January 7, 2020

It’s awards season, of course. The Golden Globes were handed out this weekend, and Oscar nominations will be named on Monday. Plenty of film critics’ associations around the country are doling out their own selected honors, too, including one that I belong to–the Denver Film Critics Society. What follows are the DFCS slate of nominees (in no particular order), along with a few comments of my own: It’ll name the winners next Monday. Best Picture “Little Women” “Jojo Rabbit” “Once… Read more

December 30, 2019

It’s never easy to piece together these “best of” lists, but I especially struggled this year. First, there’s the funky criteria that Watching God tries to adhere to: cinematic, storytelling excellence coupled with strong, often spiritually resonant messages. Then there’s the perennial difficulty of pitting very different movies against one another. (Can you really say that a difficult, moving drama like Waves is better than this year’s clever retelling of Little Women, for instance?) But this year, for the first… Read more

December 22, 2019

Hollywood and heaven have never been next-door neighbors. Look, most movie studios want to encourage as many people as possible to see their films, and religion is inherently controversial. Unless a movie maker makes up his or her own religion (say, like George Lucas did with the Force), it makes financial sense to just steer clear of the subject. Maybe that’s why some evangelical Christians have taken matters into their own hands and make their own faith-based movies. Lots of… Read more

December 10, 2019

The environmental docudrama Dark Waters pits attorney Robert Bilott, one-time defender of the country’s mighty chemical companies, against the mightiest of them all: DuPont. On one hand, the film simply, dramatically documents a case of corporate malfeasance and the man (played by Mark Ruffalo) who was instrumental in exposing it. But I think even more so, it’s the journey of the man himself: He traded an easy path for a righteous one, and what that trade cost him. And it,… Read more

November 21, 2019

I’ve got a friend who’s prone to make lists, and he recently gave me one of the 20 happiest moments of his life. It made for a pretty fascinating read: Some I remembered (we’ve been friends since childhood), some I didn’t. And after I read it, I started thinking what would make my own list. I noticed something funny after writing a few entries, though: How often the memories I most treasured were also deeply painful. Talking with my grandmother… Read more

October 3, 2019

Joker makes fine October viewing, what with Halloween around the corner and all. With all due respect to Annabelle, La Llorona and Pennywise from IT: Chapter Two, Joker is the scariest monster I’ve seen this year. And he should be. Historically, no fictional character better embodies the squishy concept of evil better than he. It wasn’t always so. The Clown Prince of Crime has, like his mortal nemesis, Batman, morphed plenty over the years, and in Batman’s campiest days he… Read more

September 10, 2019

The R-rated IT: Chapter Two doesn’t skimp on blood. Indeed, gallon for gallon, it might be one of the bloodiest ever. Want more details about the movie’s high quotient of issues? You can check out my Plugged In review. But get into the (ahem) guts of Chapter Two (based, of course, on Stephen King’s 1986 novel IT), and you’ll find more at work than just an evil, toothy clown. (Warning: Spoilers lurk ahead.) That clown, called Pennywise, is the most… Read more

August 15, 2019

My favorite quote from Where’d You Go, Bernadette? isn’t from the movie at all. Rather, it’s from the 2012 novel of the same name by Maria Semple. She writes: “Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.” In the film, Bernadette (played by Cate Blanchett) has gone off a cliff. She was once a brilliant, rising architect. Her husband, Elgie (Billy… Read more

July 22, 2019

Change—real change—is hard.  Some people say it’s pretty much impossible. Any changes we make are only superficial ones. We forever revert back to the people we were born or were trained up to be. You are who you are, they insist. A leopard can’t change its spots or a zebra its stripes or (they might continue) a skinhead his tattoos. But maybe he can. Skin, a new movie from A24 (and out in theaters and video on demand July 26)… Read more

July 5, 2019

Spider-Man: Far from Home is like the “Scouring of the Shire” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yep, the Ring’s been destroyed and Sauron is gone. But residual evil’s still afoot, and someone’s gotta take care of it. Spider-Man is that someone in Far from Home, and pretty much by default. The rest of the Avengers are dead, in outer space or otherwise engaged when the Elementals start showing up. They’re sentient monsters bent on destruction, according to a super-soldier nicknamed… Read more

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