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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children REVIEW

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

1999 was a very good year for film, and how much more peculiar Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children might have been had it come out that year, before the X-Men and Harry Potter franchises were launched in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

Deepwater Horizon REVIEW

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

The film sketches in these characters just enough to hold the story together. What really interests Berg is exploring how the disaster happened, what it was like, and how those 126 people responded, for better and for worse.

The culture of wrath: How not to poison your soul on social media ARTICLE

The culture of wrath: How not to poison your soul on social media

The pitfalls of human nature being what they are, to dwell excessively on negative thoughts and preoccupations — to give free rein to outrage, anger, fear, antipathy, and, all too easily, hatred — is a constant temptation. (It’s a special hazard during election seasons, but the problem is perennial.) That which is dishonorable, unjust, impure, and worthy of condemnation drowns out what is honorable, just, pure, and worthy of praise.

<em>Inside Out</em> and upside down: Does&nbsp;Pixar&rsquo;s most recent masterpiece distort human nature? ARTICLE

Inside Out and upside down: Does Pixar’s most recent masterpiece distort human nature?

None of this is to say that Inside Out doesn’t present a lopsided view of the place of emotions in human nature. It does. Most if not all stories, even great ones, are lopsided in some respect or other.

Queen of Katwe REVIEW

Queen of Katwe (2016)

There are so many reasons Queen of Katwe shouldn’t even exist, and just thinking about them all makes me even more vexed at Hollywood for its desperate obsession with exhausted franchise fare when there are winning and wonderful stories like this to be told.

Hillsong &#8211; Let Hope Rise REVIEW

Hillsong – Let Hope Rise (2016)

Possibly the best and most cinematic sequence in Hillsong – Let Hope Rise is a montage that strikingly captures how the music of the Australian Evangelical church-based praise band Hillsong United touches, and unites, people all around the world.

Sully REVIEW

Sully (2016)

Many actors come to own the roles they play so completely that once you see them, you can’t imagine anyone else in the part. Tom Hanks plays roles in which you can’t imagine anyone else even before you see him.

People keep lying about computer &#8220;creativity&#8221; POST

People keep lying about computer “creativity”

Nearly 15 years ago the British futurist Ian Pearson predicted that by 2010 the world’s highest-paid celebrity would be an artificial “synthespian.” That didn’t pan out, but now journalists and PR people are trying to hype A.I. entities as filmmakers behind the camera.

The Iron Giant REVIEW

The Iron Giant (1999)

There is a purity to Brad Bird’s directorial debut The Iron Giant, based on the British poet Ted Hughes’ children’s novel The Iron Man, that is inconceivable in the family film landscape of today.

Greater REVIEW

Greater (2016)

Greater has three surprises, which is three more than most faith-based films, particularly of the inspirational sports-movie variety.

Kubo and the Two Strings REVIEW

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Kubo and the Two Strings comes close to being a masterpiece, and one of the two best American animated films in years, the other being Pixar’s Inside Out.

Ben-Hur REVIEW

Ben-Hur (2016)

On paper, and sometimes even on screen, there’s some promise and potential in this remake of Ben-Hur.

Pete&#8217;s Dragon REVIEW

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, or even in writing, but with Pete’s Dragon joining The Jungle Book and Cinderella, Disney may be giving the lie to the old cliché “They don’t make ’em like that any more.”

Where are Hollywood&#8217;s good Catholic characters? ARTICLE

Where are Hollywood’s good Catholic characters?

Here is a sobering question: Has there been a single substantial, positive depiction of Catholic faith or identity in a major Hollywood non-horror film in the last 10 or 15 years?

Let&rsquo;s face it: Hollywood&rsquo;s got a &ldquo;religion problem&rdquo; ARTICLE

Let’s face it: Hollywood’s got a “religion problem”

One area of representation is disproportionately ignored: how Hollywood deals with religious belief and identity.

Ice Age: Collision Course [video] POST

Ice Age: Collision Course [video]

The tipping point has been reached where I now wish that even the original Ice Age had never been made in the first place. Yes, even if it means no Scratt ever.

Jason Bourne [video] POST

Jason Bourne [video]

You know his name. David Webb. You did know that was his name, right?

Ghostbusters [video] POST

Ghostbusters [video]

The new Ghostbusters is perhaps more important than good, which isn’t a great place to be.

Warcraft [video] ARTICLE

Warcraft [video]

This may be the first movie I’ve ever seen where I got more out of reading the Wikipedia entry afterwards.

Independence Day: Resurgence [video] POST

Independence Day: Resurgence [video]

We had 20 years to prepare. I would have liked more time.

The Shallows [video] POST

The Shallows [video]

“Blake Lively versus shark” is definitely one of the better pitches of this summer.

Central Intelligence [video] POST

Central Intelligence [video]

I can’t imagine anyone but Dwayne Johnson making this movie work.

Love &amp; Friendship [video] POST

Love & Friendship [video]

Whit Stillman and Jane Austen! I couldn’t limit myself to 60 seconds on this one.

Alice Through the Looking Glass [video] POST

Alice Through the Looking Glass [video]

Lewis Carrol is now right side up in his grave, having turned over twice.

Captain America: Civil War [video] POST

Captain America: Civil War [video]

At last, a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that doesn’t come down to destroying a large urban area while saving the city, planet, or universe.

Jason Bourne REVIEW

Jason Bourne (2016)

The world has changed since 2007, and not only in the ways the filmmakers are self-consciously trying to engage: concerns about cyber-security, online privacy, government spying and the pressure on tech companies to give the government whatever information or access it wants.

Star Trek Beyond REVIEW

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

It’s not saying much, but Star Trek Beyond is probably this summer’s most entertaining popcorn film to date.

The Secret Life of Pets REVIEW

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

The first act of The Secret Life of Pets leans on a style of humor that we might call “anthropomorphic observational comedy.”

The Innocents REVIEW

The Innocents (2016)

The Innocents opens in a Benedictine convent in Poland in 1945, shortly after the event known, not without bitter irony, as the liberation of Poland by the Soviet army.

Finding Dory REVIEW

Finding Dory (2016)

Hank the octopus is a particular standout. Hank’s squash-and-stretch movements push computer animation to yet another high-water mark, and his mad skills are highly entertaining — so entertaining, in fact, that I kind of wish the movie had been about him.