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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15 Oct 2016

Save the Future

“Defend the past. Save the future.” Those words are lighting up TV screens this week, promoting the new NBC time-travel adventure series Timeless. But really, it’s ridiculous. No matter how many people want to go back and “kill Hitler,” the past cannot be changed. Right? Right? I don’t know. Last

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30 Sep 2016

The movie I most frequently loan out to friends…

You try walking across Seattle alone. At night. Barefoot. My college roommate did all the time. I didn’t understand it, just as I didn’t understand his quiet demeanor, his watchfulness from the edges, or his aversion to typical college-life distractions. His after-dark disappearances intrigued me. So I took to walking

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24 Sep 2016

You’re invited to a weekly movie club…

What a rush. From 2001 – 2009, I wrote the “Film Forum” column for Christianity Today and served on the CT Movies team of film critics, publishing weekly reviews. Then, as my day job became increasingly demanding, my resources for writing began to diminish, and I had to give up all of my

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19 Sep 2016

How the Gospel brightens “A Brighter Summer Day”

More than fifteen years ago, reviewing Edward Yang’s masterpiece Yi Yi, I wrote that I “couldn’t wait” to see a film he had made nine years earlier — another highly praised epic about generations of one Taiwanese family: A Brighter Summer Day. Well, I did wait. And wait. And wait.

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14 Sep 2016

What are you eager to see?

What movie are you most looking forward to seeing between now and New Year’s Day 2017?

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