The Value of Knowing Another’s Secrets, Movie-Wise

For Wilder the writer, knowledge is power, and the way he wields it is wonderful to behold. For Baxter, though, it’s much more than power. For him, it’s salvation. [Read more…]

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Poppy Hill and the Wonderful Ordinary

On the wall above my desk, there hangs a home-made plaque with this Chesterton quote: For a plain, hard-working man the home is not the one tame place in the world of adventure. It is the one wild place in the world of rules and set tasks. I love this quote. Not because my home [Read More…]

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“Liberty Valance” and the Obligations of Progress

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching and then discussing John Ford’s inestimable The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with a group of college students. By the end of the evening, the film had further cemented its position as My Favorite Ford not simply because of its technical and cinematic excellence — has [Read More…]

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Peter Jackson Misses the Point

This past weekend, I joined millions of moviegoers around the globe in what will doubtless become a Christmas tradition (whether we like it or not): I Hobbited. Having now experienced Peter Jackson’s latest extravaganza for myself, I can safely say that I have very little to add to the critical consensus. The film features many of the visual and [Read More…]

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The Unimpeachable Testimony of Dr. John Watson

As someone who spent countless hours with his adolescent nose buried in the pages of The Complete Illustrated Strand Sherlock Holmes (Facsimile Edition), there are few activities that give me more pleasure than comparing, contrasting, and critiquing the many cinematic faces of The World’s Most Portrayed Literary Human. Interpreted by more than seventy-five separate actors, Conan Doyle’s legendary [Read More…]

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“Seven Chances” and Answered Prayers Unrecognized

A quick scan of the Lens’ archives reveals my propensity for darker cinematic fare. Nervous friends regularly ask me how I can bear to watch so many sad films. The answer, I tell them, is that I am not sad. They maintain an understandable skepticism. Therefore, in stark contrast with my usual, I blithely pronounce this week’s [Read More…]

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Embracing Martha While Pining for Mary: Win-Win?

Life in a household of six boys often feels relentlessly jumbled and overwhelming. The wall of sound that greets me on my return home each day; the coughing, congestion and continual runny noses; the endless cycle of feeding, cleaning, and caring for this beloved brood of mine—my wife and I find ourselves willing-yet-worn-thin on the [Read More…]

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The Absurdity of God’s Forgiveness

WARNING: This review reveals plot points perhaps best experienced in person. For those who have not yet seen The Son (Le Fils) from the Brothers Dardaine, it can be found on Netflix’s Watch Instantly. As Lent draws to a close, I always find myself searching for a film to assist me in my preparations for Holy Week. This [Read More…]

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Obamacare Questions: Windmills or Giants?

“They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics.” G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy It is no [Read More…]

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A Cinematic Refuge for the Valentine-Averse

Well, here we go again. After a year of relative safety, we have arrived once more at Valentine’s Day, that most awkward of holidays, straddling the line twixt Twitterpation and Crass Consumerism. The day crabby old-timers love to hate; the day unromantic types hate because they are expected to love it so much; and the one shining [Read More…]

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