Decent Films Blog
What if Pixar’s Up had been directed by Michael Bay instead of Pete Docter? This seems pretty accurate, actually.
Watching Woody Allen’s latest, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, is like watching your uncle doing a card trick you’ve seen him do a hundred times. There’s no rabbit in the hat, and no God in heaven. We know, Woody. Magic in the Moonlight: my “Reel Faith” review.
While I didn’t care for this movie as much as I hoped I would, I will say I went right from the theater to an Indian restaurant, where I got something I enjoyed more. The 100 Foot Journey: my “Reel Faith” review.
Thanks to this film, I’ll be adding “Shrinking World Syndrome” to SDG’s Very, Very Little Movie Glossary. You know, how it turns out that the Joker killed Batman’s parents, Anakin Skywalker created C-3PO, and now April O’Neil is connected to the Turtles’ origins. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: my “Reel Faith” review.
If you’re not into turtles, and you have half a brain, this may be the movie for you. Guardians of the Galaxy: my “Reel Faith” review.
(Or: What I Did On My Summer Vacation)
“Christ in Majesty” is the official name of the striking, somewhat controversial mosaic on the apse wall of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, but someone Suz and I once knew jokingly nicknamed it “the Christ of Muscle Beach,” in reference to its half-bared chest and arm, muscular build and intimidating gaze.
It’s a nickname that came back to me last week on family vacation in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, as I worked on a sand sculpture of a subject I’ve done a couple of times in the past, though not in eight years: the crucifixion of Jesus.
Not just because I was actually at the beach, but also because, in part due to my lifelong love of and training in comic-book and superhero art, my figure studies in any medium tend to look, well, like this:
I’ve always loved sculpting in sand on summer vacation. As a kid I started out making sharks and other sea creatures; I’ve also tried my hand at castles, dragons and mermaids (and mermen and merbabies), among other subjects.
A question I couldn’t get to in 60 seconds: What’s the real story with the creepy, green spaced-out tribal warriors? Can anyone explain that? Hercules: my “Reel Faith” review.
This is the summer’s most thought-provoking action movie. Snowpiercer: my “Reel Faith” review.
Looking at those Cars eyes is worse than having no remnant of Pixar at all this year. Planes: Fire & Rescue: my “Reel Faith” review.
Édgar Ramírez might be my favorite horror-movie priest. Deliver Us From Evil: my “Reel Faith” review.
Scott Derrickson is such a great interview subject that it was hard for me to cut down our sprawling 45-minute discussion to the 2500-odd words of the text article that ran earlier this week.
I’m very pleased, then, to be able to offer the Reel Faith video version of the entire interview. There’s a lot here that didn’t make it into the text article, so enjoy!
P.S. What Scott most wants you to know about this interview: Under the table I’m wearing shorts and sandals. (It was really hot in New York that day!)
If Michael Bay can take 165 minutes for his latest Transformers movie, I can take two minutes to review it. Transformers: Age of Extinction: my “Reel Faith” review.
I watched pretty much the whole second half of this movie with a smile on my face. Chef: my “Reel Faith” review.
I’m a sucker for a good time-bending movie. This is a good time-bending movie. Edge of Tomorrow: my “Reel Faith” review.
Angelina Jolie is perfect for the part of Disney’s most iconically evil villainess. If only they’d let her play it for more than one scene. Maleficent: my “Reel Faith” review.
Buy at Amazon.com
A Polish nun embarks on a trip of discovery in this gorgeous black-and-white period piece. Ida: my “Reel Faith” review.
A slightly belated note to “Reel Faith” fans: The show’s summer season is underway, with episode #2 now airing. (Featured in episode #2: X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romcom Blended and the Polish drama Ida. Note: David and I had one of our more dramatic sort-of disagreements over X-Men—check it out!)
This summer there’s a catch: Shows will no longer be posted for a week at the website. You have to watch them when they stream!
The good news is, they’re streaming a lot! Here are your options (all times Eastern):
Each episode debuts on NET Friday at 8pm ET, with encores Saturdays at 1:30pm and 11pm; Sundays at 6pm; and Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays at 1:30pm. NET is carried by Time Warner and Cablevision as well as Verizon FiOS On Demand; you can also watch NET live online.
The director who launched the new era of comic-book movies 14 years ago with X-Men is back. X-Men: Days of Future Past: my “Reel Faith” review.
The latest Hollywood take on the most successful movie monster of all time is a huge hit with audiences and critics…but I’m not feeling the love. Godzilla: my “Reel Faith” review.
What happens when an American sports agent goes to the land of cricket, the Taj Mahal and endless traffic jams looking for anyone who can pitch upwards of 80mph? Million Dollar Arm: my “Reel Faith” review.
I like Lawrence Toppman’s comment on this one: “This sequel is, by design, entirely absorbing and satisfying without being one whit memorable.” Captain America: The Winter Soldier: my “Reel Faith” review.
I took two minutes to talk about this one, and still got in less than half of what bothered me about it. God’s Not Dead: my “Reel Faith” review.
Two notable back-to-back Decent Films events tonight!
At 7pm Eastern I’ll be on “Catholic Answers Live!” with Patrick Coffin, talking about everything from Noah to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Check station listings or listen online (7–8pm Eastern).
Then at 8pm, watch a special episode of “Reel Faith” devoted to religion on the big screen: Noah, God’s Not Dead and Son of God, plus the 10-year anniversary of The Passion of the Christ. Check local listings or watch online (8–8:30 Eastern).
Father Robert Barron is one of the Church’s best commentators on popular culture today, so I’ve been waiting for his take on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. He doesn’t disappoint.
You can also read the text version of Fr. Barron’s take.
This has been a crazy week!
I was interviewed about Noah for Vatican Radio, the NBC News website, EWTN News Nightly, Kresta in the Afternoon and The World Over. (That last segment has yet to air. I also received interview requests for Huffington Post TV and al-Jezeera, but those didn't happen.)
In addition, besides my various pieces at the Register, I wrote a theological reflection on the film for Catholic World Report. It’s been so much, I decided to bring it all together in one blog post just to keep track of it all. (Note: Don’t miss the Bonus Video That Has Nothing To Do With Noah!)
Buy at Amazon.com
I can’t imagine the soul who could watch this movie without smiling. Ernest & Celestine: my “Reel Faith” review.
Jason Siegel and Amy Adams are out. Can Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tiny Fey pick up the slack? Muppets Most Wanted: my “Reel Faith” review.
Buy at Amazon.com
After ten years, Jesus is back on the big screen. Was it worth the wait? Son of God: my “Reel Faith” review.
The first major big-studio Bible film in decades is a dark, divisive, personal film from the director of Pi, The Fountain and Black Swan. Noah: my “Reel Faith” review.