Category: Film Reviews/Hollywood

Anna Karenina: The Uncontainable Joy of Redemption

Note 1: A version of this article was originally published in The Examined Life, the e-magazine of Wheatstone Ministries. Note 2: The novel came out in 1878. This film has been out for months. I crave dispensation from spoiler alerts. There hasn’t been...

/ January 29, 2013

The Risks of a Heart Awakened: Emotional Detachment and Les Miserables

Back in the late 1990s, I watched Saving Private Ryan in the theater. The opening sequence, with its intense depiction of the carnage of battle, captivated, disturbed, and moved me all at once. It was my understanding that this was...

/ January 18, 2013

Is Depiction Endorsement? Filmmaker Responsibility in “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Django Unchained”

Of all the 2012 films nominated for best picture Oscars this year, two have gained press as much for their controversial content as for their awards-caliber quality. Those two films are Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and Quentin Tarantino’s Django...

/ January 16, 2013

“Les Miserables”: Failed Musical, Successful Book

(All quotes are taken, out of context, from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.) Tom Hooper’s Les Mis (I will not confuse the adaptation with Hugo’s masterpiece) was UK-released the 11th of January. This film is a bold experiment. What else it...

/ January 15, 2013

In Defense of “Les Miserables”

Tom Hooper’s film version of Les Miserables has received much praise in recent weeks, including multiple Oscar nominations. It topped the list of the “most redeeming films of 2012” (a nebulous distinction, to be sure) that my film critic colleagues...

/ January 10, 2013

Don’t Waste your Blackjack: Holy Rollers and Christian Gamblers

What Ben Mezrich did for card counters in Bringing down the House, Bryan Storkel aims to do for The Church Team, a now defunct group of Christians who made a hefty sum playing blackjack. “What’s that, you say?  Christian gamblers?”...

/ March 14, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens and Entertainment

Saturday I went to the movies with my family. When I discovered that the plan was to go see Cowboys and Aliens, I was, um, hesitant. All I knew of the film was from the poster I’d seen on the...

/ August 25, 2011

Marriage, the Medium, and Friday Night Lights

I’m still thinking through the finale to television’s best show and determining what to do next with it.  After four years together, I’m not quite ready to let go yet. Mostly that’s because somewhere between seasons one and five Coach...

/ August 1, 2011

Harry Potter and the Age Old Story

Tonight is the opening night of the final installment of the Harry Potter movies. I have lots of feelings about this. A little over a year ago I was still refusing to read those little children’s books about a boy named Harry...

/ July 14, 2011

The Music and Meaning of *Tree of Life*

  Terence Malick’s Tree of Life is a profound meditation on the possibility of joy in a world where the brokenness threatens to overwhelm our sense of the presence, power, and fundamental beauty of goodness. Bold words for an opening...

/ July 6, 2011