The release of DreamWorks Animation’s new caveman comedy The Croods seems as good an occasion as any to spotlight my 2010 blog post “Junior Knows Best,” about one of my least favorite trends in family filmmaking.
Last week, as anticipated in my “Where I am” post, my lady Suz and I welcomed our seventh child, Matthew Richard, into our happy, hugger-mugger family life … This week, our eldest is leaving us, at least for now. Sarah Elisabeth, who was only five when I began Decent Films 12 years ago, is college bound.
Spotlighted for your Lenten benefit: my 2011 blog post “Into the Desert: Lent and Film,” including some general thoughts on fasting and ascesis and some recommendations for appropriate Lenten viewing. Note that among the last year’s crop of films are a number that would make excellent Lenten viewing.
This weekend Disney’s latter-day classic Beauty and the Beast returns to theaters in a 3D converted version. I was looking forward to taking the whole family to last weekend’s 3D screening, but life got in the way. As for the film itself, I have nothing to add to my recent review; here it is.
Having blogged this week on this month’s trend of religiously themed films (Warrior, Machine Gun Preacher, Courageous and Seven Days in Utopia, with The Way and The Mighty Macs just around the corner), “Hollywood Adjustment?” is timely again.
I have nothing to add to my review of Paul Greengrass’s United 93, except to say that four years later there is still a gaping wound at Ground Zero where a memorial should be. For me, this film is the closest thing we have to an adequate tribute to those we lost on September 11, 2001.
In my recent series of Spotlight posts, I’ve highlighted reviews and essays from earlier years of my work that I feel stand out in one way or another. This week I highlight a piece that I’ve come to regard as at least a partial failure: my essay on The Magdalene Sisters.
This week Jackie Chan, now 56, eases out of starring roles and buddy pictures into a new role, that of the venerable mentor. I haven’t seen his first stab at such a role, the 2008 fantasy The Forbidden Kingdom, but with The Karate Kid it’s possible this role might serve the aging action star better than Hollywood’s previous attempts to shoehorn Jackie into established templates and formulas.
In 2002, when The Pianist was released, director Roman Polanski’s 1977 conviction and subsequent flight from sentencing were something of a footnote. Since then, there has been a documentary film about the case, renewed enforcement efforts, new revelations and new charges, and an arrest.
Writing about film, I sometimes say, can be a little education in just about everything. But watching movies can be a miseducation in just about everything. Even fact-based films are often, even usually, unreliable guides to their subject matter.
This week, coinciding with the theatrical release of Shrek Forever After, a pair of DreamWorks Animation productions get budget one-disc DVD rereleases (under $10). Despite the explicit marketing tie-in (“From the studio that brought you Shrek”), both films are traditional hand-drawn cel animation with nothing to connect them to Shrek in look or in spirit.
Roger Ebert has sold two books of negative reviews, and at his website you can peruse the “Your Movie Sucks™ files,” consisting of recent reviews awarding less than two stars.
Rereading my ten-year-old essay “Dogma in Dogma” today, it occurs to me that I was basically trying to beat Kevin Smith at his own game, to treat Dogma in more or less the same way that the film treats dogma.
Miracle is one of the better sports movies of recent years, dramatizing one of the most memorable American Olympic victories in the last 30 years. My review is this week’s Spotlight piece. (This post is a bit belated, as I’ve been snowed under by deadlines, but the homepage Spotlight was updated on Monday on schedule.)
This week’s Spotlight piece is another older review you may not have read, for a film you may not have seen: Touching the Void.
For no particular reason, here is an older review you may not have read, for a film you may not have seen: My Architect (2002).
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