14 Dec 2016

Star Trek Beyon-and-on-and-on…

This is not a review. How can I review a movie if I didn’t pay attention to it? And — I admit it — I did not… no, I could not pay attention to Star Trek Beyond. It’s such a letdown to discover that what the Star Trek franchise has always celebrated as “the final

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09 Dec 2016

Your new favorite Christmas movie

The world outside—it’s a dangerous place. Stick with Christian community. Where it’s safe. I have received that message—sometimes blatant, sometimes merely implied—within so many Christian communities from childhood through adulthood. I’ve been instructed to read only Christian texts, attend only Christian schools, support only Christian charities, seek out Christian doctors,

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09 Dec 2016

Manchester By the Sea (2016)

Twice now I’ve walked into a movie on a dry cold Seattle day and then emerged to become immediately enchanted by a change in the weather — to be specific, heavy snowfall. And both times, the discovery of the weather made me wish I’d spent the time wandering in a

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05 Dec 2016

Arrival (2016)

Reader, I confess: I clicked “unfriend” last month. Several times. Understand, I wasn’t ending friendships. I was respecting them — by refusing to let Facebook’s limitations do them further harm. It troubled me to see conversations we might have enjoyed in person go so horribly awry on social media. And

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23 Nov 2016

The trailer we’ve been waiting for

For more than ten years, I’ve been writing about my anticipation for this, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of one of my favorite novels.

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19 Nov 2016

Doctor Strange (2016)

It’s easy to see why director Scott Derrickson’s adaptation for the Marvel movie super-franchise is such a success. First: Marvel is a machine that makes blockbusters. Second: Strange boasts standard-setting special effects. (Many say it’s inspired by Inception, but its wildest moments have equivalents in comics that predate Christopher Nolan.)

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04 Nov 2016

Are the Coen Brothers “filmmakers of faith”?

Last weekend, I accepted an invitation to St. Leo University near Tampa, Florida, to participate in a public discussion about — of all things — the movies of the Coen brothers. Brent Short, the school’s director of library services, organized this seminar, and we were joined by Erica Rowell (author

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29 Oct 2016

How to Prepare for Scorsese’s Silence…

A Man for All Seasons gives us Paul Scofield’s finest hour. As he sinks his teeth into Bolt’s delicious dialogue, I defy anyone to remain unmoved. I recommend we prepare for Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s Silence by revisiting this classic. Directed by Fred Zinnemann from a script by Robert

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26 Oct 2016

A blessing upon your vote…

And now I invite Pastor Kenneth Tanner to the podium to give a blessing to all American voters, as they cast their votes for what vision of our nation’s future they find more in keeping with the ideals of “liberty and justice for all…” • May you remember that all

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23 Oct 2016

Before you vote, watch Vertigo…

The way that Vertigo shifts our sympathies from Detective Scottie Ferguson to Judy, his victim, convinces me that it’s as timely as ever. Oceans of ink have been spilled in the last few weeks on subjects like sexism, misogyny, and sexual assault. Last week, when recordings revealed a presidential candidate’s

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