‘The Shack” – finding God in the dark

"The Shack," based on the 2007 best-selling novel by William P. Young, is now a major motion picture starring Sam Worthington and Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer. In wide release today, the film, in my humble opinion, far surpasses the novel. As anyone who reads my reviews knows, I am not a fan of the "Christian" genre, because most of those movies lead with a message rather than the story. I prefer to figure out what the movie means rather than sit in a theater as if it were a Sunday … [Read more...]

The Shack: Christian Film with a Catholic Touch

My feature story on the new film "The Shack" is now live at St. Anthony Messenger!Be sure to click through to read the entire story. (I have posted just a few opening paragraphs here.)The film opens on March 3, a great film - and just in time -  for Lent.In 2007, Canadian author William P. Young, with the help of two minister friends, self-published The Shack, a novel that he had written as a Christmas gift for his six children. It became a USA Today and New York Times best seller … [Read more...]

‘Black or White’ is about complicated family situations – and it’s my first time on the Red Carpet!

Mike Binder's new film, "Black or White," is being released right after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and in time for Black History Month. Its release comes after a tumultuous year of riots and marches motivated by the deaths of black boys and men at the hands of white policemen. But the film was in production long before these events because Binder had a story to tell that came from his own extended family. The timing for the release is fortuitous because, as Binder says, "It's time to … [Read more...]

“Fruitvale Station” witness to justice via social media

 (I wrote this review for the National Catholic Reporter after seeing the film at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 where it took top honors)."Fruitvale" Feature directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, Chad Michael Murray 100 minutesJust after midnight on the morning of Jan. 1, 2009, a fight broke out on the BART subway system as it pulled into the Fruitvale stop in Oakland, Calif. When the transit police arrived, the fight subsided, but … [Read more...]