National Film Retreat II

Thank you for visiting My Movies Journal. Before you look at my film commentaries, I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to visit and consider making a "film retreat". If you enjoy cinema, spirituality and theology, you'd enjoy this annual gathering. This is our 5th year. The theme is "Matters of Conscience" and the films we are screening are: To Kill a Mockingbird El Crimen de Padre Amaro Pretty Woman Mostly Martha/Whale Rider We have to give Loyola … [Read more...]

Girl with a Pearl Earring

I just saw the DVD of GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING last night - catching up on some of the fine movies of 2003 (O brother! Where are the really good movies this year???). What an exquisite film. My sister and I both kept saying, "Each scene is a masterpiece - this is a true art film!" Just as Jan Vermeer was a master of composition and light, so is this film, directed by Peter Weber and starring Colin Firth as Vermeer and Scarlett Johansson as the serving girl, Griet. The film is based on a novel … [Read more...]

Two Brothers

TWO BROTHERS is a beautiful tale of twin tiger cubs born in the jungles of Cambodia around World War I. If you liked the 1988 film The Bear by director Jean-Jacques Annaud, you will enjoy this contemplation of nature and the animal kingdom and how harmony can be restored when it is disrupted by human greed. FRom the same studio that brought us Babe... My full review is located here: … [Read more...]

A Day without a Mexican

A Day without a Mexican is nothing like I thought it would be. It is a mockumentary that deals with prejudice, ignorance, racism, what it means to be an alien (think UFO), friendship, pride and honesty. It's as good as a Michael Moore-type documentary only this one is so layered and nuanced yet in-your-face at the same time, that you have to laugh. I think it deserves an award. On one day, all the Latinos in California disappear and everything begins to fall apart. Only one Latina is left, so a … [Read more...]

The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow is NOT your typical patriotic disaster movie. I think it is very political, though, and each citizen of the earth and lawmakers would do well to sit up, take notice, and action. Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a climatologist doing research with two colleagues in Antarctica when the ledge they are on starts to split. Next Jack is in New Delhi speaking at a conference on global warming and the vice president (Kenneth Welsh) of the US ridicules Jack for being more concerned … [Read more...]

The Notebook

The Notebook (coming soon to a theater near you!) is based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same title. What's beautiful about the movie is that it takes on marital fidelity over the long haul... over the decades, in sickness and in health. Dramas about old people are rare, though we have had some: On Golden Pond, Driving Miss Daisy, Trip to Bountiful, Marvin's Room. But here is another one to remind the younger generation that marriage, love and fidelity can endure - and that as we care for … [Read more...]

Welcome to My Movies!

I am very pleased to welcome you to this online journal. I would like to share with you my criteria for exploring contemporary film through these spontaneous reviews and commentary - usually written within 24 hours of viewing (hence the occasional typo's). I try to consider   n                                  The degree to … [Read more...]

America’s Heart and Soul

America's Heart and Soul is a beautiful new 90 minute film to be released for the July 4th weekend. If you are tired of overlong "patriotic" disaster films, then let yourself be inspired by this contemplative road (and air) trip around the USA. Over the last 10 years, filmmaker Louis Swartzberg has collected and now created a montage of "voices" and faces that tell their stories of what freedom in America means - and these meanings include everything from freedom from alcoholism to the freedom … [Read more...]


Shrek2 begins when Fiona and Shrek go on their honeymoon and return to find Donkey keeping house for them (more or less.) Fiona's parents want them to come for a visit so they can give their blessing to the marriage. And the adventures begin. Shrek2 is aimed a little older audience than the Shrek - perhaps hoping to interest the now more mature audience that enjoyed the first film. Lots of double entendre, a little scatalogoical humor - and Joan Rivers, Starbucks and Hollywood - watch out! The … [Read more...]

Van Helsing

VAN HELSING is pure cinematic comic book horror and Hugh Jackman knows how to pull it off (X-Men franchise). It's over-the-top and funny, and uses the Catholic Church (to an absurd extreme) and Catholic imagery and theological tradition, much like Nosferatu (the Dracula story is the Christ story in reverse) and other Dracula stories. It's really a too-long hodge-podge of all the vampire/Frankenstein flicks that have come before - but it was fun. I think there's a commentary in there … [Read more...]