Unplanned REVIEW

Unplanned (2019)

“My story isn’t a neat and tidy one,” Abby tells us at the start, but this telling is still pretty neat and tidy. Perhaps the real story was messier.

Dumbo REVIEW

Dumbo (2019)

The Disney nostalgia train rumbles on with Tim Burton back at the throttle — not quite throttling the iconic tale of the flying baby elephant, but only barely rising to the challenge, sort of like Casey Junior struggling to clear that daunting hill.

Fathers Know Best? Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Surprising Animated Dads ARTICLE

Fathers Know Best? Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s Surprising Animated Dads

Particularly striking to me, and even moving, is a theme connecting Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (though not The Lego Movie): how themes of father–son conflict ubiquitous in other cartoons play out with unexpectedly insightful, consequential fathers.

Captain Marvel REVIEW

Captain Marvel (2019)

At this stage in Marvel Cinematic Universe history you almost need a Tolkieneque set of appendices and diagrams to make complete sense of everything.

A Star Is Born [video] POST

A Star Is Born [video] (2018)

So Bradley Cooper can direct and sing as well as act, and Lady Gaga can act as well as sing. The music is solid and sometimes excellent, but does Hollywood’s fourth take on this story have anything new to say?

Best films of 2018: More lists! POST

Best films of 2018: More lists!

First Reformed made more than half of the nine individual lists below, and unsurprisingly topped the year’s best films according to the Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury … What’s more surprising — anyway I’m a little surprised, and delighted — is that another film was even more esteemed in this little community … and it wasn’t any of the films I would have expected.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World REVIEW

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

The two sequels greatly expand the world and the mythology of the original Dragon. Yet our hero’s personal self-development was pretty much complete at the start of Dragon 2.

Roma [video] POST

Roma [video]

“No matter what they say,” the mother tells the maid, “we women are always alone.” More than any other 2018 film about unreliable men, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is a tribute to women holding their worlds together.

2018: The year in reviews ARTICLE

2018: The year in reviews

2018 was a remarkable movie year — for family films, films with religious themes, and documentaries — but it was also a year of family men who weren’t there for their families.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] POST

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [video] (2018)

Chris Miller and Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Phil Lord / Do whatever Chris Miller and Phil Lord do.
Can they swing from a thread? / No they can’t, they’re Hollywood filmmakers.