Calvinist Desire for Christ

Review of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson By JUSTIN HAWKINS Marilynne Robinson’s authorship of Gilead is the most convincing argument for reincarnation that has ever entered my mind.  That is not because the book is in any way about Eastern religion; it is not.  Rather, it is entirely from the perspective of an Iowan pastor in his [Read More...]

NO to Utopianism

Review of NO, Directed by Pablo Larraín By KENDRICK KUO NO more dictatorship. NO more executions. NO more torture. NO more censorship. NO is a Chilean film depicting a plebiscite that occurred in October 1988 to decide whether Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte should stay in power for another term. During the 27-day campaign, daily 15-minute [Read More...]

The Cat’s in the Cradle and John McClane’s in Russia: A Good Day to Die Hard

Review of A Good Day to Die Hard, Directed by John Moore By ALEXIS NEAL Where does our favorite modern-day cowboy go on vacation to get away from it all? Why, Mother Russia, of course, to track down his missing son—an apparent ne’er do well who’s been incarcerated (in Russia) for unknown reasons. McClane quickly [Read More...]

Beautiful Creatures and the Books They Love

Review of Beautiful Creatures, Directed by Richard LaGravenese By COYLE NEAL  Both Ethan and Lena want to escape—Ethan wants to get out of his backwoods South Carolina town (I forget the name, but does it really matter?), while Lena wants to escape being forced to be a “Caster” for the side of either good or evil. [Read More...]

Love Conquers All: Romance and Idolatry in ‘The Mummy’

Review of The Mummy, Directed by Karl Freund By ALEXIS NEAL You really should know better than to read aloud anything you find in an ancient tomb in Cairo. But when the long-lost Scroll of Thoth is discovered, a certain archaeologist’s assistant decides to do just that: read it aloud—and in the presence of the [Read More...]

Introverts, Extroverts, and the Gospel: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Shut My Cake Hole

Review of Quiet by Susan Cain By COYLE NEAL Do you prefer your own company to that of others? Do you prefer a quiet evening at home to a drunken kegger? Do you wish that in addition to blocking sight the walls of your office blocked sound and other evidences of human existence? If so, [Read More...]

Silver Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot

Review of Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment By KENDRICK KUO In commemoration of Warner Bros. 90th anniversary the studio has released a feature-length documentary about the grounds and the stories brought to the screen on its campus. The entire film takes place on site–in fact, it was a non-negotiable [Read More...]


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