Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In the third installment of the very exciting and lucrative Harry Potter film franchise, we have a dark fantasy horror film for the adolescents among us - and maybe us as well.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is directed by Alfonso Cuaron (E tu mama tambien; Great Expectations, A Little Princess) since Chris Columbus signed off, and I think he respects the films and the books very much. True, I have only read the first volume and half of the second, but we get the idea of how … [Read more...]

I Am Not Scared (Io non ho paura)

I Am Not Scared (Io non ho paura) is a film about the time  when a child is transformed from a playmate into a moral being, and awakened to the darkness of adult choices and his own. The beauty is both boys in the story become aware of what it means to try and save someone, and to be saved. To become aware that we are our brother's keeper. It is 1978 and Michele (mee-kel-lay)lives in a remote and impoverished village in Southern Italy with his little sister, mother and itinerant … [Read more...]

The Lovely Bones: A Novel

People have asked me what I thought of Alice Sebold's 2002 novel, and until now I have only been able to say that I hadn't read it.I finished it over Memorial Day weekend. So many emotions... terror, loss, chaos, distance - and a whole rethinking of what heaven means to me.When 14 year old Susie disappears, we discover what happened to her becasue she narrates it from heaven - a "place" that is different for everyone. She even has an intake counselor who was also murdered...Susie tells t … [Read more...]

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 http://www.nationalfilmretreat.org 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: http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Jun2004/Eye_On_Entertainment.asp#F1 … [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...]