Eastern Promises the Movie

Director David Cronenburg (A History of Violence) once again gives us an in-depth look at an ultra-violent dimension of the world and we are probably not familiar with. Viggo Mortensen is Nikkolai, a chauffeur for the head of London's Russian mob, Semyon, credibly played by Armin Mueller-Stahl. Naomi Watts is Anna, a midwife who tries to find the family of a newborn whose mother, aged 14, died in childbirth. Nikkolai is more than he seems - in actuality and morally - even … [Read more...]

Into the Wild the Movie

Let me the first to say that Hal Holbrook ,who plays Ron Franz in Sean Penn's interpretation of Jon Krakauer's book "Into the Wild", deserves an Oscar nomination. (I think the cinematography does as well, and possibly the script, direction, and editing.) Holbrook is so believable and plays the role of a lonely old man who shares kindnesswith Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless, the young Emory University graduate who gives away all his savings and goes off the grid to search for … [Read more...]

Ken Burns: The War on PBS

This study guide for this new documentary series is from Frank Baker, a media literacy expert (http://www.frankwbaker.com/). He posted it on the media ed listserv this morning.   It can be downloaded here:http://www.frankwbaker.com/war_media_literacy.htmLooking At “The War” Through a Media Literacy Lensby Frank Baker, media educator Copyright 2007 Tags: media literacy lens; the War; documentary film; media literacy … [Read more...]

TRADE the Movie

TRADE, starring Kevin Kline as a man searching for someone that he assumes has disappeared into Mexico, opens on September 28. It is a story about the tragedy of human trafficking. Please read my review at http://americancatholic.org/Messenger/Oct2007/Eye_On_Entertainment.asp  This is not an easy film to watch, however the only way to stop trafficking in human persons is to understand better what is going on invisibly around us. If you check the film's website you can see a list … [Read more...]

Into Great Silence DVD and Study Guide Release date

The hush of monastic life comes to DVD with "INTO GREAT SILENCE"In the acclaimed documentary INTO GREAT SILENCE, German filmmaker Philip Gröning closely, quietly observes the daily prayers, rituals and tasks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery to mesmerizing effect. This stunning cinematic meditation on spirituality and faith has become one of 2007's highest grossing documentaries. Now - INTO GREAT SILENCE comes to DVD in an expansive Two-Disc Director's Special Edition on October 23, 2007. … [Read more...]

Media Literacy Certificate Program Begins Sept 22

For anyone in Southern California (or anywhere else but it would require a lot of travel!), the Pauline Center for Media Studies is beginning on September 22. If you have been thinking about registering, do so now! Please visit www.paulinecenterformediastudies.org for the complete syllabus and registration form. The class meets once a month from September - June.  The first group that completed the media literacy education certification course last June, 2007.   Tags: media literacy … [Read more...]

Hunting Party the Movie

Richard Shepherd's The Hunting Party with Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg is an excellent film if you like political irony sprinkled with cynicism. I thought the acting was surprisingly good, especially from Gere and Eisenberg (Terrence Howard played his role just a tad too laid back but he was fine.) The quasi-buddy movie is a commentary on US involvement in black ops, nation building, and global manipulation. It's a tragicomedy based on facts - and wait until you see those, … [Read more...]

3:10 to Yuma the Movie

  I saw James Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma and I think it is brilliant. It's being said it's the best western since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (have there been others?). I think it will be a well-deserved award contender for the writing, directing, and oh, the acting. Everyone's talking about Russell Crowe as Ben Wade the thief and robber, and Christian Bale as Dan Evans, the rancher-turned prisoner guard, but Ben Foster as Charlie, Wade's amoral second-in-command of the band of thieves and … [Read more...]

Reframing Theology and Film: New Focus for an Emerging Discipline

Hi everyone, I am so far behind with my poor blog! I will try to make up for this in the next few days. A new book is coming out in late October (you can pre-order on www.amazon.com), edited by Rob Johnston of Fuller Seminary, that seeks to take this emerging discipline (that began in earnest about ten years ago) a step further. I have a chapter included in the book:  Shaping Morals, Shifting Views: Have the Rating Systems Influenced How (Christian)  America Sees Movies? Speaking of … [Read more...]

Evan Almighty: A Film Study Guide

“ Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.” Genesis 6:14“The best preaching is without words,” director Tom Shadyac told Christian journalists at the press junket for his upcoming comedy Evan Almighty. “Just like St. Francis used to say…” On June 22 Shadyac’s seventh comedy will come forth into theaters like a mighty flood inviting audiences of all ages to smile and share the inside joke about a modern day reluctant Noah obeying the inv … [Read more...]