11 May 2004

Over the Rhine's "Ohio": A Double Dose of Brilliance

“I want to do better, I want to try harder,” sings Karin Bergquist at the opening of Disc 2 in Over the Rhine’s monstrous, beautiful, country-laced double-album Ohio. The next line in the same lyric gets at the essence of the album: “I want to believe… down to the letter.”

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11 May 2004

Best in Show (2000)

[This review was first published at the original Looking Closer website in 2001.] • Sometimes humans are more beastly than their pets. Christopher Guest’s new “mockumentary” about dog shows, Best in Show, revels in that fact. The nine human beings that converge on Philadelphia for the Mayflower dog competition seem

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11 May 2004

Sam Phillips – A Boot and a Shoe

When no one’s listening I have so much to say… That’s a line from “How to Quit,” the first song on Sam Phillips’ A Boot and a Shoe. It’s a loaded line. She’s been a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter since her debut The Indescribable Wow in 1988. Her work has been

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11 May 2004

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

2015 Note: This review was originally published at a church website called Green Lake Reflections in 1999, and was quoted in the very first installment of Christianity Today‘s Film Forum, which was hosted at that time by Steve Lansingh. • It sounded promising. The greatest American director working in his

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