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...]

Side Effects

Review of Side Effects, Directed by Steven Soderbergh By KENDRICK KUO Rating: 7/10 Side Effects has generated a lot of buzz, partly because the director, Steve Soderbergh, has kept his lips sealed about what the movie is about, besides of course that it’s a pharmaceutical thriller; and pre-release viewers have also shown respect in not [Read More...]

Follow the Leader

Review of Follow Me by David Platt By COYLE NEAL David Platt will mess you up. Or at least, his books will. When they’re not convicting you of being a fat, lazy American who doesn’t have much faith but has far too much comfort and stuff, they’re challenging you to live as if you are [Read More...]

Pleasant Quartet Is the Anti-Amour

Review of Quartet, Directed by Dustin Hoffman, and Amour, Directed by Michael Haneke By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER After seven Oscar nominations and two wins as an actor, Dustin Hoffman moves behind the camera for Quartet, his official directorial debut. (The actor co-directed Straight Time in 1978, but went uncredited.) The results aren’t award-worthy, but they’re pleasant [Read More...]

What are the Beasts of the Southern Wild?

Review of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Directed by Benh Zeitlin By KENDRICK KUO Beasts of the Southern Wild has taken top prizes at Sundance and Cannes and has now racked up nominations at the Oscars. The talk of the town is Quvenzhané Wallis. A six year old at the time of filming, and now [Read More...]

In Alexander’s Footsteps

Review of Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan by Frank L. Holt By COYLE NEAL If you are not familiar with Frank Holt, I’m not terribly surprised. In one sense he is an obscure academic working in an obscure corner of academia. Specifically, he is an expert in Central Asian numismatics—the [Read More...]

Happiness may be a warm blanket, but Justice is a Bullet to the Head

Review of Bullet to the Head, Directed by Walter Hill By COYLE NEAL This movie is a combination of the original graphic novel and all previous Stallone movies (except possibly that soccer one). And… I don’t actually think I’m exaggerating much. In addition to the cameo photograph from the Rambo series, the plot is basically an [Read More...]

Are We Stand Up Guys?

Review of Stand Up Guys, Directed by Fisher Stevens By KENDRICK KUO What makes a stand up guy? Friendships between three retired gangsters tries to answer this question in the just-released Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin. After 28 years in prison, Val (Pacino) has finally served his time and [Read More...]

Big Trouble in Little China: Tina Turner Was Wrong–We DO Need Another Hero

Review of Big Trouble in Little China, directed by John Carpenter By ALEXIS NEAL Jack Burton is nobody special. He’s just your average red-blooded American—a loudmouth truckdriver with a gambling habit and a knack for getting into trouble. When his friend Wang’s fiancée Miao Yin is kidnapped by sex traffickers, Jack agrees to help get [Read More...]

Book of the Dun Cow

Review of Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. By KENDRICK KUO Aesop’s fables, Narnia, and Animal Farm, all rolled into one, would produce something similar to Book of the Dun Cow (1978), although Dun Cow is in a league of its own. The book won the the National Book Award (1980), to [Read More...]

Slaughterhouse-Five

Review of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut By COYLE NEAL Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. That is, he does not live from second to second as most of us do, but instead jumps to the future, and then back to the past, and then again to the present (whatever that means—it can be hard [Read More...]

In Defense of Burning Witches

Review of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Directed by Tommy Wirkola By COYLE NEAL Deep in the woods of Germany, a sinister plot is brewing—and the brew will be seasoned with twelve kidnapped children from nearby Augsburg. Enter Hansel and Gretel: orphans, siblings, and professional witch hunters hired by the city to rescue the children. [Read More...]


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