“Mad Max” and the Redefinition of “Great”

The 2016 Oscar nominations were announced recently. It’s an announcement I used to look forward to with great anticipation, but I barely notice anymore. Judging be recent ratings of the Oscar awards ceremony, I think a lot of people feel the same. Of the eight Best Picture nominees (five nominees aren’t enough anymore because there are sooooo many GREAT pictures More …

Star Wars is Dead; Long Live Star Wars

When the phenomenon becomes commonplace, and the spectacular becomes standard. So, I saw the new Star Wars movie last weekend. If you’re one of the 17 people on earth who haven’t seen it yet but still plan on seeing it (meaning you’re either pinned under a fallen chandelier waiting for rescue, or the girl with the restraining order on you was at the More …

“Woodlawn” Mini-Review

If you’ve got some interest in seeing Woodlawn but you’re concerned that it might be one of those hokey, Christian movies, let me assure you that it is, in fact, one of those hokey, Christian movies. However, it’s also one of the best pure movies of any film ever made in the hokey, Christian genre, claiming that title from the More …

The Birth of Jive

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Airplane!, the funniest movie ever made, the A.V. Club brings us an oral history of the movie from the people who made it happen. A sample: Al White [“Second Jive Dude”]: I looked at the script and couldn’t make hide nor hair of the actual verbiage. [Laughs.] But I got a sense of More …

Do You Want to Kill Some Rebels?

I found this clip of the next Star Wars movie; the first from Disney studios. And if you look closely, I think you can pick up on some subtle Disney touches:

It’s Easier to be Brave from Behind the Biggest Bully on the Block

Here’s National Review’s David French on Sony’s decision to pull The Interview from theaters in the face of a temper tantrum from the gout-ridden junior despot of North Korea: …the irony is that we’re talking about an industry that routinely applauds itself for “speaking truth to power” or for it’s own “courage” when it makes films that their fellow progressives love but might More …

How to do Things Right: Advice from Jackie Chan

I take a back seat to no one in my love of Jackie Chan. But before I always thought that it was just one of my quirky, inexplicable preferences, like grape Gatorade or greeting cards that make fart noises. But now, thanks to the internet, we have someone to explain why Jackie Chan movies are so great. And in that explanation, More …

Aaaaiiiiiieeeeeee!!!!!!

…eeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

If You Like Scary Documentaries About Scary Movies…

If you’re sitting around on Halloween looking for a scary documentary to watch (and who isn’t?), here’s one you might be able to squeeze in: A three-hour documentary about a two-hour movie, Superior Firepower: The Making of Aliens.

Monty Python and the Very Polite Censorship Letter

Open Culture reprints a letter written on behalf of the Pythons to negotiate for the British equivalent of a PG rating when they first released the classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail way back in 1975. Caution: if you follow the link above, you will see a discussion of the use of swears. But it’s interesting to see the horse trading More …

Robin Williams

You could do worse than have this as your epitaph:

Denzel Washington on Dreams, Goals, and God

There is a lot of God in Denzel Washington movies. I first started noticing it with Man on Fire, but it’s not hard to pick out in some of his other movies too. If God had any more screen time in Flight and The Book of Eli He’d have to get a SAG card. I suspect that Denzel is a Christian, but I’ve never More …

“Heaven is for Real” Double-Reverse Contrarianism

After my recent post about David Platt going after Heaven is for Real along with other “I saw the afterlife and came back to tell about it”-type books and movies, one of my four regular readers left a comment that got me thinking that maybe I was giving too much credence to Platt’s take. A few years ago, I read an article More …

The Assertive Naivete of Captain America

I got to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier last week, and I thought it was great. And that stamp of approval is coming from the kind of comic book nerd who went on a hunger strike after seeing Daredevil (it was also partly because I spilled the rest of my Skittles in the parking lot on the way out More …

Hollywood Would Understand Christians Better if It Looked at Them Like Harry Potter Fans

Here’s Acculturated on the early notices for the upcoming movie Noah: Then there is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. My close friend Brian Godawa, screenwriter and Bible scholar, thoroughly examined Noah in his excellent movie blog on the basis of an early draft of the script. He reports that it displays a “violent hatred of humanity” and presents Noah as an “environmentalist More …

Can Anybody But an Atheist Make a Good Bible Movie?

The Gospel Coalition asks, “Can an atheist make a good Bible movie?” Little is yet known about [director Ridley] Scott’s Exodus other than its impressive cast; however, when asked about the film in October by The New York Times, Scott said, “I’m an atheist, which is actually good, because I’ve got to convince myself the story works.” What does it More …

Discussion Question: Robert Shaw is That Guy

It’s the middle of Thanksgiving weekend and I’m out of stuff to write about, so how about some movie talk? We’ve all got our “That Guy” actor: the one who’s name doesn’t necessarily appear above the title in the credits, but when you see him on screen, you think, “Hey, something good is about to happen!” For me, That Guy More …

“Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Review: President Snow is the Worst Dictator Ever

Acculturated goes against the grain in a review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: I’m sorry. I’m just not buying it. I don’t believe The Hunger Games. I’ve now seen the second film in the series, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and I have the same impression that I did when I saw the first film. The premise of The More …

The Hungry Games

Sesame Street, still knocking it out of the park after all these years:

Wherein I Connect the Dots

Two entertainment news stories I saw back-to-back: Monty Python to reunite for new show after 30 years British comedy veterans Monty Python are set to reunite for a new show in their first major collaboration in 30 years, member Terry Jones revealed on Tuesday. “We’re getting together and putting on a show — it’s real,” Jones told the BBC. “I’m More …