Category: On Movies

Movie Review: The Gift
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Movie Review: The Gift

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Looking for a tight suspense thriller? Look no further than The Gift, the weak-titled, but strongly-executed directorial debut of the ever-fascinating Joel Edgerton (who also wrote and stars ). The trailer is not a trailer, but a spoiler, so don’t even watch it. You’ll know far too much at the outset. The one thing I […]

The Human Body and the Death of Normalcy?
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The Human Body and the Death of Normalcy?

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Regan Brashear has done us all a favor by directing and producing the documentary film Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. Fixed, a New Day Digital film, was released in 2013, and I’m happy to have heard about it and to have been given a chance to watch it. I confess, on watching the trailer, […]

Movie Review I Am Potential
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Movie Review I Am Potential

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The new movie, I Am Potential, is based on the true story of the Hughes Family whose son was born without eyes and unable to walk. I almost didn’t want to even tell you that, because I had the experience of coming at the story cold, and was hit by the element of surprise at […]

Movie Review: Self/less
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Movie Review: Self/less

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The idea and ideology of “transhumanism”: that human beings are basically just brains in containers, and that if we could just find a way to upload our brains into computers or robots or such–we could live on forever–is the subject of the new film Self/less. It was also the subject of the recent film Transcendence. […]

What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?
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What Do Twilight, Fifty Shades, and Leviticus Have in Common?

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Most who discuss them agree that the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey fiction series are the same basic story line with different characters. What seems to differ among those discussing the two, however, is why they are so popular that they developed a cult following. I have a suggestion along that line: What if the wild fascination […]

Movie Review: Inside Out
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Movie Review: Inside Out

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Inside Out, the new Pixar movie about Riley, an eleven-year-old girl whose world is turned upside down when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, is good, but not great. It’s very much a kid’s movie (with knowing asides to parents, as these films always have). When I first saw the trailer for the […]

Movie Review: Jurassic World
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Movie Review: Jurassic World

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The fourth of the Jurassic movies, Jurassic World, is brilliant, in keeping with the tone of the franchise, and great entertainment. The over-the-top trailer should never have shown us the escaped pterodactyls swooping down on everyone. That was a total spoiler and made the film look overblown, which it is not. Jurassic World retains all […]

Movie Review -- Mad Max: Fury Road
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Movie Review — Mad Max: Fury Road

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Oftentimes I am sure I’m going to like a movie and am very disappointed. Rarely am I sure I will detest a movie and turn out liking it. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of those latter films. Although named for Mad Max, this is not his movie. It’s really Imperator Furiosa’s (Charlize Theron) story. […]

Movie Review: Far From the Madding Crowd
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Movie Review: Far From the Madding Crowd

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Fans of “Pride and Prejudice” will love the new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. It’s a romance of class divisions as well as gender divisions (in the sense that a fiercely independent and independently wealthy female sees no “need” for a husband). Miss Bathsheba Everdene* (the astute and expressive […]

Movie Review: Ex Machina
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Movie Review: Ex Machina

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Ex Machina, an updated story on Artificial Intelligence, is a new science fiction classic, with all the bells and whistles of today’s filmmaking, but without a terribly new conclusion about the human or moral ramifications of A.I. A megalomaniac computer scientist (Nathan) has created a top-secret female robot (Ava) and invited a computer coder (Caleb) […]

The Messengers: An End Times TV Series
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The Messengers: An End Times TV Series

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The new TV series The Messengers is an end-times drama in the battle of good and evil. But first, before tuning in, suspend any theological expectations–it is fiction after all. The plot centers on a group of five young people with no connections to one another. An energy pulse courses through them, killing them, after […]

Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?
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Is Indiana’s Debate the Precursor to a Forbidden God?

