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Harry Potter vs. Gandalf

What, then, defines morally acceptable use of good magic in fiction? Where, and how, do we draw the line? How do we distinguish the truly worthwhile (Tolkien and Lewis), the basically harmless (Glinda, Cinderella’s fairy godmother), and the problematic or objectionable (“Buffy,” The Craft)? And where on this continuum does Harry Potter really fall?

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Simone: Reality and Fantasy in Hollywood (2002)

The first line of the film’s closing credits read, "Introducing S1m0ne as Herself." At the time of the early-look screening I attended, no further information about "Simone" was readily available. The movie’s production notes, website, and Internet Movie Database entry were all silent about who, or what, Simone might be.

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The Children’s Stories of E. B. White

Just as no writer or editor can do without a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, so no child’s library is complete without one or more of the latter writer’s beloved trilogy of children’s books: Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte’s Web (1952), and Trumpet of the Swan (1970).

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Minority Report: A View from the Red Carpet

“Hi, Internet,” Steven Spielberg says affably.

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WTC: Thoughts from the Week of September 11, 2001

It was only last week, though it seems like a lifetime ago, that I was standing on top of the Empire State Building, squinting to the south with my two older children toward the proud twin towers of the World Trade Center.

“Is it a Game?” Faith, Despair, and Cosmic Loneliness in <i>A.I. Artificial Intelligence</i> ARTICLE

“Is it a Game?” Faith, Despair, and Cosmic Loneliness in A.I. Artificial Intelligence

(Co-written with Chris Otsuki) "Those who made us," Joe explains to David, with a glance at the statue of the Blessed Mother, "are always looking for the ones who made them."

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2001: The Year in Reviews

That said, 2001 was still a pretty lackluster year for film. All spring and all summer, only a tiny handful of worthwhile flicks stood out in a vast wasteland of dreck. The summer’s big special-effects extravaganza, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, was big on effects and short on absolutely everything else, including excitement, humor, charm, characterization, and narrative logic. The annual Disney animated release, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, continued the studio’s dismal slide into modest entertainment values and increasingly glaring New-Age rot. Then the end of the year came with such an onslaught of new releases that it hardly seemed possible to do them all justice. And, unfortunately, Hollywood continued to reap the rewards of its bad behavior with ever-higher box-office returns.

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Possible Halloween Movies for Kids

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Meaning

What is it about this film that’s pulling in ordinarily subtitle-phobic U.S. audiences and eliciting cheers and applause from jaded American critics and festival audiences, yet leaves the kung-fu fans of the East cold? Is this a good martial-arts movie, or not?

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Is Nothing Sacred? An Afternoon with Kevin Smith

Does he think of himself as being part of a generation of filmmakers? Smith reflects. "If I am part of a generation of filmmakers," he says with typically self-depracating candor, "it would be the generation that got in too easily." He recounts the epiphany he had after seeing Richard Linklater’s 1991 low-budget indie comedy Slacker: "I thought to myself, ’This counts? This is a movie? ’Cause I think I could do that!’" The result of this epiphany was Smith’s first film, Clerks, a cheerfully obscene comedy that Smith admitted he "never expected to play outside Monmouth County" in New Jersey.

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2000: The Year in Reviews

Movies this year were so bad that theater attendance was at an almost ten-year low; yet, paradoxically, box office revenues hit record highs — thanks largely to increased ticket prices. Never before have so few paid so much to see so little.