July 3, 2021

Given the thorny nature of the film’s subject material, I debated for some time about whether or not I was ever going to spotlight this film. I admittedly don’t recommend it for all viewers, but I maintain that for the agreeable viewer, even a film as dark as this offers a glimpse of something truly heavenly. Anyway … Based on the play by Steven Fletcher, “The Woodsman” follows a former child molester, Walter (played by Kevin Bacon), who tries to rebuild... Read more

June 30, 2021

If you’re not familiar with Stanley Donen’s film, Charade, know that it stars Hollywood icons Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in some of their best roles. The film itself reads like a rom-com married to a spy-thriller, and the results are quite rewarding. Spoilers don’t ruin this film quite as much as they do a film like Arrival. Just so, read at your own risk. The film follows the newly widowed Regina Lampert who learns that her late husband helped... Read more

June 26, 2021

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say–I never intend to be demeaning or step on anyone’s toes, and I definitely don’t like to deal in controversy. Just so … Guardians of the Galaxy is kinda the best superhero movie ever made. The movie famously follows a handful of outlaws living on the edges of the universe. Outcasts in their galaxy, and desperate to get their lottery ticket out, the five of them strike up an alliance to deliver an... Read more

June 23, 2021

My recent trip to see “In the Heights” in theaters really renewed my appetite for another musical to take home the Best Picture Oscar. The last time this happened was at the 2003 ceremony with Rob Marshall’s premier film, Chicago. Adapted from the 1970s stage show, this musical film offers a satirical look at the intersection between celebrityhood, crime, and the public’s appetite for drama. The film also presents a sort of prodigal son parable of both the allure and... Read more

June 19, 2021

[If you haven’t seen the film Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 film, Arrival, be forewarned that the following article contains spoilers. Know also that Arrival is the last film on earth that should be spoiled. The author strongly recommends you experience the film for yourself, then return to this piece. If you have seen the film but need a refresher, fear not.] The film opens with our protagonist reminiscing on her time with her late daughter who was lost to leukemia. The... Read more

June 16, 2021

The icon of “the lamb and the lion” originates from the book of Isaiah and is often discussed in the context of Christ’s return. The image of something powerful lying by something gentle captures our imagination. Both creatures involved are beautiful to behold, but we know instinctively that these two don’t belong together. One is clearly a predator, and the other is clearly its prey. How could something so fierce by design sit next to something so defenseless? This disruption... Read more

June 12, 2021

On the day Disney+ went live, my sister and her husband selected Walt Disney Animation’s very first film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” as their inaugural viewing. (I think mine was the “Lady and the Tramp” remake?) Apparently my brother-in-law hadn’t seen the film since early childhood, and he didn’t remember the details of the ending. His reaction to seeing Snow White and the Prince approach the Castle in the clouds was something like “So … she’s dead?” The... Read more

June 9, 2021

The term “Madonna” has been used to designate art depicting Mary, the mother of Christ. One of the most central modes of religious art, Madonna statues and paintings have appeared throughout the centuries depicting Mother Mary usually with her infant son. Some of the most famous Madonna works of art have come from Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and Filippo Lippi. One of the more fascinating representations came in 1984 from James Cameron. Though not a literal reinterpretation of Mary’s story,... Read more

June 7, 2021

Way back when I was auditioning my writing for Patheos, I wrote a sample piece about Cool Hand Luke as an allegory for the life of Jesus Christ. The film follows Paul Newman’s character, Luke, after he is interned in a state prison. Luke’s defiant spirit frustrates the prison’s tyrannical regime. Luke not only resists their oppression but also becomes something of a savior to the other prisoners. I was intrigued by not only the film’s religious imagery but also... Read more

June 1, 2021

Functionally, scriptures and fairy tales serve very similar purposes. Both tell coded stories that impart morality. Both tell fantastical stories. Most tellingly, both demand childlike faith from their reader. Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 film, El Laberinto del Fauno “Pan’s Labyrinth,” presents a unique intersection between the two. In doing so, the film reveals the striking overlaps between belief in magic and belief in the divine. The movie tells a fantastical tale about a young girl named Ofelia clinging to goodness... Read more

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