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No matter what side of the debate you find yourself on, the heated discussion surrounding Indiana’s recently passed religious freedom restoration act is infuriating. For those who honestly condemn bigotry it appears to be a discriminatory power grab, one that is nothing less than downright disheartening. For those who welcome the measure, they see a […]

LUCY and the Longing of the Heart for More
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LUCY and the Longing of the Heart for More

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I was a young boy in the 1970’s and 80’s, coming of age in the early days of the movie magic of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. of galaxies far, far away, of Close Encounters, and hidden mysteries, of Lost Arks and great adventures. I can honestly say my formation and invitation into wonder and transcendence was assisted, however […]

Still Alice: Life in the Wake of a Devastating Diagnosis
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Still Alice: Life in the Wake of a Devastating Diagnosis

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“I am not suffering; I am struggling.” These words are part of a beautiful speech delivered by Julianne Moore in her Oscar-nominated performance as Dr. Alice Howland in the film Still Alice. The film is a powerful testimony of how a woman who has made her career out of words loses her words because of […]

Why Settle for Shades of Grey?
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Why Settle for Shades of Grey?

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Remember the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ when the androgynous, almost-beautiful-but-not-quite Satan character is carrying a baby, and when the face of the baby is revealed, it turns out to be old, ugly, and creepy rather than a sweet baby face? This was confusing for a lot of viewers, and when […]

Movie Review: American Sniper
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Movie Review: American Sniper

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Does American Sniper glorify war? Does the film pretend to take very seriously the colossal cost of war, the human toll on both sides, the fact that “war is an adventure from which there is no return” (John Paul II)–but actually delights in it? Kinda, sorta. Even though Clint Eastwood insists he’s more of a […]

Movie Review: Selma
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Movie Review: Selma

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Selma, the story of a pivotal point in the civil rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a well-cast, well-acted re-telling. At times it lacks a bit of a spark, especially as David Oyelowo delivers MLK’s rousing, eloquent and inspired speeches in an almost too polished fashion. But this is one of the […]

Wedding Rings and Christmas Tree Ornament
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When Hollywood Celebrated Christmas and Marriage

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I don’t see a happy ending to this story.

Fr. Don Calloway on the Power of Mary
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Fr. Don Calloway on the Power of Mary

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Twelve years ago, a brief article in the Marian Helper magazine caught my attention. “My mother never gave up on me,” I read. “Even though I dropped out of high school, she never gave up on me, and now I’m becoming a priest.” That simple little story spoke volumes. I was on the lookout for inspirational […]

Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

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Exodus–the story of Moses–proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that atheists make the best Bible movies (see my review of Noah). I don’t know that atheists necessarily make the best contemporary movies about faith or people of faith, but they certainly do the oldies well. Perhaps this is in part because they mine an […]

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I
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Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part I

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The third installment of The Hunger Games: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part I does not disappoint. Director, Francis Lawrence, who also directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire keeps the momentum going in a sleek, seamless film. As we all know, sequels are hardly ever as good as the original, but in serial films it seems, as […]

Movie Review: Gone Girl
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Movie Review: Gone Girl

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I don’t know why this simple premise intrigued me when the best-selling book and now movie, Gone Girl first came out, but it did: A young married couple. The wife suddenly disappears. Was it murder? Did her husband do it? But alas, the film, for all its accolades, is a massive disappointment, and really, a […]

Movie Review: Men, Women and Children
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Movie Review: Men, Women and Children

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Do not see Men, Women and Children unless you are inured to today’s porn and sex and sex and porn everywhere. The language and visuals are graphic and explicit and involve teens (and remember, today’s sex is degraded), but after a few seconds of getting into it each time, the camera mercifully cuts away. But […]

Movie Review: The Good Lie
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Movie Review: The Good Lie

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I did not want to see The Good Lie. It was assigned to me by my boss at LifeTeen, Christina Mead (benign dictator). I thought: I already know all about the “Lost Boys of Sudan” (young men who were forced to be child soldiers when their parents were murdered during the civil war). Many sad, […]

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