29 Jun 2017

Baby Driver (2017) – a review and a mixtape

[This review is made possible by the Looking Closer Specialists — a generous crew who support this website. Thank you, Specialists, for understanding the time and resources that are necessary to keep a site like this alive. You are my best audience, and more: you are partners and friends.] •

0 Read More
26 Jun 2017

Shaun of the Disillusioned

Last Friday night, I reminded Anne that it was her turn to pick our date-night movie. This is never a simple task for either one of us. And so, a familiar struggle ensued. Anne ascended the stairs to browse our film library while I prepared the snacks. She returned with

1 Read More
22 Jun 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

Against all odds and right on time, director Patty Jenkins’s much-anticipated Wonder Woman delivers almost everything a summer moviegoer could hope for, restoring my belief in the importance of the superhero genre and the potential of summer blockbusters. That may sound like a typically hyperbolic film-critic claim. Or like I’m jumping on a

3 Read More
21 Jun 2017

My Box of 64: Ep. 4 – The Summer of Nathans

Here it is at last — Episode Four of My Box of 64, my new audio journal. Press play… This episode took a while to produce. Thanks to “the Nathans” and to John Barber (who volunteers so much of his time helping me put this show together). I’d hoped to

0 Read More
04 Jun 2017

Where did the “evangel” in “evangelical” go?

I try to avoid posts that aren’t focused on the arts and imagination. But we’re living in a world where an “evangelical” leader calls our President a “dream President” for evangelicals. So if I’m going to retain any capacity to respect the term “evangelical,” which my childhood burned like a

0 Read More
04 Jun 2017

Looking Closer at Wonder Woman

My hopes: That Wonder Woman is one of those rare comic-book films that capture and hold my attention by questioning whether the glorification of violence is the way to celebrate true courage, conscience, and conviction. That Wonder Woman subverts the idea that masculinity is defined by muscularity and “fighting good.” That Wonder Woman offers

1 Read More
27 May 2017

The Unknown Girl (2017)

Before I talk about two brothers from Belgium and review their impressive new murder mystery — The Unknown Girl — I’m going to step up on my soapbox and talk about heroes and villains. Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker have always been, for me, the least-interesting characters in their own franchises. Temperamental Hermione

0 Read More
21 May 2017

My Box of 64: Ep. 3 – Getting Into Character

On the third episode of the new Looking Closer audio journal, My Box of 64… I write to my muse, Thomas, with comments on the new Netflix series — Abstract: The Art of Design, the new Terence Davies film about Emily Dickinson called A Quiet Passion, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Then I

0 Read More
13 May 2017

A Quiet Passion (2017)

The brilliant Terence Davies cast — Cynthia Nixon in — A Quiet Passion as the great — Emily Dickinson. The poet’s played by Emma Bell — In the opening scenes — Where Emily embraces doubt — And authenticity. But then — the wonder of the sight — family portraits change!

0 Read More
30 Apr 2017

Personal Shopper (2017)

Just as Olivier Assayas’s new film Personal Shopper keeps shapeshifting from horror movie to socio-economic commentary to erotic thriller to paranormal murder mystery… so this review keeps shifting as I write it. I haven’t published my comments until now because I couldn’t figure out where to begin in describing all that

2 Read More