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

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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

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27 May 2017

I believe in Doctor Jenny

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

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13 May 2017

Davies brings Dickinson to life (and vice versa)

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!

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30 Apr 2017

The haunting of a half-hearted woman

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

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17 Apr 2017

Don’t Think Twice: Yes, and . . .

Improv comedy is a demanding art. Making a movie about an improv team — one that is both dramatic and funny — that’s even more challenging. Mike Birbiglia succeeds!

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06 Apr 2017

I thought I’d love Song to Song. I was wrong.

The latest Terrence Malick pageant of glamorous lovers and their interior-monologues meanders into monotony.

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01 Apr 2017

Silence… like you’ve never heard it before.

Trample! TRAMPLE!

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20 Mar 2017

If you loved The Secret of Kells

For the grand finale of my film-focused research writing course at Seattle Pacific University, I treated my finals-weary students to a screening and discussion of The Secret of Kells. I didn’t even realize until I was loading up the movie that, lo and behold… it was St. Patrick’s Day. And so, another

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19 Mar 2017

Embracing dangerous neighbors in Of Gods and Men

I recently posted a review of Martin Scorsese’s Silence that was written by a high school student who took my online film course called “Viewer Discussion Advised.” Today, I’m sharing another review by a first-time film critic who took that class with me over seventeen weeks. Her name is Martha-Grace

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