Category: Movies

The bombastic beauty of Furious 7

More surprising than the $392 million Furious 7 took in at the box office over Easter weekend has been the number of positive reviews the action flick garnered. This usually doesn’t happen to movies starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and exploding vehicles. There may be a somber explanation for the positive reception, considering the movie is something of a memorial to co-star Paul…  [more]

Getting back to basics with the new Cinderella

Sometimes it seems that even Disney movies have given up on moral instruction. Take last year’s Maleficent, the studio’s revisionist version of the Sleeping Beauty tale. I loved it, but mostly for the way it evoked the psychological effects of trauma while also offering a nuanced understanding of evil. Not exactly kids’ stuff. Meanwhile, as animated efforts become increasingly chaotic, even those…  [more]

Chappie: Gnostic clown or resurrected body?

Chappie isn’t much of a science-fiction action film, what with its wild variations in tone and juvenile fetishizing of weaponry. Yet like even the most dunderheaded of sci-fi enterprises, the movie does offer some tantalizing speculation about where the human race may be heading. And according to Chappie’s future, downloadable souls will be the next big thing. Part E.T. and part Pinocchio – but…  [more]

Birdman (or, the unexpected virtue of the Academy Awards)

Birdman won the Best Picture Oscar at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony, something I predicted partly because it’s a movie about making movies, a subject of which Hollywood never tires. The fact that it’s also about the artistic ego – and how pride goes before the fall – could be seen either as the icing on the cake or the definition of Hollywood hypocrisy. With the somewhat…  [more]

A husband and wife walk into the Fifty Shades of Grey movie…

Author’s note: In an attempt to engage Fifty Shades of Grey from a Christian perspective, my wife and I attended a Valentine’s Day screening of the movie, which details the sexual relationship between a literature student and a young billionaire. The conversation below captures the dialogue we had immediately following the film. Lauren: I don’t know that I have ever been to a movie premiere that…  [more]

Sundance Dispatch #3: Leaving The Wolfpack

My last night at the Sundance Film Festival included a documentary that somewhat mirrored my time here. A profile of six brothers who were forbidden by their father to leave their Lower East Side apartment for most of their childhood, The Wolfpack depicts the way they filled that void by obsessively consuming and re-enacting Hollywood movies. In other words, it offered a vision of life as only experienced through…  [more]

Sundance Dispatch #2: Confession and community in Pervert Park

Well, I was warned. The Sundance Film Festival veterans with me as part of Into the Noise said that eventually a movie would break you down into tears - partly because of the exhaustion that would begin to sink in and partly because of the sheer intensity of the film itself. And so it happened to me with Pervert Park. I can’t really blame exhaustion, as I saw Pervert Park first thing in the morning. So…  [more]

Sundance Dispatch #1: Into the Noise, Out of The Troubles

I've been at the Sundance Film Festival for about 24 hours, and can already confirm what I've long known: God moves through movies, and through the people who love them. These are the sort of folks I'm surrounded by, not only at the festival in general but also within the learning group of which I'm a part. Into the Noise has been traveling to Sundance, South By Southwest and ArtPrize for several…  [more]

The higher love modeled by The Imitation Game

There’s a powerful scene in the Oscar-nominated, World War II drama The Imitation Game, in which the brilliant, code-breaking mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) tells the woman he is about to marry (Keira Knightley) that he’s gay. Her poignant response was profoundly illumining for me. It seemed to embody a love that was bigger than mere sexual orientation. Alan Turing: There’s…  [more]

Annie: on top of the world, and of it?

From Star Wars to Spider-Man to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the movies seem full of my childhood heroes these days. It's always fun to experience the stories you grew up with through adult eyes. So when I heard about a new version of Annie, starring Quvenzhané Wallis, I was intrigued and excited. And the movie hardly disappoints. It's top-grade nostalgia and can certainly be enjoyed on those terms.…  [more]

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