There seems to be no reason for the title Ad Astra, meaning “to the stars,” to be in Latin, except to highlight writer–director James Gray’s elevated intentions.
Quentin Tarantino’s gifts are impossible to deny, but while I often find his set pieces mesmerizing, I have yet to fully buy into one of his films. This might be the closest one yet, though.
Why does Robin Hardy’s disquietingly cheery 1973 British folk-horror classic The Wicker Man work better than this sophomore film from the writer-director of Hereditary?
Fans of NPR’s This American Life already knew that Lulu Wang had an extraordinary story. What we now know is that she is also an extraordinary filmmaker.
For the first time, Pixar has made a Toy Story movie that adds nothing essential to the arc of the previous films. It’s still worth seeing.
I mean, you can kill them, but that’s not the point. The question is, were they ever alive in the first place?
It’s come to the point where the mere sight of the Illumination logo makes me think “lazy and scattershot.”
“Honor, greetings and blessings to you, conquerors of the moon, pale lamp of our nights and our dreams!” Paul VI exclaimed in his July 21 message to the astronauts on the day after the lunar landing. “Bring to it, with your living presence, the voice of the spirit, the hymn to God, our Creator and our Father.”
Alas, the mission wasn’t to improve The Lion King, only to mount it as realistically as possible. Favreau wasn’t hired as a creative, but as a taxidermist.
It’s just like the opening act of Favreau’s Chef: Favreau is literally Carl, and Disney is Dustin Hoffman.
Tony, Tony, Tony. How can we miss you if you won’t go away?
For Catholics and other Christians, the contradiction between Zeffirelli’s faith and the themes of his religious films on the one hand and his openly homosexual lifestyle on the other raise perennial questions about the mysterious relationship of art and the artist.
Toy Story 4 does not continue the story of the first three films, but casts about for new things to do in this world with the sprawling cast of characters in Bonnie’s orbit, most of whom once revolved around the now-absent figure of Andy.
Forgiveness in the face of murderous violence is a radical act that remains as shocking and controversial today as it was when a Second Temple–era Palestinian prophet commanded his disciples to love and to pray for those who persecuted them and ended his mortal life praying for divine forgiveness for his own executioners.
All art — even pop art, even bad or offensive art — is in some way a mirror to the soul of the culture that created it. Whether we embrace them, condemn them, or are indifferent to them, these secular apocalypses reveal something about who we are as a culture.
How can you watch a movie when you keep wanting to close your eyes in prayer?
The best X-Men movies, by my lights, are about hope. Dark Phoenix doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be about.
It’s the classic movie monster’s dilemma: You either die a villain or live long enough to see yourself become the hero.
Who is the target audience for Precious Moments from hell, or at least from a bad country song?
When they announced The Lego Movie, this is basically the movie I thought we were going to get.
It’s the story you know already, almost exactly. They say the lines and sing the songs, the same songs, almost exactly. It’s a good story and they’re good songs. There are no spoilers in this review because how could there be?
“One of my strongest opinions,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in a 1971 letter, “is that investigation of an author’s biography … is an entirely vain and false approach to his works.”
The real Bundy could be charming, but an honest film about Bundy and Kloepfer’s relationship could just as easily be called Super Weird, Emotionally Abusive and Threatening.
Patrick Creadon (I.O.U.S.A.) offers a compellingly attractive if one-sided portrait of a figure of exceptional gifts, astonishingly diverse accomplishments and extraordinary influence.
A reader of my review of Mary Magdalene offers an impassioned defense for the medieval Western view of St. Mary Magdalene as a penitent with a notoriously wanton sexual past, a profligate adulteress or harlot.
The prison setting and the word “redemption” in the Ludlumesque title are vaguely evocative of the most popular prison movie of all time, The Shawshank Redemption. A prison sentence, though, is seldom a redemptive experience for anyone.
Running just over three hours long, Avengers: Endgame builds to a denouement with a valedictory air akin to the last act of Peter Jackson’s similarly sprawling The Return of the King, except that it comes at the end of 22 movies instead of three movies.
Anyone who directs a movie about the converging efforts of Pope St. John Paul II and Ronald Reagan to take on the Soviet Union is someone I’m interested in talking to. But Robert Orlando isn’t just anyone to me.
Somewhere roughly between Risen and Last Days in the Desert in its narrative and interpretive sensibilities, Mary Magdalene presents an interpretation of Jesus’ ministry, passion and resurrection that seems in some ways — with important caveats — fairly traditional, viewed from a feminist perspective with some biblical justification.
It’s a little bit about the Seven Deadly Sins and a lot about how a 14-year-old boy would react if he were suddenly bequeathed with superpowers beyond imagining and also an Adonis-like adult physique in a bright red super-suit.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.